November 13, 2012

“Living So That: Our Call to Action” Lesson One

 Lesson One:  God Spoke So that

Good morning, Bible Study friends.  Are you as excited as I am?!  Our official first day has finally arrived.  Great anticipation fills my heart as we gather in my kitchen this morning.  How grateful I am for each and every one of you.  Your comments have filled me with such joy…reading each and every one blessed me more than you will know.  Thank you for taking the time to write and share your hearts with me and for sharing your prayers.

It is definitely a day for celebration.  We now have over 6300 subscribed to our on-line studies!  This is truly only something God can do!!  Our “biggest small group ever”  just keeps growing because you so graciously share our studies with your friends.  Thank you.  We are still taking new members, so if you have a friend or friends you would like to invite, please share this post and encourage them to sign up by registering in the sidebar for the on-line studies as well as subscribing to the blog to receive the weekly posts in their inbox.

Instructions.

Each week we will have a video lesson, a memory verse, a prayer and homework questions.

Please forgive inconsistent spacing issues in the homework.  I am not sure why it will space correctly sometimes and not others.

The lesson will be up all week so that you can do it on your own time.  Remember if you want to receive the homework in your inbox, you will need to subscribe to this web site.  To do that, look at the top right side of my web site.  There you will find a  link that says “Subscribe to Updates.”  Simply type your e-mail address in the inbox and press “Go.”  You will then receive each week’s lesson in your inbox on Tuesdays.  If you want to see the video, you will have to visit my web site directly.  To get to the web site, you may click on the title of the post in the e-mail.  It will take you directly there.

Winners of “Living So That” Bible Study.

Before we get to the lesson, it’s time to announce the winners of the “Living So That” study I teach here in Charlotte.  I was only going to give one, but since so many of you responded, I am going to give away twelve.  It will come in the form of a PDF.  When it arrives, print it out.  It fits perfectly in a 1″ notebook.   The winners are:

Susan who posted on 11/5 at 3:28 pm

Renee who posted on 11/5 at 8:39 am

Jennifer who posted on 11/5 at 8:56 am

Bev who posted on 11/5 at 9:08 am

Amy Moe who posted on 11/5 at 3:28 pm

Debbie G who posted on 11/5 at 3:42 pm

Peggy who posted on 11/5 at 4:35 pm

Gayel who posted on 11/5 at 5:33 pm

Cherylyn who posted on 11/5 at 11:13 pm

Kathy who posted on 11/6 at 11:29 am

Nancy who posted on 11/10 at 1:07 am

Carolyn who posted on 11/10 at 11:53 am

 

Please send your full name and e-mail address to deuteronomysix@aol.com, and I will send you the “Living So That” study.

Video Lesson.

Okay….we’re off!!!  Below please find our video lesson for this week.

This Week’s Memory verse:  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 purpose.

This Week’s Prayer:

Father, today begins a new day in my spiritual journey with You. Thank You for bringing me to this study for setting apart this time and place for me to be in Your Word. As I begin my first lesson, I come boldly before Your throne, asking to be filled with the full, deep, and clear knowledge of Your will for me this year. Please use my time here to invigorate, refresh, strengthen, and renew me. Father, speak Truth in my life. Your Word calls me to action… to a life that will make a difference for You and Your Kingdom. 

Open the eyes of my heart to see that life. Give me a heart that desires that life above all else.  If I am not living in a way that pleases You or loving others in a way that honors You or studying in a way that changes me, convict my heart by speaking Truth in love. Make my heart tender to receive rebuke and discipline.  You have drawn me here, and I want to receive ALL You have for me!
As I join my sisters to study Your Word, knit us together in perfect unity. Allow there to be absolute trust and confidence in all we say.

Father, plant our roots deep in Your Word and use us to continually build each other up.  Help us to be patient and gentle with each other. Help us teach, admonish, and train one another with grace in our hearts. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing to You, oh, Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Father, bring Your living and active Word alive in my heart. Invade every part of my being. Transform me from the inside out.
  

Homework Questions:

A.  Do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God? If you answered “no,” what do you believe about the Bible and its accuracy and authenticity?

 

B.  Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, this week’s memory verse. What does Paul say about God’s Word?  List the four reasons God’s Word is profitable and explain how each applies to your life.

 

 

1..  Read Romans 15:4.  What does Paul add here?

 

 

2.  Read 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 and share what you learn about the purpose of God’s written Word?

 

 

3.  What is the “so that” in 2 Timothy 3:17?  

 

The King James Version says, “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

“Perfect” is from the Greek word artios and refers “not only to the presence of all the parts that are necessary for completeness but also to the further adaptation and aptitude of those parts for their designed purpose.” It does not at all suggest sinless perfection. Rather, it implies being fitted for the use for which God created us.

“Furnished” is from the Greek word exartizo and means to “furnish completely.” God, through His Word and His Spirit, gives us exactly what we need to be the women He created us to be. The Word of God equips us so that we can live the life God laid out for us before time began. The logical conclusion is the better you and I know the Word, the better able we are to live out God’s plan for our lives.

The Word equips us for ministry. And ministry is not limited to pastors, priests, nuns, speakers, authors, and Bible teachers. Ministry is doing God’s work wherever He has placed us  in our homes, in our schools, in our workplace, in our community, in our neighborhood, in our circle of friends, in our world.

4.  In your own life, how has God used His Word to prepare and equip you?

 

 

C.  Read Luke 8:4-15. Our “so that” is found in verses 9-10.

Don’t you love to know a secret? I feel really special when someone entrusts me with a secret. That is what Jesus tells His disciples here. Because they are special, He is entrusting them with Kingdom secrets. The word for secret here is musterion and refers to a “sacred thing hidden which is naturally unknown to human reason and is only known by the revelation of God.”

Matthew Chapter 13 (where we also find this same parable) tells us that Jesus taught this parable from a boat. One commentator surmises that as Jesus was teaching, He looked out upon a billowing cornfield that descended to the water’s edge. Running through that field was a well- worn path. Also within His purview, He could see rocky soil and ground overridden by thorn bushes. And, in the distance, on the other side, there was good, rich soil that distinguished itself from the barren soil around it.  With this visual in mind, let’s dig in to Luke’s parable.

In Jesus’ time, farmers planted seed by hand. The farmer in this story went out to plant his seeds. As he scattered the seeds, they traveled to four locations in the field. Some fell along the dirt path. Because people continually traveled this path, the soil was packed down hard. Once it landed on the soil, it could not take root. It would simply lie on top until the birds came and ate it. Some seed fell among the rock. This refers not to a pile of rocks but rather a place where a thin layer of soil covers a rocky ledge. So there was enough soil for the seed to take root, but its roots could not go deep. Thus, it could not feed itself, and it soon withered and died. Other seed fell among thorns. The good seed took root and grew up alongside the thorns, but the thorns grew faster and overtook the good seed and choked out the very life they produced.  Finally, some seed fell in the rich, good soil. It was this seed, Luke says, that produced a crop that was “a hundred times as much as had been planted.” (NLT)

1.  When Jesus finished the parable, His disciples were confused. Before He explained it, what did he say? (v. 8) What did Jesus mean by these words?

 

The New Living Translation says, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God”

2.  Was Jesus really speaking in parables to hide the Kingdom from “others,” from those outside His circle? Explain.

 

It does not seem fair, but that is what He appears to say. What we can infer from Jesus’ words is that He is looking for “listening ears.” If we have listening ears, we will hear and understand. Jesus purposely spoke in parables to distinguish between those who had “ears to hear” (those with responsive hearts) and those who did not. His words in verses 9 and 10 imply an element of culpability.

Now let’s open our ears so we can hear the truths Jesus wants us to glean from this parable.

3.  Who is the sower? Can there be more than one sower?

 

4.  What does the seed represent?  What does the soil represent?

 

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive a new heart, a heart which can perceive and understand the things of God. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart because it is the wellspring of life. Matthew teaches that where our treasure is our heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21) The state of our heart determines the quality of our “listening ears.”

5.  Jesus speaks of four types of soil, each one representing the heart of one who reads or hears the Word of God. Take a moment and dissect each soil as it relates to the heart and explain why that impacts the heart’s ability to receive the message.

 

 

6.  Is your soil fertile? Is the Word taking root in your heart as you receive it? If yes, share evidence of it taking root. If not, what do you need to do to allow it to take root?

 

 

D.  As we read through John’s gospel, time and time again we find phrases like this: “I am telling you now;” “I have told you before,” and “I have told you this.” Read the following examples and answer the questions. Also note that each one contains a “so that.”

Read John 13:19 and John 14:29:
1.  I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. John 13:19

a. What is Jesus telling them now? (for more insight read John 13:18-30)

 

b. Why is he telling them?

 

c. Why is strengthening their belief so important?

 

The disciples’ task after Jesus’ death would be to spread the message of the Kingdom. Jesus knew that, as it stood, they were not strong enough to take on such a monumental undertaking. He needed to strengthen their belief. The fact that Jesus knew of Judas’ betrayal and prophesied it in advance bolstered the disciples’ faith. Jesus used many “so that” statements like this to build their faith.

2.  I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe. John 14:29

a. What is Jesus telling them before it happens? (for more insight read John 14:28-31, Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31-32)

 

b. Why is he telling them?

 

c. Why would strengthening their belief in preparation for that moment in His ministry be imperative?

 

Jesus wanted His disciples to know that although He would be absent physically, He would not be gone altogether. They would still experience His presence even though they would not see or sense Him physically.

3.  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

a. Jesus begins by saying, “I have told you these things.” Define “these things.”

 

b.  In whom do we have peace? How is that possible?

 

c.  What does it look like to “have peace” in Christ?

 

d. Practically, how do we live in the fullness of God’s peace?

 

Jesus knew that His death would create great despair in the hearts of His followers. They had spent every moment with Him for the past three years. He was their teacher and their leader. He led them and fed them. He prayed for them and cared for them. And because Jesus was human, He perceived their fears of persecution and even death. He wanted to speak hope into their lives before He left. He wanted to assure them that even though in this world they would have trouble, they should not be anxious or afraid. He wanted them to know that peace would be theirs, an everlasting peace that no one could take away.

How is peace like that possible? Because of the Holy Spirit. Even though Jesus is physically now sitting at the right hand of His Father in heaven, He has not left us. He is with us spiritually. Through God’s Holy Spirit, we are connected with Jesus for eternity! We are free to encounter Him every day in His living and active Word. We are free to come boldly before His throne of grace with our every need. And we can know that when we come, He will hear us. We can find peace in times of pressure and uncertainty, in times of fear and waiting. We must never forget that even though in this world we will have trouble, our Savior has overcome the world! He is the Prince of Peace and His Peace reigns.

John 14:27 tells us that His peace is not the peace the world gives.

4.  Distinguish between the world’s peace and the peace of Jesus.

 

5.  How do we secure that peace in our lives? (read Philippians 4:6-7)

 

E. Our next “so that” is from the book of Colossians.  Read Colossians 1:24-2:8.

1.What did Paul tell the Colossians?

 

2. Why did he tell them this?

 

We must continually move forward in our faith. It is when we stand still or slide backward that we open ourselves up to Satan, the enemy of our souls. Jesus identifies Satan in John 8:44 as the “father of lies.” Peter warns us in 1 Peter 5:8, “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The word Paul uses is “deceive;” the King James Version says “beguile.” We are not to be “deceived” by fine sounding arguments. This is from the Greek word paralogizomai, which means to deceive by false reasoning. It is clear from much of Paul’s writing he experienced continual spiritual conflict, wrestling against Satan and his minions who were deceiving new believers, attempting to lead them astray. He desperately wanted believers to live together in unity and live in the fullness of Christ’s blessings. Paul knew, as Jesus knew when he spoke to Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus, the one and only way to overcome Satan was through the Word and prayer.

The world bombards us daily with lies and deception. If we do not know Truth, we will be led astray. If we are not continually in the Word and daily in prayer, we will slip backward, making ourselves vulnerable to Satan.

3. What does Paul want for us in Colossians 2:2?

 

4. In Christ, we have what according to Colossians 2:3?

 

What a gift we have in Jesus! In Him we have “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Any man made philosophy that contradicts or comes against His Word has no place in the life of a believer and should be unworthy of our consideration.

We must continually be aware of the world’s “fine-sounding arguments” and “enticing words” (KJV). These words in the Greek mean “persuasive words.” These are words that use logical but false arguments. God calls us to be alert and aware of such words. But that does not just happen. We must prepare in 0rder to be aware.

How can we prepare? Be in the word. Pray for discernment. Pray for understanding. Pray for wisdom.

Friend, we have Jesus! We are rich in the One who is our All in All. He is our Sufficiency. He is our Portion. He is Wisdom. He is Truth. He is enough. He is all we need!

Concluding Thoughts:

In my research, I found the following quote in a sermon preached by Thomas Bevers. I am not sure if he is the author, but I thought it a fitting conclusion for this week’s lesson:

The Bible

“This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.”

How we have delighted in the Lord’s Word this week! I don’t know about you, but I have been filled to the fullness of what I am able to receive. My heart is overflowing with TRUTH!

What I have learned is that I must fill my mind with God’s spoken Word because you and I act on what we BELIEVE and not on what we know. What fills our hearts and minds will determine our actions.

My Call to Action:

Prayerfully ask the Lord if He has a call to action for you based upon our lesson this week. If you hear “yes,” write a prayer below asking the Lord to help you obey what you have heard.  List a few steps you will take to carry out your call to action.

Comments

  1. Super excited for the study to begin!!!!

    • I am so happy for you to be a part this time, Veronica. I know you are going through so much. I pray this will keep you close to God’s heart and connected to His Word as you walk through this time.

      You let me know if time allows for the Pinterest aspect of the study. I would love it, but only if you have the time!

      Blessings,
      Wendy

  2. Thanking God that today is finally here!!! May God speak to us in amazing ways….can’t wait to dig into the study!

  3. So thankful for this study! I crave to know God better and his plan for my life!

    • This will be a GREAT study for you to learn His plans for us as His children and His many, many promises.

      Love,

      Wendy

  4. Thank you Wendy for listening to God & doing this study. It is challenging me.

    Blessings & Peace
    MaryG

    • Mary, so thankful you are joining us and may He take you to deeper places with Him as you open His Word over these next few weeks.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. Wendy this looks to be an AWESOME study! Praying for you as you lead and all the participants! Love you girl!!!!

  6. Rosemary Bretoux says:

    I can’t wait to start this bible study.. I want to have a closer relationship with Our Heavenly Father..

  7. So Excited to dive in! May God bless each and every person who is involved in this study and may we grow closer and closer to Him through His Word and Prayer!

    God Bless,
    MaLinda

  8. Hi Wendy!

    I am looking forward to this study. I have the first lesson printed.
    Is there a cover page for our binders?
    If not, is it possible to make one?
    Thanks!!

  9. I’ve so enjoyed reading thru this today and hearing from you. We wrap up our study tonight so looking forward to digging in tomorrow. It’s been awhile since I did a study with just my Bible and a journal…excited to do just that. Love these words Wendy – “What I have learned is that I must fill my mind with God’s spoken Word because you and I act on what we BELIEVE and not on what we know. What fills our hearts and minds will determine our actions.” Amazing how this lines up with much of what my pastor has been preaching the last couple of weeks! Thanks and prayers, Jill

    • God so often affirms what He is teaching in several different places, and I LOVE when He reveals it to me. It is such affirmation that He has led every step of this study.

      Thank you for sharing!

      W

  10. Ohhh WOW!!! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! So super excited and so much good CONTENT! Thank you, thank you, thank you Wendy! And Thank You, LORD for Wendy and this wonderful teaching! I can’t wait to dive in… and so much!

    WOW! Super awesome… I’m looking forward to writing my prayer for a CALL TO ACTION but I’ll wait until I work through piece by piece of His Word and what He has to say to me. Yes, yes, yes…Word of God speak!

    Bless Wendy and each of those You have called to be apart of this LIVING SO THAT study so that we examine Your word and our lives to live more fully the calling You have given each of us! I am so thankful for Your Living Word that breathes life into me daily. It’s is food to my soul and water to my thirst to know You more and more. Change me by Your Word and I will be whole. Your Word is inspiring and infallible, I know this ever so well. So please allow my eyes and heart to be open as You reveal Your Living Truth and Word to us through Wendy, the Bible and Your Holy Spirit! in Jesus Precious Name…

  11. Today has finally arrived!! I can’t wait to dig in with everyone!! I SOOOOOOO need this for my parched heart!

    <3 Heather

  12. Excellent first lesson, Wendy! Common sense tells us that the key to living out God’s plan for us is to dig deeper into the Word, but for some reason we seem to let other things get in the way. (Or is that just me?) I must admit I felt God nudging me when you talked about, as Christians, living our lives to honor the Word and so honor God, so that we do not confuse unbelievers. When you put it that way, it becomes much more serious, doesn’t it? I have a great responsibility, as a follower of Jesus, to be an example of His love and mercy on the earth. And the old adage is right, actions speak louder than words. God alone knows what unbelievers are in my path today, that I might encourage (or confuse) by my actions. It’s not enough to “talk the talk”, as it were. I definitely need to “walk the walk” as well. I may not be a missionary in a foreign land, but my chance to show God to others is just as strong here in my little corner of America as it is anywhere else in the world. And that’s definitely something to think about!

    • cheryl nau says:

      Sabrina, your post touched my heart for that message jumped out to me as well. It sure gives me a lot to think about as I examine my life and my walk. What a responsibility we have and how blessed we are to have each other in this study to inspire and strengthen each other.

    • Oh, I just love what you said about living out our faith in our “little corner” of the America. He chose the time and place we would live SO THAT He can use us to further His Kingdom. Great thoughts!! Thank you for sharing.

      W

    • I LOVE this Sabrina!

    • Sabrina, reading this made me realize when Wendy asked, “Who is the sower, is there more than one sower?” I initially thought, “There’s the Word, the Spirit, teachers and believers who have the Spirit in them who are speaking God’s truths to us…” But your post showed me that you and I… and all of us here are sowers. Thank you for sharing this, because I will take extra measures knowing I’m both the sower and the soil. In both cases, I need to be immersed in God’s word… day and night… there’s no other way… and I need to have His Spirit absolutely thriving in me. God bless you for this post! xoxo

  13. After watching the video I am so excited about starting this study and digging into God’s Word this week. Thank you for following God’s lead as a faithful servant, studying His Word and sharing with us what He’s taught you. Looking forward to seeing what God teaches me and many others through this study.

    Also in the process of reading your book “Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner” and looking forward to meeting you face to face at ReNEWed Life Women’s Event here in Iowa in August!

    • Rachel, I look forward to meeting you too!!! I LOVE Jill. She has been such a blessing in my life. I truly cannot wait to meet the women of your church. We are so excited you have joined us for this study.

      W

  14. cheryl nau says:

    I’m so excited to be a part of your Bible Study again. I discovered you and your ministry last year and participated in your last 2 studies. They have transformed my life and reawakened my faith. Through your example I have immersed myself in scripture benefiting not only me but my family as well. My daughter is struggling to pass her physical therapy boards and your lessons led us to lean on Gods strength and to have faith in his plans, You are a blessing to our lives.

    • Thank you, Cheryl. It means so much to me when you all return for another study. There is no greater encouragement to a Bible teacher!!! Looking forward to walking alongside you again as we grow deeper in the Word one more time.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  15. Thank you so much Wendy for listening to what God was asking of you (to create this bible study), SO THAT, I have a better understanding of His word and live a life that honors Him. Blessing! I am excited to tackle the homework, and grow!

  16. Wendy – this is the first time that I am participating in an online study. I had been trying to find a study for the past few months and when I received your post through Proverbs 31 Ministries, I discovered your website and couldn’t be any happier!

    I am so thankful for this opportunity to get back into God’s word. I yearn for my heart to burn, just like the disciples’ hearts did from today’s lesson.

    May the Lord bless you, Wendy, and your ministry. Thank you!

    • I am praying we all have “heartburn!!” And you are so welcome for this ministry. It blesses me tremendously to walk alongside each of you to study the Word together.

      W

  17. Shannon Wardlow says:

    I watched the video this afternoon and am so excited to dig into this first week’s homework!! Bless you all!!!

  18. I had this study on my mind all day! I saw the email arrive in my inbox while I was at work and could not wait to read through the email!

    For now — pajamas, a cup of tea, my Holy Bible and this study! I am so excited! Thank you dear Wendy! God is speaking through you and bringing so many of us closer to Him!

  19. I love the scene in Luke 24 when Jesus and the two men are on their way to Emmaus. When they stop to eat and Jesus blesses and breaks the bread to hand it to them and their eyes are finally opened. How awesome that the Bread of Life Himself had been giving them the nourishment (the Word) they needed to encourage their hearts. And today we have the Bread of Life within us. Awesome!

    • Dale, I too love this. And I have read this story so many times BUT THIS TIME…it came alive. Thus, His promise that His Word is living and active!!! 🙂

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  20. Ok, I just joined because of something Heather Bleier posted on her blog about it. So I am not 100% clear on everything. Are these questions to be answered today, or are these for this week, giving us the whole week to dig into it? Guess I am just a little uncertain as to the structure of this online study, I have never done one with you before, and everyone does them a bit different.

    I am looking forward to learning more with you. I was really excited to find an online study that I did not need to purchase a book for.

    • Hey Deanna, so excited you are joining us! These questions will be up all week. So take your time and dig in. Share when you feel led and stop by and read the comments others have shared. It’s like you have one BIG small group!! Don’t hesitate to e-mail me if you have any other questions, deuteronomysix@aol.com.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  21. Wendy, I am so excited to begin your Bible Study. I just need to learn how to get to the action part. I want to serve, I want to used used.

  22. Thank you for this! God spoke so that I can honor Him through my interactions with my husband and my girls. Let it be so!!!!

  23. Belinda Macey says:

    God has given me that Titus verse twice today! What does this mean for me Lord? I will soak this up. Off to do the homework later, will be back to read all the comments. Belinda

  24. Praying that I listen to God this week for “action” on my part. Praying that I can get past this fatigue in the morning so I can get back on track in taking enough time to do my devotions.

    One initial question – which is related to the first question. I DO believe that the Bible is God’s Word, but am searching for historical background that connects how all of the books were put together to form the first Bible. Can anyone help me? Would give me help when one of my co-workers (all unsaved) question the validity of the Bible. Thanks!

    • Abba,
      Bless Jackie with renewed energy… in her heart, mind and body. She thirsts for Your word and certainly it’s in Your will to quench that thirst! You LOVE this girl! Also, show her the needed wisdom to minister to those around her. Thank You for her love to share Your good news! In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!

      Jackie, my sister recommended this book to me and I LOVE it. It really helped me to understand the Bible on the validity, and so many other facets. http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Stans-Guide-Bible-Pocket/dp/1565077954

      Have an amazing day sister!

      • Thank you SO MUCH! I will definitely check this out. And thank you also for the prayer. It is really what I need to do more of, even when i’m tired, as God knows how I feel and also what is in my heart.

    • Thank you so much, Noelle, for giving all of us a resource. What a great question and one we should all be better able to answer! Another great resource is Evidence that Demands a Verdict written by Josh McDowell.

      Wendy

  25. Sabrina,
    You said very beautifully what my heart was thinking. Thank you.

    Wendy, as I began this study, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I”m excited to say that I have already felt God using his word to teach, rebuke and correct me. I think my heart may be the field of thorns….I take in the word of God and I try to apply it to my life….THEN LIFE HAPPENS….I am going to begin adding the nutrients of God’s word into my heart so that my heart becomes a fertile ground for his work to be completed in me.

    Thank you God for blessing Wendy with the Gift of teaching your word and may all the participants feel your presence during this study!

    Kim

  26. I am blown away- 1 Corinthians was written approximately 1,957 years ago, yet it seems like it was written specifically for us living in 2012 (proving Psalm 33:11)! God’s Word was written SO THAT we wouldn’t repeat Israel’s past history. If we heed the warnings we can avoid their consequences. Do not have idols. I need to ask myself if God is above my to-do list… my family… any social media. Do not commit sexual immorality. There are commercials that run on kids’ TV stations that are blatant with sexual immorality! Do not test the Lord. Do not grumble. Whoa- do not grumble? Yesterday, after reading this, I put myself on a complain “fast.” It showed me how easy it is to grumble about my work load, about cooking a healthy dinner when I still had paperwork to finish… there are lots of little things I can grumble about! Some were literally killed because of their grumbling- and they were baptized followers of Jesus! I am so excited to see how God has been protecting me through my daily quiet times… and I am so excited to see why I need to grow in my mind’s discipline… walking WITH Him every step of every day! This is an AWESOME study! Thank you Wendy!

    • Noelle, what a FABULOUS idea…a “complain fast.” I feel like some days I might not speak very much if I committed to that. 🙂

      It truly is a wonderful idea, and we can pray and ask the Lord to put a guard at our mouth and a sentry at our lips SO THAT we will think before we speak.

      Love you,

      me

    • Noelle!

      A complain fast is what my heart and soul need right now! 🙂

      I was listening to a podcast today that said that God gave us two ears and one mouth – speak less and listen more! 🙂

      Tomorrow – all day is a complain FAST for me! 🙂

    • Home before the husband and toddler — coffee, blanket and GOD wrapped around me. So much warmth, my heart is on fire to dig deeper into His word! 🙂

  27. Good Morning Wendy! I am just getting started on the Bible study this morning and I am alreay excited about how God is going to speak to me through His word and your obedience to lead. I was going through the homework questions and after reading the King James writing of
    2 Timothy 3:17, I just had to ad one thing here. . . The way you describe this using the greek words and their meanings really made sense in my mind. . . God makes us a perfect fit for what He has called us to do by furnishing us with what we need to complete this calling. I see this as a “custom fitting”. . . and who among us gals does not appreciate the luxury of custom fittings in all areas of our life! 🙂 As a tall, lanky gal, I know a thing or two about this, especially when it comes to clothing!! How awesome to know that God also custom fits me for the work He has for me. It sort of removes that wondering of why some people receive “gifts” that I do not have — just maybe they are not part of me, not part of the “fitting” He has for my spiritual growth and His service. Oh my Gosh, am I excited to keep going. . . Thank you Wendy! I needed a boost in my daily devotions and I know this was to answer to that prayer! God Bless you my friend!

    • Wow!! See how great it is to share comments with each other. Never before have I heard anyone describe this teaching this way…”custom fitting.” That is PERFECT for this teaching!! Thank you for sharing, Lori Ann.

      W

  28. Good Morning here is my answer to # 5.
    1) along the path – going along on life’s path not making a commitment, hanging with Christians. Now non-Christians will trample those who have a bit of knowledge. Is your heart strong enough to get into the Word & learn?
    2) on rock – life can get tough, rocky relationships, rocky finances, etc. will you cling to the cliffs (promises in the Word of God) or just fall in the crevices.
    3) among thorns – sickness, work issues, technology can stick you in your side & annoy you. Being overwhelmed can bring our heart & mind away from God’s Word.
    4) on good soil – reading the Word, church, bible study, praying, Christian friends, helping others, these are the good soil on which our hearts can grow in.

    I was wondering what others had. Blessing & Peace MaryG

    • Catherine Shepard says:

      Mary,
      This is what I have: This is explained in vs 11-15
      The path – they hear the word and receive it but satan takes it away easily so they are not even saved.
      The rocky soil – they receive the word with joy but since there is no root system, the minute trials come along they fall away
      The thorns – they hear the word and receive it with joy but the distractions of life prevent them from be fruitful, they are easily distracted by riches and pleasures – TV, movies, work – they believe but don’t bear any fruit.
      The rich soil – has a heart prepared and constantly being tended and tilled so that when the word is received they are ready to go out and do God’s work – the bear more fruit than the plant was originally intended to bear – winning many hearts and souls to Christ – or praying others through trials and tribulations so they may not lose heart – or digging in and knowing God’s word so that others may benefit from their knowledge

    • Catherine Shepard says:

      Wendy,

      I am so excited to be digging into God’s word. I love these types of studies. Granted there are many great authors who have lots of valid things to say about different areas, but a study that has me digging in God’s word and finding things for myself – guided by a woman of God is indeed a treasure. Bless your heart.

      Now – onto question 6 – Is your soil fertile? This is my answer.

      As I have journeyed thru life my soil has been thorny and rich. It seems that trials can bring me down too readily but I still hang on. I just seem to wander in circles not really getting anywhere. When I get mad at God for what I perceive to be an unfair instance, I pull back – not away, but back – my prayer time and bible time and church time suffer – therefore I suffer also. I wither and almost die. I don’t want to be there.
      I need to hold on tightly to the promises God has given me – in His word and in my prayer time. He is always faithful to follow thru!

      As an example – for many years – about 15 years ago, I would pray a hedge of protection around our lives and home. So as I read thru Steven Furtick’s book Greater – he suggested a prayer.

      This was yesterday morning:

      Lord, open my eyes that I may see……

      I closed my eyes and prayed this prayer just now. (ok – don’t think I’m crazy)
      I’m praying this prayer over and over in my mind – and thru the front window I see an angel – bent down looking in waving at me. So I scan the rest of the house perimeter – at every entrance (window, door, garage) there are 2 angels standing guard.
      So I scan the yard – at the end of the driveway there are 2 more, around the perimeter of the yard are several more angels standing watch. Over head there are 2 more scanning the skies and watching over me and my family. So I “glance” into the bedroom where Tim is sleeping. Again an angel, kneeling over him praying protection. Over my shoulder I see another one, with his hand on my shoulder – protecting and praying for me.

      As I write this post I am shaking and seeing it all again. Tears streaming down my face. An entire platoon of God’s army sent to watch over just the 2 of us. AN ENTIRE PLATOON OF ANGELS!

      I used to pay protection everyday over our lives and household. And I still do on occasion when the weather turns particularly nasty. But I never in my wildest imagination would think that God would send so many angels to watch over us. Praise GOD!

      So even though it has been years since I prayed that protection – God has been faithful to ME!!!! And he will be faithful to you also!

      • This is absolutely AMAZING. Thank you so much for sharing your prayer and how God has so mightily answered your prayer. I have prayed with both my children since they day they were born for a “wall of angels to be around our house…every door and window.” At first I prayed it when they were too young to pray. As they began to pray, they prayed it with me. And now, as my 14 year old son prays, he prays it before he goes to bed.

        In my book, Hidden Joy, I share how I had a vision of a “wall of angels” around my house when I was seeking freedom from and protection from fear. God is so FAITHFUL!!!

        Love,

        Wendy

  29. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Thank you Wendy for letting me know I had the following post on a different date, so that I could copy and paste it here! We have the best teacher. 🙂

    Trying to gather my thoughts about what it has meant in my life when God spoke to me I was overwhelmed with how to express everything in words to be read. The word everything is so cliche when He Is Everything. In my mind I flipped the question and asked myself what it would be like without Him in my life. The agony, dispair, sense of loss, emptiness, feeling of grief brought me to gut wrenching tears and a feeling of seperation. Seperation I understand after the recent death of my dad and other loved ones within months of each other. These seperations are easier to adjust to because there is hope. The thought of no God in my life leaves no hope, nothing. Processing all of this I am more determined to give Him all that I am so that I see, feel, hear, smell, breath His Holy Spirit with my every being. I want it All. All that the Holy Spirit has to offer. I thirst and hunger for Him. I yearn for Him. I want Him for me, for everyone. I start my day asking God to not let me miss an opportunity to glorify Him in this day, show me who You want me to bless, to love, to share You. I want what God gave to the Israelites in Deutronomy 32:10- “He found them out in the wilderness, in an empty, windswept wasteland. He threw his arms around him, lavished attention on him, guarding him as an apple of his eye. He was like an eagle hovering over it’s nest overshadowing its young, then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly. God alone led him; there was no foreign god in sight. God lifted him onto the hilltops.” (The Message Version) I want to be this “him” so that others will see me soar and “extol Him at all times His praise always on my lips. ” Psalm 34:1 God spoke to me so that I would want Him more.

    As I footnote I thought about this all morning, since I was given the opportunity to add it: Romans 8:38 went through my mind all morning. Our God is faithful to us. I want to be who He wants me to be so that I am faithful to Him. Anything I can do to stay in the Word, obey, Praise, Worship, seek, knock, repent…I am eager and willing. So that….

    • I love your creativity…wondering what life would be like without Him. I have never thought about that before, and it is a VERY powerful image. And I don’t every want to know that feeling…ever!! Thank ou for sharing.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  30. This is my first online Bible study with you!! I am excited to dig deeper in God’s Word and learn everything I can!! 🙂

  31. Melinda Albarado says:

    I was watching the Video Lesson but stopped it when Wendy suggested reading Luke 24:13-32. For the next several hours I read these verses in several different translations and commentaries. My heart tells me to share with you what I read in “Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary of the Whole Bible”. (It’s a good thing that I love to type). Praying that it blesses you as it blessed me!
    VERSES 13-27: This appearance of Jesus to the two disciples going to Emmaus, happened the same day that he rose from the dead. It well becomes the disciples of Christ to talk together of his death and resurrection; thus they may improve one another’s knowledge, refresh one another’s memory, and stir up each other’s devout affections. And where but two together are well employed in work of that kind, he will come to them, and make a third. Those who seek Christ, shall find him; he will manifest himself to those that inquire after him; and give knowledge to those who use the helps for knowledge which they have. No matter how it was, but so it was, they did not know him; he so ordering it, that they might the more freely discourse with him. Christ’s disciples are often sad and sorrowful, even when they have reason to rejoice; but through the weakness of their faith, they cannot take the comfort offered to them. Though Christ is entered into his state of exaltation, yet he notices the sorrows of his disciples, and is afflicted in their afflictions. Those are strangers in Jerusalem, that know not of the death and sufferings of Jesus. Those who have the knowledge of Christ crucified, should seek to spread that knowledge. Our Lord Jesus reproved them for the weakness of their faith in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Did we know more of the Divine counsels as far as they are made known in the Scriptures, we should not be subject to the perplexities we often entangle ourselves in. He shows them that the sufferings of Christ were really the appointed way to his glory; but the cross of Christ was that to which they could not reconcile themselves. Beginning at Moses, the first inspired writer of the Old Testament, Jesus expounded to them the things concerning himself. There are many passages throughout all the Scriptures concerning Christ, which it is of great advantage to put together. We cannot go far in any part, but we meet with something that has reference to Christ, some prophecy, some promise, some prayer, some type or other. A golden thread of gospel grace runs through the whole web of the Old Testament. Christ is the best expositor of Scripture; and even after his resurrection, he led people to know the mystery concerning himself, not by advancing new notions, but by showing how the Scripture was fulfilled, and turning them to the earnest study of it.
    VERSES 28-35: If we would have Christ dwell with us, we must be earnest with him. Those that have experienced the pleasure and profit of communion with him, cannot but desire more of his company. He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. This he did with his usual authority and affection, with the same manner, perhaps with the same words. He here teaches us to crave a blessing on every meal. See how Christ by his Spirit and grace makes himself known to the souls of his people. He opens the Scriptures to them. He meets them at his table, in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper; is known to them in breaking of bread. But the work is completed by the opening of the eyes of their mind; yet it is but short views we have of Christ in this world, but when we enter heaven, we shall see him for ever. They had found the preaching powerful, even when they knew not the preacher. Those Scriptures which speak of Christ, will warm the hearts of his true disciples. That is likely to do most good, which affects us with the love of Jesus in dying for us. It is the duty of those to whom he has shown himself, to let others know what he has done for their souls. It is of great use for the disciples of Christ to compare their experiences, and tell them to each other.
    VERSES 36-49: Jesus appeared in a miraculous manner, assuring the disciples of his peace, though they had so lately forsaken him, and promising spiritual peace with every blessing. Many troublesome thoughts which disquiet our minds, rise from mistakes concerning Christ. All the troublesome thoughts which rise in our hearts at any time, are known to the Lord Jesus, and are displeasing to him. He spake with them on their unreasonable unbelief. Nothing had passed but what was foretold by the prophets, and necessary for the salvation of sinners. And now all men should be taught the nature and necessity of repentance, in order to the forgiveness of their sins. And these blessings were to be sought for, by faith in the name of Jesus. Christ by his Spirit works on the minds of men. Even good men need to have their understandings opened. But that we may have right thoughts of Christ, there needs no more than to be made to understand the Scriptures.

    • Thank you, thank you for sharing these words from Matthew Henry. He is one of my most favorite commentators and I always use him in preparing lessons. Commentaries are such a blessing because men much more learned than I give their insight and knowledge on God’s Word and enrich my study.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • Melinda Albarado says:

        Dear Wendy – You are so welcome! He is my favorite, too. I found his Study Bible (NKJ) at a used book store not long ago and it is one of my favorite Bible’s! I apologize for the length of the post – I tend to “overdo” – but it was so beautiful that I couldn’t leave anything out!
        In Christ, Melinda

  32. In answer to the question, “Can there be more than one sower?”…I answered yes. Anyone who spreads the Word of God would be considered a ‘sower’. Is this right? In all the years I’ve heard and read this parable, I never really considered this.

    • Hi Dale! I had that same thought… I had never considered that thought before. It really opened my eyes to how I am listening to those who have God’s Spirit in their hearts! I’ll admit that during some conversations, I think about what is on my to-do list. But, today and from here out, I’ll be listening with a different intention… I don’t want to miss anything because of thorns or rocks in my heart’s soil!

      • That’s my desire as well, Noelle. I want to be able to read Scripture and gain something new each time. Sometimes it’s the mundane things that keep us from hearing and understanding because we’re so caught up in it. But let us keep praying for the eyes to see and and the ears and heart to understand and believe.

        Blessings!

    • Yes, yes that is correct!!!! I had never thought of this either until I prepared this lesson. How I love the LIVING and ACTIVE Word of God that speaks a FRESH Word each and every time we open it.

      W

  33. Carol Blair says:

    As I was reading through Luke 8:4-15 and reading through the study notes in my Bible the following really struck a chord in me “That some of the seed produces no crop is not the fault of the faithful farmer or of the seed. THE YIELD DEPENDS ON THE CONDITION OF THE SOIL WHERE THE SEED FALLS.” In my women’s Sunday School class we have been talking about having a GOOD FOUNDATION to stand on. So I thought about the correlation between Good Soil and having a Good Foundation. When the seed has all the nutrients it needs in good soil then it can produce a good crop and when we have a solid foundation to stand on with our faith then we have what it takes to produce seed to sow.

    • Carol, that is a GREAT analogy!! Thank you for sharing. That brings in the parable about what kind of soil our house is built upon. God’s Word always confirms itself over and over again!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  34. I have just finished writing out the questions for this week ( yes, I know I could press print- but my brain engages better when I write 🙂 and I am excited to dig in.
    Thank you, Wendy. Your effort and devotion are greatly appreciated!
    I’ll see you next week!

  35. Wendy, thank you so much for starting another study. I cannot even imagine the hours you spend preparing all the materials and we all thank you for blessing us with your learnings. I am just starting the questions but am so touched by your prayer and the thought of the coming year and what God has planned me. Our family has gone through a significant life change with the adoption of our daughter and her serious health issues (Wendy, thank you again for your prayers) and I can’t help but think that that I am on the cusp of a glimpse of God’s plan. Being off work, I am able to spend much more time in His Word and in prayer which I am really enjoying. So hard to completely surrender and I struggle with that every day but I trust that this study will give our Father another the vehicle to provide direction.

    God Bless You!

    • Lori, I pray the Lord will meet you in His Word and make Himself known to you in very real and personal ways!! And we all pray for the Lord to reach down from heaven and wash your daughter from the top of her head to the tips of her toes with His healing balm.

      Sweet Blessings,

      Wendy

  36. This is my God speaks SO THAT in my life this week – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33”
    Even as I think about this scripture this morning, I am very troubled even though I am outwardly looking cheerful. I am trying real hard not to worry but to bring everything to God in prayer with thanksgiving & failing miserably. I am using escape mechanisms (films & romance novels) to dull the pain in my heart (seed falling among thorns), and I know I should rest in the arms of God and take up His peace because He has indeed overcome the world which includes my difficulty, shame, tiredness, disappointment & heartache but can’t seem to do it! Quite frustrating!!! But this scripture gives me peace, He said it already – I will have trouble but I should take heart! so take heart Olayinka, it may be hard but Jesus has overcome for me!!!
    Thanks Wendy for this study – told you it was exactly what I needed.

    • His peace is within you, sweet friend, as part and parcel of His Holy Spirit. It is your gift….you need only grow it and develop it. Every time you have a worrisome thought or feel anxiety rising up within you, speak a Truth about peace over your heart and mind. This will help you TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to the obedience of Christ. The more you do that, the more He will push out the worries and replace them with peace and rest. He will be faithful!!!

      W

  37. I don’t think I’ve ever truly grasped John 16:33… the enormity of Jesus’ words… I mean I use this verse a LOT in my life because I want His peace, not the world’s, and heaven knows we do have troubles in this world… but within the context, Jesus was preparing His precious friends’ hearts.

    He knew that they would be devastated as they scattered, each in his own home, leaving their beloved friend and Savior by Himself as He faced His imminent death. He knew the regret, the pain… the anguish that could easily haunt them for a lifetime. And look at His grace! He lovingly equips their hearts and pre-medicates their probable depression. He knew they would think, “I left my best friend and Lord alone, how could I have possibly done that to HIM?” That type of anguish would be far too much for any of us to bear! But He wanted them to have peace knowing their thoughts weren’t true… God His Father was with Him. And He wanted them to take heart… have hope… know who the Victor is!

    Within context, I realize that His peace… His grace… His compassion… His love… truly does go beyond our human understanding. How can we not fall deeper in love with Jesus each day of our lives?! Wow. I’ll need to sit with that thought in my heart for a while…

    • Ohhh yes, Noelle… SOAK IN IT!

      and take heart Olayinka, it may be hard but Jesus has overcome for YOU!!!

      Yes, my dear sisters in Christ; MAY WE REALIZE this DEEP PROFOUND LOVE, PEACE and JOY from CHRIST:
      “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33″

      Praying in agreement as you receive ALL of what God spoke to us for us too!

  38. The Parable of the Sower is probably one of my FAVE parables. {I love how God works, because I used the version in Matthew 13 twice already this week to teach my students and it wasn’t preplanned, it was just a natural transition based on what I was teaching.}

    Anyway. Number 3 “Who is the sower? Can there be more than one sower?” Really got me thinking…

    a. Christ is the initial sower because He reveals the mysteries of the Gospel. Without Him and the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand the Word and therefore we would not be able to come to faith. {I Cor 2:6-16, esp vs:9-16}

    b. Ok, this is the part that made me say “whoa.” I’d never thought of the sower being anyone other than Christ. However, it makes sense that once we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are then equipped to share the Gospel message with others, because the Spirit has brought us understanding of the Word.

    As “good soil” we naturally produce fruit/seed to be shared with others. I say “naturally produce fruit/seed” because when we have received grace through faith in Jesus, it’s darn near impossible NOT to WANT to share that good news with others! {Though we have no control over the soil of another and whether or not they come to faith; that is still the work of the Holy Spirit.} If we do not share with others, as we have been commanded…well…then we probably aren’t the “good soil” we think we are…a rather harsh truth, but truth none the less. {Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8}

    • AMEN! Heather…good thoughts! This is my FAVE also!

      I like that you pointed out that we have no control over the SOIL of ANOTHER!

      For years, I struggled with not getting this. Although I knew in my head, that it’s “not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit”, I thought I must not be praying right or something. Kept kicking myself for being such a bad witness and example. The enemy sure had his ‘hey day’ with me, as I was taunted with his continuous lies.

      I really like your last statement! So very true!

      Also, a point, I’d like to add to seeds producing fruit (and those ole weeds)… because I was told this with good intent, if we are planted and know the fruit of the Spirit but do not LIVE the truth; though we serve, and we may plant, but we will not harvest good fruit if we are not obeying God’s Word in our own life daily.
      (maybe I did not explain this very well)!

      But I still love what you wrote and the parable of the good sower.

      Maybe I’ve been trying to plant seed in the rocks too long! Time to hit the sand of the beaches (:0) and minister God’s love with hopes that I ma LIVING HIS TRUTH more each day…

      Have a great weekend, sis!

    • Yes Heather… YOU have been a grace-filled, beautiful sower in my life! I thank God for you!

  39. Catherine Shepard says:

    Can anyone help me with this question?
    What does it look like to “have peace” in Christ?

    I truly have no idea!!
    But I am guessing – it should look exactly how Christ’s life looked while on earth, glorifying and obeying the Father while knowing we are protected from the “evil one” because we belong to Him

    ANYONE ELSE have any thoughts?

    • Catherine Shepard says:

      No call to action at this time.

    • To have trust that no matter what is going on that God is in control, and you are right where you should be and not worrying about anything because God has the battle. Just a calmness of heart and soul, no matter how chaotic your surroundings and the troubles around you.

    • Peace to me is a true sense of contentedness in my heart and mind even when things around me are spinning around and sometimes even burdening me. I sense His true presence in my spirit that washes a sense of calm over me. It is almost a physical sensation.

      Sometimes it comes quickly and sometimes I have to really pray Scripture over myself to fight the anxiety and worry…just pray it over and over again. His Peace will always come…it must because He is faithful. We must pray His Word in FULL faith and believe He will answer. It takes time, but we will eventually reach this place.

      I don’t think we ever stop the worries and anxieties, but they just don’t “hang on.” They come and pass quickly as we grow in peace.

      Blessings to you,

      Wendy

    • Melinda Albarado says:

      May I share with you something that really helps me when the sorrows and problems of this world begin to overwhelm me? The first 9 words of the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”. In Christ, Melinda

  40. Blessings sisters in Christ and Wendy, bringer of God’s Truth through His Word:)

    I am going deeper today in JOHN as God spoke SO THAT I may continually have the peace of Jesus Christ in me, no matter what worldly troubles I face and SO THAT His JOY will be complete in me!!!

    Although I still have not seen my charred house that no longer exists as an earthly home (nor photos yet), I know that my peace lies inside of me, because of the Holy Spirit and I seek more of my heavenly home with God eternally because Jesus Christ has blessed me with this peace that does pass my human understanding … still can’t get my head around what insurance declares as a “total loss” (worldly) I cling to my eternal gain that I may reflect more of the Spirit and His fruits to others around me (even my husband back in MN, sifting through the ashes SO THAT Jesus may reach inside of him and show Him that HE is the ONLY WAY to God, Our Father)!

    I pray that I will better understand God’s Truth spoken (especially in Chapter 15)
    (although John 14 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible) SO THAT I will not GO ASTRAY (or return to unhealthy patterns in my past with anger, etc.) because I am a new creature in Christ and my identity (like John’s) is based in Jesus Christ
    and being His Beloved also! God has spoken, chosen me, called me, equipped me for such a time as this. His Word never fails and HE NEVER HAS! He will not leave me now or never! God loves me and EACH OF YOU deeply! I am so honored to have the privilege to call on my Father and He embraces me, letting me know how much He cares, hears me and is moving mountains to reach the
    unbelievers, unsaved, those living in the world or the darkness, HE STILL is in the business of saving, delivering and doing miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit!

    So thankful Wendy for this study and love spending each day in it (as you may remember from previous study, this is Friday and my “date day with the Lord”, time set aside all day singing, dancing, reading His Word, waiting for Him to speak or better said for me to hear what He is saying to my heart today than interceding for the ministry here and each weekend to reach more people for Jesus in this community and break strongholds over this country in Jesus’ name)! I love you and I am so blessed to walk through this study with you (with hopes to share perhaps as a study here in Spanish if God opens that day)! PARA QUE… SO THAT not so what (lol) !

    Have a great and blessed weekend,
    Peggy

    • LORD, I know that You have a call to action for me! I am listening but I still do not know what it is. Help me to hear You and only You! Thank You for the many lessons and words spoken through this study this week (although I’m only on Day 4), I know that You are calling me to action SO THAT I will LIVE a life CALLED TO ACTION!

      Show me the steps as I continue in this study and Your Word! Light my path and guide me by Your Spirit. Change me Lord, to wait patiently and not speak or move impulsively, impatiently or without You! Hold me like never before … and move in my hopelessness of earthly messes so I keep my eyes always on You and what You are doing one day at a time for now. I trust You and believe You Jesus in all You speak to me through Your Word and to each sister. Open our ears, our eyes and our lives to be transformed by You so we no longer are conformed in the world. We desire Your peace and not the false peace of this world. Fill us overflowingly Holy Spirit. Lite our fires and our love once again, stir us and renew us in Jesus Name…

      • Peggy… sweet friend… I am so very sorry for your loss(es). Picturing your husband sifting through ashes at your burned home in MN… and you reveling in Jesus’ Presence and His love with no boudnaries… my heart is wrapped up in your story. YES, let your husband find Jesus as he sifts through the ashes.

        Abba,
        Thank You for precious Peggy’s heart that loves You with a fierce love. Thank You for Your love for her… for her husband… Thank You that You hurt for their loss, and that You collect each of their tears. Thank You that You are right next to her husband whispering Your invitation… the invitation that says, “you can trade your heart’s ashes for my beauty!” Lord, in ways only You can, give him a heart of flesh that welcomes You into his heart. You have set eternity in his heart and You stand at the door of his heart and You knock. Let him open that door with joy and peace like never before. Fill him with You! Also, give him eyes to see YOU through Peggy. Your Spirit is beaming out of her! Bless her for being a Proverbs 31 wife.

        Peggy has her mind set on You, so in Jesus’ Name, direct each of her steps. Show her when it’s time to lie down in green pastures and restore her soul… and when it’s time to take specific steps in a certain direction. Speak Your will to her mind, and give her ears to hear. Thank You for this beautiful girl!

        We love You and we pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

        • Bless you Noelle! Tears… I’m so overwhelmed…thank you for this beautiful prayer and your uplifting words to me!(more tears) so my cloudy eyes won’t let me type but I wanted to thank you so much! Praying with you and may God richly bless you, Noelle!

    • Peggy, I do remember your date day, and I just LOVE the idea!!

      Thank you for sharing such powerful truths with us today!! You always bless me with your comments. God has filled you with such wisdom, and I am very thankful you share it with us.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  41. In Matthew and Luke it notes that Jesus is causing blindness – this has always confused me – i know that we have a “will” to believe in Jesus, but both sites sound like Jesus has chosen to “play favorites”, even though I can’t believe this would be true, by blinding some from understanding. Wendy – can you help?

    • Hi Jackie,

      We will study this more in the “Trials come so that…” chapter. I don’t think Jesus ever plays favorites. But there are times when God knows a person’s heart and knows how they will respond and what they will do with that response. That influences how the Lord works in people’s lives.

      He knew Pharoah’s heart. He knew Judas’ heart. I think He knew no matter what they would never bend the knee to Him. So he hardened their hearts and then worked through them to do mighty works for those who did believe and were obedient.

      These are difficult truths that we will never really understand while on this earth. This is why we must know His character. When we know His character, we can trust Him even when it does not sound “right” or “make sense.” God is ALWAYS good. His plans for us are ALWAYS for our good.

      W

      • Thanks Wendy = that makes sense. Especially the importance of knowing God’s character. Moving on to church and finishing up Week One!

  42. I am so being blessed by this study. I haven’t come back to comment as often as I would have liked. But I am loving this getting deeper into the Word. Number 5 in part C, really spoke to me, in a fresh way. I wrote a bit about that on my blog: http://thepuresacrifice.blogspot.com/2012/11/heart-conditions.html

    This morning I was talking about the peace of God versus the peace of the world. It amazes me how so many seek peace in the world, in jobs, possession, etc., but all of that is subject to the economy and other sources.

    The Peace of God however, provides peace for our hearts and rest, no matter what the circumstance, and it is the only peace the world can’t steal from us.

    • Thanks for sharing on your blog. I stopped by and so enjoyed what you wrote about a receptive heart.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  43. Words to my heart this 5th day in Colossians (I usually read in NIV) but I was compelled to read in Amplified and the Message too…

    1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea,
    and for all who have not met me personally. AMEN – thank You, Lord
    Colossians 2:
    2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,(NIV)

    The Message says it like this for verse 2(-4):
    2-4 I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”

    Amplified Colossians 2:
    2[For my concern is] that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One).

    May we be knit together in love, dear sisters in Christ! May our faith be strengthened by one another and “we must move forward” (not backwards) Amen
    nor in circles. I will not stand still or allow the enemy to move me backwards or make his prowling circles around me, nor will I listen to “fine sounding arguments” and boy, have I had plenty (but by the grace of God) I have never been persuaded to give in, or give up on my pursuit of God’s Living Truth!

    I love Wendy how you described and shared how you and your precious son watched “Animal Planet” and the hunt of a lioness. I would have to close my eyes. But that’s the problem, our eyes need to be WIDE OPEN and aware of every move and our vulnerabilities. Can’t leave a door (or even a window cracked) for that enemy (cuz he will wait and lay low to hound you or make his attack).

    You know what really gets me Wendy. In the late 80s when I was raped in our home, the enemy knew, and caught me off guard because that very morning I had so much JOY and PRAISE as I sang along, I had placed my entire armor on that very day, because I had just learned the importance through a teaching series of Joyce Meyer or Kay Arthur and was beginning to make this a daily part of my prayers! And WHAM! I had read Ephesians 6 and declared it as my prayer as I put on each armor piece. So reading your words in this lesson reminded me on this as I pondered the part on

    Practically how are we to use each piece?

    I put on the helmet of salvation to guard my mind (because the mind is the battlefield for the enemy) and I need to keep my thoughts on God’s Word and thoughts SO THAT the enemy cannot have access to planting thoughts, ideas that don’t belong

    I put on the belt of Truth so that I will not hear the lies and accusations of the enemy or those used by the enemy. I must gird myself and protect myself with the Truth, the Living Truth.

    I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness … (this one is a bit difficult for me)
    because only through the righteousness of the blood of Jesus am I able to cover my heart and guard it from the darts and the pain inflicted by this world, the demons and the spirits that penetrate our softened hearts, we need to cover our tenderness with God’s!

    I take up the SHIELD of FAITH because I need to deflect those arrows being thrown at me of unbelief or anything like doubt or other obstacles that want to come and break down my faith, steal my growth or the seeds that are blooming,
    rob me from the fruit of a good harvest.

    I take of the SWORD of the SPIRIT because the battle is won and the Word of God is my defense as I declare it and speak it forth it weakens and buckles the knees of the enemy to cower and slink back. Since he knows the Word also, I must be better equipped and ready to wield my SWORD by being in the Word and memorizing it SO THAT I may “teach, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness being thoroughly equipped for every good work” with God inspired and breathed Words of faith and strength! Promises.

    I must put on the shoes of the gospel of PEACE, SO THAT I will LIVE a LIFE and share Jesus’ Life with others, carrying that Truth to those who have not heard or received … carrying my light with Jesus’ peace to guide others from the darkness into His Light! (MY ONE WORD for 2012 – LIGHT)

    Not sure that I captured this, but working on what I believe SO THAT God’s spoken Word will determine MY ACTIONS and I will LIVE the WORD I read and be filled and overflow to others!

    Have a blessed SONday! Time to get my CUP FILLED UP! Many blessings on each of you in Jesus Name,
    Peggy

    • Oh my goodness… Peggy, I just read your comment above. My heart aches so deeply for that piece of testimony that you and Wendy both share. I cannot comprehend how something so horrific could have happened to you dear, precious girls. You both are truly beauty from ashes. I am lifting you both up to Jesus this very moment… thanking Him for you… praying His armor over you… loving you both.
      xoxo

  44. Peggy, you shared so many things that touched my heart.

    First I loved the Messages “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”

    Second, what great descriptions of the armor. I so enjoy teaching on the armor. I have prayed the Armor of God over my children and our home since the day I learned about it. Both my children had it memorized and prayed it before they started school!!! It is a powerful visual and great comfort to children.

    And finally, your word “SONday” is GREAT!! I have never seen that before. Can’t wait till tomorrow and enjoy my SONday. Will enjoy it extra much because Lauren will be coming home to spend a week with us!!!!

    Blessings,

    Wendy

    • WOO HOO! Have a very blessed SONday and week with Lauren home! How very wonderful but of course, it’s time to celebrate THANKSGIVING already back home.

      Ohh, How I miss that good ole turkey day and gathering around the table giving thanks! That special dining room table from my parent’s is now gone, yet STILL I will GIVE THANKS this Thurs. and every day for God’s Provision. (I shared photos on my blog post on Day 17 of Giving Thanks One Day at a Time of before and after of that table) but God is preparing a grand banqueting table and calling us.
      http://mazmagi.blogspot.com/2012/11/giving-thanks-one-day-at-time-17.html

      THAT is exactly WHY I shared the MESSAGE version Wendy. It blessed me so!
      (goosebumps as I read it again)

      And I so agree with the visual lessons for kids on up of the Armor of God! We definitely need to be suited up and learn this early on in life, praying this scripture over us and our household and our families.

      Since I was not sure about the BREASTPLATE, I further studied it, here it what this source shared as they covered each one in a pdf:
      http://www.bibleabookoftruth.com/HowToUseTheSpiritualArmourOfGod.pdf
      (there was another one, but I could not find it to link to it)

      “The Breastplate of Righteousness deals with the heart, which is located inside the chest. The breastplate was joined at the shoulder and covered the whole chest, front and back. ‘My son, attend to My words; listen to My sayings. Let them not depart from your sight. Keep them in the center of your heart for they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body. Guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life’ (Proverbs 4:20 to 23). Every emotion we experience in life, comes from the heart. What we have in our hearts determines the course of our lives. If our hearts are filled with bitterness, unbelief and fear, our lives will go the wrong way. If our hearts are filled with faith, peace and love, our lives will go the right way. Righteousness is a condition of the heart not of the head. ‘We belong to the Light; therefore let us be sensible and put on the breastplate of faith and love’ (1 Thessalonians 5:8).
      Faith works through love (Galatians 5:6) and is a condition of the heart. ‘If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and in your heart, believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes and so is justified, and with the mouth he confesses and confirms his salvation’ (Romans 10:9 & 10).
      There is a difference between believing with the head and believing with the heart.
      Believing with the head leaves us unchanged. Almost every person on earth believes there is a God up there somewhere, but that does not change their lives. Believing with the heart changes everything; it changes the way we live unto righteousness in God. We need to serve God with love from the heart. We see the breastplate is not an invisible item that we can ‘pull on’. It is an attitude of practical righteousness towards other people that follows love and obedience towards God our Father. “

      I know we could spend hours on the benefits of the armor lessons!!!

      The reason I returned again today was because I was reviewing. And this part, I really need to focus on and hear more how others replied to this (it’s my fave)!!!
      I love how you asked this:

      5. Jesus speaks of four types of soil, each one representing the heart of one who reads or hears the Word of God. Take a moment and dissect each soil as it relates to the heart and explain why that impacts the heart’s ability to receive the message.

      SOW my dear SISTERS in Christ!!! SOW everywhere, plant and water. Don’t forget to tend to your own garden, never let ministry to others be more important than the ministry right in your own heart and those of your loved ones. PRAY in Jesus’ name and speak God’s Word in faith declaring it as so … and then BELIEVE and LIVE it!

      Thanks for your encouraging feedback Wendy, I was concerned I was hogging the comments.

      Love and peace in Christ on this glorious SONday! (off to Spanish worship and service)
      Peggy

  45. Alex Asmus says:

    How excited I was to come to your page this morning, for the first time in months, wanting a great study, and finding that you have just started one! Thanks, Wendy. I am looking forward to exploring more of God’s precious Word with you. 🙂

  46. I just finished up Lesson 1 and I am sooooo excited to move on! But first I want to share what I am feeling this morning. When I looked up the word “beguile” the definition was “to influence by trickery”. Now that reminded me of “sly as a fox”, which flashed me back to my childhood days in Sunday School. I hope you all will enjoy this memory as well, and even join me in singing this morning. . .

    “The devil is a sly old fox, if I would catch him I’d put him in a box. I’d lock that box and throw away the key for all the dirty tricks he’s played on me.”

    How about it ladies. . . it is time to show Satan a thing or two here!!! I know I for one am tired of being tricked and bullied!! It is super amazing to me that we have the resources to conquer Satan at our disposal, yet sometimes we choose not to use them.
    Keep reading, keep studying and keep praying! ~~~~JESUS IS ENOUGH!!!

    • Ohhh yeah!!! I’m ready too, Lori!
      1,2,3 …
      “The devil is a sly old fox, if I would catch him I’d put him in a box. I’d lock that box and throw away the key for all the dirty tricks he’s played on me.”

      Poof!!!
      Stomp!!!
      DONE DEAL! Jesus won!!!

    • Amen, girlfriend!!!

      W

  47. What a joy to read thru the comments and see God at work in mighty, yet very personal ways! Looking forward to what is to come!

    This past week I finished up a study of Lysa TerKeurst’s Unglued and in it she shared from Hosea 10:12 – I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’

    Our group spent a lot of time discussing plowing up the hard ground of our hearts and I feel like God has done that in preparation for this study SO THAT I am ready to receive what He has to say and SO THAT the seeds that are planted can grow.

    The call to action I sense Him giving to me is to revisit some passages that have been pivotal in my life thus far beginning with Jer. 1. He’s whispering to me that these words have been powerful in the past, but since the Word is alive He has a message once again.

    Lord, thank you for calling me to act. Use this study to change me, not just be something I (we) do. Use your Word to transform me, not just inform me. Plow up the soil of my heart…plant the seed, water it and make it grow. Open my ears so I can hear what it is you are saying and asking me to do. Prepare me now so that I can hear you later. Help me receive what you are saying so that YOU can plant seeds through me as well. Father I sense you calling me to revisit some powerful Words from the past…I trust you will speak thru them in a new and fresh yet powerful way again. Help me hear from you. Father thank you for this study. Thank you for Wendy and the work she’s done, bless her for her obedience. And Lord speak to each woman taking part, speak to us all in a way that leaves us more like you and with a stronger desire to follow you when we are finished. I pray this in the precious and powerful name of Jesus, Amen

  48. Melinda Albarado says:

    Question 4: In your own life, how has God used His Word to prepare and equip you? GOD’S WORD CANNOT PREPARE US AND EQUIP US IF WE DO NOT READ IT, MEMORIZE IT, AND KEEP IT IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS!
    On March 8, 2000, my sweet sister, Maggie, ended her life by shooting herself in the head. Though I considered myself a “Christian” and read my Bible occasionally, I had not studied God’s Word, or memorized any Bible verses – in other words, I did not have God’s promises in my heart. The result was almost 7 years of being very angry with God, being in a deep deep pit of hopelessness, deep sorrow and anguish, and even having thoughts of killing myself. My soul and spirit were crushed – it was a very very dark time for me and my family.

    Not long after becoming a new, real “Christian”, (less than 5 years ago), and participating in my first Women’s Bible Study, my mother found out she had lung cancer and died 4 weeks later. If it had not been for the Bible verses – especially Isaiah 40:28-31 – that I had memorized for the Bible Study, I know that I could not have endured “under my own strength”. I knew that God was already working in my life, just months after becoming a Child of His! My Mother’s hospice Chaplain printed and framed these verses for me and I kept them in my heart and near to me for the next 3 years.

    On January 30, 2010, my sweet nephew, Jacob, committed suicide by hanging himself. He killed himself a few months before the 10th anniversary of his Mother’s suicide. Only by clinging to God’s Word was I able to endure this tragic loss. The night that Jacob committed suicide, he had been to our home and we talked and laughed, and he even promised that he would go to Church with us on Sunday. His sister found him hanging in his room on Saturday morning – but we all went to Church on Sunday. We found comfort in the thought that perhaps he was with us in spirit.
    ISAIAH 61:1-4 – “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
    THANK YOU GOD FOR YOUR WORD!

    • Yanna Westmoreland says:

      Melinda, thank you for sharing your personal testimony. I felt like I was stabbed in the heart as I read the tragedies that have occured in your life. I am thankful God has been there for you and to think how many you have encouraged by your steadfastness gives me hope and strength knowing if you can endure even this, I can endure with God by my side. Thank you.

      • Melinda Albarado says:

        Dear Yanna – Thank you for your post – This is the first time in my 61 years that I have shared any of my sorrows with others and I am thankful that God used it to encourage you. Yes, we can endure when we turn to our Lord and Savior – it’s the times in my life that I have NOT turned to Him that I have suffered the most! Why do I so often forget this Truth? I know that I need only to stay in His Word and His Presence to know His Truth’s – but for the past year I have been “sliding backward”. I am thanking God for this Bible Study that is “turning me back” to Him. In Christ, Melinda

    • My dearest Melinda,

      I am so grief stricken at the many sufferings and losses you had to go through, my heart aches as I only offer you a deep heartfelt, I’m so very sorry for ALL the losses.

      The most recent personal loss I am facing is of the fire that consumed our home of 32 yrs. and previous to this was the loss of a close personal friend of 13 yrs. who also took his life by hanging himself. It was I who found him and cut him down. So, I know this pain as well just not as profound as yours. For 3 yrs. this December, I have searched for how to cope with this overwhelming grief and the questions that haunted me. I am reading a devotional now and will be reviewing it on Dec. 6th on my blog. It’s “Grieving God’s Way”! And it is making a difference.
      I have read others and also receiving emails from GriefShare for a year,
      http://dailyemails.griefshare.org/dailyemails/
      helped me make it one more day. I highly recommend them.

      Heavenly Father…Abba, You hear our dear sister’s pain in her words and Your Word that gives her HOPE! Come, carry her grief and losses. Touch her heart! Remove the anger and all the deep losses and restore her Faith with the JOY!
      Thank You, Lord for the garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness! Give Melinda more oil of gladness for the mourning, and may each morning be filled with more of You and Your Joy! Thank You for the crown of beauty as You remove the ashes and the pain of the losses. Replace that loss with a new glimpse of You and Your heavenly gain as she draws closer to You once again.
      Lift Melinda’s heavy spirit and comfort her, Most Holy Comforter each day that she recalls the loss of her dear loved ones. Fill her with Your Word and Promises
      until her heart and mind are overflowing with a renewed sense of the Peace You give us from within. Surround her with Your precious love and hear her cries as You gather her tears, gather Melinda in Your arms and remind her of Your plan is for good and not harm. Remove any doubt and give her a strengthened belief that You are good! Your mercies are new every morning. You never leave us nor fail us! You hear our call! You are near to the broken hearted and those who mourn.
      Let Your HOPE fill her and turn any hopeless or helpless day into a new day of HOPE and FAITH by Your everlasting love. Take away all that the enemy has meant for harm and bring Melinda to that place of being secure in You and Your Love and Word! Surround her with angels! I ask that You teach her by Your Spirit and fill her with Your strength to battle the enemy as she daily puts on the full armor. We take back all that’s been stolen in the authority of Jesus Christ and command any spirit of darkness and evil, death and hopelessness to flee in the Name of Jesus. We command those thoughts to leave and never return as we cover Melinda in the blood of Jesus, and she renews her mind in Your Word! be with her at all times and draw her closer to You. May this study be a new beginning of new life in the power of the Holy Spirit for Melinda to be planted in You, O Lord and Your Word! We give You all the glory, honor, praise and thanks as we ask in the precious name of Jesus that You have Your way…

      • Melinda Albarado says:

        Dear Sweet Peggy – Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. The prayer that you wrote brought me to my knees – it was so beautiful and filled with God’s love and Truth. As I read it I could sense the presence of the Comforter and could feel his loving arms gathering me to Himself. And I began to realize the Truth that only God can fill the great “hole of sorrow” in my heart.
        You prayed “May this study be a new beginning of new life in the power of the Holy Spirit for Melinda to be planted in You, O Lord and Your Word!” I can tell you, Peggy, that part of your prayer has already been answered! THANK YOU FROM MY HEART FOR YOUR PRAYER FOR ME! I will read it every day!
        Sweet Peggy – God has truly given you the gift of wisdom and encouragement. I feel so very blessed to be a part of this Bible Study and this group of Sisters in Christ.
        You are truly a woman after God’s own heart! Even after your trials and sufferings, you took the time to respond to me with such a beautiful, loving Godly prayer!
        I am deeply sorry for your friend that committed suicide. And that you were the person that found him! What a burden you carry! Losing a loved one by suicide is an experience that changes you forever – we’re never the same, life is never the same – and the grief and deep sorrow never end. My sister and I were very close – only 18 months difference in our age. She was such a sweet and kind soul – even after 13 years I haven’t been able to answer the question WHY? Her son, Jacob, was a sweet and kind soul, too – He loved his Mother so much that I think he killed himself to be with her again.
        I am so sorry about the fire that destroyed your home! Praying that no one was harmed in the fire. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
        Thank you again, Sweet Sister Peggy for your love and prayers!
        Your Sister in Christ, Melinda

    • Melinda, thank you for sharing your testimony. Sweet friend, it is POWERFUL witness to the healing and restorative power of God’s Word. There is NOTHING too big for Him to redeem and to heal…no hurt, ho tragedy. But we must know His Word and have it hidden in our heart. Praying God will continue to minister through you to those who are broken and hurting.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  49. I just wanted to pass on a quote that I really need to keep at the front of my mind:

    HE is the Source of Everything:
    Strength for your day.
    Wisdom for your task.
    Grace for your battle.
    Provision for every need.
    Understanding for each failure.
    Assistance for every encounter.

  50. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    It has been so encouraging to read everyone’s comments this week! I smile when I recognize names of those who have been classmates of sorts in previous Wendy studies. It is like gathering together of dear loved ones. I feel so blessed.

    I just completed this week’s study. When I began the lesson in a very blah mood; only way to describe me. Blah. Before I opened God’s Word I asked the Holy Spirit to join me at the table as He has done so many times before, I needed Him to take over my thoughts, my mood, my feeling of blah. Then I opened the Word and our lesson. How does one explain how the Holy Spirit Is. I am just going to bask in the Word and in the lesson, soak up His Presence and thank Him for being there when I have a relationship with Him trading “blah” for a peace through prayer, thanksgiving, petitioning God with everything. Communication with my Father through a So That Study “so that” I obtain all that I need. Thank You Father.

    Wendy, I really liked the quote from Thomas Bevers any chance there is a link to the sermon? The quote alone is a treasure each word to be read and thought about, God’s way of adding to our knowledge and wisdom. So good.

    • Yanna, I will see if I can find you the link.

      Isn’t it sweet that you got the blah’s right before Thanksgiving. I pray Thanksgiving will have extra special meaning for you as you have overcome the blahs!!! 🙂

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  51. Sally Weber says:

    Q4: How has God’s word prepared you? – 7 years ago we began a very long journey. I found my daughter’s diary that expressed suicidal thoughts and she was not eating. She had anorexia brought on by OCD. The day I confronted her, I had such peace. I was strong in His Word and had friends come over and pray with me. There was a rainbow right outside my window as I talked to her. I knew then that God would not leave us. Unfortunately, the years have been long. As a result of her weakened state she developed a lot of pain and fatigue and we finally found out that she had EDS, which is a rare genetic connective tissue disorder that can become symptomatic around her age and with stress. There is no cure. She has had one surgery a year and a half ago and needs another one. It is all about managing symptoms/issue, but no cure short of a miracle. So, with such a long journey that really has no end in sight, I have lost so much of my walk with my Lord. I struggle. My marriage has suffered. My faith has suffered. My daughter struggles with her faith, her walk. I need to be here. I need my God. I need friends. I am not strong, but I want to be in the Word SO THAT I can be strong again.
    Also: Q “B” – 4 reasons God’s Word is profitable & explain how each applies to your life:
    Teaching – always learning Correcting – always humble
    Rebuking – always repenting Training – always growing

    • Sally, I am so sorry for all the pain and sickness your daughter has suffered. My daughter had to have spinal surgery a few years ago and I know how seeing her in such pain tore me up inside. I cannot imagine what you are walking through to watch her suffer year after year. How thankful I am you know your Heavenly Father who is El Roi (the God Who Sees) and Jehovah Jireh (God our Provider). I pray that you will trust Him on this journey. May He be the Strength of your heart and your Portion forever. When you feel you cannot take another step, remember He is your All in All and will provide for your every need.

      You are strong, sweet friend, because your God tells you in Philippians 4:13 that you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you!!! With Him all things are possible. When you begin to feel you cannot take another step, take those thoughts…those lies…captive and replace them with Truth. God will use this discipline to renew and transform your mind.

      I also pray Jehovah Rapha (God our Healer) will do a mighty healing work in your daughter’s life!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  52. Melinda Albarado says:

    Dear Wendy – I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your on line Bible Study. This is the first time that I have participated in an on line study. Right now, I don’t remember how I found you, but I know that God lead me to you. For the past several years, I have started Bible Studies at the small Church that we attend, but something always happened that I never got to finish them – and sometimes, I only made it to the 1st class. So, when I saw the opportunity to participate in your study, I thought “Now I’ll be able to actually finish a Bible Study”! Of course, Satan is busy, and I’ve been really sick with a flu bug for about 10 days and had to do my homework in 2 days, instead of being able to work on it every day!
    This Bible Study has been such a HUGE BLESSING, as my walk with God and prayer life has been suffering greatly for a long time. Because of my husband’s health and other problems, we have only been to Church about 5 times in the past year.
    Satan had convinced me that I was not worthy to be a child of God and that God did not love me – and his proof was that if the Pastor and members of the Church cared little whether we were there or not, then God didn’t care either! I have felt like I was not “good enough” to even enter his Temple of Worship.
    This Bible Study has been a “lifeline” to a drowning baby Christian and I thank GOD for leading me to you.
    And thank you to the women that are “posting” such beautiful and inspiring prayers and messages! It was only after reading some of your posts that I had the courage to share some of my deepest sorrows and struggles.
    I am 61 years old and have been keeping my sorrows in my heart all of my life – this is the first time that I have shared some of them .
    Thank you Sisters for your prayers, love, and encouragement.
    I weep for joy that God lead me to Wendy, this Bible Study, and my Sisters in Christ that are sharing their prayers and Godly wisdom.
    In Christ, Melinda

    • Melinda, I am so touched by your kind words. They are so powerful and show us how God uses the time we spend together in His Word and sharing on line to be truly life-transforming. I LOVE how God is meeting you in the pages of His Word to remind you of your identity in Christ and how much He loves you. I pray He will continue to woo you and take you deeper still with Him in His Word and in your heart.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  53. God has called me to study His Word more. Also to listen to what he is says there!

  54. Hi,

    Little late to comment on lesson one but wanted to add something on C2 the hidden secret on the Kingdom of God and the parrallel on the seed and he who has ears to hear.

    This secret of God will be revealed when in revelations the 7th angel will blow the 7th horn. you can find that in rev 10: 7 and 11:15-19. What happens there is that Jesus will become ruler of the earth forever! Thats the secret of this parallel.

    Then back to Math 13:18-23 Those who will hear the word will understand this secret that Jesus one day will return and become King!

    So those who will have ears will understand!

    • Wen, went back and looked these up. Thank you for giving us such great fresh insight into the meaning of this question on “the seed” and who has “ears to hear.”

  55. Thank you for sharing!!!

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