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Devotions Godly Living Scriptures Examined

What (or Who) are We Worshiping?

During my quiet time, a particular Scripture popped up on my computer screen. It wasn’t the Scripture I intended to study, but one requiring my attention and some thought. So, here we go: Let’s think about this passage and how (or what) we worship.

When Peter arrived, Cornelius greeted him. Then he knelt at Peter’s feet and started worshiping him. But Peter took hold of him and said, “Stand up! I am nothing more than a human.” When Peter arrived, Cornelius greeted him. Then he knelt at Peter’s feet and started worshiping him.

Acts 10:25-26, CEV

Cornelius is seen worshiping Peter and requires a rebuke of sorts. I wonder, how many of us require the same rebuke – myself included. I think, Cornelius became caught up in the moment. I mean, this is Peter – the same Peter who walked with our Lord Jesus.

Worshiping the Wrong Thing

In my opinion, it is easier to focus on worshiping, pleasing people, and giving our attention to the things we can see, touch, taste, and smell. I know, it is for me. I love being able to interact with things I can experience on a physical level. It isn’t things that are sinful, either, but Christ is not always valued over all. It is easy to get distracted or caught up in the moment. But, I think that is why this passage is of such importance.

We need to become very intentional and serious about what we worship, for our God is a jealous God!

The Big Commandment

Scripture is clear, though. We are not to give our hearts in worship to anything else. We are taught to have “no other gods before Me” in accordance with the Ten Commandments in Exodus.

You must not have any other gods except me.

Exodus 20:3, ICB

Our God is so amazing!
He loves us beyond words.
He is jealous for you.
He wants to spend time with you, my friend.
He wants to hear how your day is going. Yes, He already knows. But, He wants you to talk with Him about it. He loves you fiercely, so fiercely that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins, and rose again on the third day to give you new, amazing, abundant life!

After all God has done for us, He absolutely deserves to be the only One we worship!

I wonder how our day-to-day encounters with our Most Holy God are though. Do we worship by faith or merely what is in our sight? (2 Corinthians 5:7) Many things compete for our attention and adoration. From the food we eat, to our cell phones, or our community, anything can become something we worship if we are not careful. May we evaluate our lives and choose to worship God alone!

To learn more about this command, I invite you to read Deuteronomy 6:13-19.

Image: James Barr

Categories
Chronic Illness Emotional Health Journal Uncategorized

Surviving Summer Struggles

Lately, I have profoundly struggled. It is in different areas, from mental health to Dysautonomia and others. Combine everything, and it can make or break my focus. By focus, I mean my special time with Jesus.

I feel the weight of my trials in my focus. I find myself in a whirl of distractions – keeping me from our Risen Lord. Things that keep my heart from wanting to seek Him. The sin? From wanting to seek Him. This realization is a big step – the most important one.

Confessing my sin to my Beloved Savior Jesus Christ and trusting Him – is what will bring forth the healing.

The Spiritual Truth Behind It

These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you (1 Peter 1:7, NCV).

Our troubles will show us where our faith is. We each face this struggle of seeing how close our struggles bring us to Christ, or draw us away. How will our circumstances be impacted by our faith in Jesus Christ? Or vice versa?

As I pull my heart, mind, and body toward pursuing Christ, I want to share some of the best ways to fight through these Summer times. Each spiritual activity will help build up our faith when we need it the most.

How to Fight Through My Summer Struggles?

Being prayerful.

Prayer is essential. Connecting with God is the glue. When we pray, God absolutely shows up and touches everything. While He may not remove our situations, He will give us strength and peace to carry us through.

In this song, When We Pray, we are reminded that the world is changed by the Church’s prayers. Prayer is a needed ministry not only for others, but for our own lives too!

Listen to the Bible.

Let’s actively listen to God’s Word, making Him our “go to” for Someone to listen to. Many of us hate being alone, so listening to God’s Word is the perfect sound!

Using YouVersion has helped me to simply listen to the Bible. I am reminded that I can choose to listen to the Bible, versus Netflix for a hour or so. But as I listen, my heart is turned closer to my God.

Two recommended reading plans:

Listen to praise music.

Like many, I spend a lot of time on YouTube. and recently discovered some encouraging videos. This discovery helps me worship as I listen and utilize the on screen verses. Also: I have my own playlists.

Christian Support.

We need followers of Christ to confide in. We need people who will pray for us, and check on us. Understanding individuals who will love us where we are, and help us when we are weary.

Featured image by Aleksandr Eremin.

Categories
POTF {Titus // Tim}

Week 2 – He Has Saved Us! {POTF}

Hi friends!

Welcome to a new week of our Pressing On Toward Faithfulness study. I am glad you are here. If you check out our study’s page and compare it with our schedule, it will become apparent that we are a bit behind.

Yes, we are.

Currently, I am three blog posts behind. Most bloggers would admittedly “let go” of certain blog topics and move on.

However. . . Titus 2 is something very close to my heart. So, we will keep going as we trek through Titus and 1-2 Timothy! We will press on. For me, Titus is really about meeting our Lord Jesus, becoming God’s people, and being equipped to be God’s beloved Church. 

The Lord has soo much He wants to speak with us about in these books. So, we may linger around certain verses a bit longer than expected.

Memory Verse For This Week –

In our quiet times this week, I have a verse for us to focus our attention on. Our memory verse is Titus 3:4-5a, which says:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy. . . (ESV)

This passage of Scripture is so crucial, because it reminds us of how much the Lord Jesus has saved us from. We have been changed from the inside out, and all because of our Mighty King – Jesus Christ!

We have been redeemed, because the Lord has said so!
We have been called His own people!

And, the Lord is showing us what it looks like to BE His people!

Friends, take time this week to linger over God’s Word and allow Him to speak louder than the distractions in your life. This is my hope, too. I hope there is more writing and studying this week.

#OneGoal

During this study, we will learn what it looks like to linger in His grace. I asked you all earlier to pick #OneGoal for our study, how is that going? Is it drawing you nearer to the Lord? Has the distractions of life, kept you from living it out?

My #OneGoal was to sit and linger in His presence.

The past few days, I haven’t been able to make it to my “Quality Time” spot I have in my room. As for this weekend, it has been a tough thing to pursue. But tomorrow, I am going to start back. I am thankful for the audio sermons I have been able to listen to, as I have my “rest days”. My body has felt exhausted, and I am learning how to rest and study – perhaps even at the same time. This is a big step for me: Learning to have actual Bible study (on our blog’s study), even when I don’t feel good – is a big deal. I typically “put it off” and will study something else – until I feel “ready”. But, I have been able to stay caught up on my daily reading for the book of Titus – and that is soo exciting!! I am just a bit behind in my “sharing” of what the Holy Spirit is showing me. =]

This study is blessing me; I hope it is having a similar effect on you too.

I am learning so much and being reminded of the beauty that comes with being His daughter!

Don’t forget! You can still get an eight week Gracefully Overcoming journal for only $6.25, and we even have places to get plugged in on Facebook. Including a women’s small group! Be sure to find ways to get plugged in and go deeper – either with our journal, the Facebook page, or our women’s small group. We are here for you!

Image by Jason Betz.

In Him,

Signature

 

Categories
Chronological Bible Study

Deuteronomy 1-2

See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your [ancestors] (1:8).

Israel was told to go and take possession of the land. While God gave the Israelites special land, God has given us sacred spiritual land. We need to go and take possession of it. We do this by seeking our Lord Jesus Christ and being sensitive to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Also by keeping the Bible close to our hearts, and using it as our road map for life (see Joshua 1:6-9).

Fear –

Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place (1:29-31).”

We have been urged by God to not be afraid. God loves us and promises to fight for us, His people. This is the truth we need, as we set our feet on this journey of seeking after our Risen Lord – Jesus! We don’t need to be afraid, because God has shown us that He will fight for us!

They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on (2:4-5a).

God prepared the Israelites, as they went into pieces of land. I can understand why God would need to direct them to be careful and not harass (see vv. 9). It is easy to want to “poke the bear,” so to speak by taking pride in the fact that others are afraid of us. When others are afraid of us, we have to be very careful.

Our Spiritual Possessions –

God urges His people to begin to take possession of it and engage [them] in battle (2:24b). The time had come, where they would begin to experience the place God was calling them toward.

There is a parallel between God giving them their land, and the spiritual possession He is desiring to give us. In our own lives, how are we listening to and answering the voice of God? If we cannot hear Him, it is possible that our sins and distractions are louder than His voice. Our sins are always louder and more distracting than the voice of God, which greatly hinders our spiritual walk and the possessions God wants to give us.

I am not talking about financial blessings that rain down from Heaven, like televanglists assure you. While God make you filthy rich, I doubt that is His plan for our lives. It might very well cause us to quit seeking God.

However, God does want to bless us!

God wants to give us enormous blessings that this world cannot begin to give. As we seek after the things of God, we will face road blocks, trials, and great difficulties. This is because of the enormous level of the spiritual possessions God wants to give to us – the people He calls His own children through Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Feature image by Eric Rothermel.

Categories
Thessalonians

Week 6: 1 Thess. 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus – 1 Thess. 5:16-18

This past week, God has been doing amazing miracles left and right. While I hold these miracles sacred, I can say this: It is things that have been a long time needed. These days, Jesus is showing me what it looks like to pray, have community with Him, pursue reconciliation, and how to have the faith to remove distractions from my midst.

Rejoicing.

Praying.

Giving thanks.

. . . on a continual basis and in all circumstance.

Memorizing and  Meditating Upon Scripture

As we memorize this Scripture, let’s take it to heart. I hope as you study, you take time to know the truth and learning how to put it into your life (I need to, as well). If we read the Bible as though it is a secular book, we will miss Jesus’ resurrection power!  As we study, let’s be willing to ask ourselves –

 

How do I take God at His Word, and allow Him to bring me healing as I submit all areas of my life to Him?

Today’s Scripture

. . . shows us how to live a godly life. This Scripture teaches us how to have the kind of attitude that makes us run toward Jesus. If we applied this Scripture to our lives, we would make drastic choices. We would notice distractions and remove them by His power, giving Him our daily habits.

Coming Away

Becoming prayerful, joyful, and thankful are three commands all rolled into one, as we think about what it means to come away with King Jesus. If we try to do these things on our own, they will seem impossible.(For me too!)

While our attitudes are called to reflect Jesus’, I know most of us struggle with our attitude. Just as we have to watch the tone of our voice with our community of friends, we have to watch the tone of our hearts.

Jesus wants to help us to get rid of the dirty parts of our hearts. The tone of our hearts, our attitude, can turn into something beautiful beyond words when we allow Jesus to come in.

Jesus is knocking at my door. He wants to come into my life, and commune with me. Jesus wants to hang out with me on a personal level. He doesn’t just want to see or talk with me on a Sunday morning, although He certainly takes joy in those Sunday mornings.

Jesus wants to spend today with us. He wants us to come away with Him. The intimacy we seek with our favorite person, is the kind of thing Jesus wants to have with us on a growing scale. He is our community, and loves to commune with us.

Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. – John 15:4a, The Message

Feature image by Eric Muhr.