Category Archives: Bible Study Community with Kendra Graham

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Acts 1:8

Online

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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Acts 1:8

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:
Verse 8a
: You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you.

Verse 8b: You shall be witnesses to Me.

Verse 8c: In Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

LESSONS:
Verse 8a
:  You and I will receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon us…. so when God calls us to something, it is God who will empower us.  Sometimes it’s easy to think it is up to us to accomplish that vision what God has placed in our hearts. It is God that calls us, God who equips us…. God who empowers us… God always calls us to things and places that are beyond ourselves, and it is in that GAP… that faith and belief are squeezed out of us.  God calls us to things that demand His power to accomplish.

Verse 8b:  We are to be a witness to what Jesus can and will do in the lives of His hand-made creation… we are  witnesses to Jesus… not  witnesses to what we can do, what we want to do, what we  think God should call us to so we look good in the end and save face… we are  witnesses to Him… what Jesus, God with skin on, has done for us! What we do is to reflect Jesus. It is not your show or my show, it’s His show! In the words of that great philosopher Toby Mac… “Jesus, Come and steal my show!” :)

Verse 8c: We are called, we receive power after the call, to be  witnesses to Jesus and who He is, where He calls us and to whom He calls us to.  It is not about where we want to be, where we think you should be, the people we want to minister to,or the ministry we believe we deserve or demand to have,  it is about where God places us.  Often it seems God places us in areas with people we don’t want to be.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 8a:  Have you been trying to do all God’s work for Him?  Trying to help God instead of waiting for His power to come and do it? Remember Abraham tried to help God with the promise of a child and got Ishmael… will you allow God to accomplish what God wants to accomplish or do you have your own agenda of what God’s plan is?

Verse 8b:  Are you more concerned about being a witness to Jesus in all you do, or a witness to your own reputation?  Is it “your” show you want Jesus to bless or do you want to be a blessing and a witness to Him and His grace?

Verse 8c:  Where has God placed you that you may not necessarily want to be, or see any importance in being, yet God has gone out of His way to place you where He wants you?  Will you be faithful to His calling or would you rather be faithful to the calling you believe you deserve?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Ask God today to empower me to be a witness for Him where I am and the places I go in this 24 hour period.
Repeat tomorrow.

Homework: Isaiah 53:6-7

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

In case you missed it, here is part one, two and three of the 3-part video series on Kendra Graham’s Women’s Bible Study. Click here for video message part 1, click here for video message part 2, and click here for video message part 3.

Kendra’s Bible Study… Video Message Part 3 from John 11

climb every mountain

Thank you for joining us!

Here is part 3 of the 3-part video series on Kendra Graham’s Women’s Bible Study. If you missed the previous lessons, click here for video message part 1 and click here for video message part 2.

We have posted the three-questions below the video to coincide with the video content.

After watching the video, instead of sharing your three-questions, Kendra would like you to comment with a sentence or two on the following question:  When have you been asked to believe in order to see?

Please share this post with your friends and family and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss a post!

Click here to watch the video if it does not show up in your browser.

Please open your Bibles to John 11:41-45.

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 11:41-45

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:

Verse 41a:   SO they removed the stone.

Verses 41b-42: Jesus raised His eyes and said, “Father I thank Thee, Thou heardest Me, but because of the people standing around, I said it, that they MAY BELIEVE.

Verse 43:     He cried out with a LOUD voice, “Lazarus come forth.”

Verse 45:     Many beheld what He had done, believed HIM.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow? Meditate on these. Ask God what lesson it is that He wants you to hear or learn.

LESSONS:

Verse 41a: There is glory in the pain of the present and the past; trust Him that He knows what He is doing, and ask Him to use it.

Verse 41b-42: The words of Jesus are already DONE before they are spoken! Know the words of Jesus… because they are TRUE, they are LIFE and they are DONE.

Verse 43:Jesus breathes us out of death to life… from the beginning to the end. Lord! Breathe on me! All authority belongs to Jesus. The faith of Mary and Martha was not misplaced.

Verse 45:God has entrusted me with a testimony that I may or may not particularly like, for His glory. Don’t hold in those times of suffering and heartache; let the grace of God show in your life, don’t hide it!!!!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 41a: IF there be glory in the pain of the present and the past, will you trust Him that He knows what He is doing when He asks you to use it? Would you rather look at and and smell the rot you carry around than give the hardship and suffering to Jesus to redeem?

Verse 41b-42: Do you know there is power in the name and words of Jesus? Is your life lacking power and life because it is lacking Jesus?

Verse 43: What, or who, is your faith in?

Verse 45: What testimony of yours—in your suffering, pain, heartache, your past, your frustrations—does God want to use first of all to show YOU the glory of God (in the stinky stuff) and then show others? God wringing redemption and life out of suffering and death!!!! Do you think something has killed your chances of being a testimony for the glory of God? What do you think now??? DO YOU NOW BELIEVE?????

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Oh, that you would be compelled to BELIEVE because of the relentless Love of a LIVING, LOVING Savior!!!!

Homework: Acts 1:8
(NOTE: We will begin posting Bible study notes and homework every other week on the blog again until next January.)

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

 

Kendra’s Bible Study… Video Message Part 2 from John 11

Glad you are here!

Here is part 2 of the 3-part video series on Kendra Graham’s Women’s Bible Study. If you missed video message part 1, click here to view now.

We have posted the three-questions below the video to coincide with the video content.

After watching the video, instead of sharing your three-questions, Kendra would like you to comment with a sentence or two on the following question:  When have you felt the presence of God in the middle of tears?

Video 3 will be featured next week Tues. March 10.

Please share this post with your friends and family and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss a post!

Click here to watch the video if it does not show up in your browser.

Please open your Bibles to John 11:33-40.

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 11:33-40

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:

Verse 33: When Jesus saw her weeping & the Jews, He was moved in spirit and was troubled.

Verse 34: Where have you laid him? Lord, Come and see.

Verse 35: Jesus wept.

Verse 36: Behold how He loved him!

Verse 37: Some said “Could not this Man who…. also kept this man from dying?”

Verse 39a: Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”

Verse 39b: Lord, there will be a stench.

Verse 40a: Jesus said, “Did I not say to you…”

Verse 40b: “… if you believe you will see the glory of God.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

LESSONS:

Verse 33: We do not pray to a God who does not understand our burdens! Jesus felt the burden of pain, hurt and separation, before He removed it. Jesus compelled… with compassion…to go and face the hurt first, and look at and see the pain death brought to those He loved, then we would do something about this terrible separation of Lazarus in death. True compassion is more than just words. One who truly has compassion will be able to be kept away.

Verse 34: Jesus is broken, hurting and weeping probably for different reasons than the rest of the crowd. The family He loved did not believe His Word that was sent, “It is not unto death”, they buried Lazarus. Four days dead was believed in the Jewish culture to be beyond hope, that person is gone. Jesus asked to see the place of separation where Lazarus is laid, separated by the curtain of death. Here…in death, with our loved ones separated we begin to understand one drop of the pain of separation that God felt that day in the Garden of Eden, when His handmade creation was separated from Him by sin. Jesus drawn to “come and see”us, to live among us… so He can die for us, to fix the separation death brings with it.

Verse 35: Jesus wept. Love sometimes weeps. We serve a God who cares about your tears and weeps with you. Jesus didn’t laugh at the tears; scold the fact there were tears; mock the tears, put her down because of the tears; or chide her for having little faith in her tears. There is NO CONDEMNATION in Christ. The hurt it takes in our lives to see our need for Jesus hurts not just us, but we pray to a God who understands that burden of pain. WE were NOT created to carry that burden…so He came Himself to make it right. Jesus weeps for your heart; your heart cost Him His. Jesus weeps with those who weep.

Verse 36: The love of Jesus is genuine, real tears, real pain, He really loves you and did everything He could to show you His love. This story is about the love of God, not the cruelty. Believe it.

Verse 37: Could not Jesus have healed Lazarus? This is now the question of the multitude. Mary and Martha brought the same question to Jesus. The answer is yes, Jesus could have shielded the ones He loves from the suffering they must endure…Jesus could have shielded Himself from feeling the same pain of the death of Lazarus and the pain of unbelief of those who were closest to Him, and should have by this time, now believed…Jesus was leaving in a week, and those closest to Him still did not believe? Jesus could have shielded them all from it, BUT, it was through this period of suffering that Mary and Martha, the disciples, the multitude and you and I can SEE the personal love of God. God allows things in our life to SQUEEZE the belief out of us…not to prove to Jesus that He is who He said He is, but to prove to YOU that His Word will stand and that YOU believe.

 Verse 39a: REMOVE the thing in the way, in your life preventing God’s glory from being seen. Often that “thing”has been there quite a while and has been rotting…you know what it is.

Verse 39b: Jesus loves stinkers.. He is not surprised at the baggage you have…it does stink, but it has been killing you…Jesus, the Good Shepherd has come to bring LIFE and to bring it more abundantly (John 10)… He did NOT come to make sure your past kills you and rots you from the inside out.

Verse 40a: REMEMBER the words of Jesus…they are words of LIFE

Verse 40b: There is purpose in the pain. The whole point of suffering and pain is to see the glory of God IN it…to see that suffering and dark time redeemed.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 33: Jesus is pursuing you, pleading with you, coming for you, caring for you, do you see Him? How has Jesus showed up in your life? Do you see Jesus as full of compassion or cruelty? Do you have a misunderstanding about God’s love? What do you think God’s love should look like? How should He work? Are you glad in the end you serve a God who’s thoughts are higher than your thoughts and ways are higher than your ways and will not stay away, especially in the hard times when you have questions and pain?

Verse 34: Do you realize God understands the separation death brings more than even you do, so He came, and did something about it? Have you praised God in your weeping because now we can say and believe that death is swallowed up in victory because of the cross?

Verse 35: When were tears shed that you thought no one saw and no one cared about? Did you know Jesus weeps with you and understands that visceral pain of life? Are you weeping? Did you know you do not weep alone?

Verse 36: When will you believe that the love of God is not theoretical, mystical, or magical but real? Will you let the love of God come into your God shaped soul and fill you? All you have to do is believe in Jesus, and ask.

Verse 37: When have we wanted to shield the ones we love from the suffering they must endure? Do you see there is purpose even in the suffering of life and you don’t suffer alone or with a God who doesn’t understand and plead with you to bring it to Him?

Verse 39a: Is there something in your life that God is asking you to move out of the way so that He can work in an amazing way?

Verse 39b: Have we praised God for the fact that He loves our stinky selves full of mistakes, messes and all?

Verse 40a: Are you in the Word of God?

Verse 40b: What do you want? The choice is yours.   Do you want to hold on to the pain, shame and misery so that you have something to raise your fists about to God and so that you can complain about His injustice? OR .. In spite of the pain, are you willing to LOOK for God IN IT, so that you may believe He loves you more than anything? What do you want to see, really?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Oh, that you would be compelled to BELIEVE because of the relentless Love of a LIVING, LOVING Savior!!!!

Homework: John 11:41-45

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

 

Kendra’s Bible Study… Video Message Part 1 from John 11

BGTC stone wall with snow on Feb 24 2015Greetings from beautiful snowy Asheville!  Wherever you are reading this, we hope you stay dry and warm.

For those of you who have been attending our Bible study here at The Cove, in person for the last several weeks, you know that we were snowed out for Kendra’s last session.

After the snow cleared, Kendra came in and video recorded the message she prepared for that last night and we are rolling it out here in our blog in three segments.  The first video focuses on John 11: 1-32.  Please read this scripture before viewing the video.

We have posted the three-questions below the video to coincide with the video content (yes, it is a repeat from last week, but we want to keep current with what’s in the video).

After watching the video, instead of sharing your three-questions, Kendra would like you to comment with a sentence or two on the following question: When has God decided to wait in your life?

Video 2 will be featured next week (Tues. March 3) and video 3 (Tues. March 10).

Please share this post with your friends and family and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss a post!

Click here to watch the video if it does not show up in your browser.

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 11 (Excerpts)

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:

Verse 4:       When Jesus heard it (that Lazarus, the one He loved, was sick) He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.

Verse 6:       When He heard it, He stayed two days longer where He was.

Verse 14:     Jesus said plainly, “Lazarus is dead.”

Verse 15:     “I am glad for YOUR sakes I was not there, so YOU may believe.

Verses 25-26a: “I AM the resurrection and LIFE, he who believes in ME shall LIVE, even if he dies, EVERYONE who loves and believes in ME shall NEVER die.

Verse 26b:   DO YOU BELEIVE?

Verse 27:     She said to Him, “YES, Lord. I have believed You are CHRIST the SON of God even He who comes into the world.”

Verse 32:     When Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, fell at His feet, saying, “Lord, if you had, my brother would not have died.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow? Meditate on these. Ask God what lesson it is that He wants you to hear or learn.

LESSONS:

Verse 4: There is so much more to our suffering in life than “just to kill us,” which is surely what God wants to do, right? How many of us hold this view of God? IF He is good, how can He allow suffering? God allows suffering to show us His goodness. God allowed two sisters to lose a brother, and a brother to lose his life, to show them His love. We have so many misunderstandings about the compassion and love of God. We think God’s love should look like our personal definition of love. God is not bound by our finite thoughts or feelings, and this is a GOOD thing!

Verse 6: Love often waits, not out of hate, evil or power issues, but out oflLove. We do not understand the compassion of a God who loves us with a relentless love. Trust God in the waiting, even if there is excruciating pain associated with that.

Verse 14: We do not serve a God who is unaware of the difficulties and suffering of life. Jesus does not skate over the facts; He sees it how it is, plainly—there is no time to live in denial. The reality of life is hard, and we serve a God who is not ignorant of that.

Verse 15: Our sorrow, suffering and heartache is not in vain. THERE is Purpose in the Pain, which brings hope. Jesus is more concerned with my eternal soul than with my temporary comfort.

Verse 25-26a: Jesus meets you in the middle of the pain and suffering. You never find Jesus hiding out or running from people, did you realize that? Jesus runs to the hard situation here, full of grief, blame, hurt, tension, and feelings of personal abandonment from Mary and Martha… (ever feel that same way about God?) Jesus waited, yes, but now He will weep with His handmade creation. Jesus tells EVERYONE CLEARLY who He is. Everyone WILL have a confrontation with Jesus, what you do with that is your choice. Jesus either is who He said He is and IS the WAY, TRUTH and LIFE, OR Jesus is the worst kind of humanity, a LIAR who has basically played the role of “pied piper” for ages… NOT bringing people to life, but death. There is no in between. If Jesus isn’t the SON OF GOD, then He truly isn’t even a good man or a prophet. Some think that Jesus is being very “exclusive” here… it’s Him or nothing. I see that as very clear. ALL roads DON’T lead to heaven… but the great thing here is that GOD is CLEAR about which One does!

Verse 26b: YOU MUST DECIDE ABOUT JESUS.

Verse 27: The hard times are where our faith turns from being something theoretical to being real. It’s not to stroke the ego of Jesus that Martha needed this moment; this moment is for Martha so that she can see, and know in her heart, what she believes. If you want to know what you truly believe about God, your belief is proven in the challenging and hard moments of life, when challenges force choices out of you. Martha worshipped Jesus IN it. This is what it looks like for faith to travel from being talked about in Sunday school circles to being lived out in your life. Your faith (or lack of it) is forced out, in moments like this.

Verse 32: We all have these statements, don’t we? “Lord, if You had…. then….” In the middle of her questions—her grief—notice Mary does not shake her fist and spew her ideas of justice and the love of God, Mary sees Jesus in it and falls at His feet, worships in the middle of her grief, knowing that just because she lost a brother, it doesn’t change the FACT of who Jesus is. All things are under His feet… even those things that He allows in our lives that we wish He didn’t. Often it is the hard stuff—the stuff for which we have more questions than answers—that brings us to the feet of Jesus.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 4: What do you believe about God? Is He a God who cares less about your suffering and is the cause for it? OR Do you believe God is good and wants to use the suffering for a greater purpose? Are you willing to let God use your suffering to bring Him glory?

Verse 6: Are you waiting for God to move and fix things how and when you think they need to be fixed?

Verse 14: Are you willing to be raw and real in the presence of Jesus? Did you realize that He knows the pain, He can plainly see it, and you can just lay it out to Him and call it what it is?

Verse 15: Are you willing to ask God what He wants to do with your pain?

Verse 25-26a: What will you do with Jesus? Who do you say that He is?

Verse 26b: DO YOU BELIEVE?

Verse 27: What do your actions say about your belief, in those hard situations, the crossroads of your life when you are hemmed in? Do your words and actions agree?

Verse 32: Are you willing to just fall at the feet of Jesus in the middle of your pain and let it out? Do you feel guilty telling God you don’t get it, or if You had….? Isn’t it great that we can just lay out our realness at the feet of Jesus and it is not held against us? What posture do you have in your pain in the presence of Jesus?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Oh, that you would be compelled to BELIEVE because of the relentless Love of a LIVING, LOVING Savior!!!!

Homework: John 11:35-40

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Kendra’s Bible Study…John 11 (Excerpts)

Online(1)

 

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 11 (Excerpts)

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:

Verse 4:       When Jesus heard it (that Lazarus, the one He loved, was sick) He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.

Verse 6:       When He heard it, He stayed two days longer where He was.

Verse 14:     Jesus said plainly, “Lazarus is dead.”

Verse 15:     “I am glad for YOUR sakes I was not there, so YOU may believe.

Verses 25-26a: “I AM the resurrection and LIFE, he who believes in ME shall LIVE, even if he dies, EVERYONE who loves and believes in ME shall NEVER die.

Verse 26b:   DO YOU BELEIVE?

Verse 27:     She said to Him, “YES, Lord. I have believed You are CHRIST the SON of God even He who comes into the world.”

Verse 32:     When Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, fell at His feet, saying, “Lord, if you had, my brother would not have died.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow? Meditate on these. Ask God what lesson it is that He wants you to hear or learn.

LESSONS:

Verse 4: There is so much more to our suffering in life than “just to kill us,” which is surely what God wants to do, right? How many of us hold this view of God? IF He is good, how can He allow suffering? God allows suffering to show us His goodness. God allowed two sisters to lose a brother, and a brother to lose his life, to show them His love. We have so many misunderstandings about the compassion and love of God. We think God’s love should look like our personal definition of love. God is not bound by our finite thoughts or feelings, and this is a GOOD thing!

Verse 6: Love often waits, not out of hate, evil or power issues, but out oflLove. We do not understand the compassion of a God who loves us with a relentless love. Trust God in the waiting, even if there is excruciating pain associated with that.

Verse 14: We do not serve a God who is unaware of the difficulties and suffering of life. Jesus does not skate over the facts; He sees it how it is, plainly—there is no time to live in denial. The reality of life is hard, and we serve a God who is not ignorant of that.

Verse 15: Our sorrow, suffering and heartache is not in vain. THERE is Purpose in the Pain, which brings hope. Jesus is more concerned with my eternal soul than with my temporary comfort.

Verse 25-26a: Jesus meets you in the middle of the pain and suffering. You never find Jesus hiding out or running from people, did you realize that? Jesus runs to the hard situation here, full of grief, blame, hurt, tension, and feelings of personal abandonment from Mary and Martha… (ever feel that same way about God?) Jesus waited, yes, but now He will weep with His handmade creation. Jesus tells EVERYONE CLEARLY who He is. Everyone WILL have a confrontation with Jesus, what you do with that is your choice. Jesus either is who He said He is and IS the WAY, TRUTH and LIFE, OR Jesus is the worst kind of humanity, a LIAR who has basically played the role of “pied piper” for ages… NOT bringing people to life, but death. There is no in between. If Jesus isn’t the SON OF GOD, then He truly isn’t even a good man or a prophet. Some think that Jesus is being very “exclusive” here… it’s Him or nothing. I see that as very clear. ALL roads DON’T lead to heaven… but the great thing here is that GOD is CLEAR about which One does!

Verse 26b: YOU MUST DECIDE ABOUT JESUS.

Verse 27: The hard times are where our faith turns from being something theoretical to being real. It’s not to stroke the ego of Jesus that Martha needed this moment; this moment is for Martha so that she can see, and know in her heart, what she believes. If you want to know what you truly believe about God, your belief is proven in the challenging and hard moments of life, when challenges force choices out of you. Martha worshipped Jesus IN it. This is what it looks like for faith to travel from being talked about in Sunday school circles to being lived out in your life. Your faith (or lack of it) is forced out, in moments like this.

Verse 32: We all have these statements, don’t we? “Lord, if You had…. then….” In the middle of her questions—her grief—notice Mary does not shake her fist and spew her ideas of justice and the love of God, Mary sees Jesus in it and falls at His feet, worships in the middle of her grief, knowing that just because she lost a brother, it doesn’t change the FACT of who Jesus is. All things are under His feet… even those things that He allows in our lives that we wish He didn’t. Often it is the hard stuff—the stuff for which we have more questions than answers—that brings us to the feet of Jesus.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 4: What do you believe about God? Is He a God who cares less about your suffering and is the cause for it? OR Do you believe God is good and wants to use the suffering for a greater purpose? Are you willing to let God use your suffering to bring Him glory?

Verse 6: Are you waiting for God to move and fix things how and when you think they need to be fixed?

Verse 14: Are you willing to be raw and real in the presence of Jesus? Did you realize that He knows the pain, He can plainly see it, and you can just lay it out to Him and call it what it is?

Verse 15: Are you willing to ask God what He wants to do with your pain?

Verse 25-26a: What will you do with Jesus? Who do you say that He is?

Verse 26b: DO YOU BELIEVE?

Verse 27: What do your actions say about your belief, in those hard situations, the crossroads of your life when you are hemmed in? Do your words and actions agree?

Verse 32: Are you willing to just fall at the feet of Jesus in the middle of your pain and let it out? Do you feel guilty telling God you don’t get it, or if You had….? Isn’t it great that we can just lay out our realness at the feet of Jesus and it is not held against us? What posture do you have in your pain in the presence of Jesus?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Oh, that you would be compelled to BELIEVE because of the relentless Love of a LIVING, LOVING Savior!!!!

Homework: John 11:35-40

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…John 18:1-12

Online(1)

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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 18:1-12

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:

Verse 1: When Jesus had spoken these words, He went where there was a garden into which He & His disciples entered.

Verse 2: Judas was betraying Him, knew the place

Verse 3: Judas, the Roman cohort, and officers from the chief priests & Pharisees came with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

Verse 4: Jesus, knowing ALL things coming, went forth and said, “Whom do you seek?”

Verse 5: Jesus the Nazarene. He said to them, “I AM He.” Judas standing with them

 Verse 6: When He said… they drew back and fell to the ground.

Verse 7: Again, He asked “Whom do you seek?” They said, “Jesus, the Nazarene”

Verse 8: Jesus answered, “I told you, I AM He, if you seek Me, let these go.”

Verse 9: that the word be fulfilled, “Of those whom Thou hast given Me, I lost no one.”

Verse 10: Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, cut off his right ear.

Verse 11: a.) Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword in the sheath; b.) the cup My father has given Me, shall I not drink?”

Verse 12: The Roman cohort, the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

LESSONS:

Verse 1: Be driven to your knees to gain courage to stand.

Verse 2: God’s plan is not always what we want it to be. The devastating hurt of betrayal was part of God’s perfect will. God’s will is just that…. God’s will. God is Trustworthy. These are the challenging times that force choices out of us—believe Him! Even in this…even in this.

Verse 3: What others mean for evil… God turns around for good. This world will show its power against Jesus; however, “These things I have spoken to you so that IN ME you may have peace. In the world you WILL have tribulation, BUT TAKE COURAGE I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus overcomes the world HERE…REDEMPTION will prevail.

Verse 4: Jesus—knowing EVERYTHING that was coming—didn’t run from God’s will, even when it was going to be overwhelming suffering. He ran to it…. Jesus went FORTH, compelled with compassion, “splagchizoma,” deep in His soul for you.

Verse 5: Jesus doesn’t run away. The decision was made before the beginning of time. Compelled to stand His ground, proclaim His name. No need for the traitor to beat the bushes and drag out the Rabbi by His tunic. No need even for Judas to kiss Jesus to show who He was. Jesus, compelled for the sake of His name to step up and proclaim who He is! He is I AM.

Verse 6: Bowled backward at the name of Jesus and the power of His Word. This would give them room for pause and space for repentance. “At the NAME OF JESUS every knee will bow” (Philippians 2:10). Jesus is a confrontation that we all must face.

Verse 7: “Whom do you seek?” The crowd has been given grace here, another pause to reconsider the action they are about to take. Jesus, still relentless for His handmade creation, gives us a choice.   All authority is under the feet of Jesus, period.

Verse 8: Jesus is not overwhelmed by the mob, He is in charge! Commands them to let disciples go.

Verse 9: The Word of Jesus is strong, powerful, and faithful! Jesus’s Word WILL be done. AS He speaks it, it is so, it is done, it is completed! We can take the Word of Jesus to the bank. It is valid, true and will always be proven. Why do we not live our lives believing and trusting God’s Word as if it is already done?

Verse 10: Your compassion to “help” Jesus and protect Jesus can often collide with His plan.

Verse 11: a.) We often do things because the heart behind it is right; we want to help because we love Jesus, so we try to “fix” things, to bring justice to the situation, and what we end up doing is making a bigger mess. Don’t try to shield the people you love from the pain and suffering they must endure. God is at work. Now is where belief becomes real. b.) Jesus shows total submission to the Father—trust—there is no pro/con list to be made. If the Father hands me this cup, I will drink all of it, even if it is sour; I trust Him that much.

Verse 12: Jesus could have walked away unscathed… all He would have had to do was keep saying His name, “I AM,” thus keeping the mob on the ground. BUT God… compelled His own love toward us in that while we were STILL ENEMIES (in the mob), Christ DIED FOR US. (Romans 5:8) Jesus allowed Himself to be bound, for you and for me. Sometimes it is the will of God for you and me to be bound.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 1: Where has God called you to stand? What has God put before you that may go against all your logic, will and desire? When have you been strengthened by prayer? If you are not praying, why is that? What is keeping you from the throne of God? Fear? Unbelief?

Verse 2: What challenging situations have you experienced in your life—or are experiencing this very minute— that put your belief or lack of belief to the test? What will you do? What do you really believe? What do your actions say you believe?

Verse 3: Have the hard things in this world, and the cruelty in this world driven you to Jesus or away from Him?

Verse 4: Are you willing to be blessed and broken for the glory of God? Are you willing to do great things for God, even if they involve suffering?

Verse 5: Do you believe Jesus is who He said He is?

Verse 6: What happens in your heart and life when you hear the name of Jesus? Do you stand defiant with fists raised? Or in awe with knees bent? Who do you say Jesus is?

Verse 7: What will you do with Jesus? What is your choice?

Verse 8: When things feel like they are spiraling out of control in your life and the world, isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus is in charge?

Verse 9: Do you know the Word of God? What is God’s Word for you? Do you care? What is the evidence that you care one way or the other?

Verse 10: When have you thought you knew better, and you went ahead with your instincts instead of waiting to see what Jesus had for you? How did that work out?

Verse 11: When has suffering in your life or in the life of someone you know produced a closeness with God in the end; but during the dark time, it was so hard to let them go and allow God to work through it? Did you ever think that suffering is something God would want to use in your life for His glory? “The suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 b). Am I just wanting Jesus for the good and easy times, or am I willing to be poured out like a drink offering for His name’s sake?

Verse 12: Have you ever thought about the possibility that God’s will is for you to be bound…. in a bad marriage, in a disease, in a job, in a house with little kids, in a city you don’t like….? We naturally try to get out of everything that hurts, but have we ever considered that God needs us to trust Him—even through the suffering, so that He can show us Himself in a greater way?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

God with skin on, Jesus, is relentless for me… oh that God would instill that same relentless drive in me for Him.

Homework: John 11:38-45

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Matthew 14:13-21

Online(1)

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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Matthew 14:13-21

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:

Verse 13: When Jesus heard it, He withdrew to a lonely place.

Verse 14: When He went ashore, He saw a GREAT multitude, felt compassion, healed their sick.

Verse 15: Evening, the disciples came to Him. “This place is desolate, send the multitude away that they may go and buy food for themselves.”

Verse 16: They do not need to go away, you give them something.

Verse 17: They said, “we have only….”

Verse 18: He said, “Bring to me”

Verse 19: He took 5 loaves & 2 fish; Looking to heaven, He blessed the food, breaking the loaves, gave to disciples, and disciples gave to multitude.

Verse 20: They ate and were satisfied; they picked up left-over pieces, 12 baskets full.

Verse 21: There were 5000 men who ate aside women & children.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

LESSONS:

Verse 13: Jesus hears of the death of His first cousin, John, and He is broken over it and wants to get away. Issues and situations in your life are real, your pain is real, your brokenness is real… none of that is theoretical, it’s raw, it’s life. Jesus understands the pain that life deals us. God, with skin on, felt the searing pain of loss.

Verse 14: (Jesus’s actions) These hurting people had no idea of the current pain and brokenness of the One they sought out. Jesus’ heart was heavy with sorrow, depression and pain, YET GOD….was compelled for HIS HANDMADE CREATION. GOD does NOT hide His face from the very people He came to save!!!! AMEN AMEN AMEN. Jesus, still is compelled to fight for, seek after and plead for you!!!!

(The multitude’s actions) IN the middle of THEIR hurt condition, in the middle of THEIR pain, in the middle of their own brokenness… THEY went couch to 5K to seek the presence of Jesus. THEY went to that desolate place too! If that is where Jesus is… then boy howdy, we need to be there too! Perhaps Jesus is just trying to get you alone without distraction to a lonely place which is not so lonely if He is there…..

Verse 15: Often we like to inform and remind God that where we are is just really not meeting our needs in the way we think we deserve or need at the moment. We never like to stay in the wilderness… it’s uncomfortable physically, emotionally and mentally. Cool thing here, though: don’t miss the fact that we can bring our questions, hopes and desires to Jesus. He totally gets us…. be driven by grace… just let your heart show… these are moments that God can really begin to mold that God-shaped soul into His image. Don’t pretend you are all down with and happy that you are in the middle of nowhere and starving to death. Be willing to stay in that desolate place as long as Jesus is there, and speak up… let Him know you are hungry, then see what He does FOR YOU! He won’t be shocked. He knows you need food…. FYI.

Verse 16: When you bring your honest questions to Jesus like He pleads for us to do, listen and wait for His response to the problem… not what you think His response should be.

Verse 17: #Blessedarethepoorinspirit It is OK to remind Jesus of your poverty. This is more for the disciples here than Jesus. It is ok to state the facts the way you see them. Be confident of this very thing… we will always see our lack and need, this is why we must stay close to Jesus, He has a different perspective. He is Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace… HE HAS GOT this! He’s got you, in those same hands that hand crafted you!

Verse 18: What I have is NOTHING (call it what it is!) and severely deficient, but in the hands of Jesus, that changes drastically! We don’t like to show our emptiness… we fight against it.

Verse 19: The #blessed by Jesus are the #broken.

Verse 20: The world will break you… broken and repurposed though… now that is HOPE my friend!!! Just think! It was the pieces that fed the crowd. The bread could not stay in “loaf” form and satisfy such a crowd. Jesus’s body was broken for us so that we could come into His presence in our brokenness, in our desolate place, and we can be satisfied. Oh that we would be willing to be broken. We need to change our lens… we have been looking at it wrong all this time! #broken&blessed #satisfactioninChrist #BlessedAreThoseWhoHunger&Thirst #relentless&compelled

Verse 21: Perhaps that testimony of brokenness that you have worked so hard to hide, in God’s hands would bring multitudes to Him, if the pieces were just allowed to be in His hands, instead of yours. Think of how many more were fed from those leftovers (if you think about it… we are still feeding on those leftovers from that day!) Oh! That your testimony of emptiness and brokenness will feed generations to come! You have NO IDEA what God will do. What do you have? A handful of brokenness can go an awfully long way. #broken&blessed

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 13: Do you realize that you can pour out the hurt of life to Jesus and He understands not because He is God, but because He walked it and lived it out? Do you see how you were created to need Him? Who better to be driven with to a lonely place than Jesus?

Verse 14: Where or to whom do you take your brokenness first? Church? Pastor? Spouse? Friend? Counselor? Or the Savior who died for it to redeem it? Do you fight against going to “that” desolate place with Jesus?

Verse 15: Are you willing to stay in that desolate place until Jesus either moves Himself or moves you personally?

Verse 16: Do you badger and question Jesus almost daily with the same thing, refusing to let it go until He answers it in the way you think He should? Perhaps Jesus has answered your prayer and questions, but the answer makes no sense, so you have disregarded it.

Verse 17: Are you ok with telling Jesus, “I don’t get it”? Or do you think you always have to pretend you completely understand and know everything?

Verse 18: Are you willing to let go of what you do have and place it in the hands of Jesus, or do you give what you have with rules and regulations on what can be used and what cannot? Often it’s the “stuff” on the “cannot” list that feeds the multitudes… Are you really wanting to see Jesus work, or would you rather see you work?

Verse 19: Why do you fight against your brokenness all the time? Why do you try to look so “together” constantly when it is really the brokenness that ministers and shows the compassion of God on such a greater scale than you could ever imagine?

Verse 20: Are you willing to be broken and repurposed in the hands of God? Or are you going to hold on to those pieces, continuing to break them off into tinier shards that hurt instead of heal?

Verse 21: What do you have? Do you realize in the hands of God, satisfaction and contentment is continuous, overwhelming, and fulfilling? Are you missing everything you were created for (Created to walk with God, know God because you are created to need God) because you hold the pieces of your life?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Little is much in the hands of God. What you have is SAFE in the hands of God. Give him what he wants in your life today…. then tomorrow….

Homework: John 18:1-12

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 15:11-32

Online(1)

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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Luke 15:11-32

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verses 11 & 12: A man had two sons; the younger said, “Father give me the share that falls to me.” He divided his wealth between them.

 Verse 13: The younger gathered everything, went into a distant country, and squandered his estate with loose living.

 Verse 14: When he spent everything, a severe famine hit and he began to be in need.

 Verse 15: He attached himself to a citizen of that country, he sent him to feed swine.

 Verse 16: He was longing to fill his stomach; no one was giving anything to him.

 Verses 17-19: He came to his senses and he said, “My father’s men have more than enough; I will get up, go to my father and say, ‘I have sinned; I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me as one of your hired men.’ ”

 Verse 20: He came to his father. While he was a long way off, his father saw him, felt compassion for him, ran, embraced him, and kissed him,

Verse 21: The son said, “I have sinned, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

Verses 22 & 23: The father said, “Bring out the best robe, put it on him, put a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf, let us eat and be merry.”

Verse 24: “This son of MINE was dead, and has come to life AGAIN. He was LOST and has been found.”

Verses 25 & 26: His older son came, approached the house, heard music and dancing, summoned a servant and began inquiring.

Verse 27 & 28a: Your brother has come, your father has killed the fattened calf, and he has received him back safe and sound. He became angry, not willing to go in.

Verse 28b: His father came out and began entreating him.

Verses 29 & 30: He answered, “LOOK! For years I have been serving YOU, I NEVER neglected a command, YET YOU NEVER GAVE ME…. BUT WHEN this son of YOURS came…. YOU…. for HIM!

Verse 31: He said, “My child, you have always been with Me, all that is mine is yours.”

Verse 32: We had to rejoice this brother of YOURS was dead and has begun to live, was lost and has been found.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verses 11 & 12: This story is for church people, given by Jesus. Jesus uses words and stories that we as church people can understand and relate to. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) “The words of the reckless pierce like swords.” Proverbs 12:18. It matters to God what my heart proclaims to Him in His presence.

Verse13: The younger son grew up in His presence; having head knowledge of His Father’s Word, and His character. The son desired all the presents of the Father, but none of His presence. The son was intentional about leaving; thus despising and hurting the Father on purpose.

Verse 14: Often God allows you to have exactly what you beg and manipulate for.

Verse 15: We will never come to God so long as we are trying to fix the situation or clean ourselves up first. We will end up dirtier in the end.

Verse 16: People will always fail you, even people from a far country. You will always fail you. You were not created with the ability to save yourself. You are created to need your Heavenly Father. The wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23).

Verses 17-19: You never come to Jesus until all other options are off the table; even then, the personal schemes to be accepted back continue (He came to HIS senses, still depending on himself! Don’t miss that). You cannot earn forgiveness, even with self-deprecation for the rest of your life. It will never be enough.

Verse 20: You come to God in humility, only to look up and see the reckless love of a compassionate God running full force towards you already, embracing you, not because of what you have done, where you have been, or what you are going to promise to do in return to make up for all of it…The Father embraces you because of who you are, and you are His handmade creation and you mean everything to Him! (While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8) At this point you realize you know that YOU know His arms stretch further than your soul could ever fall. #compellingcompassion

Verse 21: BECAUSE of the reckless love of the Father… your great plan to redeem yourself through self-imposed slavery, falls off, realizing your great plan fell so short, that all you can do is repent at His feet…. satisfied, complete, and overwhelmed in His arms which never let you go in the first place. #compellingcompassion #recklesslove

Verses 22 & 23: The Father FREELY gives you: His forgiveness, His robe, His ring, His shoes, His food, His personal status in society at the EXPENSE of His life. His compassion cost me nothing, but took everything from Him, and He did it without regret or hesitation.

Verse 24: You are claimed by God! He knows you better than you know yourself, and still He purchases you AND CLAIMS you with pride and joy!

Verses 25 & 26: We are intrigued by what brings joy to the Father.

 Verses 27 & 28a: It is easy to get mad when underserving people receive forgiveness and renewed status. If you live a good life, you deserve a good life, right? If you live a bad life, you deserve punishment, or at the very least a penance to work off. Often it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking… GOD owes me. EVEN All of our good works, cannot pay off the debt we owe. (ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23) Even the SUPER GOOD rule followers who have never messed up!

Verse 28b: The Father pleads for the soul of the self-righteous. Challenges force choices… even for a saint of saints.

Verse 29: Extreme “goodness” can keep me from the presence of God just as much as extreme “badness.” (All our righteous acts are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6)

Verse 30: The older brother is just as resentful of the Father’s presence as the younger son was. OFTEN saints “stay close” and “Follow ALL the rules,” careful to never disobey (or if they do, blame another for it), NOT for the joy of God’s presence, but to prove they are more deserving than anyone of God’s presents. To prove we deserve the position of honor, the high commanding status, the robe, the ring and the sandals of the King. All the while this way of thinking proves the wickedness of their hearts. (The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9)

Verse 31: Often we miss what we have right in front of our face. Don’t miss the fact that joy, fullness and contentment are found in the Presence of God, not in His presents.

Verse 32: Don’t miss everything you were created for! You were created to know God and walk with God because you were created to need God. Life begins when you realize this and thus walk accordingly. Jesus, compelled by a relentless love for you.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verses 11 & 12: What are you looking for out of God? (Might as well be honest here… God already knows.)

Verse 13: Did you grow up in the church, know better, but you still left God anyway, for no other reason but that you wanted to and there were things you felt you deserved to experience and have, with or without Him? Have you been satisfied knowing all about God (Oh God) but never really wanting to know Him on a personal level (My God)?

Verse 14: When has God allowed you to have exactly what you wanted only to end up wishing He hadn’t in the end?

Verse 15: What are you desperately trying to fix or clean up before coming to God?

Verse 16: Has there ever been a time when you tried everything in your power to change and yet you ended up worse in the end, but still refused to go back to God? (A marriage, an addiction, anger…)

Verses 17-19: How have you tried to earn forgiveness? By making yourself feel bad for the rest of your life? By carrying around guilt for everyone to see? By beating yourself up at every opportunity to make yourself feel better? When will you give up the notion that you can feel bad enough or hate yourself enough to deserve the acceptance of the Father?

Verse 20: Will you allow the arms of a relentlessly compassionate Father to love you in spite of you?

Verse 21: Will you accept the gift of undeserved, unearned grace and let your notion of paying your own debt go? What can you do to make yourself worthy of it anyway?

Verses 22 & 23: Will you allow the Father to extend to you the forgiveness which He has rightfully purchased on your behalf with His blood and lavish all that is His on you, or will you choose to grip your guilt, rejecting all the Father died to give you?

Verse 24: Are you constantly allowing yourself to be defined by your sin, or by your Savior? Will you allow your Savior to take His joy in claiming you?

Verses 25 & 26: Are you intrigued or frustrated by what brings joy and a festive spirit to God?

Verses 27 & 28a: Have you ever been perturbed by the fact that the returning sinner, an irresponsible saint, gets all the attention and credit, when you have rightfully earned and worked for recognition your entire life? Have you never been recognized for your faithfulness to the church, to Bible studies, to the rules, to your job, and that really angers you? (Again, might as well be honest here… God already knows.)

Verse 28b: When have you been lost as lost can be in your own self-righteousness? Have you missed the fact that the Father is pleading even for the “good” ones to put down their good morals and good works, to “Come, Follow Me.”? Did you ever realize that even the best saint of saints is in desperate need of a Savior?

Verse 29: Have you been separated from God trying to prove your worth by your perfection?

Verse 30: Did you realize your good works are soiled with false, self-serving motives just as much as the one who has committed nothing but bad works?

Verse 31: Have you been satisfied knowing all about God (Oh God), being right next to Him, His Word, His church, your entire life, but never really wanting to know Him on a personal level (My God)? Have you been struggling to live up to a theoretical concept of God instead of enjoying the reality of a relationship with God?

Verse 32: What will you choose? Don’t you want to know this God you were created to walk with and need?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Whether good or bad, I am in need of a Savior full of Grace and love. Look for the love of a relentless God on my behalf today. Identify if and when I have been the younger brother, and if and when I have been the older brother. Then, bask in the grace of a loving God. Oh that He will strengthen my grip on His grace and mercy to me.

Homework: Matthew 14:13-21

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Kendra’s Bible Study…John 4:3-10

Online(1)

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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 4:3-10

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verses 3 & 4: He left Judea, and HE HAD to pass through Samaria.

Verse 5: He came to a city in Samaria, Sychar.

Verse 6: Jacob’s well was there, Jesus was wearied & sitting, it was about the 6th hour.

Verse 7: There came a woman of Samaria to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink”.

Verse 8: The disciples had gone to buy food.

Verse 9: The Samaritan woman said, “How is it that you being a Jew ask me for a drink, I am Samaritan woman.”

Verse 10: Jesus: “If you knew the Gift who says, “Give Me drink” you would ask, you would ask Him & He would give living water.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verses 3 & 4: God with skin on, Jesus, who had eternity to plan out His steps, stops everything that He had to do, and specifically, on purpose, is compelled to go to a scandalous place with one person in mind. Jesus goes to extremes personally for me and for you.   Grace is personal. God meets us where we are.

Verse 5: “Sychar”means purchased. This place was purchased by Jacob, re-purchased by blood through Joshua’s conquest, and now, personally purchased by the scandalous grace of a Savior. Jesus- compelled to purchase YOU, His handmade creation with His own blood. (Romans 5:8-9)

Verses 6, 7a: Jacob’s well was there: A place can “look”religious, it is not by association that we gain eternal life, but by a personal relationship with Jesus. A personal decision must be made. Wearied & sitting, it was the 6th hour: It was noon. Not a time for anyone to be coming to meet any need, yet, there came a woman. There was something very wrong with this picture. Only a shunned woman would come at noon to the well. Someone avoiding all others at all costs. This would be a clue to anyone else…stay away from this one, yet Jesus, came specifically for this shunned woman, compelled for her to the point of His bone weariness. Jesus goes to all lengths to chase us and meet us right in the middle of it all. We can avoid others, but not Jesus. AMEN!

Verse 7b: To draw water: This woman came with an empty water bucket. This woman was a picture of a scarred, empty person. Coming in the cloak of daylight, to avoid being seen, avoid being reminded of who she is. Often it’s when we are completely empty and needy that we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who thirst …

Verse 7c: Jesus said to her, “give Me…”: It’s not about what you do, have done, or where you have been…it’s about who you are.  You are God’s handmade creation and you mean everything to Him. Your messy life, bad choices, and even your self righteousness cannot keep Jesus from coming, calling and pleading with you to trust Him with your wounded story. Jesus is not afraid of the baggage we bring to the table. He came for it, oh that you and I would give Him that which He came to take!

Verse 8: Jesus will go to any lengths to get us alone with Him, without distraction.

Verse 9: We are often surprised by the grace of a loving God toward us. Other people, we expect to receive God’s grace and favor…just not me.

Verse 10: One shunned, scarred, shamed, solitary, scandalous person is not too small a multitude for Jesus to be compelled to seek out. We are bid to ask Jesus for His gift just as we are. No cleaning up, no changing life first. Often we are more comfortable holding on to our guilt than His grace. Jesus bidding us to ask Him to change everything! God wants to meet your needs. He died to do it!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verses 3 & 4: Have you thought that you are too incidental a person to grab the attention of God? When has God extended personal grace to you? Are you in need of personal grace at this moment?

Verse 5: Do you realize how dear a personal price God Himself paid for your soul? Have you forgotten that you are precious enough to have been personally purchased by God?

Verses 6 & 7: Have you been religious in your faith, but not personal? Have you been content with knowing about God, “Oh God”, yet haven’t spent the time to know “My God?” Who do you say Jesus is?

Verse 7b: What is in your water pot? Is it full of the world? Empty and wanting? Full of Jesus? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Jesus… what/who are you thirsty for? Where has your emptiness led you?

Verse 7c: What baggage do you bring to the well? What baggage are you not quite ready to trust a relentless, compassionate, compelled Savior with?

Verse 8: When has Jesus gone out of His way to get you alone with Him? Why do we tend to avoid being alone with God? Is it is easier to go to church or Bible study with others than it is to be alone, just you and God?

Verse 9: When have you been surprised by the personal gift of God’s grace to you? How is He stirring your heart even now? Have you forgotten the depths of God’s grace that you have received?

Verse 10: Are you willing to ask God for the gift of grace that He extends to you, personally, in the state you are in? Do you realize there is nothing you can ever do to make your scars, wounds and shame more pretty or clean? Are you so thankful for your bruised story and personal scars, because it shows your desperate need for a Savior? Will you hold on to personal guilt or God’s exceptional grace?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Allow the Word of God to fill you. Allow God’s exceptional grace to cover you today. Give that piece of baggage that you have kept hidden in the closet for years, if He wants it.

Homework: Luke 15:11-32

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 5:27-32

Online(1)

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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Luke 5:27-32

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 27a: He went out, noticed a tax-gatherer named Matthew and said…

Verse 27b:Follow Me.

Verse 28:He left everything behind, rose & began to follow him.

Verse 29: Matthew gave a reception for Him (Jesus) in his house there were tax-gatherers, sinners, reclining at table with them.

Verse 30:Pharisees grumbling at disciples, “Why eat & drink with sinners?”

Verse 31:Jesus answered: “It is not those well who need physician, but those sick.”

Verse 32:“I have not come to call righteous but sinners to repentance.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 27a: Jesus comes for you on purpose. Jesus knows where you are, where to find you and comes to speak to you. You are not overlooked, it is not a mistake you are reading this now.

 Verse 27b: Jesus is compelled to come because you were created to walk with Him, know Him and need Him. The call of Jesus to you is always the same, “Come and follow Me.” The choice is left up to you. All through the Bible are choices that must be made.

 Verse 28: Jesus changes the direction of your life. You can’t follow Jesus and stay where you are.

Verse 29: (tax-collectors & sinners) You only come to Jesus when you know you can’t help yourself. Jesus is not ashamed to be associated with messy people.

Verse 30: There will be things and people in your life constantly trying to divide your loyalty and keep you from walking with and knowing Jesus. It is the realization of desperate need in your life that drives you to Jesus.

Verse 31: Blessed are the poor in spirit! The power of hope rests in the presence of Jesus.

 Verse 32: The Gospel! Jesus came for this: To fix the gap sin created that is keeping Him from His handmade creation. So of course Jesus goes to the destitute, the desperate, and the needy; those who are not denying the current status their souls are in. To follow Jesus demands your personal repentance.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 27a: Have you realized how many times God has gone out of the way to show you that you matter, yet you have missed it? Do you realize just being here now, studying God’s Word in this particular spot is not an accident?

Verse 27b: If Jesus came to fix that gap between you and a loving God who wants to walk with you and know you, are you walking with Him? What choice have you made regarding Jesus in your life?

 Verse 28: Do you just want Jesus to bless you here and now in the way you want and in the place you want or are you willing to follow Him to where He wants you to go? Do you realize that the blessing is being in His presence not His presence fixing everything the way you want?

Verse 29: Have you ever been so desperate, that you had everything else taken off the table and your only option was to go to Jesus? Have you realized the blessing of that neediness?

 Verse 30: Is the opinion of someone or the words of someone else keeping you from running to or staying with Jesus?

Verse 31: Have you ever worshipped and praised God in a state of desperation and neediness? Did you realize that maybe God has allowed this period of struggle and darkness to allow you to see how much in need of Him you really are?

Verse 32: Are you willing to turn from the pit you are in, let go of the rights you have to be there and follow Jesus?

LIVE IT OUT!

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Desperation and neediness is a blessing. Remember those times and thank God for them. Determine to listen and then follow where God leads me today.

Homework:  JOHN 4:7-15 EXTRA CREDIT: JOHN 4:1-42

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!