Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Attending A New Bible Study At Church - JONAH

I just joined a new bible study at my church.  My daughter is attending Awana's while I go to the women's bible study on JONAH - Navigating a Life Interrupted.  This bible study was written by Priscilla Shirer.  All the ladies in my group are new to me so I am looking forward to making new friends and studying the Word of God with them!

Subject of this Bible Study:
What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer is a 7-session Bible study that redefines interruption and shows how it can be God's invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams.

The Bible Study started off with the verse.....Isaiah 55:8   "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. 

How has your life been interrupted lately?

Jonah was the only prophet who received instructions from God and ran from what God told him to do.  Our journey with Jonah helps us revamp our view of life interrupted.   THE INTERRUPTED LIFE is the privilege life.

Jonah 1:1  "The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying"  The first two miracles in the Book of Jonah are found in the very first verse.  1)  God spoke.  2)  God allowed a mere human to hear His voice.

To get a new view on what the interrupted life really means for believers in Jesus Christ, we need to get a new view of God.   We may have our own plans for our life but God may have different plans.  We may look at this change in our plans as an interruption but really it is A DIVINE INTERVENTION.  God is knocking on your door with A DIVINE INTERVENTION!

Its like a volleyball game.  You and your team mates are ready for the return.  The ball passes over the net to your side and you all say "GOT IT!"  "I GOT IT!"  But when it finally comes down NO ONE GOT IT.  Because everyone thought the other person HAD IT.  When the interruption life comes...we say GOT IT!  But when we find out what Gods plan is we run away and say YOU GOT IT!   

We must remember that the Interrupted Life is a privilege and God has knocked on our door to instruct us.  We must follow His instruction.  When the interrupted life comes, say "I got it" and mean it....GET IT!

One of the greatest revivals in history occurred because one man responded in obedience.  Jonah was a prophet.  His job was to hear the word of God and then to administer it to other people.

"Arise, go to Ninevah the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me" (Jonah 1:2)

Ninevah was a place of hopelessness.  Only God can handle our hopeless situations.  God often sends us into the hopeless place because it's in the hopeless place that we can see the hope of God.

THE INTERRUPTED LIFE is the significant life.  The only scripture that talks about Jonah before the book of Jonah is in 2 Kings 14:25.  We find out only 5 things about him.  1) His name  2) His religion  3) His family  4) His job  5) His hometown.  But after his interrupted life there is a lot of significance now with Jonah's life.

There is significance in your life that will come out once your life is interrupted.  This significance will mark others' lives!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spiritual Pruning

A pastor's wife asked, "When one witnesses a work he ahs poured his life into 'go up in flames' is it the work of Satan or the hand of God?"

I looked where I always look for clues --to the Bible, and I thought of moses' repeated efforts to persuade Pharaoh to let the people go, of Jeremiah's pleas for repentance, of the good king Josiah's reforms, rewarded in the end by his being slain by a pagan king.  I thought of the beloved Son, despised and rejected.  "The world, though it owed its being to him, did not recognize him.  He entered his own realm, and his own would not receive him" (John 1:10-11).

Satan was certainly at work in every case, but he was not the only one at work.  When a man or woman belongs to God (when the branch dwells in the Vine) it is the hand of God at work when the pruning comes, regardless of the second causes.  A life's work --what to us is a perfectly good branch, perhaps the only "important" branch --may be cut off.  The loss seems a terrble thing, a useless waste.  But whose work was it?  This is a question I have had to ask a number of times about work which I had thought of as my vocation, my life's work, apparently thrown on the brushpile.  Was it not work given by God in the first place, then given back to Him day by day?  Jesus said God is the Gardener, the One who takes care of the vines.  The hand of the Gardener holds the knife.  It is His glory that is at stake when the best grapes are produced, so we need not think He has something personal against us, or has left us wholly to the mercy of His enemy Satan.  he is always and forever for us.

So we let go our hold of things we held very dear.  Things that once were counted as gain we now count as loss, and out of what seems emptiness come beauty and richness.  "Those who receive ...God's grace, and his gift of righteousness, live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ"  (Romans 5:17).  The branches "live and reign" through the Vine.

A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot
I highly recommend this book!  Get it today and finish this wonderful study!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Life Out of Death

The people of Israel were up against impossible odds when they found themselves between the chariots of Egypt and the Red Sea.  Their God is our God.  The God of Israel looks down on us with love and says, "Nothing has happened to you which is not common to all.  I can manage it.  Trust Me."

He wants to transform every form of human suffering into something glorious.  He can redeem it.  he can bring life out of death.  every event of our lives provides opportunity to learn the deepest lesson anyone can learn on earth, "My present life is not that of the old 'I', but the living Christ within me" (Galatians 2:20).  When our souls lie barren in a winter which seems hopeless and endless, God has not abandoned us.  His work goes on.  He asks our acceptance of the painful process and our trust that He will indeed give resurrection life.

How often I am troubled about something that looms ahead wondering how I am to cope when the time comes.  Why do I not bring it at once to the Lord, who stands ready with the next grace for the next thing?  Why is it so easy to forget His simple word, "If you need wisdom, I'll give it to you.  If you need strength, it will be there in exact proportion to the difficulties of the day.  If you need guidance, I'm your Shepherd.  If you need comfort, My name is Comforter."

When in pain it is hard to think of anything but pain.  Amy Carmichael wrote of being so weak she could not think or pray, but she took comfort from the Psalm, "Let the lifting up of my hands be as the evening sacrifice" (Ps 141:2, AV).  She was able simply to lift them to the Lord --a gesture of acceptance, of adoration, of faith.  We have our Father's promise, linking the pain to an unimaginable glory:  "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12).

A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot
I highly recommend this book!  Get it today and finish this wonderful study!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Bible Study During Tough Times

Nothing can touch a child of God without His permission.  (Read Job 1 and 2). 

God is sovereign.  (Read II Chronicles 20:6, Isaiah 40, 43, I Chronicles 29:10-14, Lamentations 3:37 and many others.  As you read through the Bible, note this.)

“There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lost.”
 --Proverbs 21:30


“Intelligence, skill, strategy –none can avail against the Eternal.”
 –Proverbs 21:30, Moffatt


For the child of God, are there any secondary causes?  Satan must get God’s permission before he can touch Job’s possessions, much less Job.  So when Job lost everything, he worshipped and said:  The Lord gave and the lord [not Satan] hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Shimei cursed the fleeing King David and when David’s man wanted to kill Shimei, David said no, “God hath bidden him curse” (II Samuel 16:11).

Our Lord said to Pilate (when Pilate said, “Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?” ), “Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:10-11).

Later Paul, in a Roman prison, writes:  “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner [not prisoner of Rome, but of God]” (II Timothy 1:8).

SO… (stay tuned for Part 2)

by Ruth Bell Graham