Global Vision

Sunday's LessonHappy Monday Everyone!

Today I started my new job. I’m super excited to see what things God has planned for me.
Yesterday at church we got an update from our Global workers that we support. It was amazing to hear all the amazing things that God is doing in other countries. Something that I had forgotten about is how lonely global work can be.

Remember whenever you were a kid at camp, and it  was half way though. Remember how homesick you felt. Then you got a letter from home. Not only did you feel loved, but you felt like you finish the rest of camp. I feel that’s how global workers also feel. Whenever they get letters from home say that people are thinking of them and praying for them. It gives them the strength that they need to keep doing the work that they’ve been called to do.

If you have sent out workers then remember to pray for them or even write to them. Your one little bit of encouragement will mean the world to them! :)

-Dana

Submission and Suffering

Sunday'sSorry for the lateness of this post! And it’s just bullet points. I need to stop being lazy with these posts now that the fall tv shows are starting again. 

1 Peter 2:11-25

-We are called to be Priests.

-Priests minister to God and to His People.

-Even though we have the Holy Spirit, we still live in an evil world. 
-We are at war with an evil spiritual world system it’s evil ruler & his spiritual army and our own sin nature.

-We are called to shine like stars in the dark, night, sky. Not to blend in with the background.

-God is calling us to live holy lives in the midst of secular chaos.

-Self Denial not Self Indulgence

1. Our employment ought to be driven by a desire to please and obey God.
2. Our conduct should be based on principles.

3. It’s not unchristian to suffer. 

4. You can change jobs if you aren’t happy. You aren’t a slave to your job.

5. Don’t make your “individual rights” be what you’re know for.

Luke 9:23

Philippians 2:14-16

Matthew 5:16  

-Dana

Spiritual Privileges

Sunday's Lesson

Happy Monday Friends!

Yesterday’s lesson was from 1 Peter 2:4-10. This post is gonna be in outline form, sorry.

Our privileges as believers are :

  1. We get to come to Jesus any time we want. “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—” 1 Peter 2:4                                                                 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

2. We are being built into a spiritual house.   you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

3. As priests we get to offer spiritual sacrifices. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16

Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” Acts 10:4

As Christians we’ve been given distinguishing birth marks:

  1. A Chosen People.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6
  2. A Royal Priesthood.
  3. A People Belonging to God. “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” Deuteronomy 7:6            The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
  4. People who have received mercy. “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:10

Now that we know what that we’re privileged and distinguished, what do we do?

It’s very simple…Tell everyone about Jesus! “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 

-dana

Be Holy: Another call for Christians

Sunday's

I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day weekend. Mine has been a wonderful four day of being able to enjoy the outdoors and indoors. :) Friday and Saturday I biked a total of 25 miles on the Razorback Greenway (bike/walking trail in NWA). My awesome dad biked all of that with me and my awesome mom bike just over 4 1/2 miles of that (she’s a beginner). Thankfully today I’m not sore like I thought I would be. Maybe this means I’m actually starting to get back in shape. And I didn’t even have to go to a gym to do it. Woo-Hoo!

Sunday’s lesson was a call for us to be holy. Now I’m not going to say how if you drink your going to hell. But as Christians we called to live a holy, spotless, sinless life.

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'” 1 Peter 1:15-16

It is hard to live a holy life whenever everything around us is crumbling and falling into sin. But what does it mean to be holy? It means to be set apart from that which is not of God. People have to tendency to think that to be holy you can’t have fun or that you’re being punished.

Holiness is a picture of what it is to be like Jesus and to be one with God.

  1. God’s holiness is Absolutely Awesome…and a little scary too!
  2. God’s holiness should Ruin us!
  3. God’s holiness provides provision for our sin!

(Check out the story in Isaiah 6 :1-8.)

There have been times where I’ve been around someone and I’ve felt more holy then them (this is very bad I know), but more often than not, I’ll be around someone who I feel is Way more holy then me and I feel like I need to go pray for the rest of the day. When the unholy comes in contact with the holy, we become very conscious of our own sinfulness. The change that needs to happen is that we must be Undone before we can be remade by Christ.

We must see our sin in the face of a Holy God and the Holy Spirit must awaken us from our sinfulness before we can accept the amazing gift of Grace that’s been extended to us.

 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21

-Dana

The Power of the Tongue

Sunday's LessonI hope that you all have had a good start to your week!

Something that I’m looking forward to whenever we eventually move into a house of our own, I don’t have to smell the cigarette smoke coming from the other apartment, and I’m looking forward to not having random people knock on our apartment door, mistaking it for someone else’s. I know that can still happen, but I prefer to think that it will happen a whole lot less.

Sunday we continued our study in 1 Peter but I wanted to bring up something that had been talked about last week. Have you ever thought about the words you say? Are you unintentionally a joy robber? I know that there have been many times where I’ve said something that ended up hurting someone. I’m not good at thinking about how what I say will make people feel. They’re supposed to know that I didn’t mean it, right? Wrong.

Here are some verses about the tongue and the power that it has.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26

“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” Matthew 12:36

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

The verse in Matthew 12:36 talks about how we will have to give an account for Every empty word we’ve spoken. It’s so easy now with social media to just throw out a thought without any real thought about it. Some day we’ll be asked, why did you say that. Didn’t you think that it might have caused someone to stumble? If you say that you go to church and that you’re a follower of Christ, then shouldn’t how you talk and act reflect that? Whenever people talk about you they shouldn’t be shocked by the fact that you actually go to church.

Because social media has become such a huge part of our lives, we forget how many people are we can influence. When we don’t consider our words before we speak we seriously harm our witness for Christ. I really need to memorize these verse and have them hanging by my door and at my desk.

Jesus didn’t say anything flippant, so why should I?

-Dana

Salvation: Inexpressible Joy

Sunday's
Happy Tuesday Peeps.

Yesterday was a day of change for Josh and I. I started working at the main clinic again and Josh started working at a large trucking corporation. Even though he’s only had one day of orintation and zero training on his actual job, he thinks that he’ll be staying with this business for a very long time. Yay! :)

I’m very glad that he is going to be working at a place that will appreicate him and reward him for the work he’ll be doing. I finally feel that we’re starting to be adults. We’re becoming more established. Now we just need to start having kids and buy a house. :)

We have finished our little transition period of Psalms and have now moved on to the book of 1 Peter. Like a lot of the other letters in the New Testement, Peter is writing to encourage the believers of a new church. He wants them to hang in there because he knows how great the reward is. [1 Peter 4:12-13]

Our salvation has been given to us as an inheritance.

-It requires a new beginning. v3

-It results in a living hope. v3

-It’s guaranteed. v4
Our salvation is Imperishable. It is Undefiled. It is Unfading. [Romans 8:17]
Our response to our salvation is joy.
I. Trials prove our faith is genuine.

II. Trials deepen us.

III. Trials are necessary in order to equip us for the ministry that we are called to.
Trials are where he prepares his counselors. Instead of asking why did this happen to me, ask how. How can He use these trials to produce good things for His ultimate glory.

I know a lot of that was a basic outline, but I feel bad about not getting this to you guys sooner. I hope that you’re able to take these few things and be strengthen by them!

-Dana

Community

Sunday's

Did everyone else make it through today? I felt like I almost didn’t. My wonderful husband got a job! Yay! It’s totally a God thing to because it came at just the right time. And his new job is very close to my current work place which means that we can car pool a lot more. :)

Yesterday’s lesson was about community. Which I think is pretty appropriate because of the support that Josh and I have received from our own community group.

“We are created for community.”  -Josh Wilson

1. Why do we do community? 

a. Community is rooted in the image of God.  God, in His very essence, is relational.  Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 2:18

b. Community is rooted in our need for support.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

c. Community is rooted in our need for growth.   Proverbs 27:17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11

2. What should community look like?

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

a. They were devoted.

b. They read the Word of God.

c. They were in fellowship with one another.

d. They broke bread.

e. They prayed together.

f. There were supernatural expectations.

g. There was radical generosity.

h. They had met in large and small groups.

i. They had favor with all people.

3. How do we have this kind of community?

a. Love the church. Ephesians 5:25-27

The church is the bride of Christ and He loves her desperately.

You can’t love Jesus and hate his bride (the church).

b. Lead out as Priests. 2 Corinthians 5 and 1 Peter 2:9

The grass isn’t greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it.

I know that was a lot of points, but they were all super practical. Community is something that we are a part of everyday. (Unless you’re a hermit.) But you can be a part of a community and not be getting filled with support and love like Christ intended.

Here are some things that you can do to follow the example that the early church set as a model for us.

  1. Connect to a Community. Most churches are starting to offer small groups or community groups that meet in homes. Just like the those in the early church did.
  2. Follow the example of the early church. (See the What should community look like point. The one with all the letters.)
  3. Lead out in Community. Be an example of what God’s people are supposed to be doing. Volunteer to clean your local thrift store. (That is a very dusty business, so bringing a mask is a good idea.) Or volunteer as a group to serve at a soup kitchen. You can even go to a retirement home and hang our with some old people for a night.

Whenever you do things as a group or community, the end result is very rewarding. :)

-Dana