Category Archives: Bible Study Community with Kendra Graham

Scripture, Bible study, God’s Word, Kendra Graham

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Joshua 1:9

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Joshua 1:9:  

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage.  Do not tremble or be dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage, do not tremble or be dismayed, the LORD your GOD is with you wherever you go.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  Well, here we go! It’s the last week before school officially starts.  I don’t know about you, but for me, as I look to this year, I see all the places I need to be and the commitments I’ve made, and instead of being excited and ready to conquer the new school year with fresh energy and focus… I kinda want to hide.  Schedules…demands…yuck! Gone are the days of sleeping in and enjoying the summer.  Now it’s off to science fair projects and research papers.

I have three kids: one in high school, one in middle school, and yes, one in elementary school…just to keep things going in completely different directions!

When I asked my kids about what they are looking forward to this year, all of them expressed…. fear.  The girls are afraid because they are on new travel soccer teams and they don’t know the girls or the coaches.  My middle school daughter is afraid because this will be her last year in a school she absolutely loves.  My youngest and only son is scared because he is homeschooling this year and is afraid his teacher may lose it come Christmas. :)  OK, that is a REAL fear! I am afraid because what if I can’t homeschool adequately?  What if I can’t get these girls to their games across the wide blue yonder each weekend?  What if the school work load is too hard and these children need more help than I have time to give them?  Fear…. fear… fear.

Fear keeps us from doing that which God has called us to.  I may not be preparing to march around Jericho, but I sure feel the impending battles that are just around the corner.  Has God really called me to where I am?  What is it God is doing this school year in our family and among all these schools and teams we are part of?

I go back to Joshua 1:9 often because it reminds me that God knows that fear is a very real emotion that we battle with.  God did not chide Joshua for having fear, but He did call Joshua not to give in to fear.  We have a choice who we give the power to in our lives.  Fear is our natural response, so we must saturate ourselves in the Word of God on a daily basis.  This is our only hope.  We need to determine to trust that God IS with us and will lead us.  Setting our hearts and minds to believe the promises of God as we step out daily is a HUGE challenge, but so worth it.  God loves to leave us in these dependent situations, where we can’t even begin to conquer or vanquish all that is demanded of us.  This way, God stays at the forefront.

As the academic year begins and we feel pressed upon and pulled in so many directions, may the first direction we determine to set our feet, eyes and heart in, on a daily basis, is in the Word of God.  In the Joshua 1:8, it says, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall mediate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do all that is written in it; for THEN you will make your way prosperous and you will have success.”  Success summed up: Stay in the Word of God and follow His lead…. day by day, by day.  Let’s dedicate to do that this school year, and show our children what courage looks like.  Courage is following hard after God.  Just do and go where the LORD leads today, then again tomorrow…all for His glory.

I love the quote accredited to Ambrose Redmoon: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important.” As my kids and I discussed our fears, we came up with the promises of God that we can focus on instead.  Fear quickly turned into anticipation of what God will do and how He will accomplish the impossible in our personal lives.

  • God is faithful and true (Revelation 3:14).
  • God will not leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
  • With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
  • Our God reigns (Psalm 93:1).
  • “See, I have set before you an open door and NO ONE can shut it, for you have a little strength, have kept My Word and have not denied My name.” Revelation 3:8

Step 3

APPLY IT:  How have you given in to fear instead of faith?  What promises of God do you need to claim to get through the day?  Are your eyes seeking to see things beyond today?  Will you determine this school year to begin your day with your eyes and heart set in God’s Word?  Where is God calling you to be courageous?

LIVE IT OUT:  TODAY, I will claim the promises of God as I go out.  LORD, may You and Your promises trump all fear, and give me the courage to tackle what You have set before me this day.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Matthew 11:28-29

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from : Matthew 11:28-29

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Come to Me all who are: weak & heavy-laden.  I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from Me, you will find rest for your souls.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  This blog post came on a difficult day for me.  I’ve been given the day off from my job at he hospital, which might not seem like a bad thing, but in my heart of hearts I can’t afford the day off.  I’m a labor and delivery nurse and mostly just work in the summers and a few other dates throughout the year.  This schedule gives me flexibility, but is not a consistent source of income.  This day off set my fingers running numbers, and put my head and heart in an absolute panic!

In this moment, God purposely set my eyes in His Word on this verse today: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:28-29.

Like me, have you ever had a difficult time resting?  Like being in control?  I like knowing that my children’s needs will be provided and paid for by hard work.  But not today…God whispered in my ear, “Rest.”

After panicking and shedding a few tears, I wondered, “Doesn’t God know I NEED this day of work?”  While I was crying, God whispered again, “See how tired you are, dear one?” And as I write  these words, I’m off to crying again.  I am tired…so tired, weary and heavy laden.

This verse is in red… red letters…the words of Jesus–God with skin on, and He has said specifically to me (and you too)…”COME TO ME, {Kendra}, and I WILL give YOU rest.”  Jesus is giving me a rest from my responsibility– not in the way that sounds–I don’t want to walk away, hide in my house and quit my job…but God is willing and able to give me rest in the midst of work.  Isn’t it comforting to know that while we take responsibility for our children and love them more than words can say, ultimately, they belong to God who loves them more than we could even imagine?

An alternate rendering of this verse in the Greek explains it like this, “Come to me all you who are working to the point of exhaustion.”  Is there anyone out there who can relate?  Some of us are absolutely overwhelmed.  We have things on our plate that we never asked for, and we have found ourselves in a  stormy, out of control, season of life where we are just trying to breathe.  Where we are working and working, and doing the very best we can, but rest is eluding us.

So what do we do?  This verse tells us exactly what to do… “COME TO ME.”  I’m seeing that perhaps God is allowing me to be completely over my head and in a place where I can’t handle it.  I think maybe God allows times like this to prove His sufficiency to me.  God is flushing the pride out of me and reminding me that it’s not about my control over anything.  This verse shows me where I am… and then tells me to come to Him with it all.

So, where do I go? Where do you go when you are stressed to the max? Who are we turning to?  Are we going to the wrong source?  Is that why we are in such a panic?  I know that’s why I’m in such a panic.  I want to turn to my job, pay check and bank account…. which is always, and will always be insufficient.  Perhaps being overwhelmed and unable to make numbers crunch is actually a wake up call to come to a deeper intimacy with my God (Psalm 63).

After I come to Jesus, the next command the verse gives is to take His yoke upon me.  The phrasing here, with the yoke being put on…you put the yoke ON.  This phrase “putting on a yoke” does not imply that the oxen will sit in the barn, but that he is going out to work.  The way oxen work is that the younger, more ignorant oxen is paired with an older one; the younger oxen just follows in the steps and in the direction that the older oxen goes in.  The older oxen bears most of the burden of the work and knows where to go in the work; the younger oxen just has to focus on following where his partner leads.

Here we see God is not swooping in and erasing all our problems in a grand manner. He is not lightening the load just yet, but we are to come and stick our head in His yoke and follow where He is going amidst the responsibilities that are before us.  HE promises this: YOU (personal pronoun here, you, {Kendra!} WILL find rest for YOUR soul.

Jesus is not relieving me of the responsibility, but rather relieving me of the burden of that responsibility if I just follow Him.

Today, through His yoke, He led me to actual REST.  The burden for my workday rests on Him.  The burden of the needs for my kids rests on Him.  GOD HAS GOT THEM and ME in His hands… God loves my children more than even I do! I am saying this out-loud to myself as I type it, because it is so hard to believe sometimes.

We all want to control our own hours, pay checks, every little aspect of our own little worlds, and yet God wants us to rest, and let Him bear the burden.

Each of us must set our yoke to follow Him.  HARD WORDS for me today, how about you?   He’s telling us to REST…REST…REST.  So what choice do we have?  I have chosen to rest today, calling on Jehovah Jirah–MY Provider, YOUR Provider– who is not ignorant of our needs at all, yet knows them more intimately than we can ever imagine.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Who or what is the source you run to when you are weak and overwhelmed and have worked yourself to the bone?

Will you set yourself in the yoke of Jesus and His Word, or will you try to solve everything in your own failing and insufficient strength?

Is this time of your life perhaps pressing down so that you can see your extreme need for an all- sufficient God?

Is God calling you to a deeper intimacy with Him through this circumstance?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today, when I begin to panic every hour on the hour, knowing that all I have to give is insufficient, I will set my head to claim in my heart who YOU are.  Today I will REST in Your yoke, You have given me.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Psalm 63:1

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from : Psalm 63:1

“Oh God You are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”Step 1

THE FACTS:  Oh God, You are my God; earnestly I seek YOU, my soul thirst for YOU in a dry and weary land.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  Daily there is confusion and chaos.  I love to go back to this verse a lot.  It’s one of those verses that tends to steady my feet and focus my gaze.  Oh God… “Oh God” being the God we pray to at meals, sing to at church, hear the pastor preach about….. but MY GOD… now “My God” is something entirely personal.  My God is personal.  Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches,  but let him who glories, glory in this: that he understands and knows Me, that I AM the LORD.”  This is the purpose and the key to life.

To know the LORD… to spend time in God’s Word.  God’s Word is Truth.  (John 17:17)

In times like this, when information is pouring into us at the speed of light… it is important, to daily–before the chaos begins– to spend time soaking in the Truth.  God’s Word has been true from the beginning of time and will not cease to be true today.  God can be trusted.

With so many things vying for our attention, vying to control us, we must now, more than ever, decide to know “my God” and not settle to just hear about who He is from others.

God loves you more than anything, and knows the struggle and confusion of life, so He came, personally, with skin on, and His name is Jesus, so that we could walk through this life with Him.

When you are tired, weary and exhausted…. earnestly seek “my God,” for “My God shall supply all your needs in the riches of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19).

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Are you in a dry and weary place in life?  Do you know “my God” or have you settled to listen about “oh God”?  Will we get into God’s Word as God’s people and begin living lives to glorify Him or will we live in fear of what will happen next in this crazy world?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today I will be determined to get into God’s Word and begin to learn about this God who loves me more than anything.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — 2 Timothy 1:7

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but power, love and sound mind.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   When I read this verse today, I couldn’t help but think of my father-in-law, Franklin Graham.  Franklin is criss- crossing America this election season going to each state capital and pleading with God’s people to pray for the country.  There has been push  back in some states, but that doesn’t seem to deter the vision and passion that God has given him, as I watch God’s power illustrated through his message and work.

When God gives a vision to His people, He provides the power needed to see it accomplished.  It seems that often the church has been satisfied to be the “silent” majority.  We are so afraid to offend and so afraid of our speech that we make sure all of our words are politically correct, and in doing this, we have chosen to live powerless fearful lives.

Boldness matters.  We absolutely cannot fulfill God’s plan for our lives without boldness.  There is a difference between being bold just to hear ourselves speak, and being bold because it is what God has called us to do.  That is why I think in this verse Paul is urging Timothy and other believers that along with God’s limitless power, he has strategically placed the word “love”.  God so loves the world, He said so, and He proved so in John 3:16.  Being bold and powerful in the name of Jesus involves loving His hand made creation.  God calls us to do big things, only possible through His power, AND in HIS love.  It’s not a power trip we are going on, it’s not a spotlight we are stepping into, it is a service we are accepting to show others the love of God through His call and in His power.

Lastly, this all comes together with a sound mind.  This does not mean that everything God calls us to do or things He places in our hearts to do will all make sense, because quite often, we know it is God’s vision because it defies all logic.  When God calls us to do things, they are as Henry Blackaby likes to say, “God-sized”.  We tend to keep God in a box that we can explain–but what kind of God is that if we can explain everything away with logic?  God does the impossible.  God’s people should have personal testimonies in their lives of God’s impossible workings.  What God calls us to will always be clear…. and that clarity will be the very thing that makes our knees shake with fear.

Let’s be realistic here too…while we’re talking about it… we will experience fear.  It’s just natural, however,  this verse challenges us to literally set our fear aside, and focus on the new spirit that God Himself has given us.  Fear and timidity will keep us from using the gifts that God has given.  God has given us all we need to live daily as unstoppable over-comers.  The choice is ours.

I love how 2 Timothy continues…. (8) Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord….  Oh that our lives would reflect an amazing impossible story of God’s love and power in our personal lives and that we would have the boldness to shout it out!  We may not be called to criss-cross America, but this I know…. You will have an amazing testimony of God’s power in your life.  Let’s not live life and miss everything we were created for.  There is no better time to start than the present!

Step 3

APPLY IT:  What will rule your life and dictate your actions?  Fear or boldness in God’s Word? Are you satisfied living a safe, timid life apart from the “more” that God has called you to?  Don’t know where or how God has called you to live courageously? Get in God’s Word, and ask Him to show you.  Will we live lives claiming the Truth that God is a God of clarity, not a God of confusion? (I Corinthians 14:33)

LIVE IT OUT:  Today, LORD, give me boldness where I need to be bold, give me clarity, give me Your love for Your people as I claim Your power to walk through doors I would rather run from.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Matthew 10:42

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :   Matthew 10:42

And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

Whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water, I say he shall not lose his reward.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  

“Your patient just came into triage,” my charge nurse reports. “Your patient did cocaine two weeks ago but nothing recent; she is resisting giving any sample today to test for drugs in her system. This is her 4th baby. She has not had prenatal care.”

This is what I do. I work in labor and delivery. I get to see the miracle of life day-in and day-out on a full time basis during the summers. I love my job, but I don’t necessarily love all my patients.  When I received report on this patient a week or so ago, I was furious. I was mad at this woman.  Cocaine!? Really? No prenatal care? This poor baby. Will no one stand up for the baby? Will no one fight for this little boy yet to be born? I was telling all of this to God and I was stomping around looking for a wheelchair thinking to myself, “I should just make her walk…” I was in the moment with my self-righteous anger and had some really valid points!

Then that still small voice spoke to my soul… (Sometimes I hate that still small voice… I’m riled up … I want that voice to escalate to the level my soul is on! I need validation!)

God, of course, will refuse to stoop to my shallowness and for that I am glad–truly. As my soul is stirred, God calmly and slowly asked, “Are you done?”  Am I done? Well, honestly I could go on… But that is my cue to be done… So I said, “Yes.” God moved my heart to understand that I have been called to care for her as if I was caring for Him. Ugh! I had nothing else to say. My arrogance had been humbled in just a few words spoken to me by my Creator.

This verse here in Matthew challenges us to serve those we think are undeserving of being served. The words  “little ones”  can more accurately be translated as “the humble.”. You serve because it is as if we are serving Jesus. It’s the woman at the well, the woman with issues, the woman caught in adultery.  Hurting, humble women…. Like my patient caught up in cocaine who may have never been served a day in her life. This woman who may never see her children again after she gives birth since they will most likely be wardens of the state in the social services system. This woman…. Jesus would have stopped to care for. This woman… HE sent me to give cups of ice to–two at a time, since water is not allowed during labor at the hospital where I work.

I sat with her. Held her hand. Encouraged her. Spoke to her by name. Cleaned her. Made sure she got her epidural promptly.  I loved her, not because it was in me to do, but because God loves her and gave me what I needed to show her that.

At the end of the day my patient said, “I ain’t never had no one “hep” me afore, You good to me, nurse.” I responded, “You are loved by God and I was supposed to show you that.”

No further words were spoken. My shift ended minutes after the baby was born. This verse in Matthew states I won’t lose my reward, and truly, I saw the love and grace of God in a new way. My reward was seeing the love of God in a personal way, not just for my patient, but for me. It’s hard to receive. It was hard for my patient to receive those words. It’s hard for me to receive them too.  The Truth is…. God loves us and sent His son Jesus to prove His love to each of us in a personal way. (John 3:16).

Step 3

APPLY IT: 

Who has God placed in your life today that needs to see HIS love? Your family? Your patients? Your co-workers? Someone who crosses your path just for a moment in a store, at a practice, or at the gym? An enemy maybe? Will you be on the look out for the hand of God wanting to show you and others His deep personal love?

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today Lord, open my eyes to see and my hands to serve the humble ones you send my way. Give me the strength to do it, because You and I both know that it is not in me. Help me to receive Your love today so I can give it out.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
__________________________________________________________

To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Matthew 10:27

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from : Matthew 10:27

“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  “When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else, once you are back in the light.”- Oswald Chambers.

The dark is a hard place to be.  There was a time in my life where I felt that everything I touched fell apart.  Mistakes, shame, and guilt stuck to me and the load was overwhelming.  I felt abandoned and alone.  I was fighting God, shaking my fists at God, screaming out in my soul that the pain was too deep, too hard, too much.  This went on for years…. until I stopped.  My heart hurt beyond repair, mostly by my own doing.  I was shattered, stained, and now silent with nothing else to say at the feet of Jesus…. the dark is a hard place to be.

In the dark, Jesus so tenderly took my worn out soul, and began to breath life into me once again.  In the dark, through the power of God’s Word, He began to whisper to me.  God began to show me what it is that He sees when He sees me. The truths of who God is and what is real more than what I feel.  There in the dark, is where those Sunday School stories that I learned  in my head for so long, began to be inscribed upon my heart.  Inscribing upon the heart hurts….  but it is purposeful hurt.  God began to transform my heart of stone into a heart of flesh, and I would love to say that I was all for the process… but that process was and is painful.

I remember vividly, day after day I would beg God to get me out of that dark hard place…. I would say, “If You really love me, You will deliver me!”  Then…. one day came…. when in that dark place, I stopped asking for deliverance because there, in the dark, of all places, the Light shone more radiantly, more personally than I had ever known.  My scars and stains didn’t change…. but funny thing is when that Light shines, right in the middle of it, I was able to see what beauty God can make…. the beauty of stained glass…. the testimony of a faithful God in the midst of my mess.

The faithfulness of God was taught to me in the dark.  This blog, the Bible study I teach at the Cove, the churches I visit and speak in are all resultant from that difficult time.

Recently I journeyed to Wichita, Kansas to speak.  I spoke on the women with issues in Mark 5:25-34.  This woman lived a life for 12 years in the dark of solitude and isolation; yet, she knew that if she reached for Jesus, just the tip of His garment, she would be healed.  Oh to persevere among a crowd determined to beat her back… yet she reached… letting go of  everything else, and holding tight to the hem of Jesus’s garment.  This woman was healed.  The crowd stopped — the entire world stopped for that moment so that Jesus could stoop down, brush away her tears and hear her ENTIRE story.  Jesus whispering to her in her darkness among the crowd, “Go in peace and be healed.”  One sheep in a crowd of sheep willing to not just “bump” into the Shepherd, but to touch Him, to really touch Him.

That message proclaimed because I understood the pain of that woman, because that same message to the woman with issues, was whispered by God to me in my darkness… it is forged on my heart.  That day, in Kansas while proclaiming in the light what God had done, another hurting woman fought through the crowd, weeping at the altar, reaching for the hem, straining to hear Jesus speak to her in her darkness…. and she heard the sweetest whisper of love from her Faithful and True God…. she was stained, it’s true, but His Light shined through and in that Light she became, and we all become, beautiful stained glass windows to Him.

Pay attention when God puts you in the dark, darkness is the time to listen.  In the dark even the smallest spark of Light will not be missed and will become a precious personal message often for someone else. Lessons learned in the dark are meant to be proclaimed in the light!    #Proclaim #beautyfromashes #stainedglass #loved

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Are you in a period of darkness in your life?  Struggling to hear God?  Maybe struggling to get away from God?  Will you today, tune your ear to hear the whisper of God’s Word to you?  Will you reach out today?  What message has God inscribed on your heart in the dark that you can share in the light with each of us?  Oh that we would be bold to share the faithfulness and love of God… will we keep it to ourselves or shout it from the rooftops?

LIVE IT OUT:  LORD, calm my heart, close my mouth, open my ears, write on my heart that which You want to teach me.  Teach me to sing in the dark… if this is where I must be.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
__________________________________________________________

To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Psalm 62:9-12

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Psalm 62:9-12

“Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up;
They are together lighter than breath
(10) Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
(11)  Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
(12) And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,
For You recompense a man according to his work.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:

Men of low degree, men of rank are together lighter than breath.
If riches increase, don’t set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken, twice I have heard THIS: POWER BELONGS to God.
Loving kindness is Yours.  You recompense a man according to his work.

Step 2

THE LESSONS: 

David had a period of struggle, silence, surety, and finally submission.  It’s a process.  Don’t you hate that?  I know I do.  I wish that in my heart of hearts I could just get to this submission part without so much work and heartache.   I wish we didn’t have to have the adversity in order to bring us to the feet of Jesus, but honestly, it’s in the adversity that we see our extreme need.  God is so patient with us, and will bring us through so that our hearts know that power indeed belongs to God.  We must experience Truths in order to really be able to say we believe them.  We believe Truth because we have seen the promises of who God is to be real in our personal world.

David has had his character questioned and assaulted.  In the beginning of this Psalm, David is in a panic for all that is going on.  David could be unseated, David could be mocked, people could believe the lies, and David could lose his standing among the people who he needed to trust him.  I love the fact that David did not hold on to his status so tightly.  David heard with his ears, but twice, more importantly heard with his heart that God is in control. God will have David where He has David regardless of the chatter and the dire look of the situation. God is in control?  God has this?  This is hard to grasp…hard to believe.  It makes us feel better if we can “do” something to fix it.  I want to “do”, I don’t want to wait…. especially in silence, like David has done here.

Once we wait in silence, focused on the Word of God and we will see that in this ever shifting and changing world, our only surety is the Truth of who God is.  God’s Word will stand.  God’s Truth will hold.  We do not know this, and we cannot submit to this way of thinking until moments like this in David’s life, and similar moments like this in our lives, when all we have, and our only hope is that truly God is who He says He is and His Word will hold.

God sees you in your situation.  God sees how your world is uncertain, falling apart, stressful, and you don’t know how it’s going to work together.  God sees how other people get joy out of making your life difficult and hard.  Press in to God’s Word.  KNOW this: Power Belongs to God.  No man can usurp the power of God as stated in these verses.

Hope in the power of God, gives us the strength we need to daily walk through our circumstance in faith, and then in the end, just like the Apostle Paul says, it’s a “hope that does not disappoint”(Romans 5:5), because in the end we will see that God has got this.  We will hear with our eyes and ears when we read the Word, then hear with our hearts when we have that personal testimony of how in God’s lovingkindness toward us, gave us strength to press in.  Jesus will walk us through and teach us, ever so patiently about who He is.

Submission to who God is, in the end will become a “sigh” of relief instead of a “sigh” of anxiety and frustration.

Step 3

APPLY IT:

When have you been brought through this process that David has, so that you know the Truth of who God is in His Word is the Truth of who God is to you?

Do you question whether God will make things right, and if He understands the direness of the situation?  How hard is it to trust that in submitting to God your hope is not in vain?  Will you listen for God to speak not only to your ears, but to your heart?  (This is HARD… because my heart already hurts so much, it’s so HARD to let God take the anxiety and work it out the way He wants.)

LIVE IT OUT:

LORD, today you know the enormous amount of anxiety I have in my heart over situations and people I cannot control, yet I keep trying to control them!  I think if I am anxious about it, I can change something, but LORD, these moments are meant to press upon me my need for an Almighty God.  Be that Almighty God to me today and as I hold on to the hope of Your Word, give me the strength in faith to take one baby step after another pressing in.  Give me a great testimony of You through all of this.  Help me in this struggle to trust, and in silence, give me Your surety, as I submit to You with my head, so that in the end may I know You more in my heart.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

 

 

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Psalm 62: 6-8

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from : Psalm 62: 6-8

6: He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

7: On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

8: Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.

Step 1

THE FACTS:
6:  He only in my rock, salvation, stronghold, I shall NOT be shaken
7: On God: my salvation, and glory rest, the rock of my strength, my refuge
8: (So YOU) …Trust in Him ALL times, pour YOUR heart to Him, God, refuge for US

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   Here in these verses is where the Psalm changes. Did you catch it?  Look back to the first few verses…. David is immersed in struggles, his circumstances.  He is overwhelmed, yet as the world comes down on him hard and fast, he has decided he will not be “greatly shaken,” because he will-on purpose-make God’s Word and God’s promises his stronghold.  His head will tell his heart to endure, press on and believe God is who He says He is.

In the next few verses, David has some questions, and as he pours out his heart before God in the midst of pain and frustration, he pauses.  David’s outward struggle moves to an inward silence.  David will wait for God to speak before he does.  Ugh… I still sigh at this.  This is so hard.  So much hurt… yet David pours that hurt out to God, refusing to project that pain upon anyone else… even if they deserve it.  Selah.  Silence. Ugh. *sigh*

Now… from struggle (vs 1-2) to silence (vs.3-5), to sureness and security (vs 6-8).  As soon as David’s moment of silence is over, what are the words spoken?  I will tell you what his words do NOT do, they do not spew out bitterness and hurt upon those who sought to hurt him and destroy his reputation.  No, they speak of confidence and strength in GOD, not the disappointment of man.  In verses 6-8, David’s words are strong and sure.  God IS MY guarding rock.  Here David is speaking from his heart…not his head.  David is coming out of this time of silence, waiting upon God, with absolute confidence that God is his encircling guard–this Truth was spoken in verse 2, but it was LEARNED in the school of silent waiting upon God.  In David’s moments of silence he learned that the I Am that I Am, is El-Shaddai, his strong tower, his safety.  In David’s silence of mouth, God was able to speak to his heart and open his eyes so David could see who God is.  David, in these verses now has absolute surety that his refuge is secure.

David has not trusted God in vain.  In silence David pressed in to those issues that were pressing down on him with such force he thought he would crumble.  David didn’t crumble, because the Rock that encircled him will always stand.  David has chosen wisely.  David pressed in to the end, and because of that, he can say to us, with clarity, confidence and courage, YOU, all of YOU… who find yourself in this situation, when you think you can’t stand for another minute, when you think the world is about to tear you apart…. when you can’t rectify all the rumors and assumptions about the situation… “TRUST in God at ALL times,  pour out YOUR heart… In God’s presence is your strong refuge.”

You are not forgotten.  You have not been left out to dry.  You have not been thrown under the bus by God.  God is not ignorant of the pain you are enduring justly or unjustly.  Just as David was being protected by God, God will protect you.

When we spend time in silence, saturating our hearts and minds on the Truth of who God is, then, God’s Truth, God’s Word, goes from being a tag line and a nice theory you hear each week in Sunday School or at Bible study, to being believed, being REAL.  Saying something is true and knowing something is true, in actuality, are very different things.

The fact of who God is, traveled 18-inches down from the head of David to his heart, as he struggled through the silence, then  from his heart, his mouth SPOKE (Matt 12:34)….the silence broken, and the words were a precious testimony that no one could take away from David, or you or me…. this testimony of who God is would have never been learned if David refused to be silent.

“Though it tarries wait for it” Habakkuk 2:3….. dawn is breaking…. press in.

Step 3

APPLY IT:   Do you have confidence in God as your strength and salvation, or do you believe your salvation from this particular situation is based upon your own strength, ability, and wit?

Has God called you to a time of silence so that you can know–that you know–that you know–that God loves you, God sees you, and God will be YOUR refuge?

How do you need God to be your refuge?  Will you saturate yourself in the Truth of God’s Word as you press in or will  you bug out, finding it easier to believe the lies that God has forgotten you?

Can you say with confidence as the Apostle Paul did in 2 Timothy 1:12, I KNOW whom I have believed and AM persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day?

LIVE IT OUT:  LORD, give me an open heart in this time of SELAH, so that when I speak,  it’s Your Truth on my lips.  As I focus on who You are, draw me closer to You… help me remember that You are able, You are Strength, You are love, You are refuge, You are protector, and that the plans you have for me are plans  to prosper, not to harm, plans to give hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 #Truth #SELAH

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Psalm 62:3-5a

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Psalm 62:3-5a

“They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; how long will you assail a man, that you may murder him, all of you, like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?  They delight in falsehood; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly, they curse.  Selah.  My Soul waits in silence for God only.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:
How long will you assail a man, murder him, like a leaning wall, tottering fence?  They counsel: thrust him down, they delight in falsehood, they bless with their mouth, inwardly curse.  Selah.  Wait in silence for God only.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:

There is the saying, “Good guys finish last”.  That is the saying that brushed through my mind when I first read these verses.  It’s the crooked business men/women that seem to get ahead.  It’s the people who have no boundaries and no conscience that get whatever they want.  Just turn on cable news for a solid 60 seconds and you can hear multiple political smears between candidates calling each other liars and thieves.  It’s hard to make it nowadays if you are determined to live a life with integrity.  It’s impossible to make it in politics.

David is asking these men, “How much longer will you try to press me down? How much longer will you try and try and try again to destroy me?”  Lies are being said about David in public.  Flattery is being given liberally in the presence of David.  Envy, jealousy, and hatred is the root cause of why these men are trying to bring him down.  David sees through it all with discernment.   What does he do to deal with these people?  Does David take it to the papers in an op-ed?  Does David do a sit down personal interview on Fox News Sunday to set the record straight?  No.  David pauses.  David pauses? Who has time for a pause at a time like this?!

SELAH, is a musical term for pause.  Our immediate reaction is to try to set the record straight.  David’s first reaction is to pause.  Pausing is so important.  It’s the hardest thing to do in the world.  Pausing makes us look guilty, right?  Pausing will make people think we are involved in all those things we are being accused of.

Pausing helps us gain focus back on where we need it to be.  Pausing gives us a moment to reflect.  Pausing will enable us to make clear decisions.  Pausing, most importantly, gives us that crucial moment to recalibrate our heart and soul back to God, His Word and His promises.  This is not easy peasy for David either.  You hear his complaints, you hear what is against him, and David is not just ignoring it, and saying it doesn’t matter, he’s not saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.   It matters to him what is being said and done against him.  It truly matters, and it hurts, deeply.

Can you relate?  I can.  I want to fight, and scream and yell on David’s behalf (and my own) and make it right, and make those people see their error, so that they will be silenced.  David’s reaction is not to silence all the rumors, not to silence all the lies, not to silence the rotten flattery in his face, but David’s response is to be silent himself, determined to wait for God to move and to do.

David makes the physical decision here… his heart, telling his brain to tell his mouth and body to be silent. ugh.  Sorry… that is hard stuff.  I’m thankful we get to read and see here, that even David struggled with this.   There is no way to actually do this without the power of God.  We have to get in His Word, know His promises, and then believe them.

God never seems to work in the time frame or in the way we would like or demand.  His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9).

Step 3

APPLY IT:

Will we put our trust in the fact that God has got a firm grip on our circumstances, and the beat on the street?  Will we set our heart to tell our brain to tell our body to *pause* and mouth to be silent and wait for God?  ugh.  *sigh*  Sorry… that is just my natural reaction.  This is hard stuff.

SELAH.

LIVE IT OUT:

LORD, help me to pause today, and trust that You understand and know, and as things according to me are falling apart… perhaps truly they are just falling into place. Give me the strength to pause and believe You over everything else.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Kendra Graham’s Bible Online Bible Study – Psalm 62:2

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Psalm 62:2: 

“He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  My stronghold. I shall not be greatly shaken.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:

When I read this verse, the portion that stood out to me was, “My stronghold.” A stronghold is something that has an overwhelming grip in a person’s life. We all have strongholds in our lives, and if asked, we can probably name a few without having to think too hard: shopping, eating, gaming, surfing the internet, exercising, toxic relationships, drugs (illegal and prescription), smoking, alcohol, TV, iPad/iPhone, money, work… one day we wake up and realize that our thoughts, actions and days are obsessed with certain things…. these things have a stronghold on us…. some good, some bad.  It seems to me though, that the bad things seems to reach their tentacles in deeper, farther and faster than the good things.

Here in Psalm 62, David is saying that God is his personal stronghold. David won’t be shaken, because the Eternal God is his refuge, the place he runs to hide…. if you are like me, I tend to run to places like denial or the couch to take a nap and pretend like everything is fine, first, and then I will call a friend or two and tell of the injustice that has come my way and who is to blame. After I am done shaking my fist and raising my voice, I will then come up with a creative solution, instead of patiently and quietly enduring, focused on God’s Word trusting that He’s got this. God and His Word tend NOT to be our stronghold and refuge, but our last resort.

What I also like about this verse is that David says not only is God His stronghold but that, “I shall not be greatly shaken.”  David is not in denial about the fact that he is human, and that there are going to be those moments when you receive that phone call that devastates you, or receive that diagnosis, or have that meeting with your employer that crushes your spirit into a million pieces, or that circumstance that cruelly enters your life without rhyme or reason and literally shakes you and sends your life, heart and mind whirling.  There are things in this life that will shake us to the core and David’s life is not a life of exception to that.  Life events will happen and David will wobble, David will stress, David will be concerned, and I like that.

Sometimes we look at these awesome pillars of faith in the Bible, and we think they are superhuman–we rationalize, “Well, I’m not David… it was easier for David, because he was a man after God’s own heart.”  We give ourselves an out, because God must have been more visible to David than He is to me in the moment.  That is not true.  God was visible to David because David made a choice to make God his stronghold, to make God’s Word the place he ran to first, not last.  David, on purpose, set his heart and his mind to believe regardless of external factors! David repeated to himself in and in his personal journal of thoughts that God is who God claims to be in His Word, and David would tell himself over and over again, saturating himself with #Truth, because being shaken, well that is just a fact of life.  God is his rock and his salvation, not anything or anyone else.

We will be shaken by life.  Where you and I run to matters.  You are not alone.  You have not been set out to dry.  You and I have a place of refuge, a place of safety, a place to run and be protected and that is in the arms of God who loves you and I so much He came personally, in the form of a man, not trusting us to any other, so that He could be our personal stronghold.  Gird yourself on purpose in the strength of God’s Word.

Step 3

APPLY IT:

How have you been shaken? Where have you run to in order to find solace, peace and strength to face the storm of uncertainty?  What can be described as the stronghold in your life?  Is it the Word of God?

LIVE IT OUT:

Today…. life is hard…. uncertain…. certain elements are crushing… LORD, be my stronghold. Strengthen me according to Your Word and Your unchanging character.  Help me to deliberately place my trust in You.  Give me a testimony of Your refuge and protection.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
__________________________________________________________

To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.