Are you teachable?

 

Last time we were together…here on the internet… we looked at humility. The next characteristic I studied today in Living Beyond Ourselves by Beth Moore was being teachable. In order to be teachable we need to be humble.

Many of us at times have tried to share advice or correction sincerely and genuinely only to be met with an “I know it all” attitude. I used to get angry when I was met with this attitude. But now I just understand that sometimes the timing for that individual is not right or they just do not have a teachable attitude.

Let’s look in the bible at what happens when people have teachable spirits.

Acts 18 talks about a couple named Aquila and Priscilla who were tentmakers from Italy. The Apostle Paul ended up connecting with this God-fearing couple and they worked together for some time since Paul was also a tentmaker by trade. No doubt during that time Paul was able to teach Aquila and Priscilla more about God as they spent time together working and living. Eventually Paul went on to Ephesus to  share the gospel with the gentiles. Soon after an Alexandrite named Apollos entered the city and the bible describes him as eloquent, mighty in the scriptures and had a fervent spirit (Acts 18:24). The couple heard him preaching in the synagogue and saw that he was doing well but needed to know more in order to grow in his ministry. So Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and taught him the way of God more accurately. Afterwards Apollos went on to become a greater speaker able to refute the Jews publicly. In the end some even equated him with Peter and Paul (found in 1 Corinthians 1:12).

This is a beautiful example of what happens when we are teachable. The disciples were able to teach Paul and Paul was able to teach Aquila and Priscilla and they were able to teach Apollos who was able to go on to teach many more. Do you see how God is able to multiply the ministry through teachable spirits? Each persons’ ministry was blessed through humility and receiving teaching in love.

I do believe that we can learn something from other saints in the body of Christ. That is the beauty of how God created us. We all have different gifts and different talents that are meant to edify the whole body and to minister to others. If Aquila and Priscilla acted jealous of Apollos ability to speak and lead and refused to teach they would have robbed many people of hearing the truth.

I liked how the bible notes that the couple took Apollos aside to teach him. They did not correct him in public in front of the one’s he was preaching to. They lovingly took him and poured into him so that he could flourish. There is always a larger purpose in learning and teaching when it comes to the things of God. There might be a young person out there who needs you to pour into them. Let us keep our eyes on Him and receive His teaching with a humble heart. God cam and wants to do more than we can imagine in our lives when we submit to what He wants to teach us!

Have a blessed day!

He is Faithful

This morning I was reading out of my sutdy “Living Beyond Yourself” by Kay Arthur and the topic we are discussing is Faith. We began by looking at an account found in Mark 9:14-32 about father who’s son was having seizures and being tormented by an evil spirit. When Jesus came onto the scene, the father said to Jesus “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to Him “If you can believe all things are possible to him who believes”.

The father uses the words “but” and “if” in his request to Jesus. I can imagine that this father was tired, desperate, scared and probably had tried everything he knew he could do possible to help his son. Maybe his journey made him use the words “but” and “if” with Jesus. I’ve been there for sure. Have you ever tried every other solution you could possibly think of but went to Jesus last? So that by the time you kneel down your spirit has been worn down and you don’t know if even any solution is even possible for God? However, our next text looked at three friends who were looking in the face of death and still demonstrated great faith.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were about to be thrown into a firey furnace for refusing to worship the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar. In response to the king they said “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand O King. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” WOAH! You mean to tell me that these dudes hadn’t even seen Jesus and were talking with this kind of faith! Even to the point of dying a very scary death?  Faith sometimes means knowing God can, whether or not He does. If He chooses not to He has a greater glory in mind (Kay Arthur). In case you don’t know the conclusion of this story, they were thrown into the flames but they were not consumed. Jesus saved them and they were brought out of the flames not even smelling like smoke! (we will save that for another day!)

I felt convicted by this portion of the study. I do believe that Jesus came to this earth, I believe that Jesus is God, that He died for my sins, rose the third day and I believe that He is coming back again. But many times I have trouble believing that my personal requests to God will not be answered...almost like the father in Mark 9. However Jesus answered the father by saying anything is possible to them that believe. So I will mimic what the father said to Jesus “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”

I think that when we doubt that God can do something it’s because we are forgetting who He is and who His Son is. If you wanted to get some Michael Jordan sneakers and you told Michael himself to get you some Jordans you wouldn’t doubt that he could get a pair of his newest, freshest, flyest, shoes would you? In the same way we go to the King of the Universe the one who created all things ask Him to move a mountain in our life and turn around to doubt his abilities. Look at what this scripture says about Jesus.(I paraphrased)

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, the ruler of the kings of the earth, the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood and made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father. (Rev. 1:5-6)

When I read this scripture I’m reminded about how AWESOME HE IS and how not awesome I am. Jesus is able to do anything. Let’s not forget who HE IS and maybe it will be easier to believe that He can do anything if we just believe.


Roped to Unforgiveness (Get off my back!!)

Forgiveness is a huge topic in the bible. LIKE REALLY HUGE! In fact, it’s why Christ came-so we could be forgiven and come into relationship with God as His children.

I wanted to look at this topic because it’s something that I (and I’m sure many others) have to confront daily. Forgive the guy who cut you off on the highway, forgive the person who wronged you in the past, or forgive your spouse who did something to offend you…again. It’s a daily and continual issue that we must deal with.

In the book of Matthew (Matthew 18:15-35) Jesus tells the parable of the…let’s call him “TheUngratefulServantWhoCouldRepresentUsatAnytime”. There was once a servant who owed his master the millions of dollars. The master was going to sell everything he had including his family in order to pay the debt. But the servant begged for mercy and the master forgave him his debt. Later we see the servant go look for a fellow servant who owed him a few dollars and demanded his money. The second servant begged for mercy. The first servant forgot the mercy that was showed to him and had the second servant thrown into jail. The master of the first servant found out and threw him into prison to be tortured until the debt had been repaid…which would  have meant he would be tortured until death.

Looking at this parable it’s easy to see that the first servant was ungrateful and out of his mind for not showing the second servant mercy. But it can be us at any moment in time if we do not forgive others for offenses.

The greek word for forgiveness is aphiemi. It basically means walking around with the unforgiven one roped to your back. Why would anyone want to walk around with a body tied to their back? Or two or three or even a car load of unforgiven people? You see the unforgiveness will hurt you more than the other person. You will be broken down, tired, and unable to run the race of life effectively because you (or I) have a butt load of unforgivenss weighing you down.

Today ask God to help you let go of any unforgivenss in your heart (I promise I will do it too) and feel the freedom that God wants you to feel not only for releasing those people off of your back but also to know the gift of forgiveness we have been given by God Almighty!

Have a GREAT DAY!!

Please comment! I love reading them!

Beauty from Ashes

One of my favorite accounts in the bible tells the story of Job. A man who was blameless, upright, feared God and was really REALLY wealthy (Job 1:1-5)! He shunned evil and offered sacrifices  and prayed for his ten children continually. Satan happened to be going to and fro on the earth looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan stood before God to make a petition to test Job. Satan accused Job of being faithful simply because God had blessed him. God allowed Satan to test Job except he was not allowed to kill Job. In one day Job experienced the death of all of his children, his livestock, and his servants. But Job’s response was this: “The Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Satan became even more determined and said that Job would surely curse God if he touched his flesh. So satan struck Job with painful boils from “the sole of his foot to the crown of his head”. Job then went and took a piece of pottery to scrape himself while he sat in ashes. Although the scriptures express that Job was so depressed that he wished he had never been born, it also says “in all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:9)

Throughout Job’s circumstance he did not curse God. In the account of Job he is told by his wife to curse God and die. He is accused by his friends of sinning (which wasn’t true). Job converses with God wanting an answer for his troubles. I used to wonder what was the purpose of Job’s predicament? Why did he have to go through all of this? But like Joseph said: what was intended for evil God meant for good, we see God reveal more of himself to Job. God reveals His Omnipotence to Job in Job 38-39. Job sees that he is nothing in the presence of the Lord in Job 42.

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear

But now my eye sees You.

Therefore I abhor myself

And repent in dust and ashes”

(Job 42:5)

Job had an encounter with His God that was deeper and more amazing than what he had experienced before. God restored Job’s losses after he prayed for his friends and blessed his latter days more than his beginning. God restored his relationships, his wealth and his family. But I believe that through this trial the most precious thing he gained was a richness in his relationship with God, a closeness that he had never experienced before. Job lived 140 more years more intamently with God than before!

“So Job died, old and full of days” meaning he had a full life at the end of his days.

If you are struggling through something today do not despair for at the end God will reveal something so beautiful to you that you could never have imagined!

Please comment and share what God has done for you. It will encourage someone else.

Abiding Joy

Where does your joy abide? Does it come from shopping? Watching movies? Going to the spa? While all these things are a lot of fun and sometimes relaxing they only provide a temporary sense of happiness. Joy is something deeper and more consistent. The dictionary defines joy as: 1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment, 2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness.

Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

What is the source of your joy?  On day 4 of the Living Beyond Yourself study by Beth Moore we looked at how to abide in joy.

John 15:9-11

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Jesus gives us the answer right here! We must abide in him. The word abide means to remain, dwell, or live. We must do this so that our joy will be full. We know that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy our joy but in reality he can never really destroy the source of our joy. The source of our joy must be found in Christ and what He has done for us on the cross. This can never be undone or stolen. It remains steadfast in our all powerful saviour! He has overcome death and given us hope for eternal life!

As I have been meditating on joy for the past few weeks it hasn’t resulted in laughing all the time or a temporary pep in my step like hanging out with friends or getting a new outfit does. It’s deeper and solid. When I feel down or discouraged I stop and think about my Saviour about what He has done. I stop and “rediscover” His goodness and grace in my life. It makes the troubles of this life fade away and the corners of my lips to do curl up a little as I think about my Saviour’s HUGE LOVE for me! In the past I would let my mind circle around and around on things that bother me but I am trying to train my mind to stop and focus on this teaching. I remember being told by my mom to make sure that my joy is in Christ and not in my husband, children or life circumstance. I have always thought about it but never took hold of it until now…almost 8 years after she told me that. But now it’s sinking in. The joy of the Lord is my strength and I hope that it becomes yours as well!

God Bless!


Whatever….a lesson in peace of mind

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. -Philippians 4:8.

I’ve read this verse several times in the bible and it always seems easier said than done. To keep your mind focused on these things versus the evil that you hear about every day in the news. The battle is surely in the mind. For me at least.  I’ve struggled with chronic pain for over 20 years and lately I’ve started having these horrible flare ups that makes the pain worse. I’ve been through a lot of testing and have not found out what is wrong. But that aside I do know that the more I’m worried or stressed the worse the pain is. I know that what I think about and focus on has a direct effect on my body. I wish it wasn’t that way sometimes. I wish that I could hear a sad story or read a horrific news account and then just let it go. But my mind begins to think about the victim, what the victim suffered, the families involved, etc. I could find myself going on and on getting angrier or depressed by the minute-and as a result in a lot of pain. But I have to realize that my worry will not help the situation. So instead I’ve begun to take a moment to pray for those that suffer on a more regular basis. And ask God for an opportunity to use my gifts, talents and experience to help someone. Then I try to let it go. But it’s a fight for me. For some reason guilt threatens my mind. I actually feel guilty for not spending my time worrying. But that’s ridiculous! If I give my children a gift I want to hear them say thank you and be grateful and happy with their gift not turn around and say why didn’t you give this gift to someone else’s child? I think in essence it is not my place to worry like this. I am not God. I cannot  know why things happen as they do.  In my study last year of Kay Arthur’s “Lord I Want to Know You”,  I studied the names of God. God is sovereign (El Elyon) , God sees all things (El Roi)  and God can heal (Jehovah Rapha). So who am I to worry like this? We cannot add  any days to our lives by worrying. It is obvious that God did not create us to worry or be stressed since it ALWAYS has negative physiological effects on our bodies. I feel like this pain is my “thorn”. I used to pray that God would take it away. I mean FERVENT prayer! But I see now that it is a good reminder to me to stay humble and remember Who is really in charge of our lives. And now I am working on the lesson of being content and joyful in my present situation.

I am making an effort to follow the words of this scripture. I hope that you will too.

A lesson from Nehemiah and a nail and a tire…

A few weeks ago my tire blew out for the first time, on the highway, with my kids in the car, during rush hour. In the spirit of learning to stay calm and look to God for the lesson of the day I tried desperately to find something to learn from this potentially frustrating experience. After much thought, I couldn’t find the lesson in all of this…until a few days went by. Isn’t that how it goes sometimes? The lesson of a life experience doesn’t come to you until a few days or even years after the event? Well here’s what I learned. I hope that you are encouraged!

A New Life Part 2

This morning I finished the story of Ruth and I was just praising God for happy endings! I know that life does not always have happy endings but Ruth’s had such a hard beginning that the ending was worth it. From Boaz’s point of view things worked out well for him as well. He was a godly man but he was older and was not married. When Ruth asked him to be her kinsman redeemer he told her she had done a great thing for him by not going after the younger men. Boaz cared for Ruth deeply and still handled business in order by going to the nearer kinsman redeemer first. Upon finding that the nearer kinsman would have to take Ruth as well as purchase the deceased relative’s land he decided to let Boaz fill in so as to not jeapordize his own estate.

I love that at the end the genealogy is explained because we see that Ruth was part of the line of David…which is the line that gave birth to the Christ. I can imagine Ruth laying her baby on her lap and just being so grateful for the journey that God has taken her on. For her she was blessed with love and a beautiful child. Children are a great blessing (hard at times but a blessing).

Here’s a video my children and I made yesterday for fun. It’s a response to another video done by a youtuber named Kieracass. She’s another mom who is an author and has a lot of personality.

I hope you enjoy and share it!

Courage for a New Life

Today I woke up and asked God to show me more about His sovereignty. I don’t know about you but I’m always rolling around questions of God’s sovereignty versus our actions…blah, blah, blah. Anyway I picked up my daily bible (in which I’m still on the March reading) and started reading about Ruth. While I was reading I was literally thinking is this story just a story? Is it an insight into the biological line that would bring forth Christ or can I learn a deeper lesson today? God’s thoughts are definately not mine because as I began to read further about Boaz I was struck that the character of Boaz was so immensly kind to Ruth. She had favor with him and he made provision for her. Although I had heard that Boaz’s job as the kinsman redeemer is likened unto the character of God it didn’t really resonate with me until today. Boaz does several things to protect her. Boaz tells Ruth to gather what was left by the reapers only in his field, that he has told the men not to touch her, and he offers her plenty of food and shade. In fact he tells the men harvesting to purposefully leave extra stalks of barley on the ground for her to pick up.

In case you don’t know the story, Ruth is a Moabite woman who follows her mother in law back to Israel after her husband and her father-in-law die in Moab. She takes care of her mother in law, Naomi and accepts the God of Israel as her own God. Naomi’s reputation of hard work and dedication reach the ear of Boaz who is a distant relative of Naomi. According to the Law the nearest male relative must take care of the widows of that particular family. That is role of the kinsman redeemer. Also according to the law in Israel the poor could “glean” in the fields by picking up what was left by the reapers for food.

Ruth made the sacrifice of her old life for a new life with Naomi and to follow her God, who is the one true God. She went into a new place and it was hard at first…very hard. But God provided for her through Boaz. Like Boaz telling the men not to touch her, and the women to accept her, God will go before you and prepare the hearts of those you will come into contact with. As Boaz provided shade, protection and food, God will also provide all of your needs (Phillipians 4:19).  God provided Ruth with a gentle, generous and powerful kinsman redeemer who gave her a family, a home, and a chance to be part of the greatest legacy ever which is Christ’s birth! Just as God has done this for Ruth He has done this for us in Jesus Himself, who is our redeemer from having to pay for our own sin. This story is full of so much of God’s love for us!

My next question is what about Ruth? Did her choices play a part in any of this? We do not earn God’s favor but Ruth made a choice that her sister in law Orpah did not make. Orpah after losing her husband (Naomi’s other son) chose to stay back in the land of Moab instead of leaving and going with Ruth and Naomi. She stayed in a place she was familiar with yet she did not receive the challenges, or the blessings that Ruth received as far as we know. Ruth was able to take advantage of the redeeming law of a people not her own because she left what was familiar to her. Ruth had the courage and faith to leave what she knew and embrace Naomi’s God as her own. What god was Ruth leaving behind? Chemosh was the national deity of the Moabites whose name most likely meant “destroyer,” “subduer,” or “fish god.” This god required brutal human sacrifice to appease it. Isn’t it interesting that Ruth would play a part in bringing forth the son of God who would be the final sacrifice for all of mankind? Ruth made the choice to embrace a God, the road was long and difficult, the work was hard in the fields, but God was there all along, and she reaped the reward of her work and obedience, while God provided the opportunities and resources.

Be encouraged today to take have the faith to embrace God and leave your past behind. The road will not be easy but you will have a kinsman redeemer looking out for you!

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