Categories
Chronological Bible Study

Deuteronomy 3-4

The Lord said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands. . . I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land. [Go] and after [winning the battle], each of you may go back to the possession I have given you. . . [Just] as the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you (see 3:2, 18-22).”

God is going to give His people the victory He promised. While He will give them what He promised, they have to be willing to follow Him. God is sovereign and does not owe humanity anything, yet He has willfully come and saved us through our Savior Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins and raised from the dead to give us new life!

We cannot allow fear to stop us from seeking out the promises of God and abundant life. We need to seek the Lord and give Him our best by becoming “doers of the Word” like James teaches.

We need to not just hear God’s Word, but internalize, learn from, and apply it to our daily lives.

Take to Heart –

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them (4:9)

We are taught the importance of watching ourselves closely. Today, we need a passion for God and His Word. We need to passionately tell of God’s goodness, mercy, justice, and eternal Good News.

Seek –

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath (4:29-31).

Even when we fall away and turn our backs on God, there is still an opportunity to return to Him – as long as there is breath in our lungs, we have that choice. Don’t delay, let’s resolve to choose and turn to Jesus Christ – today! Let’s seek after Him right now at this very moment, as we pray and turn to Him with the Holy Spirit’s marvelous help.

God doesn’t want us to half-heartedly seek Him, but to wholly seek after Him. And He gives us the ability to seek Him, so we can pray for His help. As we seek Him, He will continue to show Himself to us. Remember and take to heart: God will never abandon you, so keep following our Lord Jesus Christ.

Featured image by Gianna Trewavas.

Categories
Thessalonians

Week 4: Prepare For An Energetic Week!

Few things get to me like this topic, as far the church life goes. Welcome, I am your “equally messed up” tour guide. I cannot help but read 1 Thessalonians 4, and be reminded of the ways the Church is… far from where we could be. I love the global church; we are the beloved body of Christ. His bride. His treasure.

Yet we settle for so little, when God wants to lead us to much more – even in this life before we reach Heaven and all its glory.

My Honest Heart Struggle

I made it my mission to go through “Meeting the Thessalonians” before this course was set to begin, which I mostly was able to. I can honestly say, week 4 was without any doubt one of the most difficult weeks. While I had weeks of surprising affliction that made it hard to reach for my Bible and notebook, this week has challenged me greatly based on the content in 1 Thessalonians 4.

It touched me at my core, as a single woman. Some excitement. Erm, much frustration. Plenty of moments, where I was reminded of where I want to be as part of the Church.

Join Me!

I invite you in joining me for the reading of God’s Word, where we will hear God speak in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.

As a single woman, I am bombarded with temptation – often. I am not alone in this struggle, though. I know, many readers are right there with me.

This passage of Scripture is important for all believers, regardless of our relationship status.

As we take the time to focus our attention on our Lord Jesus Christ, He will work in our midst. While we may face many temptations and struggles in this area, we are not alone. Girls and Guys, you are not alone. I am looking forward to the chance of going through this passage of Scripture together.

This week’s blogging might look drastically differently than the past three weeks have been. Because this passage of Scripture is of such great importance to me, I want to try and pop in whenever I can – to share my thoughts on a particular verse or share a quote from a Bible commentary. This week, in terms of blog posts, might look crazy different than this past week. Or, it might look exactly the same. Only the Good Lord knows!

We simply have to wait and see what God decides to do, because this is His blog.

I may have many passionate things to say, and He may have to offer a strong, yet gentile, reminder of “No Stacey, you cannot write that. It is not useful to build up others in the Church.” (I actually have a good set of moments like this. I, too, am a work in process. . .)

Whatever happens on the blog or your personal study this week, keep digging into God’s Word! I am excited to see what God shows us. Here is the reading plan for this week.

Feature image by Sweet Ice Cream Photography.

Until next time,

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Categories
Truth in Trials

Lacking Spiritual Desire in Trials

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Trials on a Tuesday is a weekly series that focuses on a topic relating to trials, and how we can glorify God in the midst of hard times.

In the midst of my trials, where is my desire for my Creator? That’s what I want to know. Where is my desire for my Creator? The One who satisfies my soul? To this question, I have no answer. I just know that my trials seem to be detouring me. The trial is having the opposite effect. It is supposed to draw me nearer to God. Season of abundant spiritual growth. Ringing any bells, here?

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago.

God cares for you.
God cares for your circumstance.

It is important to remember that God is near to you, dear reader. Scripture reminds us that He is near to the broken hearted. God knows our heart, just as well as He knows our precise circumstances. There is no hiding from our Creator! That can be a good truth to know, and hold onto..

Sharing Your Heart with God

You can share with Him, that you know the desire for Him is lagging.

The truth is – the contents of your heart isn’t going to scare or shock God.

It only requires laying down our pride, so we can bring Him our messy lives. It requires us to admit we are human. Perhaps, more human than we let ourselves believe we are. And the mercies of God step in, at this very moment. Let God be more than enough, for you, and bask in knowing they are made new each morning.

Because He loves you,
Because He cares for you,
Because He showers you with His grace,
we can come to Him pouring out our hearts like a flood.

It’s important that we draw near – even in the midst of trials. In order to draw near to our Creator, we need to remember how much He cares for us and keep our spiritual flame lit. Romans 12:11b says: “[Keep] your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” “The passion for Him, in our lives, needs to keep growing. In our trials, that can be difficult. But our relationship with Christ can likened to that of a marriage.

When the desire lingers on some days, the marriage persists. You still learn to be with them, and love them, and serve them. It needs to be that way with our great Savior who has given up everything to be with us.

If you find yourself shrinking back in your faith or desire to spend time with the Lord, focus on one small gesture that can help you be drawn into His Presence. Praise music, focusing on a Bible verse, going on a small walk to simply be mindful of His presence, or another way to offer up worship.

Keep persevering, my friends. Keep holding to the reward.

Further Reading: Hebrews 10:38-39; James 1:2-4

 

Categories
Godly Living

Devotion: Talking Versus Doing

“In all labor there is profit, but merely talking
about it leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 14:23

God plants dreams and passions inside of each of us. As we experience Him through our relationship with His Son Jesus Christ, He leads us on. God wants to use the passions He has given each of us, to draw us to Him. When God places a deep desire in our heart to do something and we know it is something He is leading us to do at that moment, the follow through is called “obedience”. You know – it is what God is desiring you to do in His strength, yet it requires faith. A faith in Christ Jesus – who came to save you and lead you into a relationship with your Creator. A relationship with the God of the Universe, that is better than life. It’s a journey filled with adrenaline, a spiritual high, and the unknown. Just you and God.

Sometimes, we can find ourselves stuck where we can talk about the dreams we have, but spend more time talking than acting on those God-given desires. Prayer is to be our first line of defense – so we can do things in God’s timing. That’s when everything works out, for the better. . . We need to walk in obedience versus merely talking about it. When I started what is now “Grace Leads” I didn’t really tell many people about it – until it was nearly done. My song, during my teenage years, was “Dare You to Move”… If only, I would do something. Something. Anything. The first step is often the hardest, but it is where the profit (rewards) are found.

What passions has God planted within you?

Are you praying about what He is asking you to do at this moment?

Is He leading you to step out in faith?

Don’t worry about the possibility of utter failure. I know, I worry about it too. What if we could just get out of that mindset, and focus on our relationship with Christ – and taking that first step, trusting and knowing we aren’t in this alone! How would it radically change our move from thinking about what we long to do, and begin the process of doing this “soul thing” – the thing we long for – and God can totally use to lead others to Him.