Month: August 2021

Preach God’s Truth to Yourself and Practice what you Preach!

Truthfilled by Ruth Chou Simons

In Conclusion; Week five and week six

Let’s read Colossians 4:2-18

Well, Friends, it’s that time. Time to summarize and conclude our study. This study, in particular, has shown me how much we all need to preach to ourselves. Ruth said it best in that if we don’t preach to ourselves, someone else will. It’s your choice who you want to listen to.

This world can seem like a black hole for many of us. It’s filled with sadness and unhappiness, with unrest and fear. People that do not know the Word, what it says, and how it can save us will preach what they ‘hear.’ They will take for gospel the news or what they see on their computer as the truth.

Is this the person you want preaching to you on how you should be living your life?

Perhaps then, you want to listen to someone that knows and studies the word of God! Someone that knows how much he loves you. Someone that hurts when you hurt and laughs when you laugh. Someone who encourages and promotes instead of discourages and demotes.

Wait! This person sounds a lot like YOU! That’s right, friends; as believers and students of God’s word, we have the love letters from our Source to talk ourselves right into being the people we were made to be. God’s people.

I decided to put week 5 and week 6 together because they go hand and hand, you need to remember what God gives us, and we need to put it into practice. Therefore, let me share what I learned about our mighty God and how he wants us to preach to ourselves.

Ruth talked about growth and what it really looks like.

Growth can…
  • looks messy
  • stretches all our resources
  • takes work
  • makes everything worth it

I chuckled when I saw she used the word messy….can you relate? How often do you feel like your spiritual path is just a collage of disfunction? On my best day, I feel like I am scattered in several different areas. Can I get an Amen? That is why I resonated with how often Ruth says you have to work at knowing the Lord and the provisions he extends to us. If we do not know what He wants to give us, how can we preach it to ourselves?

Read Philippians 1:6 below.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phillipians 1:6

We must remember his provisions daily.

Here are just a few provisions we discussed, its funny; we know them in our head, but to see them on paper helps you remember them in your heart.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want"
"He makes me lay down in green pastures"
"He leads me besidw still waters"
"He restores my soul"

Psalm 23 

These are just a few of the beautiful promises He makes to us in Psalm 23. I would encourage you to read it in its entirety. It is well worth it.

Consequently, knowing what the Lord wants us to have and actually taking it and practicing it are, unfortunately, two very different actions.

In conclusion, we must make it a daily practice to preach to ourselves, to fill our own heads and hearts with the desires of our Lord. He wants you to breathe in his words of promise from scripture.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

I wish I could tell you the practice part is easy, but we all know that it’s not. We all know how life is like a rushing river that can sweep you along on a course you did not set. Nevertheless, we must strive toward that goal.

Since we have the source of what to preach, it’s the matter of making ourselves a priority.

To illustrate how easy it is to not focus on yourself, think about where you spend time during your day. Having a few extra minutes to unwind, do you look at Facebook, Instagram, maybe the news channel? Despite believing it is fun and harmless, I will tell you that I sign out of my page many times feeling defeated.

All the perfect pictures leaving me feeling like I am nowhere near as good as the people I see there. The perfect pictures, the success stories of another goal achieved, children, behaving like they actually like their siblings? I mean, come on!! When we shake our heads and clear the muck of deception out there, we know there is no true perfect picture. Equally important is that we know these posts are where some are getting their affirmation.

Dedication and determination are what keeps me preaching to my heart.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!

  • I have what I need.
  • I am well care for by God.
  • I am secure in Christ because of the gospel.

Promises from our God, the true resource of our happiness and spiritual growth.

I pray, sisters, take this practice to heart and make it a daily occurrence in your life. One thing I can promise is you will be rewarded with God’s holy presence and abounding love.

Tired of lists? How to overcome the frenzy of to-do lists.

As a mom, I have a love/hate relationship with August. On the one hand, I love it because soon, my four children will be back into the school year routines that everyone has dismissed for the summer. I abhor August because it ends my time with all my kids at home. It’s a bittersweet tug of war for me.

Several weeks ago, I was scurrying around helping my son and daughter get ready to head back to college. It’s mid-August, and the kid’s brains seem to kick back in. They realize they have a long list of things to do before leaving. Of course, many of those things need my help. Suddenly I have a list with tons of things that have to get done. Can you relate?

Shopping for clothes, shopping for food snacks to go back with them, shopping for supplies. There were more things on the list, but I am sure you get my point!:)

There are the lists of items the school needs uploading for admittance. In addition, there is the packing and making sure the kids see as many friends and family members that want to see them before they go. It can be an exhausting process.

On one particular day, I, too, had a list of things I wanted to get done. Such as, I wanted to spend time in my bible study and research verses for my next blog. Ideas were swirling in my head I wanted to get on paper. I really wanted to write! I was even looking forward to grocery shopping and doing some cleaning around the house.

That day was the day before my daughter moved into her dorm for her freshman year at college. Let me share with you, I did not get one thing on my list done, but we completed several items from her list.

That evening as I sat and rested, yes, it was a packed full kind of day. I found myself thinking of the lists we make. All the things we think have to get done. We get ourselves caught up in a cycle of living by what we get done from ‘the list .’ I wondered if we had a list of things that really mattered and if we worked as hard to get those items done.

I thought about my bible study and the list of things Jesus gives us. That’s right, Jesus gave us lists or instructions on how we are to live our lives.

Take, for example, the 10 Commandments:

  • I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery
  • You shall have no other gods before’ me
  • You shall not take the Lords name in vain
  • Honor your father and mother
  • Do not kill
  • Do not commit adultrey
  • You shall not steal
  • Don’t bear false witness againt your neighbor
  • You shall not covet your neighbors wife
  • You shall not covet your neighbors goods

Over the years, I have spoken with several people that thought of the commands as rules we had to follow to please God. I don’t look at them as rules but as guides or instructions on how God wants us to walk our faith.

Another list to consider is the items God tells us to arm ourselves with. I encourage you to read Ephesians 6:10-18, but in short, the list goes something like this. Let’s arm ourselves with:

  • The belt of truth
  • The breast plate of righteousness
  • Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gosple of peace
  • The shield of faith
  • The helmet of salvation
  • The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

I absolutely love how Jesus tells us how to protect ourselves from the enemy. We are under constant attack from the devil and require God’s divine protection.

Now, if you are still in Ephesians, flip to the left to John 13:31-35. Jesus can whittle down all these commands to the one we should emulate in our everyday life. Take a close look at verse 34.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." John 13:34 ESV

Yes, I know for many of us, there are some lists we need to write out. I can tell you, if I didn’t write out my grocery list, I would forget half of what I needed and would buy tons of unneeded stuff.

For me, my passion in life is staying obedient to my God. Therefore, I take this one command deeply to heart. But, it can be very challenging. There are many times I don’t want to love someone. The someone that hurt me or disappointed me. The person who broke promises or lied to me. Truthfully, I know it’s not me loving them.

I believe in my heart that if I am obedient to Jesus’s command, he will pour his love through me to them. I can love them with Jesus’s love. You can read my blog, My Unusual Walk in Obedience to God’s Word, at mygracewalk.com to read more on my perspective of walking in obedience and how fulfilling it is.

Jesus takes us right to the heart of the matter, what’s most important. Love one another as he loved us.

As a believer in Christ, my focus is living how Jesus lived and how he wants us to live. It is my greatest joy to imitate his walk as closely as I can.

There is no way to know why God loved us so much that he sent his only son to save us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have erternal life. John 3:16 ESV

We have no right or claim to it; it is a gift we can humbly accept, a gift he gave his life for. Jesus loved us so much he called us friends.

"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing: but I called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15

To thank him, I will strive to be obedient to his command to love one another, to walk my walk as close as I humanly can to his walk.

So, I will ditch the many lists I think are very important to everyday life and concentrate on his lists.

  • The Ten Commandments
  • Wearing the Armor of God
  • Loving my neighbor

My friends, I have four children and know how busy life can be; it can become a frenzy of ‘list-making.’ In the end, if we follow that one command, to love one another, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will guide us to accomplish what he believes are the vital items on our list that need to be accomplished.

I pray the heavenly Father blesses you with the peace of Jesus in your life today.

Christine Williamson is the creator of her blog, mygracewalk.com. Her purpose with mygracewalk blog is to not be a biblical scholar, but a sharer of life! She is a wife, a mom, and, working woman who has transformed into a Jesus Chasing Gal! Her purpose is to share and chat with you, to encourage, to hopefully build a community of sisters traveling this road of life together. Using her experiences to show you how God was with her while she was broken, knowing that while she cleaved to Him, He was building her back into the woman He made her to be.

“Truthfilled-Respond in Faith!

Week Four

By Ruth Chou Simons

Read Colossians 2:4-23

Do you have identity issues? Most of us would say ‘no’ I know exactly who I am if asked that question. But do you? It is so easy in today’s world to get lost in the ‘perfection’ of what others present to us as their normal on whatever social platform they use.

When I spend too much time on Instagram or Facebook, I can really start to feel depressed. I don’t see that the pictures people post may have taken all day for them to capture. All I feel is ineptness. Of course, that leaves me feeling like I should be more like them, wondering why my life is not the perfect ‘show ‘n tell” story they present of theirs.

I have forgotten who I am and WHOSE I am. That is the main lesson in this week’s video with Ruth. I feel that it is one of our biggest pulls away from who we are in Christ.

I have to be so careful that I don’t let someone else tempt me to forget that I belong to Jesus and because I absolutely believe in him and know who he is, I know where I can find my identity.

Ruth said: “Without Christ, we would be trying to define ourselves with degrees, labels, achievements, associations, awards, and appearances. Without Jesus, I would always be trying to define myself through another’s approval.”

Ruth also talks about how practicing something over and over will create a habit. Is there something you do that you do so often, you feel like you can do it in your sleep? Think about what that is. Think about how often you do it. Are the consequences of that action good for you? How often do you do it, so it is a habit?

That is how we need to preach to ourselves the triumphant words of Jesus ourselves. If we don’t habitually tell ourselves who we are and whose we are, the social media of the world will!

Below is a snippet from our study that I really wanted to share. Its Ruths steps on how to preach to your own heart.

Practice Preaching To Your Own Heart

First, read the below scripture.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5

  1. Identify the care. What’s the issue? Why are yoyu “downcast”?
  2. Tell your sould waht to do. Put your hope in God.
  3. Embrace gospel hope. How does the good news of Christ (the gospel) change your perspective?

These are 3 wonderful steps to start learning how to practice preaching what your heart and mind need to hear.

I encourage you to read Colossians 2:4-23. The best place to start is scripture. Over and over again.

Truthfilled – Rehearse who you are!

By Ruth Chou Simons

Week Three

Colossians 1:15-2:3

This week we study God’s Character and the worthiness of Christ. I have to say. I loved every minute of it. When you take the time to really focused on God’s Character, it is humbling to realize how big our God is really is. Let’s go back and list a few characteristics of our God.

The Colossians knew God, but they did not have it embedded in their hearts, and when negative things were being said about Jesus, they were in danger of slipping away from all they had learned. 

Ruth talks about how we must rest in the character of God but to do this; we must believe what God says is true. We must believe who God is, what he says about himself, so when he talks to us about us, you can rest in that what he says is true. 

Characteristics of God:

He is sovereign, wise, and good

He is trustworthy

Hi is in control 

He is worthy

He loves us 

Preach the Truth of Who He is

When we rest in this information, we make an active choice to follow God and know him intimately. We must continuously speak the truth of God to ourselves, so it is what we fill our heads and heart with. 

It is easy to be pulled away from your focus when you don’t, deep in your soul, trust all that God is. Ruth says, ‘we must preach to ourselves the truth of who Hi is, why His trustworthy and how He is sufficient for our every spiritual and physical need.’

When we study His characteristics and rest in Him, we can find our identity in HIm. Once we rest in who he is, we can believe and rehearse the truth to ourselves, believing it is true.

Knowing His Heart

We must take the time to dig deep in the Word so we can get to know Him, his heart, and how much he loves us. We must fill ourselves up with Jesus and what he did on the cross for us. His death opened the door for us to know God and establish an active relationship with him. If we do not get to know God and Jesus the way they want us to, it lessens the sacrifice He made on the cross.

This week was filled with why we want to be Truthfilled and how we can do that. When we believe what God says about himself, we can rest in the truth of what he says about us. We must spend our time learning about him, trusting him in what he tells us.

Below are some verses we read with this week’s study. I love the one below as it tells us the exact identity of Christ.

Characters of God

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For b him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. And his is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might be preeminent in everything.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.  Colossians 1:15-20 ESV

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, to present you holy ad blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Colossians 1:21-23 ESV

Holy

For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians  5:21 ESV

Blameless

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Hebrews 9:14 ESV

Beyond Reproach

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, persecution, famine or nakedness, danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake, we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us, for I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:33-39

Truthfilled-Rest in God’s Character

Week two

By Ruth Chou Simons

This week’s study was very impactful for me. It tells us how God tells us who we are. Read Psalm 42

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14

But to actually believe him, we must first know him. The gospel is God’s invitation that makes the instructions we follow possible. Our obedience must be first and foremost in our lives.

This week Ruth spoke about the imperatives and the indicative of our faith walk.

Imperative-Right conduct or practice. The do’s and don’t

Indicative– This is what we believe. Serving as a sign or indication

We seem to gravitate toward the imperatives and tend to skip the indicative. We want to rush out there and do something. Fortunately, God knows this about us, that we find our hope in doing things rather than learning the character of our amazing Father.

Ruth shares how we must learn who God is, know his character, know that he is truth. Knowing that allows us to rest our weary souls in him.

Being strengthened with all [power according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In him, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.

Colossians 1:11-14

Without the indicative, or what’s truer about who God is and what He’s done, the imperatives would be basically impossible. Without knowing our God and resting in the love and care of him, his character, and who he is, our attempt at obedience would more likely lead us to our own pride and self-righteousness.

Everything we have, all that we believe, must rest on the character of our God.

As Paul wrote to the Colossians, he is also talking for us, that God is the one that calls us, God qualifies us, and God delivers us. God alone enables us to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him.

” But now he has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him. If indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.”

Colossians 1:22-23

We can not know how to walk our Christ-like walk without first knowing who enables us. That is what we need to learn to preach to ourselves.

Placing our hope and trust in our God, believing he is everything he says he is, is how we can believe what he says about us.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Corinthians 5:17

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

John 1:12

For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith.

Galatians 3:26

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant, does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15:15

If we do not tell our soul what is true, someone else will. That is the most important point I received out of this week’s study. When Ruth said that, everything in me stopped. It is so true but oh so hard to do. The only way we can preach to ourselves is to know and trust our God. If we can believe what he says about us, we should believe it about us too.

Week Nine- God of Covenant- by Jen Wilkin

A Study of Genesis 48- 50

Wow, I can’t believe this is our last week of this study. It was so informative and intense at times. Please remember, what I wrote was only some of what I got out of the study personally. There is so much more that wasn’t covered. If you are interested in really learning more about God’s covenant with his people, how mighty it is, I encourage you to check out this study. You will truly have a sound foundation on how the covenant with God came about and so much more.

At the end of chapter 47, we thought that Jacob had breathed his last, but we see Chapter 48 open with the fact that he is still alive. Joseph hears that his father is very ill and takes his sons to see him so Jacob can bless them. Do you remember back in week four, when Jacob stole his older brother’s birthright? Well, it looks like we have gone full circle. We see that Jacob blesses the younger son and then the older one. They would both be successful, but the younger one would inherit the position of leader and most of the wealth. 

Jacob gathers all his boys to tell them all how their lives will go in the last days. 

Rueben: He was the firstborn, but he gave up his birthright by his evil actions

Simeon and Levi: Their land would be divided

Judah: would be a leader of the other tribes

Zebulun: Would be given lots of lands

Issachar: Would be a farmer

Dan: Would become a judge in Israel

Gad: He would be good in military struggles

Asher: would have fertile land

Naphtali: He will be liked by all other tribes

Joseph: He received many blessings

Benjamin: Would become a warrior

At the end of chapter 49 and the beginning of 50, we see Jacob finally dies. He had Joseph promise to take him back to where his family is all buried. Joseph goes to Pharaoh for permission to go back to Canaan to bury his father. Not only was that the resting place of all his family, but Jacob knew his tomb would forever be in God’s promised land. 

At this point, the brothers became afraid of Joseph, thinking that Joseph would now exact his revenge on them for selling him into slavery with their father gone. Joseph assured them that he had forgiven them, and he was exactly where God put him for a reason, to do what God wanted him to do. 

Joseph lived in Egypt for the rest of his days. He said to his brothers: “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob.” Genesis 50:24

He instructed the sons of Israel to promise, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” Genesis 50:25

Joseph died at 110.

God of Covenant- Week Eight-by Jen Wilkin

A study of Genesis 42-47

As interpreted, the famine was severe. Joseph is in charge of all the land, and Egypt had plenty of grain.

Jacob has heard that there is grain in Egypt and makes his sons go there to buy grain. Now, it has been 20 years since the brother’s treacherous act of betrayal, so they did not recognize Joseph. Joseph immediately knew his brothers but did not reveal himself. 

Joseph accused the brothers of being spies. The brothers denying this 3 separate times shares they are all brothers of the same father. They also mention their younger brother who stayed back with their father; Joseph used this opportunity to question his father and brother. Joseph demands the brothers prove their trustworthiness by going back and getting their younger brother. 

The brothers could buy what they needed, and all were permitted to leave except Simeon, who was kept in captivity. 

Joseph put their money back in their bags, unknown to them. When they returned to their home, they saw the money and were fearful. Because the money was in their bags, it may be thought they took the grain without paying. 

The brothers shared with Jacob that Joseph wanted them to return with Benjamin. Jacob was distraught over this; Ben was the son of Rachel, whom Jacob loved deeply. He did not want to lose Ben as he had lost Joseph.

The famine was severe, and Jacob forced the brothers to go back to Egypt with Benjamin. When Joseph saw his youngest brother, he ordered a large meal prepared for them all. He was overwhelmed with emotions, so much so he escaped to his rooms and wept. 

Joseph gives instructions that his drinking cup is put in Benjamin’s bag as they are all leaving. He is accused of stealing, and Joseph states he is going to keep him as his slave. Fearing what losing Benjamin would do to their father, they pleaded to take his place as Joseph’s slave. 

So overcome with emotions, Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers. He wept with them and told them to go and bring their father to him. They did this, and when Joseph and Jacob were reunited, Jacob was so elated he said he could now die with happiness because he knew Joseph was alive.

Jacob lived in Egypt with Joseph for 17 years. Knowing his time was short, he promised Joseph not to bury him in Egypt but take him back to be laid with his fathers. It was a promise that Joseph kept.

Week One-Truthfilled by Ruth Chou Simons-The Practice of Preaching to Yourself Through Every Season

Introduction

This week I started the Bible study Truthfilled by Ruth Chou Simons with my amazing bible study partners.

Do you have a bible study partner?*Do you belong to a bible study group? If you don’t and would like one, please reach out. I would love to get you connected to one.

Truthfilled is a study on the book of Colossians where Paul writes a letter to the Colossians regarding dangerous teachings threatening the church of Colossae. 

Colossians are hearing things being said by nonbelievers that causing doubt of all they have learned about who Jesus is.

Life Runs in Season’s

We see Ruth use the seasons of the year to correlate with the seasons of our lives. 

Winter-Resting in Gods Character

Spring-Rehearsing the Truth

Summer-Responding in Faith

Fall-Remember God’s Provisions

Ruth shared how Paul David Tripp says, “no one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do.” Is that not the truth or what? 

I can’t tell you how many ‘secrets’ conversations I have had in my mind with myself. I mean, what’s the harm? No one can hear what I am saying, right? Well, my friends, I can tell you it hurts, and it affects many people. 

We have an instinctual urge to tell ourselves just how lacking we think we are. “I don’t know why I started to write. No one wants to read what I have to say. Maybe people will think I am a terrible writer. Who is going to listen to my thoughts? It’s not like I’m smart.” 

We must be cautious with filling our heads because it can pull us away from what we believe is true. We talk to ourselves so much we start to believe it. When we start to believe it, we start to live it. When we start to live it, people start to notice it. That is how it can really hurt the people we care about. 

This study will teach us about the character of God, how we can believe that what he says about himself is true. That we can rest in His character and know that what He says we are is also true. 

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. -Proverbs 23:7 NKJV

Ruth shows us how Paul wanted the believers to follow and serve Jesus fearlessly. He knew they would have to know the truth of who God is, who they were in Him. 

We need to have it ingrained in our souls and not be led astray by what others say. 

Some of the verses we explored in week one are listed below.

There is a wealth of wisdom and knowledge in Psalm 42, and I strongly recommend you read the entire passage. Take a peek at verses 5-11

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?” “Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God” Why are you cast dow, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. 
Psalm 42:5-11 ES
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gos’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2 NIV
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, “fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,  Colossians 1:10-11 ESV
If you have been raised with Christ, Seek the things that are about, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2 ESV
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of out inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-14
To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and undying, kept in heaven for you, 1 Peter 1:4
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits Psalm 103:2

The practice of preaching to yourself

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How to find Encouragement from the Spirit Astounding Power

Strengthening the Spirit in You!

John 14

Putting time into developing your relationship with the Holy Spirit will bless you every day. He is the might comforter that goes every place with you. As you know, if you read my blog, Who is the Holy Spirit-How to Empower His Astounding Glory? You know the awesome power that lives in you.

Every day can be a test on us—a test of patience, happiness, thankfulness, and, more importantly, our Christ-like walk. God says to love each other as he loved us. This world we live in is riddled with hate, anger, dishonesty, and many other things that can lead us astray from how we honor God.

As it says in Ephesians 6:10-23, we must put on the full armor of God (I can’t wait to share my ‘Armor of God Blog with you later this fall) so we can stand firm in His convictions. We must stay upbeat and focused on our Lord. The best way for me to do that is to go back to scripture. Below are some of the verses I studied while writing my blog.

I pray you will experience wisdom, strength, and comfort from them.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." John 14:26
"Do you not believe that I am in the Fatehr, and the Father is in Me?  The words that I say to you I do notspeak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.'John 14:10-11
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him becauuse He abides with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you."  John 16:7
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits: to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: 
but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will.  

1 Corintians 12:4-11
Until now you have not asked [the Father] for anything in My name; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete. John 16:24
And whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22
“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

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Who is the Holy Spirit-How to Empower His Astounding Glory?

10 Scriptures to help seize the Holy Spirit in Life

Encouragement from scripture.

Have you ever felt like you were the only kid in class that didn’t know the answer to a question? How about being with friends, listening to a conversation where everyone is excitedly sharing their thoughts on the topic, but a vital piece of information is missing for you.

Oh yeah, I have certainly been in that place. A place where you desperately want to know what everyone else gets but gone right over your head. The frustration that’s felt at being the one that doesn’t get it but is so uncertain you can’t bring yourself to ask any more questions is mind-blowing.

That is exactly how I felt whenever the subject of the Holy Spirit was up for discussion. I struggled with who was the Holy Spirit, what was the Holy Spirit? How can I have it, and how can I use it in my life. I agonized over not understanding what the Holy Spirit was and why I didn’t feel like I had it in my life. Honestly, I felt like the child in the classroom who had all the parts to the equation but couldn’t solve the problem. Does anyone else feel that way?

I wish I could tell you the moment my clarity came to me. I don’t remember the time or the place, but I do remember the moment. It was exhilarating! The moment I realized WHO (not what) lived in me, filled me with a joy that made my stomach flutter and goosebumps race up my arms. It was so overpowering I couldn’t sit on it; I immediately contacted my bible study bestie and shared that, finally, I GOT IT!!!! I wanted to stand on a mountain top and shout with joy.

Let me share my jumping to the head of the class!

Who is the Holy Spirit?
"Do you not believe that I am in the Fatehr, and the Father is in Me?  The words that I say to you I do notspeak on My own initiative, but the Fatherabiding in Me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Fatherand the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.'John 14:10-11
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him becauuse He abides with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17
"In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" John 14:20


"But the Helper, the Holy Sprirt, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." John 14:26

Where to begin?

Let’s start with the Father. God is one God but three persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, many of us know of this as the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is a person, a part of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, AND the Holy Spirit. The Father resides in the Son, as shown in scripture.

These are just a few of the versed that speak of the Holy Spirit. I would highly recommend reading all of John 14; there are so many wonderful tidbits of knowledge in there you will be amazed.

Have you ever heard the saying, filled with the Holy Spirit? I never understood ( until I did) that it was a literal statement. I finally realized that the Holy Spirit was a piece of Jesus, and He lived in me. I have a piece of Jesus living in me, guiding me to Him, fighting for me, helping me, comforting me as only He can.

I remember walking around for days, astounded at the feelings that now raced through my body. I felt like I had won that golden ticket; Jesus was in me. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he did not leave us alone, not for one minute. Check out the below verse.

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you."  John 16:7

I see it as Jesus had to be in heaven with the Father to share a part of himself with us. Once he was at the right hand of the Father, He was able to share the part of himself that would forever live in us. If he had stayed on earth with us, we would have missed out on carrying the spirit of God within us.

The simplicity of that statement, it’s mind-blowing. Because we are a temple to house the spirit of God, we walk this world sharing the Good News because Jesus resides in us. He guides us in this because that is who He is and what He does.

  • There are several names for the Holy Spirit;
  • the Helper,
  • the Advocate,
  • the Counselor,
  • and the Spirit of Truth.

There are many times we need advice, counsel, or help from our Father, and having the Spirit within allows us to tap into Him at any time. He is always available to guide our way.

Images that represent the Holy Spirit.
There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  • Wisdom
  • Understanding
  • Counsel
  • Fortitude
  • Knowledge
  • Piety (devoutness)
  • Fear of the Lord

Along with the Holy Spirit, we can activate these gifts from our God. They allow us to show how Jesus and our belief in Him have changed us. They help guide us in a world where many things can pull us away from our Christ-like walk.

As a believer in Jesus, my main ‘job’ is to represent how Jesus lived. Without the Holy Spirit in me, I would never be an example of Christ to people that didn’t know Him.

Having the Holy Spirit as our counselor guides us, He speaks to our conscience when we pray. As we seek the Father in earnest, the Spirit is our intercessor. He goes to God on our behalf.

How do we Empower the Spirit in Us?

Do you wonder how you, too, can be empowered by the Holy Spirit? Let’s first start with what it looks like to be empowered by Him. Anyone that is saved (someone that believes Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins, believing He rose from the dead and is the Son of God. Someone that has asked God to forgive them their sins) has the Spirit of God in them, but is He an active part of our daily lives?

I have spent many years studying Jesus, desperately wanting to know Him and be obedient to him. I didn’t realize that the gifts I have from the Holy Spirit allow me to be closer to Him and know his character better.

Once I realized who the Spirit was and that I already had instant access to Him, I turned my full attention to activating Him in my life. That is how I empowered His spirit. I prayed that He would use the gifts in me to show Himself to the world. How, do you ask?

By knowing what the gifts of the Spirit are and living by them every day.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits: to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: 
but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will.  

1 Corintians 12:4-11

We all have our own unique gifts from God; we are all special in that way. God did not make us all the same. He is much more creative than that. We must know what our gifts are so we can walk the path God just for us. I struggled for years, thinking I didn’t have any special gifts. Watching friends with great respect when they could talk about the gift that God blessed them with. Wanting to do the same, needing at the same time, to be obedient to God and His calling to me.

How do you know what your gifts are?

It is different for everyone. What I did may or may not work for you, but it was what made the most sense for me. The first thing I determined was what I wanted my gifts to be. I figured if there was something on my heart I wanted to do for Christ, He most likely would want me to do it as well. Knowing how I wanted to serve God, I prayed to Jesus and asked for His will to be done.

Until now you have not asked [the Father] for anything in My name; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete. John 16:24
And whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22
“ Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
Uplifting our desires in Prayer.

Scripture says that we need to trust God, to go to Him first in prayer. What we ask for and believe in His name will be given. One of my wonderful bible study partners has said numerous times is; whatever we do in and for Christ takes practice.” We must continually go to him in prayer and repeatedly ask His will to be done, not ours. We must trust in who he is, knowing he will do what he says he will do.

Seek Him out, the more we will want His will. As we do more in His name, the greater our spiritual gifts will shine.