Women In The Bible Rock

The women of the Bible are our archetypes. Jesus was theirs, as He is ours today.

~ Lisa Blair

This was written by Wendy Lim-Ferrero, a Bible Study Fellowship leader. She posted this on FB. Worthy of sharing.

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To All Women of Faith in Christ

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Be an Esther, bold and courageous enough to stand for the truth, to voice your opinion and fight for the good of others, even when it means to sacrifice yourself. If God has put you in a position, it is for a purpose. Never be afraid to heed to that inner voice.
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Be a Ruth, loyal in all your relationships, walk the extra mile and don’t quit when things get tough. Someday, you’ll see why it was all worth the effort.
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Be a Lydia, let your homes be open, let your hands be generous, let your hearts be big enough to help anyone in need. Joy is greatest when shared.
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Be a Hannah, never cease to pray. It will never be in vain.
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Be a Mary, humble and submissive. You don’t have to be great for God to use you, you just need to obey.
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Be a Dorcas, use your talents, however small it may seem to bring a smile on someone’s face. You’ll never know how much it can mean to someone.
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Be an Abigail, remember how each decision can turn your life around for good or bad. Be wise.
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Be an Elizabeth, never doubt what God can do. Miracles do happen.
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Be a Mary Magdalene, never let your mistakes and judgments of other people stop you from experiencing true joy in Jesus.
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Be a Rebekah, never forget that true beauty lies within. Draw your man closer to God through your character.
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Be a daughter after Gods likeness;
Be pure hearted;
Allow your inner Beauty to overshadow your outward appearance.
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“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom He justified he also glorified.”
Romans 7:28-30

Gods’ Representative?

We are Christs’ representatives. People see Him through our actions, and our actions verify the Word of God.

~ Lisa Blair

We are Christs’ representatives. People see Him through our actions, and our actions verify the Word of God. If we say we are Christians, there are expectations that surround how we treat others, e.g., are we kind, patient, giving, loving, supportive, attentive, joyful, and have self-constraint? Christ nailed our sins to the cross and we are now living by His Spirit. When we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were released from sin, washed by the blood of the Lamb, and have been cleansed from our old sin nature.

YouVersion

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NLT.‬‬ Bible.com)

Living by the Spirit’s Power
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:16, 17, 22-25 NLT. Biblegateway.com)

If our old nature reigns, we are not living by the Spirit. If we do not exude a genuine Christ-like behavior, are we Christians? Our actions and deeds are reflective of who we are in Christ.

Giving Peter Props

Peter’s walk on the water is a look at what pure faith delivers, the unfathomable.

~ Lisa Blair

Jesus instructed Peter to step out of the boat and walk to him. Yes, he told him to walk on water, can any of us do so without reservation? Is our faith that strong? Peter responded by climbing out of the boat and began walking on water. When he looked down, worldly logic informed him that he was doing the impossible, that he was defying gravity, and as quickly as his faith lifted him, faithlessness caused him to sink.

Satan is our weight, and he is our sinker, he is our albatross. As long as we allow him to dictate our lives, our faith waivers, and from time to time fails. The lack of faith causes doubt. Christ asked the disciples in Matthew 8:26, why are you afraid? O ye of little faith,’ then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was calm.  Christ was saying, faith has no bounds but those we place on it. Faith requires total focus on Christ. The scripture says, do not look to the left or right, I’ll add – do not look down, keep your eyes on me (Christ), and follow me. Like Ruth told Naomi, where you go, I will go; what you believe in, I will believe in as well, meaning your God is my God. That is a statement of faith and dedication. Her affirmation yielded action; Ruth followed Naomi. This story, along with the story about Peter shows us that dependence and commitment are an act of faith, faith in what? Faith is the belief in God – the belief in the Almighty.

Peter’s faith placed him on the water. His faith supported him above the water. How well does our faith help us? Can we walk on water even for a second, or better yet, take multiple steps? The story generally refers to Peter’s lack of faith. Once he focused on what he was doing, he no longer kept his eyes on Christ. When he looked away, he began to sink. As Christians, our goal should be to keep our eyes on Christ. We should intentionally stop ourselves from looking to the left or right or down, and when we do, refocus on Christ, who is the Word.

Peter demonstrated his faith in Christ, and we often do the same. Then when life gets tough, we begin to doubt, which leads to sinking into the problem; it begins to encompass our every thought. That is when we must remember Christ’s query, why are you afraid, O ye of little faith, of wavering faith? It is time to lock your focus, your trust in me (Christ), and move forward in your walk.

Scriptures

Matthew 8:26

Ruth 1:16-17

Matthew 14:22-33

Proverbs 4:25-27

God’s Good Word, God’s Promises

God’s Word is eternal. It is for all times and extends beyond our lifetime.

~ Lisa Blair

This is a guest post from a YouVersion devotional study – Good News: Encouragement for a World In Crisis. Created by YouVersion. Bible.com

God Has Good Plans, Day 1 of 7.

We’re living in an unprecedented time as we navigate the life-threatening and economy-shaking struggles we’re facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, we’ve seen catastrophic diseases, disasters, and wars impact various countries, but this is different. At this time, the whole world has something in common: we’re trying to survive a deadly virus.

So, as followers of Jesus, how do we make sense of this? What do we do with our questions to God and our questions of God? How do we find good news in a continual stream of bad news? And how do we grasp how this fits into the all-familiar passage of Jeremiah 29:11? 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)

This verse gives hope and is our spiritual security blanket in hard times. It’s printed on t-shirts, etched on coffee mugs, and stamped on greeting cards. While God is a hope giver, we have to understand the context of this cherished verse. 

Jeremiah prophesied to the Israelites in the southern kingdom of Judah before they were taken captive in 586 BC by King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon. In Jeremiah 27, he prophesied that they would serve this king, his son, and his grandson, and that everything would be under their control (Jeremiah 27:6-7 NLT). 

In the next chapter, a false prophet named Hananiah told the people that God would free them and restore everything to them in two years. Jeremiah challenged Hananiah because of his lies. He also said Hananiah would die and in two months, he was dead.

In chapter 29, Jeremiah encourages the people to live their lives while they’re in exile—to work, marry, plant, eat, and multiply! He tells them they’ll be in Babylon for 70 years and then, they’ll be brought home again. 

God’s plans of a hope and a future for His chosen people probably didn’t match what their idea was. They wanted to go home, yet God said it would be 70 years. They wanted their own king, yet God said they would serve the Babylonian king. They wanted to flourish in their homeland, but God said to do that under a government that was holding them captive. Possibly the hardest part was that the older generation would never go back home. They would die in a foreign land serving a foreign king. 

We can’t insist on our idea of a bright and hopeful future. We tend to be short-sighted and earthly-minded. But God’s ways are so much higher than what our minds can grasp. His plan is better! And it will include forever with Him in heaven, not just a short portion of our lives on earth. 

If our hope is laced with doubt, fear and anxiety, we can change that today. We need to eliminate our“hope-so” attitude and replace it with a “know-so” mindset. Our hope should never be tethered to the conveniences and pleasures the world offers or the ease of a situation. Instead, we fasten our minds to the promises and truths in the Word of God and fix our sights on the day when our bright, glorious, and eternal future is made a reality. Instead of wishing away our days in the predicament we’re in, let’s have confidence that God will deposit hope into us no matter what we’re facing. 

Scriptures: Jeremiah 27, Jeremiah 28, Jeremiah 29:1-14

New Norm – Continual Prayer

We are weaponless and vulnerable without prayer. Being in prayer mode throughout the day strengthens our resolve and our relationship with Our Lord.

~ Lisa Blair
Youversion/Bible.com

Prayer is needed at all times. It catalyzes, activates, everything that happens in life. It empowers us to persevere in difficulty, exude hope in all situations, and reside in a state of patience despite the prevailing circumstances.

It causes us to supplant blaming God, and reviling others for our current conditions with peace. It provides hope (in eternal life), enduring faith, and rest in knowing God is with us and will see us through this walk, called life.

It is crucial that we develop (our) practice of continual,  persistent prayer. This means throughout the day, in good moments and uncomfortable times. Prayer can be as simple as calling on Christ, a single sentence or a long(er) dialogue. You can do it standing, sitting, on your knees, or prone on the floor. Your eyes can be open or closed. Your hands can be 🙏🏽 pressed together, or open.

Our God is good and receives us as we are in the moment, pleased that we invited Him into our heart.

We are called to rejoice in the Lord.  And , have hope which is founded on faith, and faith on the Divinity of God.

LAB Photos

Image – Bible.com

Resources – BibleStudytools.com;Studylight.org

He Is In The Storm With You

When you feel alone, know Jesus is sitting in the boat with you. Call on him to give you peace as the storm rages and seems as if it is going to destroy everything around you. The Bible tells us – “this to will pass”. Hold fast to Jesus.

~ Lisa Blair

We can see our rebirth* come alive during this pandemic. God is at the center of each of our lives. Call on him for your peace that is greater than your understanding. Praise him for each day and expect him to provide his best for you. His best is his love, peace, and security in him.

Wherever you are, he is in the midst of it with you. Hold fast to your faith. He will get through this, but the world will not reappear as was it was; look forward to the new day that the Lord is bringing forth. There is no storm to great to defeat God. ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got you and me brothers-in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands.’

Scriptures and images – Bible.com

*our new lives, after accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior

Videos – YouTube

He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands, modern version.
https://youtu.be/HHP33AEdALU

This song was originally sung by Mahalia Jackson.
https://youtu.be/UEH7jyt1eoo


Thoughts About The Pandemic Storm

Continuation of the previous post: Many are focusing on the pandemic and not God’s Word about our security. “The reality of the pandemic does not change but, the assurance of God’s presence with us through the pandemic is of greater importance than its current dangers.” (Paraphrased-mybsf.org)

~ Lis Blair

We need to cooperate with God for His deliverance to work. We can not operate in fear, doubt or negligence, they negate deliverance, and weaken our ability to hold fast to the Word. God’s promises do not excuse us from doing the work. [Note – works do not give us entrance into the Kingdom.] We cannot expect to overcome the Coronavirus if we do not adhere to the practices that are designed to contain it. God’s promises give us hope as we adhere to the process. If we choose to return to our old norm, His promise to keep us is overrun by our disobedience. God commands us to listen to our leaders. If we are told to shelter-in-place, then we should shelter-in-place, if we are told to wear protective masks, we should wear protective masks, if we are told to practice social-distancing, we should employ social distancing around. God’s promises are often conditional. His love is unconditional.