Week SEVEN of Quarantine Bible study. When we began way back in March, I never dreamed we would still be at this until May. But here we are, still under quarantine…but today I am posting our last week of Quarantine Bible Study.
When I look back over this time, doing this Bible Study with you is going to be one of the big highlights. Even in this hard time, there has been some great good. And this time spent with you has been dear and precious to me. Thank you.
I simply can not wait to see you all again, give big hugs, hear all the stories, have a REAL conversation, gush over cute shoes and earrings, drink coffee from a coffee shop, and actually see your faces.
One day sooner than later we will again.
This last week of Bible Study, I went through my (in)courage Bible and dug up some of the devotions they have in here to share with all of you. This has been, by far, one of my most favorite weeks of Bible Study. This week and maybe that week in the beginning with Kim Erickson and my blooming Christmas Cactus stand out as big weeks…but this one even more so. God showed up BIG to me this week and I pray you search Him out so He can show up BIG in your life too. He promises He will.
Day One – The Secret of Brave
Today I wanted you to concentrate on this from Acts 1:8…. He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
The Holy Spirit in us is better than Jesus next to us.
Also, “The ones who LOVED Jesus RECEIVED the Holy Spirit and ALLOWED Him to move in their lives.” – Stephanie Bryant
Stephanie tells us that “the secret to brave…lies in the waiting and is in His power.”
From my friend Abby Kuyt’s facebook post today: “We are called to be faithful in each season we are in. Not the season we think we should be in, or the one we think we are ready for…the one we are in right now. THIS. This right now is the task and time we have been given. Circumstances change. Our need to follow our faithful shepherd has not. My circumstances may have changed. His calling and purposes have not.”
Day Two – A Brave Life
Today we are in Deuteronomy 31:6 & 8 “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; He will not leave you or abandon you…..the Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
Kristin Lemus writes “Let’s take [God] at His word today and ask Him to make us everything He says we can be. To go and live a brave life in Him….Deut 31:6 is not only for the soldier going into battle, the preacher on the stage or the woman in ministry. It’s for you….for you.”
This lesson also tied in so well with yesterday’s The Scared Brave Study when Stephanie Bryant write in The Secret of Brave “the ones who lived Jesus received the Holy Spirit and allowed Him to move in their lives.”
In today’s study I talk you about my Isaac who turned 18 today. He is headed off to the Navy soon, so ALL THE THINGS.
I appreciated this study so much with him in mind, but man oh man, it’s for all of us as well. Because that scripture, it sure is living and breathing, isn’t it? We can do the scary things. We can be scared and STILL BE BRAVE because the Holy Spirit is in us, the Lord is before us, and our God is our Father who loves us. As my sign that my youngest son Abe says, “Let your faith be bigger than your fear.”
Day Three – Become the Scared Brave
Today we are in Ezra 4 and especially in Ezra 4:4&5
Ezra 4:4-5 The Message (MSG) 4-5 “So these people started beating down the morale of the people of Judah, harassing them as they built. They even hired propagandists to sap their resolve. They kept this up for about fifteen years, throughout the lifetime of Cyrus king of Persia and on into the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Chelle A. Wilson writes: “…fear paralyzes us into inaction, and in may cases, ends our story…I am often afraid. I make peace with my fear, knowing it is often intended to protect me. However, complacency or fear of growth can be a dangerous sin. When we fail to move in accordance with our divine appointments, we were willful and resistant. I am not saying that we will never be afraid. Rather, I am suggesting tat in faith, we square our shoulders against the scary things. I am suggesting that we become the scared brave. … Fear my accompany you on your journey, but fear is never your destination….God’s work always succeeds.”
I also mentioned and read a bit from Melanie Shankle‘s devotional Everyday Holy. That very first devotional has been on my heart and maybe it was just that I needed to reread it but maybe it’s for you too. From Melanie Shankle – “God is not too old, and His arm is not too short…..I felt God say to me in the still, small place in my heart, “My girl, that’s how it is sometimes. After a long winter, spring doesn’t happen all at once. It happens one flower at at a time. I make all things beautiful, one flower at a time.” And that was the reminder I needed that God is not old. He is always at work, even when it may not seem obvious at first.” Melanie Shankle
You can buy Melanie’s devotional : Everyday Holy – Finding God in the Little Moments on Amazon. It’s only 7.99 for a hardcover, pick it up! I highly recommend it!
Day Four – Beauty and Suffering
Nehemiah 8:10 b “The joy of God is your strength!”
From the devotional written by Stephanie Bryant – “I was surprised to find the answer to my prayer more difficult than the long wait…….True Joy can only come from the Lord. It’s of Him. In turn we are strengthened. We can have joy because we have Jesus. Joy is a miracle. Only the Holy Spirit can create it. And just like the great joy that was set before Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, I am learning there is usually suffering mixed in with the beauty for us to be transformed for the glory of God. Until we allow God to work in all our circumstances, only then can we experience the joy of the Lord. …. The joy of the Lord can give us the strength we need to continue no matter the situation, not only fueling us to continue but allowing us to receive the true joy, peace, and hope our souls so desperately long for….My prayer for you is that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13), not despite your circumstances but because of the. To God be the glory in the beauty and the suffering.” Romans 15:13
JOY has been my word for three years now, this year the words changed a little to Bloom With Joy and my verse for 2020 is Romans 15:13 and I talk about this in today’s lesson.
Day 5 – Choosing to Thrive
In full disclosure, my phone cut out here at the end so hopefully it caught all the words!
Today’s very last Quarantine Bible Study is written by Lisa (Elisa) Pulliam.
Using Romans 12:1&2 as her scripture….
(the message) So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best think you can do for him. don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to it’s level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
We brewed some tea from The Tea Peddler/The Jam Shack and got into the Bible.
Lisa Pulliam writes: “As I steep myself in Scripture, I see God move in my life. I go from parched to refreshed, from despairing to humbly redirected, from striving to thriving. And so can you!”
My heart is that you yourself will dig deep in God’s word, that you would forage for the treasure in Him, that you would plant God deep in the soil of your life so you can bloom vibrantly with what God has created you for.
As you know, my words for this year are Bloom With Joy. And my verse for the year is Romans 15:13. That is my prayer for you. “The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you for going on this Quarantine Bible Study Adventure Journey over the past seven weeks. It has meant more to me than I can even put into words.
I’ll be back the end of May with 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. I had picked this book out last fall or winter to do over the summer and I’ll be back for that 100 day journey with you all soon enough.