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—with 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? 😉

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

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 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.”

John 15:9

“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

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.

***

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 love18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 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—that 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

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

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

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!

***

So that’s what’s happening so far in this very new path I’m walking. 🙂 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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Life, Anxiety, & Reading 1 Corinthians

Hello, dear friends! Once again, I’m on a bad posting schedule. I am on vacation right now, so I suppose I have a right to take a break from blogging this time. Perhaps? 😉

I’ve been having a lovely time, and thankful for the small but beautiful ways I’m seeing God’s hand in my life during this trip. Been praying a lot … and it’s been a comfort as I strive to just follow where God leads. Let go. Hold on. Push myself. Just be. Try to step into His plan for my day, and try to see blessing and opportunity where I might be tempted to see only trial and burden.

life(found on pixabay.com)

I admit, I have had a few days where I’ve given into disappointment and despair, and not had the best attitude. Today was one of those days. I was struggling with anxiety and just feeling kind of tired out of life.

Okay. Where’s the purpose? What’s the big picture? I can’t see what’s going on, so therefore I assume nothing’s going on. I don’t want to try anymore, Lord.

But it’s then when we need to renew our minds with God’s Word and prayer, right? Pressing into Him, and also having fellowship with other believers. And finding some way to serve.

Sometimes nothing helps anxiety, and you just have to kind of ride it out. But today wasn’t so bad, I suppose. Tonight I’m actually starting to perk up and life feels okay. 🙂

I’m currently reading through 1 Corinthians, so I thought I would share some verses that stuck out to me. To do something purposeful tonight, you know. And I’ll schedule this post for tomorrow, so I’m actually following my supposed blogging schedule for Lady Grace, haha. Tuesdays and Saturdays, it’s supposed to be!

Anyway. Without further ado …

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 3:5-7

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:11

11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 8:8-9

But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:23-26

23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12

11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

I got the idea from someone to meditate, throughout the whole day, on one verse you read. So I picked 1 Corinthians 10:31. And I think I’m going to make a point to meditate on it the rest of this vacation. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

What a good reminder. What a way to find purpose and joy in each day and moment – even in the trials. Do all for His glory, my dear readers! ❤

What does the Bible say about Fear?

Do you struggle with fear? Anxiety? I know I do. So what does the Word of God say about fear?

fear

Psalm 34:4

“I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”

Joshua 1:9

“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 6:24

“Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Psalm 23:4

“Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff – they comfort me.”

Romans 8:38-39

“For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rules, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

Psalm 94:19

“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.”

1 Peter 1:5

“You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Psalm 27:1

“The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom should I be afraid?”

1 Peter 5:6-7

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”

Psalm 56:3-4

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.”

Psalm 103:17-18

“But from eternity to eternity, the LORD’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:13

“For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.”

Romans 8:15

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ ”

1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear …”

***

Heaven.

heaven

You know what? The unknown frightens me. Eternity frightens me. I can’t fully understand the concept of “heaven”, and so it scares me.

But it shouldn’t be that way.

I’m a child of God. I’m a daughter of the King of Kings. My soul is saved, thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and it is marked as His.

Heaven is my home. Eternity is a promise to me.

I don’t know about you, but I hear dark lies whispering to my soul. Trying to steal the joy of my salvation. Trying to turn a beautiful promise into something that makes me fearful.

Remember how to fight the Enemy? We fight him with the Word of God! So I looked up these verses about heaven, to remind myself that my God cares for me. And He knows me. And His thoughts are way, way higher than mine.

Proverbs 14:32

32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
    but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
    he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.

In that day they will say,

“Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 Corinthians 2:6-9

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

2 Peter 3:8-9

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

John 14:2-4

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Revelation 21:4-7

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Colossians 3:3-4

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Revelation 7:17

17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Revelation 22:1-5

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Philippians 1:21-23

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Consolation for the Downtrodden Heart

Dear lovely readers,

I’ve come across some verses in the book of Psalm that I want to share with you. I have long struggled with anxiety, fear, and feeling utterly alone. These are some of the verses that speak truth to me in my situation – and lift up my soul.

(Click on the chapter numbers to read the full chapters.)

Psalm 42:5-6

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
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.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:5

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

Psalm 37:7

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Psalm 34:4-5

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 20:1-2

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;

Psalm 16:11

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 5:11-12

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Psalm 5:1-3

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

Psalm 3:3-4

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

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

So put your hope in God, my friends. Praise Him. Wait for Him. Declare His words. Rest in Him. Seek Him. Look to Him and be radiant! Do not fear; do not fret. Be strengthened by Him. Rejoice in Him! Pray to Him; look up. He will hear you. He is your shield.