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Devotions Diving Into Corinthians

Treasure Hunt {Diving Into The Corinthians}

One day at a time, we are given the joy to treasure hunt in God’s Word. In today’s blog, I want us to go on a “treasure hunt” – together. Are you ready?! I invite you to join me, as I grab for my Corinthians Bible study journal and we get started! All you need is a Bible and something to take notes with.

Today’s Treasure –

I want for us to look at 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, but particularly 2:2 (which is bold below).

And this was the way it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I didn’t come with fancy words or human wisdom. I preached to you the truth about God’s love. My goal while I was with you was to talk about only one thing. And that was Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. When I came to you, I was weak and very afraid and trembling all over. I didn’t preach my message with clever and compelling words. Instead, my preaching showed the Holy Spirit’s power. This was so that your faith would be based on God’s power. Your faith would not be based on human wisdom (NIRV).

Do you remember Moses’ speech in Exodus 4?

“Moses said to the Lord: Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue (4:10, NIV).”

Our brother, Moses, was not a speaker by any means. Maybe, you can relate. I know, I can. I get too scared or tongue tied to even try, sometimes. And, this is not God’s will for me. In speaking and writing, I can find myself in that same spot Moses was in. Where I crumble in fear, despite the Message I have to give!

Paul wasn’t much different than Moses, except he wasn’t seen begging God to choose someone else, anyone else.

Paul knew it was God who spoke to them. It was something only God could do. God is greater than the weakness, fear, and trembling that we struggle with.

We can learn from these men and grow in our confidence in how God uses us to speak His truths. We, who are in Christ Jesus, are made complete. God has willfully chosen to be our Father, making us His children. He is the One who makes us complete, and lacking nothing!

Will we choose to follow our Father through our Blessed Savior?
Choosing to listen to our Father’s voice?

As long as we have our Lord Jesus Christ, we have everything we could ever need. Let us run to our great and risen King today, and pray He will help us to carry out our mission faithfully.

Father, Help me to be faithful to You. Help me to keep speaking Your name and truths – even when fear arises. We need to remember Your power and peace is greater than our fears. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Featured image by Lukas BornHauser from Unsplash.

Until next time,

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POTF {Titus // Tim}

Transforming Truths {{POTF}}

Friends,

Welcome to Pressing On Toward Faithfulness! This is an eight week study focused on going through the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy in a slower pace, which will allow us to catch glimpses of these important truths and dwell on them.

As we dwell on these important God given truths, we are given the opportunity to see what they mean for our lives.

Memory Verse –

Each week, my hope is to give us a memory verse. Even if you are like me and aren’t sure you can memorize a Scripture, let’s jot down these verses on an index card and make them an important part of our day. As we focus on these verses and what they mean for us, God will change us through this process.

Use Your Personal Bible –

For this week, my goal is to focus on Titus 2:1. However. . . In order to grasp the depth and significance of this verse, let’s also look at verse 8. I encourage you to read, study, and focus upon this verse (or these verses) using your own personal Bible. Ideally, I will read, meditate (look upon and focus intently), and cherish these truths using the wording given through my personal Bible. But for today’s post, I am using a clearer way of wording (a different translation, but it’s still fully God’s Word).

There are many new translations being added to websites, so my goal in this study (and future) is – to not share lightly using other translations. I want to make sure what I share is biblically sound and correct.

Here we go!

Let’s jump into this week’s memory verse. It is better to start late than to call it quits. God’s Word is far too important to hold onto an “all or nothing” approach, when it comes to ingesting the Words of Life we desperately need to hear.

But you are to proclaim things consistent with sound teaching (Titus 2:1, CSB).

Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us (Titus 2:8).

Our Teachings –

Friends, we need to consider what we are teaching others. Now you might be thinking, “Me?! But, I am not a pastor or even a teacher. . .”

Each day, our lives can reveal the teachings of Christ and His transformative work in our lives. In Titus 2:1-8, we are urged to live the beauty of the Gospel each day. In our relationships, behavior, and circumstances, we can impact lives. Even if we aren’t serving outside the home, we are deeply impacting lives and sharing the Gospel.

Friends, how closely is your beliefs lining up with the teachings of the Bible?

When we live out our beliefs, it changes lives. Choosing to place our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ will radically change our lives, and one of the results is – others will see how we are being changed from the inside – out. As we are changed and practice what we “preach,” our enemies will not be able to say anything bad about us.

In this world, we will come across many people who absolutely hate us for one thing or another. Even so, I have witnessed how the Lord changes hearts. He can turn absolute enemies into the best of friends. This is referred to as the “ministry of reconciliation (see 2 Cor. 5:16-21),” and one of the most beautiful gifts we are given by our Lord. This is the beautiful of the Gospel. We can go from God’s enemies to being called His sons and daughters!

Image by Kyle Glenn.

Until next time,

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Inspiring Women (05/17)

Seeking Jesus and His Power

Hi friends! For the month of May, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

Today’s Scripture is an easy one to remember. We could commit it to memory with ease. This is a good goal, a noble one, as we go about our day. But, it has to become about allowing Jesus to minister to us – through this specific verse.

She speaks wisely.
She teaches faithfully (Prov. 31:26, NIRV).

We need to allow Jesus to pierce our hearts and to show us Himself.

As people who have chosen to take up Jesus on His offer to follow Him, this is an important piece of Scripture. I truly believe that this verse can only become my reality through the redemption of Jesus Christ.

It is only because of Jesus Christ and His heavy investment in pursuing me, that I can become someone who speaks wisely and teaches faithfully.

Could those around you declare that. . .

“[you – insert name here] speak wisely and [you – insert name here] teach faithfully”?

In my own life, I honestly do not think this could be said about me. Not in my own strength. These days, I find it troubling to commit to the simplest things. Yet the woman we can become is one who is faithful and wise. She is our opposite. She is the woman we can become, once we have had our Ephesians 2 experience.

What is this experience I am speaking of? I want you to do something for me. Grab your Bible and read Ephesians 2:1-10.

This experience is one, where we have been given the Jesus infusion.

He has taken our dead lives, and made us alive through His redemption. He gives to us His mighty power. The very power that raised Him from the dead.

When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! (Romans 8:11, MSG)

In Jesus Christ, we have this gift of eternal life. But His work doesn’t hold off until we reach Heaven, He is working in us at this very moment.

Right now, The Creator of the entire universe is transforming us. He is taking our old life, and making us new (see Romans 12:1-2, 2 Cor. 5:17).

If we want to embody this Scripture, we have to diligently seek Jesus and His power. The power that redeems and transforms. To be women who teach without hindrance {or faithfully} and those who speak with the wisdom that comes directly from God, we need to become people who are consumed by God.

Don’t worry, because God will bring you there. Keep seeking His face. Keep choosing to seek Jesus through reading your Bible, praying to the Lord who transforms, and delighting in His church.

. . . God will help you become this kind of woman!

Featured image by Wil Stewart.

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*Secret Glimpses

Entrusted to Correct {1 Tim. 1:3-5}

textgram_1489616297Sometimes we just don’t act as we ought to, but this is why God has placed us in the care of shepherds – pastors and others who will guide us and remind us of His truth.

Apostle Paul knew that Timothy had some shepherding to do – right where he was. He needed to correct the people in Ephesus, and get them on the right path. This was the reason for Timothy’s stay in Ephesus.

There were men who were teaching others the wrong things about the Christian faith. As teachers we need to make sure we are teaching others the right things, because we are accountable and leading others.

The Truth

As I said when I left for Macedonia, please stay there in Ephesus and try to stop the men who are teaching such wrong doctrine. Put an end to their myths and fables, and their idea of being saved by finding favor with an endless chain of angels leading up to God—wild ideas that stir up questions and arguments instead of helping people accept God’s plan of faith (1 Tim. 1:3-4, TLB).

The Nudge

New believers were following these men of God. But, how they were being led astray! They were not getting the firm foundation of truth they needed, and so Timothy was being led to shepherd these people – and teach them the truth even if that mean correcting their leaders.

We are saved by God’s grace and His grace alone. Jesus Christ is what makes up the Christian faith, and these men were deviating from the truth of grace.

Be Careful

As Christians seeking to nudge other believers onto the right track, we have to be careful how we approach these situations. While it may be tempting to respond in haste, when others are acting outside of God’s trusted will, we are called to respond in love.

What I am eager for is that all the Christians there will be filled with love that comes from pure hearts, and that their minds will be clean and their faith strong (1 Tim. 1:5).

We speak up, because believers need to believe and cling to His truth. As we speak up, we have to remember it’s about defending the truth of the Gospel – which requires prayer and boldness.

For godly leaders, spiritual correction is difficult but essential. This is part of their call, as our shepherds.

The Ultimate Goal

As we are being led by the Holy Spirit, let us remember that the ultimate goal is to see others come to place their faith in Jesus Christ and to experience His unconditional love for them. The Holy Spirit wants to use us and the gifts He has placed within us.

As a shepherd, Timothy was being led to correct the leaders in Ephesus. But before he could lead others, he had to make sure that his relationship with God through Jesus Christ was his number one priority – which it was. Timothy was a man of faith and sought to follow the will of God.

How do we know that Timothy, a pastor and man of God, lived what he taught? We see his faith in 1 Timothy 4, as Paul encourages Timothy to continue what he is doing.

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Characteristics of God

Holding Onto His Teachings {& Our Faith}

I am not one who typically has dreams. Or at least, not that I can remember. Yet in today’s, the heart of God is churning my spirit.

I met Jesus in my dream today. He was carrying my cross and crown of thorns pressed into His skull. Yet as He did this, life was going on all around him in a marketplace type setting.  With the image in my head, I must ask ~ How can we go on in life, without recognizing Jesus Christ, His gift of salvation, and His intense pursuit for us? Then a second time, when I woke up, I was reminded of my loving Savior, who fights for me and ushers me into His presence… and the Holy Spirit whispered “hold onto My teachings”.

Essential Truth

In the book of John, we are reminded that Jesus’ teachings are extremely important. Jesus is God in the flesh. His teachings determine the course of our lives (see Prov. 4:23, 16:9). That’s why those who obey Jesus’ teachings by faith are called His disciples.

“So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. (John 8:31, emphasis mine, AMP).”

It isn’t enough to believe Jesus once, and move on to whatever “thing” is going on in our lives. We are taught right here, that we need to keep believing. We need to keep holding onto Jesus and His perfect teachings.

His Authority

Jesus holds all authority over heaven and earth (see Mt. 28:18). He is our great Savior who came for us (see Jn. 1:14). Spending time with Jesus Christ is the most significant thing we could do.

Jesus is the One with the ability to transform us and our circumstances! But, He wants to start with our hearts.

Knowing Jesus Takes Effort

We need to keep allowing Christ to pursue us, and take Him at His Word. We have the blessing of spending time in the Word of God, His Presence, and in prayer – to cause our relationship with Him to absolutely flourish (see Ps. 1).

As we continue to trust in Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior, holding onto His teachings reveals that we are His. It is showing the world that we belong to Jesus Christ – the Eternal One. It shows the world that our faith is not in circumstances, rather it is in the Author of life itself – God, through His Son Jesus Christ!

In the midst of life and circumstances, I think it is easy to forget what is at stake.

God wants to speaks to us.

He wants us to see His Word is alive and well.

He wants us to know that He is far greater!

We cannot forget the cross that was carried on our behalf, despite its shame (see Heb. 12:2). Friends, the temptation to get caught up in today – is very present. But, let your relationship with Jesus Christ stand as the most important thing in your life!