July 18, 2010

All Things Wise and Wonderful: Discovering the Riches of Christ (Week Five Lesson)

CONGRATULATIONS my sweet sisters in Christ!! You have completed or are in the process of completing five weeks of lessons and homework. You should be so very proud of yourselves. You truly inspire me. It would have been easy to blow off this study because you have no small group leader holding you accountable. But you have been faithful. You have spent many hours mining the riches you learned in the very first chapter. Your comments reflect that you have done your work, listened for God’s voice, heard what He said, and obeyed what you heard. You will now be recipients of His wonderful promise that blessings follow obedience. He is changing you. He is growing you. He is making you more like Him.

NEXT WEEK WE WILL CELEBRATE YOUR WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENT! Tune in to check out the celebration and the giveaway.

Below you will find our last week of homework. Dig in and dig deep. This is one of my favorite chapters in Scripture because Paul teaches us about the Armor of God. Every night since my children were young, we have prayed the Armor of God. First, I prayed it over them, but when they were old enough to pray, they prayed it over themselves. Bo, my twelve year old, still ends his prayers with it every night! If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or siblings, I encourage you to share this chapter with them. Teach them to pray God’s Armor over themselves. It is a powerful visual of God’s promised protection.

Below please find the fifth lesson and the homework and reading assignment for next week.

In addition to our celebration next week, I will post some closing thoughts, questions, and a special prayer on the Armor of God written specifically for this study.

Reading Assignment: Ephesians Chapter Six

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:

Father God, this is my last week of Bible Study. Thank You for all that You have taught me these past few months. Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart to see the wonderful things in Your Law. Thank You for teaching me new Truths that have changed my life. Father, I give You my heart this week. Take Your Word, the double-edged sword, and pierce my heart. Mold me and change me to be more like You. Use me, Lord, to do great things that will bring glory and honor and praise to You. Teach me to stand strong in my faith, to be a Light in this dark world. Give me courage to live out my faith no matter the cost. I love You, Lord, lead me down paths of righteousness, fill me with everlasting joy, use me, Lord, use me for your glory!! I ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

1.AUTHORITY. This word makes me think of the lyrics in the song by John Mellencamp: “I fight authority. Authority always wins.” Are you someone who finds it easy or difficult to obey someone in authority over you? Does it depend on the person? The situation? If you struggle with authority, share your reasons.

2.Before we move on, please remember what Paul said in Ephesians 5:18, “…be filled with the Spirit.” Everything we are talking about presupposes a Spirit-filled, Spirit-controlled life. Philippians 4:13 says, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God has established patterns and principles by which parents are to raise their children. Obedience plays a huge part in God’s plan. Children are to obey their parents in the Lord. Read Ephesians 6:1-4.

a.Read Colossians 3:20. What does it say?

b.Read Ephesians 6:1b. What is the reason children are to obey their parents?

c.Read Exodus 20:12. What is it? What does it say?

d.According to Ephesians 6:2-3, what is unique about this Commandment? What is the specific promise?

e.What about compliant obedient children whose lives are taken in childhood? How do you reconcile this verse with their deaths? Do you think perhaps it states a more general principal? If so, what is it?

f.Read 1 Samuel 2:12-34. Relate this to our discussion. What does this speak to you about parents’ responsibility to raise their children to respect God and respect them?

3.I am sending you to a passage in Deuteronomy 21 that is very hard to read, but I want you to see how important this concept is to God. He made it one of His Ten Commandments, and He enforced it with the most severe of punishments. Read Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

a.How does Moses (the author) describe the son?

b.How does the son respond to his parents’ discipline?

c.What did the law instruct the parents to do with their son?

d.What additional information does verse 20 reveal about their son?

e.According to verse 21, why does the law require such a severe punishment?

4.Read 1 Samuel 15:10-23.

a.What does this teach about obedience?

b.What descriptive words appear in Deuteronomy 21:18 and 1 Samuel 15:23?

c.What happened to Saul in this story?

5.Why do you think God is so consistent about the sin of disobedience and rebellion?

6.Think back on your childhood and answer the following questions.

a.Were you raised in a godly home where you received godly training? If not, describe the kind of home in which you were raised?

b.Who did most of the training and discipline in your home?

7.If you have children, answer the same questions above as they pertain to how you have raised/are raising your children? Did how you were raised effect this decision?

8.Dr. David Jeremiah teaches that the primary word in the New Testament for the correction of children is not the word punishment, but paideia, (Greek word for training or discipline), which comes from paidueo – to train children, to chasten, to correct. Scripturally, punishment seeks retribution to right a wrong and is usually directed at those who stand in opposition to God. Discipline also seeks to right a wrong but it is focused on the future…to correct the wrong so it will not happen again. Discipline seeks to correct by means of instruction or discipline NOT punishment. Read Hebrews 12:3-12 and share the Biblical Truths you learn below.

9.To what must our instruction always to be tied? (See 2 Timothy 3:13-17). Why?

10.Do you think it is a coincidence that children are to obey “in the Lord,” and parents are to train and instruct “in the Lord?” Explain.

11.Today we study one of my MOST FAVORITE passages in all of Scripture and truly one of the most powerful and practical.

Read Ephesians 6:10-20. In this passage of Scripture, Paul tells us God has the power, identifies the enemy, instructs us to stand against him, and commands us to put on the full armor of God.

a.What does Paul instruct a believer to do in verse 10?

b.To what does Paul compare a Christian life in verse 12? Read Revelation 12:4, Daniel 10:13-20. How do these verses support Paul’s words?

c.What does Paul tell us to put on in verse 11? Why?

d.What are some of the Devil’s schemes and strategies? What does John 10:10 tell us the devil came to do?

e.Read Romans 8:31-39 and share how this passage relates to these verses in Ephesians.

12.Read James 4:6-10. Read Isaiah 14:12-15 (scholars believe these passages describe Satan’s fall).

a.What fleshly character trait is discussed in these passages?

b.What does God say about that trait in James 4:6?

c.According to James 4:7, when we do humble ourselves and submit to God what will the devil do?

d.According to James 4:10, when we humble ourselves what will God to?

13.Since we are fighting against enemies in the spirit world, Paul tells us that we need special equipment. In Ephesians 6:13-17 God has provided the “whole armor” for us. Paul commands us to put on the armor, take the weapons, stand strong, and pray.

a.Name each piece of armor and explain how each piece helps us in our battle against the devil.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

b.How does the final piece of armor in verse 17, the Sword of the Spirit, differ from the other pieces of armor? (Hint: Read Hebrews 4:12). Also, read Luke 4:1-13 to see how Jesus uses the Sword.

c.When my son, Bo, was just a baby, I began praying the armor of God over him each night. As soon as he was old enough to pray out loud, the very first thing he prayed was the armor of God over himself and our family…every single piece in the armor he recited. He is now 12 years old and prays it over himself every night. Practically, how can you use each piece of armor to help you and your family stand against the devil’s scheme?

14.Read the following Scriptures and share how they relate to this passage in Ephesians.

a.2 Corinthians 10:3-5

b.1 Peter 5:8-9

c1 John 3:8

d.Hebrews 2:14

e.Isaiah 54:17

f.1 John 4:4

Blessings to you,

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    My Dear Sisters in Christ,
    I thank God for this journey we are on together through Ephesians!

    Each week, He has touched and spoken to me, and I pray He is doing the same for each of you. Last week, my husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary; it was the prefect time to read the second half of Ephesians 5!

    Before we delve into our last chapter, Ephesians 6, this week, I am curious as to your responses to question 1, letter f. I was stumped! How did you answer this question?

    God bless you, sisters, in all your steps!
    In Christ,
    Dawn

  2. Grammybks says:

    I am such a loser………I so wanted to do this study but life is so busy right now there was barely time to do my Bible reading in the mornings. I will print everything off and try to continue on my own. I am so sorry that I missed out and the instruction and fellowship.

    Brenda S

  3. Danielle says:

    Wendy, dearheart, the numbering is kinda off. Which isn't a big deal so don't frett! I LOVE you, sister and can't wait to see you at sHe Speaks this year!

    Dawn, did you mean question 2?

    I made it to the library, obviously!! And I am so glad that I did. Catching up with last weeks video and then getting to watch today's was truly a blessing.

    I don't know why I continue to get amazed by the sheer awesomeness of our God, but I am today!! And I want to share it!

    On Monday mornings, some of us gather together and prayer walk an area in our county. The place has some of the roughest people, alot of poverty, too many drugs, and even witchcraft we are finding out. But the LORD has called us all to go out into the world and make disciples… has He not? Because of prayer walking, we've made contact with some of the residents in some of the homes. This Thursday, I will get to drive a sweet older woman, and her daughter about 1 hour and 45 minutes away to go and see the daughter sons in prison as he graduates for his diploma. The young man is 19. We know that the woman is a person of peace, but as for a house of peace, we are still discerning!

    Also, in the travels, we've come into contact with a family where the grandmother and her husband(their grandfather to the kids even though not blood related) are raising 9 of their grandkids!!! The number is down to 7 because one of the mothers came in resently and took two of the littler boys. With the leading of the Spirit, I had the privilege of going into the home today and bringing them food! It was the sweetest time! My heart goes out to this family and the hunger for love and affection I see in these kids. I'm excited to say that me and another sister and Christ are going back tonight to pick the kids up for VBS at our Meeting House!

    To God be the glory for His love and tender mercies toward all of us. I am not always willing to step out of my comfort zone and do what God asks… but I'm learning. I would have missed out on an wonderful God filled moment if I'd not listened.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have so enjoyed this bible study. Wendy, I just knew you would do your commentary on verses 22-24. My favorite verses are the ones you discussed, verses 15 – 20. They so touched my spirit. The days are evil and the days are fleeting.

    Thanks so very much for your time and sharing with us how God is speaking to you. I am truly sad to see it come to and end:)

    God Bless all of you Sweet Sisters In Christ.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dawn,
    My take on 1f (part 2 on marriage) is that we as women are built for relationship- just as Eve was taken from Adam, she was literally created to be his suitable partner… so to me, I think we are hardwired for our relationship with our husbands. With that, I think it comes more naturally for us to leave our homes, to leave our families and create new ones with our husbands. Men are hardwired differently, so God specifically addressed leaving their parents to them where it's not as natural.

    I'm sure there are a lot of different takes- this is just my two cents :)

    Have the BEST day all of you my sisters!

    Love,
    Noelle

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wendy:
    Thank you soooooo much for this study! Yesterday when I printed my lesson, I thought "OK, this is the last week and I want to make it last, so I am going to take these questions very slowly and make it last the whole week"…..but I just CAN'T!!! I get to involved and before you know it, I have been reading and studying for an hour and I only have one more page of questions left!!!

    I am going to miss this so much! I have never experienced anything like it — I know God's annointing was all over you, Wendy, and this study!

    I really enjoyed digging into the armor of God this morning and want to conclude with my answer to question 14b. I believe the final piece of armor (the sword of the Spirit) is different because it is something we can actively use — WE can wield the sword by speaking it against satan and he has no choice but to flee!!!!!

    To all you girls, thank you so much for blessing me the last 6 weeks with all your comments, prayer requests and wisdom….it has kept me humble…

    Peace and blessings,
    Denise

  7. Each week there has been one question that has stopped me in my tracks because of how closely I can relate. And each time I have thought about it, coming to a different thinking that I previously had.

    This week it is question 1. Yep, had to stop right from the beginning. AUTHORITY My struggle has been with God and my husband because for so many years, I was distant with God.

    Last year when I began on a new journey in my life, I realized pride went hand in hand with authority. I had allowed Satan to create a very self sufficient, independent person. So having to accept instructions from someone was quite the struggle.

    Even today, it is almost like taking a hammer to my head to realize something. Forgiveness was the hammer last week. After watching your vlog, I read posts all day on twitter and facebook about this. I emailed a friend about the subject because I wasn't sure if I was dealing with unforgiveness or just a wounded heart. By the end of the day the hammer hit the spot.

    Right now I believe God realizes it takes more than one blog or tweet for my eyes to be opened. This is something I am working on. Working to listen that first time and respond or obey.

    Thank you for your time each week that you put into this for each of us.

    Angie

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just finished the marriage questions from last week and am still stuck on many of them. Being newly married (a little over a year) I feel I have a lot to learn regarding the marriage questions as I have little to no answers to many of them. What is the difference between a man loving his wife and a woman respecting her husband? Why are we to submit to our husbands? What does that mean exactly to submit? Why do women receive 6 verse of instruction and men only 1? Why doesn't isn't a woman leaving the home addressed in Genesis? I pray that God bring me the light of understanding on these issues in HIs own way and His own time. I trust in God for all things.

    Thanks,
    Andrea from WI

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wendy,
    This has been so great. I hope the Lord leads you to do another one someday soon. I will miss our Monday mornings together. It is very special to be able to do by video a Bible study with a godly woman.I would love to be in person but this is really the next best thing. Thank you for all the work you put into it.
    Sheila P.

  10. Wendy, I really appreciated your sponge analogy. I first pictured that sponge "dry, flat, unusable." Then I saw the filled sponge "wet, full, usable in many ways". The filled sponge – good for cleaning, providing moisture, filling up dry places. What a contrast! This will stay in my mind when I ask for God's "in-filling." Thanks.
    Becky

  11. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is WOW…I love it when God WOW'S me. Thank you Wendy for this study and all the work you had to put into it behind the scenes that we did not see but God did. I pray for blessings and favor and miracles into your life and that of your family for being an obedient light in a dark world. Thank you from the depths of my heart for this study and how God had a hand in me stumbling across and finding it.
    I loved verse 19 of Chapter 5. "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." It made me remember that what you think about is where your heart goes. So if we continually think and sing to God we will always be full in our heart and mind of HIM and not things of the world. It also brought a verse to my mind in Malachi 3:16 KJV says: "Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another; and the Lord hearkened and heard it and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon his name." How sweet is that verse that He loves it so much when we talk among ourselves as we do with a bible study and during fellowship that he loves it so much he writes a book of remembrance so He the Lord God can go back and remember it and read it later. WOW…..To think that the coments and all the things Wendy has talked to us about is recorded in that book just WOWs me. God bless all of you and use what you have learned to be that light to your husband and your children and to the neighborhood and got will increase your territory. It has been an honor and a blessing to be a part of this book of remembrance to our Magnificent Almighty God of the Most High….Kathy in Illinois

  12. I have just started the study and am really grateful for your questions and notes Wendy. I will celebrate with you next week too but I am sure I won't be quite finished with everything yet, I am really looking forward to getting a better understanding of and to memorize the pieces of the armor of God!! thank you for your ministry!

  13. Wendy Blight says:

    Hi girls,

    MARRIAGE QUESTIONS

    Several of you have commented and sent e-mails about the marriage questions…especially why men and women are treated a bit differently.

    First, men are told to love their wives because love does not come naturally to them. God knows that He needs to tell men to do that, and He gives them the example of Christ and the church to model for them what that love looks like.

    Second, women are told to respect their husbands because that does not come naturally to them…and that dates back to the Garden of Eden. Let's go back and visit the day God gave Eve her punishment. In Genesis 3:16, God's lays out her punishment; the second half of the verse says,

    "And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you."

    Wow! How true is that with us today. We constantly try to control, manipulate, and press our husbands to do things our way, to run things our way. This is part of our fallen nature. SO we should feel good to know there is nothing wrong with us, it's just that we need JESUS to enable us to cleanse us of this sin nature…this desire to control…and instead respect our husbands. Very hard to do even if you have the most godly, wonderful husband. But even moreso if you have a husband that is abusive, uncaring, difficult, angry.

    But then God in 1 Peter recognizes there will be husbands who will not walk with the Lord, so He gives further instruction on how to win them over, and it is NOT to control, nag, and manipulate. It is to exhibit a quiet and gentle spirit.

    So it is not really that we have "more" instructions and more to do, it's just that God knows love comes easily to us. We have a special role in modeling that love to our husbands and they see love as respecting them. When we respect them and live in obedience to God's plan, we work with God instead of against God helping our husbands be the men God created them to be.

    It's so hard to teach this in just a few paragraphs. I hope this has helped!!

    I LOVE how you are digging deep girls!! IT'A AWESOME!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this study and have been blessed by it in so many ways! Thank you, Wendy for taking the time to share Ephesains with us. God's Word is powerful!!!

    ANd thank you for the explaination on marriage. I have never heard it explained that way before and it makes sense to me now.

    I look forward to more info on the Proverbs Bible Study. Count me in!

    ~Blessings

  15. Anonymous says:

    To the poster who gave her answers to the Marriage Questions on July 21. Thank you so much for your thoughts. I understand what you are saying and it makes sense to me. I often struggle with not being able to fully understand scripture the way I should. Thank you for your insight.
    Blessings to you.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Ladies!

    I haven't commented much on the blog, but I've read your comments every week and been challeged and encouraged through them. I've also lifted up many of your prayer requests and feel like I know each of you a bit. Thanks for being so vulnerable and honest!

    This study has been wonderful for me. I'm a young wife and mother of 2 girls (3 & 1) I've found throughout the past 3 years that if I'm not up before my girls I won't sit down again for any solid time with the Lord. God has really grown my desire to wake up and be with Him!

    Anyway, the first 3 chapters were amazing for me. After asking the Lord to rock me to the core with the simplicity of His Gospel I was moved to tears at His love for me and who I am as His child. After washing me in His love He began to purify me from deep within. I've started to let go of the areas that the Holy Spirit is making me aware of and stepping it up in others.

    The last two weeks have really challenged me in the way I live moment by moment as a stay-at-home wife and mommy. Am I truly being intentional and living carefully? Some days are truly just overwhelming with continual discipline and chores that never get tended to, but what is my attitude in this? My 3 year old and I have memorized Eph. 5: 10 and use it a lot in our home "Find out what pleases the LORD". I think it's more convicting to me than her!

    Seriously, the LORD has really been pressing my heart with the importance of intentionally showering my husband with love and respect (before my girls!) and intentionally pushing my girls to Him in love. This morning God even gave me a huge encouragement in the form of a conversation with my 3 year old. For 20minutes we talked about Jesus and the need for Him in our hearts. That's a very loooong time for her to stay focused on one conversation and actually ask questions. It was absolutely beautiful and I know God was pleased that I didn't brush of questions, but sat and talked with her.

    Thank you LORD for your patience, encouragement, love and grace! Without you I'd be nothing, lost. I love you Abba!

  17. Anonymous says:

    First of all a big thank you to Wendy for the in-dept explanation on marriage. Great!!!! Helped a lot. To Elizabeth who has the 3 and 1 yr old. I love that God is working in your life. Your post brought me to tears. I am now a grandmother and my children are grown and I am home alone with the lord. All I can say is you will never get all of your chores done and if you use the last part of that verse in Eph 5:19 the last part says…Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord"…then the chores will go easier and you will be so full of LOVE for God and your family that you won't care if they got done or not. God first…family second….chores if you can get to them. God be with you Elizabeth…..
    Kathy in Illinois

  18. Cynthia says:

    I loved your post Elizabeth – I sometimes wish I could have those days back with my children to start over – I would ask that my Ephesians study buddies please pray for my son Andrew – he is struggling right now – he has made some wrong choices and is currently without a job. He is only 19 years old and knows God but right now he only believes in a "higher power". He graduated high school and his dad helped him get a job at his company. He and a buddy got their own apartment but that didn't work out. He lost his job with his dad because they wanted to drug test him and he wouldn't pass so he resigned. He lost his next job because of cocky attitude. Now he is back home and we are paying his car insurance and cell phone plus putting gas in his car to job hunt. This last weekend (7/18) I gave him 3 choices – 1) Get a job and enroll in the community college for at least 1 class 2)Join the Air Force 3) Make other arrangements on where to live and park the car that we gave him at 16 years old. He has until 8/31/2010 to do something. I pray everyday for him – I try to speak love and encouragement to him but he is very exasperating right now. My heart is breaking for him and at him. I know he can sense my disappointment in him. Both my husband and I have did the best we could – we haven't always been at church but the last 4 years we have and he was involved in all aspects of the youth group – he has felt the presence of Christ and I pray that he comes back to being a believer. I feel he quit believing so he could do what he wants without being accountable. I love him so much and want him to have a God filled successful (not only money) future. Please pray for God to touch his life in some way that he can see. He has so many wonderful qualities that are being hidden by the Evil One.

    God has been tearing my heart in to during this study – I only thought I knew some things – Wendy you have a way to get to the deep down heart of things. May God bless you and yours.

    Cindy

  19. Cindy, your Andrew is in my prayers. We have a Brandie, she has struggled so much like your son, so my heart hurts. I realize I do not know your particulars, I do know enough to pray though.

    Wendy, I can't believe I am "finished" with this study. I don't want to be . . . :) It has been so good for me, even taking me back to verses learned long ago and then left by the wayside. Thank you for your love for the Lord that brought you here.

    I will be back for the final episode.

    Becky

  20. Anonymous says:

    Dear Noelle,
    Thank you for your take on marriage!
    I appreciate your two cents, sister :)
    In Christ,
    Dawn

  21. Anonymous says:

    To Cynthia….I too am praying for your son Andrew. God has promised that if we do what we can then he will do what we cannot. I assure you God hears your prayer and he is on the case. Take heart and comfort knowing this. Peace be with you…
    Kathy in Illinois

  22. Anonymous says:

    Like so many of us, I am going to truly miss this study immensely. I'm about to bust with excitement right now though, and I just have to share with all of my fellow study buddies what recently happened.

    First of all, I too had so many confusing questions concerning the marriage part of our homework. I didn't know how to answer some of those questions myself. So, I met with my Pastor and his wife and discussed each question with them.

    I shared with the Pastor how I wish my husband could have been apart of this study so he too would know what the Bible says about marriage and our different roles and expectations (Mind you, I never shared or discussed any of this with my husband.)

    My family and I are new christians (some of you may remember me from my post about forgiving my Stepdaughter, Amy, a few weeks back) and have recently been baptized and joined a church we attend regularly.

    Well, here it is, my husband (out of the blue) asked me to marry him (again) 2 days ago. At first I laughed because I thought he was joking. But, my husband poured his heart out to me (in front of our children) explaining to me how he believes now that we know God and are christians we should FIND OUT what it means to be married biblically! Can you believe this girls? I have been praying for changes…I'm blown away. Naturally I said yes. He went and talked with the Pastor and made all the arrangements for us to start classes to learn what God expects of both of us so we can marry again and live the right way. If ya'll knew my husband…knew our life before Christ…the amazement would simply be overwhelming. So, to make a long story short…I'm going to recommit my life as the wife God wants me to be (after I learn exactly what that means LOL)

    Wendy, you've had a tremendous impact in my life…thank you for everything. God is awesome and I know positively God is working in my life and in each of the members of my family.

    On a homework note for this week, I sure would like to know how some of you answered 2.e. I didn't know how to respond to it myself. I'm just not sure.

    Have a blessed day!
    Tammy from Pennyslvania

  23. Wendy Blight says:

    Tammy what a wonderful story to share with us!!! Thank you for taking time to tell it and allowing us to share in your joy and excitement. I pray God's richest blessings on you and your husband as you embark on your "new" journey in marriage. May He fill Your hearts with His Love for each other, and may He knit you together in a new and powerful way through the power of His Holy Spirit.

    Sweet Blessings,
    Wendy

  24. Anonymous says:

    Cindy:

    I know EXACTLY what you are feeling — I have a son in a very similar situation — fallen away from the Lord. He is a baptized believer, so I know he is saved, but I want him to know the real joyous life he can have with Jesus….I will pray for you and Andrew….I hang on the promise that if we train our children in the way of the Lord, they will return to it…..

    Peace & blessings,
    Denise

  25. Hello Everyone,
    Well like most of you, I have really enjoyed this Bible study. I have learned so much and felt God leading me to make some changes in my life. Last week really impacted me when we studied forgiveness.
    This week I was reminded on how we can count on God to protect us from evil and the devil. God gives us all the armor we need to fight the good fight. He is our strength. He is our all.

    To Cynthia, I am praying for your son Andrew and for your family.

    To Tammy, what wonderful news you shared with all of us. May God bless your marriage as you recommit yourselves to him.

    Wendy, Thanks for such a great study. You really had us digging deep into God's word. I appreciate all of your hard work. I can't wait to hear what you have to say next week.

    God'd Blessings to all,

    Deb – Ohio

  26. Cynthia says:

    Good Morning! I want to thank all of you so much for praying for my son Andrew – you can't know how much it means to me – Becky, I will pray for Brandi and Denise I will pray for your son – and for both of your families – Dear Father, please touch our childrens' lives and bring them back to us – I too am hanging on to the promise that if we train our children in the way of the Lord, they will return to it.

  27. BrandiLeigh says:

    Yay Tammy! God is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.

    Love & prayers to all~
    Brandi

  28. Anonymous says:

    I have not yet sat and done the questions for this weeks study, but I am sad that this will be over soon. I have never experienced a bible study where I have felt God speak to me EVERY time I sit to do each weeks questions! This is amazing to me, it has taught me that I can expect that. I am excited to start this weeks questions and read all the comments above.
    Belinda

  29. Joannah says:

    Wendy, I have so enjoyed this study! I have never done such an in-depth Bible study before. I learned so much. I took the time to do all the reading you suggested, and I answered all the questions as best I could except the section on marriage. I'm a new widow and I just couldn't think about marriage right now – too painful.

    I hope you will do something like this again. It's been a huge blessing to me to spend that time in the Word. Thank you!

  30. Danielle says:

    I can't believe this is the end! I'm so bummed. I hope you have something else for us, Wendy in the notebook of yours. You bless my soul and fill me with love fr my sister. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    To those praying for children– my heart goes out to you! I'm praying as well.

    To Tammy– I am rejoicing with you! Praying your marriage grabs hold of the Rock and stands firm. May you have many rich and blessed years together.

    I can't wait to hear what you have to day on Eph., Wendy. I may use some of it with my D.O.Z girls!

  31. pro356mom says:

    My answer for Q 1e really got me thinking – and listening to the Lord. To me, this passage says that a cooperative and respectful family relationship brings peace and pleasure (happiness/joy) to your life on earth. I see this as children’s obedience and honor balanced by the parents’ listening and love for their children. All members of the family acting “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col 3:12-13) I am focusing more on the “go well with you” and “enjoy” life rather than on the length of one’s life.

    No one, other than our Father, knows how much time any of us has on this earth. I want to relish the gifts of my children and celebrate our life together as a family. By no means do I think that parents should be their children’s friends or let them have too much control. I absolutely defend parents’ responsibility to train their children in the Lord’s Truth and will. The parents are still the disciplinarians, but their goal is to teach their children righteousness and holiness in the Lord. As Hebrews 12:11-13 reminds us, discipline, though painful, produces a harvest of righteousness, peace, and healing.

    Of course the degree of control will vary depending on the children’s ages. Young children need constant correction, direction, and encouragement. I’m sure there will be times in my children’s teen years when we will have to pull back the reins on them, but ultimately I want them to choose to live as God’s children — as their choice, not what Mom & Dad are making them do. That they will stand firm in THEIR faith, not their parents’ faith. A friend once said, God doesn’t have any grandchildren, they all are His children, with a direct relationship with Him. That is what I pray for my children. I also pray for a long life together with them here on earth, but know that every day we have together is a gift from God. And while we are together that I am doing everything I can to teach them to know our heavenly Father.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Joannah,
    Oh sister. I am so sorry for the pain you are enduring. Even when we know the joy that awaits us one day, it doesn't take away the anguish and loss you are going through. I am so committed to holding you tight in prayer. A huge cyber hug and kisses on the cheek to you.

    Wendy,
    You continue to bless me- and through these blessings, I have been able to share your stories (through Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner and your devotional writings) and pay it forward to those in my corner of this world. You are a role model whom I feel honored to follow. I can't wait to purchase your upcoming study on Proverbs! May God continue to bless you and your family.
    With abundant gratitude and love,
    Noelle

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