Sunday, March 24, 2019

Why should I read the Bible?


Our physical bodies need light, water and food to be healthy and to grow. The Bible, God's Word, is light, water and food to our inner being, our mind, will and emotions, and to our innermost being, our spirit. For our mind to be renewed, our emotions to be healthy, and our will to be strengthened to make right choices, we need the spiritual light, water and nutrition of God's Word. Our spirit, the command central of the Holy Spirit within us, should be in control of our mind, will and emotions if it is being properly nourished on the Word.

Over the years, many believers have confessed to me that they struggle to read and understand the Bible. While they know that the Word of God is important in their lives, many don't realize that it isn't just important, it's absolutely vital. Just as you cannot survive physically without light, food and water, you cannot survive spiritually, and you certainly cannot thrive, without the Word of God. You cannot come into full spiritual maturity, have a renewed mind, walk in the fullness of inner healing and deliverance, or be victorious over your own flesh or the wiles of the enemy without the Word of God. It is the tool that the Holy Spirit uses in our lives to transform us in all of those areas.

If you struggle to read and understand the Bible, if you struggle to even want to read the Bible, you are not alone. Your struggle is not an uncommon one. The first step to overcoming this struggle is to agree with the fact that the Bible is indispensable in your life. Until you embrace that truth, you won't do anything to change. Second, is to confess to God your struggle and ask for help. God wants to speak to you through His Word. The Holy Spirit wants to help you to understand the Word. Just ask! Third, is to decide you are going to take some action to engage with God's Word. These steps are the most important part, because the truth is, actually getting the Word into you isn't that difficult. Here are some options for you to try.

-Look for a translation of the Bible you can understand. Download You Version and you can read the Bible in pretty much any translation there is. Once you find one that you can like, then you may want to order a paper and ink Bible in that translation.

-Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking that you have to read large quantities every day. Read small portions of scripture slowly and carefully, then ponder what God is speaking to you.

-Listen to the Bible being read and follow along. On You Version, many translations have an audible option. You can listen while following along in your written Bible, or listen while you drive to and from work or while you exercise. Later, you can always look up things that stand out to you while you're listening.

-Buy a devotional that includes scripture. Many devotionals will include a portion of Scripture to read, or a couple of scriptures for you to look up in your Bible.

-Join a Bible study. Your church may have a Bible study or small group that is studying a book of the Bible or a scriptural topic. There are also wonderful online Bible studies that you can join. If you need some recommendations ask in the comments and we would be happy to help you.

Where do I start, you might ask. Why not start with these verses found in Psalm 119 that speak about some of the benefits of the Word?

Psalm 119:11 -God's Word helps us to resist sin
Psalm 119:24 -God's Word gives us counsel
Psalm 119:25, 50 -God's Word revives us
Psalm 119:28 -God's Word lifts us up and strengthens us
Psalm 119:45 -God's Word helps us to walk in liberty
Psalm 119:52 -God's Word comforts us
Psalm 119:81,114 -God's Word helps us to have hope
Psalm 119:98 -God's Word makes us wise
Psalm 119:99,104,130 -God's Word gives us understanding and insight
Psalm 119:105 -God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path
Psalm 119:133 -God's Word directs our steps
Psalm 119:65 -God's Word gives us peace and keeps us from offense and stumbling

Lastly, if you have a struggle to want to read God's Word or to understand it, I would love to pray for you and to ask God to help you. Just leave a comment!


Friday, March 22, 2019

How to Cultivate A New Thought Life




By: Sarah Geringer


Have you ever seen a crocus bloom in the snow?

Crocus flowers amaze me. Their bulbs are so hardy that they produce blooms even in freezing temperatures. Their lovely purple or yellow faces open to the winter sun. Snow cannot hold them down.

These flowers are reminders that new life is possible, even in an impossible environment.
If you're like me, you want to change your thought processes. The ones that keep you stuck in negative cycles. The ones that hold you back from becoming the woman of God you want to be.

But you've just about given up hope on changing how you think about certain things. Where you think change isn't possible. Here are the excuses I tell myself (and God):
  • It takes too much effort.
  • I'm too tired.
  • I'm too busy.
  • My thought patterns are deeply ingrained.
  • My thought patterns are too shameful.

Friend, I have found the key to overcoming problems in my thought life through Christian meditation. God is helping me make changes in areas I thought were impossible to change before.
Meditating on God's Word is so simple, yet it can have a profound effect on your thought life. All you need is a Bible or Bible app. By thinking carefully about God's Word and how it applies to your life, you can have greater peace in your thoughts and make lasting changes.
You can read more about Christian meditation on my other posts for Woman 2 Woman on these links:
I hope you find greater peace in your thoughts today by meditating on God's Word!
If you want to share feedback on this post, please leave a comment below. You can always share at my site if you have any trouble leaving a comment here.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,



Photo from Canva.com

Reflection questions:


1. Which area of your thought life needs God's peace the most?


2. Which verse in God's Word will you meditate upon this week for greater peace?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Remain


By: Jenifer Metzger

Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit
by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain
in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I
in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone
does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They
gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me
and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.
John 15:4-7

I love these words in John about remaining, abiding, in Jesus. The words make me think of my children when they were young. Every summer we would go to the beach for a family vacation. While these days are always fun and relaxing, they bring a bit of anxiety. Our family always stays in a condo high off the earth's surface. The higher our room, the more we like it. This let us look out far and wide over the ocean from the room's balcony. Yet, children and balconies are not a good mix so we made a firm rule: no child on the balcony without an adult. This wasn't a rule to stifle them, it was to protect them. When we would make our way from the balcony to the sandy beach, we had another firm rule: remain with us. Again, not to stifle them, but to protect them.


They had freedom to play and enjoy the beauty and fun of the balcony and beach, as long as they stayed within the rules. They needed to remain with us. On a balcony without an adult could result in a child falling over to their death. Stepping into the ocean without an adult could result in being swept away. But when they remained with us, they could have fun for hours. My kids had a job to do, they had to remain with an adult. As long as they did their part, we could do ours in protecting them while still allowing freedom.

Remaining with God is the same. When we remain in Him through obedience and serving Him, He brings us a beautiful freedom. Freedom from sin, guilt, and bondage. Freedom to love and serve. But we must do our part. We must remain in Him. When we do our part, He does His in protecting us while blessing us with freedom in Him.

While playing in the waves, time to time my children a giant wave sweep over my children causing salty water to burn their nostrils. With a parent by their side we could help them up and steady them again. In life, sometimes a wave will crash over us, but when we remain with God, He helps us up and steadies us again.

Let's be women who remain in Jesus and are thankful that He remains in us.








It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.


Monday, March 18, 2019

"Inhale Spirit - Exhale Flesh"

By: Joanne Viola

In recent days, I have had several conversations with different people and the subject at hand was “fear”.

We often use other words to describe our feelings – like worry, concerns, anxiety – so we don’t use the word “fear”.

Our fears, if we are honest, are legitimate. We fear getting an incurable disease, the death of a loved one, losing our jobs, never finding a mate, our mate leaving us, our children becoming sick, having a car accident, and many other circumstances.

But here’s the problem with our fears – all of these situations may never occur in our lives. The fears live in our thoughts.



The very first day of reading a Lent devotional turned my thoughts to Psalm 1, where I read:

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper." (verse 1-3, NKJV)

We desperately need to meditate on God’s Word, reading it every day, if we are going to successfully silence our fears. 
“Like a tree, the godly person is alive, beautiful, fruitful, useful, and enduring. The most important part of a tree is the hidden root system that draws up water and nourishment, and the most important part of the believer’s life is the “spiritual root system” that draws on the hidden resources we have in Christ.”

(from The Wiersbe Study Bible, commentary notes page 752)
We are to delight in His Law, meditate on the Word and therein, lies the blessing. As we reflect on His Word, thinking deeply on it so as to apply it to our lives, His Word begins to change us.
Psalm 1
to him who holds my breath
inhale Spirit
exhale flesh
You alone are worthy
of all of my words
to You, of You, from You
now and forevermore.
(by Karen Fendick, “From Ashes To Glory: A Psalm a Day”)


“Inhale Spirit – exhale flesh”, a little more each day.
Dispel the fears and discover anew,

there is joy to be found in following Jesus.


Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash


 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Creator's love seen in the beauty of creation...



God’s splendor is a tale that is told;
his testament is written in the stars.
Space itself speaks his story every day
through the marvels of the heavens.
His truth is on tour in the starry vault of the sky,
showing his skill in creation’s craftsmanship.
Each day gushes out its message to the next,
night with night whispering its knowledge to all.
Without a sound, without a word, without a voice being heard,
Yet all the world can see its story.
Everywhere its gospel is clearly read so all may know.
Psalm 19:1-4 The Passion Translation

I normally share a scripture and then some of my own thoughts in this space each week. This week I wanted to share some quotes relating to the scriptures found in Romans 1:20 and Psalm 19:1-4, both shared above. I have two books by author Dana Candler that I would highly recommend. Deep Unto Deep and Entirety In the quotes below, taken from Dana Candler's book, Entirety, she writes of how God speaks to us through the beauty of His creation if we only have eyes and ears to perceive it.


“The God whose pursuit of me has been from the eternal ages is also the One who searches for me in the present day, reaches for me in the beauties of creation and in the the smallest
events of my everyday circumstances…”

“The Lord’s love is so extravagant, and though the crowning revelation of that extravagance was in the giving of His Son even unto death, He has continued His proclamation in a daily manner through the messengers of the created order. The natural order serves as a window into the supernatural, bringing my heart closer to the Creator if it but hears the message and beholds the beauty of the creation and the persistent announcement of the Creator’s love behind it.” 

“Surely God has set the created order into motion as a continual witness, a voice that incessantly goes forth, a beauty that relentlessly exudes the message of His deep love and His extravagant kindness…Oh, to have ears to hear and eyes to perceive the heart of the Beloved behind this beauty!”

all quotes from the book Entirety by Dana Candler