Tag Archive for SSMT

A Life of Faith

This week in Hebrews, we are look at the life of Moses. Specifically, we’ll be looking at the faith of Jochebed, Moses, and the Israelites during the Passover.

As I read about the faith involved in the lives of these people, several different things stood out to me.

4 Lessons for the Faithful

#1. God doesn’t always make life easy for those who have faith in Him.

Jochebed could have cursed God for allowing the Egyptians to kill all of the Israelite babies, but she didn’t. She had faith in Him to protect her son. She placed her hope in Him, even when the world said that was foolish.

#2. There is a right way and a wrong way to stand up for what we believe in.

I firmly believe that Moses had the best intentions when he killed the Egyptian, but that probably wasn’t the best way to handle the situation. Granted, this was before the 10 commandments were given, so I guess we can’t hold it against him.

#3. Faith doesn’t have to be blind.

Yes, Moses took God at His Word, but he also asked a lot of questions. He didn’t just say yes right off the bat, he took the time to understand his mission and his role. I wonder if we don’t get frustrated so often with our callings… okay, if I don’t get frustrated so often with what I know God is calling me to do, because I don’t stick around to get the details. I just get the first sentence and run with it.

#4. Faith doesn’t mean fearless, and it’s certainly not something you can do half-way.

When I think of the first passover, while they were sitting there in their homes with their children, I would have been terrified. I would have double and triple checked that we had followed all of God’s commandments regarding the preparation of the passover to protect my oldest son at all costs. And having the angel of death come past my door, I probably would have fainted. It would have been terrifying.

Can you imagine if one of the Israelites would have said, “Oh, God’s a good guy, surely He’ll protect us even if we don’t have our sandals on and our belts tucked in. I mean, really, who eats while they are holding their staff?!”

No. They wouldn’t have done that. Not at the risk of their children. Yet so often today, we essentially say the same thing. We say, “Oh, God’s a good guy, surely He’ll let us into heaven, even if we don’t love our neighbors as our selves. I mean, really, who prays for those who mistreat them?!”…Just something to think about.

I want to leave you with my current SSMT memory verse:

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

James 4:17 (NIV)

==> You can download this week’s study sheet here

In the comments…

Which of the four things that stood out to me in this weeks study makes the biggest impact on you? Why?

Share it in the comments below.

 

A Prayer for Strength

Download the PDF Study Guide

Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!

~ Acts 4:19

The believer’s life isn’t always an easy one. In Acts 4, Peter and John are thrown in prison for proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. Only for one night, but being arrested is still being arrested. When morning came around, they were released, but not until after they were threatened and commanded not to teach God’s Word.

Have you ever thought God was calling you to do something,  but then the results made you question that calling?

Often times we want to think that if it’s God’s will, it will go smoothly. That He will bless it and we will shine.

But that’s not what Peter and John experienced.

Instead of second guessing their calling, they gathered together and prayed with other believers that God would give them strength to keep going.

I admire their faith and dedication, but not their situation.

I don’t want to be thrown in jail for proclaiming Christ, and I pray that if it does ever come to that, that I will be able to stand faithfully as these two men did so ever long ago.

Let’s take a look at their prayer:

“Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“‘Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
against the Lord
    and against his anointed one.’

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.  They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.  Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:24-30 NIV)

There is so much in that prayer.

Praise for who God is and what He’s done (vs. 24-25).

They prayed Scripture (vs. 25-26).

They told God what had happened (vs. 27), and confirmed that it was God’s will — that He is sovereign (vs. 28).

And then they asked Him to strengthen them, and enable them to fulfill their calling and bring Him glory (vs. 29-30).

But my favorite part of that prayer is actually what happens after the prayer in verse 31:

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

They came before God, and God listened.

I love that God answers prayers, don’t you?

These were Christians who made a difficult decision to stand up for their faith and live lives that honored God, but they knew they needed His help.

We will face trials as Christians, as people in general. But if our God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

My encouragement to you this week is not to let hardships or trials keep you from doing what God has called you to do.

For if we are trying to please men, we aren’t servants of Christ (Gal. 1:10)

Psalm 18-32 -NIV

(Psalm 18:32 is my current memory verse for SSMT)

 

Reflection Questions

  • Have you ever had to choose between listening to (or pleasing) someone on earth, or to do what God has called you to do? What did you choose?
  • What is something you need God to strengthen you for?
  • There are many things we can look to for strength. What are some of the earthly things you look to (now or in the past)?

Take it Deeper

  • Look up the following Scriptures: Isaiah 40:29-31; Romans 8:31; Psalm 18:32; Psalm 73:26; Isaiah 41:10; Philippians 4:13
  • Download the PDF Study Guide
  • Join the conversation! Share one or more of your answers to the reflection questions in the comments below.

 

 

Previous posts in this series

Study announcement

What is prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer

The Humble Prayer

Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015 (SSMT)

In the fall of 2014 I went through my first Beth Moore Bible study, and I LOVED it. I have been following her online ever since, and I was excited to hear about her Siesta Scripture Memory Team.

You can get all the details here.

Essentially, it’s an accountability group for Scripture memory. We will be memorizing 24 verses throughout 2015. That’s two a month, every month, for all 12 months.

We all have matching spirals (made ourselves). Check mine out:

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Now for the good stuff…

I shared yesterday that my theme for 2015 is “Called by Christ.”

With that in mind (and knowing that I have already memorized 1 Thessalonians 5:24 – “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”) The first Scripture I chose to memorize is Colossians 3:23. This verse isn’t new to me, but I can’t recite it by memory yet, and I think it will be powerful in my life going into the new year.

I chose this verse because often times when I am working for people, I get discouraged. I feel undervalued, or wonder what the point is. But if I can remember that I am working for Christ – doing what He has called me to do – it’s all worth it. It all has a point.

If you are participating in SSMT, I’d love for you to share your verse and why you chose it in the comments.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men…”

~ Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

SSMT2015