Step 3, Bible Studies

Sickness is Discouraging But.....

A poor shoemaker in his dreary little shop in a great city, one day noticed that there was one little place in his dark room, from which he could get a view of green fields, blue skies and faraway hills. He wisely set up his bench at that point, so that at any moment he could lift his eyes from his dull work--and have a glimpse of the great, beautiful world outside.

The Worm became a Splendid Butterfly

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your hearts on things above! Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things! Colossians 3:1-2

Paul reminds us that those who believe on Christ--should live a risen life.

We live on the earth at present. We walk on earth's streets. We live in material houses, built of stones, bricks, or wood. We eat earth's fruits, gathering our food from earth's fields, orchards and gardens. We wear clothes woven of earthly fabrics. We adorn our homes with works of art that human hands make. We engage in the business of earth. We find our happiness in the things of this life.

God Waits for Us to Draw Near to Him

When all the fighting and protesting is done, God waits for me to draw near to Him. I think that I make more trouble for myself than my own circumstances ever do. I try to control, to manipulate, to manage. And all that is so painful because I am working in a realm where I have no ability and certainly no talent. When I'm honest (which I'm finding isn't nearly as often as I'd like it to be), I can admit that I'm really not very good at decisions. Many of the ones I've made have been simply horrible with drastic results. But when I wait on God and allow Him to make the decisions, things work out so much better. He's really so much better at decisions than I am, and rightly so, because He sees the future and knows what's best for me.

Serve Him Today, Release the Problems of Tomorrow

Hebrews 9:11-12
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

I find myself so focused on things that, in the long run, probably don't matter. John Wesley writes:

Heaven or Earth? The Choice is Simple

Hebrews 9:27-28 NKJV
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

I read in a book once that the early church didn't celebrate birthdays because they found life to be so painful, but rather celebrated deaths because death was the transition from this life into heaven. I know that growing up, our church celebrated funerals and called them graduations. These celebrations were filled with joyous songs because we knew that the person who had died was now in the presence of the Lord, a place we all wanted to be.

God's Comfort for Our Anxieties

Psalm 94:19 "In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul."

There are certain passages of scripture that are so helpful to me. Certain passages that I just find myself returning to time and time again. I have certain passages that I would just call "bright spots for blue Saints."

Do You Have Control?

Matthew 26:39 NKJV
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

It struck me, the other day, that the ultimate sin -- the foundational mindset that causes us to sin -- is a matter of control. We sin because we want to control... to control our circumstances, to control those around us, to control our future. We win because we want some thing rather than being willing to let God and trust God to give us what He wants.

Delight Yourself, No Matter What the Circumstances

Delight yourself in the Lord;
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
and He will do it.
Psalm 37:4-5

This verse is embedded in a chapter which differs from the over all scope we find in the Book of Psalms, for it mentions nothing of prayer or praise. But it is all instruction; it's " Mesihil – a teaching Psalm."

Our Cane of Life

As I was walking back from the mailbox earlier today, I wished with all my heart that I did not have to use a cane. I'm okay at home because if my knees give way and I start to fall, I can grab hold of something but outside there is nothing to support me so I have to use it. I have to use a cane when I walk because I never know when more of the cartilage in my knees might tear.

The Gospel - Key To Change

by Tim Keller

The Greek term "gospel" (ev-angelion) distinguished the Christian message from that of other religions. An 'ev-angel' was news of a great historical event, such as a victory in war or the ascension of a new king, that changed the listeners' condition and required a response from the listener.So the gospel is news of what God has done to reach us.It is not advice about what we must do to reach God. What is this news? God has entered the world in Jesus Christ to achieve a salvation that we could not achieve for ourselves which now:

1) converts and transforms individuals, forming them into a new humanity, and eventually

2) will renew the whole world and all creation.

This is the 'good news'—the gospel. And it is good news in three important ways.

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