Tag Archives: Online Bible Study

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!

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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!