Yes, I'm way behind. Having to actually go to work does that to a person! I'm taking advantage of some relaxing time to try to catch back up.
First focus is on 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Here it is in The Message translation:
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another--showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
I found it very interesting that the author goes into the Greek and Hebrew origins of this passage and the wording that was used. This sentence especially struck a cord: Scripture, in essence, is the very breath of God! We cannot live without breathing, in the same sense, our lives will not run as smoothly without seeking God's breath through reading His word!
Next focus in scripture is Proverbs 13:21. I like the New King James Version wording of this one:
Evil pursues sinners,
But to the righteous, good shall be repaid.
Oooh, which one am I? Steppin' on my toes, there!
How much easier is it to sit and complain, to accept and pursue the victim mentality, than it is to go and sow the Seed of faith? How much harder it is to trust in the Lord and move forward!
Next Scripture focus is John 5:1-14. I've linked this one to Bible Gateway so you can read The Message translation of this if you wish.
Jesus is asking the same of us as he did the sick man: Do you want to get well?
This shouldn't be something that we have to think over, but I'll admit there have been times that I relished my 'sick' self and made no real move to get better. I'm very thankful that my Fibromyalgia type issues haven't reared their ugly head like they did this time last year. And I give God the glory for this! I need to share this blessing with more people, I know!!
Something else comes to mind that has changed in me in the past year: I was looking for some spiritual food this time last year, and I wanted someone to feed ME. In the past year, I've actively pursued more ways to be fed myself instead of sitting around and waiting for it. I've searched for ways to spend time with Him, and have been very blessed for it! Thank you, Lord, for your guidance in this!
Now on to the subject of the day. Sorry for the side trip, there!
Next Scriptural reference that touched me: Proverbs 16:20. Again, in The Message translation:
It pays to take life seriously, things work out when you trust in God.
What I want to remember from the author:
Gluttony is excessiveness in any area....it is lust, which simply means 'I must have it now'. Addictions happen because of a lack of self restraint. It is rooted in discontentment.
Next Scriptural reference: Phillipians 4:13: (The Message)
Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Something else the author brings us to remember: Every bad decision we make is merely an earthly attempt to fill a heavenly need.
Something to look up: knowing the works of flesh along with the Fruits of the Spirit so we can discern between our selfish nature and God's Spirit within us. Scripture reference is Galatians 5:19-23.
Our discontent can only be filled by being in agreement with God. Amos 3:3 says,
"Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren't going to the same place?"
Assigned reading: Matthew 25:1-13.
In your own words, describe what the spirit of Cain is. Afterwards, look at list next to Galatians 5:19-21 and Colossians 3:5-9. What do you discover?
Locate and share the Proverbs related to being self-controlled and disciplined.
1. How did the virgins fail to prepare for the coming Bridegroom?
2. Five virgins were described as sensible (depending on version) and the other, foolish. Which one typically describes your preparation methods?
3. Describe the state of mind each group possessed. Now describe the PRODUCT of each group’s labor. Notice the latter part of verse 10: ‘Those who were ready (had diligently prepared) went with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut.’
1. How did you describe ‘the spirit of Cain’? What did you find as you compared it to Galatians 5:19-21 - the works of the flesh?
2. When your spirit is troubled, what (or whom) do you lean on for comfort and fulfillment?
3. What areas in your life do you lack self-restraint? In what ways can you apply self-restraint by the power of His Spirit in your role as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker or complete stranger?
4. Are you agreeing with God presently? Why or why not?
5. Have you confessed any lack of self-restraint to the Father? Now repent and ask God for ‘right desires’ and the strength to choose well that you may hold your head high as HE desires and has in fact, ordained for you!
6. In what ways can ‘being prepared’ crucify your desires to fulfill your old nature (Galatians 5:24)?
7. What does discipline look like to you? Do you remember the phrase from week 1?: ‘Discipline yourselves OR be disciplined’. What preparations have you made for skillful and successful living?
8. Proverbs 25:28 says: “Like a city breached, without walls, is a person who lacks self-control.” Has a personal lack of self-restraint rendered you and your family helpless, unprotected and an easy target for the Adversary?
9. Perhaps you have found yourself much like me at one point - with the victim mentality as opposed to the Victor mentality of Christ. What good seeds of self-restraint is He telling you to presently and actively sow?
10. Do you notice the direct correlation between gluttony and outbursts of anger? Notice that all SIN is the self-destructive seed sown to the flesh and contrary to the Spirit Who gives Life-Abundant. Won't you thank the LORD today for saving you into the Ark of His Kingdom by Christ and ask for 'deliverance from yourself'?
11. Would those closest to you commend or condemn your life as a Believer in Christ?
Memory Verse: Hebrews 13:5:
Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you."
Again, please visit Women of the Word for the complete study! I don't even begin to do it justice!
I'll be back with answers to the questions here later on! Have a blessed week!