Blessed Bible Study

FullSizeRenderYay!! It’s ready!  Feel free to download each week or as an entire document! I’m a binder girl myself:)  We are one week-ish away from our first meeting! Let me know if you have any questions:) Y’all are being prayed for!

xoxo

Lauren

Beatitudes Study Guide (2)

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Getting the Egypt out of Israel.

YES!  YES!  And Amen to that!  Today, I began a study on the second half of Exodus.  I learn from Jen Wilkin.  She’s an amazing Bible teacher and I’ll be somewhat modeling her approach this summer.  The parallels between the Old and New Testaments are amazing and give me Indiana Jones moments as I uncover wonderful treasures.

Turns out these treasures aren’t exactly hidden but I do have to make an effort to seek them out. (That’s a lecture for another day.)

In the first part of Exodus, chapters 1-18, we learn how God uses Moses to rescue them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt.  A “picture” of salvation if you will.

It points to God using Jesus on the cross to rescue us from the slavery of sin and death.

The second part of Exodus describes the process of God then removing the Egypt out of the Israelites! It’s not their salvation story…that’s already happened.

This is their sanctification story!

God loves them too too too much to save and not turn them into His people.  They had been in Egypt 400 years or so.  That’s a long time to be in bondage. God doesn’t free them slavery and not change them.

It’s the same for us. He doesn’t free us from the bondage of sin and not change us. Sanctification is where we grow into the likeness of Christ.

In less happier news, this process of sanctification happens in the wilderness.  Bleh.  Yes. You see, once you are saved by grace because of Jesus, we spend the rest of our lives being sanctified, or the process of becoming more like Jesus.  He brings the “world” out of us.

If you study what scripture tells us, you’ll see that God led them to the wilderness.  There were other options, but God guided them there to protect them.

HE brought them to the wilderness because it was the Best option.

In the wilderness, we learn what idols our hearts still worship.  Our salvation is secure, but the wilderness brings up areas in our hearts that God needs to purify in order to see Him for who He is… and He is EVERYTHING.

You might be thinking… I JUST GOT OUT OF THE WILDERNESS!

I know.  The wilderness is the worst… but He brought you through it. You can trust Him to do it again.

God wants us to see Him and know Him and love Him.  It’s in the wilderness where God removes the meaningless and replaces it with His Glory.

He is always better.  We know this, but let’s face it… the wilderness sucks.  My last trip to the wilderness shed light on idols I didn’t know existed: convenience & gluttony.

“It’s in the wilderness where God removes the meaningless and replaces it with His Glory.”

These idols have been exposed. I can now confess them to the Lord and be watchful that they don’t creep in consuming spaces in my life where Jesus could be reigning. 

It is easier for me to bring idols before the Lord because He has removed uglier things in the past.

I really didn’t like walking the wilderness that revealed my total lack of dependence on Christ, lust for the world, and pride….those were the worst.  And I really, really, really didn’t like the wildness or trial that tested my faith…well…. in everything.  God was faithful to lead me out.

I came out with a stronger love for God and faith in His goodness. God showed me He was better.

 He allows us to enter the wilderness, lovingly walks next to us as we stumble about the wilderness, and we exit the wilderness looking a more like His people.

The Israelites learned how to be God’s people walking through the wilderness.

God’s people don’t like it, but we must walk through the wilderness to get to the Promise Land.

Acts 14:22 “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through MANY tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. (emphasis mine)

We will have multiple wanderings in the wilderness in this life, but GOOD NEWS! God finishes what He starts!  It’s a popular verse for a reason! The people who say this know God to be true to His word.

If you are someone who feels they are in the wilderness… again, please let me give you a virtual hug, a tall caramel macchiato, and some new lip gloss.  And hear me pray this over you.

Friend, you are so loved by people and your God.  You are not alone.  Jesus is doing a work in you that will bring everlasting joy.  He loves you too much to leave any part of your heart loving things that won’t satisfy.  I’m so sorry you are walking through this, but I’m praying you are encouraged knowing that this season isn’t a waste.  This time in your life isn’t a waste because God waste nothing.  He redeemed you at your salvation and now He is purifying your heart so that you may see Him. He is worth it.  I love you! I bless you in Jesus name.

5 Benefits to Shutting Up; a list for Christian Wives

Shut up and Be a Better Wife

Some of you may be wondering if I’m having a guest blogger today.  If you know me well, you know I’m a lot mouthy and a little opinionated and you are wondering what in world I know about shutting up.

Every time preacher man starts talking about the wonderful qualities of the kind and gentle women, I hunker down and wait until it’s over.  These aren’t exactly the first two words people would use to describe me.

Over the years, 3 to be exact, I’ve learned the value of shutting up and I’ve seen some pretty amazing things happen…especially in my marriage.

One of the main things I hear leading women’s groups is, “I just want my husband to be the spiritual leader in the family!” Yes… This is God’s design, but ladies… We need to check ourselves first.

Are we actually doing anything to HINDER this from happening??  I sure was and I’m not alone.  Having that quiet spirit lies under the umbrella of meekness. It’s also the biggest challenge for me, but I’m learning that it is also what God wants from me…. sometimes.  He wants me to shut up, so HE can talk. He wants me to trust Him completely…enough to BE QUIET.

Below are 4 Benefits to Shutting Up:

  1. You are forced to practice what you preach.

“Yes! I love Jesus.  I trust Him.  He is so faithful to me.”

We say we trust in Jesus, but our actions, attitudes, and words certainly don’t always match the truths we speak. When you shut up, is forces you ACTUALLY trust that God will do what He says.

Women are such fixers and we want to bust in guns a blazing with our control and tell everybody what they need to do and how.  Shutting up allows you to grow in your faith because you created some space for God to actually  move.  Trust that God is for your marriage and is at work.

If your marriage gets better because of you, you get the glory.  If your marriage improves because of God, God gets the glory! Tweet that.

  1. You can stop trying to be Holy Spirit.

Have you ever elbowed the hubs during church?  Raised and eyebrow when preacher proves you were right in the middle of a sermon?  Said, “Did you hear what preacher said” in the car ride home?  That is you trying to be Holy Spirit. Here is what took me years to learn…

I Am Terrible At Being Holy Spirit.

You probably are too.

Once we shut up and silence the nagging, the people in our lives actually hear Holy Spirit!  He’s much better at creating change then we are.  Let’s zip it and let Him do His job; changing all hearts and minds towards Christ, including ours.

The Bible literally says, “it’s better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife!” Proverbs 25:24

I find this hilarious and sad at the same time because it’s the state of many homes.  We nag but instead we should be humbling ourselves and seeking Christ.

  1. You learn more about Jesus through your Christian husband.

I say Christian husband because most of the ladies I talk with have  husbands who serve God, just not the way they’d like them too.   Jesus gave us the body of Christ.  I finally learned I was’t the only one who had the all the answers when I shut my mouth.  When I wasn’t doing all  the talking, my husband started talking more.  And guess what….I started learning from Him.  He continues to teach me things about who God is because in Christ he is an image bearer.

See how that worked?  I stopped talking so much…he started talking, leading, making the decisions!

4.It brings honor into your marriage.

How often do we call our friends and complain?  I’m guilty of this, but I learned that if I have an issue I need run to God about it… at least first.  I’m not saying don’t talk to your friends about your husband.  I’m just saying pay attention to how you speak about him.

Christian wives need to put an end to the “can you  believe He did this” and I can’t stand it when he….” These words don’t need to be spoken and they lack honor as well as stir up a spirit of ungratefulness.  The next time you want to call a friend and complain about you husband….zip it and take these grumblings to God in prayer and allow him to heal your heart when you are hurt.   

       5. You love God more.

One day during my “quiet time” I was doing everything but being quiet.  I was just a praising His glorious name, thanking Him for all He has done ect… I wasn’t saying anything bad, but I was intentionally trying…. and failing at being quiet before the Lord. Then  Psalm 39 popped into my head.

“But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned then I spoke with my mouth.” Psalm 39:2

I laughed out loud! God was muzzling me! It’s like He was saying.  I know you love me, if you want to love me more, learn to be quiet and still. That is how your love can grow.

Now, if your marriage is in a scary place…this post isn’t for you.  This isn’t a submit to your husband and allow anything to happen.  Please seek help if you need it.

But if your marriage lacks mutual respect and is full of nagging…please friends;consider this advice.   My love for God has grown.  The love in my marriage has grown.  The love I have for God’s people has grown…because I’m learning how to be quiet.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Help us to be quiet and trust you.  Thank you for being our great defender.  Help us to learn the beauty in silence.  Help us to be people who speak life and blessings instead of having a nagging spirit.  Forgive us for the times we have tried to control and manipulate others with our words.  Only you can change hearts.  Please change ours. Thank you for your love and your patience.  We need you so much, Jesus.  In your name I pray, Amen.

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Walking with Lions

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It’s kind of crazy what they want super sick people to do.  Twenty laps daily is what we walk around E8 in order to keep things moving.  We add some time on the stationary bike to spice things up.  This was yesterday and also the first time I intentionally walked with a lion.

I just finished Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere and I say… it’s a must read!  It is full of truth bombs for women who desire a life in Christ.  I started it a few months ago, but life is nuts and who has time to read when there is sleep to be had.  Sitting with mom granted me time to finish the book.

I love when a book says what I feel inside.  There is something about feeling known in that moment.  Most of this book did this for me.  I haven’t been able to truly describe what it’s like to have Christ truly remove all fear over the last few months.  Any time I have been afraid or worried or stressed… He has simply brought me out of it quickly.  He hasn’t let me stay there.

Even when my sweet granny passed away.  I was broken, but I wasn’t undone.  His faithfulness continued to amaze me even when we lost my precious granny in March.

I wanted to call it the “peace that passes all understanding,” but that wasn’t it either.  Yesterday, I was able to put into words.

I have been walking with the Lion of Judah.

“Those who follow Jesus keep the company of a Lion. Jesus is our Lamb that was slain and rose again as Lion of Judah.” –Lisa Bevere

Amen. To. That.  And YES! YES! YES!  This describes what my life has been the last few months!  I have been walking next to the Lion of Judah!

This is why I haven’t completely crumbled under the stresses, sadness, and pressures of life.  There have been moments, but they haven’t stayed!  This is why the word “peace” didn’t quite fit what I was walking in.

If you are walking next to a lion you aren’t just peaceful… You. Are. bold!!  You fear not because you are walking next to the Christ who rose again and conquered death!  You are walking with the conquering Lion of Judah.

proverbs

Lately, I’ve been asking for the faith OF God and not just faith in God… I heard  someone speak on that once and it seemed legit… I think He is answering my prayer by allowing me to experience what it’s like to walk through life  next to the Lion of Judah.  And it’s incredible.

Right after I finished the chapter on Walking with a Lion, mom was ready for her laps.  What she didn’t know was that I intentionally brought the Lion of Judah with me as we walked circles among the sick.  He had always been there, but there is something that adds bravery and boldness to your life when you picture Christ as the Lion and intentionally ask Him to come along.

I prayed so much Heaven down on her and the sick we passed along the way.  We walked circle after circle and I prayed and prayed that Christ would move in their lives and heal them.  I prayed that every person on this floor comes to know the saving power, mercy, and grace that only comes through Jesus Christ.  I prayed that they would come to truly know God and His goodness.  I prayed that He would move in Jesus name.  There are no infections in Heaven, I prayed there are no infections in the people’s live on E8 in Jesus name! Who knows what else I prayed.  I tend to get on a roll, but the point is that  floor E8 didn’t know what was coming in Jesus name.

It’s crazy what starts happening when you begin to pray crazy prayers and they start getting answered.  So many women live in fear.  May I lovingly remind you that in Christ you walk through life with the Lion of Judah.  He can do nothing but conquer.  Let this truth give you the boldness to pray for things only Jesus can do.  Only Jesus can beat AML.  Only Jesus can save your marriage, heal your heart, bring you out of the darkness, overcome that addiction.

There are some things that only the Lion of Judah can conquer.  Let Him fight your fight for you!  He never leaves us.  So many times I picture Jesus and worship Him as the Lamb of God, but completely forget He is also the Lion.  He is very very very much both.

My mom also knows this Lion. She’s known Him longer and  she’ll give all the credit to Him as well.  Life and Faith are different when you walk with Lions.  Also….totally get this book!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your faithfulness.  Thank you for your goodness that has no end.  I pray that every eye that reads this comes to know you as Lion of Judah. Help us to let you fight for us and give us the strength to let go.  I pray they come to know you as their Savior who never leaves or forsakes them.  Help us to trust you with our lives in Jesus’ name.  Father we need you so much.  Thank you for your faithfulness.

In Jesus name,

Amen.