1 Corinthians, All In, Bible Study, Uncategorized

Be Strong

This is my command, be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

I’m sitting awake at 3a.m. because I am currently not feeling strong and courageous. Which is why I opened my Bible to this passage. God doesn’t just tell us to ‘be strong and courageous‘ but instead lets us know that He is with us ‘wherever’ we go. He’s not just with us just in good times. He’s not sitting idly by while we struggle. No! He is there beside us to encourage us to not give into the feelings of anxiousness and fear. Feelings often encouraged by the enemy so we become distracted in other parts of our lives. So it effects our jobs and our relationships…and causes lack of sleep.

Notice too that the scripture states that it is a command! A command to ‘be strong and courageous.’ When you look at the meaning of the word command it tells us it is; ‘to send with a command.’ Not for us to just sit and mope in the situation that has us troubled. No, we are to continue to go forth in our lives. Don’t let the enemy win!

Don’t let the enemy win!

So, what’s my dilemma? My hubby, who has worked for his township for almost 40 years is being forced out of his job. If he was a lazy man or a difficult man I might understand this. But no. It’s all about the usual political ‘cronyism’ that effects so many public sectors. Wanting to give the position to someone that knows nothing of the work that my husband does or has learned in his hard working years there. It’s hurtful and it’s sad.

It is so easy to want to be angry and even feel hate toward the people involved. Part of me really wants to feel that way. To plan ways to get back at them for causing so much pain and angst in his life. Thankfully God has changed me over the past several years. Instead, I pray for them. First, to be fully honest here, I pray that they get caught up in the snares that they are laying out for him (as David prayed to God in the Psalms). But I ask God that, through this situation, he changes their heart and brings them to Him. It is ONLY through a relationship with God that people can change.

Friends, I would deeply appreciate if you would keep my honey and I in prayer for God’s wisdom and discernment on what steps to take in his situation. For protection as well, please!

It is life situations like this that make me glad that God has encouraged me through my friends to get back into scripture. It is such a source of strength.

So, how about we begin to dig into 1 Corinthians?!

1 Corinthians 1

As I read the scripture last night I tried to start out by what my pastors say they do, though on a bit of a smaller scale. I read the scripture over several times. First I read chapter 1 through, then read it again a few times more slowly. Meditating a bit on the words that I was reading.  And I look up some of the words used in the verses in a concordance-which gives a clearer understanding of the original words that were used. And so much became clearer to me!

Before actually reading the scripture though, it is good to read the information about the book of the Bible that you are reading.

Who wrote it? Who was he writing to? And why was he writing them?

The apostle Paul wrote the people or Corinth because they were arguing among themselves and their church was becoming divided. There was arguing going on and they were allowing the sinful behavior some of the people of Corinth to affect the church. Paul wrote them to encourage them and guide them to bring the church back to the way of Jesus Christ.

The following verses are the ones that stood out for me, but please…pray, read and meditate on the chapter yourself and let God speak to YOU!

In verse 5 Paul states that he thanks God for them ‘because of the Grace that was given you in Christ Jesus‘… ‘that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge.’ In every way is telling me that it is made complete/whole-God doesn’t do things for us in part but to completion. We are enriched – meaning that we are made wealthy, we are blessed! in all speech and knowledge (thought).

Following in verse 7 it states; ‘so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Not lacking in any gift is telling me that the spiritual gifts we have from God are not lacking in any way, it is not inferior to others. I know for myself, it can be all too easy to feel that way. That is a struggle I tend to have when I wonder when God will begin to use me in a public platform. I can wonder how or why he uses others and not me. Then I think back to a line in a book that reminds me that I was not made to deal with the blessings or the difficulties these ladies face. God’s timing is perfect, even if I feel it is delayed.

Verse 8 follows with; ‘who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Well, you have to know that seeing the word ‘sustain’ was a needed blessing. A well needed reminder that He takes care of us. God establishes us and makes us irreproachable (guiltless). The word establish encourages me so much. It reminds me that God goes forward before me, HE makes a path for me. I do not live life on my own but through and with HIM. And I am irreproachable-so when the enemy begins to tell me lies…I can tell him to take a hike back to where he came from!

In the next several verses Paul describes part of the issues that are going on and who let him know about the divisions. Part of the division is that their focus was on who baptized them rather than on Jesus. My favorite verse in this section is 17 which states; ‘for Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of it’s power.’ First this reminds me that our main goal is to share the ‘good news’ or gospel of Jesus. And that it is not to be done with our own words but words given to us by God through the Holy Spirit. When we do things of our own power, it is all too easy to take the credit for ourselves rather than giving it to God. And worst of all, it can turn people away from Jesus rather than toward Him.

Verses 18 and 19 describe how people who are not saved, have not given their lives to Christ, do not understand what the Bible is saying. While for believers ‘it is the power of God.‘ At first this is difficult to understand. When you read the Bible as a believer you get so much knowledge and encouragement from it. Yet, it is very difficult for non-believers to “get it.” The word that is used in verse 18 is that describes how they see the Bible is ‘folly’ or ‘silliness, absurd’ to non-believers. It makes me think of when Jesus died on Calvary and the veil tore in the temple. Believing removes the veil from our spiritual eyes so that God can speak to us through His Word.

Verses 26 through 31 are such a blessing to me with my doubts of what His will for my life is. They describe that God doesn’t use perfect, well speaking people. No, He uses ordinary, sinful people like you and me. ‘God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.’ verse 27. ‘God chose what is low and despised in the world…’ verse 28.

That is YOU and ME my friend! We can sit and think that God cannot use us because we still struggle in many aspects of our lives or the things we have done in our past. And yet that is exactly what He uses to help bring others to Him. That is why we need to share our testimony, our story with others. Show others how, even through all the things we’ve done and failed to do, God uses us and loves us unconditionally. He holds nothing back from us. He loves us and wants to bless us.

God is just so crazy awesome! I am really looking forward to going through 1 Corinthians with you. Please share your thoughts, ideas, questions etc.

Have an amazing, blessed, God filled day!

In HIS precious name, Jesus!

Tara

 

 

1 Corinthians, All In, Bible Study, But God, Christianity, Fellowship, hope, I am yours, Relying on God, Uncategorized

A New Venture

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.” Psalm 4: 3

There has been a lot going on lately and if you follow me on social media, you know it all has to do with people seeking to do harm (not physical) to my husband. Between that and some side affects of medications I was on…I’ve been a mess. Well, no more meds for now and I’m feeling myself again. YAY! And I feel much more peace about my husband’s situation, knowing that God has it all handled.

With that, my friend and I are beginning a study on 1 Corinthians. I’d like you to join me on this. I will be doing my best to log on each day to share thoughts with the parts of scripture that we cover that day. I’d LOVE for you to share your thoughts about them as well. Share here or on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

We will be covering 1Corinthians chapter 1 tomorrow…pray, read, meditate and meet me here tomorrow!

With lots of love,

Tara

All In, Believing Lies, But God, Christianity, Endurance, faith, Fellowship, Friendships, hope, I am yours, Needing Help, nothing but jesus, Philippians 4, Put Up or Shut Up, Relying on God

Facing Doubts

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

Do you ever get tired of hearing yourself complain? I am so completely at that place right now. What’s going on?

I know in my heart what, in concept, God wants me to do. To share His Word publicly. It is the ‘in concept’ part that I’m having difficulty with. Not knowing what steps that He wants me to take and not knowing when and where this will begin..it causes so much doubt and insecurity for me. It seems like every week, every day even, that I am filled with doubt. I share this with the ladies from my Bible study and I truly don’t know how they aren’t tired of hearing me go on about it yet.

Frankly, I’m tired of speaking the words so darn often.

There are some people that will continue to speak of how they doubt themselves in order to get compliments from others. Now, although my ladies bless me tremendously with their support and words of encouragement, it is not why I share with them my doubts and struggles. I share with them because they continue to guide my heart and mind back toward God.

The constant reminders that God’s timing is perfect, that He has given me certain gifts to be used (another point that I have doubt in) and that He will use me are all parts of the encouragment that we are meant to give eachother as sisters in Christ and these ladies bless me in abundance with them. To say that I am grateful for every one of them would be a massive understatement.

One of the things I love the most about my ladies is that they are praying women of God. Each one of us know and have experienced how important and vital having a strong prayer life is. It’s one of the things I spoke to my Pastor a few weeks ago about  when I had his ear for entirely too long (see last blog post). I had mentioned that I regularly email or text family and friends for different prayer petitions…and I know darn well I can get annoying with it. But if it causes that person to stop and say a ten second prayer for me or my loved one…I’ll take it.

Luke 11:9 states “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

“ASK and it will be given to you.’ There’s an action that we need to take and that is us going to God with our petitions. Yes, He knows everything. What we want. What we need. But our faith is an ACTIVE one. We are expected to be participants in it. Not standing on the sidelines expecting God to do all the work.

Unasked prayers are unanswered prayers.

Psalm 145:18 tells us;  “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

I love this reminder that God is near to all those who; call out to Him. One of the definitions for the original word here states; the idea of accosting a person met. That’s what God is OK with us doing and wants us to do. To accost Him with our prayers. And through that we will see the stability and trustworthiness (both definitions of the original word for truth in this scripture) we can get only through Him.

If we are a people that truly love Him our prayers will, more often than not, be ones that align with His will for our lives. This is shown in 1 John 3:22

“And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”

I love how this is telling us that when we ask (ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require) Him for things in prayer, we will receive (to take, to get hold of, to seize) what we ask. Why? Because we keep (watch, to guard from loss or injury, keep on eye upon) His commandments…and I LOVE this definition (prescription, injunction, commandment, precept). With all this we will be doing what pleases ( is agreeable) Him. The King James Version uses ‘in His sight’ at the end of this scripture. This is stating ‘before His face, in His presence.’

Sometimes that concept of being, really being, in God presence can be scary and intimidating. But it shouldn’t be. Not if we truly love Him and are seeking HIS will in our daily lives.

Doubts aside, He has been blessing me tremendously with guidance to scriptures that have been bringing me HOPE and reassurance that His hand is in every aspect of my life. The good, the bad and the ugly…all the same.

I have come to a difficult realization…I am not going to know how, when or where God is going to bring me forward in ministry. I’m not supposed to. My job is to continue to be faithful where He has placed me. To take that ‘one step at a time’ that He places before me. And thank Him all the while.

I will continue to seek His face and stop believing the lies of the enemy who only comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan loves to take truths and twist them. Well, I already know that I am not worth (no one is) and that I am unqualified.  That’s why I love my….BUT God! In HIS hands, anything is possible!

I pray that you too will seek His face in all your situations. God knows the end from the beginning of everything you are facing. Lean into Him my friend. He’s waiting for you.

With lots of love and in Jesus’ precious name.

Tara

#facingdoubts #butGod #Philippians4 #wordsofencouragement #godisgood #myeverydayhope #sistersinchrist #biblestudyladies #churchladies #christianblog

 

But God, faith, Forgiveness & Healing, Healing, Proverbs 31, Relying on God, Uncategorized

Happy Mother’s Day 2018

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 21:25

I wish I could say that I feel like the woman in this verse, but more often that not I feel like a failure. I have made so many, many mistakes in my lifetime. Especially as a mom. Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day 2018”

Christianity, faith, Fellowship, Friendships, I am yours, Isaiah 7:9, Jeremiah 29:13, Making Disciples, nothing but jesus, Relying on God, Relying on Others, Uncategorized

It’s Not Hide and Seek

You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

I was seeking God this morning. I was seeking Him to, not just guide my ways, but to give me comfort that He is in the midst of the things that are laying heavy on my heart.

Why is it easier said than done? We pray that God will handle our situation for us, yet we continue to do what we think is the right thing to do… Continue reading “It’s Not Hide and Seek”