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INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDIES

Colossians “That I May Know Him” | Introduction Week

Welcome to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Colossians, “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson.  In our previous study of Philippians we discovered that knowing Him is “knowing joy.”  We are continuing our joy journey in Colossians and will discover that knowing Him is knowing “His power.”

What an exciting journey we are about to embark on for the next nine weeks.  This first week is an “Introduction” week and a time of getting to know one another and to answer any questions you may have about how this online Bible study thing works.  We want your online Bible study experience to be positive and enjoyable.

Many of you are just beginning your first Inductive Bible study.  Please take time before beginning this study to read “How to Get Started…” in your study book on pages 5 through 8.  It contains some helpful information on how to use this Bible Study Guide to help you understand the Inductive Bible study process that we will be using each week.   Order your Bible Study guide by clicking here —> Colossians.

Each day’s study time will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes, sometimes less or sometimes more, depending on the day’s study.  I urge you to set aside a quiet time of study with God free of distractions.  I have found that if I make my appointment with God at the same time each day, I am better able to keep that time on a consistent basis.  It also helps to have all your study materials in your special quiet time place, which will help you stay motivated:  Your Bible, Bible study book, a notebook or journal, colored pens and pencils, highlighters, etc.

I also encourage you to participate in a small group to discuss the lessons you are learning each week.  Sharing is voluntary, and we do not expect you to share anything that will cause harm to yourself or another person.  We meet in a private Facebook group, or if you prefer, you may answer the discussion questions here on this website by posting a comment below.  This first week our small groups will meet for a time of introduction and fellowship where you’ll meet your leaders and the other ladies in your group.  Our entire ministry team will be praying for you.

We will begin discussing WEEK ONE in your Bible study workbook the week of October 16th.

BIBLE STUDY TIP:  Before you begin the lessons each week, read through the entire Book of Colossians from start to finish.  You may also want to read Colossians in several different versions to grasp the depth of the message.  Record your first impressions and thoughts in your notebook or journal. What type of literature is Colossians?

Assignment For the Week

  • Write a personal letter to God in your journal or notebook. Date your letter and tell God where you are in your season of life right now, and where you hope He leads you during this study. We will not ask you to share your letter. This is personal between you and God.
  • Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule.  The small group schedule is pinned to the top of the private click here –>Inductive Studies Chat Room.
  • Arrive to the private Facebook group for the one-hour meeting that you chose to attend. A small group photo will be posted by the leader a day prior to your meeting time.
  • Begin your study of Week One on Page 49 in your study guide and complete the daily lessons in your notebook or journal.

Introduction Week Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below

  1. What motivated you or drew you to this online Inductive Bible study, and what do you hope to learn from your study time in Colossians?
  2. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “power”?
  3. Who is your favorite childhood superhero and why?
  4. What is the first thing you do when you are in the middle of a crisis?
  5. This study is nine weeks long. What can you do to stay motivated so that you will finish strong?

Blessings,

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Register for Colossians Online Inductive Study | Begins October 9, 2017

Registration is now open for Colossians “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson. If you joined us for Philippians, you do not need to register again.  If you missed the study of Philippians, you can still register and join us for Colossians which will begin on October 9, 2017.  We will be using the same study guide as we used for Philippians. Colossians begins on page 49 of the study guide.

In this letter of Colossians, Paul once again wrote from prison to give encouragement to the church of Colosse and to warn the believers of the danger of false teachings that could lead them astray from the truth about the Gospel and Jesus Christ.  What a powerful letter this is for us to study today!  We have to know truth for ourselves, and that is the whole purpose of studying the Bible inductively so we can discern between truth and false doctrine.

Colossians is another life-changing study that will also help you find joy in all your circumstances and empower you to walk in a manner worthy of your high calling in Christ.

Purchase the paperback book or Kindle version click here —> Amazon.  You will also need a notebook or journal for working on your assignments and recording your insights.

How the Online Bible Study Works

  • Every Monday morning – I’ll post a brief weekly summary along with the discussion questions in our private Facebook group where we will hold all our discussions.
  • Small Groups – All you have to do is pick a day and time that fits your schedule and jump into the discussion via our private Facebook group. There will be a group photo that the leader will post announcing the day/time of the discussion. The Colossians small group schedule is pinned to the top of our private Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/InductiveBibleStudies/

How to Register for the online Inductive Bible Studies

  • COMMENT BELOW to register for Colossians 
  • Join our private Facebook small group. Click the link below to join.  All our discussions will take place in this private Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/InductiveBibleStudies/
  • If you would like to follow this blog and receive all posts delivered to your email, scroll to the bottom of this screen and enter your email address and click “Follow.”

We look forward to seeing you on October 9th.

Blessings,

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Philippians “That I May Know Him” | Week Two

What a joy it is to join you for Week Two of our online Inductive Bible study on the Book of Philippians “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson.

Joy!  Don’t you just love the sound of that word? Philippians is the epistle of joy!  It is full of love and encouragement!  We see this mirrored in Paul’s life behind bars.  Paul paved the path for us toward a life of deeper joy.  Although imprisoned, he is not concerned about his present circumstances.  He prays for others with joy in his heart!

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.” Philippians 1:4 NIV

Is there really joy in suffering?  We may not be beaten or thrown into a physical prison such as Paul, but we may be imprisoned by our circumstances.  Paul could have easily become depressed, discouraged, and disillusioned.  He could have wallowed in self-pity and despair, but instead he regarded his imprisonment as being appointed by God. And he writes from his prison cell to encourage others by considering it a privilege to pray for them and encourage them to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:27).

We, no doubt, will suffer many disappointments in this journey of life on earth, but we can use these opportunities as appointments from God.

Dis-appointments are His-appointments

God may place us in uncomfortable positions in life that feels like a prison cell, but when we place our faith and trust in Him by surrendering our hearts to Him, He begins His holy work inside us, and we become more and more into His likeness.  And what greater joy is there serving others through God’s divine appointments to advance the Gospel.

“I want you to know, brothers (and sisters), that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.” Philippians 1:12

Paul’s passion was for others to discover eternal life through Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost would be…whether a prison sentence or a death sentence… Paul was on board. Like Paul, as believers in Jesus Christ, we need to look for ways to demonstrate our faith even during a trial, because this is how we exercise our faith muscles which helps us to stand firm, without fear of the unknown, knowing without a shadow of doubt that He is standing with us through the storm.

Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week: “As we clearly saw in this week’s study, suffering is a gift from our Lord—a gift that accompanies salvation; therefore, it is something we are to expect.”

BIBLE STUDY TIP:  Read through this short book of Philippians as if you just received this letter in your mailbox.  Replace “you” with your name. This is God’s love letter to you.

DIGGING DEEPER:  Write Chapter 2 of Philippians in your notebook or journal. 

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE FORTHCOMING WEEK:

  • Join a Small Group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
  • Complete your study of Week Three, “Taking Care of that Attitude!” Follow the instructions for the daily assignments.
  • Pray before you begin your study.  Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Store in your heart Philippians 1:29 (Week Two, Day Seven). A “Store in Your Heart” form is located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
  • Do an online word study on “imprisonment” (Philippians 1:7) at http://www.blueletterbible.org. Record your findings on the Word Study Form located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR WEEK TWO (answer in small groups or post a comment below:

  1. Why does Paul believe his imprisonment has actually served to advance the gospel? (1:12)
  2. What does Paul mean when he says living here a little longer means more fruitful work? (1:22)
  3. Why is it important that believers stand firm “in one spirit, with one mind” (1:27)
  4. Why does Paul say it’s a privilege for believers to suffer for Christ? What does “suffering for Christ” mean in your life? (1:29)
  5. From reading Philippians 1, what do you learn about Paul and what it cost him to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ today?

Blessings,

 

 

Philippians “That I May Know Him” | Week One

Welcome to Week One of our online Inductive Bible study on the Book of Philippians “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson.  This first week of study was an overview of the entire book of Philippians.  As we discovered in our study time this week, Paul wrote this letter of encouragement to the church in Philippi.  His consistent theme throughout Philippians is a journey of joy despite events surrounding the here and now.

Philippians is a call to see beyond our current circumstances.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians teaches us about genuine Christian living.  This is what we are going to discover over the next couple of weeks as we dig deep into Philippians to discover how this message will impact our lives today.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could experience joy in spite of pain and betrayal…in spite of financial difficulties and health issues….in spite of rejection and divorce…in spite of the death of a loved one?  Paul suffered. Jesus Christ suffered. And we will likewise suffer in our present age.

Let’s face it, life is tough, and as Christians, we are not promised a bed of roses.  However, we can look beyond our present circumstances and experience joy that’s beyond our wildest imagination.  This is the encouraging message that Paul conveys in his letter to the Philippians, and it’s a message of hope for us today.  Our joy doesn’t come from the events surrounding us, because our joy is rooted in the future when we are face-to-face with Jesus Christ, when we are made complete in Him.  This is the message that Paul conveys throughout this short letter to the Philippians:

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

“Holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ, I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” Philippians 2:16

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:30

“The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:5-6

So, as we begin our journey together through this powerful book of Philippians, let’s grasp hold of these golden nuggets of truths that we can deposit in the bank of our hearts.  We do not have to wring our hands in worry and despair, because we have a wonderful Savior who promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in such a way that, with confidence, you could say the very words recorded for eternity by the apostle Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that your life had been spent for the defense of the gospel?”

Join us in our private Facebook group this week to share together what we have learned in our study this week.  It is going to be amazing!  I can hardly wait!

BIBLE STUDY TIP:  As you progress through your study of Philippians, write in your notebook or journal any questions that come to mind so you do not forget them. Leave space for the answers God will provide in the coming weeks.

DIGGING DEEPER:  Write Chapter 1 of Philippians in your notebook or journal. 

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE FORTHCOMING WEEK:

  • Join a Small Group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
  • Complete your study of Week Two, “Is Joy Possible Even When I Feel Imprisoned by My Circumstances?” Follow the instructions for the daily assignments.
  • Pray before you begin your study.  Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Store in your heart Philippians 1:21 (Week One, Day Seven). A “Store in Your Heart” form is located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR WEEK ONE (answer in small groups or post a comment below:

  1. This first week we read through the entire book of Philippians. What were some of the first impressions you recorded in your notebook after reading through the book of Philippians?
  1. In Chapter 1:1, Paul introduces himself and Timothy as bond-servants of Christ Jesus. What does it mean to be a bond-servant of Christ? Do you consider yourself a bond-servant of Christ Jesus? Why or why not?
  1. What would you say is the purpose of Paul’s letter to the Philippians? Does this letter apply to us today? Why or why not?
  1. How do you suppose Paul could write this merry letter from behind bars? What was his attitude or mind? (Hint: Philippians 1:21).
  1. What did you learn about Paul this week that you would like to see mirrored in your own life?

Praying for you,

 

Philippians “That I May Know Him” | Introduction Week

Today we begin our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Philippians, “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson. We are so excited you are joining us and to learn that we can have deep down heart-felt joy in every circumstance because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross.  This first week is our “Introduction” week and a time of getting to know one another and to answer any questions you may have about how this online Bible study works.  We want your online Bible study experience to be positive and enjoyable.

Let’s face it! Life is tough! Not one of us are immune to the tribulations and trials of difficult times. Things may go smoothly for a season and then we reach that bump in the road of unexpected tragedies and heart-breaking experiences.  How do you handle difficulties in your life? I know I have had my share of them.  Some worse than others, but despite it all, I have to keep going…one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, one day at a time…

We recently completed an Inductive study on the Book of James.  James tells us to “Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance…” James 1:2-3.  You may be thinking, but how can you be joyful during the pain of a divorce, the loss of a child or a parent, a chronic illness, and the list goes on and on.  That is what we are going to discover in this study of Philippians.  We can claim deep down, heart-felt joy despite what difficulties come our way.  And it’s only through Jesus Christ where our joy lies.

Many of you are just beginning your first Inductive Bible study.  Therefore, please take time before beginning this study to read “How to Get Started…” in your study book on pages 5 through 8.  It contains some helpful information on how to use this Bible Study Guide to help you understand the Inductive Bible study process that we will be using each week.

Order your Bible Study guide by clicking here –>  Philippians.

Each day’s study time will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes, sometimes less or sometimes more, depending on the day’s study.  I urge you to set aside a quiet time of study with God free of distractions.  I have found that if I make my appointment with God at the same time each day, I am better able to keep that time on a consistent basis.  It also helps to have all your study materials in your special quiet time place, which will help you stay motivated:  Your Bible, Bible study book, a notebook or journal, colored pens and pencils, highlighters, etc.

I also encourage you to participate in a small group to discuss the lessons you are learning each week.  Sharing is voluntary, and we do not expect you to share anything that will cause harm to yourself or another person.  We meet in a private Facebook group, or if you prefer, you may answer the discussion questions here on this website by posting a comment below.  This first week our small groups will meet for a time of introduction and fellowship where you’ll meet your leaders and the other ladies in your group.  Our entire ministry team will be praying for you.

We will begin discussing WEEK ONE in your Bible study workbook the week of August 28th.

BIBLE STUDY TIP:  Before you begin the lessons each week, read through the entire Book of Philippians from start to finish.  I also like to read the Scriptures in several different versions to really grasp the depth of the message. This will help you get acquainted with Philippians, Record your first impressions and thoughts in your notebook or journal. What type of literature is Philippians?

Assignment For the Week

  • Be sure to register click here –> register for this online Inductive Bible study  so that you receive email updates each week on Monday.
  • Write a letter to God in the journal or notebook. Date your letter and tell God where you are in your season of life right now, and where you hope He leads you during this study. We will not ask you to share your letter. This is personal between you and God.
  • Pray before you begin reading. Ask your resident teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule.  The small group schedule is pinned to the top of the private click here –> Inductive Studies Chat Room.
  • Arrive to the private Facebook group for the one-hour meeting that you chose to attend. A small group photo will be posted by the leader a day prior to your meeting time.
  • Begin your study of Week One on Page 11 in your study guide and complete the daily lessons in your notebook or journal.

Introduction Week Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below

  1. What motivated you or drew you to this online Inductive Bible study, and what do you hope to learn from your study time in Philippians?
  2. What do you think of when you hear the word “joy?”
  3. How would you describe the “feeling” of joy?
  4. What is the difference between “happiness” and “joy”? Is there a difference? Explain.
  5. How can our leaders and the other women in this small group support you in your spiritual journey throughout this study? Do you need encouragement, accountability, Bible study tips, or something else?

Blessings,

 

James “Living a Life of Faith” | Week Three Review

 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8

The royal law…are we fulfilling it?  James stresses the importance of this by quoting this command from the Lord in the Old Testament:

“…you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord” Leviticus 19:18.

And the Words of Jesus:

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” Matthew 7:12.

The royal law stems from the greatest commandment of all:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” Deuteronomy 6:5.

Jesus said that loving God with all of yourself is the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 7:37-39).  This command, combined with the command to love your neighbor, encompasses all the other Old Testament laws.

However, we do not see much love in our world today.   Instead, hate crimes are all around us.  Every day in the news I hear of another shooting and attacks on other individuals, even in families…it’s heartbreaking! And folks, it’s only going to get worse! Satan knows his time is short and he is working overtime to wreak havoc in the lives of God’s people.

As believers, how are we doing keeping the royal law of loving our neighbor?  This is not a request from God, it is a command He has given to us to love one another.  However, James tells us that “if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers” James 2:9.

So what exactly does it mean to show favoritism?  “Show favoritism” comes from the Greek word, prosopolepteo, Strong’s #4380: from prosopon, “a face,” and lambano, “to lay hold of.”  The word denotes making distinctions among people based on their rank or influence showing preference for the rich and powerful (Word Wealth, New Spirit Filled Life Bible).

Ouch!  Quite convicting, isn’t it? Therefore, how can we keep the royal law of loving our neighbor if we are judging others and showing favoritism?  I see this in our churches all the time.  A person is judged by the way he or she dresses, or by their status in society, wealth versus poor, nationality, or color.  We serve an impartial God, and He shows ALL people the same love, grace, blessings and benefits of His salvation.  I am so thankful God does not show partiality. Therefore, as believers, we cannot love our neighbor as our self and at the same time show favoritism, because the two are mutually exclusive, and it is considered sin.

WOW!  What powerful lessons this week from James, Chapter 2.  These are tough times we live in today.  That’s why it is so important to stay in God’s Word daily where we will receive truth and wisdom to live by in a world filled with confusion and chaos.

Let’s chat!

Have you ever felt convicted for showing favoritism yourself?  What happened? What did you learn from this experience?

Praying for you,

 

James “Living a Life of Faith” | Week Two Review

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” James 1:13 NAS

We all struggle with it…the dreaded “T” word …temptation!   No one is immune from the lure of the bait! It’s out there waiting, enticing us to take the bait.  And we have a choice to make.

Angie writes in Day Two:

Sin doesn’t just happen, it’s a process.  Our desires tempt us and we have to make a choice. Are we going to turn from temptation or walk toward it? When we turn away, we employ the power of the resurrection to claim our new life in Christ, having been freed from the bondage of sin.  When we walk toward it, which we all do in thought or action on a daily basis, we’ve given birth to sin, which brings forth death.”

Temptation comes from evil desires within us.  It’s that sin nature that sets it off.  It all begins with an evil thought, and then it becomes sin when we dwell on that thought, and then the thought turns into an act.  It has a snowballing effect, and the sin grows more destructive the more we let it have its way.

People who live for God often wonder why they still have temptations.  We ask ourselves, “God, why are you tempting me?”  However, God does not tempt anyone.  God allows Satan to tempt us in order to refine our faith and help us grow in our dependence on Jesus Christ.  The good news is that we can resist temptation to sin by turning to God for strength and choosing to obey His Word.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:12 NAS

So how do escape temptation?  We may never escape it, but we can overcome it, by staying in God’s Word.  God’s Word gives us the power to deny temptation!  Jesus understands what we are going through when we experience temptation in our lives, because of His own experience with temptation.

Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18 NIV

Jesus has experienced everything we experience, and He has compassion on us when we are suffering pain and temptation.  Jesus understands our struggles, because He faced them as a human being Himself.  This is such a comforting thought to me, and I hope it brings you much peace as well.

Living a life of worship helps us to endure trials and temptations.

Angie writes in Day 5:  “Our faith is strengthened by an evolving relationship with the Word of God, which helps us grow in grace and wisdom as it deepens in our hearts.”

It’s only by a true act of worship in the Word of God that helps us overcome temptations that fall in our path. We must read God’s Word and act on it.

We can read God’s Word all day long, but unless we soak it into our hearts and apply it to our lives, it’s not doing us any good.  That’s the purpose of our summer review of this awesome book of James.  These are real live issues that we all struggle with, and we need to get a handle on it.  We must choose to live a life of faith and worship!

Let’s chat!

Is there one or more temptation in your life that burdens you time and time again? Some of them may be a temptation to do wrong, others may be temptation to not do what you know is right.  Remember, the power of sin was conquered in your life when you surrendered to Him.  If you have never surrendered your life to Christ, take the time now to surrender yourself to Him and give Him your weaknesses and ask Him to show you the abundance of blessing awaiting you when you choose to turn from the old and move forward to the new.

Praying for you,

James “Living a Life of Faith” | Week One Review

Today we begin our summer review on the Book of James, “Living a Life of Faith” by Angie K. Smith.  If you were with us for our Spring Inductive study on James, you know how very rich with truths the book of James is and how prevalent it is for us today.  None of us are exempt from the experience of difficult times, which is part of daily life on planet Earth.  However, James has much to say in his short book on how we can handle the trials that come into our lives.

James’ letter is written to the twelve tribes of Israel who were dispersed abroad (James 1:1).  Christians during this time in Jerusalem were scattered throughout the Roman world.  These Christians were in the midst of severe persecution, and James wrote to them to encourage them to keep the faith, not to give up.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,” James 1:2

James doesn’t say if trouble comes your way but when it does.  The point James is trying to hit home is we do not have to pretend to be happy when we face painful times, but to have a positive outlook.

So what do we know about James?

James was a natural born son of Mary and Joseph and the half-brother of Jesus.  James and Jesus’ other brothers didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah (John 7:5), but eventually they believed.  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:15 that not only did Jesus’ brothers come to believe in Him, they became missionaries for the early church.

The death and resurrection of Jesus changes lives.  The Brother, whom James thought was “just a man,” conquered death and rose again, and James was never the same again.  And so should it be for us today.  Once we come to know and believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our lives are changed, and we are never the same.

The book of James challenges us to see our trials with a new perspective, and to consider them joy.  This is an ongoing theme throughout the study of James. We cannot change our circumstances, but we can change our perspective on how we view our trials.  What a message of hope and faith this is to us today!

Let’s chat!

What are you suffering today?  What are some ways we can keep the faith and rejoice in suffering? How should James 1 cause us to live?

Praying for you,

JAMES: “Living a Life of Faith” | SUMMER REVIEW BEGINS JUNE 5

Join us this summer for a review of the book of James, “Living a Life of Faith” by Angie K. Smith.  If you were unable to complete the lessons in our spring study, or if you missed out on our study of James, here’s your chance.  We will be reviewing the Book of James beginning on June 5th.  There will be no small groups to join. Instead, we will have weekly blog posts each Monday morning where we can all join in the conversation at a time that is convenient for you throughout the week.

This powerful study of James is for everyone whose faith wavers and you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel.  Have you ever had days like that?  I do quite often, and this study changed my outlook on so many of the trials I am going through today so that I can respond in a more positive and joyful manner instead of feeling defeated.  Don’t let defeat and despair get you down. It is possible to remain joyful in painful circumstances, but it’s only through Jesus Christ that we are able to do that.

Angie writes:

“Seeing our trials as tools in the hands of a loving God is not enough; we must let God accomplish what He desires.”

We cannot control something that is beyond our control and that results in frustration and feelings of failure.  But what we can do is let God work through us as we go through trials.  How do we do this? Well, first of all we have to be in His Word daily and to stay closely connected to Him through prayer to keep our faith strong.

James tells us to Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4.

James doesn’t say if trouble comes your way but when it does.  We will no doubt suffer many trials in our journey through life on planet earth.  So you may be asking, “am I supposed to be happy when difficult times come?”  Of course not, but we can have a positive outlook and turn our hardships into times of learning and trusting God.  This is how our character is strengthened in a godly fashion, and God can use our lives as a testimony to help others through their struggles and show them how to depend on God.

So let’s join together in another round of James so that we will be complete, lacking in nothing.

If you are new to the study of James, you may purchase the workbook version or the Kindle version of James through Amazon (Click Here).

If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to follow my blog at https://shereepoole.org/  Scroll to the very bottom and type in your email address so you will receive these weekly blog posts in your email.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to register for our Fall and Winter Inductive Bible Studies Philippians and Colossians “That I May Know Him”  by Kay Arthur and David Lawson. We will begin the study of the book of Philippians on August 21, 2017 and Colossians will begin on September 16, 2017.  Register click here.

Blessings,

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