January 23, 2018

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

When darkness seems to veil His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound
O may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before His throne

Sovereign Grace Music
Words by Edward Mote (1797-1874)

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

We use the word ‘hope’ often in our daily lives.  We hope it’s a sunny day, we hope there are good sales when we go to the grocery store, we hope we sleep well at night.  There’s also the more serious hopes.  We hope our kids stay healthy, we hope we get the job promotion, we hope our budget stretches to the end of the month, we hope we make it to Heaven.  I’m sure you have heard all of those hopes, have even said them…and many more.

Those hopeful comments express the day-to-day feeling of desire for a certain thing to happen, a wishful thinking.  The hope that is sung about in this old hymn is based on a trust in something or someone.  Defined by one Biblical source it is an ‘expectation of, a looking forward to, something beneficial now and in the future’.  Another source uses the words ‘confidence, to anticipate, welcome, an expectation of what is sure, certain’, to describe this kind of hope.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed)
of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see
and the conviction of their reality
[faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Hebrews 11:1 AMP

…So that by two unchangeable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:19

As a child, I remember ‘belting out’ the words to this chorus, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”  I love the words of this old hymn, because they are true.  The hope I have is built on Christ, The Rock, His blood and His righteousness.  That is all I ever want to trust in. All other hope is “sinking sand.”  People, as caring and well-meaning as they can be, are not enough to secure my standing before God.  In the “high and stormy gale” there is no anchor that holds me like Jesus.

For it says in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe…
1 Peter 2:6-7

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

Here are just a few Scriptures of assurance that God is our Hope, our Refuge, our Strength in life:

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Psalm 62:7 NASB

He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6 ESV

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NASB

The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 ESV

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…
Psalm 46:1-2 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My Refuge and my Fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I encourage you to meditate on this parable from Jesus:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

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Who or what is your rock, your refuge?  Do you live in hope, in confidence, and in certainty of Jesus Christ as your sure foundation?  My prayer is that you can ‘belt out’ this song with me:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
IT IS SO!

You Won’t Let Go

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

No shadow comes without the light making a way
No raging storm can ever defy one word of faith
My heart remains sure in the wind, sure in the waves

You are the anchor for my soul
You won’t let go
You won’t let go
No matter what may come I know
You won’t let go

No valley low, changes the truth
So I’m not afraid
You hold me close
You lead me through and light up the way

You are the anchor for my soul
You won’t let go
You won’t let go
No matter what may come I know
You won’t let go
You won’t let go

Neither life, neither death,
The highest high, the deepest depth
Nothing can
Nothing can separate
Neither tears, neither trials
Certain as the sun will rise
Nothing can
Nothing can separate

You are the anchor for my soul
You won’t let go
You won’t let go
No matter what may come I know
You won’t let go

My heart remains sure in the wind, sure in the waves, always

~ Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today. ~

Written by Michael W. Smith, Seth Mosely, and Mia Fieldes
Sung by Michael W. Smith

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If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31 NIV

Last weekend I had the most incredible experience.  Michael W. Smith led worship at my church, and as a member of our church choir, was able to accompany him as he led.  He (and we) sang several songs from his new CD, Sovereign, and each touched my heart and ministered to me in a very special way.  The first song we sang was this one: “You Won’t Let Go.”  What an incredible message and great reminder!  You know, we go through many trials and tribulations in life. Good times and bad.  I’ve said this before and I will say it again – God is good, all the time! Our circumstances don’t change the truth of who God is.  He is constant.  He is steadfast.  He is faithful.  He is able.  He is still the pillar of fire in our dark times and the pillar of cloud during the day.  He is our rock, our anchor!  And He loves us relentlessly.

I love the Book of Romans.  It was written by Paul to the Gentiles (Gentile meaning anyone who is not a Jew) in Rome.  So much encouragement in this book!  In chapter 8, verses 35-39, Paul writes:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isn’t that AMAZING??  It says there is NOTHING that shall separate us from the love of Christ.  NOTHING.  That means that there is not anything that you can do that will keep Christ from loving you.   Does that mean He’ll approve of everything you do?  Of course not.  Does that mean that there might still be consequences for your actions?  Yes, it does.  But will He still love you?  Absolutely.  So through the trials you face, the doubts you have, the times you question His path for you – He still loves you.  When you are angry with Him – He still loves you.  When you don’t act like the child of God that you should – guess what?  He STILL loves you!  And you know what else?  Those things that you’ll do in the future that will break God’s heart?  He will love you with an unfailing love even then.   What a wonderful gift!

So whatever you are facing right now – hardship, trial, stressful situation – know that your God is unchanging.  So you can place all of your faith in the One Who cares so deeply for you!  And He’s never letting go.

Thank you, Lord!

In The Name Of The Lord

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Crowds have lined the narrow street
To see this Man from Galilee
Just a carpenter some say leading fools astray
Yet many kneel to give Him praise

And in His eyes they glimpse the power
That sees the heart of all men
And He knows His Father’s mind
And He speaks His Father’s words
For He comes in the Name of the Lord

There Is Strength In The Name Of The Lord
There Is Power In The Name Of The Lord
There Is Hope In The Name Of The Lord
Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord
In The Name Of The Lord

And when my plans have fallen through
And when my strength is nearly gone
When there’s nothing left to do but just depend on You
And the power of Your Name

And when we call upon Your Name
Your Strength through weakness to show
We can know the Master’s plan, extend the Master’s Hand
When we come in the Name Of The Lord

His Name will be worshipped forever
Creator, Redeemer, and King

Lyrics written by Gloria Gaither and Phill McHugh
Music written by Sandi Patty
Performed by Sandi Patty

*  ~  *  ~   ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥    ~  *  ~  * 

It was the Passover, and the Jewish people were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate.  Then Jesus entered the city riding on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy of their coming king (Zechariah 9:9).  No wonder they shouted “Hosanna!”  We find this important event recorded in all four of the Gospels: Matthew 21:4-9, Mark 11:7-10, Luke 19:35-38, and John 12:12-15.

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
John 12:12-13

We, the Church, celebrate this event as Palm Sunday.  During this Easter season we are reminded over and over that Christ came, died, and was resurrected for our salvation and eternal life.

Most of us reading this today have chosen to welcome Christ’s coming into our hearts and lives.

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9

Rejoice greatly…Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He…
Zechariah 9:9

If you haven’t welcomed Jesus Christ into your life yet, if your “plans have fallen through, and your strength is nearly gone,” today is the day to reach out and take “the Master’s Hand” and allow Christ to fulfill His “Master’s Plan” in your life. Then you, too, will sing, “There is hope in the Name of the Lord.  Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!
We bless You from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God,
and He has made His light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
up to the horns of the altar!
You are my God, and I will give thanks to You;
You are my God; I will extol You. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His steadfast love endures forever!
Psalms 118:26-29

AMEN!

Esther – Chapter 7:5-8

Haman’s story is coming full circle here, in verses 5-8 of chapter 7 in Esther.  We’ve talked about Haman quite a bit, haven’t we?  In chapter 6, we discussed that, while we rejoice in knowing that God will avenge any evil done to us, we should try to look at all people (even Haman) as God sees them.  But in chapter 3 we see that just like Haman was a deadly adversary to Mordecai, the Jews, and Esther, so the devil is our adversary.  We saw that Haman was the accuser, just like Satan.  And in verses 5-8 of chapter 7, I am again reminded of the similarities between the two (Haman and Satan), and how, like Haman, Satan is going down! Let’s revisit a scripture I introduced from chapter 3’s discussion:

Wk7_Caddell_Esther

Darlene reminds us of an excellent point – one we should not forget – “Because of redemption through Jesus Christ, we are overcomers in this life” (page80).   OVERCOMERS!!  Hallelujah!  Did you see a similar word mentioned in the verses above?  Look again.  “They (the brothers, but sisters are included!) overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony….”

Did you know that through Jesus you have the power to overcome Satan in your life?   You do!  When you belong to Christ, the Holy Spirit resides in you (Acts 2:38).  In other words, you are covered by the blood of the Lamb. But what else was used to overcome Satan?  The word of their testimony.  That’s your part.  Share your testimony.   This is where some of us get a little discouraged or confused, like we don’t have a powerful testimony to share.  WRONG!  I don’t even know you, but I know your testimony is powerful.  Your testimony is your story…your life.  How God has changed you/shaped you/intervened on your behalf.  This is how you “defeat” Satan:  You know those reminders that he throws in your face of your past failures? You look him right in the eye and say, “That’s right, I did those things. But that’s who I WAS. Jesus washed all that garbage away and has forgiven me!  I am clean!  And now I’m going to tell others how God can turn their lives around, too.”  I’ve seen this quote many times and I love it – ‘your mess becomes your message; your test becomes your testimony’!  Can I say “Hallelujah!” again??  Hallelujah!

Let’s get real.  Will we experience trials?  Yes.  Difficulties and obstacles?   Absolutely.  Will that burden look too heavy to bear?  Quite possibly.  But you are not alone…Almighty God is on your side.  He is greater!  John is addressing a church about spiritual warfare, false prophets, and the spirit of the antichrist when he reminds them in 1 John 4:4, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  Do you see that, sisters?  The one who is in YOU is greater than the one who is in the world.  Through the blood of Jesus, Satan has no claim on you, no hold on you, and no power over you!   You are NOT hopeless!  You are NOT powerless!  You ARE a daughter of the King!  YOU ARE AN OVERCOMER!!

Today, what “Haman” in your life is threatening you?  What trial are you going through?  What in your life has set itself against you—the daughter of the King?  TODAY, resolve to throw those things at the foot of the Cross and ask God to fight for you!  TODAY, change your mindset and claim the victory!  God will deliver you – say it out loud – I AM AN OVERCOMER!!!

 
Let’s Pray:

Holy God, THANK YOU for the POWER of the blood of Your Son, Jesus, that was shed on my behalf!  Thank You for my salvation.  Thank You that I don’t have to be threatened by my past mistakes, but that You can use my life as an example of Your abundant love and saving grace! Today, Lord, I throw at Your feet everything that is burdening me and ask You to intervene on my behalf.  Help me, Lord, to see Your deliverance in my life.  Give me a revelation of You that gives me the confidence, boldness and joy to claim victory in my life and overcome all obstacles! Give me the courage to share my story with others who need to know the unrelenting, merciful love and grace that is ours in Christ Jesus!  In the power of Your Son’s name we pray.

Amen.

Love Letters From God

My story is made up of many love letters written from my heart to God’s heart and from His to mine.  I open up to Him with a pen in my hand and a journal in my lap.  The Lord speaks to me through my writings and I am beyond excited to share with you bits and pieces of different letters I have from God.  I share parts of my story so that God’s love, power, grace, forgiveness, and perfectness may be showcased.  As you read I pray the Lord grabs a hold of your heart and fills you with hope!

 

The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them, He delivers them from all their troubles. 

Psalm 34:17 

 

 

One night, one very dark, painful, terrified night I cried out to the Lord….

Dear God,

I am crying out to You right now for lack of any better ideas.  I do not know if You will hear me.  You are probably so mad at me and You probably do not want to talk to me ever again.  I know that I have made a mess of everything.  I know I should not go back to my sinful ways but I cannot stop.  I do not want to go back to the things that cause so much hurt and pain in my life.  Is there anything that will not cause me pain?  Is there anyone who will ever love me?  If my sorry is worth anything at all, I am sorry.  If my love is worth anything at all, I love You.  I am desperate, I am at a loss.

These feelings bottled up inside are toxic, Lord: I am being used, I am being taken advantage of, I do not have a voice in these trials or an open door to walk away.  I am miserable.  I am in pain.  I am choosing wrong over right and do not know how to stop.  I am going back to someone who is trying to kill me.  Please Lord, just DO IT FOR ME, I CANNOT DO IT.

That night, the Lord did it, He did it all! (I cry every time I remember that night and remember these words He spoke directly to my heart…)

Love Letters from God

Precious Daughter of Mine,

I not only hear your cry, but I feel the pain behind each and every one of your tears.  I am here; never will I leave you, NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU.  You are weak, but I am strong.  I will do it all for you.  My love is worth it all and I love you, Diane.  My forgiveness covers your sins.  You are forgiven, Diane.

I never stopped loving you; I will never stop loving you.  I will take all of the weight of your burdens in My hands, where they belong.  You are mine, and I will not let anyone harm you.  I will give you EVERYTHING you need to fight temptations.  I will open your eyes to the door that has been here all along, waiting for you to walk through out of your past and into My abundant future for you.

I am holding your heart.  I have been waiting patiently for you to give up so I could step in and give you My all.  Please, promise to always accept My love in every situation you encounter in your life.

*********

Dear Lord,

There are no words this side of Heaven to thank You enough for what You have done in my life.  You have turned my painful tears into happy ones.  You have saved me from a life of sin and have prepared the most abundant life for me to live out with You by my side always!  You have waited for me to turn to You. You healed my broken heart.  You fixed my mess.  You did it all and I am forever thankful.  I wish there was a word I could use to express this feeling of complete adoration I have for You—but every time, I come up empty.

I promise to love You with my words, with my actions, with my WHOLE LIFE.  Thank You for giving me the most beautiful love story with You; one my soul has been longing for ever since I was born.  My heart will continue to long for You until that glorious day when You will finally give me the words I have been searching for, all for You!

With Love,

Your Free Daughter

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1.  Have you ever cried to God out of complete desperation?  Did you believe He would hear you?  Are you scared to for fear that He will not care or hear you?  The Lord is waiting patiently to speak the words you need directly to YOUR HEART; will you let Him?
  2. The Lord wants you to give up so He can give you what you need.  Is there an area in your life where you are in desperate need of God’s healing touch?  Pray to God, letting Him into this area.  See what happens when you live constantly surrendered to God.  (Do not get discouraged if you have to continuously surrender…sometimes I have to give the same thing over to God many, many, many times a day!)
  3. One of my favorite verses is Galations 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Memorize this verse and remember that God offers you His freedom so you can live out the life He has perfectly planned for you.  It is your choice and I pray you choose His freedom always!

Love and Prayers, my dear Sisters,

Diane

© Diane Meyers



If you are interested in sending a private email to Diane in regards to this blog, please email her at: Diane@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

Crazy Love: Week 1 / Chapter 1: “Stop Praying” – Before the Throne (pgs. 34-38)

This week we have looked at creation from the expansive galaxies to the smallest creatures. We have examined the eternal attributes of God. But, have you ever spent time thinking about what it must be like to BE with God in Heaven; to actually BE in His presence; to SEE Him? If you have not taken the time to read Revelation 4 and Isaiah 6, click this link and read it now.

What image comes to your mind of what it must be like to be in the actual physical presence of God? As Isaiah said, “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5). What a powerful statement! As sinful humans, we aren’t worthy to be in God’s presence. We just aren’t. God is perfect and holy. But, He loves us so very much that He sent Jesus, His Son, to make a way for us to be with Him in Heaven one day. What response do we have other than bowing down in worship to our King?

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
To receive glory and honor and power,
For you created all things,
And by your will they were created
And have their being.” (Revelation 4:11, emphasis mine)

God created every single galaxy, placed each star; he created every creature that roams the earth… including you and me. He could have created anything, but it is by His Will that we are here. He wanted us. He wants us still. And even though we are human and cannot seem to get out of God’s way most of the time, He still loves us without conditions and without expectations. His only desire is that we acknowledge Him, accept Him, and love Him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength. He wants to be part of our lives; to walk this rocky road of life with us. He wants our heart. And not just a piece of it – He wants the whole thing.

Will you give Him your whole heart and trust in his enduring faithfulness to see you through?

I leave you with one of the most incredible worship songs ever – Revelation Song by Kari Jobe. Spend some time worshiping the King of Kings today. Imagine that you are John standing in the Throne room, experiencing what he experienced. Put yourself right there. Think of it each time you begin your prayer or devotional time. It’s quite a picture, isn’t it?!


LET’S PRAY:
Father, you are deserving of our enduring love, praise, and worship. You create and sustain all things. It is by YOUR WILL that all life was created, Lord, and we can do nothing but bow to you in thankfulness for who you are and what you do for us each and every day. Help us to see You in all things and to see beyond our current circumstances to the abundant life that you have for us in Christ. And it is in His precious and holy name that we pray, Amen!

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:
I have the “Living Crazy Love” study guide to go along with this book and I’d like to pose the question that is in the guide because it goes so well with today’s blog post. What do you think would come out of your mouth the moment you first saw God? What would be the first words you would say?



If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study for Crazy Love, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

If you would like to email a private message to Donna in regards to this blog, please email her at: Jennifer@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

Lady In Waiting: Introduction to Meditations

Diane

Just like anything else, if you keep God out of meditation there is absolutely no point in doing it.  Meditation is defined as a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject.  I find it HIGHLY important that discourse is defined as written or spoken communication or debate.  Meditation is not about feeling relaxed or a place where you can be calm.  Meditation is an opportunity for YOU to communicate with GOD about any subject you or He would like to discuss.  It is easy to think it is about us: our calmness, relaxation, peace from our craziness.  When in reality, it is all about being with and sharing with our Divine Lover, Jesus!

When you sit down for quiet time what does it look like?  Is your cell phone right next to you just in case your future husband decides to call you while you are trying to hear from God?  Are you alone or in a crowded coffee shop because even this is an opportunity to be seen by God’s man for you?  More importantly though, can I ask you what your heart looks like?  Is your heart open for what the Lord wants to share with you?  Are you willing to be patient and not leave your quiet time until you hear from God?  Does your heart desire to soak in all that God has for you in this moment?  We must empty of “ourselves” and fill up with the Spirit of the Lord!

This week we have been talking about patience.  I was looking forward to this week because this is where I most struggle.  Can I be honest with you ladies; I have not read one blog post this week so far.  Despite feeling the need to read what these women have openly prepared for us to read, I want to wait until I am ready to open my heart for the words God speaks through each and every one of their fingertips.  My heart wasn’t ready for what may be revealed in those posts.  I struggle with the waiting part of being single.  I do not so much struggle with actually being single, just with thinking I will be single forever.  I believe that as much as we are to be patient with God, He is always willing to be patient for us.  He is waiting for me to open my heart to the hearts of the ladies that have shared this week in our study.  He is waiting and His Spirit is praying for me that I will talk with Him about my struggles with patience.

I truly believe the best meditation with God is when we have the ambition to be beyond honest with ourselves and with God, trusting that no matter what the true state of our hearts are at that moment, it is safe to say God will surely transform them into more like His heart when we commune with Him.  He rejoices in the moment we turn to Him for communication.  Just like our Father in Heaven waits patiently for our hearts, so we wait patiently for the heart of the man He is preparing perfectly for us.

I plan to spend quiet time with God, when I know I am ready to get rid of all hindrances, reading the blog posts from this week.  Praying that God will bring out the important truths that I need to let sink into my heart.

Throughout this study of A Lady In Waiting, I just know each one of us struggled with something more than another.  That something more for you, please go back to this weekend or whenever your heart is ready to.  Go back to the chapter; go back to the blog posts for that week.  Most importantly go to God in meditation.  Seek His face in your time alone with Him.  Find out what is in the way of your heart being controlled completely by the perfectness of God and give it over to Him once and for all.  You will find in your moments of complete surrender God’s loving presence.

I pray that we take advantage of the opportunities in the back of the book for meditation with God.  As you work through each meditation, open your heart but also open your ears that you might hear what the Lord has been patiently waiting to whisper in your ear.  I promise it will be just what you need and it will sustain you in the struggles of singleness.

Let’s Pray:

Father God, I thank You so much that we have the privilege of talking to You every moment of every day.  I ask that You prepare the hearts of each and every one of these ladies for the words You want to speak to them.  I ask that they can clearly hear from You.  Lord, Your faithfulness and patience truly take my breath away!  Your love for us is incomprehensible.  I pray that inside of all of us is a desire to spend time with You, growing closer to You, and feeling Your presence in our lives making You more and more real to us.  Bring to light the area we struggle most with and help us to have the courage to spend time talking with You about this area.  I pray all of these things in Your precious name, Amen.

You’re Assignment: 

Look back on your journey through this study.  What are you struggling with still?  What area of your life is God not present in?  Go back to that chapter or topic, and spend a lot of quiet time with God being honest with Him about these struggles.  Ask God to make your heart ready to hear from Him.  Let His presence fill where that struggle once was.

____________________________

Our Next Single Women’s Online Bible Study

“Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul”

by John & Stasi Eldredge

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 studying “Captivating” with you!!

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: A Confession

Peter wrote this letter sometime between A.D. 60 and 64. Women in the first century had no legal rights. The husband and father was the ultimate authority over everyone in the household, including his wife. If the husband did not believe in Christ, Peter assured Christian women that they did not have to preach to their husbands. In fact, direct confrontation may even backfire. However, women could still show Christ to their husbands – by their behavior and character – not by their words.

In this section of our book, Dineen relates a story about an encounter she has with a receptionist at the doctor’s office. She was ashamed at her reaction to the situation. She silently prayed, asking God for the opportunity to apologize to this harried worker. The woman comes up to her right then and Dineen is able to apologize.

The best part of this whole story is that Dineen felt led by the Holy Spirit to share this entire encounter with her unbelieving husband. Every detail – even the not-so-Christian parts. And he was proud of her.

He saw the not-so-perfect part of her and he was proud.

How often do you let your husband see the not-so-Christian parts of you? Do you hide your true self from him for fear of what he might think or say? Do you fear that you might “look bad” or “unChristian” if you are authentic, if you really let your hair down and let your unbelieving spouse see everything? Do you think you might give Jesus a “bad name”?

What do you think would happen? Make a list. I’ll wait.

Are any of these things on your list?

  • My husband might laugh at me
  • My husband might mock me
  • My husband might say I’m not really a Christian
  • My husband thinks I should be perfect if I’m a Christian
  • My husband’s words might hurt my feelings

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

The Holy Spirit that the Lord poured into you when you were saved is a spirit of POWER, LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND. There is one thing it is not – a spirit of fear. Even though your spouse’s words or actions may hurt you in the moment, remember that you have a power living within you that is greater than those hurtful words or actions. A power that parted the Red Sea and raised our Savior from the dead. That power is alive in you!

Girlfriends, when we are authentic, our unbelieving husbands can relate to us. They do not feel like they have to compete with this guy named Jesus. They see that we can own up to our mistakes, repent, and ask forgiveness of anyone we may have wronged. But, even more so, they will see that we are NOT perfect – and they do not have to be either. They will see that Jesus loves us anyway, even when we do mess up. And we WILL mess up! It is only through Christ that we are made perfect.

Today is the day, my dear friends. It is time to lay down the idol of perfection. We cannot be an authentic warrior for Christ if we pretend to have it all together. It is through our authenticity that Christ uses us to reach other people with the Good News of his saving grace. Are you ready to let go of the need to be a perfect Christian in front of your unsaved husband and let Jesus use your authentic self for His glory?

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Let’s Pray: Father God, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, we come to you asking for your forgiveness. Lord, please forgive us if we have tried too hard to be a perfect Christian in front of the unbelievers in our lives. Align our hearts with yours and show us how to live authentically in front of our unsaved spouses and how to glorify your name through our gentle and quiet spirits. In your holy name we pray, Amen!

Your Assignment: Post the list that you made from the blog assignment – What do you think would happen if your unsaved spouse saw the “not-so-perfect, “unChristian” parts of you? Pray over these things and ask God to show you the truth from His Word.

Have a Blessed Week!

Jennifer

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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!

Winning Him Without Words: Blessed Doesn’t Mean Easy

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Roman 8:37

When we are going through a tough time in our lives, it is so easy to just focus on the problem and not the blessing God is trying to show us, or the lesson he would like us to grasp. Sometimes it makes us feel better to dwell on the problem. Tell everyone that will listen how bad things are for us and hope we’ll get some sympathy. But how far does that really get you? You get to hear the “oh, I’m so sorry’s” and the “boy, you sure do get your dose of bad luck” but do those words really solve your problem? Do they make you feel better? Maybe for a minute. But then what? The answer is God dear sisters. If you can take your mind off of your troubles, and instead focus on what God really has in store for you, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Philippians 4:13.

Since you are a member of this study, most likely your biggest problem is your unsaved spouse. You have spent so much time praying for him, thinking of ways you can get your husband to see the light, talking to other girlfriends asking their advice on what to do next. God wants you to stop and refocus your attention on Him. Go to Him with your troubles, ask His advice and then know that He will work on it. It may not be the next day or even the next month, but, you must have faith that God is working. Only then will you find peace.

Like the title of this section suggests, just because you know you are blessed, doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy! It is hard to just trust God, but try thinking of it this way, you know God is in you, right? If God has peace, shouldn’t you? Of course you should. Does God have doubt? No! So you shouldn’t either. Once you start going down that path of doubt, stress and anxiety, stop yourself and say “God is in me, if He has peace, so do I.”

Another way to deal with a trial is to rejoice in it. WHAT? Yep! Be happy God is putting you through a tough time to prepare you for great things. He is making you grow. Going through something hard is God’s way of showing you He is working on your problems and if you will obey His word and patiently trust  Him during that tough situation, when the time has passed, you will come out on the other side stronger and blessed beyond your wildest dreams. If we chose to stay where we are, wallowing in our self-pity and not wanting to see hope, we miss out on the revelation God is trying to show us. Instead of being limited, trust God and be unlimited.

“There is purpose in your pain.” Those are the words God gave to Dineen when they were watching their daughter fight cancer. Wouldn’t it had been easy for Dineen’s family to just sit and question God and even be angry to allow their daughter to suffer through such a horrible disease? Sure. But when she heard the words “there is purpose in your pain” it had to be a relief to her. There is comfort in knowing you are not being put through something so horrible for nothing. I bet we can all look back on our lives and think of a struggle we’ve been through that just seemed unimaginable at the time, but once we were on the other side of the mountain, we were able to see why God took us through it. There is always a purpose. It is so important to remain faithful to God. If we do, we will be so blessed. In our marriage, in our finances, in our parenting. Faithfulness in God brings nothing but blessings.

Dineen says sometimes a mismatched marriage can feel like the fiery furnace like the one Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego went through. But those men kept their faith that God was right there in the middle of it with them and he delivered them without even a hint of smoke on their clothes. God is with you too in the middle of your mismatched marriage. He IS bringing you through it. Just keep your faith. I agree with Dineen when she says, “the key is to stop seeing our mismatched marriage and our husband as problems to be solved and accept both as blessings to be enjoyed.” That is not normally what people do in the natural, is it? But to quote another smart person, Dr. Phil, “how’s that workin’ for ya?” Seriously. How well has it been working for you to think of your husband and your mismatched marriage as a problem. The same can be said on any problem you dwell on. It doesn’t help or fix the issue. But if you can turn your thinking around and see it through God’s eyes, wow. Look out because your whole demeanor is going to change. You will be happy, worry free, stress free. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? I have started to do this in many areas of my life and the transformation in me was almost instantaneous!

I apologize for continuing to quote Dineen, but she has written this section so well and there are so many great nuggets I took away from it, but I am going to leave you with her final thoughts in this section.

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“We discover the ability to laugh and appreciate special moments despite imperfect conditions, and, most importantly, we learn that we are not responsible for the results. God is.” Isn’t that a freeing thought?! You don’t HAVE to be miserable because your husband isn’t saved. You can be happy, you can enjoy him and see him as a blessing like you did when you first met. When you do, you will feel that peace God has already given you. It is just up to you to tap into it!

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, it is so easy for us to get caught up in our troubles and not want to see the joy in our suffering. Sometimes we want to throw the mother of all pity parties and invite everyone we know. Please speak loudly in our hearts during these times and remind us that you have already supplied us with all the tools we need to make it through any trial or struggle. You have given us joy, hope, faith and peace. Nudge us through our tough times and from now on we will keep our focus on You. You are our greatest blessing. We love you Lord. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Sometimes when I am going through a tough time and start sliding down into the self-pity pit, I will make a list of my blessings. When you count up all that God has given you, it makes it easier to see how awesome our God is and to be reaffirmed He has worked wonders in your life. Please list below your blessings. I won’t put a certain number on it, I’ll leave the length up to you.  Let’s show God how grateful we are!

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!