Faithful, Abundant, True bible study-thought reflections

I started a new Bible study this week at my church.  Faithful Abundant True by Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and Priscilla Shirer.  Going through this first week, I find myself checking my life to see if I am matching up with God’s will.  Am I doing what He wants me to be doing?  Am I walking in the Spirit and is my soul with Him?  Hmm, these are tough questions that I need to stop and think about and I wonder if I’m following God with all of my being.  Kay Arthur pulls not bunches when she teaches her messages.  This I have learned from experience.  So I know that I can truly trust what she is saying and that the urgency has to be that we need to get ourselves right with God NOW rather than waiting.  Why?  Because we don’t  know when Christ will be returning for us.  So we have to be preparing ourselves right now for His return.

I know that I have some things to seek Him about!  What about you do you?  As each week goes on I will be adding to this post on each week.

Stay tuned!

Week 2:

Talks about having faith,  how strong are we in our faith?  Are we following the things of this world or are we following the Lord?  Are we being diligent and persistent or are we being stagnate?  Are we being good stewards with what we have been given?  These are questions that we need to be asking ourselves.  For me it hit home when Kay started asking these types of questions.

We’ve been going through the book of Hebrews, each chapter has something different going on.  The writer gives instructions and things that we need to be doing, however some of the people that the scriptures are talking about seem to be going their own way and not following what the writers are saying, or they are indulging themselves in the world following what others are doing and not listening to the teachings that the writers are stressing them to follow.

When we follow Christ we are do as He did and do what He did.  Loving others, pursuing His will not ours, enduring the hardships that come upon us, and watching what we say.  We are to be encouraging one another not tearing each other down like this world is doing.  Sometimes that is easier said than done.  We are not doing for our glory, but for the glory of God and to please Him not ourselves.  Are we forsaking our Savior or Satan?  That is the question that we should be asking ourselves and whom we should be following.

I am going to be diligently following my Lord and Savior, how about you?

Week 3:

This week was with Priscilla Shirer, she is a funny and every expressive woman.  I can relate to her on some of her points as I have been through them myself.  This week we are going through ‘God is Able,’ and ‘God is able to surprise us.’ God can do anything for us if we just seek Him and ask Him.  Which is the foundation of our faith.  A lot of the time we don’t do that.  We try to work things out on our own esteem only to find out that we are failing miserably every time.  Uggg, I don’t know about you but I’m tired of failing and am working on walking the path that God has set before me instead of my own accord.  Having that faith whether it is big or small, doesn’t matter because when we trust God for everything no matter how big or small they are He will give us the desires of our heart.

It can become not only draining, but frustrating at the same time.  We also judge and criticize those around us  Why, because they either have something that we want or they have bettered themselves than we have and we have become jealous of what they have.  It’s pretty sad if you ask me.  I know that I have fallen into that trap and I work extremely hard now not to fall into that trap every again. It is not a pretty sight for one and I don’t like how it made me feel when I was in that position.

This study so far has opened my eyes to making the necessary changes that I need to make to get closer to God and for me to become more Christ like.  Purging if you will the old past to becoming the new and improved me that God wants me to be.  Growing up to becoming the mature Christian that Kay talked about the last 2 weeks.

What about you, are you changing and growing up, having faith to move forward and cleanse yourself to become more Christ like?  I know I am, care to join me?

Week 4:

This week Priscilla talked about thinking about the beyond the beyond.  Thinking outside of the box.  God wants to abundantly bless us if we only seek Him and ask in His name, but we have to ever mindful of that if what we are asking for is not in His will then we need to know that we may not receive it.  That it is not God’s will for us to have.  Yes, we will become disappointed, but at the same time there maybe a reason that God does not give it to us.  Only He can foresee what the future holds for us.  He knows whats best for us.  He has our lives all planned out for us and we just have to seek Him to see what His will is for our lives.  Which is not an easy thing to do as we want to know what that is.  That is where we have to trust God, believe that He will come through, and have faith that God will do what is best for us.  It’s easier than we think but we have a tendency to make it harder than it really is.

We also have to get into the Word to learn and study it so that we can have it in our minds to recall it when we need it to keep us straight on our journey with Him.

It’s something to think about and put into action.  I know that I am working on that.  How about you?  Care to join me?

Week 5:

Beth Moore talked about being duped this week, where we have had that gut feeling that something was off with a person that we were talking and getting to know.  Where you come to find out that you had been betrayed and punked as she put it.  Have you ever been betrayed or duped by someone that you trusted?  I know that I have and it was not a good feeling.  You not only feel betrayed, but you end up feeling ashamed at the same time.  That is where we have to have our Spiritual Discernment.  We need to be more into the word and be applying it to our lives so that we can be more aware of things when they don’t feel right, or when something feels off.  God gives us this discernment to help us to walk more like Him.  It’s not easy, but a necessary thing that we have to do to continue and stay with the walk in our spiritual life.

I know for me it has been a hard thing to do.  You want to trust people, but you get that nagging feeling that something is not right.  We can either ignore it and end up failing or we can take it to God and seek Him for what to do.  I know for me that not seeking Him first has caused me more hurt and pain that I really needed.  So from this point on, I’m going to go to God first when I feel something is off and seek His will instead of trying to do things on my own.

What about you?  Care to join me?

Week 6:

This week Beth Moore was talking about 4 questions that we need a ‘no’ to when we are sensing things.  These 4 questions are:

  1. Am I a critical or suspicious person by nature?
  2. Am I jealous or do I feel threatened?
  3. Do I have anything selfish to gain from this outcome?
  4. Are my emotions clouding my discernment?

These 4 questions have to have ‘no’ answer to them for us to be walking in the spirit.  By us doing this and looking deep within ourselves we discover that we are doing what God wants us to be doing and we are obeying what He is telling us to do.  These are not easy questions to be asking because we have a tendency to answer yes and then we are walking in the world and following it’s rules, where as if we say no to these questions than we can be walking closer to God’s will for our lives and following His leading.

These past 6 weeks of going deeper into the scriptures and digging deeper within myself has made me think of what a better woman I can become if I only let go of things and seek God first in all of my decisions and allow Him to lead my life instead of me trying to do things on my own power.  For by doing them on my own power I am only setting myself up to fail and that not only makes me sad and disappointed in myself, but tells me that I am not trusting God to work things out in my life.

Hmm, this is definitely something to ponder and continue to do think about, because I want to be more like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I cannot do it if I am not obeying His will for me and following what the Bible is telling me to do to apply His teachings to my life.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I know that for me I am going to do God’s will for my life and seek Him more that looking to outside help unless it is for confirmation from Him.  What about you?  Care to join me?

I highly recommend this study if you are looking to go deeper into the word and walk closer to God.

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Are we trying to buy the Spirit of God?

It’s a good question, when you stop to think about ones actions and deeds.  are we looking to please man or God?  Do we want to secure ourselves a place in heaven or we just going a long with everyone else?  It’s something to think about and ponder.  We need to trust in God, that He has everything under control.  We need to relinquish our control and pride to let Him cleanse us from our past and transform us into His likeness.  Which is not easy and our deeds and actions speak louder than our words.  Today’s devotion speaks about trying to buy the Spirit.  I know for me I have tried not to do this, but at times I have found it to be difficult.  So I have to relinquish it everyday, relinquish that control of me trying to control everything in my life.  I have to put my trust in God and give it all to Him.  What about you?  Are you relinquishing your control to God?  It’s definitely something to think about.  The following devotion says it well by Phil Ware:

 

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Disciple,

One of the great gifts you received with your salvation was the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39). I pour out the Spirit on all who come to Me in faith and are baptized (Titus 3:3-7). The Spirit cleanses you of all your sin as you call upon My name to save you, and you turn from your past sins and from living for yourself (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

When Philip went to Samaria because of the persecution in Jerusalem, he taught and baptized people there (Acts 8:12). The emissaries of the Jerusalem church, My apostles, needed to see that these Samaritans — “half-breeds and heretics in the minds of many Judeans” — received the Spirit so they would include these new believers in full fellowship. When these apostles saw the Samaritan’s faith was genuine, they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit because I had not yet poured out the Spirit upon them (Acts 8:14-17). When the Spirit came upon them in a clear and demonstrable way, full fellowship was recognized with these new believers and full fellowship and acceptance with My Samaritan followers were achieved — I will share more about this tomorrow.

One of the new believers was a magician named Simon. He had amazed people with his power. However, in the miracles performed by Philip, Simon saw a greater power that wasn’t tied to magic. The coming of the Holy Spirit on My Samaritan disciples when Peter and John laid hands on them and accepted them into full fellowship revealed an unredeemed part of Simon’s character. Simon had grown accustomed to being admired and held in high regard. His lust to be seen as amazing led him to offer Peter money for the power to give the Holy Spirit to others.

Peter’s response was clear, harsh, and right on target. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not something that can be purchased. I give the Holy Spirit to My disciples when they come to Me for salvation. The Spirit is My gift to give. The Spirit is My promised presence to be your Helper (John 14:15-27; John 15:26-27; John 16:5-15). He is your assurance that you will share with Me in resurrection and glory (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14), giving life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11).

The Spirit’s work is to conform you to Me (2 Corinthians 3:18), not to bring you glory, as Simon wanted. The Spirit works in you to bring about the character and compassion you have seen demonstrated by Me in My ministry(Galatians 5:22-23). The Spirit intercedes for you even when you don’t have words to speak what is on your heart(Romans 8:26-27). The Spirit joins with your spirit and cries out to the Father using the very same name I used to address the Father when I was on earth — “Abba”! (Mark 14:36) The Spirit empowers you to overcome the very kind of things that were going on in the heart of Simon (Romans 8:13).

Thankfully, Simon was willing to see the error of his request and the evil that needed to be eradicated from his heart. He wanted to be My disciple more than he wanted to be recognized as someone important or powerful. He was willing to leave his past glory as a magician using black magic and become My follower. The question for you, My dear one, is whether you are willing to be My disciple more than you want your own forms of recognition or your own sense of self-importance?

Verses to Live

Is there something that keeps you from fully following Me and being led by My Spirit? Do you wrestle with ways of feeling important other than your great importance to Me? Have you left your past life?

Jesus:

If any of you want to walk My path, you’re going to have to deny yourself. You’ll have to take up your cross every day and follow Me. If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued, healed, made whole and full. Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything — if the whole world is in your pocket — but then your own life slips through your fingers and is lost to you?

(Luke 9:23-25)

Look closely at Simon and how, in the end, he offered up everything to follow Me… just as every true disciple must do! Thankfully, Simon turned his heart to fully follow Me. Have you?

All those who had been scattered by the persecution [in Jerusalem] moved from place to place; and wherever they went, they weren’t afraid or silent. Instead, they spread the message of Jesus.

Philip, for example, headed north to the city of Samaria, and he told them the news of [Christ]the Anointed One. The crowds were united in their desire to understand Philip’s message. They not only listened with their ears, but they witnessed miraculous signs with their eyes. Unclean spirits cried out with loud screams as they were exorcised from people. Paralyzed people and lame people moved and walked in plain view. So the city was swept with joy.

There was a fellow named Simon who had a widespread and long-standing reputation as a sorcerer in Samaria. Everyone — not just poor or uneducated people, but also the city’s elite — paid him great respect. Because he had amazed them with his magic, they thought, “This is a truly great man, full of the power of the God of Greatness.” But they were even more impressed with Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus the Anointed. Both men and women received … baptism — and even Simon himself became a believer. After his baptism, he shadowed Philip constantly, and he was as amazed as everyone else when he saw great and miraculous signs taking place.

Meanwhile word had reached the Lord’s emissaries in Jerusalem that the message of God was welcomed in Samaria — a land of half-breeds and heretics in the minds of many Judeans. They sent Peter and John to pray for the Samaritans. They were especially eager to see if the new believers would receive the Holy Spirit because until this point they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus but had not experienced the Holy Spirit. When Peter and John laid hands on the people, the Holy Spirit did indeed come upon them all.

Simon watched all this closely. He saw the Holy Spirit coming to the people when the apostles laid hands on them. So he came to Peter and John and offered them money.

Simon:

I want to purchase this ability to confer the Holy Spirit on people through the laying on of my hands.

Peter:

May your silver rot right along with you, Simon! To think the Holy Spirit is some kind of magic that can be procured with money! You aren’t even close to being ready for this kind of ministry; your heart is not right with God. You need to turn from your past, and you need to pray that the Lord will forgive the evil intent of your heart. I can see deep bitterness has poisoned you, and wickedness has locked you in chains.

Simon:

Please — you must pray to the Lord for me. I don’t want these terrible things to be true of me.

(Acts 8:4-24)

Response in Prayer

O Father, I confess that many things distract me from fully trusting and serving Jesus as my Lord. I know that when my heart is divided between following Him and seeking my own good and glory, I end up interfering with the Spirit’s work of transforming me to be like Jesus. So I ask for your forgiveness. I commit to seek to follow Jesus with my whole heart and not hold back. I do ask, Holy Spirit, that you strengthen me as I take each step of faith so that Your work can be completed in me to the glory of God the Father. In the name of Jesus, the Father’s Son and my Savior, I pray. Amen.

Simon tried to buy the Holy Spirit, but was harshly told by Peter that he could not buy the Spirit.  That he would end up worse off then he was currently at that time.  After these words were spoken to him, he repented and asked Peter to pray for him to stop living the lifestyle that he was currently living.  So Peter did and Simon became a follower of Christ.

This can also go along the same lines as having idols.  Are you harboring any idols in your life?  This makes you stop and think and want to clean yourself of the past hurts, hang -ups and habits that you may have been caring around in your life for so long.  I know that it did for me.  Isn’t time to get rid of those things that have plagued us for so long?  Isn’t time for us to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us instead of us trying to lead it?  For me there is only one choice and I chose to follow Jesus.  What about you?  Care to join me?