Women in the Word

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4/01/2015 12:36 pm  #61


Re: Matthew Discussion

Matthew 23


When we read about the Scribes and Pharisees, it may feel distant and far from us. Just like when we see a criminal on the television.

 But, I wonder how many of these Scribes and Pharisees even knew what they were doing was wrong before they were rebuked?

 Because it is so easy to get caught up in religion. For example, we may think the more often we go to church or volunteer for a ministry: Worship team, children’s ministry, evangelism team, usher. We believe we become more holy, but in fact sometimes the opposite is true.  

 We can become full of pride and judgement. We get so caught up in our ministry that we forget that we too are still “sinners saved by grace “and are no better than the homeless man sleeping on the street.

 No greater love has any man than this than to lay down his life for his friends.”

 When we serve is this our intention to lay our lives down by being a “living sacrifice”?  Or is it because we get self-gratification from our ministries. Religion is different from a relationship with God. Religion has rules and can make others conform instead of abiding in Him to bear fruit of different colors and design.

 Paul addressed this when he was in prison realizing that many were preaching the gospel for different reasons some pure and some selfish.

 Philippians 1:12-18:
       
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the   gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.  It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

 Knowing this truth that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

 It is safe to assume that there are Pharisees in the church today.


 When we serve God our motives do matter. Paul said when he was imprison that “some teach the gospel out of envy and rivalry, but others out of God will.”

 Today, we could interpret this as some serve to gain praise from man and others from a sincere heart.

 But don’t be discouraged. Paul said," whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached."
 Our ministries are important and will do good whether from a false or good motive, but wouldn't it be sweeter if it was always from sincerity?

Yes. Because our lives would be touched too!

  It’s a hard question to ask but am I a Pharisee or am I preaching the gospel and serving God from a sincere heart?

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Theresnoplacelike Home

Last edited by Theresnoplacelike Home (4/01/2015 12:40 pm)

 

4/02/2015 12:31 am  #62


Re: Matthew Discussion

Matthew 22

GMG Discussion Question:
The greatest commandment we are given is to love God with all our hearts and soul. In today's world however it is easy to have other things consume us. What is something that you need to shift focus from so that all your love and devotions are going solely to God?

This is such a good question to ponder. I need to shift from my up/down feelings on my friendships and romantic relationship and financial matters, and focus all of that energy on God and his love and my love for Him.

 

4/02/2015 12:44 am  #63


Re: Matthew Discussion

This is so on point. For me personally, I've always found when I'm super involved in church I not only become more Judgmental and critical of myself, but also others. And that's not at all what believing in God and being a Christian is about.


Theresnoplacelike Home wrote:

Matthew 23


When we read about the Scribes and Pharisees, it may feel distant and far from us. Just like when we see a criminal on the television.

 But, I wonder how many of these Scribes and Pharisees even knew what they were doing was wrong before they were rebuked?

 Because it is so easy to get caught up in religion. For example, we may think the more often we go to church or volunteer for a ministry: Worship team, children’s ministry, evangelism team, usher. We believe we become more holy, but in fact sometimes the opposite is true.  

We can become full of pride and judgement. We get so caught up in our ministry that we forget that we too are still “sinners saved by grace “and are no better than the homeless man sleeping on the

 

 

4/02/2015 4:48 pm  #64


Re: Matthew Discussion

Theresnoplacelike Home wrote:

 When we serve is this our intention to lay our lives down by being a “living sacrifice”?  Or is it because we get self-gratification from our ministries. Religion is different from a relationship with God. Religion has rules and can make others conform instead of abiding in Him to bear fruit of different colors and design.

What a powerful thought. This was such a good post, I just wanted to sit with it and read it again today. I think the above quote is powerful. Even if we are not being judgemental, are we more focused on getting the activity accomplished or perfection or are we just interested in sacrificing ourselve to love and serve others?

Also, that last statement about relgion is worth chewing on. People do sometime give others a list of external things they need to conform to in order to be considered a "good" christian. However, I like this thought, if we are really abiding in Him we will start to bear godly fruit from the inside out. I think it is important to understand that to grow fruit we really do need to abide: being in the Word, being in prayer - ask and listen and allow God to speak to you -, being in fellowship with mature Biblical believes in a Bible-focused Church, what what we put in our mind and think on, etc.
 

     Thread Starter
 

4/02/2015 9:44 pm  #65


Re: Matthew Discussion

itsjenniferrose and administrator,

Thank for your positive comments. Jennifer, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one that can become more judgemental sometimes when I am involved more in ministry. I have been working on this.

I've been blessed by being challenged to reading a chapter a day through this study, and I'm thankful for a group of women to go the distance with.

Last edited by Theresnoplacelike Home (4/02/2015 9:45 pm)

 

4/03/2015 9:08 am  #66


Re: Matthew Discussion

Matthew 24

Scripture 24:45-46 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
 
God is expecting me to be spending this time tending to His flock. Interesting reminder about what our focus should be. Our priority should be meeting the needs of others in the name of Christ.
 
The other take away for me from this chapter was the need to really be prepared for persecution.
 
Regardless of whether one is pre-tribulation, post-tribulation, a-millennial , whatever, persecution could always happen at any time. Look at the Christian children being kidnapped and raped in Africa, Christians being crucified in the middle-east, imprisoned and beaten in Asia.
 
Even here in the U.S., we don’t have what I would call persecution yet, but we certainly are continuing to be discriminated against and economically threatened. Several Christians have lost jobs because of their beliefs: CEO of Mozilla, a fire chief in Atlanta, some design guys on HGTV.
 
I think I realized that I really need to get serious about being grounded and built up so that if or when persecution and trials come I will be spiritually fortified to stand.

     Thread Starter
 

4/03/2015 1:37 pm  #67


Re: Matthew Discussion

Matthew 25

The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master 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!”


The parable of the talents sheds light on the variety of gifts/ talents we are given and that none can be compared to one another. However, the purpose in this lifetime is to take what you have been given and grow.

Try your best. Think positive thoughts and overcome obstacles. Comparisons are not healthy as this parable illustrates that everyone was given a different amount of talents, God given abilities. What’s important to understand is that none were given the same.

When we compare ourselves to others we are wasting time and energy which should be spent on spending time with God and growing our own nature talents and gifts by abiding in Him.What’s great is that when we focus on our gifts and not others we are free from the sin of envy.

This life is short and our focus should be on “seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all these things will be added unto you!”

In the parable did you see how some were able to double their talent when they were striving to do their best?

Doing your best is a great motive. One benefit is that you will never live with regret!!

I am reminded this morning to not look at what someone else is accomplishing but to look at Jesus “the author and finisher of our race” and ask Him: What do you want me to accomplish this day? And then focus on just that.

Theresnoplacelike Home
 
 
 
 

Last edited by Theresnoplacelike Home (4/03/2015 1:38 pm)

 

4/03/2015 11:50 pm  #68


Re: Matthew Discussion

TBG wrote:

Matthew 24

God is expecting me to be spending this time tending to His flock. Interesting reminder about what our focus should be. Our priority should be meeting the needs of others in the name of Christ.
 
 
I think I realized that I really need to get serious about being grounded and built up so that if or when persecution and trials come I will be spiritually fortified to stand.

Great thoughts! When our eyes are on others we can be faithful to God.
 

 

4/05/2015 11:16 am  #69


Re: Matthew Discussion

Happy Easter !


Matthew 26

What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him (Matthew 26: 15)
 

Thirty pieces is what Judas Iscariot, betrayed his friend and the messiah. He had seen the miracles, humility, and love for mankind, but this man, Judas, chose to betray Him nonetheless.We can learn a lot from Judas. I’m sure when he first became a disciple this was not this intention. However, when the opportunity presented itself he gave in to sin. There is a well-known verse that says,
 
“May spirit is willing but my flesh is so weak.”
 
The lesson that I have learned from Judas is that his flesh was weak. We all can fall. We all sin. And knowing that someone in Jesus's inner circle betrayed Him--should shed light on the people in our inner circle can betray us as well. 
 
We too will be betrayed by those that are the closest to us.
 
An opportunity may present itself and our friends or family act hurtfully towards us whether through sharing our secrets, saying mean things, neglecting to return a phone call, neglecting  to  spend time with us, or something worse.
 
 However, big or small betrayal hurts. 
 
If Jesus could be betrayed a perfect and righteous man. Then, it’s safe to assume that often betrays have nothing to do with us.We cannot stop someone from sinning against us —just like Jesus could not stop Judas from sinning against Him. Because we all have free will and… sometimes our  friends and family are weak. They may not be strong enough to help us, defend us, and be our friend in times of trouble… “wickedness comes from within” so it’s hard to do that right thing all the time…

 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?  (Jeremiah 17:9)”

 
Reflecting on this verse. Maybe, I need to redefine my own expectations on my brothers and sister in Christ and those in my inner circles: Co-workers, family members, old friends, and new friends. If, I can realize that I will be betrayed too by the ones that know me the most. I shouldn’t be surprised. And then  maybe just maybe I can heal that wound a little faster…and I believe that can happen when we forgive sooner and let the hurts and betrayals …go!

Our hope is in Jesus because He tells us “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18)
 
And this friend he speaks of is none other than himself. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day—Hoorah! If I have Jesus as my friend, and everyone else has chosen to betray me, I would still be fulfilled and I would still rejoice.
 
Because sometimes just one true friend is all you really need.
 
 And if you have been betrayed and Jesus is that one true friend-- for however long a time that may be-- than you are blessed to have the Maker of the Universe be your friend!

 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15: 13)

  {Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins and rising again on the third day. Please help me be a good friend to those that I know in my family, church, community, and workplace. And when my spirit is willing and my flesh is weak—give me strength! In Jesus Name, Amen}
  
And now abide hope, faith, and love, but the greatest of these is love” 

 

Last edited by Theresnoplacelike Home (4/05/2015 11:29 am)

 

4/06/2015 8:09 am  #70


Re: Matthew Discussion

I hope everyone had a blessed weekend as we commemorated the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ.

This will be a short week. We will read Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Then we will go on spring break from April 9th until Monday, April 20th.

1) I am thinking of posting some interesting and helpful information during this time. I will keep you posted on this.
2) Also, I think we should stay in the habit of reading God's Word daily. So, I will create a thread where we can still check in and just share whatever God is teaching us in our own readings, devotionals, bible studies, etc.

Here is the reading for this week:
Monday
Reading: Matthew 26
3 Minute Devotional
Optional GMG Discussion Question:
Jesus asked the disciples to watch and pray. Yet, they slept. Something so simple - and yet, it was a struggle. What is one thing God is asking you to do that you are struggling to do.

Tuesday
Reading: Matthew 27
3 Minute Devotional
Optional GMG Discussion Question:
Jesus Christ died on the cross for YOUR sins. It was personal - for you. Share today about the time you surrendered your life to Him.

Wednesday
Reading: Matthew 28
3 Minute Devotional
Optional GMG Discussion Question:
After Jesus’ resurrection, He left us a commission - to go and make disciples of all nations. It was a command - not a suggestion. Starting in our homes-to our neighborhoods, towns, cities, our nation - and our world.
How are you living out the great commission?

     Thread Starter
 

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