Tag Archives: Cove Bible Study

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — HEBREWS 12:1-2

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

To make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” box on this blog (on the side of the page on desktop, or at the bottom on mobile). It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight to your email inbox.

KENDRA GRAHAM’S NOTES
FROM HEBREWS 12:1-2

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB)
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus…

What Does it Say?

We have a cloud of witnesses surrounding us.

Let us lay aside every encumbrance and sin which entangles and run with endurance, the race before us.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus.

What Does it Mean?

This past week has been difficult, to say the least. I knew the passing of Billy Graham was on the horizon; but on the same note, I thought “Daddy Bill” (my husband Will’s grandfather) would always be here. My heart is sad, and hopeful, and at the same time overwhelmed and joyous.  There are so many conflicting emotions swirling around inside. Our final evening Bible study of 2018 took place last week, and the last message brought from the Word of God at The Cove before we received the news of Daddy Bill’s home-going keeps rolling around in my soul.

Therefore, since there is such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us… We forget that, don’t we? We tend to get trapped into the thought that what we are doing doesn’t matter and has no kingdom impact; but that, my dear talmid, is a lie.  What you do does matter.  How you RUN this race does matter.  It does matter that you are faithful and that you follow the Rabbi—that you are covered in the dust of Rabbi Jesus.

If there is anyone who has demonstrated a determination to be faithful to Jesus and the Word of God, it is Daddy Bill. I, of course, had the honor of being able to spend time with him in his home and at family dinners. There was never a time when you visited with Daddy Bill that he would not with #Boldness proclaim the Word of God and share how God’s Word was continuing to transform his life.

FAITHFUL

Faithfulness cannot be attributed to a person until their race is done. Faithfulness takes, first of all, a daily decision to RUN.

RUN!  What has sidelined you?  An impossible situation?  Marah (bitterness) in your heart towards God? An ailment, like that of Blind Bart? (See Mark 10: 46-52.) A calling you don’t want to embrace?  That scarlet letter you’ve been wearing? Do not let anyone pour water on the fire in your soul that was started by the Word of God! Do not allow the enemy of God to steal, kill and destroy your purpose!  If the enemy cannot steal your soul, he will steal whatever else he can, and often it’s the impact and purpose belonging to the people of God.  The purpose that you have been created for is LIFE and LIFE abundantly, so LIVE!

How do we determine to be faithful?  We can be assured of faithfulness if daily we decide to fix our eyes on Jesus. It’s so hard in this ADHD world to fix our eyes on one thing—there is so much that glitters out there, but come! Come daily, dear talmid, and fix your eyes on Jesus in His Word. Daily faithfulness is a daily choice.  RUN!

The motorcade on Saturday was absolutely beyond words. As Daddy Bill’s body left the Cove that day, loaded in the hearse to begin the journey to his childhood home of Charlotte, North Carolina, the streets were lined with witnesses.  Tears streamed down my face, and the memory still chokes me up. There were signs with messages like #FINISHEDWELL and salutes from onlookers …. all the way to Charlotte! If that motorcade had gone through every state, I dare say each one would’ve told the same story. There is a cloud of witnesses and millions more on YouTube, TV and social media.  

 IT MATTERS THAT YOU RUN

You have no idea the impact of one faithful person. Daddy Bill ran the race before him. He ran his race and no one else’s. It is just as important that you run your race! Often someone else’s race may look more prominent or impactful, but that is simply not true. Your race matters. You have no idea the impact you may have on another life. Perhaps just as many people are impacted by YOUR race as those crowds I saw on Saturday. But God, being gracious and understanding your human propensity towards pride, keeps it hidden from even you!

This summer I met a girl playing soccer at a university in Nashville, Tennessee. When asked what she wanted to do, she shared that the desire of her college-age heart was to share Jesus through worship. I spent just ten minutes with her, but the fire in the soul of that freshman soccer player kept the fire in my soul burning. Yet although this sweet young lady had such fire, she admits she is struggling to keep the fire going. I spoke with her again in January, and she told me that she knew she felt called to impact; yet she has not had the impact she anticipated. That’s when I told her she had impacted me. I believe this young believer is struggling to overcome—holding on to an ember of that original fire. I hope and pray she keeps running. She is at a crossroads—her testimony is yet to come.

 You never know where your fire will catch, or how your fire will help someone else continue in faithfulness, so run! RUN, and don’t give up. Hold on to the promises in the Word of God.

RUN… 

You may not have started out well. You may have stumbled along the way.  Please listen to me here: It is not too late! Come! Get into the Word of God and #LIVEBOLD!  The biggest barrier to finishing well, like Daddy Bill has, is that it takes this kind of fight to persevere and endure.

RUN, and determine to endure to the end—finishing the race without anything left, because it matters.

What Does it Mean to Me?

 Am I running with endurance, #BOLD, or am I hiding amid spectators in the stands, hoping to go through unnoticed, missing the impact God has created me to have?

LIVE IT OUT

RUN!  RUN to the Word of GOD every morning. RUN, following the Word of God throughout the day.

Click here to view my Bible study message from last Tuesday, February 20, at The Cove.  I pray it charges up your soul to finish well today, and the next, and the one after that.

My heart’s desire is that all of us together can #LIVEBOLD unfiltered lives, impacting this world with the Gospel of Jesus.  Let’s RUN together, covered in the dust of the Rabbi.

–Kendra

If you do not know Jesus and are ready to lay aside your sin and fix your eyes on Him,  please click here to learn more:  Steps to Peace With God.


All of Kendra Graham’s Bible study messages from the last seven weeks are available at  Periscope @TheCoveNC . To order CDs or an MP3 of these messages, call Ruth’s Attic Bookstore at The Cove: 828-771-4800, option 3.

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — MATTHEW 28

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 28

Matthew 28:18-20

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.’”

What Does it Say?      

  • Jesus spoke: All authority has been given Me in heaven and earth.
  • GO make disciples of all nations.
  • Teaching them to observe all I commanded. I AM with you.

The Lessons

How appropriate that these are the last words of the Rabbi to the talmidin. After a talmid had followed a Rabbi and learned all there was to learn, the Rabbi would then, according to Mishna tradition, say, “As far as it is possible, you are like me now. Go! Seek others who will imitate you, because you are like me, and when they imitate you, they will be like me.” 

This is the point we have come to with the Rabbi Jesus and His talmidin. The work of Jesus is completed once and for all. The Bible from beginning to end tells us all of the extreme love that God has for mankind, His handmade creation. It is the story of His love reclaiming a broken world.

The Son of God has opened seas and made dry paths across the abyss for His people…He has ventured to crowded cities during Passover to heal and commission. He has climbed mountains, crossed angry seas, pulled men out of tombs, chased down paths, and built charcoal fires to bring one at a time to the true knowledge of the personal love that He has for them.

We have seen the authority of Jesus proven by the Word of God. Jesus did not come to authenticate the Word of God; the Word of God authenticates Jesus.  The Word of God is always the standard.  Jesus, here is reminding the talmidin of that authority and that it still belongs to Him.  It is because of who Jesus is that we can go into all the world and preach the Gospel, the Good News! Redemption is here for a broken, messy and needy world, so Go!

Go!” Right here, right now, the command is given!

It’s as if Jesus is saying,

“I, the Rabbi, have chased you down, I know you see it! You came with Me and I set you free, removing  the walls that kept you hidden, scared, confused and beat down.  Now, GO!  Where I found you, find others. You now have the Story—the Gospel—burning deep inside your soul. It will propel you towards purpose—My purpose—to tell a broken world that the True Gospel has come!

“Go! Go across streets, across towns, across borders, across seas, to hurting people who are living in tombs! Go even to people who may—or may no—hold your worldview! Go even into Decapolises!  Embrace them with the True Gospel!  GO! Call others to COME follow you, so that you can teach them what it looks like to follow Me. This means you may have to spend time with them and do life with them.

“GO! Plead with them!  All authority is Mine, so I have the power to save you and to save them! GO! Preach with boldness the mystery of the Gospel. (See Ephesians 6:19).  Live a BOLD, unfiltered life, healed by the Gospel of Peace.”

This is the charge: Go everywhere and tell of Jesus. As you go to work, to church, to soccer practice and soccer games, reflect the Rabbi in all you do.  Continue to be covered in the dust of the Rabbi.  How do we do that when Jesus is no longer physically walking the earth?  We are covered in the dust of the Rabbi by continually being in the Word of God.  Often it’s the Word of God—our Bibles—that are dusty, and not us.

The Word of God is the only thing that can transform lives.  His Word is the authority, and it will transform your life to the purpose it was meant to have from the beginning of time.

There are two kings in this world. One king has the sole purpose to steal, kill and destroy your soul. And if he can’t have your soul, he will settle for stealing your fire, your purpose and your passion for God and His Word. The other King—the King of kings—has come to give you life and to give it with abundance.  The choice lies with each one of us.  You and I will bend our knee to one of these two kings. (See John chapter 10.)

GO! “Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it” (Philippians 1:6).

Dear talmid, please know that you were not delivered just for deliverance’ sake, but you were delivered for purpose—for impact! You have been #Delivered to #LIVEBOLD impactful lives!  Jesus gave up His life so that we could have life and have it abundantly.

GO! Step out—and stay out—of your comfort zone. RISK it all to GO! Go where the Rabbi leads you. It may not be necessarily where you want to go, or think you should go, but GO… press into faith.  We have settled far too long for leading quiet, obscure, ineffective lives.  We’re free! We are #Delivered to #LIVEBOLD unfiltered lives.

COME! Be part of the story. Be covered in the dust of the Rabbi, and then GO! Don’t let anyone pour water on your fire. Go with passion.

What Does it Mean to Me?

Where is it that we go on a daily basis? As we go, how are our lives mirroring Jesus?  Which is more dusty in our lives, the Word of God, or us from being in the Word of God?

LIVE IT OUT

Today I will spend time in the Word of God; and as He sends me out today, I will mirror Jesus to the world around me.

Click here to join us tonight on Periscope as we finish our 2018 Evening Cove Bible study series, #LiveBOLD.

Click the link below to enjoy a poem written by Kendra’s twelve-year-old son, Quinn.  The topic relates to tonight’s study content, and we know you’ll be blessed as you read!

“God’s Purpose for You”

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — JOHN 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 JOHN 21

Restored to Purpose

 And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
John 21:19b (NKJV)
THE FACTS:

He said to him “Follow Me”

Step 2

THE LESSONS:

John 21 is a raw passage and hard to get through when you really feel the open wound that Peter had. On the night of the crucifixion he had denied Jesus, straight to the face of the Rabbi that he had been Talmid to. If only Peter could go back in time and undo one thing….

How many times have we said that very thing? “If only…..” So we put a lid on what we will allow God to do in our lives. We put a lid on the calling, on the imprint God is allowed to have on our lives and on the world around us. We are wounded. We are suffering. We are guilty. We are disqualified.

Here in John 21, Jesus bring Peter back in front of that charcoal fire. Was it because He wanted to rub Peter’s nose in the filth of his failure? No.  It was to heal Peter.  Healing occurs when we allow those things buried and covered in shame to be brought out, cleaned and healed.

Peter was ready to return to his life as a fisherman. He was ready to give up his calling to build the church so that someone more deserving and less stained could step in and take the reins.  What Peter did not realize was how important humility is in the Kingdom of God.  Peter had a HUGE dose of that…. now.

Now that Peter had allowed Jesus to expose his wound, he could heal. It’s the opposite of what we want to do, the opposite of what we think would propel the Kingdom of God.  Now, in Peter’s humility, he can seek out the lost.  Now that Peter is humbled, he can feed lambs and shepherd the sheep.

It is near impossible to truly shepherd sheep in arrogance… the arrogant shepherd would eat the sheep in his self-righteousness. Now, after experiencing the restoring love of Jesus, Peter could reach out to other hurting sheep and restore them.  Now that Peter had been broken, the sheep could feed off those broken pieces of his pride.

We hate that God uses our brokenness. We think He uses only “perfect” people who have not done “that”… that thing I have done.  I have spoken to many a hurting Christian who is very aware of their shortfalls and has chosen to wear their scarlet letter day in and day out; they choose to remain in bondage to shame and guilt, thinking that’s as good as it gets for someone “like them.

The TRUTH is…. the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.  The enemy may not have stolen our souls, but that king from that other kingdom has stolen our purpose, our impact.  We settle for living lives of surviving instead of thriving.  Jesus said He came to give us life and to give it abundantly (John 10)… but do we believe Him?  Do we really believe Philippians 1:6, “For I am CONFIDENT of this very thing that He which has begun a good work in us will complete it”?

What is the secret to living life abundantly? John 21:19b says it all, “Follow Me.”  Follow the Rabbi.  The call had not changed, and neither had Peter’s purpose.  The Rabbi continued to call to Peter, “Come.”  Remember, the Rabbi asks a Talmid to follow him, not because the Talmid has potential to know what the Rabbi knows; the Talmid is charged to be what the Rabbi is—to #bethemessage.

Jesus was just as relentless for Peter as He was for Blind Bart and the tomb raider… Peter just had no idea of his desperate state until now. What a blessing to know the depths of grace!  God still wants to use Peter, and He still wants to use us.  Yet we don’t want Him to use that” part of our story; we would prefer God use our strengths rather than our weaknesses.  We’d rather lose an arm or a leg than to expose our brokenness.

Restoration is not cheap grace. God will show us that weakness and humility are advantages.  When you are weak, you are dependent. Peter pressed though the exposure of his failure, and now at the end of the chapter, a curtain can be drawn over it.  It has been dealt with in its entirety.

There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ, Romans 8:1.  Do not handicap your usefulness for God by constantly rehearsing that failure. Remember the pain it caused—that is redemptive—but remember too that the guilt and shame that has kept you bound has been paid for by the cross of Christ.  SPEAK of the grace you have received.

Today, choose to follow Jesus. It’s not about where you have been or what you have done; it’s about who you are: you’re God’s handmade creation and you mean everything to Him.  “Come, Follow Me,” the Rabbi says.  Be covered in the dust of His Word.  #Bethemessage

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?

What are your reasons NOT to Follow Jesus?
What are your reasons TO follow Jesus?

How have you been #Allin or #Allout?

What redemption story has Jesus written in your life?

LIVE IT OUT:

Follow Jesus today as you open His Word, and follow where He leads.
Courage often follows obedience…. so be courageous.

– Kendra

Download Kendra’s notes on Jesus from the Old Testament.

Click here to watch the video that was shown at the beginning of last night’s bible study.

 

P.S.  Catch up on the story of #LIVINGBOLD as we Follow the Rabbi:
See The Cove’s Periscope page for our past Bible study messages!


HOMEWORK:
Matthew 28:19-20

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – 2 Corinthians 12:10

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 2 Corinthians 12:10.

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

FACTS :
“When I am weak, I am strong.” 
(2 Corinthians 12:10)

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:
My dear friend had the worst weekend… and now it’s Monday, and she has a huge task set in front of her.  Her boss has said no, twice already, yet today, she has to ask again.  God has moved her heart to do so.  She has no more energy to be winsome, no more power of persuasion; no strength to even get out of the car actually…. it’s perfect timing for God’s power to be displayed in her life, because she is a canvas of weakness.

A friend calls her en route to work… and prays that in her weakness God will go before her and that the hand of God will be seen, and His glory will be revealed to her, no matter the outcome.   When the two finished praying, in her weakness a strength welled up in her soul, as the burden of her work shifted to the shoulders of God… and…GOD WORKED in an unmistakable way she may have missed… not because of her strength but in her weakness.  When she was emptied of herself, God flipped the switch.  Through it all, miracles were accomplished right before her eyes.  The hearts of everyone, changed in a moment;  when she was weak, then she was strong.  This testimony of my friend, encouraged me, and really described to me, the essence of this verse.

The Apostle Paul wrote this verse in 2 Corinthians, and honestly, I don’t like to be weak! In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul states that God’s power is “made perfect in weakness”.  This is so contradictory in society today, isn’t it?  Power and strength through weakness?

A mark of a disciple of Jesus, is faith and trust in Him.  We love when God finally decides to use the “strength” of our “natural talents” for Him, don’t we? When God uses what we think He should use how we think it should be used, it is easy, it’s a natural outflow of what we want to do for Him, and… it is something we are familiar with, so the amount of faith and dependence on Christ is…minimal.

BUT GOD…wants to increase our faith and dependence on Him to show us how much He loves us, and what He wants to do right in front of our eyes… SO God… in His grace, mercy and love… brings us to a point of weakness so that we have nothing left to do, but trust that He’s got us.

God was pressing Paul to have confidence in His strength through the fact of his weakness.   The weaker we are… the more dependent we become.  God wants us to depend on Him, so He will bring us to the point of that dependence, not because He hates us, but because He loves us and wants to show us what He can and will do for us.  The power of God is put on display, when we get ourselves out of the way.  It’s often not until we are desperate that we see the mighty hand of God work in unspeakable amazing ways!

I want to see God work, but I don’t want to be weak and desperate.  If I refuse to allow myself to be broken and bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus, then I am choosing to settle to hear of all the testimonies of those who will.  I will miss the miracles and testimony that God has for me.  Jesus was broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of His Father.  The Apostle Paul here, is broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus.  A loaf of bread will never feed someone, it’s pretty to look at in its state of perfection, but useless, unless it’s broken into bite size pieces; then those pieces can feed a crowd.  A grape never satisfied the thirst of a single person, yet a crushed grape can make the finest wine after it is squeezed.  Trust God in your weakness.

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?

If God’s power becomes more evident in your weakness, then are you looking for God to work in BIG ways when He seemingly has gone out of His way to bring you to your knees?

When has God brought you to a state of total dependence on Him so you could see His glory, love, grace or mercy displayed more fully?

Will you walk away from a God who is relentless for you because in your pride you refuse to be weak and desperate so you choose to be angry and bitter?

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.

It’s in the things that drive us to our knees, those moments of weakness that God allows, in our lives to show us His power.  We run from all things that make us out to be weak, but what if today, in your weakness you pressed into it, and asked God to make you strong in Him? Today, run to God in your desperate state today, fighting the crowds of your feelings, frustration and hurt just to touch the hem of His garment and rest in the strength of His arms.

How has God used your weakness to display His strength in your life?  Will you encourage someone today with the testimony above?

*Please note: Kendra will no longer assign specific homework for this study. She will still use the Three-Question approach and recommends you do the same. Kendra would love to hear what Scripture is speaking to you at this season in your life. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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 — 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’s Bible Study…Isaiah 53:3-4

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 53:3-4

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:

Verse 3a: He was despised and forsaken of men.

Verse 3b: Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.

Verse 3c: From whom men hide their face.

Verse 3d: Despised, we did not esteem Him.

Verse 4a: Our griefs He bore, our sorrows He carried.

Verse 4b: We esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, afflicted.

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 3a
: God came personally to live among us with skin on, His name is Jesus. God loved us so much that He refused to trust us to another, so He came personally to fix the gap that was in our relationship, which is sin. God refused to reject us, even though we find it so easy to reject Him. In this world there is no other name that brings such emotion than the name of Jesus. It is not in us to run to God, it is in us to hide from God and to shake our fists at God, to despise Him and reject Him… “So He came, while we were still enemies, and loved us, and gave Himself for us.” Romans 5:8 God loves us first. We were created to walk with Him, know Him and need Him, so Jesus would go the distance to make that which we were created to do a possibility…

Verse 3b: Jesus knows what it is to be broken, to feel hurt, loss and pain. Jesus understands my intense hurt and pain because He experienced it to a degree I will never have to feel. Jesus is compelled to compassion for His hurting handmade creation.

Verse 3c: No one wanted to be connected with Jesus. Even in the Garden of Gethsemene when Jesus was being wrongfully arrested, His closest friends scattered and refused to be connected with Him in any way. Jesus knows abandonment by His closest family and friends, and yet still, He went forth out of indescribable love to fix the gap that was between us. Oh the deep deep love of Jesus.

Verse 3d: It is so easy to get it wrong… we like things to look right and sound right, and play the part that we think they should play… yet Jesus did not “look like” “sound like” or “act like” those who were looking for the Messiah thought He should be and do. It is easy for us to reject those God accepts and visa versa. God Himself came and allowed Himself to be despised by the very creation He had come to save. He could have struck us dead with a word, yet instead, He died for us, loving us in word and deed. Oh! That we would esteem Him now by just spending time with Him in His Word.

Verse 4a: God with skin on, Jesus, took our pain and sorrows upon Himself as if they were His. Jesus took our grief and sorrow, but it remains so hard for us to release them to Him to carry, so we burden ourselves with which we were never designed to carry. We were created to need God to carry us. I love the verse in Isaiah 40:11 “He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart…” God knows often times we need to be carried, we can’t do it, so He carries us.

Verse 4b: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 God paid the price for sin, Himself. Jesus was smitten and afflicted so we wouldn’t have to be.

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

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

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

Verse 3a: Is your relationship personal between you and God? Are you running to God or are you running from God?

Verse 3b: Have you laid out your hurt and brokenness to Jesus, knowing He understands the pain of your heart?

Verse 3c: Will you stay close to Jesus today or scatter? Did you know He loves you either way?

Verse 3d: What do you think Jesus should do and hasn’t in your life? How has Jesus looked differently in your life than you once thought He would look? Will you esteem Jesus today by spending time with Him in His Word, asking Him to lead you?

 Verse 4a: Are you needing to be carried? Did you need to know that, today, God will carry you? Did you know that God came Himself, with skin on, Jesus, not trusting you to another, so that He could bear your burdens? Will you ask God to help you release those burdens today?

Verse 4b: Will you believe Jesus came for you because of God’s great love?

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 with God in His Word just you and Him. We were created to walk with Him, know Him and need Him.

Homework: Isaiah 53: 10-11

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

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Acts 1:8

Online

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

Kendra Graham NOTES from Acts 1:8

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

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

Verse 8b: You shall be witnesses to Me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIVE IT OUT!

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

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

Homework: Isaiah 53:6-7

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

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Matthew 5:1-10

Kendra Online bible study picture

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

Kendra Graham NOTES from Matthew 5:1-10 

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

(1)   Seeing the multitudes, He went on a mountain, when seated, disciples came to Him.

(2)   He opened His mouth and taught them

(3)   Blessed are poor in spirit, theirs: kingdom of heaven

(4)   Blessed are those mourn, they SHALL be comforted

(5)   Blessed are meek, they SHALL inherit the earth

(6)   Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, they SHALL be filled

(7)   Blessed are merciful, they SHALL obtain mercy

(8)   Blessed are pure in heart: they see God

(9)   Blessed are peacemakers: called sons of God

(10)           Blessed are persecuted for righteousness; theirs is kingdom of Heaven

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?

(1)   Jesus has things to say to us. He wants us to go where He is. It will take time & effort.

(2)   Jesus is not silent. Jesus, because of compassion speaks the Truth & teaches those willing to listen & follow Him.

(3)   Desperation is a blessing, it drives us to Jesus

(4)    Brokenness drives us to Jesus. Jesus will comfort the broken hearted. The world gives the illusion of peace, able to bring outward peace for a period of time, but no relief for the inward peace we strive to obtain.

(5)   Meek: Strength under control. It’s not about our “rights” to a status, position or power; our inheritance is sure. (Jesus, compelled by compassion for us, is the picture of strength under control from His start in the manger to the Garden of Gethsemane through to His death on the cross.)

(6)   The hunger and thirst of the world is always for more: money, status, power and stuff which never satisfies, it leaves us empty in the end. Our hunger and thirst is actually designed in us by God to drive us to Jesus who came to satisfy what we were created to need: To know God, walk with God and need God. Contentment is only found in Jesus.

(7)   Mercy: undeserved favor of kindness. Mercy and forgiveness which is so easy for us to accept cost the agony of the cross for Jesus. Mercy becomes essential for us to extend to others in the light of the cross.

(8)   Pure heart: a heart “free from foreign elements”. A pure heart, one that is undivided, wholly devoted to Jesus, walks with Jesus, has a personal relationship with Jesus, therefore has the ability to see Jesus in everything…. whether joyful or mournful, good or bad, easy or hard pressed. How cool is that? That is obviously an ability given by God. Jesus is compelled for one pure focus: being the Righteous Sacrifice our sin demands.

(9)   Jesus came as the Son of God to bring PEACE between God and man. Blessed are those who introduce others to the gospel of peace through Jesus.

(10)           We will be hung out to dry because we follow Jesus, doing and standing for the right thing. Don’t be surprised, expect it. It will be ok. We serve a God who knows what is happening. Hold on.

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?

(1)    Are you spending time with God on a regular basis? Who or what is keeping you from God’s Word?

(2)    Are you listening to what God has to say to you? Where is God leading you? Are you willing to follow?

(3)    When has desperation driven you to Jesus? Have you ever looked at desperation in life as a blessing from a compassionate God who desires nothing more than for you to run to Him and need Him?

(4)    Where and to whom have you sought peace only to be let down? Are you broken by the turmoil of life and in need of a Prince of Peace?

(5)    Have you thought meekness = weakness? Have you thought that if you don’t “work” the system, climb the ladder, throw others under the bus, toot your own horn, you will never achieve what you were meant to achieve? Will you allow God to promote you or demote you knowing regardless, your inheritance at the top is sure? When have you shown godly “Strength under control”?

(6)    What are you looking for? Can your life be summed up by the old U-2 song, “I still haven’t found, what I’m looking for”? Will you allow your search to lead you to the one True God who you were created to walk with, know and need? What do you really hunger and thirst for? A status? A job? A spouse? A child? A bank account? Power? A technological gadget? When have you received exactly what you wanted only to be let down afterwards? Do you really want to be satisfied? Will you come to Jesus?

(7)   Once you and I truly realize what it cost, how can we not extend mercy to others? Are you quick to be merciful or dole out justice?

(8)   When was your heart so wholly focused on Jesus and undivided, that even when things were coming down around you, you had peace, confidence and the ability to see God? Have you thanked Jesus for having that pure undivided heart for you?

(9)   Are you introducing others to the Prince of Peace who died to make peace attainable?

(10)           When have you seen or experienced someone doing the right thing, only to be mocked and penalized for it? Has anyone ever assigned evil motives to something that was meant only to show the compassion of Christ? Were you surprised by it or did you expect it? Who better to understand the injustice of life than Jesus who experienced this to a level you will never have to?

LIVE IT OUT!
The Christian life begins at a very needy desperate point because it drives home OUR NEED for a Savior. When everything falls and we lose it all, we realize that beneath the rubble of all this world has to offer, when Jesus is all we have, we realize Jesus is all we need.   Satisfaction is found in a personal relationship with the God who created us to walk with Him, know Him and need Him.

COMPASSION. Jesus has a pleading compassion for His creation. we should have the same.

SPEND MORE TIME LISTENING TO WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY TO ME.

Homework: LUKE 5:27-32

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