Encouragement from Bible Study

Hello, friends! So I’m a little late posting today. I didn’t schedule a post like I was supposed to yesterday. It was Bible study evening and yes … I just didn’t get to it. So I’ll just do a quick overview of how my young adult Bible study is going for my Saturday post! ūüôā

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I think this is our fourth or fifth week. It’s been good! I love getting a group of young people together reading God’s Word and having quality fellowship. Truly, I’ve been immensely enjoying myself, even though I really have to lean on God some days for confidence and strength … because I am an introvert, after all! ūüėČ Being the one to start this Bible study and having it at my house and all that – it can be a little nerve-wracking.

But yes. It’s a great group and we’re having fun.

Last week we started a devotional from YouVersion called Love God Greatly – Made For Community.

This week we read John 14:15-23 and did the second devotional from Made For Community. Though the devotionals are short, I’ve found the profound, challenging, and uplifting thus far.

John 14:15-23

15¬†‚ÄúIf you love Me, keep¬†My commandments.¬†16¬†And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever‚ÄĒ¬†17¬†the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.¬†18¬†I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

19¬†‚ÄúA little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.¬†20¬†At that day you will know that I¬†am¬†in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.¬†21¬†He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.‚ÄĚ

22¬†Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‚ÄúLord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?‚ÄĚ

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Snippets from the devotional: 

“From the very beginning God created us for community. Sin shattered the relationship … but God in His mercy is making all things new including His relationship with His people.”

“…He also gives us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so that we are no longer alone. We have a helper, a comforter, a teacher and a guide living within us.”

Notes:

So, do you feel the Holy Spirit is your helper, comforter, teacher and guide? Do you acknowledge His Presence and believe you’re never alone?

This is sometimes hard to grasp, but God can reveal it more to us as we seek Him in prayer and reading His Word.

It’s a beautiful truth to me, especially in fearful situations, or as an introvert when I feel really different or alone in a crowd. Knowing God is always with me bring courage where there is fear and confidence where there is insecurity. And peace – it brings peace that passes understanding in all situations.

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We also read three chapters from Psalm, and made note of any promises or truths in the passages that are ours to claim in Christ – we can apply to our lives.

Psalm 3

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me,
‚ÄúThere is¬†no help for him in God.‚Ä̬†Selah

3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

God is my shield.

God is my glory.

God lifts up my head.

God hears me.

God sustains me.

God’s blessing is upon me.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3¬†He has put a new song in my mouth‚ÄĒ
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

God establishes my steps.

God puts a song in my mouth.

His thoughts toward me can’t be recounted.

God thinks upon me.

God is my help and my deliverer.

Psalm 63:1-4 & 7-8

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

God’s lovingkindness is better than life.

In Him, my soul will be satisfied.

God is my help.

God’s right hand upholds me.

***

After discussing and talking some more (kind of about random things, haha), we put out some snacks and had a good time of fellowship. It’s a blessing to hang out with fellow believers. I’d been struggling a bit and really praying about this Bible study, and I remember that at least once I asked God that I could encourage and uplift these young people, and they could do the same for me. I really feel God answered and honored that prayer. At least on my part. It was encouraging to my soul. ūüôā

So what about you? Do you not just read¬† your Bible, but apply what it says to your life? Try reading passages and asking questions like, “How can I take hold of this truth? What does this mean for me? How does this affect my life? What does this tell me about God?”

Hope you have a blessed weekend, dear readers!

‚̧ Lady Grace

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Bible Study on Love

Hello, dear friends!

Some of you all probably saw my post where I mentioned that I started a Bible study! I am very passionate about community and connection. And I’ve long had a heart for older teens & single adults … because I know the struggles and insecurities and loneliness I felt then, and now, and I want to reach out and encourage! And seek the Lord together with other young adults! And grow together!

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So I’d been dreaming about starting a Bible study. Either for teens or people my own age. Or both! I just didn’t know how to take the first step. I’m an introvert‚ÄĒwith big dreams and heart desires! But an introvert, nonetheless. Quiet, mostly in the background, sensitive, and not quick to reach out where I’m not sure I’m wanted. Plus, I’m just a young woman. Living at my parent’s house. And, well … *glances about* … are there even people around anymore? ūüėČ

God is good, though. I talked about my desire to start a study with some people. My mom, my aunt, my sister, my doctor, a friend/one of the moms from my family’s Bible study group, and they all encouraged me in it!

So, I decided I was going to start it! At the end of Savoring Single, a delightful Christian Living book on singleness that I read recently, there is an enormous list of Bible verses talking about love. I decided studying God’s love would be a perfect place to start.

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My seventeen-year-old sister and two friends (seventeen and fifteen) make up my group. We’re planning to get together once a week. We talk. I pray. We read Scripture. We discuss. I give out a list of verses to read for next week’s study. Pray again. Eat food and fellowship! ‚̧

The first week, we read these beautiful verses:

Ephesians 2:4-7

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

John 14:21

21¬†He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.‚ÄĚ

John 15:9

9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

John 17:22-23

22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Romans 5:5

5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Galatians 2:20

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

1 John 3:1

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

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The following week, we discussed these verses. This time I was actually prepared beforehand, and took notes on these verses up until our next Bible study.

John 14:23

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Notes: When we love Jesus and follow His Word, He makes His home with us. Truly following the Lord means we have communion and companionship with Him. We are not alone, but He is with us in every detail and decision of life.

Ephesians 3:17-19

17¬†that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,¬†18¬†may be able to comprehend with all the saints what¬†is¬†the width and length and depth and height‚ÄĒ¬†19¬†to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Notes: We need to be rooted and ground in love! (What does this look like?) Paul is praying that we would be able to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge‚ÄĒthat we may be filled with the fullness of God. Knowing Christ’s love equals being filled with the fullness of God. God is love!

Ephesians 5:2

2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Notes: As Christ-followers, we are called to walk in love. This is probably the most important way we can reflect Christ (see Ephesians 3:19 & John 13:35). What are some ways that we can, daily, “walk in love”?

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

Notes: In God’s love we have everlasting consolation, hope, and comfort! He also establishes us in every good word and work. When I dwell in God’s Presence and love, I do truly find comfort, overwhelming hope, and a faith that He will establish me in the path He has for me. He is able! And He loves me. Therefore, He is worthy of my trust.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

Notes: How can we direct our hearts into the love of God? Perhaps praying for it:¬†“Lord, fill up my heart with Your love! Help me to love You, and Your people, well.”

1 John 2:5

5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Notes: Truly following Jesus Christ and believing His Word is truth is the evidence that we know God’s deep love for us and want to love and serve Him because of that. If we don’t obey His Word, we don’t really understand His love and love Him.

1 John 3:16

16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Notes: We know love because Jesus first loved us! We couldn’t know true love without Him. This is why it’s so important to press into and understand God’s love for you, personally! Then you can go out into the world, imitating Him and pouring out your life in love for others!

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So that’s what’s happening so far in this very new path I’m walking. ūüôā Perhaps you want to join us in reading and meditating on Scriptures on love! ‚̧ Feel free to write your thoughts and notes in the comments below!

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Hello!

hello

Hi, lovely readers! I know I haven’t been on here forever, and I am sorry about that. Life gets busy. My mind gets cluttered. I hadn’t been taking as much time as I should have been to quiet my thoughts and spend time with the Lord. And … I simply didn’t feel like I had anything inspiring to share with you.

But, you know, a thought came to me. We all struggle. We all fail. We all don’t do the things we should, sometimes. Don’t feel as near to the Lord as we want to. Don’t feel spiritually mature and able to impart wisdom … Yet, we should be sharing our experiences, nonetheless! We should be leaning on each other and encouraging each other in turn.

Even if I feel weak, I can tell others (my younger sisters, for example) about times in my life when God answered a prayer, revealed something to me, gave me peace, had someone else pray for me when I really needed it, gave me a glimpse of heaven and His glory – and that can encourage them. And actually, myself too, in the process of remembering!

Remember God’s goodness. Tell of His goodness. Praise Him!

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As for doings in my life, I recently started re-reading Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird. I’m doing it as a Bible/book study with two of my younger sisters (fourteen and sixteen years of age), since it’s one of the best Christian Living books about Biblical womanhood that I’ve read! I read a chapter to them every couple days, and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter.

It’s been really good. These author sisters have some wisdom and insight to share!

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On my own, I’ve been reading Fearless: Building a Faith that Overcomes your Fear by Cheri Fuller. If you’ve read any of this blog, you know I struggle with anxiety/fear. So I’m really excited about this book, and it’s been wonderful so far! So much about prayer in there.

fearless

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Also just started His Princess: Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd today. This will be a re-read. It’s a simple little book with devotional-type things to read each day and a verse from Bible.

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For Bible reading, I decided June was as good a month as any to read through Proverbs again! Can’t wait. Proverbs is so good!

I’m also doing a Bible study with my mom and some other ladies, so I’ve been reading short bits from the Bible each day having to do with love. That’s been going well, too. ^_^

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Well, that’s quite a bit of reading, I admit! But since I don’t have many novels on hand just now, I decided I should catch up on my “Christian Living”-type reading!

And I just need to work on enhancing my Bible-reading and prayer time, so yay for Bible studies, devotionals, and Proverbs! Also, warm days in which to walk and pray. ^_^

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How are you doing, my friend? What are you currently reading? Anything going on in your life that I can pray about for you?