Tag Archives: Kendra Graham Bible Study

Kendra Graham’s Bible Online Bible Study – Acts 16:23-25

Kendra Blog Title

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

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

Kendra Graham notes from Acts 16:23-25

“When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;  (24) and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. (25) But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:23-25

Step 1

THE FACTS:
(Verse23) struck with many blows, threw into prison, (verse 24) fastened feet in stock, (verse 25) Paul and Silas were praying and singing to God, prisoners were listening.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:
Recently, some of the information about what happened behind closed doors to Saeed Abidini has come out in interviews in the media. I had the honor of spending a day with the Abidini family not so long ago. It overwhelms me when I hear the horrible atrocities that Saeed had to endure. Saeed was beaten so badly one day that he was unable to sleep for 20 hours, he was in so much pain. What did Saeed do? He prayed for his captures, his family, the other prisoners and praised God. This blows my mind. How is this humanly possible? Answer, it isn’t.

How often do we read these stories, especially the one of Paul and Silas in prison, and we tell it with such gusto each and every VBS season, how God shook the prison and set the captives free, and they sang in prison and it was great! It is great… but when you hear of a beating first hand, of someone you know, and you look in their eyes, and you see the scars, and you hear of the torture… it is almost something you don’t want your children to hear or ever know about.

It’s sobering. It’s frightening.

At least it is to me. Perhaps you have a greater faith than me and would step up with gusto to endure such cruelty. I tend to have an easier time bringing questions to God about the whole situation. I did not listen to Saeed’s story and break out with a hymn of praise as he was describing the beatings. Tears were welling up in my eyes and my heart was heavy. That was me, don’t get that confused with how Saeed was.

Saeed had the most peaceful look upon his face, as if he was remembering those moments in the dark with Jesus. Saeed is not bitter or angry, instead he is grateful that God entrusted him with such a story of grace. There were others in the prison who needed to hear Saeed’s prayer and praise. There were others, an American, who needed his encouragement. There were prison guards who needed to know that Jesus saves, and gives strength to the weak.

Saeed said that while in prison, the presence of God was so permeated that you could not miss it if you tried. God was so close to him, and His presence so real to him in this time that he could not help but praise His name. Saeed was pressured to turn his face away from Jesus, but he said he couldn’t… not even if he tried. Then he praised even more. God trusted Saeed with a difficult testimony.

It takes so much less for me to run from God and shake my little dust fist in the air and tell God that He got all this difficulty wrong in my life. God needed Paul and Silas to press in here, in this prison, because there was a jailer and captives that He loved more than anything. Paul and Silas had been in the streets for days preaching about the Gospel to the Philippians, but alas, it would not be the testimony preached from the rooftops that would reach these particular people… it would be the testimony lived out in prison that would finally capture the heart of the jailer.

God was trusting Paul and Silas with suffering, they had to be in the innermost cell… they had to have a jailer employed to keep them in… the lengths God will go to for one person, a jailer no less… but through it all, the presence of God would so drench that place, that even when the foundations of the prison would shake, the captives would refuse to leave.

This is what the presence of God does.

We were created to experience His presence, and in His presence, joy is inevitable even when your feet are in stocks. It wasn’t the fact that Saeed, Paul and Silas were delivered from the pit that gave them joy, the fact of joy was the presence of God in the pit.

“Freedom in Christ is not a matter of location, but a matter of the heart” -Casper Ten Boom (when he was captured and placed in a concentration camp in World War 2.)

Step 3

APPLY IT:

What about you? Perhaps today you find yourself in a pit, in a place of struggle and everywhere you look is darkness and frustration, and you are questioning where God is in this???

Today, will you ask Him to focus your eyes on Him, and even in this place of bondage, give you freedom? Where is it that you need to press in to, and grab a hold of that testimony God wants to forge in your life? “When God leads us down hard paths, He gives us strong shoes.”- Corrie Ten Boom from The Hiding Place.

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LIVE IT OUT: Today Lord, open my eyes to see where You are working. Give me strength to walk where You lead.
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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

 

Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study — James 1:4

Kendra Graham(1)

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

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

Kendra Graham notes from James 1:4.

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:
Let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect, complete, lacking nothing.

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:
As I conscientiously  took care of my critical patient, her mother was wrapped up in a blanket in the corner, trying to be strong.  Her daughter’s condition could go either way, and she knew I was fighting to get her a bed in the ICU as the results on her labs came back each hour.

The mother of the patient began to tell me story after story of how her daughter had lengthy stays in the hospital since she was a small girl, and how she prayed even now at her bedside that God would strengthen her sweet child, yet again in this moment, and save the life of this precious 25-week baby that was growing inside her each day.

The questions came rolling out of the mom’s heart, as her daughter lay in bed without the energy to interject.

I remembered my patient that encouraged me earlier in the summer and shared the Truth of who God is, and how His grace is enough for this day, even when we hate the circumstances.

“God has a purpose for both the baby and the mamma,” I heard the mother of the patient say through tears.  “Perhaps, the baby too, will have a fight ahead of him, being so small, and who better to care for him than a mamma who fought the odds and won time after time?  God has a plan.  God is in control, even though I want to be the one to control the outcome.  God sees the big picture and He is trustworthy.”  In spite of the mother’s fear, she claimed the character of God.

Patience to wait through adversity and trust God with our life and the lives of those we love is extremely difficult.  We have ideas, and dreams and visions of how things are supposed to be and if God doesn’t work them out in the here and now, and in the most logical way to us, then we lose our faith, we get angry, we raise our dust fists to God and wonder if He is sleeping on the job.

It’s hard.  Life is hard.  Adversity is a guarantee.  This is why we must stay in God’s Word daily.  We must literally claim His character, this day and the next, claiming verses such as James 1:4–trusting that God is working things out for His reason, His purpose–which is to solidify our faith in Him as we see Him do the impossible, bring strength to the weary, peace to the hurting, and grace to the falling.

This I know…. God is not in a hurry, but is patient and long suffering as He continues to mold me in His image, especially through adversity.  Press in to the mercies and promises of the God who loves you and gave His life for you.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes on Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life John 3:16.  God went to extreme measures for us, may we trust Him with the paths He leads us to.

“ If God sends us on strong paths, He provides us strong shoes.” – Corrie Ten Boom.

*The baby lived, the patient remained critical for days, eventually being able to go home, yet some of the damage that happened during the pregnancy will most likely not be reversed. 

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?

What circumstances in your life have left you questioning God’s character more than claiming it?

When God doesn’t work quick and up front and in the way you most see fit, do you abandon God or are you willing to be patient and press in to what He is teaching?

What character of God will you claim today as you are in God’s Word?

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.

Today, as my heart is hurting, and one I love is fighting for life, I will claim Lamentations 3:21-23:  This I call to mind and therefore I have hope; because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions are new every morning …

Give me the grace to hold on to Your Word, the one thing from the beginning to end of time that will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

Homework: Isaiah 42:16

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

Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study – Hebrews 11:39-40

 

Kendra Graham(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Summer 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 Hebrews 11:39-40

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:
These gained approval through THEIR faith, did not receive what was promised, God provided better.

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:
I have been processing, struggling, praying, and thinking about a patient I recently had.  This sweet patient wanted more than anything to have a baby, yet she had lost two and here she was pregnant with the third, and she was going to lose her as well.  I sat with her, prayed with her, cried with her, begged God to preserve her life and the baby’s life…. but it was not to be.  My heart sank as we heard a heartbeat hours before, but now, one was not to be found anywhere.   I just knew God was going to perform a miracle right in front of my face!

God did perform a miracle…but not the miracle I was demanding out of Him, or thought He would do.  My patient through her tears, grabbed my hand and said, “I don’t understand why, but what I do know is that God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.  I don’t know how God will give me strength to get through this, but this I know, He will.”

My heart broke all over again.  My patient was ministering to me! Was I not supposed to be the one to minister to her?  She continued to claim the character of who God is: faithful, loving, all knowing, the alpha, the omega, Jehovah Jirah…and the list went on.

My patient is an example of someone who is grabbing a hold of those promises of God by faith, even though she did not receive her heart’s cry.  By faith she was clinging to who God is, in spite of the outcome she had.  How quick are we to blame God and raise our dust fists to heaven, instead of clinging to the promise of who God is.  Now, my patient said in her honesty, it will be a battle not to blame God and get angry with Him, because that is where she wants to go, but she said that she will decidedly make that choice each day, each hour and each minute as long as God gives her the grace to do it, to cling to Him.

AS I reflect on this situation, my eyes went back to Hebrews 11:16, this verse is talking about those who live a life of faith in God…“God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has a prepared city for them.”  How great would it be, for God to not be ashamed to call me His own?!

It’s easy to have excuses to not follow God.  God didn’t do this or that in a certain time frame, obviously God doesn’t care …. God gave me a bad childhood, relationship, job, school….. so when God shows up in the way demanded, then following Him won’t be hard.

God is not a puppy on a leash to be tamed.  God is who He is, and perhaps it’s time we as God’s people start clinging to that instead of our own thoughts and ideas.

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?

Where is it that you need to cling to who God is, not what you expect or expected Him to do for me?  When have you clung to the character of God when you didn’t understand?  Who has God shown you He is in your heartbreak?

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.

Today, this hour, this minute I will claim the character of who God is in my life.

Homework:  James 1:4

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

Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study – Romans 12: 1-2

 

Kendra Graham(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Summer 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 Romans 12:1-2

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:
By the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your service of worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove the good, acceptable and perfect will 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:
Service…. living sacrifice…. transformation…. now this is dramatic.  I’ll take the worst patient.  I’ll do the most work.  I won’t take a lunch break so everyone else can have lunch…. I’ll be the martyr…  When I read about “service and living sacrifice”I think of these things, and then I feel guilty because I don’t want to do them and I can’t do them everyday, and I don’t have enough energy to be that doormat hour after hour.  Is this what Paul means when he is talking about being a living sacrifice?  I can’t do it.  I am exhausted.  I am working as hard as I can, giving up as much as I can, yet I still fail.

What if it’s not about the “works” and all the “stuff” I do for Jesus at all?  What is it that God really wants out of you and me?  It’s not about what we “do” that peeks God’s interest in us…it’s about who we are.  Paul is urging me here in these verses to offer Christ what I am, and all of it, from my mind and my decision process to my literal actions.  God has created me with a purpose, His purpose, and I will never be satisfied or content with the world and all of its offerings, because I was not created to be content with the world.  I was created for a personal relationship with the God who created me.  Everything flows from that PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with God.  SACRIFICE…. EVERYTHING, to keep that personal relationship with God alive.  It is by the mercy of God that this relationship is available at all, so do all you can every day to keep that relationship in tact.  Don’t worry about my work, my theology, my image, my desires, or what everyone else will think about what I’m doing or not doing.  If I sacrifice time, and invest in my personal relationship with God, the work will naturally flow from that….

When we read the Gospels, we can’t miss all the times Jesus snuck away to pray.  It was that personal relationship with the Father that led Jesus to the Samaritan woman, the lepers, the tax collectors.  It was that personal relationship Jesus had with the Father that enabled Him to say in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but Yours be done”(Luke 22:42). Jesus trusted the Father, because He knew the Father.  The relationship Jesus had with the Father, led Jesus to act and “Proved that Perfect and good and acceptable will of God”.

If I love Jesus personally and passionately everyday, I will be able to meet the needs of those  that He brings my way today, my work will be a natural outflow from my worship.

It is like a grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies, it will spring up a harvest! (John 12:24)

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?

Have you invested time and energy into your relationship with God today?  Will you?  What is keeping you from investing and growing your relationship with God?  Are you so busy for God that you have not had time to stop and ask God what He wants to show you and where He wants to place you because you have your own ideas of where, when and how you want to sacrifice for Him?

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.

Spend time with God today and ask Him to open your eyes to what His good, and perfect and acceptable will for you is.

Homework:  Hebrews 11:39-40 

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

Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Kendra Graham(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Summer 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 I Corinthians 10:31

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.

FACT:
Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to 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:
There is a saying that my dad instilled in my heart from a young age, “If you are going to do something, do it right.” So what does that mean?  What does it look like to “Do something right”? Is it cleaning that toilet until it sparkles? Is it about being a nurse in the limelight and getting credit for being a 21st century version of Florence Nightingale? What does it look like to do things for the glory of God as stated here in this verse?   I am,  in the middle of my crazy work summer schedule, showing up at the hospital day after day delivering those babies. I am cleaning up vomit, charting in a crazy computer program that often defeats me, and listening to the lives of patients as they struggle and soar through life. It’s easy for me to think that being hidden away on one hall of a big hospital means there is less purpose, less importance, and what I do or don’t do doesn’t really matter. This is completely untrue.

It’s not about the what. It’s not about what I do, whether it is cleaning up the trash in my patients room, listening to my middle schooler tell me about her day, or if it’s leading a Bible study at the Cove; it’s about the why; it’s all about my heart behind why I do what I do. To do things “for the glory of God,” means that even in the smallest most unnoticeable things, people don’t see me, they see the compelling compassion of God. John 3:30 says it best, “He must increase but I must decrease.” It’s about Who I reflect when I do a task. What we do is noticed, and God has placed us where He has–not to climb the ladder, or get ahead, or put others down so we can go up–it’s about reflecting the character of Jesus in the big things with big people, and the small things with small people. God has entrusted me to represent Him here today. Lord, give me the strength to reflect Your character and Your glory where You have placed me!

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?

Where have you been placed today? Today, can we worry more about what God thinks of our work than others? How can we bring glory to God in the menial tasks we have day after day? Are we more worried about personal glory, or God’s glory?

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.

Today… Lord, help me to focus on You and do all things to the glory of God.

HOMEWORK: Romans 12:1-2

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

Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study – Ephesians 4:32

Kendra Graham(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Summer 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 Ephesians 4:32

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.

FACT: 

Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving,  just as God for Christ’s sake forgave you.

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:

Have you ever been deeply hurt by someone that was supposed to be on your side but threw you under the bus instead? The raw searing pain of hurt. What does God’s Word say about this? How should I react to the one who has wronged me in the body of Christ? Be kind, tender and forgiving. Ugh. Now that is hard. My natural inclination is to go into all out protection mode; build some walls, toughen up, don’t let anyone close enough to do that again. I don’t want to be kind and tender for sure. My heart which is, as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “Deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” wants to gut the person in the same way with which I was hurt, to make them pay. After all, someone has to pay for that pain, someone has to bear the cost, to make it right.

Here, in Ephesians 4:32, God’s Word says my response needs to be one of kindness and tenderness, forgiveness, not anger bitterness and revenge. Hard passage to read. Harder passage to implement. Why should I be kind and tender? They were not kind and tender to me. Why should I shoulder the cost and forgive the debt of that hurt without requiring payment? Because of the last phrase of the verse: “… just as God, for Christ’s sake forgave me.” I have run from God, He has sought me. I have rejected God, He has fought for me. I have sinned against God, He has forgiven me. I have wounded God with my words, actions and intent, He has shown me kindness, tenderness and love.

Why has God done all this for me? I am His handmade creation who He loves more than anything. I was separated from knowing God and walking with Him because of my sin, so God, not trusting me to another, came Himself in the form of a man, the Christ, the Messiah, Jesus, and He shouldered all the pain Himself, not holding me to a single indiscretion. In tenderness and kindness, God, forgave me so that our relationship could be restored. Jesus did this for me, and Jesus did this for you.

Truth be told, even if the person who hurt us, suffers as deeply as you and I have, it will not be enough. The hurt can never be undone to us.   We forgive others because Jesus forgave us first… when we were not looking, asking, or deserving forgiveness, Christ paid to forgive us anyway.

Go, face the person who wronged you, speak forgiveness to them with as much tenderness as you can muster through the power that is given us through Jesus, and perhaps in the end you won’t lose a friend, but you will enable restoration of brother/sister through gentleness (Galatians 6:1), after all, truly this is the end goal, that we all keep “unity in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

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?

Who do you need to confront and forgive? Are you holding debts over people’s heads that they will never be able to pay, yet you continue to try to extract payment from them? Are you more interested in restoring your brother/sister in Christ or destroying them for what they have done? Will you pray for God to change your heart if it needs to be changed? Will you forgive for Christ’s sake if for no other?

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.

Follow through with forgiveness.

Homework: I Corinthians 10:31

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

Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study Series

Kendra Graham(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study!  Kendra is doing something a little different with her online Bible study this summer and she hopes you will join her.  She will still be using the three-question study approach, but will be responding in a more personal way with each post relating to her real life questions, lessons, and life applications to God’s Word.

Watch here as Kendra invites you to join her Summer Bible Study blog series.

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 2 Corinthians 5:7

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.

FACT:
Walk by faith not sight

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:
Is seeing believing or is believing seeing? When God calls me to a task,  honestly,  I want to see the result,  how it is all going to work out, or at least that it is going to work out and not be an epic fail!

Recently God laid on my heart to do something with my middle school soccer team that was completely “out of the box”, the thought overwhelmed me. The school I coached for and our rival school both were raising money to build a house together for a family here in Asheville. God laid on my heart to change that “rival”game between us into a “charity and service” game. That may sound easy, but the specifics that were needed to pull that off were far beyond my capabilities. God would have to do it. God brought all the people that were needed. God brought all the items that were needed. God brought above and beyond the support from both schools that was needed; yet I still doubted if He was really in it, would people really come?

I like to look back and see what God has done at the end, after it’s all over and everything is settled. I don’t enjoy the ride along the way, because I am wanting to know the result at the end before the beginning, then I know if it’s all worth it. If God told me the result up front; however, my faith would be placed in the result, not the God of the result. I had to walk this thing out by faith, and gain strength from the miracles along the way. I was charged to believe so I could see in the end. The day of fruition came, nerves overwhelmed me. I wanted to bail. The weather was bad. Things were looking like they would all fall apart, but it was in the hand of God. I had to press in and believe when my 5 senses were telling me it would end in failure…yet God… People came.

People saw the compelling compassion of God. That day the people who attended saw and believed what God could do through two teams of middle school soccer girls…Those who attended had the chance to experience and see God’s love because a handful of people and myself were charged to believe first so we could see later. It’s hard to walk your faith out, I’m not going to lie, but in the end it is always worth it. Press in to the adversity and doubt, don’t let the wind and waves drown you, let the one in charge of the wind and waves show you how to walk through them! Faith always requires movement! Press in!

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?

What have you and I missed out on because when adversity comes we bail? Where is it today that you need to press in to that faith even when all your senses tell you the opposite? What has God stirred your heart to believe about Him, and to do, yet the result is up in the air so you rest instead of rally? Where is it your faith needs you to walk today?

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.

Lord, today give me the strength to press in when I want to run out. Help my unbelief. Show me where I need to believe so I can see later.

Homework: Ephesians 4:32

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog, it’s free, and you’ll be sent new posts directly to your email inbox.

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

 

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Mark 16:1-8

book of isaiah

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 Mark 16:4-8

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 1: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices to anoint Him.

Verse 2: Very early they came to the tomb.

Verse 3: They were saying, “Who will roll away the stone for us at the entrance of the tomb?”

Verse 4: Looking up, SAW the stone rolled away.

Verse 5: Entering the tomb they SAW a young man sitting wearing white, they were amazed.

Verse 6: He said “Do not be amazed you are looking for Jesus crucified, He has risen, He is not here, here is the place they laid Him.

Verse 7: GO tell His disciples, “He is going ahead to Galilee, there you will see Him just as He told you.”

Verse 8: They went out, fled, trembling, astonishment gripped them, they said nothing, they were afraid.

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:

Verses 1 & 2: We come expecting to see Jesus where we put Him. We put Jesus in church on Sunday, or in our prayers when everything is falling apart and we need a super hero, or in our complaints when things don’t go the way we asked them to go. We expect to see Jesus where and when we need Him. We need to be willing to look for Him where He is,  not where we expect Him to be. Jesus is always found in His Word!

Verse 3: Resurrection was not even a consideration in the midst of these women. Don’t we tend to be blown away by the miracles of God?  We say things like, “I can’t believe God came through here, in such a huge way”, instead of expecting the God of miracles to show up BIG. I am so guilty of this. I believe God can do miracles, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t believe a lot of times that He will do them for me, but He does! Oh that we press in so we don’t miss them!

Verses 4 & 5: Jesus could pass through solid objects after His resurrection, so they saw with their eyes, the stone rolled away… the stone was not rolled away for the sake of Jesus to let Him out, the stone was rolled away for the sake of the women, so they could see with their eyes inside that tomb. Sometimes we believe because we see. God knew it was very important for these women to see that tomb was empty. This emptiness was going to rock their world,  just when they thought Friday was unbearable. Now Sunday  is proving to bring an emptiness and fear they did not imagine, but how often would they recount that moment in the future and cheer because of what they found at this moment. This moment of doubt and fear would become a lifetime of strength and encouragement. Press in when we don’t understand what our eyes are seeing.

Verses 6 & 7: We celebrate Easter year after year, the resurrection of Jesus, but as we look into the lives of these women, the women closest to Jesus, we are reminded of just how difficult and implausible the moment, in the moment,  there was no celebration here at the time. Don’t miss that! Jesus is not scolding or hiding from these women, because they have forgotten His Word and His promise to rise again.  An angel was there to invite and remind these women to go where Jesus is,  proving His Word is true & even in times of doubt Jesus can be trusted. #compellingcompassion Come see Jesus where He is. The invitation is open. We often just don’t like the circumstances that cause us to look for Him. Press in. Hear, see, look, listen… go.

Verse 8: The reactions of these women were fear, confusion and unbelief. In their fear, they didn’t speak back to the angel, but they did go. Trust God, take Him at His Word, even when you don’t understand and you are full of fear, overwhelmed, and want to hide. Don’t end your story with fear to act.

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 1 & 2: When have you been frustrated because Jesus didn’t show up when you needed Him most? Or Jesus showed up, but not in the way you thought you needed? Are you willing to seek Jesus on His terms where He is asking you to come? Or do you want to see Jesus on your terms where you think you need Him to be?

Verse 3: Have you missed the miracles of God in your life? Will you take a moment and recount the miracles God has done for you? Have you ever had a time in your life where in the moment you begged and begged God to change the situation, only to look back now and be thankful that He didn’t change things your way?

Press in to these moments of doubt and fear. The very thing that they thought was destroying them at the moment would be the thing that strengthened them in the future.

Verses 4 & 5: When has your world been rocked so hard that you wanted to run and hide instead of press in and face things?  Why is it so hard to press in?  What miracles am I missing because I don’t press in to the end?  Like Peter walking on that water, are you consumed with the wind and the waves of a situation when you just need the strength to see Jesus in the middle of it?  Don’t give up. Press in here.

Verse 6 & 7: Are you looking for Jesus where He said He is, or are you demanding and angry that He is not where you want Him to be?

Verse 8: What is your story? Have you pressed in, in spite of your fear and confusion or have you turned your back and given up with a miracle perhaps right on the verge of becoming a reality? What miracles have we missed because we turned away?

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.

Press in when you want to run out. Determine where God is leading me to press in, in spite of pain, worry, count and confusion, get in God’s Word and hold on to who He says He is and what He has called you to.

Homework: 2 Corinthians 5:7

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Isaiah 53:10-11

The Book of Isaiah

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 Isaiah 53:10-11

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 10a: The LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief.

Verse 10b: He would render Himself as the guilt offering.

Verse 10c: The pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Verse 11a: As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied.

Verse 11b: The knowledge of My servant will justify many as He will bear their iniquities.

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 10a: Notice this is written in the past tense. Isaiah is written hundreds of years before Jesus, but when God says He will come Himself to fix the gap sin created between Him and His handmade creation, no matter what the personal cost is to Him, it is as if it is done already. The promises of God are done! Oh, that we would believe. It pleased the LORD to crush Himself, to crush Jesus, putting Himself to grief, since we were not created to bear such a burden. God loves us more than anything, His handmade creation and has gone the distance to bear in full the debt our sin leaves us in. Jesus praying in the Garden that night, if there be any other way, then let’s do that, but trusting in where His Father was leading Him, in spite of the crushing pain and grief. Oh how He loves you and me…Jesus went forth, because we were created to know Him, walk with Him and need Him.

Verse 10b: There is the sin offering, offered in the temple, inside the walls of Jerusalem. The sin and the guilt offering is found in Leviticus on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. There are two goats. Straws are drawn for the sin and guilt offering. One goat is offered as the sin offering inside the temple, the other goat is the scapegoat. The scapegoat is driven outside the city walls, carrying the guilt of the sin just atoned for. The scapegoat is driven off a cliff, so that the guilt of those sins would not return to the people. Jesus was the sin offering, shedding His blood in the city being scourged beyond recognition, but then, as He carried His cross, He carried the guilt of sin as well, outside the city, dying on a hill called Calvary beyond the walls, forsaken by God. Jesus went forth, trusting that as He paid for the sin with His blood and then carrying the guilt of the sin beyond the city, that indeed the payment for sin would be satisfied, because here, in Isaiah 53, it says that the LORD was indeed satisfied. Jesus went forth for us and carried the guilt and the shame for what we have done, yet many of us, choose to carry that sin and shame anyway. Jesus paid it in full. Jesus fully felt the shame of your sin and my sin, and for some reason we feel that Jesus’ payment fell short, so we pick up these bags we were never intended or created to carry, and we carry that sin and shame for years and years. Jesus felt every bit of shame for what we have done, oh that we would render His sacrifice sufficient for it! The LORD Yahweh rendered the sacrifice of Jesus sufficient, but often we do not. Jesus went forth and paid it. Oh how He loves you and me!

Verse 10c: I love what Tim Keller has been quoted in saying: “On the cross, Christ wins through losing, triumphs through defeat, achieves power through weakness and service, comes to wealth through giving all away.” Because of what Jesus has done, Jesus prospered, and we prosper!

Verse 11a: The payment for sin was satisfied completely. Paid in full. No more is owed. My guilt will not pay down the debt, the shame I hide will not pay down the debt. Jesus paid it all.

Verse 11b: Personally knowing Jesus, and what He has done justifies us before God. Believe your debt is paid. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Acts 16:31

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 10a: Do you trust God through the crushing times of life? Do you realize that you pray to a God who understands what it means to be crushed and in anguish? Do you realize the love of Jesus as He went forth for you, and was crushed and forsaken by God so that you could have the opportunity to do that which you were created to do: walk with God, know God because you were created to need God?

Verse 10b: Have you allowed Jesus to take the shame and guilt He rightfully paid to have on your behalf, or do you prefer to hold in to it yourself, thinking there is another way to pay the debt and redeem yourself?

Verse 10c: Do you look at the cross as a moment of defeat or victory? How often is God’s definition of victory so contrary to our own ideas of how victory and prosperity should look?

Verse 11a: What sin, guilt and shame are you determined to carry in spite of the fact Jesus took it upon Himself to carry? While you are carrying your guilt and hiding your shame, has it produced a life of victory? Do you think that God taking the payment on Himself for your guilt and shame has fallen short in your case? Do you believe the verse: “For the wages of sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”? Romans 6:23. Will I accept the free gift God offers through Jesus?

Verse 11b: Do you believe Jesus is God with skin on who came to fix the gap that sin created since the beginning of time? Who do you say Jesus is? Do you believe God satisfied His own wrath for sin Himself so that you could walk with God, know God, because you were created to need God?

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.

Humbly before God, today, now, give your heart and life to knowing the God who came Himself not trusting you to another. Today, ask God to forgive your debt that sin has left you in, and then to help you place your shame and guilt both past and present upon Him as well. Jesus paid a high price for your baggage, He knew what He was getting inside that suitcase of guilt you haul around day after day, and He paid full price for it. Oh, that as we pray Jesus would help our unbelief and our unwillingness to give up what rightfully belongs to Him. We would rather give Him something shiny and impressive, but He paid for our filth. Give it up, today, now; then, spend today, and the next day, walking with and getting to know the God who loves you and gave everything to have you beside Him. You are not created to go through life without Him, start the journey today. Get to know the God who created you with His own two hands, and loves you more than anything.

Homework: Mark 16:4-8

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Isaiah 53:6-7

The Book of Isaiah

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 Isaiah 53:6-7

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 6a: All of us have gone astray, turned his own way.

Verse 6b: The LORD caused the sin of us all to fall on Him.

 Verse 7: He was oppressed, afflicted yet did not open His mouth.

Verse 7b: Like a lamb before shearers.

Verse 7c: He did not open His mouth.

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 6a: Romans 3:23. We are all sinners, we all fall short of God’s holy standard. We are all separated from the God we were created to walk with, know and need. We all do what we want, it is not in us to please God, it is in us to please ourselves.

Verse 6b: There is a HUGE gap called sin that is separating us from the God we were created to walk with, know and need. So GOD, not trusting His hand made creation to another, came Himself, to bridge that GAP, Himself. God is serious about us knowing Him… and went to all lengths to show us. Oh that we would have eyes to see what He has done!

 Verse 7a: God came Himself, to fix the GAP between Him and His handmade creation. Someone has to pay the price to fix that Gap… forgiveness is not cheap… so God, Himself, chose to be afflicted and oppressed for my sin and your sin… whatever the cost, He would pay. We like to complain when things are unjust, and we are being “unjustly” accused, yet God Himself, unjustly accused, took the shame that was due me and you.

Verse 7b: Jesus, God with skin on, went forth… went towards the cross, towards the shame, towards the pain, without a fight, without regret. That fateful night in the Garden of Gethesemene, Jesus spoke up…. “I Am He”….. Jesus made a stand, when I run and hide. He stands for me and for you, walking down the Via Dolorosa… for us, so we would have the opportunity to know Him.

Verse 7c: Jesus could have spoken and killed everyone on command. IN the Garden, He said, “I AM He” and the soldiers in John, fell to the ground…. their gracious pause… to consider that which they were doing. Jesus could have slayed them with a word, and upon His return, He will, in Revelation, slay the armies of the world with a word. Here, now in Isaiah 53, Jesus must press in, to take the punishment for sin, or you and I are as a people without hope. Oh the deep deep love of Jesus, that He kept His mouth shut as He went through six trials and pronounced seven times that He is worthy to be scourged and then worthy to be slain as the perfect Lamb of Passover for our sin.

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 6a: Do you realize you have sinned before God? Do you realize you were created to walk with God, know God and need God, but that your sin separated you from this loving God who did everything to fix that gap?

Verse 6b: Do you realize that God Himself didn’t trust your soul to anyone else, but Himself, so He came with skin on, His name was Jesus? Do you know that Jesus came specifically to pay the price that your sin had on your head?

Verse 7a: Have you spent time this Easter season to thank Jesus for coming to pay that debt for you? Do you realize the debt that had to be paid for you?

Verse 7b: Do you know that Jesus didn’t complain about it, but went forth out of love for you to the cross?

Verse 7c: Would you ever be able to keep my mouth shut while unjustly accused? How many times during the day, week or month do you speak up just to “set the record straight” about yourself? How often do you feel the need to respond to false testimony about yourself? Do you realize Jesus took on false testimony about Himself in order to pay for your testimony of sin?

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.

Spend time today realizing the love and total strength that it took Jesus to “go forth” on your behalf.

Homework: Isaiah 53:3-4

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