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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Why Christ-Followers are Love Letters

Bite Size Bible Study: Why Christ-Followers are Love Letters. This is an amazing Scripture and this short Bible study gives insights into it's wonderful meaning!

Since you are a "letter," why not get a pen and paper and jot down insights for each Scripture passage below.

Did you know that Christ-followers are letters?  Paul told the Corinthians:

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3  

God wrote His laws on tablets of stone.

Exodus 31:18: When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.  

But He doesn't write on hearts of stone. Instead, He writes on repentant, converted hearts:

Jeremiah 31:33: "This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Ezekiel 36:26: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

I encourage you to study what Scripture says about "hard hearts."
Start with this list on Bible Hub and write down insights from each passage.  

Bite Size Bible Study: Why Christ-Followers are Love Letters. This is an amazing Scripture and this short Bible study gives insights into it's wonderful meaning!Christ-followers are:  

♥ Letters of recommendation... for those who brought us to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:1-2: Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.

Who helped lead you to the Lord? Did you realize you are a letter written on their heart? Why not take some time this week to thank them. 

Letters of emancipation... from our slavery to sin. 
John 8:36: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

I encourage you to study what Scripture says about "slavery to sin"
Start with this list on Bible Hub and write down insights from each passage.

Letters of adoption... as sons and daughters of God. 
Romans 8:15: The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 

We use the term "children of God" rather loosely. This 1-minute devotion explains that this term is reserved only for believers: Who Are Children of God

Letters of clemency... from a death sentence we deserve.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

For additional insights on being set free from your death sentence, read this 1-minute devotion: What Kind of Dead Man are You?

Letters of hope... to a lost and dying world. 
1 Corinthians 1:18-25: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate”...23 we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God...

You might say we are letters that are scented with perfume. This 1-minute devotion gives more insights about our effect on the world: Why Good Christians Stink and Smell Wonderful.

Bite Size Bible Study: Why Christ-Followers are Love Letters. This is an amazing Scripture and this short Bible study gives insights into it's wonderful meaning!Love letters... from our Savior.
Ephesians 2:4-5: But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

 Jesus is the Word.
John 1:1:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

Because Jesus is the Word, we should be offended by any book or teaching that changes His words. See 5 Ways the Shack Contradicts Biblical Salvation and see the 1-Minute Bible Love Notes archive Christian, Beware!

 If you know Jesus, you are His letter.
1 Corinthians 1:18: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  


Wow!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

God is Never, Never, Never on Vacation

Let these Scriptures and insights encourage you of this truth that God will never leave you! #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 
The wording of this verse in the Greek gives it emphasis, almost as if God is saying, "I will never, never, never forsake you."  God's Spirit is with us no matter what...through thick and thin...in good times and bad...always...no exceptions...whether we feel His presence or not.

From the Benson Commentary: "The many negative particles, and their position in the original [Greek], render this passage extremely emphatical and beautiful. Doddridge renders it, I will not, I will not leave thee; I will never, never, never forsake thee; words from which all God’s people (his love to them being the same in all ages) may take a just encouragement in all the difficulties to which they may be exposed."

Knowing God is always with us, will we ignore Him or take His hand throughout the day? Will we acknowledge His presence or take Him for granted?
 
Please join me today in thinking of ways to remember God's faithfulness.  One way to do this is to set an alarm to go off every hour as a reminder to pause and say "I love You" to the God who will never, never, never leave you.

Here are some additional Scriptures to encourage you: 

These two verses are part of Moses' speech to the Israelites, assuring them that God would be with them as they entered the unknown territory of the Promised Land. Are you entering unknown territory in your life? Why not memorize one of these verses:

Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. 

Deuteronomy 31:8: The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. 

God spoke these words to Joshua when he was facing enemies greater than any he'd faced before. Do you feel you are facing greater obstacles than you've ever faced? I encourage you to memorize this verse:

Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. 

We may not always understand the way God works in our lives, but we can rest assured that He treasures us as His children. These Psalms are good verses to recite whenever you feel lonely or afraid:

Let these Scriptures and insights encourage you of this truth that God will never leave you! #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes
Psalm 94:14: For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. 

Psalm 37:25: I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

This passage is a good one to read every day when you are struggling with doubts, fears, or loneliness: 

Romans 8:31-39: What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What passages of Scripture help you when you need assurance of God's presence and concern?

copyright, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Running the Race With Perseverance

Running the Race of Faith With Perseverance according to Scripture. #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes

Scripture often refers to our faith as a race.  

We deliberately discipline ourselves - sacrificing time and effort to know God better, running “with purpose in every step.”  We are as serious as an athlete in training.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27: Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 

Sometimes, God allows the race to get harder so we can build our faith. This happened with Jeremiah. He was complaining to God about the opposition he faced, and God answered him this way:

Running the Race of Faith With Perseverance according to Scripture. #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes
Jeremiah 12:5: "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”  

As we put our hope in the Lord, our strength is renewed so we can "run and not grow weary." 

Isaiah 40:31:  Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

We gain understanding because we run on God's race track, "in the path of His commands."  

Psalm 119:32: I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.

Others have run this same race and they’re cheering us on, telling us we can do it, urging us to get rid of things in our lives that slow us down so we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus."

Running the Race of Faith With Perseverance according to Scripture. #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes
Hebrews 12:1-3:  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 

Sometimes we will also have to endure opposition and make sure that nothing cuts in front of us and stops us from running with perseverance:

Galatians 5:7: You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 

Note that the race depends on obedience to God's truth. That why it's important to run as these Scriptures encourage us to run. Then, when our earthly race comes to an end, we can run into eternity with these words on our lips: 

 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 

copyright 2018, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com





Scripture calls faith a race and gives us these instructions. Well worth our time! #Bible #Biblestudy #BibleLoveNotes