Crying Out: Indulging in Depravity, Part 2

“…we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind]. But God…”

The 365 Lesson: Many of our pre-cross lives told a story of selfishness, indulgence, and sin. We took part in hedonistic practices, without a care. We were unrestrained and intemperate. Ignorance and bliss led us down a road of demise. We were headed straight toward a dark and fatal disconnect from God. Depravity ruled.

Question: Does depravity still have rule over your life…post the cross?

Once we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and LORD, we were sealed with the Spirit. We no longer had to or have to walk alone. We no longer had to or have to face bondage and struggle as an independent party of one. Still, many of us live, move, breathe, and exist without a true understanding of the Holy Spirit.

Question: Who is the Holy Spirit, and what role does He play in the life of a Christian?

Challenge: Thoroughly read each of the Scriptures mentioned below. Write down your takeaways. Revisit your notes daily over the next two weeks. Feel free to post your comments and/or share your thoughts with the Phone Tree Bible Study Group.

Scripture Reflection: Psalm 139, Ephesians 2, and Romans 8

Question: Is there anywhere we can go to escape the depravity of the world?

Up Next: Can’t Stop, Can’t Quit

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As Unto the LORD

“Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.”

Scripture Reflection: Colossians 3:23-24

The 365 Lesson: What would happen if we approached every task we had to do with the LORD in mind?

In life, we are called to do many things. I’d like to believe that most of us approach our tasks with the right kind of attitude. I’d like to believe that we each strive to successfully complete our assignments with a CAN DO mindset. But, I have to wonder whether or not we involve our hearts and souls in the process? Do we engage in our work with an “I’m doing this for the LORD” focus, or do we just go through the motions of doing something for the sake of doing it?

Challenge: Going forward, I would have you consider each task you do as an offering to the LORD. Do it, not only with the LORD in mind (as for the LORD), but also as if it is done unto the LORD Himself.

Prayer: Father, thank You for being such a beautiful example of love and grace in action. From the beginning, You have shown us selfless love. You have called us to do the same. As we press into each new day, help us to approach each task with You in mind. Teach us to do all things as unto You and for You. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

In the A.M.|Am I Strong Enough?

In the A.M. (My Thoughts About the I AM in the A.M.)

4:23 A.M.

“for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].”

See 2 Cor 12:9-10 (AMP)

Am I strong enough when I am weak to call upon the LORD?

Do I have enough fortitude to bow my head and confess that I am wrong?

Do shame and dread consume me or has hope become my voice?

Am I wise enough, insightful enough to recognize a greater, more precious want?

Am I ready to surrender all in deed just as with word?

Am I ready to forsake all else and take God at His word?

4:59 A.M. #HeisAble #GODstrength #JESUSbreakseverychain #livingTRUTHfully #encouragement

New Year Happenings (2016)

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FYI -> New Year Happenings at the Phone Tree Bible Study Group

1st Quarter #DestinationJESUS Works (scheduled for January – March):

Destination JESUS Objectives:

To grow closer to the LORD GOD

To know a life-altering intimacy with His WORD

To experience a radical SPIRITual transformation

Happy 365-16!

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What I’ve Been Reading and Other Such Considerations

     
   
  
  

  
  
  
  

Praise in the Low Places, Part 6

What does the Bible say about praise? Psalm 34:1 answers that question perfectly.

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Scripture Study Reference: Matthew 26:36-46

An Abbreviated Character Study: Jesus in Gethsemane

Low Place: 

– Jesus grew sorrowful and deeply distressed.

– The LORD Jesus was overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death.

– A bitter cup was before the LORD.

– Jesus was betrayed.

Study Tip: Notice the significance of each act, occurrence, and circumstance after such time that the LORD entered the garden.Try to see the God-connect. Reflect on why the event was, is, or might be so noteworthy.

Significant Act/Occurrence/Circumstance:

– Jesus was afforded an opportunity by God to teach His disciples before, during, and after Gethsemane.

– Jesus shared intimate moments of prayer with His Father. (Spiritual Enrichment Exercise: Study the specific prayers of Jesus. Make note of what was said, how He approached His Father, and what each prayer brought about.)

– Three witnesses were positioned near Jesus while at Gethsemane. (Spiritual Life Fitness Challenge: How does the Bible define a witness and what is the significance of having them?)

– Jesus humbled Himself in form as He approached His Father in prayer.

– Though in a low place, Jesus put the needs of His Father before His own needs.

– Jesus forewarned His disciple to watch and pray, urging him to not get pulled down during the time of testing.

–  Although Jesus went off to prayer to His Father, he repeatedly returned to His disciples.

– Jesus faced His betrayers and accusers head on; He did not shrink away from His determined role. (Self-Examination and Reflective Study: How do you deal with those who have betrayed, hurt, condemned and/or used you? Is your method of dealing with the aforementioned in line with what the Bible says?)

– Jesus did not stand alone when the time came to face His challenge.

Praise Opportunity (the place where grateful homage could have been rendered to God): Go through the verses as well as the listed significant acts and, in your own words, write down each moment that a praise belongs.

Praise Proof (tested and approved): Personalize this message. Relate what you have discovered to your life. (Example: If God has allowed a certain experience to come before you or granted you a special message or testimony to share with others, where might your praise go up? If the LORD has brought you to a greater understanding about who He is, who He can be, and who He wants to be in your life, where might your praise go up? If God has replaced your bitter cup with a cup of His glory, where might your praise go up? How might you proclaim the greatness of God and His Kingdom works right now in this season?)

What is the overall lesson that you learned from this study?

#praiseinthelowplaces #truth15

Praise in the Low Places, Part 5

What does the Bible say about praise? Psalm 34:1 answers that question perfectly.

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Scripture Study Reference: 2 Samuel 11:1-12:-25

An Abbreviated Character Study: David after his betrayal and trickery

Low Place:

– He saw a woman washing herself and sent messengers and took her.

– He lay with the woman he took, even after knowing she was the wife of another.

– He sent for, plotted against, set up and marked for death the husband of the woman he committed adultery with.

– Upon hearing the news of Uriah’s death, he indicated that it should not displease (disturb) his servant.

– David eventually acknowledged that he had sinned against the LORD. (2 Samuel 12:13)

Special Note: The LORD was displeased with what David had done. (2 Samuel 11:27, 12:7-12)

Study Tip: Notice the significance of each act, occurrence, and circumstance after such time that David was confronted by the LORD through His prophet Nathan.Try to see the God-connect. Reflect on why the event was, is, or might be so noteworthy.

Significant Act/Occurrence/Circumstance:
– Despite the unwise choices and resultant actions of David, the LORD still communicated with him via His prophet, Nathan.

– The LORD spoke to David in such a way that he would/could understand why what he did was so wrong. (Spiritual Enrichment Exercise: Go back and read the story that Nathan used with David. Insert the names of David and Uriah into the reading. Make note of how much more impactful it is when personalized. Thereafter, read aloud 2 Samuel 12:7-12.) 

– The LORD put away the sin of David and did not take his life.

– The LORD foretold of what David would have to endure as a result of his poor choices.

– Because of God’s mercy, David was granted an opportunity to deeply commune with the LORD via praying, fasting, and worshipping. (Spiritual Life Fitness Challenge: Research and apply, as needed, each one of the aforementioned spiritual practices. Share what you learn with at least one other person.)

– David and Bathsheba were blessed to have another son, Solomon, whom the LORD loved.

Praise Opportunity (the place where grateful homage could have been rendered to God): Go through the verses as well as the listed significant acts and, in your own words, write down each moment that a praise belongs.

Praise Proof (tested and approved): Personalize this message. Relate what you have discovered to your life. (Example: If God has allowed you to live another day and granted you the chance to repent, where might your praise go up? If the LORD has sent a messenger or messengers to you to clarify His truths so that you might know and understand, where might your praise go up? If God has given you an opportunity to worship Him in spirit and in truth, where might your praise go up? How might you proclaim the greatness of God and His Kingdom works right now in this season?)

What is the overall lesson that you learned from this study?

#praiseinthelowplaces #truth15