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Led By The Spirit Summer Challenge #7 Kindness

Week 7 Challenge: This week look for ways you can show kindness to those God has placed in your lives. Pray and ask God for opportunities to demonstrate kindness to them.

The highest compliment a Christian woman can receive is to be described as “too nice.” When people say that of you or me, we can know we are truly exhibiting the Spirit’s fruit!- Elizabeth George

What adjectives do people use to describe you? Would kind be one of them?

1. We are called to be kind
As we strive to be more and more like Christ, we need to emulate His kindness for others. We are called, as Christians, to be kind and compassionate to one another. (Eph. 4:32) In 2 Timothy 2:24, Paul writes “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone…” Not only are we called to be kind to fellow believers, but we are called to be kind to EVERYONE! That means even to those who are hard to get along with. Some people who might make that list could be in-laws, other family members, co-workers, and possibly neighbors.

2. What is kindness?
Kindness has been defined as tenderness and concern for others. Showing kindness is an action. We need to be looking for individuals to show kindness toward. Who in your life needs kindness shown to them? Who can you help ease their burden?

Kindness means making life easier for others- not harder- just as Jesus makes your life and mine easier.- Elizabeth George

3. Increasing kindness in our lives
As we begin our days, putting on our clothes, doing our hair and make-up we also should get in the habit of clothing ourselves in another way… Colossians 3:12 says “we are to clothe ourselves with …kindness.” One way to do this is to pray for greater love and compassion for others. Ask God to open your eyes to see needs of those around you that you could meet. Look for needs you could meet in your home, neighborhood, town, or church. Begin thinking how can I serve others instead of thinking how can others serve me.

Week 7 Challenge: This week look for ways you can show kindness to those God has placed in your lives. Pray and ask God for opportunities to demonstrate kindness to them.

Praying for you all this week!

Love God Greatly,

It’s Your Turn Today!

Seriously, I look just like that little girl at Disney World when I hear from you! I get SUPER EXCITED! So today is your day to talk to us! How are your Good Morning Girls groups going? What are you all learning? Any suggestions for the fall? We’d love to hear from you!

Go ahead, make our day SUPER EXCITING!!!!

Thanks Kelley for this photo! It’s PERFECT!

http://www.mariekelleyphotography.blogspot.com/

Love God Greatly,

Led By The Spirit Summer Challenge #6 Patience Part 2


Week 6 Challenge:
This week put your knowledge into action and practice patience with those God has placed in your life. As a group pray for each other specifically that God will give you the patience you need. Maybe you need to be more patient with your husband, children, friend or another family member. If you feel comfortable, share with your group your struggles with extending patience to this individual. Pray for each other and get ready to see God move in all your lives.

As we strive to be more like Christ, we need to start applying what we’re learning. As you read over the following two sections, pray that God will speak to you. Is there anyone in your life that you need to extend patience to? Is there someone in your life you need to be more patient with and not so judgmental? Is there someone you need to forgive? Ask God to help you become more like Him by being patient with those in your life, leaving the judging to God and forgiving those who have caused you pain.

1. Do not judge
It’s happened to all of us. We’ve all felt the pain that it brings, and we’ve all done it in return. We have all judged. We judge people based on how they look, where they live, what church they attend, whether they homeschool their kids or send them to private school or public school, whether they stay home or work outside the home. We all judge each other….we need to stop. There is only one who can judge, and it’s not us. We can not see into another’s heart. We do not know their thoughts, intentions or circumstances. We do not know their past, the pain they have had to endure either from their own decisions or from decisions that were made out of their control. We are all broken.

Rom. 14:13- “Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way”

This past week, during my quite time, I came across the story of Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman in John chapter 8. I LOVE this story! As this adulterous woman is brought to Jesus, surrounded by men with rocks in their hands ready to stone her to death, they ask Jesus a question.  Can they stone this woman? Jesus responses: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” The bible states that one by one, the oldest to the youngest, the men began to leave. Finally there were only two left….Jesus and this woman. Jesus turns to look at her and asks His own question this time. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” Her response, “No one, sir,” Then Jesus responds, “Then neither do I condemn you.” Ohhhh don’t you just LOVE that part! Jesus was the only one who could have thrown the stones, yet He choose to have mercy on her instead. She was guilty, she had sinned against Him….yet He chose mercy. How do you think she responded to His gift of mercy? By Jesus protecting her, was she more or less willing to change her life and follow Him? Paul states in Romans chapter 2:4 that God’s kindness, tolerance and patience leads to people’s repentance. Are you patient with those in your life when they sin? Do you extend mercy or judgement to them?

If He is patient with us and He has no sin, how patient must we be toward others with whom we share the same sin? Judgment strangles patience and grieves the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 2:2, Paul explains that only God’s judgement is based on truth. Only God can see the whole picture. We are flawed, sinful people who do not have the whole truth. God is the only one who can judge because He can see all and knows all.

Next time you think judgmental thoughts towards another, pray for that person instead.

Something to think about-
“We cannot both judge others and be patient toward them. Therefore, if we are going to become vessels of God’s patience toward others, we must also learn to be void of judgement toward others.”- Beth Moore

Note: In this post today I am targeting the mental and verbal judgements we make towards each other. I am not discussing the use of discipline or correction within a home or church.

2. Forgive

Patience is the vessel through which God pours His mercy. Mercy is fueled by forgiveness. – Beth Moore

I’m going to be real honest with you all right now. I’ve really struggled with forgiveness in my past. For years I held the hurt of unforgiveness in my heart. I allowed it to affect other areas of my life and I allowed it to control my thoughts. I thought by not forgiving this individual I was protecting myself. I didn’t realize that I was actually torturing myself in the process. It wasn’t until I wanted to get closer to God, to be the woman He envisioned when He made me that I was finally willing to forgive this individual. I also didn’t want to carry this poison into the next generation and have it affect my daughters. I love them more than the pain I was holding. We need to forgive those in our lives who have hurt us. We can not do it in our own strength, only God can heal our hurt. Only God can make it right.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14

…Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” – Jesus, in Luke 6:37

Lies that we believe
a.  If we forgive that person it makes what they did alright. Forgiving them doesn’t make what they did alright but it does allow God to heal us and it keeps Satan from hurting us more. God wants us to forgive because it’s what’s right for us! We are not healthy and whole with unforgiveness living inside us.

b.  Nothing good can come out of my pain. Jesus has a purpose in all the pain that we suffer otherwise He never would have allowed it. But we have to surrender to Him, forgive that individual, before God can work it out for our good. Here’s a beautiful example that I’d like to share with you concerning this truth.

When I am speaking, the mere mention of my abuse results in a line of women waiting for me when I’m finished. They most often ask why God allowed those things to happen to me knowing that I was going to work for Him. I look down that line of women and respond, “FOR YOU.”- Beth Moore

c. It’s okay to choose not to forgive someone. It’s not okay….it’s an act of disobedience. We are placing our hurt and pain in front of our relationship with God. Our pain is more important than our relationship with our Lord. Satan knows that it’s impossible to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be filled with unforgiveness…….he wants us to continue to harbor that pain so that God can’t heal it. What’s more important to you, your pain or God?

Here’s a song that I found……I love what it says and wanted to share it with you today!

Week 6 Challenge: This week put your knowledge into action and practice patience with those God has placed in your life. As a group pray for each other specifically that God will give you the patience you need. Maybe you need to be more patient with your husband, children, friend or another family member. If you feel comfortable, share with your group your struggles with extending patience to this individual. Pray for each other and get ready to see God move in all your lives.

Please know that I am praying for you all this week as we take our knowledge of patience and put it into action!

Love God Greatly,

Quiet Time Tip – Grab Your Highlighters!

Here’s my quiet time tip of the week. When you read your Bible grab a highlighter and get marking! Here is what the book of Proverbs looks like in my Bible. And if you saw my last two Bibles they look identical. Why?
Because I struggle with words and my use of them. I long to be a wise woman.
Proverbs 13:3 says “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”So, I highlighted every single verse on speech in the book of Proverbs with a pink highlighter. You can do this in your Bible with anything you are struggling with or looking to focus in on and learn.
Proverbs is also a great book of the Bible to read one chapter a day in. There are 31 chapters – so you can read one chapter each day of the month. Since today is the 17th of June, you would read Proverbs 17 today. And tomorrow read Proverbs 18 and go according to the date. And the end of the month, start over and read it again!
Think of the wisdom you will gain! Pray the Proverbs over your husband, children and yourself. Mark other key words with other colors of highlighters. Drink up God’s word and Live Well!

Walk with the King!
Resource Suggestion: If you are looking to understand Bible basics there is a brand new website that was begun by other mommy bloggers and students of the word titled Scripture Dig. They have been writing on topics such as: How We Got to 66 Books, What All the Different Versions of the Bible Are, and What the True Timeline of the Books of the Bible Are. If you have some questions about the background of the Bible and the basics of the faith – this is a great blog to visit.

Led By The Spirit Summer Challenge #5 Patience

Week 5 Challenge: Memorize Colossians 3:12-13 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

This week we are turning a corner. The past 4 weeks we’ve been looking at love, joy and peace, all Fruit of the Spirit that enable us to deal with difficult life circumstances. This week we are focusing on patience, the first of three Fruit of the Spirit that deal with our relationships.

If you’re like me, before I started my research into patience, I thought I’d be writing about how we are to be more patient in terms of waiting a certain amount of time. What I learned this week is patience is much more involved than just waiting. I honestly feel I could devote the rest of the summer to this one spiritual fruit. That being said, today I’m posting part I of patience and I’ll post the second part next Monday!

What is Patience?
Patience is much more than just increasing our ability to wait. In Colossians Paul states we are to clothe ourselves with patience. How do we do that? We clothe ourselves with patience when we bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we may have against one another. We need to forgive our grievances toward one another because our Lord has forgiven us. (Colossians 3:12-13) In Ephesians Paul states we are to bear with one another in love and be completely humble, gentle and patient. (Ephesians 4:2) Biblical patience encompasses much more than just a time period. Biblical patience deals with our ability to endure wrong doings, ill-treatments and personal injuries inflicted by others. When we endure these injuries and do not retaliate, Godly patience shines it’s brightest.

Patience is the grace of the man who could revenge himself but chooses not to.- Elizabeth George

Why must we be patient?
As we become more and more like Christ, we need to reflect His patience toward others. James tells us to be patient…until the Lord’s coming. (James 5:7) He goes on to say that we are to be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. We are not to grumble against each other, or we will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door. (James 5:8-9)

Why must we be patient? Because others are watching! Christians and non-Christians are watching to see how we handle wrong doings, insults and mistreatments. When these occurrences happen in life, do we allow our flesh to take over and demand our way, our say and our rights? Or do we realize that we bear His name and instead endure the pain because of our love for Him? The world reacts to insults with insults but we should not. We should react with love. Why? Because that’s what Jesus did. Please realize we can not do this in our own strength. As we stay connected to Jesus, He will give us the ability to be patient in our pain and help us to endure it.

Please realize I am not saying you can not defend yourself when wronged, just when you do, do it in love and take the higher road.

Next week I’ll discuss why we are called not to judge and why we must forgive those who hurt us!

Week 5 Challenge: Memorize Colossians 3:12-13 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Chat with me in the comment section. I love to hear what you all think!

Love God Greatly,

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