Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Week 11: Philippians 4:6-7

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  Phil 4:6-7 (NLT)

This is one of may most favorite passages of scripture. This, and the proceeding verses are such simple promises, yet God is so faithful to their truth. 

Continuing the idea of being thankful, which leads to a sense of peace, is carried over to from our passage last week. He calls us so simply to give our reasons for worry and fret to Him. He calls us to do it thankfully (again, so we dont forget what he has already done) and promises to allow His peace to overwhelm to the point that it doesnt even make sense that we are are feeling that way!

One thing that is striking to me about this being thankful/get peace idea is that it requires something from us. It is a purposeful awareness, not a passive experience where we focus and are filled with a sense of peace.

Peace is something that requires we are aware of our reasons for anxiety, that we purposefully give them to Him and in the process we be thankful for what has already been done for us. He promises peace, but asks us to do this part in order to be blessed by it. 

It presents a challenge that will carry over to the next passage your heart and MIND, so that both will be guarded against the anxieties that can easily take over in both places. 

Again, a wonderful and precious promise to keep in mind and heart.

{Blessed to be part of ifellowship and Women Living Well blog hops this morning!}


Week 10: Colossians 3:15-17

{"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you were called to live in peace. And always be thankful.  Let the message about Christ, in all its richness fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all with all wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts and whatever you do or say do it as a representative of teh Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God."" Colossians 3:15-17}

I let myself get a bit behind on posting for our Women of Grace bible study this past week! My perfectionism dictates that I post something for this verse that is well thought out and inspired ...But, I have to tell you that I just dont have the resources to catch this one up right now :) 
I will say that this scripture was a wonderful reminder to allow the peace that is part of who we are as Christian women to permeate everything we do and say...and do to it in a way that is thankful.  Ever thankful.

The thankfulness/peace connection has always been a fascinating connection to me. Our human nature is so inclined to forget how we have already been blessed and cared for. Being thankful reminds us of exactly all the ways. Peace is a natural progression when we recall how he has kept his promises all along. 

I also love who that peace is meant to encourage and uplift my brothers and sisters in Christ. My peace is not simply for my benefit. It is in order to nurture that bond of peace that we talked about in Ephesians 4:3  ..."Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."  

We do that only by being thankful no matter what we are doing or saying, letting the peace of Christ fill us richly. Wonderful challenges with wonderful promises.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

She Does it All.

I think that as women we really struggle with looking at others and finding that we are short of what we desire to be. We see women around us who juggle so many things, and often in our perception, better than we ever good. We compare ourselves and we are tempted to look at ourselves and be found wanting.
* Maybe its a mother of many, who seems to have endless energy, patience and grace as she  adds to her family and nurtures her brood. We think does she do that?

* Or, a mother who homeschools her few or many, but does it a way that you are left wondering
 how in the world YOU ever thought you could do this thing?

* Or, the working mom who has to supplement her hard-working husbands job, who ALSO
 homeschools AND is a Cub Scout mom does she not lose her mind?

* Or, the newly single mother who is going through the pain of loss and betrayal, who is learning to support her and family on her own, who is ALSO homeschooling AND going to school to  prepare for their is it possible one woman can do all this?

* Or, the minister's wife who raises many children, while running a home business,  homeschooling, and preparing for the mission field ...when does she sleep?

* Or, the mom who is home alone for days,  weeks or months on end, while her husband serves his community or country, while nurturing and teaching her own children, serving her church family,
ministering to new mothers, homeless, friends and family does she do all that?

* Or, the mom who nurtures or own children, beautifully manages her home, supports and participates in her husbands ministry with youth AND volunteers at community outreach programs, including advocating for abused and neglected children ...when does she find the time for that?

* Or, the mother of many who loves to minister to mothers who have given up their children for adoption, by adopting their little ones and reaching out to these moms ...where does she get the resources to accomplish all these things?

We can easily look around and find woman after woman who seem to have more than we have, more than we could EVER have least in our own estimation. What we need to remember though, is something that God has told us over and over again...

{"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it is He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.." Ephesians 4:7 and 11}

And, He reminds us that .. 
{"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that in all in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:8} 

These girls have all that they need because of the grace given them for the benefit of the work that God has called them to, just as He has you sweet sister. 

When we look at ourselves in comparison to those sisters in Christ, it may seem that we fall short. But it is not that we fall short, it is that our good work is not theirs. Their good work is not ours. Grace has them where they are, has provided all they need to accomplish the abundance of tasks they have been called to. 

He has provided them with "everything [they] need" (2 Peter 1:3), but it is specific to what they need for the work God has called them. 

The same promise is yours, and God is faithful. 

May your heart be directed toward YOUR good work today, so that you will know to seek out the grace that He will give you to accomplish those tasks. Look not to what he has given others, but to the blessings of abundance He has promised you this day.

Blessed to be linked to Living Well Wednesday!

Week 9: Hebrews 6:17-19

{Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who would have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged   - we have this hope as a anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:17-19}

I love the mental picture of a person tethered to an anchor, being tossed by the waves and yet secure in that fact that they will not be taken under. 

How like that guy I feel so often! Our world is so unpredictable, our standards so variable, our spirits so tossed and chaotic...if we are lashed to the wrong things. Left to ourselves, we would follow the false hope of anything that would seem to sooth our anxiety in the moment, in one way or another. Left without an anchor, our soul would drift to people, things and an endless search for meaning and hope in a world that offers so little of it. 

This HOPE we talk of, is hope that is worth holding ourselves to like an anchor holds on to a ship. It is stabilizing and secure.

I also love the thought leading up this metaphor, "we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us".

As calming as the idea of the secure and firm, is the idea of fleeing the things that are not that.  We cannot attach ourselves to the security of this hope we profess AND the unstable desires and expectations of the world as well.  These less than secure promises must be fled from, rejected and left behind. 

There is only one hope, one Lord, one Spirit and one God who is in all, through all and over all (Ephesians 4:3-6)...and what a firm and secure God and Hope we have!

The Women of Grace bible study is moving onto verses that remind of us of the peace that comes from this HOPE, starting tomorrow. If you would like to join us as we move into that new part of our study, we would be most blessed by your sharing with us!

{Welcome ifellowshippers! blessed to have you here!}

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails