Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Living So That, Part 2

Chapter Two of "Living So That" focuses on God's Word. This, of course, refers to The Holy Bible or Scripture. God's Word can be used for so many things from teaching to showing us our sins. The Bible is 100% true. It is holy and sacred and demands the utmost respect. I hold it in reverence and awe.  The more I read it, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I treasure it! Every word inside of the Bible was inspired by God! God spoke through the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the men who wrote the very words we read! It is authentic and accurate because God is without sin - He is perfect!

The Bible equips us to face our challenges, struggles, joys and successes in whatever we do in life. Ministry isn't reserved for the pastors in our pulpits on Sunday morning or the Evangelism team at our churches. We are called and equipped to do ministry right where we are! God placed us where we are for a specific purpose. Answer the call today - what is God speaking to you through His Word? What is He calling you to do right where you are?

God's Word helps us establish our faith - we must commit to making time to read God's Word daily. There are several ways to do this. There are on-line sites with daily devotions that can be emailed to you, Proverbs 31 Ministries is one example. Other sites offer Bible reading plans to read through the entire Bible or just a book or on a certain topic. Visit a Christian bookstore in your area and you will find a plethora of choices! Check with your own church too. Many denominations publish daily devotions that are then sent or purchased by your local congregation for their members.

I wish I could say that I was in God's Word daily, but I'm not. I strive to be and I'm getting better. I am finding that the more time I spend with Him in prayer and devotion or through a Bible study, the better I am at hearing God speak to me. I will delve into prayer in another post. God's Word gives me a firm foundation on which to build my faith. I call it my faith journey. The final destination is heaven. Like any journey, I will probably get lost, make wrong turns, and hit dead ends but I am encouraged to continue because I know God is right there offering me forgiveness and grace. My journey will probably include many stops along the way, but I will keep on moving towards the ultimate goal of spending eternity with my Father in heaven. Where are you in your journey? Don't give up! I have started and stopped and started again many times, keep going!

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.  ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Monday, April 21, 2014

Making the Choice to Live So That

It is a quiet day at home today. The busyness of the Easter weekend is over and today is a day for rest, relaxation and reflection. I am just starting week 3 of "Living So That" by Wendy Blight. This book is changing me from the inside out! I feel like the contestants do on "The Biggest Loser" when they reach make-over week. God is making me over from the inside out! I want to share with you what I have read so far. Today's post focuses specifically on Chapter 1.

Chapter One - My life should not be one that is self-centered! I should be active and be centered on others. God's Word is alive and living today, not just when it was written! It is for you and for me! Is your life messy? Mine is. The Bible was given to us so that we are equipped to live out our lives for Him! I am not perfect, but I strive to make faith-filled choices and not faith-less choices. Not always easy to accomplish because  am generally a reactive person and will often act on my emotions. This often leads to making the situation worse than it already was. The grace that God give me everyday is totally undeserved. It is a freebie that I am given.

It was in this chapter that I read about conviction. Wendy wrote that "Conviction, on the other hand, is about God. It's a productive emotion. God's Holy Spirit convicts us to know that we have not pleased Him. He then speaks truth into our hearts and empowers us to change so that we can do what is pleasing to Him (pg. 30 in "Living So That)." Did you know that the Bible is a love letter from God to us? Wow! What a thought that is! If you got a love letter in the mail, I bet you would read it over and over and over. That is exactly what God wants us to do with His Word! He wants us read and dig deeper into His Word over and over. Love letters give us warm fuzzies - God's Word does the same! There will be times when what I read will be a conviction of what I have done wrong, but it is said in love. God's love and forgiveness are there for me and you each and everyday.

What I am truly taking to heart, even though I have known it since I was a child, God's forgiveness is always there, I just need to ask! I need to pray more for me, for others, in thanksgiving for the blessings He showers upon me. I have tried several times to use a prayer journal, but I never keep at it. I am on the search for a new journal to use and I am going to start by praying Scripture and verse mapping verses He places upon my heart.

Will you join me on this journey? It won't be easy. There will be times that will seem like two steps forward and four steps back. But I am not going to give up this time! If you are looking to make a change and want to grow closer to God, I encourage you to read Living So That by Wendy Blight. Her style of writing is so easy to read and each chapter is divided into five parts so you can read and take it in a little at a time. If you are looking for support, you must (yes, MUST!) check out Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies! This is an online community of Jesus Girls who will love on you right where you are in your faith journey and encourage you to keep going! I hope to see you there!

Come back tomorrow as I will post about Chapter 2!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.   
John 3:16