Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bible Study

Bible Study-it's the thing I do, the thing I am very passionate about. This week I asked myself a question…Why? Why am I doing this? Why am I passionate about it?

The main reason for me is that I believe the Bible is God's Word and it is the primary way He speaks to me. As a believer, I want to know all about God and how He desires for me to live my life. 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 says:

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

I believe this is the truth. Do you? Do you study the Bible? If so, why do you study it? Please share.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Despair or Discipline

Do you remember what it was like when you were discplined as a kid? I do. I am the middle child, the overachiever and the baby girl in my family. When I got into trouble, it was easy to pout, fake cry or somehow manipulate my way out of punishment...sometimes! The point is I failed to reap the benefits of the discipline. I spent my time despairing over what I couldn't have or do and finding a way out.

Today many of us are facing our own discplines or challenges. Some of them major, some of them minor. The question is do we see the benefits of the discipline or are we just despairing? God's word has amazing promises for those who are trained by His discipline. Last week I "unpacked" Hebrews 12:10-11 in my Bible study. (I recently heard or read the phrase "unpack the verse". It's not mine, but I loved the visual so I'm borrowing it!!) Here's what the verse says:

"Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." NIV

God's discipline according to these verses is:

  • for our good
  • to share in His holiness
  • to produce a harvest of righteousness
  • to produce peace

As Christians, I believe we would all say we want these things. We also probably agree with verse 11 that discipline is not pleasant and sometimes is painful. The challenge for us is to not seep into despair but to be trained by the discipline.

Take some time to identify where God may be discplining you. Determine to not be despairing, but rather focused on the goodness, holiness, righteousness and peace of God that will come as you are trained by Him. Your faith will be stronger.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Check this out...a new bible study!

Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith, by Jen Hatmaker, is a new short-term Bible study from Threads.

If you go over to All Access you can win a free copy.

I'm going to check it out myself. Love me some Bible study.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Dark

I love driving down country roads and reading all the local church signs. Recently I came across one that has stayed on my mind. Probably because it spoke directly to the Bible study I’m currently doing, Walking by Faith by Jennifer Rothschild. Here's a picture.
The question I keep coming back to is this…can this be said of me? Do I really want to walk with God in the dark? When I’m not sure what is happening in my life or what the next step is for me, does my life say “I’d rather walk with God in this?” Do my actions, attitude and/or speech tell others I’m walking with God? Or do they say I’d really rather have some “light” on this situation? Seriously, I don’t want to walk around my own house in the dark and I know where everything is!

In this past week’s lesson, Jennifer had us look at one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It’s the story of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. You can read about it in Matthew 14:22-33. Often we hear this story used to illustrate a lack of faith, or what happens when we take our eyes off of God and focus on the storms of life. For me there was another lesson this week.
Peter asks Jesus, if it’s Him to bid him come. Peter doesn’t just want to go with any cool person who happens to walk on water. He wants to be with Jesus! After Peter gets scared and starts to sink, the passage says Jesus reaches out his hand to Peter. The next verses say they get back in the boat and the winds die down. I’m thinking Jesus walked (on the water) back to the boat with Peter. It was dark; the storm was still happening; but Jesus didn’t leave Peter.

No doubt I am a little biased toward Peter. My life is full of spontaneous moments that have gotten me into trouble or at least a slap on the hand much like we read of Peter! I can’t help but think that what if in the “dark” instead of asking God to shed light, I ask God if it’s Him, let me come to Him, let me walk with Him. My focus is no longer on me, but on the One who is directing my life. The One who made me, knows me, and watches out for me. Jesus is the One who knows where I might stub my toe, walk into a wall or fall flat on my face. When my focus is on the One, the dark is not so scary.