Category Archives: Bible Study Community with Kendra Graham

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

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — John 18:1-2

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  John 18:1-2

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of Kidron, where there was a garden, into which He Himself entered, and His disciples. (2) Now Judas also, who was betraying Him knew the place for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

Jesus had spoken these words, went forth with disciples over ravine, where there was a garden, into which He entered and disciples.   Judas betraying Him, knew the place, Jesus often met there w/ disciples.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

Night had fallen.  Jesus had taken time out with His disciples in the upper room, breaking bread with them and pouring wine, symbolizing what was to happen within the next 24 hours. Judas had left the last supper to go and do what he intended to do.  Jesus went forth.  Those are powerful words…  Jesus went forth, knowing what Judas was in the process of doing, knowing what was on the horizon, knowing that truly His body was going to be as broken bread and poured out wine…. yet…. He went forth.

Jesus and His disciples made their way through the city, out of the east side gate, over the ravine of Kidron, and into the garden.   Was there a chill or a dampness to the night as they approached the little brook there?  Did the disciples have to tighten their outer garments to keep warm?

The garden was in sight.  This was a garden place that the disciples knew well… ALL the disciples knew well, even Judas.  Jesus could have gone to a different garden… a different town… but no, this night, this is why He came, so He went forth.

How often had Judas met Jesus there?  What sermons, what individual chats did they all experience, there in that place that were not written for all of us to know?  How personal was this place to them?  To Judas?  Very personal… they knew it… the words are not… “Yeah… I think I know where you are talking about…” or “Let me pull that up on google maps”… Jesus met OFTEN there WITH them– THERE–His disciples, His best friends.  Have you ever wondered if the reason Jesus often met there, in that garden place, was to ensure that this moment, this night would happen?

You see, we desperately need Jesus to go through with this, or we are doomed.

Every person who experienced a miracle in the ministry and life of Jesus, needs Jesus to go through with this night, lest their infirmity be returned 100 fold…. we were not created to carry the burden of our own sin…. so Jesus went forth, leading the charge, not hiding from it, compelled by His great love for us–His handmade creation.

This particular garden is located on the east side of Jerusalem and in a few hours from this moment, Jesus will be drug from the east side of Jerusalem, and in the end will be lifted up high on a hill, on a cross on the west side of Jerusalem.  Jesus will complete it all, for all.  Sin will be put away as far as the east is from the west.  So, you see, we need Jesus to not shrink back here, and so Jesus went forth.

Jesus went into the garden that night, not only to pray for the strength needed, but He went to that garden–to that place–that night, to be found, by the one betraying Him.  Have you ever thought about that?  Jesus did not go to hide, He went to be found.  Jesus came to be found by you and me, so He shows up in places that we know well, so that we won’t miss Him.

I reflect back in my childhood all the way through today, and I see distinct places where Jesus was found along the way.  I see His providential hand moving the scenes even if I missed it at the time.  Jesus came to be found by you, too!  If you have never found Him, spend this time before Easter, in this period of lent, looking for Him, asking Him to open your eyes, so that you can see Him. Jesus endured this night, not to play some mystical hide-and-go seek game with you… but He went forth to be found.  Don’t miss Jesus this Easter!

I love those who love Me; and those who diligently seek Me will find Me. Proverbs 8:17

Step 3

APPLY IT:  

Where can Jesus be found in your life?

Will you ask Jesus to reveal where He is, if you cannot see Him?  Sometimes, it comes down to the fact of our pride… we don’t want to know because we want the excuse that God has abandoned us… but God with skin on went forth to be found this night in the garden… for you, and for me.  Let’s start fixing our hearts on the Truth, even if it’s hard.

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today, see where Jesus can be found in my life, whether it be in an ordinary or extraordinary place, and thank Him specifically for that.


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

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 9:29

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 9:29

“Then Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter of Purim.” 

Step 1

Your Extraordinary Call

THE FACTS:  

Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm Purim.

He sent letters to all Jews in kingdom of Ahasuerus, words of peace and truth.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

Esther was not just “Esther” she was “Queen Esther.” Esther had been queen for about 6 years at this time… it was not new, she just had no idea of the influence and authority she had been granted until she “selah-ed” … paused… simmered in who God is, what His promises are for her, and then stepped in the faith that God’s promises and His Word would hold.

It was in the stepping that she found that God had gone before her and had already #delivered her.  What did Esther already have that God wanted to use???  Well… in chapter 5 Esther put on her royal robes…. that was the start.  God was not going to use something she didn’t have… God had already #delivered her with something she DID have.  Here in chapter 9… Esther is finally stepping into the authority she was given and she used…. a pen.  Esther picked up that pen with ALL AUTHORITY… I love that she is daughter of Abihail… she is still that orphaned girl–an ordinary girl with an extraordinary calling–that picked up a pen and wrote with authority! Esther surrendered the ordinary she had in her hand to Almighty God and He made it extraordinary… drawing His people unto Himself.  Esther’s faith drew a nation NOT TO HER but to GOD!
God used a stick in the hand of Moses.  God did an awful lot through that seemingly ordinary shepherd’s stick, to again, draw HIS people to Himself.  In John 21, the disciples had a fishing net in their hands… God changed the use of that net for fish, to a net for men and began to draw a dying world to Himself.  God used their net, to bring His hand made creation to HIMSELF… not to the disciples.         Look what God can do through ordinary items that He has put in our hands!  The problem is that often we want in our hands what someone else has in their’s or we want the spotlight, and the glory for ourselves.  “If God would only give me “that”… well then I could really reach people for Him.”  Our focus is not quite right, often due to the lack of “selah” … a pausing to simmer in who GOD is, not who we think we are.There is an extraordinary call on your ordinary life.  Stop getting bogged down in believing your purpose is less than it is because all you have are the mundane repetitive things of life! Instead ask God to give a new meaning to your mundane!  Ask God to transform the mundane to extraordinary even in those little things you do.  Watch God use your mundane to draw your kids, your neighbors, your Sunday school class, or even that person your meet in the line at Walmart, to Him for His glory.In Ephesians 1:18-23, Paul pleads that we would know the hope of our calling, and greatness of the strength and power of Jesus on a personal level.  We have spiritual royal robes, that many of us have yet to don.  Oh that we would submit and surrender that which is in our hand, and see what God will do with it.  It will take courage.  It’s time to stand.  You are not alone. #deliveredwithpower

Step 3

APPLY IT:  

What is in your hand currently that God wants to use in an extraordinary way to draw His people to Him and His glory?

 Are you willing to ask God what is in your hand and then wait for Him to show you?

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today, do all, no matter how mundane for the glory of God with all the authority that He has given you as a child of the King.


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

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 9:26

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 9:26

“Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur.  And because of the instructions in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them, (29) these days of Purim were not to fail from among the Jews or their memory fade from their descendants.”

Step 1

#DELIVERED

THE FACTS:
Therefore they called these days Purim after Pur.

Both what they had seen and happened

these days of Purim were not to fail from Jews or memory fade from descendants

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   I can’t help reading this Scripture and remembering the verse in Genesis 50:20: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; BUT GOD meant it for good, in order to bring it about, as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Our current world is on fire… everywhere we look, there is trouble, heartache and uncertainty.  These Jews in Persia  understood these same things, all too well.   On a personal level, in our own lives, when we chunk down the “global-ness” of that statement… we too, understand and experience trouble, heartache and uncertainty.

If there’s one thing we have learned from Esther, it’s that we don’t know we need to be delivered, until we need to be #delivered.  The Jews needed #deliverance in Esther 1:1, but they had no idea until Esther 3:14.  God was already moving on the scene, working in the shadows–it was already done–but His people needed to walk it through.  In the process, they cried out to God, and if they were anything like me, they cried out with questions, fists and hot angry tears.  “Where are YOU?”  “God, you are NOT fixing this!”  “Have you forgotten us?” “Have you just forgotten me?”

It is so much more than just “fixing it” to God.  When God works, He works completely.  God usually doesn’t work in the way my little dust-fist demands, and thank goodness for that, because my insight and my vision are so minimal.  The longer we stay in bondage in a place, in a circumstance, with a particular guilt, to a particular person… we begin to think less– much less of God and His power to show up and break the chains.  SO God… loves us enough to walk us through the fire of refinement, pleads with us to press into His leading, and surrender to our own menial and small ideas of #deliverance.

Bear with me a second here–let’s go back to Haman for a minute…  The evil and pride that Haman committed had a multiplying effect… it reached first to his family (10 sons hung on the same gallows as he was), and then further… more death and destruction… for those who followed him in the Persian empire and led assaults on the Jews (no one can destroy what God has determined to protect and preserve).  Now, lets go back even further… King Saul, refused to surrender to the obedience of God, refused to humble before a holy God, and look: Generations later… Mordecai, his descendant, was pressed in the same way, yet Mordecai humbled himself and put on the sackcloth that his great-great-great grandfather refused.  Sin holds us in a vice and in a place of bondage that Jesus came to destroy (Luke 4:18).   Church! Christian! Let’s stop settling to pass on a legacy of #disobedience and #defeat.

Here, in Esther 9:26, God flips the switch: Pur meaning “lot”… was an appointed time to die, to be annihilated, to be destroyed–BUT GOD–turned around what was meant for #defeat into #deliverance, and we have Purim.  We have Purim because Mordecai surrendered and submitted to what God had called him to… Esther surrendered and submitted to what God had called her to… then the multiplying effect of surrender and obedience to God spread throughout the Persian Empire to the Jews and Gentiles alike (9:3-4).  This legacy of #surrender and #submission to God has spread through the ages and still to this day is not forgotten.  Pass on a legacy of #obedience and #deliverance.

Esther 4:14, God will still do what He has set out to do, God doesn’t need us to get His work done, but oh, how He desires for us to walk along with Him as He does it.  The choice remains with us, each and every one of us.  Does your personal obedience matter to God?  Yes.  And it matters to those who will come after you.  You have a providential purpose. God has placed a high calling on your life, not for harm, but for the glory of God (Jer 29:11). It matters what YOU do.  There’s a difference you can make, but the choice is up to you.  Will you be the one to refuse to live a life defined by your personal fear and #defeat?  Submit and Surrender to God, because God is faithful (Phil 1:6) to completely #deliver you from your guilt, unbelief, bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, pride and even from your insecurity and insignificance.  You had a price on your head and it has been paid for by an Almighty God who loves you more than He loved His own life (John 3:16).

Let God take your story of #defeat in His nail scarred hands and transform it into a life of #deliverance.  From the beginning–from before you even knew you had a need–He knew, so He came to set you #free.  It’s time that we stop hiding in the shadows and start standing on the fact that we are #free…we are #delivered.

2 Corinthians 1:9-10:  “Indeed we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and He will deliver us again.  On Him (Jesus) we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.”

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Will we allow our lives to be defined by the multiplying effect of #defeat or #deliverance?  What is preventing you from surrender and submission to God?  Is the call too painful?  Too embarrassing?  Too hard?  Too scary?  Too overwhelming?  We all have so many good reasons not to… so did Esther, but perhaps you have been placed here for such a time as this, for future generations to see that while it may look like you are at the door of #defeat, in reality, you are at the threshold of #deliverance…

LIVE IT OUT:  Today… surrender… submit to what God wants… help me today to walk through the fire, if You want me to.

#befree #bedelivered

God bless…

___________________________________________________________

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — Esther 6: 13-14

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 6: 13-14

“And Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.  Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him. “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall is of Jewish origin , you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him.  (14) While they were still talking with him the king’s eunuchs arrived and hastily brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.”

Step 1

THE VALUE of a SOUL…

THE FACTS:  

Haman recounted to wife and friends everything that happened to him.

His rise men & wife said, “If Mordecai before whom you have begun to fall is Jewish you will not overcome, fall before him”

While still talking, eunuchs brought Haman to banquet Esther prepared

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   The day had been difficult for Haman.  Haman was second in command of the Persian Empire, but acted a lot like he was first in command.  Haman was prideful, manipulative, scheming, and evil–let’s call it what it is.  Haman wanted to annihilate and utterly destroy the Jews, and no one could stop him, or so he thought.  You see, Haman hadn’t thought twice about the fact that the very name of God is Deliverer and Almighty God.

Chapter 6 ends with these two verses (13 & 14).  Haman, like in verse 13, has begun to fall.  Pride’s demise was beginning to speed up.  When God works, HE works quickly and completely.  Often times we tend to ask where God is because HE IS TAKING FOREVER.  We tend to yell, “God’s not fixing this!” more than we believe God will take care of the matter in His time.  We scream in our hearts, “God don’t you see what that person is doing or has done!?  When will YOU deal with it?”  Often we mistake God’s patience with the sinner for God’s tolerance of sin.  Sin is a BIG deal to God and yes, God will deal with it.  Notice Haman is beginning to fall… his pride is coming down in sheets, and Haman is humiliated.  God DOES NOT HUMILIATE…our own pride and fragile ego humiliate us.  Humiliation is a result of an unwillingness to be humble.  Does that surprise you or disappoint you?  As I looked at this passage with a deeper intensity my heart was broken.  God humbles us, because He hates us?  NO.  Because He loves us.  God opposes the proud, He is far from the proud, the proud are set at opposite ends of the arena from Him, and God’s hand made creation was created not to be far, but to be close.

SO God.. in His grace, humbles us, to bring us near to Him.  God gracefully humbled Mordecai… Mordecai did not get promoted yet stuck his neck out for the king.  God humbled Esther in her three days of fasting… “Trust Me, Esther… it’s not about your position… it’s about your surrender.”  God did not humble them to defeat them, He humbled them to deliver them.  Mordecai and Esther are already delivered, it is not hinging on the decision of the Persian king… it was given by the King of kings.  God is trying to do the same thing to Haman… to humble, not humiliate, to deliver not defeat… the only difference is the response in the end.

God really broke my heart over this passage this week.  God asked in my heart, “Why, Kendra, do you love the book of Esther?”

I had some cheesy replies that sounded really theological and thought through… but God… asked again, “Why do you love the book of Esther…honesty now.”

I blurted out… “Because Haman gets his head on a pike.  I like the fact he is humiliated with Mordecai, and then he whines to his wife and then the last act of his life he begs at the feet of a Jewish woman before he is hung on his own gallows.  I love the irony.  I love the justice.  There are no hanging threads… it’s complete.”

God waited some moments before He stirred my heart again to hear His voice which was drenched with a mixture of sadness, disappointment and grief, then I heard, “You have spoken truthfully.”

Now I was sad, but wasn’t entirely sure why.

Then, the words stung in my heart, “Have you been with Me this long, yet still do not know Me?” John 14:9.  Ouch.

Verses flooded my heart, the first of which was this, “ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness but it long-suffering towards us, NOT WILLING THAT ANY should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God placed this pause here… as Haman is being taken… just as Esther was taken in chapter 2 to the palace.  What if Haman repented and didn’t get his head on that pike?  Would I tear or cheer over that?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…  John 3:16, so who is excluded according to me or you?  There is a bounty on the head of Haman… and it is so much more than 10,000 talents of silver or even all the lives of the Jews in the Persian Empire… the bounty demands the blood of a Holy God.  So God paid it.  This is the value of a soul… a single soul.  God spared not His own Son… and so I cheer when someone falls to their eternal demise to satisfy my own warped sense of justice?

So, {sigh} we pause… here, at the end of chapter 6 and leave Haman alive for one more week, so that we can learn to humble ourselves before a holy God and plead for the lives of lost.  A high price was paid for each soul by a relentless God compelled by His great love for the sinner.  I am thankful for the pauses God places in my life.  Let’s not waste this one.  The value of each soul is priceless and precious.  SELAH

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Do you love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you? Matthew 5:44  Will you ask God to show you the value of a soul?

LIVE IT OUT:  Start today being more concerned with the character of God being displayed in my life than the need for revenge or justice.

___________________________________________________________

If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, it’s not too late to join us!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)


NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 4:13-14

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 4:13-14

“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews..  (14) “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish.  And who knows if you have attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

(13) Do NOT imagine that you can escape any more than all the Jews.

(14) If you remain silent at this time, relief WILL arise for Jews from another place.  Who knows if you have attained royalty for such a time as this?

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   Defining moments…we all have them in our lives.  Everything is fine, until it’s not fine–then what you do matters more than you think.

Esther has been challenged here by Mordecai.  Esther’s people–her kindred–are marked for extinction; and if Esther hadn’t realized: she is queen.  Esther lays out some incredibly logical reasons why she was not in a position to help, she couldn’t afford to put her very life on the line in front of a king who had little to no value for life at all.  Mordecai basically tells her, “Esther, you can’t afford not to.”

“Esther, do you think your title, your amazing Jimmy Choo shoes, or the spa treatments that have kept your skin remarkably smooth will protect you when it really comes down to it?  Do you really think that?  Because the fact is…. you are a Jew.”

If Esther does not stand up now, then she will be doomed to live in fear until she does.  She will do herself and her people no favors if she doesn’t speak now.

Mordecai then presses with a great #Truth but a hard #Truth.  Esther, God will #deliver us.  For the sake of His name (I Samuel 12:22, Ezekiel 20:14, 36:22, Jeremiah 14:21) God WILL deliver us.  Mordecai knows in Whom he believes.  Perhaps, Esther, you were chosen to be queen for such a time as this.  DO NOT forget who God is.

Now that is a defining moment!  It’s not about us–it’s about God.  This is a hard Truth…none of us are indispensable.  No matter what position, power, prestige or wealth we may have, or not have… when God is not permitted to rule, He OVERRULES.  God is on the move.  God’s plans cannot be thwarted by the incarnation of evil, by a cruel power-hungry king, or by a queen who is scared to death.  The question is, will you join God, where you are, where He is working?  He invites us to join Him, but the choice–that defining moment of choice–lies with each of us.  Our platforms won’t save us, our influence won’t save us, our ingenuity won’t save us… but God, for the sake of His name, #delivers us.

This passage of Scripture begs the question, “Why are you where you are?  Why have you had the life you have had, the mentors you have had, the family you have had?  Why are you at the job you have, have the friends you have?”  Some of you know exactly what God has called you to.  The time for deliberating is done.  If you refuse, God will use someone else.  It’s not about God getting His work done… it’s been done before the foundation of the world. It’s about you allowing God to inscribe His name all over your life, where you are.

You are providentially placed, and it is NOT about what you want to do… it’s about what God wants to do through you to transcend your moment in history.  For such a time as this, you have been placed in your classroom, in your school, in your neighborhood, in your church, in your community, in your diner, cleaning those houses, taking care of those patients, raising those kids, running that store, working that cash register….

Everything is fine–until it’s not fine.  This call on Esther’s life was HUGE… life and death! The call on your life is equally HUGE… life and death.  It’s time we finish the deliberating… it’s time we stop with the logical reasons why we just can’t right now… it’s time, in this defining moment of today, that we decide to answer the call for or against.  For the sake of His name, God will #deliver His people… He will #deliver you…it’s already done.

In your world full of broken dreams, where the #Truth is hard to find, where you have been let down, more than you have been lifted up, where it seems nobody cares–really cares–for you, it still matters what YOU DO.  There is a difference YOU have been called to make–providentially–but the choice is up to you.  NO one can make it for you–not your priest, pastor, mentor, parents or friends.  There is a voice that keeps calling out for someone who is not afraid to obey  (For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him  –2 Chronicles 16:9.)  Will you be the one to answer that call?  If the LORD provides the power, will you reach deep down into the depths of your debating and deliberating, and #decide… YES! I will be the one.  Today is your defining moment.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  What call has God placed on your life where you are TODAY?  How have you deliberated that calling away with logic?  Are you willing to ask God what His call is on your life, or is it better to have plausible deniability?

LIVE IT OUT:  TODAY…. the people I run into, the places I go… I will look for the hand of God working.  Today I will be one whose heart is fully committed to God.

___________________________________________________________

If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, it’s not too late to join us!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)


NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 3:2-4

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 3:2-4

“And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king commanded concerning him.  But Mordecai neither bowed down or paid homage.  (3) Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai,  “Why are you transgressing the king’s command?” (4) Now it was when they had spoken DAILY to him and he would not listen to them, they told Haman to see whether Mordecai’s reason would stand; for he had told them he was a Jew.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

2: ALL king’s servants at king’s gate bowed & paid homage to Haman,  the king commanded, but Mordecai.

3: The king’s servants at king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why are you transgressing  the command?”

4: DAILY they had spoken to him, he would not listen, they told Haman Mordecai’s reason: he was a Jew

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   It was the law of the land to bow to Haman.  Mordecai did not.  There is so much debate on why Mordecai didn’t bow.  Was it personal pride or his God-fearing duty?  Let’s just for a second go a little deeper and not get so caught up on the surface.

Just go along to get along… it’s your duty to be a good citizen.  Don’t speak out or stand out… blend in…. for the safety of everyone.  It’s just easier that way.  Let’s not make waves.  NOW that is the culture we live in.  We are so pressured on all sides by political correctness, it’s suffocating.   Sometimes God moves in your heart in such a way where it becomes very clear… if you bow… you will be disobedient.  All the others, often times even the Christians around you seem fine with the accommodations … but for some reason, your heart is stirred. Mordecai’s heart was stirred.  Perhaps he had privileged information that no one else had regarding Haman… he is after all the enemy of the Jews. This refusal to bow put Mordecai in a tough spot.  When you make a stand, it will be noticed, and if that stand is for the #Truth of God’s Word or the #Gospel… odds are it will not be received well.  This is just how it’s always been… even in 478bc.  Be prepared for push back.  Know that it is what God has called you to.  In your obedience, God will strengthen your weak knees.

The king’s servants DAILY tried to help Mordecai change his mind.  I get the sense that they plead with him.  PLEASE MORDECAI… BOW!  Just do it and get it over with.  It’s not hard.  Our obedience will not only put us in a hard place, but those around us.  Mordecai is breaking the law.  He could fix everything for everyone if he would just do the action required!  The king’s servants who witnessed this are bound by duty and honor to report him, or they will be seen as collaborators.  Perhaps they really need this job… they can’t afford to lose it.  Maybe there is a promotion around the corner for one of them, and they are not willing to risk their entire career and livelihood on Mordecai’s morals.  You cannot expect others to feel equally called to the stand that God has called you to make.  Don’t get mad at other people or other Christians because they go into self preservation mode and don’t stand up for you or with you.  This is your stand, set in your heart by God… make THAT STAND… alone if need be. Don’t shrink back.

I love the fact that Mordecai’s line didn’t move.  He was #unshakable.  Mordecai’s obedience would be costly–obedience always is.  I am reminded of the story I heard from Saeed Abidini just last year after he was released from an Iranian prison for his stand for Christ.  If Saeed would just denounce his faith in Jesus, everything would get a lot better.  He would receive medical treatment for his wounds, he wouldn’t be daily beaten, and he could possibly get released!  Saeed said that daily God would give him the strength to stand in obedience.  #Unshakable #refuse2compromise.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Where is it that God has called you to stand out?  Do you catch yourself saying, “When I have a more important position, I will make a stand, but not here, not now?”  Have you been making a stand but get frustrated because the “Christians” around you don’t seem to be called to the same stand, so you judge them?  Do we want the ease of God’s blessings but not the hardship of obedience?  Where is it that God has called you to be #unshakable?

LIVE IT OUT:  Make your stand where God has called and refuse to compromise.  Bloom where you are planted.  Be #unshakable

___________________________________________________________

If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove it started last week, but it’s not too late to join us!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)


NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 2:9 & 17

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Finding Favor image for KG blogKendra Graham notes from :  

Esther 2:9 :  Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him.

Esther 2:17:  The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor…..

Step 1

THE FACTS:  It took place in the days of King Ahasuerus…

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   Good news for Esther, right? She has found favor…..

Esther has been orphaned…lost both parents!  Where is the favor in that?

Esther is then raised by her cousin/uncle Mordecai…. is he the crazy uncle? Probably… haha  where is the favor in that?

Esther is then “sought” and  “gathered” with other young virgins of the empire.  Where is the favor in that?  Did she want to be taken away from her home and put into a harem?  If she doesn’t win the title of queen, it’s not like she gets to go back home… where is the favor in that?

Did she say in her heart… “#storyofmylife”… figures I would get taken.

One can look at the happenings of Esther two ways… one, she is so lucky! And two, what a terrible series of events for this poor young girl!

What way do you look at Esther’s story?  We have the benefit of knowing the end before the beginning… we can read the whole story and plead with Esther to hold on… it’s all going to be fine in the end! God is going to use you in a HUGE way that the Jewish people will never forget and will always celebrate!

We can’t see the end of our stories though… can we?  We have the promise of Philippians 1:6, “God who began a good work in us will complete it,” but do you believe that?  You see…. real time is a downer.  We can look back and see God’s AWESOME hand of Providence in Esther’s life… but can WE find God’s hand of favor in our lives… right in the middle of it?

Did Esther feel God’s hand of favor or perhaps the opposite of favor?  Do you see God’s hand of favor… or perhaps the opposite?  FINDING the favor is HARD… oh, it’s right there but it literally breaks our heart, and is near impossible to see whilst in the thick of it.  Hear this…do not forget to look back and see the hand of God moving and working, giving peace, strength and wisdom right in the middle of the storm!  Hold on to those promises even if they seem as if they don’t apply to you, at the moment, or any moment…claim Hebrews 13:5 “…for He HAS said, I will NEVER leave you or forsake you!” No man can destroy what God has determined to preserve and protect. Believe it.  This is faith…. believing that which you don’t see (Hebrews 11:1).

The truth is…. we don’t want to see God’s hand of favor in tragedy.  Let’s just be honest about that.  We don’t want to think that God is on the throne and allows tragedy.  We have more questions than answers.  I am sure Esther would agree with you.  I want to argue, however, that it is because of the tragedy and hardship in our lives that we see, we really see, that Jesus is Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.  Why would we ever need such a God… if we never had just that…. tremendous need?

Find the favor of God in your life… look for Him not so much in the easy times… look for Him holding, caring and #delivering you in the tragic ones.  Find it.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Will you seek out God’s hand of favor on your life amidst the tragedy and questions?  Will you seek it until you find it?

Are you in the middle of tragedy and crises this very moment?  Will you seek to find God’s favor in it?

When have you felt that since God did not #deliver you in the way you demanded and in the time you demanded that God does not favor you?

Will you claim God’s faithful character in faith on your life even when your eyes don’t see it?

LIVE IT OUT:  Find God’s hand of favor in your life.

___________________________________________________________

If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove it started last week, but it’s not too late to join us!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)


NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — Esther 1:1a

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 1:1a

“Now it took place in the days of King Ahasuerus….”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  It took place in the days of King Ahasuerus…

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   It took  place in the days of King Ahasuerus…so what does that mean?  What were the days of King Ahasuerus?  King Ahasuerus was better known as Xerxes the great.  Xerxes ruled and reigned over the Persian Empire from 485bc-465bc.  Xerxes was a wicked and cruel leader whose motto was, “One world, one ruler,” and that one ruler was him.

God’s chosen people, the Israelites, find themselves in the midst of the Persian Empire as slaves to Xerxes–like 44% of the world found themselves at that time.  How did they end up there?  What happened to God’s promise to His people about having a land of their own?  God’s people conquer in the book of Joshua, but here in Esther they are conquered.

God’s chosen people were to obey and follow God, and if they did, God would bless them, but if they did not, God would send them into exile to discipline them and bring them back to Him.  Israel obeyed for awhile, but then… they stopped.  God was true to His Word.  King Nebuchadnezzar came in to Jerusalem, and in 536bc, wiped the city out.  Remember, Daniel and his friends were taken and in Daniel 1:1 they firmly decide not to defile themselves… they decide to go vegan before vegan was a trend.  Daniel and his friends were found to be more fit than all the other captives, so they get to keep their diet.  God shows Daniel and his friends favor.  Daniel ends up being a confidant to not only the Babylonian kings, but to the Medes and the Persians as well.  This is unheard of!  #ThefavorofGodisreal.

Daniel is a prophet and tells the people that God will allow them to return to the land of promise after 70 years of captivity.  Darius (Xerxes father) releases God’s chosen people to return back to their land of promise.  Less than 1/4 decide to go back… and now… here we are… the days of King Ahasuerus…

Soooo why did the Israelites not return?  God had CLEARLY called His people to be led by Him to their land given by Him.  Was Persia such a fabulous place?

It’s easy to point our fingers and judge for sure… there was a time in my life when I read this book and did just that… judged them.  I mean seriously… if they had returned like they were supposed to then there would be no need for Esther to risk her life… but no… they are disobedient, stiff necked people.  Yep.  So am I.

Would you have gone back?  I mean, you just got that promotion at work… your kids just got into the best school system… 1st world amenities…to go where?  Last time they heard about Jerusalem it was burned to the ground, completely destroyed.  No indoor plumbing?  Having to boil water over a fire?  What school system was in place there for your kids so they could have a shot at some sort of future?  Yeah… none.  It’s not like they could site visit and then if they didn’t like it, return over the long weekend.  You go–you stay.

Oh… so “God” had called them out?  Well…. where has God been these past 70 years?

God has been SILENT–that’s where God has been.

NOW God wants us to give EVERYTHING up and follow Him?  Trust that His Word is true for me and my family?  Hmmmm…. wow… now that my friend, is quite a gamble isn’t it?  And THAT is where we find ourselves today… not so far off from those Israelites in 536bc.  That very same calling is on our lives… TRUST that God’s Word and His promises are true and will hold…. for me.  There it is.  In the days of Ahasuerus… God’s people found themselves still living in exile… because it was hard to gamble it all on the fact that God is who He says He is.  We don’t know we need to be #delivered until we need to be delivered.  The Israelites needed #deliverance… so in chapter 1 Almighty God was going to work on that.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  SO, what say you?  Has God placed a calling on your life that you have put on the back burner?  When things calm down, when I’m more economically stable, when my kids are out of the house…  What is keeping you from going all in?  What is preventing you from believing and taking God at His Word?  Will God really be faithful to you?

Maybe God has been silent for YEARS… and now… you are to just believe His Word will hold for you in your desperate situation?  Has God allowed a desperate situation in your life so you have no options left on the table except to trust Him?

When has God shaken you to wake you up to your need?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today… help me to surrender the battle I face at the feet of Jesus.  Help my unbelief and #deliver me.

___________________________________________________________

If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove it started last week, but it’s not too late to join us!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)


NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

UPDATE from January 10th study (last week): Friends, we had major technical difficulties with the LIVE streaming.  We are chatting with the tech people at Periscope and Twitter and hope to have it up and ready to go next week.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Please pray this will get figured out.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Psalm 62:12a

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Psalm 62:12a

“And lovingkindness in Thine, O Lord…”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Lovingkindness is Thine, O Lord..

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  

Have you heard the song, “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin?  This is the song rolling around my heart and mind as I review for the Bible study workshop tonight at the Cove.

The word “lovingkindness” in the Hebrew is the word “checed”… this is a word that’s difficult for scholars to define because it has such a deeper meaning than we can articulate.  The closest meaning they have agreed upon is this: “the loving kindness of a father toward his child.”  God moves to us with the love that a father has for his child.

I understand that not all of us had that “perfect” father experience… but the love of God towards us, is just that… the perfect father experience.  God rules with a “fatherly rule.”  The kindness of a father speaks to the motivation and the heart that God has towards us.  God rules with fatherly tenderness.  God rules with the fatherly wisdom of what is best for us… not necessarily what we want or think we are entitled to.   He knows what we need before we even think we need it–before we cry out for help He is there to #deliver us.  He is perfect in all of His ways.  He loves us more than we even accept, so much in fact, that He sacrificed His own life for us, so that we might live. It’s who He is.

God’s love toward us  not only implies love and tenderness, but it implies the fact that He is to be followed, to be listened to, to be surrendered to.

Surrendering to follow our good, good Father is a challenge, isn’t it?  We don’t trust that He has our best in mind.  Often we think God just wants to hurt us…if only He would bend to our every whim, then we would trust Him.

I argue, it is precisely that He does not bend to our every whim which is the reason to trust Him.  Praise God we have a heavenly Father who can see what is for our best! Praise God we serve a God who moves towards us in fatherly tenderness when we don’t deserve it!  Praise God He is a Father who is desperate to spend time with us, walk with us, lead us, and guide us!  God rules from a compassionate heart, He loves you, He loves me!  This is the intimacy of God for us: His hand made creation.

Oh, that through this study, this year, you would find an intimacy with Jesus that you have never known.  We don’t know what challenges 2017 will hold, but what we can be assured of is this:  “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD #delivers him out of all of them!”  Psalm 34:19.  May we run to and find refuge in the arms of our God, full of the lovingkindness of a good, good Father.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Where is God calling you to trust Him?  Do you believe that He wants the best for you?  How has God tried to show you how loved you are by Him?  Do you fight His love or accept it?

LIVE IT OUT:  Determine to spend time with God on a daily basis, in His Word, claiming His character.

___________________________________________________________

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

If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove it starts tonight!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)

Watch, as Kendra shares what you can expect from her study on the book of Esther:

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

UPDATE from January 10th study: Friends, we had major technical difficulties with the LIVE streaming.  We are chatting with the tech people at Periscope and Twitter and hope to have it up and ready to go next week.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Please pray this will get figured out.

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — James 4:8

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  James 4:8

“Draw Near to God and He will draw near to you”  - James 4:8.

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Draw near to God,  He WILL draw near to you.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  New Years is upon us this week!  The ending of the year, but most importantly, the beginning of the next!  Some of us are happy to see 2016 come to a close and some of us are sad — wanting to hold on to moments in time that seem to fade away with the seasons.

New Years is a time of hopeful optimism for most of us, hoping the best is yet to come!  Well, the best is here and it is stated so simply in this verse!  This is one of my most favorite, clear verses in all the Bible!  What hope! What anticipation!  What amazement lies ahead! Draw near to God and He WILL draw near to you!

This verse does not say:  “If you draw near, God MAY draw near to you… it’s a gamble”… Nope! Play the Vegas odds on this one baby! IT’S a SURE thing!  You see, we were created by God, with His hands, in the dirt in the Garden of Eden!  All other creation was created with just a word, but man and woman were different!  Man and woman were hand crafted with the very fingertips of God!  Psalm 139: 13 says, “For You created my innermost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  God created us, each differently, each purposefully, on purpose, with purpose…. so many have heard that, but so few actually believe that!

God created us then to do what?  God created you and I to walk with Him, to know Him and to need Him.  By the way…we HATE the needing part… we hate to need anyone.  Here, in this verse, it says just that.  God is here, pleading, calling, wooing us to spend time with Him, yet often, we turn a deaf ear and refuse to listen.  We don’t like where we have to go to meet God, or we don’t like where He wants to go with us… or we don’t like the way He takes care of things in His time, in His way…. so we prefer to keep our distance.  We have a list of reasons how God is doing it wrong, but we will never spend time seeking out the why’s and the where’s of God’s presence.

The fact is: you are God’s hand-made creation and you mean everything to Him.  Your opinion on that statement will never change the fact of the statement.  So If God wants us to “Draw near” then how do we do it?

1.  Find Time.  Yup.  Start with 5 minutes and go from there.  Hard to do, but essential. (This time is separate from regular church time.)

2.  Open God’s Word and pray, asking God to speak to you.

3.  Do the three question Bible study method that I use in this blog.

  • What does it Say?
  • What Does it Mean?
  • What Does it Mean to me?

Don’t worry about getting through all of these questions on a verse every day if that’s too much.  Tackle one question per day.

4.  Live it out.  As you listen for God to speak in His Word, live out what He nudges your heart to do. Usually God will move your heart to go and do things you would never really think of on your own… or at least nudge you to do things in a way you could not have come up with on your own.  God is alive and active in His Word which never changes.  We need to go to God where He is, not where we think or want Him to be.

This is a process.  This takes time.  This is what it looks like to seek. Seeking takes time, perseverance and fortitude, but God in His Word says that if you do seek Him…. you will find Him!  Jeremiah 29:13: You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart.  It’s the Who we are seeking… not the what we want out of Him.  Many just desire the what… but God…. pleads for you to desire the Who… because He formed you in your mother’s womb, and oh! how He desires to draw near to you!  If we take the steps to draw near to God, I bet we will find that He’s been there the whole time, and we’ll wonder how we missed His presence for so long!

SO THIS YEAR, let’s turn a new leaf!  Let’s BELIEVE God and His Word.  Let’s decide to draw near indeed!  Let’s commit to this for an entire year… then next year at this time… look back and try to count the ways that God Almighty walked with us, spoke to us and #delivered us.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  In the last year, who or what have you been desperate to draw near to?  A better bank account? A certain relationship? A different job?  A family? Status?

In this next year who or what are you looking to draw near to?  What are your ambitions?  What if your ambition was to draw near to God?  What is keeping you from drawing near to God?  Do you have a list?  Have you ever considered laying out your list to God on why you won’t draw near to Him?  Maybe the answers you want from Him are available… but it will require seeking them out?  Are you willing to invest?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today, I will open God’s Word and do the three questions… I intend to hear God speak to me through His Word, then walk as He leads.

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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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If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, here in Asheville beginning in January 2017, we’d love to see you.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)

Watch, as Kendra shares what you can expect from her study on the book of Esther:

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.