Categories
POTF {Titus // Tim}

Our Reading Plan {{POTF}}

Welcome, friends!! I am glad to have you here, whether you are a regular reader or brand new. Welcome!

Our Bible study officially starts on Monday. I am excited for our study time together. I hope you are finding your own excitement for this study and all that the Lord has in store for each of us.

This is going to be an amazing time of worship and community. Let’s come willingly, and enjoy this time of growing – together!

Blog Bible Study Tools –

While there is an eight week journal we can use (for this or any other study), the most important tool needed is our reading plan. Having this reading plan operates as our guide for this study. It shows us what Scriptures we will be reading through each day in an easy to navigate format. Our reading schedule helps us walk through the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy in just eight weeks!

 

Quality Time, Needed Time –

Friends, let’s prepare our hearts for this beautiful time of worship! Through the course of our study, we are getting to do something life impacting. We are given the amazing privilege to spend quality time with our Creator. The One who knows us completely, and wants to be with us.

As we give ourselves to the Lord and draw near, He will meet us here and bless this time!

Why I Study?!

I am so excited to see how the Lord will use this time. In each of these studies, the Lord has faithfully “shown up” in my life. They have been so memorable to me, because of their effect on my relationship with the Lord. This is why I find myself continuing to go back to our Ephesians journal and even the Matthew 4-7 journal. Each holds a special place in my relationship with the Lord, and reminds me of how the Lord has spoke to me in the past.

Two things are always evident during my involvement in these studies:

  1. Quality time with the Lord – I know that I am more connected to the Lord during these special times. As I keep my commitment to go through a particular study, I am more focused on the Lord and linger in His presence (see John 15:5, Joshua 1:8-9).
  2. Joy – This is a byproduct of being with our Lord Jesus. I have more joy and feel whole. I don’t feel empty or like I am missing something somehow. This is the time, where I am doing exactly what I should be doing. . . drawing nearer to the Lord (see Psalm 16:11, 23:1; Colossians 2:6-7).

Teach Us, Lord

The Lord continues to work in and change me, as I give myself to these studies. These Bible studies are needed on many levels, including my relationship with God through Jesus Christ – our Mighty Savior.

We can trust that God will work in us through this study. Friends, let’s prepare our hearts for what the Lord is going to teach us.

Lord, help us to remain willing during this sacred time! Move in our hearts and help us to draw nearer to You. Thank you for this time. Speak boldly, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

{Ladies: Don’t forget about our Facebook small group!}

Image by Kiwihug.

In Him,

Signature

Categories
Chronological Bible Study

Numbers 35-36

In Numbers 35, God instructs Moses concerning the Levites having their own towns. The Levites are given their very own place to call home (see 25:3-5). In addition to becoming a place for the Levites to live, six of these towns will become cities of refuge. This is where one “who has accidentally killed someone can flee for safety (25:6).”

I love what God says in verses 33 and 34 of this chapter. Let’s listen, shall we?

 “‘Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell among the Israelites.’”


Atonement –

Jesus has now become our atonement! As you may wonder how we can turn the other cheek like Matthew 5 teaches us, we might wonder about the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament. While the law is still in place where people are tried for their crimes, Jesus Christ has become our atonement and this is a big deal. God’s grace is a big deal. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).” The grace of God is the One shielding our souls from spiritual death and being banished from God’s presence (like Adam and Eve were in Genesis 3).

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 1:1-2).


God’s Dwelling Place –

God dwells in our land and lives, so we shouldn’t pollute it. While many of us are not murderers, we commit murder of the heart by hating others, adultery by lusting after others (see Matthew 5:21-32), and bind ourselves to sin rather than to God. God has made His home in our hearts, as we have made the choice to accept His love and teachings and chose to follow Him. What are we doing, in terms of our spiritual lives? Our sin does pollute our lives and Jesus makes His home in our hearts. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Longing to direct us, even. So, let’s make it our mission to remove all pollutants from our lives.

“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me (John 14:23-24).'”

Let obedience and acts of submission to Jesus be what your life is about. Jesus will make Himself known to us, as we submit to Him and choose to follow Him. Just as God doesn’t want to live in a land that’s polluted in sin, He doesn’t want that kind of relationship with us. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the price to buy us out of slavery. We have been enslaved to sin for far too long. It is time to come to Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father, seek His forgiveness, and turn to and obey Him – rather than our sin. This is where joy is found, through our life spent dwelling with the Holy Spirit.

It is time for us to seek His face and purge the sin of our lives, so we can get the most out of our Oneness with Christ, truly know (experience), and walk in our relationship with Him.

Feature image by Tae In Kim.

Categories
Devotions

Matthew 5

Read Matthew 5.

The Setting

Matthew 5-7, commonly known as the “Sermon on the Mount”, is one of the most well known teaching of Jesus. I use the term well known loosely. Why loosely? Because I can know what Jesus teaches me and not apply it to my daily life.

The things discussed here in this chapter are important things that we need to not only know in our hearts, but apply to our daily lives. They are relational things. Thus, important things. How we relate to God and one another, are pretty important stuff.

And, this is how it all began:

“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them… (Mt. 5:1-2, NASB)”

It is here that Jesus boldly proclaims the truths about His Awesome Kingdom. It is here that Jesus reminds us that His Kingdom is nothing like this world!

The Kingdom of God

We just heard that the Kingdom of God had come near. Jesus is about to rock our world, with just a small glimpse of what He means. We are reminded of this Kingdom (or way) of God with John the Baptist in chapter 3 where we are reminded of a great need we have.

We have a great need for our God!

“Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Mt. 3:2, NLT).”

The Ways of God

Jesus reminds us that He didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword (see Mt. 10:34). Jesus has not come, so that we may live comfortably (see Mt. 16:24). Those who choose to follow Jesus will have to decide whom they will follow. They must answer the question – “Whom shall I serve?” (see Josh. 24:14-15).

See each day, we make this choice. Jesus’ Kingdom and our world have opposing values (IE. 1 Jn. 2:15-17).

This World

From Matthew 5, we read that we are to love our enemies. This is just one of several important truths we are met with today from our time spent in the Word of God. We know that this world celebrates when we retaliates over our enemies. But, God has a very different way, a very distinct way.

While this world celebrates retaliation over our enemies, Jesus teaches us that He loves them… He loves them, just as much as He loves us. He has demonstrated to us His kind of love, that extends to all of the human race. Just as the Father loves them, we are called to exit this ideal that it’s somehow okay to bully our enemies and to love them instead.

When we operate our lives based on God’s Kingdom, many things change as a result! Before we can change the world or be a light to the outside world, we must first turn to God ourselves, confess and forsake sin (turn away from it), and allow His Kingdom ways to rock our world!

But, He…

… has come to reconcile us to Him. He has come, so that we might taste and see that He is both fully God and good! The ways of God’s Kingdom are of such great importance for us, as believers in Christ Jesus! But before anything else happens, we have to be willing to step into His Kingdom. Coming to Jesus, is step one. The most beautiful step of them all.

The Hard Things

In Matthew 5, Jesus covers a few topics. Each are important for us to grasp and to help us in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ! These are not fluffy truths for us to share to others, but not allow God to use them to shape our lives in His Kingdom. These truths are not comfortable. Ever try  loving your enemy in the way described in the Word of God? But, this is where the God of the universe shows us who He is. It is in the really hard things, that God gets the glory!

Question –

How is God revealing to you the ways that His Kingdom is different from this world? What will your response be to the different values – cleave to Christ or the things of this world?