Tag Archives: Sunday Stillness

Sunday Stillness – What is the Gospel?

Sunday Stillness – What is the Gospel?

What-is-the-Gospel-

From FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Last week I gave a rundown on how we were studying the Bible in our Bible Study. We were trying to find out exactly “What is the Gospel?” by reading big chunks of Scripture.

You can read more of the study by going to Six Important Things to Remember When Studying Scripture.

I said I would give my answers this week.

I will share my answers and what we decided as a group.

My answers:

What was the BAD NEWS that we needed GOOD NEWS?

All men have sinned (separation from God) and fallen from God’s grace and condemned to a separated from God forever.

What was the GOOD NEWS?

Jesus died for our sins in order to bring us back into a right relationship with God and live eternally with Him.

Our discussion:

What is the BAD NEWS?

darkness, rejecting the Truth, lack of belief in Jesus, sinners, separated from God, God’s wrath on us, helpless, hopeless.

What part did God play in the Good News?

God takes the initiative to rescue us through Jesus. There was a purpose to save the world through Jesus. It was a gift. God did this legally and justly. He provided death Himself to give us life. Jesus came to live and to die.

That’s Why we Praise Him – Tommy Walker

What part must man play?

Believe, receive, be born again in the spirit, born into a new family – God’s family, trust, a relationship with God (Scripture uses the words, children of God, one with the Father, followers, adopted, reconciled.) Our belief is active and will bring about the relationship. We need to rest and trust in Jesus.

What is sin?

Going against the Word of God, doing our own things, not doing God’s way, not worshipping God, darkness, rebellion against God.

Are you doing your own things or what God wants us to do?

We need to bow down, relinquish self.

What do good works have to do with the Good News?

They flow out of our belief. We desire to do good works.

We talked a lot about good works to be sure we understood that we cannot gain any more or less favour from God by good works. It is not for “brownie points”. Good works cannot build our relationship with God. Sometimes believers count their good works and think that will get them closer to God – That is WRONG. Sometimes believers feel bad when they sin and have fallen short of what they believe God expects and feel helpless and “not good enough”. That is WRONG too. We must make sure pride in our good works does not happen. We need to keep our good works in perspective. Good works have nothing to do with us but everything to do with God.

The object of our faith is CHRIST ALONE. Belief is forsaking all others except for Jesus. We want a right relationship with God. We turn our lives over to Jesus. We trust and rest in God alone.

Christ Alone sung by Kristian Stanfill –

What are we saved from?

God’s wrath, judgment, separation

What are we saved to?

Eternal life – with God forever.

What is the Gospel? My answer

Christ died for our sins, which had alienated us from God; Christ was buried, raised on the 3rd day, and went back to Heaven. All this is how God planned from the beginning in order that we could be reconciled to Him forever. We only have to ADMIT our sins, BELIEVE in Jesus and CHOOSE to follow Him. Then we are saved and will have everlasting life with God.

The simple answer that we came up with:

Jesus is our Saviour. He died for our sins, was resurrected and went back into Heaven to be with the Father.

So that was it. Very full. I found it fascinating to take such a large chunk of Scripture and look for specific answers.

And I learned a new word: Propitiation –

that by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon and bless the sinner. The propitiation does not procure his love or make him loving; it only renders it consistent for him to exercise his love towards sinners.

 

It’s an important word as it is part of the Gospel – God’s sacrifice in Jesus to appease His wrath.

Tweetable:

I found it fascinating to take such a large chunk of Scripture and look for specific answers.(click to tweet)

TODAY IS SUNDAY STILLNESS.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

Embracing His Will @Motivate and Rejuvenate Mondays

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Sunday Stillness – Six Important Things to Remember When Studying Scripture

Sunday Stillness – Six Important Things to Remember When Studying Scripture

How-to-Study-Scriptpure

I am taking a little break from studying Titus. We are preparing in the next couple of weeks to relocate back home to Haliburton. This always takes more thought and time than I realize.

Today for Sunday Stillness, I will tell you about the study I have been in for the last 3 weeks. We have been reading and studying through passages that tell us about God and the Gospel. We been asked to find the answers to these questions:

  1. What do you learn about God?
  2. What do you learn about man?
  3. What do you learn about the Gospel?

It has been a lot of reading, underlining and prayer to try to understand all of this.

This week our questions are:

  1. What is the bad news for which the Good News (the Gospel) is the remedy?
  2. Write 2-3 sentences to answer the question: What is the Gospel?

Here are the references we used,  if you want to try this exercise:

John 1:1-18, 3:1-36, 6:25-40, 10:20-50
Romans 1:1-32, 3:9-31, 4:1-7:6
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
2 Corinthians 5:1-21
Galatians 1:1-17, 2:11-21, 3:1-4:11
Ephesians 1:1-2:22, 4:1-5, 17-24,5:1-21
Philippians 1:1-11, 3:1-11
Colossians 1:1-23, 2:6-15, 3:1-17
Titus 2:1-3:8
Hebrews 8:1-10:39
James 2:14-26

We were given 6 important things to remember when studying Scripture:

1. Prayer – It is always important to ask God first to open the Scripture for you.

2. The Context – Always consider the context. Don’t take a passage out of the context to try to get it to fit your point of view.

3. Background – Use the 5 Ws, where, what, why, when, who. Find out the culture of the times, the idioms and the history.

4. Different Translations: Read through different translations.

5. Cross-references – These are other verses that correspond to the verse you are studying. Check them out.

6. Commentaries – First work on the passage by yourself and ask God to help you figure it out. Next check at least 3 commentaries (expert opinions) and then compare with your thoughts.

Prayer:

Father, it is so important that we study your Word. We thank You that we can ask You to help us. We also thank other experts who have gone before us to help us to understand more fully what we read. Help us as we continue to grow closer to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

I will tell you next week what I have found out. In the meantime tell me what you think about this type of study.

Have a wonderful Sunday Stillness.

Tweetable:

How do you study the Scripture? Studying in big chunks this time.  (tweet this)

TODAY IS SUNDAY STILLNESS.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

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Sunday Stillness – Watch what you say and how you act

Sunday Stillness –  Watch what you say and how you act

Watch-what-you-say-and-how-you-act

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:16.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

 

IF YOU WANT A PDF OF THE SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY –

PLEASE CLICK ON SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY BY JANIS COX.

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good (Titus 1:16, NIVUK).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

These are strong words. “They” refers back to the rebellious people, the mere talkers and deceivers in 1:10. Paul is comparing them to the “pure” as God made all things pure – for holiness and godliness.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

“claiming to know God- but by their actions they deny Him”

How many people do this? I am thinking of people in church that I see leaving the parking lot yelling at their kids or ignoring someone they have a grievance with. People who watch movies that I don’t think God would approve of. People who are mean to others.

P – Pray for God’s Guidance

convicted…

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

Wait a minute – I do this as well. Since we are all sinners we must be careful not to judge others – at least not judge that person. I think we can judge actions if they don’t line up with Christ’s teachings. But I must judge my own actions first.

Do I gossip?
Do I put down leaders and never think of praying for them?
Do I watch a violent movie as entertainment?
What other ways do you see Christians “claiming to know God” but not following what they were taught?
Paul calls them detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing any good.

It make me think twice before I speak and act. I must watch what I think and how I act if I want to avoid claiming to know God and by my actions deny Him.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Father God, we want to be followers, good followers. We want to “love what is good” and be “pure”. We want to be “sound in the faith”. Help us to see if we are falling away from your desires for us in any area of our lives. Help us to “encourage others by sound doctrine” and be bold enough to “refute those who oppose it”. Thank you for your word which stimulates our thinking and brings positive change in our lives. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

This is the end of my study of the first chapter of Titus, studied through the SIMPLE Bible Study method and Ed Hird’s book, Restoring Health – Mind, Body and Spirit. It has been a very enlightening exercise for me. Only 16 verses but so much packed into those verses. You can follow through my thinking by clicking on SIMPLE Bible Study.

Next week I start studying of chapter 2.

TWEETABLE:

Apostle Paul warns us to watch what we say and how we act. (click to tweet)

Learning through the SIMPLE Bible Study Method. Download your free copy. (click to tweet)

TODAY IS SUNDAY STILLNESS.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

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Sunday Stillness – What is purity?

Sunday Stillness – What is purity?

What-is-Purity

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:15.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

 

IF YOU WANT A PDF OF THE SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY –

PLEASE CLICK ON SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY BY JANIS COX.

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted (Titus 1:15, NIVUK).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Pure? What is pure? I read a post the other day about the purity and innocence of a newborn baby, written by Peter Black, called Musings on Dreaming Babies.

Paul is still telling Titus how to work with the Cretans – pirates and all.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

How do people become corrupted? How do people stop believing in God, the Bible, the sovereignty of God? Maybe some of them never believe because they were never told.

Purity – How do we become pure?

Jesus makes us pure.

Blessed are the pure in heart
for they will see God (Matthew 5:8, NIVUK).

I want that – to see God. Don’t you?

The Old Testament way of purifying themselves through water, blood and fire, was only temporary. It had to be repeated again and again.

But in the New Testament, Jesus has made the way for us to be pure all the time, so we can be with God. Thanks to His death on the cross, and resurrection we have been made pure if we declare Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

P – Pray for God’s Guidance

Always a wow!

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

This connects with my study on The Workbook of Living Prayer by Maxi Dunnam. We learned to bring our requests to God – to be clear. After we have spoken these requests by ourselves or in front of others (if we share) it helps us to refine our thoughts to get closer to God’s will.

Refining thoughts = PURITY! = being in God’s will

What’s on your mind? Are there things you have been asking God that need clarifying in your own minds?

I did this. I asked God about things I had been praying for. I found out some important answers to my life.

One thing I asked was to RESTORE my body. God led me to try eating pure foods, no more processed foods, nothing that is man-made. It is making a tremendous difference in my life.

And He told me to REST. Yes there are times when I go, go, go. He told me to space it out, take breaks to refresh my body and spirit.

These two things are helping me to see God’s will in my life, more clearly.

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:4, NIVUK).

And look at this – Whatever God created, NOT man. This is Food for Thought.

As usual I would never have thought a verse on purity would go this way. God links things together for us. God-incidents.

God can make us pure by refining our thoughts.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for creating purity of mind, body and spirit. Continue to show me how to live a pure life and grow closer to You. Thanks for Your communication method of prayer and Your Word. All things are clearer when I study Your Word and pray. Hallelujah!. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

TWEETABLE:

 God can make us pure by refining our thoughts. (click to tweet) 

Studying Titus 1:15 with SIMPLE Bible Study method. Check it out. (click to tweet)

TODAY IS SUNDAY STILLNESS.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

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Sunday Stillness – How do we become sound in the faith?

Sunday Stillness – How do we become sound in the faith?

How-do-we-become-sound-in-the-faith

From free digital photos.net

 

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:13,14.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

To learn more about this Bible Study go to my Bookstore.

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth (1 Titus:13, 14).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Testimony: This is referring to verse 12: all Cretans are evil brutes, liars and lazy gluttons.

Rebuke: tell them “no”. Be wiling to stand up for the faith.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

So how does this apply now? What and who are the ones who are making money dishonestly using “Christianity” as their catalyst? Are there some Christian speakers? writers? singers? Who is real before God? Who are followers of Christ and not themselves? How can I tell who is real?

The Message says:

For there are a lot of rebels out there … Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. … He (the prophet) certainly spoke the truth. Get on them right away (Titus 1:10-16, MSG).

[Titus] started a truth revolution, a Jesus revolution. Through speaking the truth to a pirate culture not that dissimilar from our North American culture (Ed Hird, Restoring Heatlh, Page 55).

So what is truth?

I heard this:

When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense (Interpreting Scripture).

We in North America are seeking other “truths” in man-made knowledge. What in our modern day compares to this? Movies, gossip, self-help books, astrology charts, fortune tellers, Eastern religions and their activities?

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

God kept saying to me: “See the myths vs the truth”.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

If we believe in the Bible we can check all things by reading what God says. We are to be graphed to the vine (John 15). And if we are graphed, the Holy Spirit will flow through us to teach and admonish us through His Word. ‘What would Jesus do?’ question makes sense if we are a part of Him.

I see many things that are NOT a part of God. Do you?

Can we separate ourselves from those things but still live in the world and love all people?

Truth is the way of health and life … Violence is the way of death. Jesus is the way of life. (Ed Hird, Restoring Health, page 55).

We need to OPEN our eyes to see how we may be pulled away into the world. Here are a few examples:

  1. Do you listen to gossip? Do you add to the conversation? Do you start your own gossip tale?
  2. Have you read or seen or played violence for the sake of entertainment?
  3. Are you forwarding emails without checking the accuracy of the truth to the statement?
  4. Are you forgetting to pray for God’s will in the lives and decisions of the leaders of our countries? Or are you just complaining and spreading hatred?

As for the rebuking those who don’t follow the truth – I will continue to write what I learn from God’s Word. Even one person is worth fighting for. Jesus wanted to find the lost sheep. If we focus on speaking the truth someone will hear. This is how I found Jesus – someone found me and led me to Him.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Thanks Lord, for the excitement I feel about speaking the truth. I will continue to focus on Your Word and what You tell me to say. I will rest in Your truth in order to restore my mind, body and spirit. And it is not easy separating ourselves from worldly pursuits. Help us to see whether our activities and actions are of You. Help us to pull away from anything that would not be of Your will for us. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

TWEETABLE:

 I see many things that are NOT a part of God. Do you? (click tweet) 

[Titus] started a truth revolution, a Jesus revolution. (click to tweet)

TODAY IS SUNDAY STILLNESS.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.




 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

 

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Sunday Stillness – How our society embraces mindless violence

Sunday Stillness – How our society embraces mindless violence

How-our-society-embraces-Mindless-violence

photo from Free Digital Photos.net

 

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:12.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

I love a quote from Martin Luther:

Titus contains, “all that is necessary for a Christian to know and live by”.

 

IF YOU WANT A PDF OF THE SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY –
PLEASE CLICK ON SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY BY JANIS COX.

 

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

One of Crete’s own prophets has said it, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons (Titus 1:12, NIVUK).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

I think the statement says it all. Titus and Paul had their hands full. In Greek literature to “Cretanise” meant to lie. I learned from Ed’s book that the scriptural quote is from 6th Century B.C. prophet Epimenides. Things were bad in Crete and Paul tells us that. Paul also knew that God could do anything.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

My thoughts went right away to labelling people. When people make that label – then others see them that way. The fat lady, the skinny lady, the black woman, the Native person, the poor, – or more disparaging terms which I won’t print.

But I am reminded that God sees the heart. Jeremiah 17:10. But God also judges our actions. So Titus must have seen beneath the crustiness of the Cretan pirates and saw they had good hearts. Change is possible if we can see into people’s souls. He was able to bring their actions into godly production.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

I see people labelling other people. I see and hear racist talk. I see and hear political talk – put downs of leaders, instead of prayers for them. And I usually am bold enough to speak out.

Some people have a history (like the pirates) and people label all people based on their own association with them. They can’t see any good which might be hidden but is there. Pray when you find yourself judging.

People assume the worst – and therefore it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy.

God created each of us in His own image.

 

We have to be open to really seeing people as Christ would see them. Paul was passionate about life transformation in a culture that glorifies violence. And I am not talking only about  Crete.

Check out our society:

violent video games, violent TV, martial arts, fighting in sports, (watching hockey, are we watching a game or a fight?), blood spurting movies, degrading shows, lack of respect for both sexes.

Before coming to Christ I used to watch some “not godly” movies and read books that God would not be happy about. I read today about how God hears the prayers of those who are closest to Him. Is there a chance that what you are watching or listening to is coming between you and God? Think seriously about this. Be aware. Talk to God about it.

That reminds me of the new movie Fifty Shades of Grey. – an abhorrent life style which no one should have to see. Read a fabulous eye-opening article on this topic by Randy Alcorn. Once again God’s timing in this – my studying Titus and this movie coming out. I don’t even like mentioning it as it fuels more press.

But really – all you prayer warriors –
pray that God will protect people from seeing this movie.

North America is in desperate need of breaking its addiction to mindless violence (Restoring Health, Ed Hird, page 53).

Can we take a step to see each person as a child of God, come along side him, and lead him to embrace a life with Jesus?

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Father, we live in times where all is not the goodness You seek for us. I am sorry that Your heart must be bleeding for Your people to come to their senses. We live where violence is glorified. Help us to ignore all violence – on TV, videos or movies. Help us keep our children in purity. Help us to seek truth and refreshment in You. Help us to see Jesus in every person we meet, to reach out and embrace every creature as a creature of God. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

TWEETABLE:

Martin Luther said that Titus contains, “all that is necessary for a Christian to know and live by. (click tweet) 

North America is in desperate need of breaking its addiction to mindless violence. (click to tweet)

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

 

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Sunday Stillness – How are we easily deceived?

Sunday Stillness – How are we easily deceived?

Are-we-being-deceived

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:10. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group (Titus 1:10, NIVUK).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Rebellious People: are they the ones who are far from God? who make their own rules? who are violent? who pursue dishonest gain? who lie? who cheat? who don’t follow God’s word? Or just any of us who take our own route instead of checking with God. (Doesn’t that happen a lot?)

Mere Talkers: sometimes people think they know everything but they don’t have solid knowledge. Some just talk to hear themselves talk. Or send forward emails (a technological form of talking) that they don’t check the veracity of the statement.

Circumcision Group: Those who were of Jewish faith and believed one needed to be circumcised to be a Christian. Those who followed the rules, by the letter, man’s rules, not God’s.

The King James Version for Titus 1:10 says:

for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of circumcision.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

Reading Ed’s book, I learned more about how we are deceived into thinking that what we do is okay – but it may not be. For instance, Ed talks about labyrinths. At one time I thought of putting in a labyrinth on our property. Somehow that didn’t come to fruition. I am so happy. After reading the history of labyrinths in Ed’s book I changed my mind.

The Labyrinth has a history of human sacrifices, and cult worship. It was a place to keep the Minotaur in a type of jail, with no chance of escape. Sacrifices of young teens were made to this beast. This is the story of the beginning of labyrinths (in Crete).

The emphasis in the actual written documentation about Labyrinth usage was not how to enter the labyrinth but how to escape the labyrinth (Ed Hird, page 49, Restoring Health).

Being westerners, we often fail to realize that seemingly harmless ‘physical”‘ techniques can have significant questionable spiritual impact on our lives (ibid. page 50).

Ed reminds us of yoga that also has swept the country – it seems only physical in nature but,

we fail to see the religious syncretism that we are involving ourselves in (Ibid. page 50).

I know many may disagree about the danger of these forms of expression. But I check out Yoga, Tai Chi, anything Zen and consider what it may be really.

Read Ed Hird’s wonderful articles:

Yoga

MBTI, Mandalas, Labyrinth, Carl Jung

I do agree with Ed that you are what you do. So be careful you are not pulled where God does not want you to be. If you have any weird inklings that something doesn’t seem right – get out of there.

I don’t want to be deceived by the world.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

Very interesting time once again.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

As I read Ed’s book about the call of the world – the deceivers that we may not see as deceivers, God reminded me to keep watch. I have to remember Whom I worship. And I must keep all my activities focused on Him.

Ed says:

It is not a neutral thing whom and what you worship. You become like what you worship… Your view of God is the highest truth about you, as it shapes everything you do (Ed Hird, Restoring Health, page 53).

Am I being easily deceived by the world? Are you? Look around you. What do you see? Where are you putting your energy and focus? Television? Video games? Gossip?

Why do we have such bullying in schools? Why the racism? Are you involved with activities that might be pulling you away from Jesus?

Are we being deceived? 

but test them all; hold on to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIVUK).

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Father, this is all so confusing. What we see as innocent may not be innocent. Help us to discern what is good for us and not harmful to our spirits. I don’t know the answers. But I know You do. Help us as we pray together for discernment so we know whether we are being deceived. Help us to be watchful and hold on to what is good. Protect us we pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Are we being deceived by what looks innocent to us? (click to tweet).

Do we “realize that seemingly harmless ‘physical”‘ techniques can have significant questionable spiritual impact on our lives @edhird (click to tweet).

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

the sunday community – #give me grace @see speak hear mama

 

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Sunday Stillness – What’s in The Word?

Sunday Stillness – What’s in The Word?

 

What's-in-the-Word

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:9. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:9, NIVUK).

.

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Paul is telling Titus that he must hold to the TRUTH. The truth that they have been taught through the Gospels. This is a trustworthy message. He is telling this to all pastors, teachers and leaders of the Church.

I love the words “sound doctrine”. Titus is filled with sound doctrines -words that God speaks to us about how to live.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

Thinking about the denominational splits and even the variety of denominations – arguing over what is right. Really does it matter if it follows “sound doctrine” of Christ. What do the Scriptures tell us? – how to live.

I love the words of Ancient Words written by Lynn Deshazo:

and here it is sung by Michael W. Smith.

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart

Words of Life, words of Hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where e’er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home

Chorus
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

Holy words of our Faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
Oh let the ancient words impart

Chorus
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart.

I bolded the parts that really spoke to me today.

So what is the trustworthy message?

We have different versions of the Bible. The Message says:

Have a good grip on The Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it (Titus 1:9, MSG).

Then the KJV:

holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he might be able by sound doctrine to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (Titus 1:9, KJV). 

I like the KJV choice of words: to “convince” rather than “refute”. Refute sounds negative and convince sounds positive.

I have read and seen on Twitter many interesting posts about the KJV being the best. But here’s where I need to pray. I use the NIV for most of my study. It is where I began my study and what has kept me reading for 15 years.

H.E.L.P. Having Everything LIfted in Prayer.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

Very interesting prayer time.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

The Word of God is ACTIVE – sharper than a two-edged sword, so no matter what Bible version we read, God can speak into our hearts. The Holy Spirit can teach us so we can be stronger to refute those who oppose the Word and convince others of the Truth.

The fact is that the NIV speaks to me and it is the version that first made sense to me – that’s why I stick with it.

Maybe the KJV,  The Message, or The New Living Translations speak to others.

Actually we can learn a lot by looking up passages in different versions of the Bible.

 E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Thanks Lord for clarifying this for me. It took some studying but I know now that your Word is active and can work miracles in the hearts of others. My job is to learn it, let it penetrate, to sing Your words, even memorize them and be ready to build up the faith of others to make strong disciples for Jesus. Thanks to God for His Word through Jesus. In His name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Learning through studying Titus 1:9 using the SIMPLE Bible Method of Study. What’s in the Word? (click to tweet)

Ancient Words by Lynn Deshazo sung by Michael W. Smith. (tweet this)

Janis Cox

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your posts. And please visit others as well. Let’s keep this community vibrant and encouraging.


 



Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?

Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?

What-is-a-strong-faith-filled-leader-

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:8. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8, NIV).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

It is interesting to note that the King James Version says: a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy and temperate.

a lover of good men? compared to loves what is good. I am still working on figuring this out. Any ideas?

sober: one meaning is being self-controlled

temperate: one meaning is moderate or self-restrained.

Paul continues to talk about elders – those who will lead the new Christians in Crete. He has stated the word “blameless” twice. This time he expands on the qualities of a leader.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

The choice of words in the KJV, sober and temperate, seem alluding to alcohol consumption. Knowing the pirates – obviously they did have a problem in drinking to excess.

The point being that a leader of the church should be open to scrutiny.

I think of churches nowadays. I hear of leaders being in disgrace – not following these guidelines. Why does this happen so often? Are they so hard at work that they forget to stay focused on Jesus?

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

Lots of thoughts and words in this passage.

I hear God saying that strong leadership is important to build the church. As many are coming to Christ in other parts of the world, we have to encourage them to follow Paul’s words to Titus.

Building leadership! A focus that is needed in all our churches. The push in North America is to build big churches – but that’s not giving time, sometimes, to build good leaders. Maybe we need smaller churches but with more faith-filled congregants? Each new member needs a mentor, and needs to build a strong foundation of faith. This takes time. Are we taking the time to do this?

Pastors – Are they feeling isolated and where do they get fed? Who reminds them to stop, drop and pray? Who reminds them that their focus must be on Jesus first?

What about the word hospitable? I think that means to be open to whomever God brings to our door. It means to be charitable when God shows us how.

Goodness? When we seek good people, we build relationships. We share. We care. A community is built. When we do good, it reminds us of Who God is. God is goodness. Can we be like that?

Goodness almost needs a press agent to convince people of its value (Ed Hird, page 43, Restoring Health).

Self-Controlled Not letting circumstances or emotions control us, seeking God instead. That is something I have learned over the past 15 years. To control myself. Not to fly off the handle. To think when I am hurt. To wrestle with God over situations. To take time in prayer.

I love this quote which although attributed to John Wesley seems to have some controversy about that fact. But I still like the quote.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, it seems once again that focussing on You keeps us healthy. You tell us to look after our bodies, minds and spirits. Help each of us to follow Your direction. Show us how to care best for our bodies – exercise, nutrition; our minds – reading, talking and thinking; our spirits – prayer, fasting, study and focusing on You. Thanks for Your Word that stretches and prepares us for good works in this world. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Janis Cox

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your posts. And please visit others as well. Let’s keep this community vibrant and encouraging.

 



Sunday Stillness – How Can God’s Word Change You?

 Sunday Stillness – How Can God’s Word Change You?

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

Thank you for all your prayers and emails during this flu. I am happy to say that I am on the mend.

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:7b. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

– not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain (Titus 1:7b, NIV).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

When I think of the pirates Paul is talking about – yes they were violent and robbed others. How hard must that have been for Titus to speak against. Their whole way of life needed to change.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

What’s the opposite of violent? – peace loving, and grace giving.

What’s the opposite of  pursuing dishonest gain? – living honestly, working for your money, telling the truth.

I began thinking of this world – nowadays. What do we hear and see on TV, movies, books, video games? Violence, murders. What would Paul say to our world? STOP it. If we want to follow Christ, we have to stop this way of thinking and viewing. What we see is then enacted out in real life. I think of this next generation growing up with violent video games – how is that affecting their minds?

And dishonest gain? We see that in all walks of our lives. People cheating on taxes, people trying to get a “fast buck”, people scamming others. Lotteries – aren’t they just trying to get money that wasn’t earned? Look at big companies – CEOs charged with fraud. The crash of 2008 – greed of the banks and lending companies blinded them to what could happen.

What is happening?

Ed writes a wonderful chapter on this verse.

Our glorification of violence makes us our own worst enemy. Our pride naturally leads to anger and aggression.. Loneliness creates anger (Restoring Health – Mind, Body and Spirit, Ed Hird, page 40).

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

It’s always funny (to me at least) what God brings to my mind. It is not always what I think about reading the passage, or writing my questions, or even reading Ed’s thoughts – sometimes it is out of the blue.

1. – Not Violent

I used to read violent books. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I used to watch the news before bed. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I believe it is good to keep up with what is happening in the world and for that reason I read the news on my IPAD in the morning – never before bed.

I now read good books, with love, redemption, excitement, troubles that are overcome, journeys and struggles.

2 – Not Given to Dishonest Gain.

I don’t think I ever purposefully lied or took money illegally. However, my giving heart had to melt before I could open the door to being generous. One sermon many years ago cracked open the door to giving in my heart. The question was asked: How much do you pay to heat your house? Shouldn’t you pay that amount or more to heat your heart?

Hubby and I now look for God’s leading of where to give. Try it and as Ed says:

Our giving must be out of thanksgiving and love for what Jesus did on the cross (Restoring Health, page 42).

Generosity is a healthy mark of a Spirit-filled ex-pirate (Ibid. page 43).

This also brought to mind taking Dave Ramsey’s course, called Financial Peace, and how this changed our thinking too.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, thank you for showing me the ideal way to live – Your way. Help me as I struggle with keeping peaceful at all times. As I go out into the world help me to pray when I see violence and dishonest gain. Help me to have a generous gentle heart. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Janis Cox

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

 

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

 

 

 

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your posts. And please visit others as well. Let’s keep this community vibrant and encouraging.