Update: If you are just joining us we are so excited to have you here with us. You can get up to speed by looking over these two past posts (here and here). You can view all of our posts for this study at the category Women After God’s Own Heart, found here. If your browser is not allowing you to view any attachments email me, and I will send them to you so that you don’t miss out!
First off, I sincerely hope that you all had a blessed Easter. The kind with lots of family conversations, egg hunts, and feelings of being blessed and loved. Easter is such a magical time, because we are made so aware of the selfless heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. Signs fill the streets that scream “He has risen” and our friend’s social media posts are filled with hashtags to remind us of the blessings that we each respectively give thanks for in our own lives. We are taught that Jesus died to save us, but on Easter morning, we feel that love, that wholehearted devotion to others, and we are humbled and so very thankful to live for Christ. Easter weekend may be over, but may the feelings of devotion follow us into the coming weeks and season, and more immediately, into this week’s bible study!
Secondly, I would like to ask for a special prayer request from you all this week. Ben’s aunt (Tina) and her husband (Dean) will be taking over Dean’s parent’s Mission. They left today to spend some time in Haiti with a few members of their church gaining a footing on what updates need to be done within their missionary system, and getting a feel of the area and people serviced through this enterprise. The changes and prosperity that they hope to bring to Haiti in the coming years is phenomenal and I would like you to join prayers with me as we ask God’s blessing on their travels, his care over their health (dengue fever is an imminent threat), his protection over their movements, and his glory flowing from their lips-changing lives. Thank you for any prayers that you can lend!
Our readings this week compile the section of the book that is themed, “Herself”. The author details for us, how we are to devote ourselves (whether married, mothering, childless, or single) to the Lord and his teachings. Here I want you to relate the word teachings to learning, and education. Jesus’s teaching’s are not simply parables read in church on Sunday. They are words made available to us, to learn from, and understand. We are to be taught. We are called to learn. To understand. It is simply not enough to read the complicated and old world stories in our bibles, and claim that we have “read our bible”! We are to dive in until we understand the message completely. This may involve lots of cross referencing and questioning wiser Christians. Using Google to our advantage, and spending some time in books from our libraries, but I do not want you to only open your bibles. I want you to understand your bible, as difficult work as it may be. Take it one day at a time, step by little tiny step.
With all of the duties laid out before us as women after God’s heart, we have to have something pushing us from behind and motivating us. Living Godly lives is so very fulfilling, but so very exhausting. Our spiritual growth in itself is a prime incentive to keep on keeping on. The more we learn, the better we understand the reasoning behind our duties, and the calling that we have from our Creator. The driving force behind our disciplined hearts is our spiritual growth. Take this seriously, because it is so very life changing.
The author leaves us with many wonderful tips this week that give us examples of educating ourselves, reasons for educating ourselves, and even stories about the wonderful end results! The two chapters that we cover will surely give your booty a push in the right direction as you yearn to feel the belonging, contentment, and joy that the author clearly says is a byproduct of our personal spiritual lives.
The entire second chapter is a compilation of the enriching of our hearts through the joy of the Lord. Through selflessness. If I could highlight anything in this chapter for ya’ll to focus on, it would be the idea of focusing away from oneself, and outward to others. The concept of selflessness. I absolutely LOVE the author’s statement of there being two kinds of people in this world, the kind that walk into a room and say “Here I am”, and the kind that say “There You Are”. We are raised in such a selfish world. We are innately selfish people, and cling to its comforts. Serving others, and thinking of others first, brings true joy into our lives, we must simply train our hearts in every single thing that we do, every single day to hold others in higher regards than we do ourselves. Do for others and expect nothing in return. For those of us that expect the best, yet give with mediocrity, we are simply hardening our hearts, and saddening the Lord. We must make every effort, and every intention to be as selfless as possible. We can first begin within our own families, should we have some, and branching out from there. Make it a point today to think of someone else first, even though it may be hard, at least once! It will soon become your heart’s desire to put others before yourself. This is where true joy lies. This is where we please our Lord.
1. Readings: Chapter 17 and 18 of our book (Pages 199-224): A Heart Strengthened by Spiritual Growth & A Heart Enriched by Joy in the Lord.
2. Activity: I would like you to create 5 folders, like the author suggested and begin labeling them (or contemplating what you wish to label them as) with the 5 spiritual focuses that you would like to become an expert on. These folders can be either manila folders, they can be sections in a plastic accordion file. They can be pin boards on your Pinterest account that you pin articles, blog posts, and pictures to. The possibilities are endless, so use your creativity, or stick to some simple folders as suggested by the author. This is such a simple act and it is a great start to a lifetime of heart training. Imagine how knowledgeable you will be in 20 years if you start now, a little bit at a time, learning and saving material on your special interests! Imagine the guidance that you can give to someone seeking it! We are all called to mentor the younger women (sometimes they may even be the same age as us, just less knowledgeable than we are) make sure that your arsenal is ready to help those women when they enter your lives!
And while you’re at it, please water your plant too this week
3. Verse for memorization: James 1:22
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
(NKJ-New King James)
Download for picture is here
I LOVE this verse. It is so simple, yet so powerful. My mantra through my adolescence was most definitely “Watch what people do, don’t listen to what they say” and I think that this verse boasts a similar lesson. It is easy to hear. To read. To listen. To understand. It is a completely different, and much harder thing, however to do. To live out those teachings, to serve, and to act. We are called to act. Listening without acting is the worst form of laziness. It is a sort of indifference that is degrading in and of itself. Let us learn to act and “do” in response to our learning and our listening. Be a doer!
What is one of your fat files? I’m sure everyone would love to have examples to guide their decision making.
I am always available for questions, whether through email, or through the comments below. Happy studying!