A Cautionary “Tell” on Highs & Lows

MH900302951

A. M. Thoughts: 
Life brings with it many highs and lows. The highs are those feel good moments that allow for personal victories and triumphs. The lows are those what was that moments that challenge or stretch us beyond our level of comfort. Whether you find yourself on the high end or low end of these moments, it is important to center or rather to ground yourself by staying close to the LORD and in His Word. 

DANGER!!!

If one dwells on or in the high indefinitely, there is a possibility that pride may begin to consume you. How does this happen? It happens slowly. It happens subtly. It begins with a general sense of elation, but it later shifts and becomes an inflated sense of self. (No, not in all cases, of course.) One begins to think, “Look what I have done! Look at what I can do.” I versus God becomes the focus. 

There is danger in this thinking. When God is taken out of the equation, it is then easier for Satan to lure and entice. Without an attachment to God or a grounding in Him, more and more selfish liberties can be taken, more and more tainted excuses can be made for why something was accomplished, etc. It is at this point that the evil one has you. He knows that he simply has to attract self to self.  In doing so, he understands  that it negates your need for God. Be warned! This is dangerous.

In contrast (and yet not), if one dwells on the lows constantly, there is a possibility that hopelessness can suffocate or rather drain the life out of you. How does this happen? It happens slowly. It happens subtly. It begins with a doubt, moves into fear, and germinates and grows into immobility. One begins to think, “Can I do this? Is there anything I can even do to fix this, change that, or make things right?” I versus God becomes the focus.

There is danger in this thinking. When dark, debilitating thoughts become more prominent in one’s mind and heart, there is then no room for God. (No, not in all cases, of course.) If God is pushed out or crowded out, the evil knows that he’s got you. He understands that darkness can be eradicated by light. The Light – the LORD Himself – casts out ALL darkness. He and He alone casts out Satan every time you hope, believe and trust in Him. He doesn’t want you to realize the power you have access to. 

Scripture Reflection: Proverbs

Challenge: Make a list of your successes. Give thanks to God for every one of them. Next, write down your challenges. Thank God for them also. Once you have done the aforementioned, prostrate yourself before the LORD and fully surrender your highs and lows. Give yourself into His keeping. Ask the LORD to direct you, to guide you, and to tell you (by way of His Word) what He would have you do from this point forward.

#5/52STUDY17

It All Comes Down to This, Part 1

Cross in Chilean Desert
A. M. Thoughts: When all is said and done, it comes down to this for me.

The LORD…

– Created the heavens and the earth

– Is the First and the Last

–  Is not man that He should lie

– Gave His only begotten Son

– Is not willing that any should perish

– Is the Way, the Truth and the Life

– Will never leave or forsake us

– Will make a way out of temptation 

– Has all authority 

– Is love

By His stripes, we are healed. 

What does it come down to for you?

Challenge: Write down the things you have come to know about the LORD. Allow Scripture to guide you.

Scripture Reflection: Jeremiah 29:13

#4/52STUDY17

Love God More

IMG_0266

Happy New Year! 

2017 has just begun, and it is fresh and new, with no mistakes in it. 

What will you do? How will you go forward? When will you live and move and breathe in the abundance that is spoken of in the Bible? Where will you serve?

Will you strive to move beyond self? Will you seek to know God more? Will you walk in His truth? Will you surrender to the LORD who was King yesterday and still exists as such today?

If you hear nothing else of import this year, hear this. Know this. You must, I must, we must love God more. 

Love Him more than your favorite comfort. Love Him more than your favorite perversion. Love Him more than your secret obsession and your pet sins. Love Him more than your selfish needs, your costly wants and your deviant desires. 

Love God More! 

You can do it. I can do it. We can do it. He will help us. 

Scripture Reflection: 2 Peter 3

Challenge: Share this message with someone you care about deeply and commit to praying for them, without ceasing.

#1/52STUDY17

Fear is the Beginning 

  
Scripture of Reflection: Proverbs 1:7

A.M. Thoughts: 

He who is holy and Most High – the Father, Son, and Spirit – was first. Before all, He established Himself as LORD. No other was to be before Him. No other is meant to take His place. And yet…

What becomes the god or gods of our lives? What do we allow to take the place of our Creator and Savior? Who or what serves as our spiritual guide, compass, or teacher? What prideful, empty representation do we lose ourselves in, deluding ourselves into thinking that we are safe, saved, and satisfied? 

Going back to the beginning of our knowledge is paramount when we have, perhaps, lost sight of the who, what, why and how of God. It is helpful to be reminded of His God-ness, His goodness, and His grace. 

Study Challenge: Investigate, explore, and discover what Proverbs 1:7 is all about. Look into the richness of reverence for the Almighty. Seek to understand how fear is the beginning. 

#destinationJESUS

It Is In This Moment

A Remembrance Journal Entry|June 2016   
 
It is in this moment that I realize…

My first breath of the day is a gift. Whom shall I praise? 

The moment before I open my eyes upon fully waking is a treasure. Whom shall I honor?

The quiet stillness that greets me at first light is a blessing. Whom shall I thank?

The unique experiences that have been set for my day are indeed purposed. Whom shall I trust? 

The challenges, obstacles and problems of yesterday, yesteryear, and tomorrow can be easily surrendered and resolved. Whom shall I believe?

Every moment is another opportunity to taste and see the majesty and goodness of my LORD. Whom shall I revere?

The beautiful rhythm that my heart is beating is centered at a most excellent foundation – the Most High. Whom shall I love? 

Scripture Reflection: Psalm 145

The Major Prophet|Isaiah

A #DestinationJESUS Sunday Bible Study Series   (lp)

February 2016 – Isaiah: Study 6

hqdefault

Assigned Reading: Isaiah 10-20

Points of Consideration:

Chapter 10

  • What was to become of those who issued evil against those who were needy, poor and desirous of justice?
  • Whom did God use to carry out His vengeance?
  • Why was the LORD angry regarding His people?
  • What drove the Assyrians and/or what was their motivation to fight?
  • How would the LORD deal with Assyria, ultimately? Why?
  • Who is the Light of Israel and the Holy One?
  • What did the LORD want to accomplish by His acts against His people?

Chapter 11

  • What or who was to come from the stock of Jesse?
  • What was the Spirit of the LORD to impart?
  • What would the earth be full of with regard to the LORD? (Isaiah 11:9)
  • What is the comparative relationship between what is uncovered in chapter 11 and what is known about the exodus of God’s people from Egypt?

Chapter 12

  • What is the significance of Isaiah 12:1?
  • What encouragement or inspiration can be drawn from this chapter?
  • What was to be made known about the LORD?
  • What were the inhabitants of Zion to do? (Isaiah 12:4-6)

Chapter 13

  • What was the burden of Babylon which was seen by Isaiah?
  • What was to become of the evil, the wicked and the proud?
  • What was Babylon’s end to be? (Isaiah 13:19)

Chapter 14

  • What will the LORD show or demonstrate toward Jacob?
  • What was to be the end of those who attempted to elevate themselves above the Most a High?

Chapter 15

  • What was the burden concerning Moab?
  • What role did ancient Moab play in the history of God’s people?
  • How was mourning displayed in ancient times?

Chapter 16

  • What is the significance of Isaiah 16:5?

Chapter 17

  • What was the burden concerning Damascus?
  • What is the significance of Isaiah 17:10-11?
  • What was to become of those who plundered and pillaged God’s people?

Chapter 18

  • What message is the LORD conveying in chapter 18? (You are encouraged to dig deeply into this chapter.)

Chapter 19

  • What three points can be ascertained from this chapter?
  • What is the significance of Isaiah 19:22?

Chapter 20

  • What did the LORD instruct Isaiah to do?
  • How was being stripped or naked viewed in ancient times (what did it represent)?
  • Did Isaiah waver or hesitate in doing what was asked of him? (How do you know?)

Personal Reflection:

Did any one verse resonate with you personally?
What is your #destination message from chapters 10-20?

Questions:

  • Do you stand against those who would do harm to the poor and needy?
  • How do you use your voice to fight for justice?
  • Are you ever confused or troubled by the actions of God? (How do you move past any confusion? Do you seek assistance?)
  • What does repentance mean to you personally?
  • Is the LORD the Savior to you on a daily basis?
  • Who is the Holy Spirit and what does He do for you as a Christian?
  • What does it mean to quench the Spirit? (1Thessalonians 5:19)
  • Is having a personal testimony still relevant in today’s times?
  • Are worship, praise and prayer related and do you practice them all?
  • Have you allowed anything in your life to become greater, higher or more significant than God? (Discuss.)
  • Have you ever felt like the LORD has been quiet during a time of your greatest need? (If so, what do you think His lesson to you might have been?)
  • Have you ever shown your raw and uncovered self to the LORD? (Why or why not? Was or is there a benefit in doing this?)
  • If the LORD asked you to do a difficult thing or hard task that was out of your comfort zone, would you do it?

Going Further: Define and/or research the following terms.

  • Idol
  • Remnant
  • Outcast
  • Salvation
  • Exalt
  • Chaldeans
  • Captive
  • Proselyte
  • Refuge
  • Reverence
  • Altar
  • Inheritance/heritage

“Then in the tent of David a throne will be established by faithful love. A judge who seeks what is right and is quick to execute justice will sit on the throne forever.” – Isaiah 16:5 (HCSB)

The Major Prophet|Isaiah

A #DestinationJESUS Sunday Bible Study Series

January 2016 – Isaiah: Study 5

hqdefault

Assigned Reading: Isaiah 9

Points of Consideration:

Chapter 9

  • What is the significance of the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali in the history of God’s people?
  • Who are the people who “walked in darkness” and “dwelt in the land of the shadow of death” referred to in Isaiah 9:2?
  • Is the indication of a light referring to that which is to come?
  • What is a yoke (of burden)?
  • Who is being presented or rather foretold of in Isaiah 9:6-7?
  • Who did the LORD send a word (message) against?
  • Who spoke with a proud and arrogant heart?
  • Who rose up against God’s people?
  • Why was Israel to be devoured by the mouths of her adversaries?
  • Did Israel respond to God immediately with repentance?
  • Who were the tail and head of Israel? (Isaiah 9:15)
  • Who were those identified as the cause of Israel going astray?
  • What was to happen to those who were being led astray?
  • Why were God’s people called hypocrites?
  • What is the significance of likening wickedness to fire?
  • How do Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah relate to one another in terms of ancient Biblical history?
  • How does Psalm 7:11 reflect what was learned about God in this chapter?

Personal Reflection:

Did any one verse resonate with you personally?
What is your #destination message from chapter 9?

Questions:

  • Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt trapped in the darkness of your sins? Discuss.
  • Do you presently know of anyone who is making their dwelling place in the land of shadows, and what are you doing to share God’s light with them?
  • Does God always provide a way out of darkness? Out of sin? Out of temptation? (What does the Bible say about this?)
  • What does Matthew 11:29 mean to you personally? (Prior to answering this question, make sure that you understand what the definition of yoke is.)
  • Who is Jesus to you and what does He mean for or add to your life?
  • What does the Bible say about pride, arrogance, and wickedness, and why is it important for you to be aware of this?
  • Do you know why you believe what you believe?
  • What lesson is God teaching you about yourself through this study?

Going Further: Research the battle of Midian.

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us… Isaiah 9:6-7 (HCSB)