Monday, November 7, 2011

What are you doing with your Inheritance?

Have you ever misused or squandered the property that God has entrusted to you?  According to 2 Chron. 6:36a, we all have.  Some examples of how we may have been squandering our property:  distraction, bitterness/unforgiveness, feeling sorry for ourselves.  Do any of those resonate with you?  For me, it's distraction.  I tend to get distracted very easily by material things, by the internet, busyness, wanting to take a nap etc. I find this so interesting because Beth goes on to remind us that God is never without reaction to the misuse of His property (2 Chron. 6:36b).  

Even though we may experience consequences from misusing His property, I find it kind of cool that God would use our consequences to woo us back to him.  If I have to experience consequences, I love that it can be used to draw me closer to God (Luke 15:13-16).

This week was interesting how the parables were all intertwined and used for this session.  The parable that stuck out to me this week was in Matt. 25:14, the parable of loaned money.  I learned that we have been made stewards of what God has given us.  At the end of our life we will have to turn back in what we have been given.  I really want to be like the man who multiplied what he was given and when he brought it back to his master, he replied "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master's happiness."   I want so badly to hear God say those words to me about the way I lived my life and how I used his property!  However,  I think some things need to change in my life so that this can happen.

Questions to ponder:
How have you misused your property?
Are you experiencing/or have you experienced consequences due to your misuse?
What needs to change about the way you use what God has given you?


Monday, October 31, 2011

The down payment has been made

The down payment is the Holy Spirit.  He gave us himself as a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance.  I love how we learned that basically the Holy Spirit was like God giving us an engagement ring.  What a beautiful picture!  We also learned this week that with the Holy Spirit we also received spiritual gifts.  I personally love how while we all receive the Holy Spirit, we also receive unique spiritual gifts that are specific to us.  This makes me feel singled out and so special.

It is so important for us to be able to identify our spiritual gifts so that we know how we can bless the body of christ.  Beth Moore said in this lesson, "My spiritual gifts were given to me but are not for me."  We were given these gifts to use them! Let's not rob each other from receiving the benefits of our spiritual gifts.

In Romans 12:6-8 we recieve a call to go use OUR spiritual gifts and be what we were made to be, not trying to be something we aren't.  The use of our spiritual gifts should energize us, not drain us (Rom.12:3-5).  I love how Beth Moore called us out to stop being such wimps.  If we are easily discouraged we will never be profoundly used or deeply effective (Ouch!).  Satan's primary objective is to make me ineffective and he specifically knows what will cause me to backdown or go sit on the sidelines.  Does this cause you to get fired up?

Questions to ponder:

What are your spiritual gifts?
How can you use your spiritual gifts to edify the body of christ?
Are you able to recognize and call on the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of you?    

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am inheriting a Kingdom

Eventually we will inherit a kingdom (Matt 25:34), but while on earth the Kingdom is in us (Luke 17:21).   We are stewards of Gods property while on earth, eventually will be co-heirs/owners with Christ (Matt.25:14-29).

What does this mean for me?  Well, everything that I have been entrusted with has meaning.  You may be thinking well what exactly have I been entrusted with?  Beth Moore outlines it this way: My past (painful experiences, failures), Life experiences (things that give me depth), Our spiritual gifts (will be discussed in depth in future lessons).  How we use these experiences/gifts directly impacts our intimacy with God.  Have you searched your land and asked God to use your past/experiences/gifts for His glory? Are there areas of your life that you try to forget or are off limits? Those are the areas that God wants to sanctify and kick Satan off of!

This was a heavy lesson this week and left me speechless afterward.  I need time to digest everything and to be still and search my heart.  Have you taken time to search your property this week?

Favorite Beth Moore quotes of the week:

"Be faithful in what He has given me."
"The goal is to not be happy but useful." 
"Pain won't kill us, but meaningless will."
"He knows it's scary to be us." (Rom.8:18)
"Search your property and ask Him to sanctify it."

There were so many good quotes from this you have any favorites to add?

Friday, October 14, 2011

He is my portion...and I am His!

Wow...where do I begin with this weeks bible study?  So many amazing truths unpacked and delivered in a way that I have never heard before.  Let's start here:

The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi and gave them a special blessing of no land.  Wait, that can't be land? The poor Levites didn't receive ANY land?! Instead, they received God himself as their inheritance (Psalm 119:57).   Hmm...this got me thinking; what do I value more?  God himself, or stuff?      I was ready to pack up and go home after this concept, that's enough for me to mull over this week!  But nope, there was more...

 But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.  (Deut. 4:20)

For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance (Deut. 32:9)

How humbling and completely amazing is the fact that I have inherited God himself, and God gets just as excited about the fact that He has inherited me?!!!!  What?!?!  I have never thought about the fact that I am His inheritance! When I first tried to let this concept sink in I was completely humbled and actually felt sorry for God.  I felt like God was getting shafted because He inherited me and my mess.  However, in Ephesians 1:18 He talks about me being his "glorious," or beautiful inheritance.  I need to meditate on that truth...I still cannot understand how I can be His glorious/beautiful inheritance, but I am!  The fact that God finds me to be so valuable/precious to Him, makes me feel really special!

I felt especially challenged by the way that Beth described her relationship with God.  How she talks to Him so informally and laughs/jokes around with Him.  I love the way she truly treats Him like any other friend.  I feel like i'm missing out on intimacy with God because i'm more focused on things than on Him.  I need to rethink what I have been valuing.  I love how Beth ended this weeks study with this verse:  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  (Psalm 73:26)

Questions to ponder:

What do you value more:  God himself, or stuff?
How does it make you feel to know that YOU are Gods inheritance/portion?
Do you desire a more intimate relationship with God? What is standing in the way?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Go and Claim it!

Do you remember this movie? The very young and handsome Tom Cruise and the beautiful Nicole Kidman racing to claim their piece of land together. They had to fight off others who wanted the land, but they wanted it more and took charge! While the land they were going to claim wasn't theirs yet until they claimed it, the idea of placing a stake in the ground and declaring "This Land is Mine!" resonates with me.

Joshua 1:11 says: "Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.' " We have to deliberately take (go get, fight for) what God graciously gives us. "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you...(1 Chronicles 28:20) Ladies, we are in a battle. What is in between you and your land? Are you believing lies about yourself, is it fear, or someone standing in your way?

I love the fact that Beth Moore very plainly said, "Whatever you are scared of...that is usually exactly what God wants you to do, so go do it afraid!" We need to act first, and eventually our feelings will catch up. Does that concept make you squirm or what? Joshua 1:8 says "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Our success will also be a direct result of our meditation. We need to be memorizing scripture and saying it out loud to combat our fears (feeling squirmy again?!).

I know I was bumped this week...i'm afraid of being afraid because I'm afraid of what God might call me to do! haha...does that make sense? Also, scripture memory is a weakness of mine and just the idea of it makes my heart palpitate. How were you bumped this week?

Just for fun...I had to post the very last and best scene of the whole movie! ..."Joseph loves Shannon!" haha

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Estate Package

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a beautiful inheritance.
(Psalm 16:5,6)

What an interesting concept...I have inherited an estate?!  Not only have I inherited an estate, but it has been assigned specifically to me!  This week I've been challenged by the idea that it was not by chance that I was born into my family, live on Pasadena Avenue in Milford, or work at Children's Hospital ER.  These are my boundary lines that have been drawn specifically for me.  My field (estate) may look different from yours (and on some days I may want to sell/give/trade my estate), but God has a specific purpose and plan for where he has placed me... and YOU!  I love that I can look at my estate from this perspective: 

However, there should be no poor among you,  for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you. (Deuteronomy 15:4)

(SIGH) The thought of having an estate to manage seems overwhelming to me, but I am not alone!  Not only did God give this to me to possess (take ownership of, manage), but he has richly blessed it.  In addition, I have also inherited the very presence of God (Joshua 1:9), and help in managing my estate through people (the body of christ (1 Cor. 12)).  That's right this princess did not inherit some old shack...I have a beautiful inheritance! Now it is time for me to take ownership of it.

Questions to ponder for the week:

Can you identify where your boundary lines have been drawn? 
Who are the people God has placed in your life to help you manage your estate?
Have you embraced your land and taken possession (ownership) of it?  Or are you trying to sell/trade/give it away?
Are you overly possessive of your land or people? 

Princess' unite: I would love for you to post some of your answers on the blog, if you feel comfortable.  Let's be praying for eachother this week! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No doubt about it, God is a Giver!

So this week, in the DVD, Beth posed some questions that keep haunting me...

In your heart of hearts, in the darkest of darks, do you believe that God is a giver or a taker?
Do you think of Him as a giver in Heaven but a taker here on earth?
Is fear of what He might take from us holding us back from giving Him complete control in our lives ?
Are you scared of the Lord?
What do our actions and our prayer life convey?

I know in my head that God is a giver but I am realizing this week that often I don't act like it! At times I respond to God in fear. I dig my heels in on the edge where He asks me to jump in faith. I feel the strong urge to "protect" myself and grip tightly to the wheel.

I hate the thought that I would believe something untrue about my Father! As a parent, I have had to take things away from my children that were potentially harmful to them or sometimes as a form of discipline for a time, but it would be heartbreaking to me if my children were to think of me as a "taker" in their life. If they were afraid to trust me, I would be crushed! I LOVE to give to my kids! My Father is way more giving and worthy of trust than me!

This week pray that God's Spirit will reveal any lie that we are believing about our Father. Ask Him to bring healing to hurts that may have caused you to believe the lie.
Look for Scriptures that show the Truth about God as a giver! For example...

John 3:16 Rom 6:23
Acts 2:38 James 1:17
Eph 2:8 Rev. 22:17

Girls, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has NOT given us a spirit of fear but He has given us power, love and self-control. He has given us all we need to overcome our feelings and act on what we know is the TRUTH!

I'm praying for you! Hope to hear what God is saying in your life this week!