January 21, 2018

Through Him

adventwk3seekHimlighthascome

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
all things were made through Him,
and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

If you have children you may know this song, “In the beginning, God created …”  It is sung by a character, Miss Patty Cake. Toddlers love her! She has an amazing ability to keep the children motivated and moving. She also shares her love of God with them.  She retells the stories of the Bible in ways they understand and come to know who God is to them, even at their young ages.  Our children need to be secure in knowing God loves them completely. They need to see it modeled in how we react to life and how we approach God.

Even when we get it wrong the children understand and they know. We can rest on the assurance of God for His forgiveness when we let life get in the way and speak harshly to our spouse or to our children. We are to repent and ask God to help take away our pain and show us how to turn away from our wrongs. God is faithful to do what is right.

When we do this, the children learn forgiveness. They know that it is acceptable to forgive and to love unconditionally. When we let God’s light shine in and through us, our children learn.

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Father, I thank You for Your gift of our children and grandchildren. You have entrusted their lives to us and we do not take the responsibility lightly. Help us to forgive the wrong done to us by those in authority.  Help us to demonstrate the right way to live, love, and to be a light to our children and grandchildren. Help us let Your light shine through, no matter what the situation is. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Light of Men

adventwk3seekHimlighthascome

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ),
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God Himself.
He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God
All things were made and came into existence through Him;
and without Him not one thing was made that has come into being.
In Him was life [and the power to bestow life],
and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines on in the darkness,
and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it
or appropriate it or absorb it 
[and is unreceptive to it].
John 1:1-5 AMP

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Darkness is defined as the absence of light.  The only thing that can make darkness disappear is light.  Think about it…at night a small light can be seen from very far away.  We see stars that are millions of miles away.  Makes sense, right?  As I was studying this Scripture, I had a “lightbulb” moment < pun intended 😉 >

Before I accepted Jesus, my soul was dark.  There was no light to dispel the darkness.  Life and light aren’t just in Jesus.  Jesus IS Life and Light.  Look at John 8:12 NASB:

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
“I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”

Jesus IS the Light of men.  John 12:46 ESV reiterates this:

I have come into the world as Light,
so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

We do not have to stay in darkness!  I love John 1:5.  Darkness does not understand, comprehend, or grasp the Light but must acknowledge it.  Darkness cannot overtake, overcome, overpower, extinguish, or absorb the Light but must reflect it.  Isn’t that amazing? What is the best way to deal with the darkness of this world?  Add more light.  Darkness cannot hide the Light!  2 Corinthians 4:6 NASB promises: “Light shall shine out of darkness.”  Jesus’ Light shines through us.  Jesus gives us life and light.  Out of the darkness of our soul, the Light of Jesus shines.  John MacArthur puts it like this:

The light in us is His light, the indwelling Christ, the Holy Spirit within us.

“…And the life was The Light of men” (John 1:4).  Heaven merged with humanity and was born in a manger to bring us the gift of Life and Light.  What a Gift we have been given!

(Hallelujah) Light Has Come

adventwk3seekHimlighthascome

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
all things were made through him,
and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:1-5

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

 BarlowGirl
Alyssa, Lauren, and Rebecca Barlow

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Hmmm my Baby
Heaven sent You to me
All the worlds been praying
Who will Save
But who am I
That here tonight
I hold the One
Who’ll Bring us life

Hallelujah
We’ve been found
A Child is born
To save us now
Hallelujah
Light has come
A Savior who will set us free
The Promise for those who believe

Do you hear the angels
Sing for You, my Baby
Men and kings have come to
Bow to You
But here in my arms

So close to me
The Son of God
Now all can see

Hallelujah
We’ve been found
A Child is born to save us now
Jesus Hallelujah light has come
A Savior set us free
So praise to God on high
He has heard our cry

Girls With Swords: Chapter 2 Weekly Review – “A Sword is Born.”

Click Here for Next Week’s Reading Schedule

Last week, “the 5 girlfriends on their road trip,”  voted unanimously to continue their journey into The Prince of Darkness Territory, despite knowing they were a TARGET.  However, they realized the key to being victorious in battle against the enemy was choosing the right WEAPON.  To get their thoughts together, they pulled over at a rest stop. 

While they were standing there in the moonlight, two bus loads of women pulled into the parking lot, and about 125 women made their way over to where the five girlfriends were gathered. Four women stepped up and introduced themselves as Amy, Christi, Laurie, and Kim, the leaders of the group.  “We’ve heard about your decision to enter into the Prince of Darkness Territory, and we want to join forces with you,” Christi said.  

The 5 girlfriends welcomed them, and told the women that they were in the process of choosing the weapon they would use for the battle ahead.  A murmur could be heard among the crowd of women at the mention of a weapon for self-defense.  The consensus of the crowd seemed to be that “heavy artillery guns” should be bought before driving any further into enemy territory.

But, knowing this was not the answer, Jennifer hopped up on top of a picnic table nearby.  With her Bible lifted up toward heaven, it was a sight to behold, as the moonlight beamed down on her as she spoke very eloquently and simply about the only weapon to use.

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:1-5, NLT).

“So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (verse 14).

His Word (The sword) stands alone. Nothing I can add to it will make it better!

A hush swept across the group of women gathered.  It was obvious many of them were thinking,

“Are you saying that God’s Word can be used as a Sword?”  

Teresa was the next one to step on top of the picnic table to address the crowd. 

“Ladies, we have been handed a sword—a God Sword.  Ephesians 6 addresses the Armor of God that we are to put on daily to protect ourselves from spiritual attack.  Verse 17 says this, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God—my Bible

In her book, Girls with Swords, Lisa Bevere says she had a revelation that “…many of God’s daughters in this generation are unarmed, ill equipped and unprepared.  This means they are at risk and incredibly vulnerable to deception.”

I proclaim tonight that:  “As Christ-followers we need to be properly equipped with the whole Bible, not just the pieces we like and disregard the rest.”

Next, Tonya, addressed the crowdShe admitted something about The Sword in her life that all the ladies seemed to relate to: 

“There have been times in my life where I have felt beaten down, like I was unable to pick anything up; times where I have felt I couldn’t read the word of God; times where I felt I couldn’t even pray.” “But, I also know what it feels like to have the sword renewed in my life—to pick up the Bible and have God lead me to the scripture I needed to read that day, to say a prayer, and to feel His presence.

As Lisa Bevere said in her book, Girls With Swords, it is time for the church to know what a girl with a sword can do, it’s time for Satan to know what a girl with a sword can do, and it’s time that we believe this ourselves—that we take up our swords and declare what God has said in His Scriptures.

Next, Diane hopped on top of the picnic table.  “Ladies, these are the words that I know God wants YOU to hear tonight.”

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Do you believe these words spoken by Jesus is God’s Living Word?  No matter how badly Satan attempts to discourage us, these words will always remain true.  I have found the more time I spend in God’s Word; the more I feel the truth of these words.  The more I learn the power of the “sword” God has given me to deter Satan’s attacks, the more thankful I become that God has already fought my battles for me. 

HeIsVictorious

**********    

After Diane spoke, a murmur could be heard among the 125 plus gathered at this rest stop.  I, Martha, did a little eavesdropping just to hear some of their comments.  Here are some of the things I heard them saying.

“I totally believe the Word of God!  It’s the flesh that gets in the way!”

“Everything we need or we will need is hidden in His Word, and we search it out like buried treasure.” 

“I need to pick up the whole word and start really listening to His Word, not just reading it.”

“You wouldn’t go into battle without being extremely familiar with your sword, right?  We wouldn’t make it out alive.  Same with this world.  These battles can kill us spiritually and defeat us if we aren’t in His word. So lets prepare. Lets really get in His word. Ahead of time is so much better than in the midst.”

“When the word is alive in us, we can weather any storm knowing that Jesus is with us and is greater than the one who is in the world. The sword is our weapon. Lets declare the victory.”

“For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow.  It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12].

Finally, Christi, the lady who appeared to be in charge of both groups on the buses, stepped up on the picnic table, and with a voice of authority proclaimed:

 “We should be seeing the sick healed, the lame walk, the blind see, cancers falling off of people, lives miraculously changed because of Him!! We should be laying hands on the sick and through the power of the Holy Spirit, see them become whole again! We should be spreading the gospel so much more than what we are.”

And with that, such shouting like you never heard broke out all over that rest stop.  And then—with their Swords lifted up toward heaven, the women began to worship the Lord as the moonlight from above beamed down on them. 

They had united and settled on their weapon for battle—God’s Word!

 

Let’s Pray:  Father God, we are so grateful for your Word.  It is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path, a light into our path.  Help us never to use it in pieces, but make use of the fullness of God.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

*****

If you would like to join us for the “Girls with Swords” Online Bible/Book study, click HERE to be taken to our sign-up page.  Once you complete the enrollment process, we will email you further details.  We hope you will join us!

Girls With Swords: Chapter 2 – “A Sword Is Born” (pgs. 17-19)

(Your Reading assignment for this week can be found HERE)

 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1, NLT, emphasis mine).

Lisa Bevere begins by discussing the origin of swords and how they are found throughout the Bible. As I prayed and sought the Lord’s leading in what He wanted me to write about today, He only gave me these verses and a few words. I think they are enough. His Word is always enough.

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:1-5, NLT, emphasis mine).

So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son (John 1:14, NLT).

Jesus is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. The Bible tells us that He existed with the Father before the heavens and the earth were created. His presence brings light in the darkness, which can never go out. His Word (the sword) speaks of His deep and abiding love for us—for all time. He loved (and loves) us so much that he became fully human, experienced the sufferings of life, and died a sinner’s death on a cross. His love is unwavering and true. He loves even those who do not love Him. Jesus is love. Love eternal.

JesusLoveEternal

 

 

With Love,

Jennifer

 

*****

Let’s Pray:

Father God, You are the giver of life, the One who loves each of us beyond comprehension. Lord, help us to accept that love today. Use us to reach the hearts of those who are doubting, questioning, or struggling. Fill us with Your Spirit of love and enable us to show that love to someone else today. We love You, Father. Amen.

 

Girls With Swords: Chapter 1 – “You Are A Target” (pgs 3-6)

Our daily reading schedule for this week can be found by clicking this link.

*****

Eph6_13

We do not have to leave our homes to know that an epic battle is waging. On any given day, point your internet browser to any major news website and you will see how desperate Satan is. Violence, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, envy and judgment seem to permeate our society. In fact, it may even discourage some of you; make you doubt our God and His goodness.

Sisters, it is time to recognize and understand that we are a part of this battle. As Christians, we are automatically targets of the enemy. Satan will stop at nothing to tear apart our relationship with the Lord. That is his business. It is his only job. He wants to keep us away from reading the Bible. He wants to prevent us from fully participating in a Bible/Book study by distracting us. He does not want us to be in fellowship with other believers so he will use our insecurities or past hurts to prevent us from moving forward in our faith journey. Anything is up for grabs. Not one of us is immune. If he sees a spot to weasel his way in, he will try to do it. I use the word *try* because we hold the ultimate power. We can look to God to help us through these difficulties, or, we can allow the situation to take us captive and restrict the Spirit’s work in our life.

Which will you choose?

I say this not to scare you, but to warn you. The battle is being waged. Thankfully, we have a Mighty Savior who sends us to the frontlines fully equipped to fight the enemy and to beat crush him at his own game.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT

The Lord gives us many defensive weapons in our arsenal to fight the enemy. We have a belt, body armor, shoes, a shield, and a helmet. However, there is just one offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

What is the Word of God?

  • For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV).
  • 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. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16 and 17, NLT).
  • Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path (Psalms 119:105, NLT).
  • In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:1-5, NLT).

When we tuck God’s Word into our heart, we are able to defeat the enemy immediately when he tries to attack us. Before Jesus started His ministry, Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. For forty days and nights, He fasted and was very hungry (Matthew 4:2). He refuted Satan’s attempts at trickery by repeating the truth from God’s Word. “Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus” (Matthew 4:11). By claiming God’s truth and promises and wielding them as a weapon to the enemy, Satan had no choice but to flee.

Can I get an AMEN to that?!

Ladies, I know life is difficult. It can be busy. I truly hope and pray that you will delve deeply into this study. Commit to it. Make it a part of your daily quiet time with the Lord. It has the potential to impact your life in a radical way. God wants to use us to reach the lost, to save those that we may think seem gone forever. No one is beyond saving. No one. We can be a hero in God’s army of warriors. But, ultimately, it is our choice.

Who’s with me?

*****

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, as we begin our study of this book, please let the truth from Your Word soak into the depths of our souls. We want to be prepared for the battles that are coming our way and to be a hero fighting for You, Lord. Please remove anything that will prevent us from focusing solely on this study. Help us find a daily quiet time with You to read and study what You want to teach us through this book. We know You have already won the battle, Lord. We thank You that You are a God who loves us so much and who equips us with all that we need to fight the enemy. We have all that we need in You. Guide and lead us in the weeks to come. We pray this in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

 *****

If you are interested in joining us for this online Bible study, please click HERE to complete your enrollment.