Friday, October 18, 2013

Your Love Is Enough

As I write this, I am disappointed with myself...again. I ate too much...again!

Why I can't I maintain my victories? The Lord is graciously helping me find answers.

This study we are doing is a mirror, in fact it's not just any mirror, it's the magnifying mirror! It makes me think of when I pick up my makeup mirror and I look in the wrong side, EEK! Why do they make that side anyway? Just like that makeup mirror pointing out my black heads, and the few beard hairs I missed when plucking, this bible study is causing me to look deep within my heart. Except my tweezers are not going to help this one!

The two lies I want to write about today, like many of these lies, go hand in hand.

Lie #4: "God is not really enough."

Like some other lies, I do not believe this consciously. I will be quick to tell you that Jesus is all you need, He is your "All in All", He will satisfy your deepest longings and desires! And this is true, the bible says so! So what's the problem? If I truly believe God is enough, then why do I keep over eating?

Lie #5: "God's ways are too restrictive."  

So then I face the next lie, I definitely don't believe this one, do I? Obedience is a huge struggle for us sinners, isn't it? This goes against our very nature, sin nature that is. It is funny, I could have easily skated past lie #4 until I read lie #5. Especially since Nancy uses food as her example for this lie. If I thought God was enough, I wouldn't think being disciplined with my eating as too restrictive.

Maybe your struggle with these lies are not revealed in gluttony like mine is, but this is how I am relating these two lies at this season of my walk with Christ. So don't put these lies in the gluttony box, you could struggle with a different addiction such as drugs, spending, etc. Perhaps you have no addiction issues, but still struggle with being content with God alone or don't think it is important to walk according to His ways. The bottom line is, we will be in bondage, if we do not believe the truth about God.

I have struggled with gluttony all my life. I am not just talking about being over weight, because even when I am maintaining a healthy weight, I still obsess about food. We have a pretty little word for that these days "foodie", cute isn't it. Not that it is necessarily gluttony to love to cook and learn new recipes, I am talking about obsessing about it. I had to face this reality when I did a little devotional on my bible app from Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries . There was this one caption from her book "Made to Crave", she asked, "is it possible we love an rely on food more than we love and rely on God?" "I craved food, more than I craved God. Food was my comfort. Food was my reward. Food was my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness."

WOW! Punch me in the gut!! She was so totally talking about me!! The very things the Bible says God is, I replaced with food! I am an idolatress! Thankfully by Gods grace I am learning day by day to overcome the bondage of gluttony. Some days are better than others, but I see the Lord working and changing me.

Let's Talk:

  • Please share ways you see these two lies in your life. Sharing our testimonies is a great way to give others hope to be set free from their own bondage.
  • Read Colossians 2:9-10. What does it mean that you have been given "fullness" or "completeness" in Christ?
  • What are some instructions in the New Testament that some people would think are burdensome, unreasonable, or unfair?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You are good, and do good...Psalms 119:68

God is Good, and He loves me, that is the truth. Intellectually we all believe this right?

But as we are learning in "Lies Women Believe" , just because we know the truth, does not mean we believe the truth. The way we live reveals what we believe, and as my favorite pastor always says; "the heart will always make a convert of the mind", what we believe in our hearts will ultimately determine how we think.

Sometimes it is hard to believe in our hearts that God is good, and that He loves us, because let's face it, bad things happen. "How can a God of love allow terrible things to happen to innocent people" or "If God loves me then why did He allow me to be hurt?"

I think it is all about perspective. Having an eternal perspective is something we gain through the process of getting to know the Lord more and more. I am sure we can think of people who have been through terrible things, and yet they shine with so much love and strength. While others are destroyed. What is the difference?

 The difference is whether one trusts in God, or in Man.

The Lord contrasts the difference in Jeremiah 17:5-8.  The person who "makes flesh his strength" (v.5) Does not know God, therefore, he "cannot see when good comes". When we fail to get to know the Lord, we are blind to the blessings of God. When trials come (and they will) we view them as harsh and cruel and believe the lie that God is not good, or that he doesn't love us.  In verses 7 & 8 the Lord describes the person who trusts in the Lord as a tree by the river with deep roots. This blessed person is someone who meditates on God's word day and night (notice the comparative scripture Psalm 1), their roots are deep and have a reservoir of water (the Word), so when heat and drought comes they are fruitful and not anxious.

Nancy Shared how gracious the Lord was to her when her father was taken unexpectedly. He gave her Psalm 119:68. Her father instilled this truth in her as he raised her, and when she needed it most the Lord was able to reach in to the reservoir of her heart.

Psalm 119:11
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

What is good?

Matthew 19:17...“Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God....
John 10:11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
I think one of the ways we are deceived is we don't understand what good is. Satan has deceived us, claiming to open our eyes, instead he blinds us.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

What is love?

Another way we are deceived is to think love is a feeling, or that if God loved us he would give us our way, keep bad things from happening. But we know He loves us, because He gave His life for us.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Let's talk

  • What is the source of all evil in the world?

  •  Read Romans 8:35-39. How does Paul describe the Love of God? What does it mean to you to be loved this way?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.

And in all your getting, get understanding.

If I were to ask you, do you want to be wise? What would you say?

I am sure you would say yes. Who wouldn’t? But sometimes I wonder.

If we wanted to be wise, then why do we listen to lies, dwell on lies, believe lies, and finally act on lies? These are the questions I ask the Lord as I am reading  “Lies Women Believe” . 

Nancy Shares how her parents were very diligent in raising their children in a “spiritual greenhouse”. Her parents were wise, they knew that it was crucial to not allow their children to be influenced by lies promoted in this world.
 This makes me think of a lie I have heard frequently through the years of raising my kids. While I did try and shelter them from much of the inappropriate media, I in no way provided a "spiritual greenhouse". I compromised more than not because I listened to and believed lies like " you can't shelter them or they will not be able to handle the real world" or "I am going to cause them to be rebellious as teenagers" and many other ridiculous lies of the kind.
The truth is, that even now as adults,  it is pivotal to guard our minds. I need to "carefully choose the input I allow into my life and to reject that which promotes ungodly thinking" (Chapter one "Lies Women Believe"). You see when we feed our minds with worldly influences through media, novels, gossip magazines etc., we are desensitizing ourselves to sin. This means we cannot see clearly between right and wrong, black and white.
Anyway back to Proverbs 4:7
God is telling us here that wisdom is the most important things to seek, and while we are at it, get knowledge too. See, God doesn't want us to be ignorant to the world, he wants us to be wise. To know the difference between good and evil, we need to be so familiar with the truth, that we discern lies the second they come before us. It is the knowledge of the Word of God that prepares us to handle the "real world" so we won't be deceived.
Let's Talk
  • How careful are you about evaluating the input you allow in your life, in your kid? Are you seeking to discern Truth from error? (this is a question from day three in chapter 1 of your workbook)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Did God Really Say..." Genesis 3:1

I am not a quick reader, or writer for that fact. But I know why, I spend too much time thinking about what I am writing or reading. So here I am, thinking.. I keep going back to the part in chapter 1 where Nancy (yes, we are on a first name basis) introduces us to Satan's scheme of deception.

He starts by sowing seeds of doubt in her mind; "Did God Really Say.." Genesis 3:1

We have all done it haven't we? Is it just me? There is something we want.. bad! We know God said no; or did He? Then comes justification... we may even search the scriptures for a loophole. "Did God really say this is wrong?"

"Satan deceived Eve by causing her to question the goodness, love, and motives of God."

 Sometimes Satan (or people) add to what God said to make God seem as though He were not good "Did God really say 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" Eve added her own bit of legalisms by saying God said not to touch it, but he only said "do not eat".
Satan knows by making what God knows is best for us, into some over the top form of legalism will cause us to wonder if God is just keeping something from us.

God gives us so many wonderful things, more than we can ever want or need. Anything God says we shouldn't have is for our benefit, because He loves us. He is not holding out on anything that would bring us happiness. In fact, like the tree, anything we should not have leads to death!

Wait! Do we get this?? 

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Deuteronomy 30:19

God wants to give us life! Satan wants to give us death!

"The Serpent further deceived Eve by lying to her about the consequences of choosing to disobey God"

God had said that when they ate of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they will surely die. Satan told Eve. "you shall not surely die" Genesis 3:4
Did you ever think "I'll just do this thing that I want, and when I am done I will tell God I am sorry, and then everything will be fine"? (maybe not quite like that, but you know what I mean) Well although God is forgiving, it does not deliver us from our consequences, we shouldn't abuse God's grace.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Galatians 6:7

Lets' Talk

  • What seemingly good thing did Satan offer Eve?
  • Can you share a testimony of a time you thought this way? Do you see now that you would have benefited from trusting God and being obedient?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Believing The Truth

"Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free"

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

This is the book we are using for this years study at our "Renew your Mind" Bible Study. I am very excited about this study, because I think the Lord is bringing new life back into it and many lives are going to be changed.

I am also excited to bring life back to this blog. I started this back in 2008 when the bible study began. My hope was, and is again, that we can continue the conversation, and invite others to join in who cannot attend the monthly meetings. Also there is only so much time at a meeting, and so much great conversation. That it can be challenging to touch on all the points in a chapter.

So any way, about the study...
I love how this study flows so nicely with our theme, "Renew Your Mind". It is so important to stay in God's word so we can grow and be transformed to cultivate the Mind of Christ.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Basically this verse teaches us that we need to stop allowing  the world to tell us how to think, and let the word of God form our thoughts. Unfortunately we are already corrupted, you see, you and I have been deceived, and we don't realize it (hence deception), unless we are be transformed by the renewing of our mind.  In this study we are urged to stop mindlessly accepting whatever we see, hear, read, etc. Instead view everything in the light of God's Word.

Lies hold us captive, but the truth will set you free.

Here is some more good reading about having the mind of Christ:  (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)

Let's Talk

Please comment below on some of these discussion topics:

  1. Our first question in the work book asked us to read John 10:10. Are you experiencing the abundant life Jesus came to give, or to think you are just existing, coping, surviving, or struggling along? Explain.
  2. In another question we are asked to read John 8:31-36. What do you think Jesus meant when He talked about being free? How do you know He did not mean being free to do anything we want to do?