Proverbs 3 contains some of my favorite verses, specifically verses 5-8. It is the wisdom to “trust in the LORD with all your heart”, found in verse five, that has gotten me through many rough times where “relying on my own understanding” would have only ended up making things worse.

I back-up because these three verses in chapter three will not make the impact intended by Paul if we don’t understand why we need to keep “seeking” and “thinking on” – things above.

In the second week of our study, we will watch as Jacob contends not only with his “sister-wives” but their servants given to him as early prototypes of ‘surrogate mothers’.

What a week we’ve had traveling through the early stories of Jacob, from his birth as a twin to his most recent ordeal of thinking he had married Rachel, only to wake up to discover it was Leah he had married.

Jacob dupes Esau, deceives his father, and because his life is in danger he leaves home to find a wife among his mother’s people. On the way he has an encounter with God in a dream –

Isn’t it always in the “meanwhiles” of our lives that hope is most appreciated? Such is the case here with Jacob.

The Blessing Day 3, Week 1 of Choosing God Instead of the World, a love God Greatly Bible Study Scripture Reading: Genesis 26:34-28:9; Romans 9:6-1; Genesis 28:3-4 (SOAP) May God Almighty bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations! 4 May God pass on to you and your…

Sight, sound, touch, hearing … our senses are catalyst for desires. From things we need to things we enjoy to things we’ve never tried but know someone else enjoys – from the time of the garden – our desires have been an issue.

You Are Mine Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:19-26; Isaiah 43:1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.     O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.     I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1 Observation: I love that our reading gives us a…

Every day throughout this study I have read the verses and looked for ways that they point us to our need for Jesus.

These truths, that in one way or another led us all to Christ, are the truths we are meant to cling to, motivation to seek Him daily and that remind us – we are to be lights for Him – the One true Light!

Today’s message is undoubtedly the message of repentance. However, let’s look at the underlying message first

The Word Of God Day 1 of Jesus I Need You, Part 2, a study of Thistlebend Ministries Scripture Reading: Matthew 3:2-3;Psalm 19:1-2,7-20 The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; Ps 111:7 the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. Ps 119:130 The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; Ps 119:14 the command of…

As followers of Christ we are meant to bear fruit. We are meant to bring glory to the Father – our Gardener.

Blot Out My Guilt Day 3 of Jesus, I Need You – Part 1, a study of Thistlebend Ministries Scripture Reading: Psalm 51 (focus verse 17) and Isaiah 6:1-13 The sacrifice God desires is a humble spirit—O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject. Psalm 51:17 Observation: What’s the Message? In Isaiah…

The message in Isaiah chapter one is from the LORD, Himself. He is obviously offended, angered, and grieved over how His children do not even recognize Him and how they have chosen to live.

This means we must SEEK and STRIVE to ABIDE in Christ and not be pulled away by the desires of the heart/flesh.

Jesus is not an option for my life – He is the source of my life, my strength, and my access to God the Father.

The women we’ve studied this week showed us that leaving a legacy of faith is important, not only for the lives of our own children but for the generations to come.

Then we see that Timothy is connected to the faith through his relationship with his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice, through their living faith (5).

We also see her unwavering focus kick-in when the Lord’s use of her name revealed to her who He really was.

Lest we think that Paul and his companions knew all the right words or amazing presentations, don’t miss that it was the Lord who opened her heart

Shiphrah and Puah: Saving Hebrew Boys Day 1, Week 6 of Beautifully Surrendered, A Love God Greatly Study Today’s Reading: exodus 1:1-21; SOAP: verses 17 and 21 17 But the midwives feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.  21 And because the midwives feared God, he…

In the final week of our study (week 6), we will look at what it means to be “Women Leaving a Legacy”.

Life isn’t always easy so praising God isn’t always easy. Likewise, being joyful in all circumstances, as James suggested, is at best a challenge and at worst seemingly impossible.

We may not sit in a judge’s seat or rule God’s people from under a tree but we would be right to encourage others to do what God has called them to do,

Miriam: Sing to the LORD Day 1, from week 5 of Beautifully Surrendered, A Love God Greatly Today’s Reading: Exodus 15:1-21; SOAP verse 20-21 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced.  And Miriam sang this song: “Sing to the Lord,    for he has triumphed…

Trusting God isn’t always easy. He allows things in and around us that don’t make sense and that often cause us to wonder where He is.

It’s important to note that Jesus wasn’t teaching that the wealthy should not give or that the poor should give all they have. Rather, He was pointing out how they gave

What is important to today’s story of Moses’ mother are the steps she took to save the life of her son.

While no one in the palace knew Esther’s true identity, she knew and outside the place walls Mordecai knew and thus our story today. God used them both as examples of faith and heroes of His people.

Mary was a virgin from Nazareth, also known as Galilee. She was engaged to a man by the name of Joseph who was a descendant of David. She was favored by God, chosen to bear the Messiah, God’s only Son.

In the coming week (week 4), we will look at what it means to be “Women of Surrender and Sacrifice”.

As we read about Hannah, Anna, Rachel, Hagar, and The Woman at the Well this week we learned the need to stay surrendered to God in prayer.

Crucial to this encounter with the Samaritan woman is the word “whoever”. It is equally important to understand the importance of who Jesus was speaking to –

It’s easy to read Hagar’s story and get lost in our thoughts or conversations and judgements about Sarah and Abraham actions …

Rachel: God Heard Her Cries Day 3, Week 3 of Beautifully Surrendered, A Love God Greatly Study Today’s Reading: Genesis 29:31-30:24 (SOAP – 30:22-24) Then God took note of Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away…

Anna: Never Ceasing Prayer

We are to be devoted to prayer as she was, it should not be something we only do in the morning and evening or when we have a desperate need. We are meant to pray “without ceasing”, staying alert to the opportunities and needs throughout the day to call on or cry out praises to Him on our own behalf or other’s.

Hannah’s prayers affected not only herself and her husband but don’t miss how even, at a very young age, they were already affecting Samuel

Reflections from Week 2 of Beautifully Surrendered A Love God Greatly Bible Study about God’s Heart for His Daughters Through Elizabeth, the Canaanite Woman, Rabhab, Ruth, and the Bleeding Woman we have seen how God’s heart is moved by our faith. We have witnessed His blessings of miraculous pregnancies, healing of a demon possessed daughter,…

The verse we are focusing on today starts with, “He said to her …” but you have to read the passage to see the fuller picture of why He said it. Her face to face encounter with Jesus happened because “she heard about Jesus”. What she heard she must have believed because she acted on her faith and by Jesus’ own words – “her faith made her well”.

There were cultural norms of the day that would have led Orpah and Ruth to stay with their mother-in-law, Naomi,

Rahab: Strong and Brave Wednesday, Week 2 of Beautifully Surrendered, A Love God Greatly Study Today’s Reading: Joshua 2; James 2:14-26; SOAP: Hebrews 11:31 It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the…

We really need to look at the full picture to understand and appreciate what took place and what it means for us as Gentile believers.

Elizabeth: Nothing is Impossible Monday, Week 2 of Beautifully Surrendered, A Love God Greatly Study Today’s Reading: Luke 1:5-25; 39-45; SOAP: Luke 1:45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:45 My Observations: The Back Story To truly appreciate and rightly observe this one verse I believe…

Now that we have laid the foundation of God’s love and concern for us as women we will press forward looking at how God has use and worked through the lives of women in Scripture.

How sweet is this scene’s depiction of the Savior’s intimate care for His mother even in the throes of a horrendous death.

What happened next melts my heart and highlights the fact that He truly cared about the widow. Jesus saw her, took notice of her situation, had compassion for her, spoke words of compassion to her – and then …

We are to measure ourselves, not by who we are or were but by the faith God has given us, Rom. 12:3

… gifts had become a source of contention among the body at Corinth instead of being the effective tool they were meant to be.

Don’t you love that God didn’t just create but became intimately involved with His creation? He could have simply created man to name and tend the animals and all that He had made but instead …

I’m so excited to get a closer glimpse at these women and how they learned, through pain and difficult situations, to walk by faith and not by sight.

Otherwise our focus will be words on a page – quickly forgotten or laid aside because they hold no real value.

Remembering His Faithfulness Today’s Reading: Psalm 9 (SOAP verses 10 and 11) Your loyal followers trust in you, for you, Lord, do not abandon those who seek your help. 11 Sing praises to the Lord, who rules in Zion. Tell the nations what he has done. Psalm 9:10-11 NET “You can be an instrument through which others encounter God,…

Turning Lament into Dancing Today’s Reading: Psalm 30 (SOAP: Psalm 30:11-12) A song used at the dedication of the temple: by David David’s Response to Answered Prayer This psalm begins with an acknowledgment that a prayer has been answered. It seems to be a recounting or a testimony of what it was all about and…

I do not have to be afraid because I know that the living God is with me and loves me and I rest secure in His love demonstrated on the cross.

I do not have to be afraid because I know that the living God is with me and loves me and I rest secure in His love demonstrated on the cross.

Surely there is absolutely no one and nothing that can stand against us when we are loved so deeply.

Just as I/you live in “HOPE” of the promises of God through Christ – we need to live in the power of the Spirit for all of life’s needs.

After all, isn’t that what we were hoping for when we believed in Jesus for our salvation? – Thus, Paul wrote: “In this hope we were saved”.

When we suffer, whether it is from petty hurts, great sorrows or persecution, an anguishing illnesses or catastrophic event – as God’s children we can suffer with hope.

In response to his own questions Jeremiah prays a prayer of restoration and renewal and includes a purpose that he knew would align with God’s will for his people and the city.

In response to his own questions Jeremiah prays a prayer of restoration and renewal and includes a purpose that he knew would align with God’s will for his people and the city.

What happened to this once thriving and powerful city and people? Scripture answers this for us in Lamentations 1:5, “The LORD afflicted her because of her many acts of rebellion.”

Then the lament changes from despair to hope (21-24) and it wasn’t because his situation had changed – but because Jeremiah had purposefully

Like Jeremiah, we should be greatly affected when God’s people or His work are impacted by suffering, regardless of where the suffering comes from.

The Lord’s Anger Today’s Reading: Lamentations chapter 1:1-22 (SOAP/FOCUS: 12) “Does it mean nothing to you, all you who pass by?    Look around and see if there is any suffering like mine,which the Lord brought on me    when he erupted in fierce anger. Lamentations 1:12 NLT Background It is impossible to understand this one verse without first taking in…

His faith was strong because God had delivered him from the claws of the lion and the bear and he didn’t wear Saul’s armor, not because he trusted the sling and stones but because he trusted in the LORD who rescued him from the bear and the lion!

the tangible sacrifices of bulls and goats, or of incense and rituals, but that of the heart, humbled and repentant and yielded to Him and His will.

reading “the verse” in it’s full context is always helpful and often the meat around “the verse” is juicier than “the main portion”. While I love the SOAP passage, I definitely think verses 1-21 enhance verse 19 and bring the fuller flavor or meaning of the verse to the surface. Don’t stop with the main course though or you’ll miss the wonderful dessert found when reading through to verse 31. It’s like icing on a cake.

What is the resolve of your life? What will you do when the crisis comes? Clearly Scripture teaches us to have a plan that is rooted in God (Father, Son, and Spirit) and in His Word. Here are some helpful tips …

We are one week away from our next study, Trusting God in the Midst of Suffering! This is a 4-week study by Love God Greatly that I will be sharing/hosting here at Mefomthensideout.

John was, as we should be, impressed with Jesus. He knew Jesus’ importance and the value of what He had to offer and believed in the dire need to proclaim it so that, as Jesus prayed, “the world will know that you sent me, and You have loved them just as You have loved me.” (John 17:23)

ns available. As Paul said in Romans 1:16, they have the power to save. So, having believed these Words and having received the gift of salvation we must now share them so others may also believe and be saved.

The urgency for Mary to “go and tell” was because He would be leaving. The urgency for us to “go and tell” is He will come again and people must be ready. – Me from the inside-out

When we talk about glorifying something or someone we typically are referring to making them known – drawing attention to them or to what they’ve done – and giving them the place of honor.

Much like a home adorned with beautiful ferns, our lips should flow with the message of Christ and our lives are to be adorned with the fruit of His Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control should define the landscape of our lives – the chief of which is LOVE. For “they will know we are Christians by our love”.

but I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Get up, let us go from here.

Make no mistake, as surely as we are to serve and love others as He served and loved we are also called to be His messengers. (Mark 16:15)

What stands out to me here is that by the death of Jesus, many more were saved and are still being saved today! Because His Light continues in and through us. When we “continue testifying” about Him (17-18), what He’s done for us, what we’ve seen Him do for others, and what He says He’s going to do it impacts others.

Caiaphas and the Prophesy Today’s Reading: John 11:45-12:11 (Now he did not say this on his own, but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not for the Jewish nation only, but to gather together into one the children of God who are scattered.)…

“Jesus shouted in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” – and Lazarus came out and at Jesus’ command he was unwrapped from the burial clothes and let go. Ah, the power of our God and of our Savior.

Jesus makes it clear to the Jewish leaders that the ones who listen to His voice and follow Him, those are His sheep.

It’s packed with sheep, a shepherd, and a gate, there are thieves, robbers, a wolf and danger lurking just outside the gate, but there is also safe pasture and the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep.

We must not allow the questions this raises to cloud the TRUTH. Those who TRUST in God will be given sight and understanding (6-7 and 35-37).

Following His conversation with the adulterous woman ( 8:3-11), Jesus immediately makes His second “I Am” statement, this time not as the “Bread of Life” but as “The Light of the world”.

well, at least they knew where in this world He was from – but what they didn’t know, or who they didn’t know – was God

This is when Jesus holds the 12 accountable – questioning them as to their intentions – and receiving a staunch declaration of allegiance from Peter on behalf of them all it would seem.

Jesus doesn’t answer with a list of requirements but simply one – “believe in the one whom God sent”.

Let the calm of His voice and His presence flood your soul for there is no darkness or impending danger so great that it will keep Him from you.

That my friends is what we call a miracle and the people were talking about it – connecting it with something they remembered from the teachings of Moses, referring to Him as the “prophet” they were expecting.

We must come to Him believing, but like the official in today’s account of the second miracle, we must often move forward believing without seeing.

When we read or listen to the Word and engage with Him – we will hear and see the truth and be forever changed.

The One Who Believes and the One Who Doesn’t 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed all things under his authority. 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him. John 3:35-36 NET The Message Continues We last looked…

While the chief benefit of God’s gift is salvation we must not miss the secondary benefit, the freedom from condemnation of our sin.

Their confidence in who Jesus was – was being strengthened – and yet again the roots of their faith were growing deeper.

Seeing Him For Who He Is John 2:1-11 and SOAP John 2:11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. John 2:11 The Elephant in the Room First things first, let’s address the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’, found in verse 4,…

Jesus – The Word and The Creator Grab your favorite Bible and read John 1:1-18; SOAP: John 1:1-4 In the beginning the Word already existed.    The Word was with God,    and the Word was God.2 He existed in the beginning with God.3 God created everything through him,    and nothing was created except through him.4 The Word gave life to everything that…

For the Lord gives wisdom,    and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright    and is a shield to those who walk in integrity— Proverbs 2:6-7 In the first 5 verses the listener is encouraged to listen for wisdom, to concentrate on understanding, and call out for understanding and then here in verse…

The Peace of Listening But all who listen to me will live in peace,    untroubled by fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:33 All the wise sayings that preceded this verse were concerning those who had ignored the opportunity for wisdom, 1:20-32. They had chosen their own desires and their own ways over that of wisdom and because…

We must, as God’s children, listen to these (His) instruction(s) and walk in them rather than ‘with’ the world.

Fear of the LORD Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,    but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 For the next two weeks we will journey through the first 4 chapters of Proverbs. The book was written by King Solomon, son of David. It is typically described as a book of wise sayings –…

David expresses his own desire to not forget the good things God has done for him and then begins to name them …

What Really Matters 9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of…

Commit to a Pure Heart Read: Psalm 51; Soap: Psalm 51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God.Renew a resolute spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 Have mercy … wipe away … wash away … cleanse me … forgive me … cleanse me … grant me forgiveness … hide Your face from my sin ……

Commit to a Pure Heart Read: Psalm 51; Soap: Psalm 51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God.Renew a resolute spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 Have mercy … wipe away … wash away … cleanse me … forgive me … cleanse me … grant me forgiveness … hide Your face from my sin ……

The more we know about God and the more we experience with God, the more we will trust Him and seek Him for the strength we need.

when your relationship with God is based on these truths and not dependent on your circumstances Your very life will stay yielded to a lifestyle of PRAISE.

Once we have experienced God’s love nothing else satisfies and even in the midst of drought and storms we will still praise Him.

This combination of commitment and expectation is also what keeps us coming back – asking, seeking, knocking – and what moves our heart to rejoice when we receive the answer.

“How long are you going to be paralyzed by indecision?[a] If the Lord is the true God,[b] then follow him, but if Baal is, follow him!”

Waiting is the easiest part”. However, I have heard many, including myself, say, “waiting is the hardest part”.

God’s plan was never for Paul, or us for that matter, to think of ourselves as self sufficient but rather to be dependent on God’s all-sufficient grace

if that’s not enough – He says, when You don’t know how to pray about something – don’t worry, I have you covered. Oh the rich rich goodness of our God!

May we learn to trust these truths and in faith receive and use each gift or answer He gives – according to His glory and pleasure.

As such, they are no longer separated by a curtain but are invited to approach God – to come before Him – with confidence that when they ask anything according to His will He will hear them and answer accordingly.

As God’s children we have HOPE and when we truly understand the foundation of our HOPE we will be moved to rejoice in the goodness of God and all that is His – and this my friends – should have a great effect on how we pray.

Jesus declared, when the branches are pruned – they will bear more “fruit”, evidence of our God’s work in our lives.

We must care so much about others that we seek to not offend them and to quickly make things right if we do.

May it be praise that ignites more praise both in us and in all those who hear or see what He is doing.

Revere God and His Wisdom Read Jeremiah 10:6-7 6Lord, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full of power.7 Who would not fear you, O King of nations? That title belongs to you alone!Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the…

Confidence comes with trust and trust is built through relationship and established over time . MefromtheNsideout –

As His disciples we must be faithful to gather around Him and listen to Him teach. This is the key to the blessings.

“The Apostles were devoted to Christ and given over to teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

Don’t you love the phrase, Jesus saw? Notice though, Jesus didn’t just see the brothers and keep walking – he stopped and called them to follow along with Him. He, no doubt, could see that they were busy – Peter and Andrew, actively throwing nets into the sea, James and John repairing their nets, implying that they intended to catch more fish. Their current positions did not keep Jesus from saying “follow me” nor did it keep the brothers from following. I love that Jesus took the time to see and call them, but I am equally moved and actually – a bit convicted – by the fact that the brothers did not hesitate to stop what they were doing and follow Him.

it is equally clear to me today that it is good and right to be direct and firm with the ‘tempter’ and say “no”!

picture of words that seem to describe the love, joy, and pleasure that God took in seeing His son baptized

Our salvation isn’t based on whether or not our parents are Christians or if we go to church …

We would be wise to be alert to His teaching and reminders as well as to live yielded and obedient as Joseph did.

Peace in Your Circumstances

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11; Read and SOAP: Isaiah 26:3 We forfeit peace when we allow the circumstances of our life, good or less than desirable, to control how we feel or respond to any given situation. Reflection: According to Isaiah, when does God keep His people in perfect peace? Don’t forget today’s devotional and LGG…

The Gift of Peace

I invite and encourage you to join me for this final week of our study as we explore God’s gift of PEACE. We will discover how to have peace in our hearts, minds, circumstances, and future – and then we will finish the study with a look at Mary’s song of praise. You won’t want…

Hope in Salvation

From “The Greatest Gift Given” wk3d4 ( An LGG Study) Read: Romans 8:18-25; SOAP: Romans 8:24-25 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected…

Pursuing Joy through Prayer

The link shared below is something I found both encouraging and helpful. I wanted to share it with the hope that it will also encourage you to spend some quality time with God. I will preface it with this … prayer can also be spontaneous which Scripture supports in Colossians 4:2, where it tells us…

Truth Over Lies: Week 1, Day 2

SATAN HATES GOD & HIS PEOPLE Read: Acts 13:10; Revelation 12:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 SOAP: Revelation 12:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our…

“I Am Who You Say I Am”

Reflections on Week 3 of “In Jesus You Are …” – A Love God Greatly study about – ‘Understanding Your Identity in Christ’. In Jesus we are Adopted … Children of God … Chosen … Citizens of Heaven … Known by God 💜 We are who He says we are – no one can change…