Tag Archives: Lenten study

Time, How God Can Expand it

How Can God Expand Time

Someone asked me if I could do something. I had to say, “I’m sorry at the moment I have no time”. I even said that I wished God would give me another 24 hours in a day. But you know what, He answered me and showed me how to not be concerned with time.

Time - How God Can Expand it

This is the grandfather clock my hubby built.

We are continuing with week three of a Lenten study using The SIMPLE Method of Bible Study.

S – Say the passage out loud. Check other versions.

Today’s study is based on Mark 11:27-33

They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.  “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.  John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references, and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Jesus had just cleansed and cursed the temple. The religious leaders wanted to destroy Him. This is the first of 5 controversies in the temple. Tension is building on the way to the cross.

The temple courts were courts that surrounded the main temple buildings. There was the court of women, court of men (Israelite) and court of Gentiles.

What authority? Priest wanted to know why Jesus could perform an official act when He had no status.

“Heaven” was a common word for “God”.

M – Make list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

Those who called themselves “religious” should have understood Who Jesus was. But they didn’t. They were blinded by obstacles. I was too – See my faith testimony.

Submission to Authority:

The priests had become powerful. They had money and position. They saw Jesus as a threat to that. They reject His authority (28) – See Mark 1:22, Mark 1:27, Mark 2-10-11.

Who is our authority? Is it science, the world, the media, other people, ourselves?

Check out the Evidence:

I read A Case for Christ by Lee Stobel and books by CS Lewis, Max Lucado and of course The Bible to help me answer the question Who is this Jesus? 

It’s a great question that Jesus posed. The evidence is seen in Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 40:3 and by John the Baptist.

But even with all this evidence the priests could not get over themselves and the possibility of losing control.

Fear God rather than man:

Fear of man is a common problem (See Proverbs 29:25). The leading Jewish authorities were afraid of the people. So they waffled and said, “We don’t know”. They wanted to stay safe and comfortable and keep the status quo.

P – Pray – after all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

L – Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (It might be entirely different than your thoughts – that’s okay)

I think it is amazing how God works. This is the passage suggested in the study I am following. And last Sunday it is the text that the sermon was based on. Our pastor, Rick Thiemke, if Via Church in Mesa, Arizona, explained the passage very well and many of my thoughts came from that sermon. I love this quote.

Science is a great description of what God already knows. (click to tweet)

Remember the burning question I had this week: How can I get more time?

I am learning to never say never. God is the God of the impossible. Being God-led means submitting to His authority. I was reminded of two old acronyms and one new one.

 

And my new one – TIME

T – Thankful: Be thankful for each moment of the day.

I – Interest: Show interest and understanding and watchfulness for events around you.

M – More:  God gives us more than we need. He expands time, energy and vision.

E  – Expansion: Our world expands when God is in control. I pray to expand my territory for God.

How do you see TIME? God’s version is different than ours.

Submit to His authority and see TIME expand. (click to Tweet)

The scripture to study for this week will be Colossians 1:17 because I think it encapsulates all the ideas of TIME.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

E – Exit the study with a written prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Oh Father, once again You amaze me of how You put things together – this day, this week, this year. The sermon, this Lenten study, Your words through prayer. You tie is all together. You hold everything together. You even expand time. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — Sign up now.

Please follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

I Believe – If you can. I can

I Believe – If you can. I can

A look at 6 scripture through Lent using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study.

S – Say the passage out loud. Check other versions.

 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes (Mark 9:23, NIV).”

The whole Scripture today comes from Mark 9:14-29.

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes (NLT).”

 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen (The Message).”

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references, and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Crowds were around the returning disciples. The teachers of the law were arguing with them. The disciples had not been able to heal a boy. Even more, crowds were arriving. Then this discussion took place. Jesus said, “you unbelieving generation.”

Read: Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:23; John 11:40

They all talk about there being no limit to what God can accomplish. The fig tree is an example of someone dried up, not producing any fruit.

M – Make a list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

A poem came to me:

Stronger study
Stronger prayer
Makes belief
I become aware
God is here
God is now
I believe.

This will be my first study week in Lent. I hadn’t decided what to take on or what to give up – until today. I am giving up CONTROL of my hubby. Yes, I tend to take charge. For 40 days I am going to try to let go. Whew – big breath for me.

My thoughts go back to my spiritual growth over the past 16 years. Now I don’t only have head knowledge of God but heart knowledge too.

I watch
I see
I listen
I hear

I believe. God speaks. God shows. I see revival. (tweet this)

People are crying out for a Saviour. Some are looking in all the wrong places. They don’t know that they are seeking Jesus. But Jesus is here. Just ask Him.

P – Pray – After all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

L – Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (no matter how different from your own thoughts previously).

I am grateful that I know in my heart that I believe and I know the truth of Jesus.

I believe. Do you believe?

If I can help you in any way with your questions please email Janis.

E – Exit with a written prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Lord, thank You for opening my mind, eyes, ears and heart to know You are God’s Son. Thank You for increasing my ability to believe day by day, minute by minutes. In the stillness You are near – Thank You that You are in the bumps and the valleys; in the calm rivers and on high mountain peaks. I praise You, forever. In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

 

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — coming soon? Sign up now.

Click on the image to go the Watercolour Sign up.

Please follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.


Lenten Thoughts Who is this Jesus?

Lenten Thoughts  Who is this Jesus?

Yesterday was the start of Lent. It is called Ash Wednesday. Ashes are a sign of repentance and “lent” means springtime. I need to take time for Lenten Thoughts.

I believe lent is a time for thinking.

Lenten Thoughts

Photo taken by Ruth Pinkus

 

My minister sent his Lenten thoughts in his yearly Lenten Letter and it is exactly how I have been thinking. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Harry Morgan – Haliburton Pastoral Charge – Lenten Letter 2016

For Lent you might feel called to to set something aside that might be overpowering your focus on God or you might want to give up something as a reminder to you of the suffering of Jesus.

You could look at something that you know is hard to give up; or some attitude or habit you feel needs changing; or something you want to add to your life to make it fuller and more alive.

Some people say that we shouldn’t tell what we are “giving up” or “taking on” as a remembrance during Lent. However if we are not doing the telling as a sign of outward holiness then speaking about what we are doing may be a good talking point with others.

Here are a few ideas of what to add to your life:

For Bible study:

Add memorizing Scripture
Choose to get up earlier to meet with God
Study a verse a day

For your health:

Plan to do 15 more minutes a day walking.
Cut back on sugar.
Stretch before any active sport.

Each week of Lent I will be studying the following Scriptures in Word of God Speak. If you want to study with me please do. I have made a PDF with these scriptures so you can print them off. I found my ideas for this study from a post in Gospel Coalition. They also give a Free 40 day study called Journey to the Cross. I hope to have time to do some of it as well.

Scriptures to Study for Lent – 2016 PDF

Mark 9:14-29
Mark 10:32-34
Mark 11:27-33
Mark 12:41-44
Mark 14:1-9
Mark 14:66-72

Today I will look at Mark 8:27-30 to get us started on our thinking:

Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

My Lenten Thoughts – Who Do You Say I am?

That was the question which I struggled with. “Who are you, Jesus?”

Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do others say I am?”

That was my problem. I listened to others.

When I entered university my faith was semi-solid. I had been confirmed in our church. I had said the words, “I believe in Jesus, the risen Lord.”

My head knowledge felt secure. My heart knowledge was empty. (tweet this)

University courses, particularly anthropology, made me start questioning creation (now Creations Ministries International helps me sort out my thoughts and questions).

I wrote about the Creation Story back in 2012. (which WordPress decided to publish Tuesday and I thought I was just updating)   This helped me believe.

Lenten Thoughts - believe - Bumblebee

Bumblebee by Janis Cox

The people around me did activities that did not conform to my upbringing or faith. I did my studies, forgot church and grew empty. Relationships formed my life. My family held me strong in their love. But I developed a crusty character as I tried to be in control all the time.

Fast forward to 2000 – God drew me to a church where Christ and the Bible were preached every Sunday. God led me to Christian sisters who had a heart for God and desired to learn more (as I did). I joined them.

But still I asked, “Who are you, Jesus?”

Finally after studying both God’s Word and good scripture based, faith-filled books, I knew I wanted to know this Jesus. My friend suggested, “Ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you.”

I did ask Jesus to reveal Himself. Jesus did. Now I could say like Peter, “You are the Christ”.

This meant to me that I knew Jesus is the Son of the living God. It meant I believed. (see my faith story)

If you are still seeking –  Ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. (tweet this)

I guarantee He will.

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