June 7, 2013

Quiet My Anxious Heart: Learning to Sit at the Feet of Jesus

Quiet Heart 4

I hope you will join me for this study. God longs for a personal intimate relationship with us. He waits patiently for us to come to Him.  But like Martha, often we are too busy. We spend our days attempting to be everything to everyone. In the busyness of life, we find it hard to hear God’s voice or even know if He is speaking at all. Join me and discover how to choose what is “better” – receiving the unspeakable joy and peace that comes from sitting at the feet of Jesus. In this three week study I will  …

  • share practical tools on how to have an effective daily quiet time with God.
  • teach you how to read God’s Word in a way that will make it applicable to your every day life.
  • impart principles that will renew your mind with God’s Truths
  • leave you with a Thirty Day challenge to apply what you have learned.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us

May 1, 2013

An Invitation to Our Newest On-Line Study

If you are visiting from Sharon Glasgow’s Encouragement for Today Devotion, welcome!  I am so glad you stopped by.

Today I’m posting this video invitation as a reminder that our new on-line Bible study, Quiet My Anxious Heart, begins one week from today!  As I said earlier, announcing new studies is one of my favorite parts of being a Bible teacher.  So that makes today one of my favorite days!

Our new on-line study will begin May 8th and run for three weeks.  There is no cost for the study.  You need your Bible, a computer and a journal or notebook.  It is shorter than most of my studies, but it will be packed full of wonderful lessons gleaned from the lives of two of the most beloved women in the Bible…Mary and Martha.  We will follow the two sisters as they meet with Jesus on three separate occasions.  Of course, we will begin with the most well-known story of Mary and Martha where Jesus reprimands Martha for being “too busy.”

To learn more about the study, please read the description below and watch the short five minute video:

Quiet My Anxious Heart:  Learning to Sit at the Feet of Jesus

God longs for a personal intimate relationship with us. He waits patiently for us to come to Him.  But like Martha, often we are too busy. We spend our days attempting to be everything to everyone. In the busyness of life, we find it hard to hear God’s voice or even know if He is speaking at all. Join me and discover how to choose what is “better” – receiving the unspeakable joy and peace that comes from sitting at the feet of Jesus. In this three week study I will  …

  • share practical tools on how to have an effective daily quiet time with God.
  • teach you how to read God’s Word in a way that will make it applicable to your every day life.
  • impart principles that will renew your mind with God’s Truths
  • leave you with a Thirty Day challenge to apply what you have learned.

I am so looking forward to meeting here with you each week to discover what God has to teach us through the lives of these two amazing women.

I have prayed for every woman God will bring to this study.  I hope you are one of those women!  To register, simply visit the right side of my blog and click on “Sign up for Wendy’s On-Line studies.”  Place your e-mail address in the box and click “subscribe.”  Doing this registers you for this study and ensures you will receive invitations for all future studies.  If you have registered for an on-line study in the past, you do not need to re-register.

If you would like to receive the weekly posts for the on-line study in your inbox, visit the side of my blog again.  At the top of this sidebar, you will see ”Subscribe to Updates.”  Place your e-mail address in the box and click “Go.”  Each week you will receive an e-mail with the post for the week.  It is important to note that to view the video, you will need to visit the web site directly.  You may do so by clicking on the title of the post in the e-mail.

All registration information you share stays confidential.

And please share this study with your friends.  We have placed a button on the side of the blog that you can grab if you want to share this study on your blog.  Simply copy and paste the link.

Also, if you have not joined Wendy’s Street Team, we now have a link on the right side of the blog that says, “Join Wendy’s Street Team.”  This Team will be an important part in helping participate in and promote my new Bible study that will be published by Thomas Nelson in February 2014.  To learn more or to sign up, simply click where it says “Click Here.”  I will share lots more about the new Bible study in weeks and months to come!

****I also want to announce the winner of Jill Beran’s book, Letters From LeAnne:

Ashley who posted on April 23rd at 1:38 pm

Congratulations!  Please send me an e-mail with your full name and mailing address so Jill can send you your book. ****

Blessings to you,

May 8, 2013

Quiet My Anxious Heart Week One

Welcome to Week One of our Bible Study!  I am excited this day has finally arrived.  If you are visiting from my Encouragement for Today devotion, we are so glad you stopped by.  We would love to have you join us for our newest  study. For more information on the study and  to sign up, visit my last post by clicking here.

I have been praying for our time together and have prayed over our subscription list.  Oh how I wish we could all meet! We have over 9000 women signed up for our on-line studies, women from all over the United States and the world!  What an amazing group of women God has gathered here in HIS name! My heart is so full at the thought of what God is going to do over the next few weeks.  Please know how grateful I am to have you join me. I know there are many wonderful Bible teachers and studies available on the Internet.  Thank you for choosing to spend time here with us.  I am trusting God to do a mighty work in and through our time together!!

Instructions.

This study runs for three weeks.  Each week includes a video lesson, a reading assignment, a prayer and homework questions.  Each video will be about 15 minutes.

Each week’s lesson will be up all week so that you can do it on your own time.  Please stop by throughout the week to leave a comment and read the comments left by women participating in the study with you.  Remember if you want to receive the homework in your inbox, you’ll need to subscribe to my web site.  To subscribe, visit the top right side of my blog and look for “Subscribe to Updates.”  By subscribing, you’ll receive each week’s lesson in your inbox.  If you want to see the video, you will have to visit my web site directly.  To get to the web site from your e-mail, click on the title of the post.  It will take you directly there.

Let’s begin, sweet friends!  Below find my first message from God’s heart to my heart to yours.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, as I begin this study, open my eyes and my heart not only to understand this tale of two sisters but also to bring me into a deeper understanding of the woman You created me to be. God, I know how often I fail to give You first priority. I allow the busyness in my life to push You aside. Yet, I also know how I long for peace and rest. I want to hear Your voice and feel Your Presence, but I can’t amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As I open my Bible to study these stories, please reveal the places in my heart that keep me from hearing You speak. Tender my heart to uncover the root of my busyness. Reveal the places in my heart that are entangled with the things of this world and free them so that I can grow deeper in my relationship with You. Give me a heart to serve like Martha, balanced with a heart to worship like Mary. Please help me to truly know how wide and high and deep and long is Your love. Help me to live out that love in all my relationships. Fill me so full that I am overflowing with Your love and Your presence. I love You, Lord, and thank You in advance for all You will do in my life as I open Your Word and study.

Reading

Luke 10:38-42

Homework

1.  Deuteronomy 6:5 says to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  What does it look like to love God

…with all your heart?

 

…with all your soul?

 

…with all your mind?

 

….with all your strength?

 

2.  Do you spend time with Jesus in His Word?  If so, how often?  If you don’t spend time in God’s Word each day, what keeps you from doing so?

 

 

3.  Which sister do you relate to the most and why

 

 

4.  Reread Luke 10:38-42.   Share at least two things you learn about each sister from this passage?

 

 

5.  Describe their relationship with Jesus.

 

 

6.   Martha wanted  Jesus to tell Mary to help her serve their guests.  Write Martha’s words in Luke 10:40 below.

 

a. In what ways are Martha’s feelings natural and somewhat understandable?

 

b. What do her words say about her personality and her heart?

 

 

7.  What were Jesus’words to Martha?   If you had been Martha, how would Jesus’ words have made you feel?

 

 

8.  In your life, with what are you busying yourself that keeps you from sitting at the feet of Jesus?

 

 

9.  Do you struggle with anxiety and worry on a consistent basis?

 

a. If not, what do you do to keep from struggling with anxiety?

 

b.  If yes, what causes your anxiety?  How do you deal with it?

 

c.  If you struggle with anxiety, does it  spill over into your everyday life?  If so, share ways it manifests itself (sleeplessness, moodiness, temper flares, impatience, headaches, stomach aches, etc).

 

10.  Read Proverbs 3:5-6 and Philippians 4:6-7.

a.  How do these passages speak to anxiety and worry?

 

b.  If you follow the commands in these passages, what is God’s promised result?

 

 

11. Martha opened her home to Jesus, her Messiah and a man she greatly loved and respected. She wanted everything to be just right and wanted everyone to feel welcome and at home. Standing alone, these were admirable traits. But when they became a distraction in her relationships, they were not.  Jesus loved Martha and through His response to her questions, helped Martha understand this. Please understand that Jesus was not telling Martha to be like Mary. He created Martha and loved her exactly the way He created her. Jesus words expressed concerned with her choices. She allowed her gift of hospitality to become a duty and a distraction. What happened to take Martha’s serving to a level that displeased Jesus?

 

 

12.  Jesus said, “Only one thing is needed” and “Mary has chosen what is better.”

a.  What did Jesus mean when He said only one thing is needed?

 

b.  Why is it the “better” way?

 

c. Read Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 62:1.  According to the psalmist, why do we need to spend time alone with God?

 

d. Applying the biblical truths we have learned today, what do you need to change in your life to choose this better way?  Write a prayer of commitment to give up or change at least one thing to follow Jesus’ command to Martha to choose what is better.

 

 

13.  Sweet friend, Jesus LONGS to spend time with you.  Read Zephaniah 3:17.  What does it say?  How does this make you feel?  Remember these words as you take time to sit at the feet of Jesus.

 

 

14.  Mary’s story invites us to sit at the feet of Jesus.  This week take time each day to sit quietly with Jesus.  If it is your first time to commit to quiet time, take just a few minutes, maybe five, and read from God’s Word something fresh and new. Maybe begin in the Psalms or read from the book of John.  If you are a woman who has walked for a time with the Lord, I encourage you to go deeper still in your time with God. Lengthen the time you spend in the Word or extend your prayer time.

 

If You Want to Go Deeper

15. Read Psalm 63:1 and  Psalm 42:1-2.  List the verbs used to describe the author’s feelings for God.  Do you feel this way about God?  What creates these kind of feelings within us?

 

16. Read Luke 18:18-25.  What did the rich young ruler ask Jesus?  What did Jesus answer in verse 20?

 

a.  The rich young ruler replied that he had obeyed all those commandments since he was a small child.  Jesus replied and told him there was one thing he had not done.  What did Jesus tell him?

 

b.  What was the rich man’s response?

 

c. Why did Jesus ask this of him?  How does Jesus answer speak to you personally about your treasures and what you value and how it all ties back to sitting at the feet of Jesus?

 

Concluding Thoughts

As you sit with Jesus, open your heart completely and let Him fill you with all the fullness He has to offer.  Pray this sweet prayer written by my friend Bobbie Wolgemuth, taken from her Bible Study for Moms, God’s Wisdom for a Mother’s Heart.  

Your Word, Lord, is the bread of life, it’s the light to my path, and it’s my instruction from Your Spirit.  Yet I don’t always make time to open my Bible and listen for what You want to say to me through a specific passage.  Please make me hungry for Your Word, so hungry that I don’t want to miss a day!  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  AMEN. (p. 19)

To learn more about the Study and Bobbie’s Mother’s Bible, click here..  And if you would like to meet Bobbie and hear her powerful testimony she shared during my visit to her house a few months ago, click here.

Nurture your heart this week.  I will be praying for you…for God to show up in very real and personal ways as you sit at His feet. Please stop by throughout the week and share your thoughts on your homework, your intentional quiet time, and what God is speaking to your heart.  I can’t wait to hear what God is doing!

Blessings,

May 15, 2013

Quiet My Anxious Heart Week Two

Wow!  That’s the word that came to mind every time I checked in on my blog this past week.  You girls are AMAZING.  Thank you for the time you have taken to really dig into your homework, for being vulnerable and sharing, for asking hard questions.  And thank you for encouraging and praying for one another and me.  Many of you shared sweet God stories about how He led you here because it’s exactly what you were struggling with and praying for.  I stand amazed at what God has done in just one week knitting hearts together from all over the world through His Word and His Holy Spirit.

You have truly blessed this Bible teacher!!

This week we study the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John Chapter 11.  So many rich truths and promises  to glean from this story, sweet friends. So, let’s begin!  Below please find my 15 minute Week Two message.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, continue to open my eyes and my heart to understand the lessons to be learned from this family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus and to apply them in my own life.  Help me to come to know You better God as You seek to work in my life, especially in the “wait” times.  Sometimes it’s hard to see You in the “wait.”  I want everything now; my prayers answered the way I ask when I ask.  As I open my Bible to study these stories, open my heart fully to receive Your Truth.  Help me to hear Your voice.  Reveal Your character to me.  Give me understanding beyond my years. Tender and humble my heart to see those places in my life where I am not understanding and living in Your ways. I love You, Lord, and thank You in advance for all You will do in my life as I open Your Word and study.

Reading

John 11:1-45

Homework

1. Explain how each sister reacted to the arrival of Jesus after their brother’s death.

 

 

2.. What does this say to you about each woman? What further insight does it give you into their personalities?

 

 

3.  Has Martha changed at all since we last met her in Luke?

 

 

4. How did Jesus respond to each of them? What does this tell you about Jesus?

 

 

5. Why do you think Jesus did not immediately answer the prayers of Mary and Martha?

 

 

a. Do you think Jesus waiting to come until after Lazarus had died changed their opinion of Him during that “wait” time? If yes, how?

 

b. If you had been Mary and Martha waiting on Jesus to come and heal your brother, what would have been going on in your heart as time passed, and He never came or sent word?

 

 

6. Consider times in your life when you have prayed and asked God to intervene, and He has not.

a. Like Mary and Martha, do you wonder where God is, why He has not answered, or why He seems to not be at work? Be honest and share your thoughts.

 

b. What does this story teach you about being in the “wait” with God?

 

 

7. What do the following verses promise us about this in-between time in which we sometimes find ourselves?

 

a. John 16:33

 

b. Romans 5:3-5

 

c. Romans 8:28

 

d. James 1:2-4

 

e. 1 Peter 1:6-7

 

 

8. Like Mary and Martha when they were waiting for Jesus to respond to the message they sent about Lazarus, sometimes we too find ourselves waiting to hear from God. In these times, we wonder if He even hears us; we struggle with trusting Him. We must remember that we are limited by time and space; God is not. We only see our little part of God’s big picture. A current day evangelist, Martha Tennison, said, “We only trust people we know. If you’re struggling to trust God, it may be because you don’t really know Him.”

Has God disappointed you? Have you lost someone you love and cannot understand how He could let that happen? Do you pray the same prayer repeatedly and see no change? Look up the following verses and share what they reveal about God.

a. Psalm 27:1

 

b. Psalm 34:18

 

c. Psalm 100:5

 

d. Psalm 145:8-9

 

9.  Jesus kept using the Word “believe” throughout this entire story.  What was it that Jesus wanted them to believe?  Do you think He got His message across.  If yes, why?

 

 

10. Is there something God is asking you to believe right now?  What is it?  Write a prayer below giving that over to Him. Ask a godly friend to pray with and for you to believe God at His Word in your circumstances.

 

 

If You Want to Go Deeper

11.  We see events from our perspective whereas God sees everything all at once…past, present and future because He “was, is and always will be.”  Should that make a difference to us when we don’t immediately hear from God or receive a quick answer to our prayer?  If it should make a difference, why should it?  How can this knowledge help us be more patient and trusting in the “wait.?”

 

 

 

12. Read Isaiah 55:8 and 1 Corinthians 13:12.  How do these verses speak to being in the “wait?”

 

 

Concluding Thoughts

As we come to the end of this story, at Jesus’ command, the One Who told Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” a dead man came back to life! Their brother was alive. Their prayers had been answered even more abundantly than they could have thought to ask. Martha  came to understand Jesus in a richer, deeper way through the resurrection of her brother.  She now knew the meaning of Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life in a new way!

In closing, John wrote these powerful words: Therefore, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in Him.

If Jesus had not had not allowed Lazarus to die, the “many” might not have put their faith in Him.  Lazarus had to die; Mary and Martha had to experience deep grief so that “many” would put their faith in Jesus.

Why do we study this story? Because it reveals what being in God’s wait and what being in God’s Word, listening to His voice, does for us. When you doubt God. When you cannot understand what He is doing. When you question whether He even hears your prayers. Remember this story and God’s faithfulness.  Then, go to His Word. Sit quietly with Him. It’s in His Word that you will find the answers to your questions.

God shows us through stories like these that He never abandons His children. He has not abandoned you. He is at work. He always has a purpose. He always has a plan…a plan much bigger than our circumstances.

Without being in His Word, sweet friends, we won’t know His character. Without knowing His character, we cannot trust Him. It’s critical to sit at the feet of Jesus. It’s at His feet that He prepares our hearts for the difficult times to come and that He speaks Truth into them when they arrive.

I’ll be praying for you this week as you get to know God and Jesus through John’s story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Please stop by throughout the week and share your thoughts, wisdom and prayers.

Blessings to you,

May 22, 2013

Quiet My Anxious Heart Week Three

Welcome to Week Three, the last and final week of our study. Time has gone by so fast!  Your comments and prayers for each other beautifully reflect the heart of Mary. How I pray you see this, because I do. You have taken time to sit at His feet, to hear His voice, to follow His lead, and your words reveal the great work He is doing in and through your acts of obedience.

This week we find Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus again. But this time, it feels different. Her heart is tender, and her actions more intimate than any we have seen before. Sweet friend, you will love this week. I can hardly wait to dig in to this beautiful love story between Jesus and Mary. Below please find my Week Three message.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that I do not live on bread alone but on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. ((Deut. 8:3) Fix these words of Yours on my heart and impress them on my mind; help me to tie them as symbols on my hands and bind them on my forehead.  Equip me to teach them to others, talking about them when I sit at home and when I walk along the road, when I lie down and when I get up.  (Deut. 6:6-9) Help me to keep my way pure by living according to Your Word. (Psalm 119:9) May Your Word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105) Let Your Word dwell in me richly.  (Colossians 3:16a) Help me not merely to listen to the Word but enable me to do what it says. (James 1:22) May I be more like Mary, choosing what is better. When Your words come, help me to eat them and digest them, make them my joy and my delight. (Jeremiah 15:16) Thank You that though Heaven and earth will pass away, Your words will never pass away.(Matthew 24:35). I ask all this in Jesus’ name.  Amen!!  

Reading

Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-7

Homework

1. If you had been a guest in the house that day, how would you have responded to Mary’s actions (uncomfortable, envious, angry like Judas, confused)?

 

 

2. Why do you think God provided for Jesus this way through Mary?

 

 

3. What do you think Jesus received from Mary’s sacrificial gift?

 

 

4. We find Mary at the feet of Jesus three times in these passages? Why is this? Was Mary wiser than Martha? Was she more faithful and committed? Was Mary needier than Martha? Or had someone or  something broken her heart and the One at whose feet she worshiped had healed her?

a. Why do you think we always find Mary worshiping at the feet of Jesus?

 

b. How often do you take time to sit at the feet of Jesus?

 

c. What do you give Jesus when you sit at His feet?

 

d. What do you receive?

 

5.. Reread Mark 14:3-9. We find another dinner given in Jesus’ honor, this time at someone else’s home, but his three beloved siblings are in attendance. What a beautiful picture of love. Mary loved extravagantly because she had experienced the lavish love of God. Read 1 John 3:1 and Romans 8:31-39. Respond to these verses by writing a note to God expressing your gratitude for His lavish love and extravagant grace.

 

 

 

6. Find one way to outwardly express this gratitude. Maybe give up something for God. Maybe create a gratitude journal or box where each day you write down something for which you are grateful…invite friends, family or your Bible study to join you. Commit to do this for at least a week and keep a journal on how God changes you and maybe even those around you.

 

 

 

7. These stories have taught us much, but one message resonates above all others. God deeply desires an abiding and loving relationship with us. Often we don’t abide because we are too busy and too distracted with the things of this world. Many of these things are good things (exercise, careers, marriages, children, serving our families, volunteering in our neighborhoods, churches and schools) and some are not (people pleasing, pride, bitterness, addiction, self-pity, materialism).

a. Read Luke 8:4-15. 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.

 

b. Examine your heart carefully and consider which soil represents your heart? The footpath? The rocky ground? The thorny patch? The good soil? Share what you discover.

 

 

b. In this parable, Jesus challenges us to cleanse our hearts from every distraction and sin that prevents us from hearing God speak. Mary invites us to OPEN our hearts and LISTEN. I want to encourage you as we come to the close of our time together. If you love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength, He will NEVER fail you. If you seek Him with ALL your heart, you will FIND Him. He will love you, forgive you, heal you, restore you, fill you, lead you, guide you and direct you. Sit quietly with Jesus and ask Him what is distracting you and keeping you from spending time with Him (anxiety, busyness, worries of the world, fear, doubt, lack of trust). Commit to remove the distraction. Write a prayer asking the Lord to help you.

 

 

Closing Thoughts…

Mary invites us into the most amazing classroom, with an amazing teacher. He is better and greater than any teacher we have ever had. He is our Creator and the Author and Perfecter of our faith. He knows what we need when we need it.  He is trustworthy.  He loves us unconditionally.  He is Truth.  He is Hope.  He is the Healer. He is Faithful and True.  And He is waiting…waiting for us to come.  He wants to wash us with the water of His word and feed our hungry souls.

Friend, at the feet of Jesus we receive so much…knowledge, peace, wisdom, discernment, hope, healing, strength, power, rest, and so much more. When you need a “word” from the Lord, sit at His feet.When you need an answer, sit at his feet.  When you are confused, sit at His feet. When you doubt, sit at His feet. When you feel empty and depleted, sit at His feet. When all seems hopeless, sit at His feet. When you want to learn and understand God more, sit at His feet.

Continue your glorious pursuit of Jesus this week. I cannot wait to hear what you learn!

Join me next week for a closing message!!!

Blessings,

May 29, 2013

Quiet My Anxious Heart Closing Message

What a treasured three weeks we have spent together. My heart is sad that we have reached the end of our journey. How I wish I could hug each and every one of you and spend time together sharing all that God has done face to face. You have been so faithful! This journey through the lives of Mary and Martha has challenged all of us, and you have been faithful to meet that challenge head on. You persevered even when it was hard. I’m so proud of you!! And you can be assured of this: God will richly bless your faithfulness.

I know there are many places you can invest your time on-line. Thank you for choosing to invest your precious time in this study and with me. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!

Before I jump into the closing message, I wanted to share some exciting news with my favorite On-Line Study girls! Thomas Nelson shared  the release date for my very first Bible Study!

Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life will be released in March 2014!! Thomas Nelson sent me the cover a few days ago, and I want to share it with you!

CoverImage

Living So That will be part of Inscribed, a new collection of books offered by Thomas Nelson. The books will be written by a community of women authors who have a deep desire to get women into the Word in a way that makes it understandable and equips them to take that Word and apply it in everyday life. The logo at the top of the cover identifies the book as being part of The Inscribed Collection.

InScribed_LogoTreatment[2]

I would love your thoughts on the cover and this new collection by Thomas Nelson. Leave a comment, and I will choose two names to receive a free copy of Living So That when it arrives hot off the presses!

If you want to team up with me for pre-release activities, please sign up for Wendy’s Street Team by clicking here. It will be a fun group who will have the inside scoop on all things Inscribed and get extra special perks. Now that we have a publication date, we have some exciting plans that we will share with the Street Team in the next few months. The Team will get to read a chapter before Living So That is released, learn about the new studies being released in the Inscribed Collection before anyone else, get sneak peaks at the Inscribed Website before it’s officially launched, and participate in fun giveaways all along the way. I hope you will sign up and join us for this exciting time!!

Okay, back to our study. Below please find a closing message from my grateful heart.

Now that our study is over, it’s time to continue our journey of sitting at the feet of Jesus. We often start with the best of intentions but fail because we don’t have a plan. We start with so much enthusiasm and excitement and within a few days, life gets in the way. Good things push out our time with the Lord.

Here are three ideas to help you be successful in keeping quiet time with God a priority in your heart and life.

1. Set A Goal

Set a goal, one that you know you can keep. Maybe you do better moving through one book of the Bible at a time so choose one, work through it faithfully and when you’re finished, celebrate and choose another one. Maybe you do better with time. Choose a length of time you will sit with Jesus and His Word. For example, the first week, begin with five minutes and focus on a few verses at a time using the book of Psalms or the book of Proverbs. The next week or month, bump your time to 7-10 minutes. The next week or month 10-12 or whatever works for you. You get the idea.

2. Be Consistent

Find a time of day and a place that works for you. We talked about morning being best, but if you can’t, remember there are no rules. Maybe lunch is better for you or nap time if you have children or bedtime if you are a night owl. What matters is to find what works in your schedule so that you will do it. And find a place that you feel comfortable and won’t be disturbed. When I first started my quiet time, I sat on the floor in our walk-in-closet and loved how quiet and private it was. Maybe it’s curled in your bed or in a favorite chair on your porch or at your desk. But whenever and wherever it is, make it a place you love to go. Keep your Bible, journal, a favorite pen, a blanket, and whatever else you love.

3. Be Organized

By this I mean, decide what quiet time is for you. It will be different for everyone. Maybe you want it to be a time of journaling prayers and listening for the Lord as you pray. Or maybe you want to use it more as a study time to work through a book of the Bible and seek to know God in deeper and richer ways. Maybe you want to use it for a time of praise and worship. Sweet friends, that is what is so great about our God. Do whatever it is that God leads you to do and then be consistent in that. After a month, maybe you can vary what you do.

Next, I thought I would share an example of a 7-10 minute quiet time to get you started.

Invite the Lord to join you. (30 seconds)

A simple prayer from Psalm 119 is great: “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to see the wonderful things in your law.”

Read the Word. (4-5 minutes)

Spend a few minutes reading from the Word (Scriptures or devotional book). Maybe a chapter a day if you are reading the Bible. If you use a devotional, dig beyond the day’s reading. Usually they include Scripture references or ask questions that require a response. Look up the verses and look up cross-references. Answer the questions. Note them in your journal or notebook. And if you can’t finish what you commit to read, NO GUILT or CONDEMNATION. Just pick up and read the next day. Satan wants you to feel like a failure and unworthy. Don’t believe His lies.

Listen for God’s voice. (1-2 minutes)

Don’t be afraid to use a pen or highlighter, noting verses where God speaks to you, touches and/or convicts your heart, answers a prayer. Write what you learn and/or hear from God.

Pray. (1-2 minutes)

In step three , you listened for God so now you respond to what you heard. If you struggle with prayer, use this famous acronym:

A – Adoration
Praise God for His greatness, power, majesty, love, faithfulness, and holiness.

C- Confession
Specifically confess your sins before the Lord. This cleanses your heart and allows God to hear your prayers and work in and through them.

T – Thanksgiving
Thank your heavenly Father for all the things He is done…not just for you but in our world. And sometimes it means praising Him in the difficult times as well as the good times.

S- Supplication
Pray for specific needs…yours, loved ones, community, nation, world, missionaries, churches, Israel…the list is endless.

And here is a friendly word of caution: please don’t become devoted to the habit of quiet time, but rather, become devoted to the One Who is the object of your quiet time….JESUS!!

I found a beautiful song about Mary’s heart by CeCe Winans, Alabaster Box. The words are perfect to close our time together. Click here to listen.

Continue to visit when time allows. You have a special place in my heart, and I look forward to our next study together.

And please stop by next week. I will post a some Scriptures on what God has to say about His Word and include a Prayer of Commitment you will be able to print off and keep in your Bible to remind you of the commitments and promises we have made here together.

And remember, as a member of our on-line studies, you will receive an invitation when our next on-line study is announced.

Blessings,

June 5, 2013

What God Says About His Word & Winners Announced

 

****Before we begin, the winners of a copy of my new book, Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life, are listed below.  Please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your contact information. When the book is released, we will send you one of the first copies!****

Laurie who posted on May 29th at 2:51 pm

Janet who posted on May 29th at 9:09 p

 

Message from My Heart Today…

Mary taught us to take time to sit at the feet of Jesus…to soak in His Word…to listen for His voice.

God wants us in His Word because He has much to say about it in the Scriptures. Below are some precious truths and promises from the Lord about His Word.

Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 11:18-19

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word. Psalm 119:9

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless. 2 Sam. 22:31; Proverbs 30:5

My Word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it out. Isaiah 55:11

The Lord said to me, ‘You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that My Word is fulfilled. Jeremiah 1:12

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Jeremiah 15:16

Is not My Word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks rocks into pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

For the Lord will execute His Word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly. Romans 9:28 (NASB)

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

 

And in Scripture the Lord also tells us that His Word is the key to transforming our hearts and minds and understanding His will.

 

Be very careful then how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-18

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. Ephesians 5:17 (Message)

***So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking around life – and place it before God as an offering.  Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.  Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)***

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:20-24 (NLT).

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. Colossians 3:16

 

Let’s pray this Prayer of Commitment together as we tuck these truths and promises deep into our hearts:

 

Heavenly Father, our source of Truth and Knowledge, penetrate our hearts as we seek You in Your Word. Wherever we are in our walk, meet us there and light a fire within us to be still and know that You are God. Create in us a hunger and thirst for Your Word. We commit to spend time at Your feet. As we do, Lord, fill us with a fresh Word.  Teach us how to live according to Your Word. Give us the strength and courage to refuse to walk according to our flesh and the world. Empower us to walk according to the Spirit.  Bring wise and believing women across our paths to walk our journey with us. Help us to humble ourselves to be not only hearers of Your Word but also doers of the Word.  Open our hearts to fully receive Your Word and empower us to willingly obey it, even when it is hard. Shine Your Light before us so that we may know Your way. Direct our paths and make the crooked places straight. Fill us with Your Spirit. Empower us to choose the wise thing to do in every situation. Day by day make Your Presence known. Be active in our lives. Bless our obedience. Thank You, Lord, that You will never leave us or forsake us. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

 

Blessings to you,