Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I finished it!

Eleven weeks ago, in the first week or so of September, I started my first Beth Moore Bible Study. I'm SO blessed to have a job in which I work afternoons only, so I have been able to attend a women's study in my church on Thursday mornings. I've met wonderful women who I aspire to be like one day, and learned countless little truths, and big ones, about the awesome God I serve.

For two reasons (1. I don't want to easily forget 2. I want you to hear), I want to take a few minutes to look at some of the most meaningful things I've learned over the course of this study.

1. Bitterness can only be healed by Christ.
" Why wait any longer? We are here for such a brief time. In order to heal, you may need to start by forgiving. You may fear, "If I forgive, that will make it all right, and it's not all right." Let God whisper what he whispered to me: "No, my child; Forgiving will make YOU all right."

2. In Exodus 16, when God's rescued people are wishing they were back in captivity, the Lord showed me this: There is nothing to make us romanticize the past like a rough spot in the present. The past event, season, or even relationship, may have been wonderful at times, but remember, it was never perfect.

3. We have to accept God's provision for us. When He willingly rained down manna for His people to eat, there were some who may have stayed in their tents, because they didn't want manna. They wanted the foods they were used to. We have to get up, go outside our tents of stubbornness, and gather the provisions God is blessing us with DAILY! Think of how many blessings we may deny ourselves because of our unwillingness to see His provision.

4. We all go through times of refinement by fire in our lives. Beth says, " Only you can decide how your fires will affect you. Will you be sanctified or scarred? Listen as He says to you, " My precious child, I bore My scars so that you would not have to!"

5. "Craving what God did not choose us to do would mean death for our ministries. Only God's chosen tasks for you will ultimately satisfy." I learned that I need to listen for His direction, and be where He wants me to be, even if it seems lowly or unimportant, or on the other hand, if it seems to important for little me. I must be satisfied in Him and in where He decides to put me, knowing it will ultimately bring Him the most glory possible.

6. Our branches must all be pruned from time to time. Sometimes, the branch God is pruning is a good branch...it's just last season's branch. Don't try to hold on to it! His pruning will make you more effective, and more glorifying to Him.
You've got to clip away the dead flowers, or they will keep other buds from blooming. God has a perfect image planned toward which He is growing us.

7. I want to revel in my God. "Because I am His child, all that is behind me must be worked toward good, even when I have failed. (See Rom. 8:28) In addition, everything ahead of me belongs to God. My future is entirely His, and His love extends through circumstances I have not yet known! (Jer. 29:11) No matter how deep I sink into a pit of despair, His hand can extend that much deeper to lift me out (Ps. 40:2). No matter what heights this human experience can boast, God's ways are higher. Every day I spend with Him, I am lifted out of insignificance to ascend and take my place with His high calling in Christ Jesus". (Isa. 55:9, Phil 3:14)

8. A cool fact: The finger of God wrote the Ten Commandments. His VERY FINGER. In John 8: 2-11, Jesus writes on the ground with HIS finger, and asked that the one without sin throw the first stone. The SAME FINGER of our God wrote the commandments that made up the old covenant, and fulfilled the law so that through Him all might be free of that old covenant, and live under a new one! Amazing!

9. Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever." I get to keep these truths!

10. When the original Old Testament tabernacle was built, only the high priest could enter God's presence in the Holy of Holies. Now, it's where we have the privilege to LIVE day in and day out. In His presence. I didn't realize what a privilege that is, or how for granted I take it, until I learned that only a very few people were allowed that experience before the curtain was torn. WOW.

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