June 28, 2017

Amen

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You have given us a new name
The sons and daughters of Your righteousness

And You have taken all of our shame
And given us the gift of holiness

Lord we’re crying out for faith
To believe the words You say

You say we are loved
You say we belong to You
Your Grace is enough
Nothing more that we can do
You say we’ve been bought
By Your blood, by Your blood
And all that we can say
Is Amen
Amen

You have given us a new hope
An anchor for the soul that shall not fail

Jesus we believe Your truth shines
Yes in the darkest night You shall prevail

Lord we’re crying out for faith
To believe the words You say

Amen, Your word is true
Amen, we trust in You

Steven Curtis Chapman
written along with Rend Collective
*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.
I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
John 10:10

Jesus…the one Name that takes away all fear and shame.  He is the Hope that we hold on to and the Anchor that keeps us grounded.

The enemy comes at us in so many ways, especially this time of year when our focus gets a little off. We should be thinking of how awesome it is that Jesus came as a small baby to save us from sin. Instead we get so frustrated and overwhelmed because we have so much to buy and it always feels like it is never enough.

What if we had kept Christmas about Him—would we be a bit happier, more joyful?  What if we gave instead of received?  What if we praised Him for His provision instead of petitioning for more? What if we just rested in Him this season and soaked in the love that He has for us.  And reminded ourselves that HE is always for us. {Can I get an Amen?}

So today, I pray that hope prevails in your life…and that Jesus fills you with peace and love…and that you spread it to all that will listen.  And, if you do not have a relationship with Him…and IF you want to know this Jesus, He is here for you!  Just pray this prayer today…

Jesus, come into my heart.  I know that I am a sinner and I need forgiveness.  I believe You died for me.  I want to live with You as Lord of my Life!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

All The People Said Amen

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You are not alone if you are lonely
When you’re feeling afraid you’re not the only
We are all the same in need of mercy
To be forgiven and be free
It’s all you got to lean on
But thank God it’s all you need

And all the people said Amen
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen

If you’re rich or poor well it don’t matter
Weak or Strong, you know love is what we’re after
We’re all broken but we’re all in this together
God knows we stumble and we fall
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all

Blessed are the poor in spirit who are torn apart;
Blessed are the persecuted and the pure in heart;
Blessed are the people hungry for another start,
for this is the kingdom, the kingdom of God

Singer/Songwriter: Matt Maher along with Paul Moak, Trevor Morgan

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I have had this song stuck in my head for days, y’all! I decided to find out what was the story behind the song. This is what I found:

“One of the things Maher says he loves doing as a songwriter is to look at phrases that have become clichés among church folk. ‘I think that a lot of Millennials, they would hear a pastor say, And all God’s people said amen, and they would just kind of maybe roll their eyes a little bit at that. Well, first of all, that’s Scripture. So, please don’t roll your eyes at Scripture.’ ”

We tend to do that, don’t we? Maybe not roll our eyes but we tend to brush it off because we have ‘heard it all before.’ So, I did some research on the word “Amen.”

May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised from everlasting to everlasting.”
Then all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”
I Chronicles 16:36 HCSB

May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised from everlasting to everlasting? Let all the people say, “Amen!” Hallelujah!
Psalm 106:48 HCSB

definitions and usages:

  • Wikipedia – a declaration of affirmation
  • Merriam Webster – used to express agreement or approval
  • Greek Old Testament – so be it
  • Dictionary.com – it is so
  • It can also be used in place of “truly” or “verily”

The one that caught my attention was “it is so,” used as an expression of belief. It reminded me of a verse I had recently seen:

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,
2 Corinthians 4:13 NASB

I believe therefore I speak. Beth Moore says, “God’s words are omnipotent. Our words are potent.” When we speak Scripture aloud we are externalizing our internal passion. We are in agreement with God; we are sharing the mind of Christ. When we speak Scripture, we are accepting it, receiving it into our lives.

Now go back to this song…

  • “We are all the same in need of mercy to be forgiven and be free. It’s all you got to lean on but thank God it’s all you need”
  • “His love never ends”
  • “God knows we stumble and we fall and He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all”

These are all things I agree with—things I believe—therefore I can say “Amen!”

What are you willing to say AMEN to?

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Father, thank You for a love that never ends. Help me speak what I believe. Remind me why we say “amen.” Make me aware of what I am saying “amen” to. Thank You for being all I ever need. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN – so be it!

Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Week 13

Last week we concluded our series on prayer entitled Lord, teach us to pray! Each week we asked with that same desire as Jesus’ disciples did — ”Teach {me} to pray.” And graciously He did, didn’t He? This week, I would like to join in as we finish this part of our journey together.

We have now completed our study A Daughter’s Worth from the book by Ava Sturgeon. All week we have been focusing on God and the optimism that our hearts have as we do so. We have been SO encouraged and exhorted!

  • On Monday, Diane shared about giving honor and praise to God.
  •  On Tuesday, Teresa reminded us that God is holy and that we can live holy lives.
  •  On Wednesday, Jordan talked about having happiness and joy.
  •  On Thursday, Tonya communicated about trusting in Him, knowing He cares for us.
  •  On Friday, Tina shared about our eternal Hope of life with God.

As such our focus has been all about God!  Nothing wrong about that, hmmm?  Every day we have so very much to be thankful to God for and to voice our praises to Him!  Whether by ourselves in our own hearts as we pray…or when we fellowship in our small groups or Bible studies (like this one!)…or perhaps when we gather to corporately praise and worship in the churches we belong to…we are living our lives right NOW praising our God and our Lord. AND we look forward to raising our praises forever! That’s right…we will be right along with the angels and the host of heaven!

Revelation 5:11-14
Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels on every side of the throne and of the living creatures and the elders, and they numbered ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands,  Saying in a loud voice,  Deserving is the Lamb,  Who was sacrificed, to receive all the power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and majesty (glory, splendor) and blessing!  And I heard every created thing in heaven and on earth and under the earth [in Hades, the place of departed spirits] and on the sea and all that is in it, crying out together, To Him Who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb be ascribed the blessing and the honor and the majesty (glory, splendor) and the power (might and dominion) forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities)!  Then the four living creatures (beings) said, Amen (so be it)!  And the elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin] prostrated themselves and worshiped Him Who lives forever and ever.

We SO look forward to this time…it is our HOPE!  We wait for the return of our Lord to gather His church together.

Revelations 22:20,21
He Who gives this warning and affirms and testifies to these things says, Yes (it is true). [Surely] I am coming quickly (swiftly, speedily). Amen (so let it be)! Yes, come, Lord Jesus! The grace (blessing and favor) of the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with all the saints (God’s holy people), those set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively His). Amen (so let it be)!

Yes, come, Lord Jesus, come! Amen!

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In this final week of our study A Daughter’s Worth, we have focused on living optimistically because of how great our God is…honoring and praising Him…living holy because we CAN BE holy…having true joy…resting in Him, trusting Him…looking forward to eternal life with Him. All of which are great reminders of how much worth we truly have!

Instead of a question this week, I ask you to proclaim this TRUTH,  ‘I, _________ (insert your precious name here) am a daughter of the Most High God, and to Him I am of SUCH worth! One way in which my Father shows me just how much worth I have to Him is ________________________________!

(Please share with us in the comment section what you wrote…I’ll post mine, too.)

Oh. How. He. Loves. Us. So. <3

The following is a video of a beautiful rendition of the Lord’s Prayer being sung by the Martins.  enjoy!  perhaps this might become your favorite  way of praying this prayer that Jesus instructed His disciples (and us!) when He answered their plea, “Lord, teach us to pray!”



Our next study “Not a Fan – Teen Edition” will begin in February, 2013.  Please check back often for more details.  If you have a question about GCH:decaf, please email us at GCH_decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Week 12

Today we are finishing the series entitled Lord, teach us to pray!

Do you ever cry out with that same desire as Jesus’ disciples did — ”Teach {me} to pray”?

Each Saturday over the last few months, we have been intentionally pursuing asking the Lord to do just that—teach us to pray. I believe that, as we have looked at learning how to pray through the Scriptures, we have developed the heart of daughters who delight, yearn, love to pray to their Father!!!

Jesus was asked this important question by His disciples. One of the places that it is recorded is in Luke 11, verse 1: “Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray….”

Listen to the words that He spoke to them when they asked:
Pray, therefore, like this:
Our Father
Who is in heaven,
hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts,
and have given up resentment against) our debtors.
And lead (bring) us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.
Matthew 6:9-13

The first week, in this series, we focused on the very first, and most important aspect, of Jesus’ instruction—addressing God Almighty as “Our Father….” We found that He wants to be our Father…our Abba Father!

The second week, we looked at the very next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed of importance—“Who is in heaven.” This attribute tells of the utmost importance of God Who is in heaven. And we also were reminded of an awesome promise from God, that we will dwell for all eternity with Jesus and our Father, Who is in heaven.

Then we came to the third aspect, as we followed Jesus’ instruction,— “hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.” And we looked at five examples in the Scriptures where Almighty God is described as holy: we saw the Psalmist proclaim that ‘You are holy’…that the prophet Habakkuk called Him ‘my Holy One’…that Isaiah saw in a vision God seated on His throne with the seraphim proclaiming ‘holy, holy, holy’…that Jesus our Lord prayed ‘Holy Father’…that one of the seven angels praise Almighty God saying ‘You Who are and were ‘O Holy One.’ What a privilege that our Father…Who is in heaven…would allow us to come before Him and call Him ‘holy!’

After that we looked at the next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed important—‘Your Kingdom come.’ We considered the question, “What is the Kingdom?” by focusing on just two ways to understand what Jesus meant. The first connotation that “Kingdom” has refers to the eternal Kingdom. And then to understand “Kingdom” in another way, we looked specifically at Matthew chapter 13 where Jesus spoke in parables and used tangible examples to help His disciples (and us!) to understand the importance of having the Kingdom established in our hearts. He wants you and me to be in that Kingdom along with Him.

Then the following week we focused on another aspect of Jesus’ instruction: ‘Your will be done.’ It is Almighty God’s will that we are to be concerned about…not our own. We considered scripture after scripture and saw our Lord’s constant example of desiring not His will but His Father’s. If it were ever possible for anyone to justifiably state and act on their own will, it would have been Jesus; true? Jesus always desired His Father’s will, always sought His Father’s will, always purposed to know His Father’s will so that He always did His Father’s will. And what did we find was His Father’s will?—salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.

And the next week we studied the phrase ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ from the perspective of our Lord’s life and ministry. We read that Jesus came down from heaven not to do His own will but to do the will of His Father on the earth. Jesus was always the perfect example to His disciples. He simply and clearly taught His disciples (and us!) to do always seek to do the same.

The following week we considered the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We recognized that Jesus IS the ‘bread of life.” We clearly saw Jesus’ heart of compassion, wanting His disciples (and us!) to live forever by partaking of the Bread of Life. We also looked at Jesus’ instruction that if they would pray, “give us this day our daily bread…” they would be humbly acknowledging that their heavenly Father already KNEW what their needs would be that day.

Then we focused on the next direction Jesus gave as He taught His disciples (and us!) to pray. It is the request to “…forgive us our debts.” We looked first at the record where Peter asked Jesus how many times did he need to forgive? Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!” Nothing has changed. We, too, are to forgive “…seventy times seven…” (In other words, just keep on forgiving!) Then Jesus gave further clarification and direction to Peter and the other disciples. He held nothing back in communicating that forgiveness, or the refusal to forgive, is an issue of the heart. God through Christ has forgiven us for SO much! And He compassionately, mercifully, and lovingly, continues to forgive us as we repent and ask.

We looked next at His direction to His disciples (and us!) to ask our Father to “lead us not into temptation…” Of great importance is to remember that God does not “tempt” anyone (James 1:13, 14). And in Matthew 4:3 we clearly saw that THE tempter is satan, our enemy. We are not alone in handling temptation. He understands and has shown us how to handle satan’s tempting. We saw Jesus’ great example in Matthew 4:1-11. His response—the very thing that kept Him from being tempted—was the truth of the Scriptures. Jesus replied to satan each time with “…it is written….” We, too, can have the assurance of the truth of the Scriptures when our enemy tries to tempt us.

And then we focused on the final instruction Jesus gave to His disciples (and us!) as He taught them how to pray–“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” These two phrases are to be understood together in their context. Jesus clearly stated that not only did they need to recognize temptation but also recognize that they could not ‘handle’ it on their own—they needed to pray for God’s deliverance. One portion of Jesus’ prayer (in John 17) includes asking God “keep and protect them from the evil one,” and also Jesus praying for “…all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me.” THAT IS US! You and me…mentioned in Jesus’ precious prayer to God! Our reliance on our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus (seated at His right hand) gives us the ability, the strength to be delivered from evil.

Now, the phrase we studied last week was ‘for Yours is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.’ In Jesus’ teaching His disciples (and us!) to pray, He began and ended with praise. Praising God should be a part of all of our communication with our heavenly Father but especially in our prayers. Jesus made sure that His disciples (and us!) knew that God was to be glorified and praised! His final point to them (and us!) when they asked Him to teach them to pray was the importance of praising and glorifying God.

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And, finally, we come to Jesus’ very last word as He taught His disciples (and us!) to pray—“amen.’ In the Hebrew language, ‘amen’ simply is an affirmation, a recognition of truth, “so be it.’

I read a quote that impacted me greatly, and I would like to share it with you.  “The word “amen” is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related—in fact, almost identical— to the Hebrew word for “believe”  (amam), or faithful.  Thus, it came to mean “sure” or “truly,” an expression of absolute trust and confidence.”*

But equally important, I think, is to put yourself in the sandals of the disciples. Think about it for a moment…. Here they are with their Master. Throughout the months that they have spent with Him, they have seen Him pray all along. And finally, one of them blurts out, “Lord, teach us to pray!” And so, as we have seen, He takes them step-by-step through a series of instructions; helping them to have the right heart attitude towards God when they pray.

That, truly, is what this instruction of our Lord’s is all about—having the right heart…not the perfect words…not a ‘method’ of praying. But rather to approach our Father God with humility and to…

Acknowledge that He is our Father,
and that He dwells in heaven,
and that He IS Holy, Holy, Holy.
Recognize that His Kingdom will come
and that His Will will be done on earth
just as it is in heaven.
Ask for our daily bread, every day.
Deal with forgiveness,
and to give up resentment against others.
Acknowledge where temptation truly comes from,
and our need to be delivered from the evil one.
Praise Him…giving Him the honor and the glory forever!

Jesus had so much compassion towards His disciples (and us!), knowing of their need to be led in such a way that they then could pray after He left them and returned to His Father in heaven. His instruction gave them (and us!) the ability to pray on their own.

Oh. How. He. Loves. Us. So. <3
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In our study A Daughter’s Worth, we have focused this week on being ready to hear God’s voice..being sensitive to leading of the holy spirit…being prepared to wait on God…being willing to accept His answer…being confident in Who God is and His perfect provision for us. Perhaps could we say that we have been working on preparing our hearts to say ‘amen.’ Or ‘so be it!’

This week instead of a question, I believe we can confidently make the statement, ‘I, ______, (insert your precious name here) am a daughter of the Most High God, and to Him I am of SUCH worth!

 “Amen!”

* I found this quote in a number of sources (the Online Bible, Bible.org, etc.) and have quoted from the ‘The Blue Letter Bible.org;’ source unknown.



If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

Winning Him Without Words: The Perpetual State of Waiting

I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God.

Psalm 38:15

Waiting is hard to do when we’ve become accustomed to instant access to just about anything we want or need. So when we are waiting in line, waiting to speak to a human when calling customer service, waiting for good news, or bad…waiting on God, we become frustrated. Because when we send a prayer request to God it’s not like sending an email or text where we can expect an answer within minutes, or even within the day. God answers prayers in His own perfect timing.  Rarely that answer will come instantly, but most of the time we will be in that perpetual state of waiting for a while.

But Why Does God Make Us Wait?

THE TEST. In my own personal experience God likes to run me through a few tests before blessing me with an answered prayer. If I am praying for something like a bigger house, He wants to make sure I can take good care of my current home first. If I am praying for a job with more responsibility, God will make sure I handle the stress of my current job before he promotes me onto something that will likely be more stressful. If I can wait for my prayers to be answered with a good attitude and prove to God that I can handle what I am asking for, I can be sure that He will answer my prayer.

THE RIGHT TIME. You may think the timing is perfect to move, to get a different job, to have another child, but is it right in God’s time? God will sometimes make you wait for answers to certain prayers because it’s just not the right time yet. He, and only He, knows the right time for you to receive your blessings. When we do things on our own time, we’ll often be hit with setbacks and tremendous frustration.  When we wait patiently for God, all things will fall into place and run smoothly.

MOTIVATION. God also wants to make sure your heart is right. What I mean by this is God would love to give you all your heart’s desire, but He also wants to be certain that you don’t misuse your blessings. If your intent of praying for more money is only so you can feel superior above others, that would be a misuse of a blessing. Praying for money to support your family or to help your community is the right motivation for a prayer of prosperity.

These are just a few reasons God puts us in that perpetual state of waiting, but I think they give you a good understanding of why God doesn’t send the answers to your prayers instantaneously.  He is waiting on you. YES! God waits for you too! He waits for you to show Him you can be patient; He waits for you to show Him you will rely on Him for help when there are obstacles in your path, He waits for your heart to be right. So you see, it’s not just us that are doing all the waiting. He waits too.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, we find it so hard to wait, but we do understand that everything has to be done in your perfect timing. Help us to be patient, Lord. Help us to use our waiting period to grow closer to You. Always let us know that it is Your will that will be done, not ours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Reflect back on a time in your life when you prayed for something, but it wasn’t answered right away. When was that prayer answered? In hindsight can you now see why God made you wait for that answered prayer?

Godspeed,

Sarah

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Our next Women’s Online Bible Study “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, begins January 6, 2013. To sign up for this Online Bible Study, click HERE and follow the instructions. You will also be given a link to where you can purchase this bible study. We’re looking forward to learning about this “Crazy Love” with you!!

We would LOVE to have your feedback on this study! Will you take a few minutes to complete the following survey? Your responses will help us create the best online bible study experience for you! CLICK THIS LINK to fill out the short 10 question form. Your responses are completely anonymous, I promise!! Thank you so much!

Winning Him Without Words: Learn When to Pray The Most Dangerous Prayer – John the Baptist

John The Baptist

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

ISAIAH 26:3

Lately I’ve caught myself saying “How GREAT is our God!” a lot. It seems like every time I open a book or read something on Facebook, God has left a personal message just for me to read. Last week my co-leader, Jennifer asked me if I could write today’s post because our sweet Beverly couldn’t. So of course I said I could write it. But then once I read it, I knew the real reason I was asked. It was because God had to reinforce a lesson in me. Yes, I would’ve read this section anyway and probably gathered some great information, but when I have to write about God’s word, I am forced (in a good way!) to slow down, take apart what I’ve just read and really understand it.

Today Dineen talks about John The Baptist and wonders if he ever felt left out, dissed, short changed. Did he feel like he should be part of the Twelve men chosen to walk with Jesus? He certainly had a right to feel that way. If he chose to Compare himself to the other Twelve, he was just as able to follow and spread Christ’s word, but he didn’t. He never questioned or bemoaned his role in life. He was satisfied to do what was predestined for him and he did it with honor and grace.

Sadly, I cannot say the same for myself. I have compared myself to others my entire life. In junior high a list went around our school where you rated the girls in our class based on looks and popularity. I was rated #2. Not too shabby, but to my 12 year old brain, it was devastating. All I could do was think of myself as #2. From that point on, it was my number on all my sports jerseys. I owned the number 2. It was my mind set.  I will always be second best to anyone that stands beside me.

As an adult, I still compare myself to others. And recently I’ve amped up my comparing.  Am I as creative as that mom? No. Am I as wealthy as that person? Certainly not. Will I ever be? No, because I have to be the #2. But I learned something in this chapter about being #2, or what I perceive as #2…it’s my role in life and it’s a GOOD role. I don’t have to be the prettiest wife on the block or the Martha Stewart mom or even the Beth Moore or Joyce Meyer of women’s ministry! I can be ME. Sarah Jane Boyer. And that is a great thing to be because He created ME and He has me on the path He predestined for me. First, He gave me the ability to work with words. Then later on down the path, He urged me to start writing about His words. For the first time in my life I am doing something I really enjoy and know that it is my gift from God, which makes it all the more sweeter. And ya know what? I’m not going to think of myself as #2 anymore. I know I am first and foremost with God because I have begun to make Him first and foremost with me. I don’t need to compare myself to others because there is no comparison. We are all #1 to God and all for different reasons.

What a freeing thing this is to not have to feel like I need to mold myself into something I’m not just to fit into one group/category or another. As long as I am pleasing God, I am in the right group/category. Like John The Baptist, I am content to fulfill the role God has chosen for me and I will do it with grace and honor to Him.

So how GREAT is our God, huh? He took this lesson and brought it to me to write on so that I would slow down, listen to Him and KNOW that I am right where I am suppose to be and there is no need to compare myself with others like I have been doing.  Thank you, God for the reinforcement!

Lets Pray:

Dear Lord, You knew I was struggling with comparison issues again and You brought this message right to me so that I would really sit up and listen. I pray that what I wrote will resonate with other ladies who read this post. Comparing ourselves with others is so harmful to our self esteem. Please show each and every one of our readers how important they are to You. Speak to them like You did to me and show them their special gifts that set them apart and make them #1 in Your eyes…the ONLY eyes that matter.  In your son’s precious name, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Today, please share with us what your special gift from God is. Let’s praise God for the gifts He has put in us to share with the world!

Godspeed,

Sarah

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Our next Women’s Online Bible Study “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, begins January 6, 2013. To sign up for this Online Bible Study, click HERE and follow the instructions. You will also be given a link to where you can purchase this bible study. We’re looking forward to learning about this “Crazy Love” with you!!  

We would LOVE to have your feedback on this study! Will you take a few minutes to complete the following survey? Your responses will help us create the best online bible study experience for you! CLICK THIS LINK to fill out the short 10 question form. Your responses are completely anonymous, I promise!! Thank you so much!

Winning Him Without Words: Basic Training

But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.

Our verse comes from 1 Peter 3:14-16, but I pulled out verse 15 because this is what it’s all about ladies. When someone questions your faith, your beliefs, your God, you need to be ready to give a logical answer that explains the hope and love you exude for Christ. BUT…you have to do it in a courteous and respectful way. Have you ever listened to someone who was trying to make their point by yelling at you or trying to degrade you by telling you what you believe is wrong? No, probably not. I know I haven’t. I just shut down and stop listening.

There is a lot to be learned when you have a conversation with someone who doesn’t believe the same as you. Not only will you learn about the theories behind what they believe, but also you will be driven to learn a bit more about what YOU believe. You are given a chance to hone up your basic training.

We’ve been talking this week about putting on the full armor of God. The helmet, the breast plate, the belt of truth and the shield. Today we will talk about the weapon God has given us to fight our battle. The sword.  Also known as the Word of God. It is so important to arm yourself with the Word. If you don’t know what is written in the Bible, you have nothing to use in defense of your beliefs. You have to dig deeper than just what you hear in church or from your most knowledgeable Christian friend. You need to educate yourself on what is said between the pages of the good book.

By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set – apart ones). Ephesians 1:18

These are the basics of basic training! Just like a student studies his textbook to get an A in class, you need to study your bible to be able to spread God’s Word in a logical way. When someone asks you questions, you have to be prepared to answer and explain how powerful God’s Word is. If you are a believer, you are a soldier of Christ. The mission He has given you is to spread His message of love, hope and faith. To complete this mission, it is important to know scriptures and the meanings behind them. Then, once you have sharpened your sword with the Word, you are then able to present His Word logically and courteously. And God will be so pleased with you, His soldier.

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Let’s Pray:
Lord, sometimes we are happy to just know we believe in You. But Dineen has showed us in this chapter that it is important to not only know You, but to really dig deep, read Your Words, study them and gain an understanding of them. When we do this, wonderful things happen. Truths are discovered, our love for You is deepened and our relationship with You is strengthened. We promise to continue to stay in Your Word every day Lord and then go out and spread it far and wide. In Your Son’s precious name we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:
For today’s assignment I’d like you all to share your life verse. You know, the one that you read and almost felt the earth shake when you were finished! Then head over to our secret Facebook group where we’ll discuss those verses further!

Godspeed,
Sarah

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For the “Winning Him Without Words” Online Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the sign-up here button at the top of our webpage, which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!

Winning Him Without Words: God Is The Wild Hope Maker

   

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

I love that verse. It hangs in our bedroom in a beautiful picture frame because it is a message I wanted to be reminded of every morning after going through a certain season of my life. The hoping and praying comes easy for me, but being certain was a struggle and this verse is the perfect reminder of what our faith in God can really do.

There was a time not too long ago when I questioned if God really had a plan for me. I used to believe he had a big one for me because I had escaped death 3 times in 38 years and am still here. God doesn’t almost take you 3 times for no reason. I always felt He was keeping me here for a purpose. But my life had been so mundane and at times down right miserable, I started to doubt my faith in God having a plan for me. What’s worse is I started to blame my husband for interfering with God’s plan for my life.

As I was learning more about what God wants from everyone, I didn’t look at my own faults and shortcomings. I was looking at my husbands. I could name off all the things HE needed to do to be blessed and saved by God right off the top of my head and figured once he fixed all his problems, blessings and prosperity would come flooding into our household. I never thought I had issues that needed to be addressed. I just thought that being yoked to him was my hindrance. After all, I was the one reading the word every day and pursuing God, so what else would I need to do?

I even started to believe that my husband was my ministry! But for some reason he wasn’t willing to listen to me tell him what he needed to do to have a better life.  The nerve, huh?! So I’d get angry at him, because remember, I thought it was all his fault that my life’s purpose wasn’t being realized. Oh brother. How’s that for putting too much expectation on your husband! I had misplaced my faith.

In this chapter Dineen asked “who am I waiting for?” Thankfully this question was put on my heart during this time. My answer was, I was waiting for my husband to fix his problems. To my eye, his problems seemed heavier than mine. I was praying to God to speak to my husband’s heart and motivate him to change. Finally God said to me:

God: What are you doing to fix you?
Me: Wait…What? I don’t have anything to fix, do I?
God: Um, yea, ya do.  Are you serving your husband, or judging him?
Me: Okay, God. I get it.

From that point on, my whole thought process changed. I started to ask God to point things out in MY life that I needed to improve or change. The list was long, by the way! I asked for his daily guidance and I asked how I could be a blessing to my husband. I spent a lot of time in Proverbs 31 and learned how to be a wife that my husband could be proud of. One who served her husband, took care of her household, raised her children with love and sought out to help others. I quit making my husband my ministry. Instead I made myself my ministry. I’ve said this in a previous post, but I now focus on being an example to my husband instead of being the nagging wife telling him what to change and how to do it. It’s the old adage, actions speak louder than words.

Please keep in mind this was not easy at first! For over 15 years I expected my husband to be my everything, as well as being perfectly pleasing to God. I struggled with “who was gonna make ME happy”.  A lot! But the more I showed love and kindness to him on purpose, it really started to make me feel good. I was making myself happy by providing joy to my husband. I was, and still am obeying God’s command to serve my husband and being rewarded in tremendous ways.

I was a score keeper, too. If he did something that hurt my feelings, I’d do something to hurt him. If he forgot my birthday, I’d be sure to “forget” his, but also remind him that he had forgotten mine. That all had to go. No more keeping records of wrongs. I continue to treat him as I want to be treated and I am “wronged” less and less each day.  Think about it this way, is it more important at the end of the day to be right or more important to be loved and give love to your husband? I threw the score card out & chose love.

And what about God’s purpose for me? Well, in hindsight I think God put me through that tough season of my life so I could write about it right here and share it with you all. I can help you learn from my mistakes or I can sympathize with you because I’ve been there. But most important of all, I can show you how well it turned out in the end by just listening to God and taking the focus off my husband and turning it on myself.

Lets Pray:
Dear Lord, help us to keep our faith placed in You. Remind us that You are working in each one of us, even though we cannot see it, we can be certain of it. Help us as wives to respect our husbands and serve them as best we can. Keep us from judging them. Keep us from trying to fix them or make them our own personal ministry. We know we need to leave them to You, but sometimes we are impatient and try to do things in our time, which only hinders Your plan. This is why it is so important for us to meditate on Hebrews 11:1 and to keep our faith placed in You and be certain You are doing Your work in them, as well as in us. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:
Dineen said that men need respect and some even equate it with love. I read this to my husband and asked him what his definition of respect is. He told me “kindness.” He said that just the act of me being kind to him made him feel I respected him. For your assignment today, I want you to ask your husband his definition of respect and list it below. At home, take that definition and USE it! If it’s kindness, be more kind. If it’s not questioning or judging him, don’t question or judge. I’m excited for you to see how much of a blessing this will bring to your marriage!

Godspeed,

Sarah

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For the “Winning Him Without Words” Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the “sign-up here” button at the top of our webpage; which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!