Tag Archives: Women’s Bible Study

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – John 21:17

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

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

Kendra Graham notes from :  John 21:17

HE said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, Do you love Me?”  Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”  And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things, You know that I love You.”  Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

He said the third time, “Simon, do you love Me?”. Peter grieved because He said the third time, and he said, “Lord, you know all things, You know I love You.”  Jesus: tend my sheep.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

We all fail.  We have things that we have spent a lifetime hiding in the deepest, darkest places of our souls.  As Christians, why do we hide these things away?  I hide them away because I know what a huge disappointment I have been to my Savior.  I have shamed His name, denied His power, and I want that as far removed from my life as possible.

BUT GOD…. don’t you love those two words?  BUT GOD, loves us enough not to leave our failures in the depths of the dark… but Jesus, who is the light of the world goes into the deepest darkest places and casts His light there… why? To shame us?  Do we not already feel enough shame about that already?  I mean, seriously, we are about to burst asunder with shame… No, the Light of Jesus is not to shame and demean us further or demand repentance, or force a promise never to do it again. Jesus’ desire is to heal us, redeem us, #deliver us and propel us to His calling and purpose.  Jesus knew Peter would never embrace what he was called to do if this situation was not dealt with once and for all.

Peter had denied Jesus three times the night of Jesus’s betrayal and death.  Peter who brazenly said in John 13;37, “… I will lay down my life for You” yet mere moments later, his lips vehemently denied the One he claimed to agape love.  This is hard.  This is something we can all relate to.  We have actions and words said in our lives that have vehemently denied Christ, and we wish we could erase them.  Since we can’t erase them, we leave them in the dark.

BUT GOD… came to Simon Peter here in John 21 and asked him, “Do you love Me?”  Jesus asked this three times for Peter’s three denials.  Jesus was asking Peter, “Do you agape me?”  Do you, Peter, love me more than your life?  Peter responded, “Yes, Lord, You know that I phileo You.”  Phileo is the love of friendship and affection, but not self sacrifice.  Peter was saying, “You know Lord… You know I failed at that agape thing… You know when the rubber hit the road, I ran.  How can I tell You agape now, when You know… You know all things.  You know the biggest word for love I can legitimately use is phileo.”  Here, in verse 17, Jesus  takes agape off the table and asks Peter, “Do you phileo Me?” and Peter responded, “I phileo You.” The verse says it–so grieved Peter to say it.  Now Jesus is agreeing with Peter? Uggg. Hurt. Deep regret.  Honest self awareness is HARD… we all fall short and we hate it (Romans 3:23).  (The Truth will set us free… but it will make us miserable first.)

BUT GOD…. ahhh,… Now that Peter is broken over his inability to agape, NOW Jesus in HIS GRACE reveals to Peter that in his weakness…in his failure…and in his brokenness he can now be given a high calling!!! “Feed my lambs.”  It is  not until we are broken in pieces and humble that those pieces can be food for the most precious commodity on God’s heart, which are His lambs.  It’s in our weakness that He is strong.  It’s in the bringing to the surface, that which was hidden in the dark for so long, that we experience true redemption and grace and then can speak of it for others.  It was the love of Jesus that broke Peter, not the justice of an angry God that demands payment for sin.

The love of God is stronger than the justice of God… I battled over that statement.  Here, at Easter time… it was God’s justice and holiness that required the cross, but it was the love of God–in Jesus, who endured the cross, despising the shame (Hebrews 12:2) that satisfied the demand for our sin.  God’s love for us is greater than His desire to punish us.  We see that here in John 21.  Jesus is not wanting to shame Peter, but allowed Peter’s wounds so that He could heal Peter and propel Peter to his calling.  Peter had to descend step by step down the ladder of humility so that he could rise to his purpose.  Humility not humiliation… Jesus humbles… our own pride humiliates.  We usually refuse both.

This Easter, at the cross, where the love of God trumps the wrath of God, where justice and mercy are perfectly met in completion, will you allow the Light of the world to bring to the surface that denial, that action, those words, so that you can be more than forgiven, you can be redeemed, restored and propelled?  You have a high calling on your life! Let it all come to the surface!  You are in the hands of a loving God.

God crush our hearts by Your love this Easter!

Peter did not hide his denial.  Peter was restored publicly and since that moment, has encouraged billions of people to know about it, so that those same billions could see the tender love of the Good Shepherd.  Peter is still feeding the sheep with his testimony which truly began with personal humility before a holy and loving Jesus… do you see that?  He refused to keep his failure, restoration or redemption to himself, he gave it to Jesus to do with as He pleased.  In our brokenness and humility, God can do whatever God wants to do with us and in that we become #propelled2purpose.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  

This Easter, will you allow God to have His way with whatever He wants?  Will you show Him your phileo love for Him as you give Him the right to use what He wants for His purpose?  Is there something keeping you from that intimate relationship with Jesus that you were created to have?  Will you, this Easter, open your heart and give Jesus open access?

LIVE IT OUT:  

Lord, we can’t… we can’t do this.  To allow You to use things that humble us is HARD… it’s soul hard! We spend a lifetime on reputation and image, but God, You made Yourself of no reputation and took on the form of a servant (Phil 2:7).  Lord, give me the strength to be humble so that You can propel me to Your purpose– not my own.


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

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

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

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

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 9:26

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

Step 1

#DELIVERED

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

Both what they had seen and happened

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

Step 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 3

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

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

#befree #bedelivered

God bless…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kendra Graham notes from :  James 4:8

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

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 3

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

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

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

___________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — MATTHEW 1:21

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

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

Kendra Graham notes from :  Matthew 1:21

“She will bear a Son, call His name Jesus, He will save His people from their sins.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  She will bear a Son, call His name Jesus, He will save His people from their sins.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  Merry Christmas!  Jesus has come!  The Gospel has been born and has been fulfilled!   I’ve been reading a great book by Timothy Keller called, Hidden Christmas, and it has captured my mind and thoughts about Christmas like never before.  The book delves into the genealogy of Jesus, and has brought things to the surface that I’ve not ever really thought about.

We always hear that Jesus is the “Son of David,” meaning, King David!  Well, Jesus–being the King of Kings, it only makes sense that He would come from a kingly line, right?  In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, King David is mentioned but he is mentioned in a way I always kind of skimmed over, “David, the father of Solomon, by Bathsheba, who had been the wife of Uriah”  Matthew 1:6.

The one thing David probably wanted everyone to forget about him (adulterous affair which lead to the murder of Uriah), is actually in the geology page of Jesus.  King David, needs a Savior.

Who else is on the list?  Well, there is a Canaanite woman who was a prostitute…Rahab–saved in Jericho…then, there is a Moabites–Ruth, and don’t forget Tamar, who tricked her father in law into conceiving a son with her.  This is the bloodline of Jesus! The great grandmothers of Jesus, are in desperate need of a Savior.

It’s amazing that Matthew even included women in the list, because in that day and time the culture did not recognize women in their ancestry at all, it only went through the men!  What a pedigree Jesus has!  Herod the Great was known to actually blot certain people out of his genealogy because he was ashamed of them and didn’t want people to know there was any relation, yet  here, Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, claims them all, regardless of what they had done! Praise God!

Jesus was not coming to prove His worth to anyone, or pad His resume so He could advance up the ladder of power and wealth.  Jesus came for a very real and messy problem, and that problem was sin.  The Bible says, “All fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.  This verse could not be more clear than by the very bloodlines of Jesus!  The closest relatives of Jesus, needed Him desperately to save them from their sins.

I love that the family of Jesus included both Jew and Gentile.  We are all God’s hand made creation which started in the Garden of Eden, and He loves us more than anything.  God loves us so much, that He came Himself, not trusting us to anyone else, “…. for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”  God came Himself, “… and they shall call His name Immanuel, which means, “God with us”- Matthew 1:22-23.

We need Jesus, pure and simple.  Our bloodlines and our lives are just as messy, if not messier than the ones listed here in the beginning of Matthew, but know this:  THERE IS HOPE and His name is Jesus!  Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary, and grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.  Jesus lived a perfect life, and performed many miracles, but that is not the reason He came.  Jesus came, to die, to save us from our sins.  Jesus came to bring peace between God and man where there had been enmity.

God loves you too much to leave you to your own devices, so He came and poured out His extreme wrath on Himself since you and I were not created to carry such a burden.  Jesus died so we can live.   “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23.

In this season of gift giving, I pray that you would receive the greatest gift of all, and that gift is the very forgiveness of God.  It can be  hard to receive because we like to be the giver, we like to be in control, but this gift will always be out of reach and cannot be earned.  There’s no buying it with your Amazon Prime membership, so God has freely given it, and it is Himself.  We are created to walk with God, to know God and to need God–it’s not a design flaw.  Oh that this Christmas you would accept that gift found under the tree, the tree of life, which is the cross.

The reason for the season is that Jesus came to save us from our sins.  May this acceptance of the precious gift of God be forever in your bloodline from here on out.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Do you know your desperate need for a Savior to save you from your sins?

When have you received the gift of God?  Have you ever asked Jesus to forgive your sins?  Did you realize that sin was the entire reason Jesus came?

Will you receive this gift today? Now?

LIVE IT OUT: Today I will stand amazed at the love God has for me!  Oh that He came Himself, not trusting me to another, to live a perfect sinless life, to die a sinners death, and then to rise from the grave!  Today may I count my blessings that I know Jesus!

Today, if you have never accepted that free gift of God, pray a simple prayer today, “I believe You came Yourself, God with us, and Your name is Jesus.  I pray you forgive me for my personal bloodline full of sin.  You lived a perfect life, died a sinners death for me and then rose from the grave!  Thank you for forgiving me!  Teach me to walk with You.  Amen.

___________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — I Corinthians 10:31

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 :  I Corinthians 10:31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Whether you eat, drink or whatever, do all to the glory of God.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  

There’s a song that Steven Curtis Chapman sings that is based upon this verse, “Every little thing that you do.. bring a smile to His face, tell the story of grace.. what ever you do, it all matters…”  I’ve needed this song this past and the coming week to help me focus on the moments that God puts in front of me.   Whether it’s cleaning the house, doing laundry, helping with homework, cheering at a game, working at the hospital, or listening to my husband or kids, I need to do it to the glory of God.   This can be hard.

I battle wanting to be doing and being somewhere else–doing something more important in my eyes–than whatever it is that I currently am.  This needs to stop.  Oswald Chambers made a statement that left a mark on my soul,  “Ministering in everyday surroundings does NOT mean we select our own surroundings.”  So often I think I know where I need to be and what I need to be doing, but believe it or not, it’s through the daily grind that God is patiently teaching me to bring Him glory…. in whatever I do, even something as basic as eating and drinking.

Think about some of the things Jesus did–some were “menial” things really–that made a huge difference.  Jesus washed nasty, dirty, stinky feet.  He ate dinner and broke bread, savoring the moment with His disciples, pouring His last words into them.  Jesus sat by a well and asked for a drink.  In the process He changed a woman’s life, and subsequently, an entire town.  Jesus brought glory to His Father whether it was cleaning, eating, or drinking.

Our character, and what we really believe about who God is, comes out in doing these menial things, too.

As I pondered this, I realized that I cannot do the things God puts in front of me on a daily basis for the glory of God without the power of God coursing through my  heart, soul and mind.  I cannot, because it is not in me to do these things AT ALL.  I cannot use a towel and water basin, as Jesus did, to the glory of God, without God empowering me to do so.

I am weak, shallow and prideful, but God loves me enough to strengthen me, deepen my relationship with Him, and humble me through everyday tasks.

What a mighty God we serve!  It matters to God that what I do, I do for His glory, because of His name sake.  There’s no room for complaining.   I like to think that when God asks me to do something really big and important that I’ll be ready to shed my selfishness and do what He calls me to, and in doing so, glorify Him.  Honestly, if you and I cannot be trusted to bring God the glory in what He puts in front of us today, in this moment, what ever makes us think He should trust us with anything bigger?

Wash the feet of those teenagers, those co-workers, that spouse that God has trusted you with today.  Let’s steadily minister in the everyday opportunities given to us in this moment and just see how God shows up.  These “little” things, like the song says, matter.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  What menial things are on the page for you to do today?  Will you ask God to empower you to do those things today for His glory?  When have you gone about your day for God’s glory and saw God show up in an unexpected way?  Do you battle with insignificance?  Today, how will you set that battle aside as you focus on where God has placed you and ask Him to focus your eyes on where He is in your everyday circumstances?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today Lord, empower me to do those little things for Your glory, even when in my eyes there is no glory to be found in them.  Today Lord, open my eyes to the people you place in front of me as I am eating and drinking at the table, and Lord, open my heart and my mouth to pour into them YOU as I engage over Cherrios, yogurt, or a bagel.  Change me, so they can see You.  #tothegloryofGod #today #don’twastethemoments

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

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study: Ephesians 6:14b

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 Ephesians 6:14b
“Having girded your loins with Truth.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  “Having girded your loins with Truth.”

Step 2

THE LESSONS:

“My name is Katniss Everdeen… I am from district 12… I participated in the Hunger Games… twice… and survived. I was rescued.  Peeta… Peeta has been captured with the other victors and is being held in the Capitol under the power of President Snow.”

This is how the movie Mockingjay 1 starts out.  Katniss is hiding in a dark place with her hands over her hears whispering to herself, reminding herself of what is true and what is not.  Katniss and Peeta, for the rest of their lives will, every day, ask each other if what they are believing is true or false.

Oswald Chambers said, “Believing the Truth is a sheer act of the will, because nothing in us craves the Truth.”

Frederich Nietzche said regarding the truth, “People don’t want to hear the Truth, because they do not want their illusions destroyed.”

The Truth, when spoken in society, often does not receive the welcome ooohs and awes of the crowd.  The Truth… the Truth is something we work to suppress, whether it be a truth about us we don’t want surfacing, or a Truth about the company we work for, or anyone else that is dear to us.

In this verse in Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that we need to have our loins girded with Truth of God’s Word.  Paul is saying that before we do anything, we need to set ourselves to wrap Truth around our most inward parts.  The word “gird” here in the Greek is the word “perizonnymi” which means to “hem in,” to tuck in firmly around.  I like that visual.  Hem ourselves in so that everywhere we look, everywhere we go, we are faced with the Truth of God’s Word first and foremost.

If we hem ourselves in with the Truth, then the lies and deceptions society tries to feed us will become really clear.  We don’t like to be hemmed in though right!?  We are Americans!  WE have a right to be free!  We need space to roam and chase the American dream!  The Truth is… all of us are hemmed in.  What are we hemmed in by… now that is a question that each of us need to ask.

We were created by God to follow someone or something…. the Truth is… we were created by God with a God shaped soul to walk with Him, know Him, because we are created to need Him: Truth.

The Truth is…  God loves us so much that He came Himself, not trusting us to another, so that we could know the Truth, and the Truth, though hemmed in by it, would set us free (John 8:32).  The Truth is: we are set free by the Truth when we set ourselves to believe it!

In John 8, Jesus said He is the Light of the world.  Jesus came to be the Light, to show us He is the Way, the Truth and LIFE (John 14:6).  I love this!  What is the purpose of light?  The purpose of light is to show us the TRUTH of what is there, in the dark.  The light doesn’t lie about what it shows, it just shows the fact of what is.  Jesus came to show us that we don’t have it all together like we wish we did.  The light shows us that we have been living a rat race in the dark chained up to everything on the canvas of our lives that we don’t want anyone to see… so God, came personally, not trusting you to another, to set you free by the Truth of His Word.

The world has set itself to discard, extinguish, hide and kill the Truth of who Jesus is, and the Truth of what you mean to Him.  The interesting thing about the Truth is this… it will always surface.  The Truth is, you are loved more than anything by the God who knit you together in your mother’s womb.  The Truth is:  IF you seek God with you whole heart, He promises you WILL find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).  The Truth is, you will never be more satisfied, more content, more fulfilled than when you are doing that which you were created to do, which is: Walk with God on a daily basis through this thing called life…TRUTH.

HOLD on to the TRUTH.  Jesus said, I AM the way, the TRUTH and the Life NO ONE comes to the Father BUT through Me.” John 14:6. Wrap yourself in Truth today.

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APPLY IT:  Who or what am I following? Have I set myself to believing the TRUTH?  Who do I say jesus is?

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LIVE IT OUT:  Today…. I will set myself to believing the Truth of God’s Word, and begin the process of hemming myself in by the Truth. Today, I will walk with God.

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JOIN US FOR KENDRA’S FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.  (Also available LIVE on Periscope…see below.)

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you.  To register for her Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), call 1-800-950-2092.

NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  You can catch the replays here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Joshua 3:15-16a

ONLINE BIBLE STUDY-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!

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

Kendra Graham notes from Joshua 3:15 – 16a

 

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:  Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest.  Yet as soon as the priests who carried the arc reached the Jordan, and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. Joshua 3:15 – 16a

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: ​

Faith is hard. 

Crawford Lorrits out of Fellowship Bible Church in Alpharetta Georgia always says this, “Faith is verb even when it’s a noun.”

Faith is always moving, doing, or waiting… not just talking about it, being academic in your Bible studies, and answering all the right questions in your workbook.  Faith is the 18” journey down from your head to your heart.  Faith is every day, living according to those beliefs you’ve said you believed for years.

Faith is never easy.

Sure, I have miracles in my life where God called me to do something, and I did it with my knees shaking and heart beating rapidly out of control, only to look back and see the awesome hand of God…. but each and every time it is always a conscious decision that I have to make.  I wish having faith was easier.  God always calls us to impossible things, where we show up and bring what we have, but if God doesn’t come through then we will be sunk.

My usual prayer in times like this is, “God DO SOMETHING!  If You change my situation, I WILL BELIEVE I PROMISE!”  God’s usual answer in times like this: “Kendra! YOU BELIEVE in ME FIRST and see how I change your situation.”   I ALWAYS want God to act first.  Well… God has acted first!  God has come to live among us, not trusting us to another, and His name is Jesus.  Jesus lived a perfect life, then took the penalty for my sin and your sin, upon the cross, and then 3 days later rose from the grave, so that we could walk with Him, and know Him because we were created to need Him, especially in impossible situations!

God has acted first.  I want God, however, to act in a certain way for ME NOW.  If God doesn’t do what I want Him to, then all of a sudden He hates me and He is being the stubborn one!  We always want God to do more, or do different–I know I do!  I want God to put the tangible in my hand now, so I know I have it, then I will do what He asks, however, if you think about it, there is absolutely no faith in that!  Give it to me, then I will have faith?  Have faith in what?  It’s already received, no faith needed!

Waiting for God to act FIRST is UNBELIEF.  Ouch.

Belief is holding on, when everyone and everything else around us says to let go and run the other way!  Belief is this: “Fine, I will step into that Jordan River at flood stage because YOU, God, have asked me to, and if I die, I die, but trust You!”

Then the priests STEPPED…. The water did not part until they STEPPED… verb…  (If I was one of those priests I totally would  have thought God hated me for sure, and what did I ever do to make Him so angry! Forget woman’s lib in this case!  Men, you can carry that ark!) God delivered the priests.  God calls us to do those impossible things that only He can do.

We love to preach, “Believe in God!” to so many people throughout our lives, yet when it comes down to having to hold on and step into an impossible situation in our own lives, God’s Word is all of a sudden a lie, and God owes me first.

I taught Bible studies and went to Bible studies for years before I literally had to set my heart to believe all those promises, and hold on to the character of God I knew about so well in my head.  I would preach to people, “God can put the broken pieces of your life back together! Praise Him in it!”  It was not until I wanted to curse God in the pieces of my life did I see how hard that really is.  It wasn’t until my life was the one in pieces did I know the Master Artist, Jesus, really will create beauty from ashes.

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 God calling us to have faith?  In our jobs, marriages, homes, schools, churches?  IS faith a verb for us, or a noun?  Would  we rather wait for God to work, then we will believe, or will we believe what God has said and who God is and walk in that faith?


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, live this day praising the God of the impossible!  Step out onto the waters that He has called you to with confidence.  Stop shaking our fists at who we wish or think God to be, and START getting in His Word to see who God says He really is!

Homework: Pick a verse or a few verses and use the three-question method to see what the lessons are, how they apply to your life, and how you can live it out.

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

JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..

If you’d like to register for Jane Derrick’s Tuesday morning study (January 12 – February 23, 2016), click here.

2016 Women’s Bible Study Registration is Open

Womens Bible Study 2016

Ladies, we are excited to share with you what Jane and Kendra have planned for their Bible studies this winter!

They have both filmed videos to give you an idea of what you can expect for their Winter 2016 Women’s Bible studies.

Click here to view Jane’s video if it doesn’t show up in your browser.

Register for Jane’s Tuesday morning study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092.

Click here to view Kendra’s video if it doesn’t show up in your browser.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..

Please share this post with your church and your circle of women friends and family.

See you in January!

Saturday Snapshot

One of our tech guys got a GoPro camera for Christmas this year and brought it to work.  Check out his fancy filming in which he used a time lapse setting to capture the 400+ ladies filling in the auditorium for our annual Women’s Bible Study.

Watch here!

Footage is from the morning Bible study with Jane Derrick.

It’s not too late to sign up for Bible study at The Cove.  Click here for all the details.

Click here to visit our website.

Women’s Bible Studies at The Cove

Ladies, it’s time to sign up for the free women’s Bible study at The Cove!

Both Jane and Kendra have been working diligently throughout the year to prepare their lessons and are looking forward to seeing each of you.

Take a look  at their videos below to get an idea of what to expect in January.

Jane Derrick — Is Peace Possible?
Tuesday mornings: January 6 – March 3, 2015
9:45am - 11:45 a.m.
11:45 – 1 p.m. (optional)
Jane’s study will have an optional $10 lunch available, but you must sign up the week prior to each meal by calling 1-800-950-2092.
Note: Class will not meet on February 24th

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to register for Jane’s morning Bible study.

Click here if you do not see Jane’s video in your browser.

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Kendra Graham — Compelled: Christ’s Relentless Love For You
Tuesday evenings: January 6 – February 17, 2015
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to register for Kendra’s evening Bible study.

Click here if you do not see Kendra’s video in your browser.

Newcomers always welcome!  Bring a friend or two.