“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me…’”

Jesus replied, -Anyone who loves me...-

Class Outline by Paula Williams

Introduction and Background

Tragically, contemporary headlines often trumpet bad reports from the church. News of leaders’ sex scandals, disgruntled and disgraced members’ lawsuits, unethical and irresponsible fiscal practices and blatant heresies appear regularly in our national news media. Now, Jesus told the Twelve: 35  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Yet, today, many who claim to follow Him are marked by anything but love. Instead of standing apart from the world, many churches have taken the appearance of other, secular institutions and have chosen to blend in. They’ve gotten distracted from their true purpose.

What would God say to us, to the churches and believers who have strayed from obeying His commands and who have lost sight of what’s important?

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Lean not on Your Own Understanding

Lean not on your own understanding- Prov. 3:5b

 

Class Outline by Katie Lutchens

INTRODUCTION/ ICE BREAKERS (15 min.)

  1. Want today to be very interactive—learning from each other’s wisdom, regardless of age, a lot of value in intergenerational relationships
  2. So to start, here are questions to help you get a little more comfortable with your table.
    • As a kid, what was the most-wanted item on your Christmas list? Explain what it is for those who don’t know. (Little Golden Books, Gumby doll, Chatty Cathy doll, Easy Bake Oven, Stretch Armstrong, Polly Pockets, Furby, Zhu Zhu)
    • Who was/is the teenage heartthrob of your day? If you want to, pull up a picture of them on your phone. (James Dean, David Cassidy, Barry Williams/Greg Brady, JTT, Zac Efron, Harry Styles)
    • What was the biggest world event of your childhood/teenage years? (Sputnik/space race, man on the moon, JFK/MLK assassinated, Watergate scandal, fall of Soviet Union, space shuttle Challenger, Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine, 9/11)

BACKGROUND (10 min.)

  1. Read Proverbs 3:5-6
    • Going to use understanding/wisdom/knowledge interchangeably today, although in some cases, the Bible addresses them separately (1 Corinthians 12:8)
  2. What is understanding? Reference the chart
    • Two kinds of understanding—Earthly (our own understanding) and Heavenly (from God)
    • Earthly
      • 1 Corinthians 1:25, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
      • 1 Corinthians 3:18-20, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thought of the wise are futile.”
      • James 3:13-16, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
    • Heavenly
      • James 3:17, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
      • Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

EARTHLY UNDERSTANDING (10 min.)

  1. What is our earthly understanding?
    • Simply put, the way we see the world through our own eyes and perspective—disregarding the Lord
    • From James, bitter envy, selfish ambition, unspiritual, demonic—because of our sinful flesh
  2. What does it look like to lean on our earthly understanding of things?
    • Biblical examples
      • Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:11, 13, 4:1, 10, 13)
        • Exodus 3:11, But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
        • After God replies that He will be with Moses, Moses still isn’t satisfied. 3:13, Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of you fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
        • God lays out the events that will happen, 4:1, Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
        • God gives Moses signs, 4:10, Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
        • God will help Moses speak and teach him what to say, out of excuses, 4:13, But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
      • Moses looking at the situation from his perspective, considering his strengths, doesn’t think he can accomplish the task—not taking into account God’s power working through people
        • Results? When Moses refused to let God work through him, God’s anger burned against Moses
      • Jonah fleeing from God (Jon. 1:3), angry over the salvation of the Ninevites (Jonah 4:1, “But to Jonah this seemed very wrong…”)
        • Jonah 1:1-3, The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.
        • Jonah 3:10-4:2, When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. But to Jonah this seemed very wrong… and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.
      • Jonah’s earthly understanding was full of bitter envy. He didn’t want the Ninevites to have a chance. He wanted them to receive the wrath he thought they deserved.
        • Results? When Jonah ran away from God, God sent a violent storm arose threatening to break the ship, Jonah thrown overboard and swallowed by giant fish
        • Results? Because of his earthly perspective, Jonah is so angry he wishes he would die
      • Ananias and Sapphira—keeping money for themselves
        • Acts 5:1-11, Now a man name Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to just human beings but to God.”
      • His wife suffered the same fate. Ananias and Sapphira thought they could get away with lies before God. Selfish ambition led them to keep money for themselves—greed.
        • Results? Immediate death!
      • Examples from the audience
        • Peter thinking He has enough willpower to not deny Jesus
        • Twelve spies spying on the Promised Land
        • Adam and Eve
      • Examples in your own life—When have you leaned on your earthly understanding of things? What did it look like? What results did it produce in your life?
  3. Why shouldn’t we lean on our earthly understanding? What is wrong with it?
    • Bible warns us not to lean on our own understanding (here in Prov. 3:5)
      • Also in verse 7: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
      • Isaiah 5, a section of woe and judgments, verse 21 says: “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
    • Earthly understanding doesn’t last!
      • 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappear
    • Our hearts can taint our understanding of things
      • Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
    • The Bible tells us that there is none who understand and none who seek God
      • Romans 3:11
      • Psalm 14:1-2, 53
    • It is foolishness in God’s sight, futile!!
      • 1 Corinthians 3:18-20, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
  4. Conclusion
    • You hopefully can see that our earthly understanding of things isn’t too reliable. That’s why God’s word instructs us to LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.
    • Let’s transition to the positive. Let’s see what it looks like to LEAN ON GOD’S UNDERSTANDING.

HEAVENLY UNDERSTANDING

  1. What is heavenly understanding?
    • Knowledge of God—Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
    • It comes from the Lord—Proverbs 2:6, “The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
    • James 3:17, But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
  2. So why lean on His/the heavenly understanding?
    • God wants to prosper us, not harm us! Jeremiah 29:11, said in a letter to the exiles in Babylon just after telling them to settle in because they are going to be there for the long haul
      • If Moses leaned on this understanding, he would have known God wanted what was best for him and would have agreed to go from the start.
    • God’s thought are not our thoughts, Isaiah 55:8-9, verse 7 says “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
      • If Jonah leaned on this understanding, he would have gone directly to Ninevah and been joyful at the sight of their repentance.
    • The Lord has all of history in complete view and knows the proper path for us, He works for our good (Proverbs 16:4, The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster, Romanas 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)
      • If Ananias and Saphirra leaned on this understanding, they would have been able to give all of their money up because they would have known the Lord could still provide for them.
    • His way prevails anyway, so lean on it! (Proverbs 19:21, 21:30)
  3. What does it look like to “lean not on your own understanding” or to lean on God’s understanding?
    • Biblical examples
      • David and Goliath
        1. 1 Samuel 17:32, David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
        2. 1 Samuel 17:37, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
        3. 1 Samuel 17:45-47, David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
        4. David knew that his God would protect him, unlike Moses at the burning bush, he didn’t consider his weaknesses but allowed God to work through him
        5. Results? Slaying Goliath, Philistines fled
      • Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego
        1. Daniel 3:16-18, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
        2. These three knew that God was powerful enough to save them from the fiery furnace. Serving God was more important than their lives. No hint of selfish ambition.
        3. Results? Untouched in the furnace
      • The poor widow’s offering
        1. Mark 12:41-44, Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
        2. In the world’s eyes, her giving was negligible and she probably should have kept it for herself since she was poor. She knew God would provide and bless her meager gift.
        3. Result? Her small gift is recorded forever in God’s word as an example for all
      • Ultimately, salvation!
        1. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
      • Examples in your own life—When have you leaned on God’s understanding of things? What did it look like? What results did it produce in your life?

SEEKING GOD’S UNDERSTANDING, NOT OUR OWN

  1. How can we seek to lean on God’s understanding and not our own?
    • Prayer
      • Proverbs 2:3, 5, “…if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding… then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
      • James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
    • Time in the Word
      • Proverbs 2:1-2, 5, “…if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding… then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
    • Guidance from another believer—discipleship/mentorship
      • Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
        • Seek instruction!
      • 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Cor. 4:16)
        • Find a godly life to imitate!

DISCIPLESHIP/MENTORSHIP

  1. Biblical evidence for discipleship/mentorship
    • Titus 2:3-5, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
      • Malign: to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame
    • 2 Timothy 2:2, And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
  2. Where else will women of God learn these characteristics? Not from our culture…
    • Love their husbands
    • And children
    • Be self-controlled
    • Pure
    • Busy at home
    • Kind
    • Subject to their husbands
  3. Discipleship in my life
    • Critical to my walk with Jesus in college—giving attention to struggles in my life that I didn’t receive in a small group setting, challenging me to dig into God’s word on my own
    • Discipling in college, talking about modesty—“No one have ever told me this before.”
    • Currently, receiving wisdom from Evian, Precious, and Joyce
  4. There is always someone older (whether in faith or in years) than you and likewise, there is always someone younger. I would encourage everyone to become a part of a chain of believers that is growing together as sisters in Christ.
    • Walking through challenges
    • Rejoicing together
    • Mourning together
  5. Some may say, “Not me. I could never disciple anyone.” To that, I say a couple things.
    • It is always intimidating, for me it has never stopped being a daunting task, as most tasks from the Lord are when we only think with our understanding.
      • Even Paul felt inadequate going before the Corinthians. He writes in 1 Corinthians 2, And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.
      • 2 Timothy 1:7, For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
    • If you feel unable to mentor/disciple someone, maybe you should consider to be mentored by someone.
      • Then you will be able to grow in the Lord, and someday show others what that looks like.
    • The learning process never stops. The purpose of mixing up the tables today—these relationships that may be at the very beginning stages right now, this is a picture of what discipleship could look like. Women personally connected to one another through Christ, not just unknown members of a larger body but cherished sisters within the body.

 

The Two Tabernacles

TESTIMONY: KAREN KALISCH

The “Two Tabernacles” best describes the journey I have taken in my life. I am the second oldest of six children raised in a Roman Catholic family. I went to Catholic kindergarten, grade school, and graduated from an all-girls Catholic high school. Here is what I was taught:

  • Baptism washed away original sin in which I was born.
  • First Communion introduced me to the grace I would receive from God through the Eucharist.
  • Penance was the sacrament that I used to keep in good standing with God as long as I faithfully confessed my sins to the priest and followed the prescribed prayers to say for my cleansing.
  • Purgatory was the back up to purify me if I was to die with any unconfessed sins. I would remain there until I would be completely purified, however long that would take.

The following excerpt is from a Catholic Answers website that will help you understand more clearly what I was taught and understood about the Eucharist and the use of the tabernacle in Catholicism:

One of my students asks why they keep the Eucharist in the tabernacle. What is the tabernacle?

The tabernacle is a liturgical furnishing used to house the Eucharist outside of Mass. This provides a location where the Eucharist can be kept for the adoration of the faithful and for later use (e.g. distribution to the sick).

It also helps prevent the profanation of the Eucharist. Thus the law requires, “The tabernacle in which the Eucharist is regularly reserved is to be immovable, made of solid or opaque material, and locked so that the danger of profanation may be entirely avoided” (CIC 938 §3).

The word tabernacle means “dwelling place.” Any place someone dwells is a tabernacle. The term is also sometimes used for a temporary dwelling place. Thus the tent-like sanctuary that the Jews used before the Temple was built was called the Tabernacle, because God dwelt there. Similarly, for the feast of Sukkot the Hebrews erected temporary shelters to live in for the festival, which is often called “the feast of tabernacles” or “the feast of booths” as a result.

The tabernacle in Church is so named because it is a place where Christ dwells in the Eucharist.

In summary, the Tabernacle is the place where the Real Presence of Jesus dwells within the Catholic Church. While the Consecrated Host has the appearance of Bread, It is the true Body of Jesus living among us in fulfillment of God’s promise during the days of the Old Testament to come and make His dwelling among His people.

This was the accepted way of life in the family and parish of which I was a part. The church was two blocks away and sometimes when my mom was assigned an hour to pray before the tabernacle, she would send me to fulfill her obligation. This is called Perpetual Adoration and is a 24-hour worship of the Eucharist in the tabernacle. I tried to fulfill all that was expected of me, but felt that I fell short most of the time. A feeling of never being able to measure up to God’s standard and receive His love and acceptance would plague me.

 

THE TABERNACLE ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE

 I attended college and there met a young man who gave me my first Bible. Scripture was read in the Mass, but I never saw how it was connected together. These verses are among those that are important in my understanding of the Tabernacle according to Scripture:

John 1:14 – “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The word dwelling here is the same as “tabernacle”.

Acts 7:44-50 – “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:

‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord.
‘Or where will my resting place be?’
‘Has not my hand made all these things?’”

Acts 17:24-25 – “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”

Hebrews 9:11-15 – “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

Hebrews 10:11-18 – “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Ephesians 1:11-14 – “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 – “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

Do not skim over the Scriptures above, because they are intentionally placed. While reading Scripture, God gave me the understanding of the finished work of Christ on the cross! I had a sensation of blinders falling off my eyes. Christ wasn’t stuck on the cross! He was seated at the right hand of the Father and I was not only forgiven, but I am also sealed with His Spirit until the day of my redemption! I have learned over the years to test all truth by using Scripture as my guide. If it was written in Scripture, I took note of it. Important truths were stated more than once. Therefore, don’t believe what I say alone, but test it through Scripture because the Word of the LORD endures forever! The rest of the story will be told by reading Revelation chapter 21.

Class worksheet available by clicking here.

Give Me a Quiet Mind

First Peter 3:4 encourages women to beautify themselves with the imperishable beauty of a quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. “Quietness” stands in marked contrast to the “loudness” that characterizes an ungodly woman (Prov. 7:11). When we think of the word “quiet,” the first thing we normally think of is audible sound. We equate “quiet” with “not talking.”

So does God expect us to shut our mouths and never say anything? Are we not allowed to express our opinions? Or discuss, deliberate, or disagree? Does godly womanhood mean we get out the duct tape and slap an “X” over our mouths? That we mutely nod our heads up and down like bobble head dolls?   When the Bible talks about quietness, it’s not referring to an absence of verbal noise as much as it’s referring to an absence of spiritual noise. Although there’s a connection, quietness has more to do with the state of our hearts than the quantity and volume of our words.

Quiet describes a mindset of calmness, serenity, and tranquility. It’s being settled, steadfast, and peaceful. A quiet disposition is like a still, peaceful pool of water, as opposed to a churning, agitated whirlpool. A quiet spirit is the opposite of an anxious, distressed, disorderly, and clamourous one.

I think Amy Carmichael got the idea right in her poem, “Give Me a Quiet Mind” in which she cries out to the Lord to give her this beautiful disposition:

“give me a quiet mind”

When winds are blowing, waves are rising, falling

And all the air is full of dust and spray;

When voices, like to sea birds’ plaintive calling,

Confuse my day;

Then, then I know Thee, Lord of highest heaven

In newborn need discover Thee, and find

Nought can discomfort him to whom is given

A quiet mind.

When hopes have failed, and heavy sadness crusheth,

And doubt and fear would weave their deadly spell,

Then thought of Thee my troubled spirit husheth;

And all is well.

In midnight hours when weariness ignoreth

Heaven’s starry host, and battle wounds are mine

Then Thy right hand uplifteth and outpoureth

Love’s oil and wine.

O Blessed Lord, beyond the moment’s sorrow

I see above, beneath, before, behind–

Eternal Love. Give me today, tomorrow,

A quiet mind.

Trust & Obey Lesson 1

Trust

Often we “know” passages of Scripture such as Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things., Ephesians 6, or Psalm 119:165, but do we practice them in our lives? For the past few years, we have been teaching a Bible study/meditation method that we hoped would have a great impact on our lives. Each month we have had a verse or passage that we gave you to put in a prominent place to read and think about each time you see it, hoping that that short Scripture would not just become familiar, but become a part of each of us-change us! Even still, we get frustrated and discouraged about our walk with the Lord. I am wondering if part of it is because we simply aren’t prioritizing the Word of God, not just that we aren’t consistently reading God’s Word, but aren’t meditating on it and allowing it to “marinate” us- soaking into us until it changes our flavor.

John 14

Our study this year was chosen with this in mind. We will break down two passages with the main theme of “Trust and Obey.” “Trust” because we need to not just let that word so easily slip off our tongues without really having the peace of God. Understanding that He is in control of each and every situation in my life, and He will use even my failings and sin for good-not good to me always, but always good for me! And, “Obey” because in this community of grace, we must come to terms with the truth that “if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.” Sometimes, we are letting sin abound because of grace-all will be forgiven (Romans 6:1-4). Hopefully, we will each be challenged to spend time meditating and putting into practice the passages, Proverbs 3:5-6 and John 14:23, that we will be covering phrase by phrase throughout this coming year.

“Trust”

Prov. 3:5a

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Author / Teacher – Tricia

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

And whose trust IS the Lord.

For he will be like a tree planted by the water,

That extends its roots by a stream

And will not fear when the heat comes;

But its leaves will be green,

And it will not be anxious in a year of drought

Nor cease to yield fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7,8

But his (the blessed man) delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:2,3

And the Lord will continually guide you,

And satisfy your desire in scorched places,

And give strength to your bones;

And you will be like a watered garden

And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
  1. “Blessed” in Hebrew is “very happy”
  2. Many people are afraid to trust; think their happiness is in controlling their life
    • Know unsaved like this?
    • Are WE like this—living like we think we cannot be happy and trust God?
  3. God is telling us that it is possible to be very happy when we trust Him.
  4. Do I trust in the Lord? “Blessed is Tricia who trusts in the Lord”???
  5. If not, I am not as blessed/happy as I could be if I trusted God
  6. In the Lord—we all trust that our chairs will hold us up
  7. Do we trust our chairs more than we trust God?!?!?!?
  8. Cross reference: Psalm 143:8 
And whose trust IS the Lord
  1. Trust is being re-named with “Lord” (predicate noun)
  2. Trust is completely in the hands of the Lord
    • “My trust is Steve”—would sound like my trust is in no one or nothing other than in Steve
    • If my trust is not in the Lord, what or who is it in?
    • God wants to be Our Complete Trust
  3. Cross reference: Proverbs 3:5,6
  4. R.: Psalm 62:8—“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. “

Jeremiah 17

For he will be like a tree planted by the water,

That extends its roots by a stream

  1. Analogy; We are being compared to a tree
  2. i.e.–
  3. A tree planted by a stream is next to its source of energy, strength, survival
  4. By extending its roots it is making itself as close as possible to this source
  5. Placing my trust only in the Lord will grow my spiritual life like the tree planted near its source for life.
  6. Rooted and grounded in (God’s) love—Ephesians 3:17

Tree-for-web


Droughts—Times of trials or hard circumstances; possibly times that God seems to be far away; discouragement from unanswered prayer

  1. Our desire
    • Get it over with!
    • Run away from it
  2. God’s desire
    • It is for my good! Jer. 29:11
    • Deepen my relationship with Him—I now need to depend on Him more!!
    • Learn more of Him—How does He want me to respond?
    • Learn more about myself—do I trust? Am I impatient? Do I love me more than God?
  3. Psalm 63:1—O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestlymy soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water
    • David did not turn away from God in hard circumstances
    • He did not even ask for the circumstances to stop
    • David turned to God
    •  Vs. 3—“Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You
      • David looked at the past (in this and other chapters) and how God had helped in the hard times.
      • David praised God!
  4. Job (for time purposes, just mention his story)

And will not fear when the heat comes
  1. Do we fear trials?   I do sometimes!
    • Paul tells us to expect hard circumstances (I Peter 4;:12)
    • James tells us to welcome testing/trials (James 1:3,4)
    • 2 Tim. 1:7—God has not given us the sprit of fear. . . . Fear doesn’t come from God
    • When we fear, are we trusting God? “Blessed is the man who trusts . . . .”
  2. If we trust, that opens up our heart to accept hard times as opportunities to see                   God’s power. (2 Corinthians 12:9,10; Job 23:10)
  3. God is implying the heat WILL come.   Am I preparing my heart so that I will be like the tree (roots extended, not fearing heat, still productive) when the heat comes?
But its leaves will be green
  • The tree connected to its power source is so unaffected by drought that its leaves stay green.
  • The comparison—we should be so connected to God—our power source—that we are unaffected by our circumstances and trials.
    • Do I emotionally shrivel up?
    • Do I get brittle and tense?
    • Would those closest to us say we are unaffected by our circumstances? (It is NOT a sin to be sad! I can be sad and still trust God!)
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
  1. How is our trust when the trial or circumstances seem to not end? (Philippians 4:6,7)
    • Do I turn away from God?   From others?
    • Do I realize that God will use this for my good? (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28)
    • Do I turn to God?
      • Psalm 63:1—thirsting and yearning for God—reading His Word, praying (nurturing a relationship with Him)
      • Paul and Silas in jail—praising God (Acts 16:25)
Nor cease to yield fruit
  1. God promises that if we trust Him in trials we will spiritually grow and prosper
  2. Psalm 1:2,3
  3. Isaiah 58:11
    • He promises to guide in the drought
    • He promises to satisfy my desires in the drought (Psalms 37:4-Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart)
      • Because I am delighted/happy in Him, my desires are His desires
      • NOT selfish desires
    • He promises to strengthen me
    • He promises that in the drought, I will actually be like a watered garden whose waters do not fail.
Closing Thoughts

God has promised that He has glorious plans for us during our trials and hard circumstances.

Do I really believe Him?

Do I live like I do?

Would others say that I live like I do? Spouse? Family? Friends?

If not, what do I need to do to change?

  1. Put off/put on principle in Ephesians 4:22-24 and Colossians 3:8-10
  2. Put off fear, bitterness, independent living from God
  3. Put on trust
    • Romans 15:13—May the God of hope, continually grant you joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope. . . .
      • God is promising even more
      • He is promising joy and peace if I trust in Him