June 27, 2017

Reassurance

SeekingHimLogo

Forever, O Lord,
Your Word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations;
You established the earth, and it stands.
Psalms 119:89-90 NASB

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Nothing is more permanent than the Word of God.  The Word of God is constant and unchanging.  1 Peter 1:25a HCSB tells us “But the Word of the Lord endures forever.” God’s Word is firmly settled in Heaven forever! It is not an opinion. 2 Timothy 3:16a ESV says “All Scripture is breathed out by God”—our God who reigns from Heaven above.

Psalm 89:2b makes the faithfulness of God’s Word very clear.

You establish Your faithfulness in the heavens (HCSB)
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the Heavens (NLT)

God’s Word is settled in Heaven and His faithfulness is as enduring as the Heavens.  That constant stability reassures me.

God’s Word doesn’t vary by culture.  It is applied the same way to all societies.  The settled Word of God was, and still is today, a demonstration of His faithfulness that extends across ALL generations.  Not some, not a few, not most – ALL generations. puts it like this: ”

Therefore know [without any doubt] and understand
that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God,
Who is keeping His covenant and His [steadfast] lovingkindness
to a thousand generations.
Deuteronomy 7:9 AMP

The truth of God is absolute.  Isn’t that the most reassuring thing you have heard?  It is unchanging in nature, applies equally to all, and cannot be challenged.  I love this quote from Chuck Smith:

If you find yourself arguing with the Word, you’re wrong.”
(click here to read the entire article)

Look at the world today…everything is being challenged.  Nothing is constant.  We live in an unstable world.  But these two verses point our minds heavenward so that we use Heaven as our Anchor to hold us steady.  Matthew Henry paraphrased Isaiah 40:6 like this: “All flesh is grass but the Word of the Lord endures forever.”  Forever—that is our Anchor.  And that, my friends, is what I call reassurance.

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Father, thank You so much for the reassurance Your faithfulness and unchanging nature give us.  Thank You for the hope we find in knowing Your Word is settled in Heaven and continues through all generations. Thank You for providing us with a steady anchor in the midst of the storms of this world. In Your Holy name we pray -Amen, it is so!

Live For Today

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Sittin’ in my room staring at the wall
Wonderin’ about the meaning of it all
Why is it this thing called life
Has got me goin’ crazy
So I open up Your Word and let it speak to me
The purpose and the plan that You’ve designed
Is clear to see, and I believe

I’m gonna live for today
I’m gonna follow in Your way
I’m gonna let my little light shine
Like there’s no tomorrow
I won’t worry about the past
I know my future is intact
So I’ll choose to live my life one way
I’m gonna live it for today

You told me not to worry
About what lies ahead
So I am gonna focus on today instead
Making every moment count and counting
Every single blessing
I’m gonna set my mind on the
Here and the Now
This is what I want my life to be about
And this is how….

 Listen while you read….

Singer / Songwriter: Miss Natalie Grant
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One of my favorite sayings on how I live my life is “One day at time, sweet Jesus, is all I am asking of You….”  Taking one day at a time instead of being concerned with what lies ahead.

The Word that gives life
was from the beginning,
and this is the one
our message is about.
Our ears have heard,
our own eyes have seen,
and our hands touched
this Word.
John 1:1 Message

God tells us to ‘Seek ye first the kingdom…’ We are to live each day as God gives us EXACTLY what we need for that given day.  I love how this is stated:

“There is value in engrafting every single verse in the Bible, because ‘all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ (II Timothy 3:16).  There is great benefit in focusing on the verses that contain commands, because they express the foundational message of Scripture: how to love God and others.”

for more: How Can I Engraft God’s Word into My Life from iBible.org

May we choose to live for today and not worry about what lies ahead…trusting God in each moment. We are to let our lights shine….

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.
You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden.
People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand,
and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way,
let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds
and give honor to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5: 13-16 NET

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Heavenly Father, thank You for the strength to live each day as if it was our last. May our little lights shine to honor and glorify You in all that we do… In Jesus’ name, Amen!!

Life’s Healing Choices: Chapter 7 – Maintaining the Momentum (pp 220-239)

Choice7_LHC


PRAY
John Baker provides so much amazing information in this week’s Make the Choice section. He begins by giving examples on how we can pray using Scriptures, and how a prayer familiar to most of us (The Lord’s Prayer) relates to the choices we’ve been learning. I will be using portions of Baker’s examples for you today.

Scripture: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name…
Choice 1: Realize I am not God
Choice 2: Earnestly believe that God exists

Scripture: Your Kingdom come…
Choice 8: Yield myself to God to be used

Scripture: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…
Choice 5: Voluntarily submit to God’s changes

Scripture: Give us our daily bread…
Choice 3: Consciously choose to commit…to Christ’s care

Scripture: Forgive us our debts…
Choice 4: Openly examine and confess my faults

Scripture: As we have also forgiven our debtors…
Choice 6: Evaluate all my relationships

Scripture: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…
Choice 7: Reserve a daily time with God

WRITE –
Through the week’s study we have looked at ways to prevent relapse of our bad habits by creating a new habit of evaluation. This week’s “Write” choice is about evaluating four areas: physical, emotional, relational and spiritual.

Physical: What is your body telling you?

Emotional: What are you feeling? Use HEART to help you express what you are feeling.

H – am I hurting?
E – am I exhausted?
A – am I angry?
R – do I resent anyone?
T – am I tense?

Relational: Am I at peace with everyone?

Spiritual: Am I relying on God?

SHARE –
Share what you’ve written with your accountability partner. Work to develop a plan to recognize and resolve problems more quickly, to be aware of them sooner and take appropriate action.

Over the years, I’ve become more aware of how I tend to react emotionally, based on the feelings that a situation brings rather than the facts before me. Instead of looking rationally at a situation, I have the knee-jerk reaction and most often spout out something I later regret. And, when I’m tired, it’s even worse. On good days, I can recognize this before I open my mouth and I pause to consider the other person and what might be prompting them to act as they are. I try to remember that those around me are not “out to get me” and may just be having a bad day. It’s the basic lesson—it’s not about me!
But on my bad days , I am feeling unappreciated or taken for granted in an area of my life, and anything someone says that may bump against my views for the day will result in a conflict. How dare they say that to me…act that way towards me…assume that about me, and so on. In a flash, I resort to the negative thoughts, the relational strongholds that I’ve been working to rid myself of. And, it’s during those moments that turning to a trusted friend helps keep me grounded in the here and now. When you have the right person alongside you, they will point you back to God through Scriptural reminders and truths. They will help you focus on your identity as a child of God. They will call you out when you’re stuck in negativity and hold you to a higher standard. Sure, it can be uncomfortable because we want to feel what we feel just because we want to! But life has so much more to offer us. God wants so much more for us than to be ruled by our emotions.

Take time to reflect on the pattern of relapse with your partner: complacency, confusion, compromise, and catastrophe. Where do you get trapped most often?

For me, it is complacency; and Baker couldn’t have explained it any better, “We get comfortable. We’ve confessed our problem, we’ve started dealing with it, and we’ve made some progress. Then we get comfortable, and one day we stop praying about it and then we stop working at it” (page 207).

When the immediate need to fix something has been addressed, the urgency to continue working on it dissipates. It’s no longer urgent, and slowly the comfort settles in. But Jesus reminded us, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38 NLT).

Even Paul tells us, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT). So it’s not a situation that wasn’t expected to happen, but it is a situation that can be prevented.


Let’s Pray
Lord, we thank You for loving us so much that You gave the greatest example of forgiveness through Your Son, Jesus. As we focus on creating dedicated time alone with You, let us remember to be still and know You. Timothy tells us that Your Word is “useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” Allow us to keep this focus and to develop a desire to know You even more. This journey to recovery from our habits, hang-ups, and hurts has not been easy, but we feel Your grace, love, and gentleness more each day. Amen.

Power Verses for Chapter 7:
1 Corinthians 10:12
Matthew 22:37-40
James 1:22
Colossians 3:16
Psalm 46:10
Psalm 107:15
2 Timothy 3:16
Hebrews 12:1



If you would like to send Amy a private email in regards to this blog, please email her at: Amy@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Life’s Healing Choices: Chapter 3 — Make the Choice

MAKE THE CHOICE

Choice 3: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Over the past two weeks we’ve been reading and sharing a lot about the issue of control.  It seems to be a common thread in our lives – control the world around us in our way and hope it all works out as we planned.  But as we’ve seen we don’t have the power to control our lives, despite what we may think.  It is only through surrendering to His control that we truly find life.

As I went back through my book for today’s blog, I was struck again by John Baker’s personal story on page 81.  I  felt as if I was reading my own story.  I was saved at 14, and did all that I thought I was supposed to do – Sunday School, youth groups, retreats, even Christian college.  But something was still missing.  In my youth, I surrendered all I thought I should surrender, but it wasn’t truly ALL of my life.  From college I made wrong choices with relationships, hurt people closest to me, and kept running from the one person who could truly set me free from my fears and worries.  God.  And, just like John Baker, no matter how bad my choices were, God was still waiting for me with outstretched arms.  I can think back to times He was trying to get my attention and pull me back, but I brushed it off and kept going “my way.”

When I ended an engagement at a young age, I heard God questioning my decision.  But He just didn’t understand.  When my husband said we were moving out of state, against my wishes, I heard God telling me to speak up.  But He just didn’t understand.  When I battled infertility, I cried out to God begging to know what I did wrong to deserve this trial.  I didn’t hear Him respond.  When I was starting an affair, God was calling me out.  But He just didn’t understand.  When my marriage fell apart and I was moving the next guy in, God tried to get my attention again.  But He just didn’t understand.  Do you see a pattern here?  Me, a little speck on this earth, telling the God of the Universe that He doesn’t understand!  Wow, talk about pride!

On May 11, 2001 the world came crashing down around me in ways that no one could have ever seen coming.  People I thought were friends left me.  Family no longer supported me because it was too difficult a reminder of what my ex had become.  There was no greater example in my life of how little control I really have over anything than at this time of my life.  But, I also heard God very clearly that night, “Do I have your attention THIS time?”  He wasn’t judging me, or giving me any “I told you so” type lectures.  He greeted me with open arms and the patient love only the Father can give.

God reminded me that He had been with me all the way, through every poor decision, every time I pushed Him aside because He didn’t understand my plans and way of doing life.  He also reminded me of one precious gift He had given to me, a little ray of sunshine I called my daughter.  She was the inspiration I needed to get out of bed and keep moving until I could think clearly during these rough days.  She had no one but me, so I had to keep going.  I realized that while He didn’t bring the chaos and pain to my life, He allowed it to happen for my good.    We are reminded of this in Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)

Two years later, I heard a song on the radio that brought instant tears to my eyes … another God-message for me.  Martina McBride released a song called “In My Daughter’s Eyes” and sings, “She was sent to rescue me”.  (http://youtu.be/eLS0Y40WwlA)   I truly believe that God sent my daughter to rescue me, and to return me to His fold.  You see, by medical standards she should not be here.  Doctors cannot explain how I was able to get pregnant and managed to carry a child to term with the health issues I experienced.  Seven years of infertility and suddenly, this miracle.  The last time my doctor said this to me was after my hysterectomy in 2010.  We were discussing the pathology report and his surgical findings, and he said, “I just don’t know how your daughter is here.”  I just smiled and said, “That’s because you didn’t create her.”  I knew she was fully and entirely God’s plan for my life.   But through her life, God gave me the wake-up call I needed to throw up my hands in surrender, and return to His open arms.

PRAY –

This week, we focused on committing ALL of our lives to Christ, not just the areas we think He should have, but ALL areas.  As I read Chapter 3, I was reminded of a song from my early church days, “I Surrender All.”  This clip is one of my favorite versions by Jaden Lavik.

http://youtu.be/uaTXNxUXcn4

Now is the time to ask Christ in to your heart if you have not already done so.  Admit you are powerless without Him, acknowledge His death on the cross for your sins, and the power of His resurrection for your eternal salvation.  Are you ready to make this decision for Christ?

If you are part of this study and do know Christ, use this time to rededicate your whole life to Him, asking Him to take full care and control over the areas of your life you’ve previously guarded.  As the song says, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.”  He won’t bully His way in and take over.  It’s a choice you must make to freely turn over your life.

WRITE –

1 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “this means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

What does this verse mean to you?

Go back to your notes from Chapter 1, how do you feel today compared to when you first made those notes?

What are you having a difficult time surrendering to God?

What are some things you will ask God to do in your “new life”?

 

SHARE –

 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Making a decision to commit your life to Christ is the most important decision you will make in your life.  Yes, more important than your choice of spouse, career, or home.  This decision remains with you for eternity, and what an awesome promise that is for us!

Take time this week to let others know about the reason for the changes in your life.  Share with them about the freedom, joy and hope you are learning to experience.  Encourage them to surrender to His care and control and allow Him to change their lives, too.

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Power Verses:

Ephesians 1:13 NIV

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

Acts 16:31 NLT

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.

2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

 Phil 4:13 CEV

Christ gives me the strength to face anything.

 

Lord, what a precious gift You have offered to each of us!  You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.  We admit that our choices haven’t followed Your plans for us, but we seek to follow You more closely.  We surrender our lives to You, placing ourselves fully in Your care and control.  We know that You desire the best for us, and we need to learn to trust this truth on a daily basis.  Thank You for Your awesome gift and the blessings You have given to each of us.  Amen.

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If you would like to send a private email to Amy in regards to this blog, please email her at:

Amy@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Life’s Healing Choices – Chapter 3: Stepping Across the Line

I’m going to start today’s blog post with a little poem that my pastor quoted Sunday.  It goes like this…

 

I went for a walk today down a winding road and fell in a hole,

it’s not my fault.

I went for a walk today down the same road and fell in a hole,

why did I do that?

I went for a walk today down the same road, fell in the same hole,

it’s my fault.

I went for a walk today down the same winding road, I barely made it around the hole.

I took a different road today.

I cannot handle that winding road I’ve been on. I won’t go down it again.

 

Does that sound familiar to you? Are you having a hard time stepping off the same path? Today we will step across the line together into Jesus’ arms and allow Him to care and control ALL of us. Ready? OK! (The cheerleader in me came out.)

S-urrendering

T-o

E-verlasting

P-eace

 

Step 1: We must accept Jesus as our Savior, Lord of our life. He must live in our heart and be the center of our being. Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”  You will be saved, not might be, but will be. Commit as much of yourself as you can at this moment and He can do great things. This is so exciting! Shall we go on?

Step 2: We must accept God’s word as our standard. It must be our life manual. God gave us His word to guide us in every aspect of our lives. What a gift from our Creator! The Bible contains love letters from our Heavenly Father, and instructions by which to live our lives so that we will have the peace and joy He promised us. As we commit more and more of ourselves to Jesus, we will want to live our lives according to His will for us and the only way to know His will is to read and study His words. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for resetting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living”(2 Timothy 3:16).

Step 3: We must accept His will as our purpose. We have to let go of the plans we have for ourselves and totally surrender them. His ways must become our ways. We must die to ourselves and become a new person in Him—the person He wants us to be. I love how John Baker puts it: how we must wake up every day and say “Lord, You woke me up this morning. You obviously have another day planned for me!  What is that plan?” I usually start my day out on my knees and end it there also. I pray for the willingness to be teachable and the strength to do whatever He wants me to do that day.

Step 4: We must accept His power as our strength. 2 Samuel 22:40 says,  “You armed me with strength for the battle–You humbled my adversaries.” When we commit ourselves to Him, His strength is ours, and His power is ours. He has given us His Spirit and with that comes the benefit of having His resources at hand at all times. We are armed for whatever trial comes our way.

So, are you ready to step across the line together? He’s waiting with open arms. If you have not yet asked Him to be Lord of your life, my friend, this is the most important decision  you will ever make. It is your life choice. Look. Here  I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal as friends (Revelation 3:20).

He wants to come into your life and help you live this life He gave you. He wants to come in so badly but He will not come in if you don’t ask. Oh dear friend, you don’t have to go this alone. You don’t have to white knuckle it! His power is yours. Your willpower isn’t enough. I know mine isn’t. If it was, I would never have gone down this road of addiction. I wouldn’t have left a trail of destruction and hurt for all I love. But we serve an awesome Savior Who can redeem all we have done and make us a new creation in Him.

 

If you are truly ready to commit your life to Him then answer these questions:

Do you believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and proved He was God by coming back? 1 Corinthians 15:2-4

Do you accept God’s free forgiveness for your sins? Romans 3:22

Do you want to switch to His plan for your life? Romans 12:2

Are you ready to express your desire for Jesus to be the director of your life? Romans 10:9

If you answered yes to all these questions then make this a reality and make the choice to step across the line today holding your Savior’s hand. He’s so ready and willing. Just say yes.

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Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for coming into my life and redeeming me and dwelling in me. Thank You for all these women who dedicated their lives to You today, some for the first time and for others a rededication. Lord, we believe You sent Your Son Jesus to die for our sins, so we can be forgiven. We are sorry for all our wrongdoings and as we continue this journey with You, Lord, we ask for the willingness to be teachable and the strength to carry on with this beautiful life You have given us. Thank You that we do not have to go this alone. Lord, some of us are so tired and we need You more than we know. Give us rest and take our burdens as You have so promised. We love You and Praise You for Who You are. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Your Assignment:

Let us know if you prayed that prayer, so we can continue to encourage you in this amazing journey. Look up scriptures and enter them in to your journal. Remember, all comments are public on this blog. You have the option of signing in anonymously.

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If you are interested in joining us for the Life’s Healing Choices online Bible study, click HERE. Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

If you would like to send a private message to Kim in regards to this post, please email her at Kim@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com