Living The Sane Life

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church of Ephesus 2,000 years ago, that message speaks to us today. He was advising the Ephesians on how to live a sane, Spirit-filled life every day. Paul compared and contrasted a life lived which was led by the sin-nature, with a life led by the Holy Spirit. Afterwards the choice of which life-style to follow was left to the recipients of the letter. He did, however, strongly encourage the Ephesians and us to live a life led by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:1-21:
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

We, like the Ephesians, choose the kind of life-style that meets our needs. Fortunately, when we learn to make better choices, we can make more positive changes in our lives. The questions I submit to us are: “Are we wanting something more from our lives?” “Have we outgrown the life-style we’re living?” “Have we become bored with happy-hour, and now desire a happy life that pleases God?” “Do we feel tired of playing the same game because we know the outcome?” “Are we ready to get out of the kindergarten of life and strap-on the “big-boy” issues under God’s direction?”

I recommend Jesus, He is the answer. Invite Him into your heart and allow Him to take control of everything. Some of us remember this Sunday School song: “Into My Heart.” Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in to-day, come in to stay. Come into my heart Lord Jesus.

We gain and regain our sanity when we become a child of God. Romans 10:9-10 teaches: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Prayer: Father, let all come to repentance, let none be lost. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

(Reprint from Facebook, August 2010)

Glenda BrunsonWe are thankful for the life-lessons of the “God-breathed” Scriptures. As God blew his breath into the first Adam, the Bible is available to breathe life into us. The Bible is indeed a” lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” August 20, 2010 

Abigail Bible Study – 10 Key Points for Bible Study 08/02/2014

For our lesson of Abigail, 1 Samuel 25:2-42, here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 91-95 of the text, but may help you in our discussion of the Saturday Bible Study 08/02/2014.

1.Her name means, “My Father is Joy”. 3. (pg. 161)

2. Wife of Nabal and later David. 1. ( Vol. A-D, pg. 7)

3. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings. (1 Samuel 25:3)

4. Abigail is described as: generous, quick-witted, and wise, she was one of the Bibles’ great peacemakers. 3. (pg. 161)

5. Abigail’s sorrow: To have a mismatched marriage to her first husband. 3. (pg. 161)

6. One of the servants told Nabal’s wife, Abigail: David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. (1 Samuel 25:14)

7. Wasting no time and without a word to her husband, she loaded a caravan of donkeys with gifts for David and his men— freshly baked bread, skins of wine, red meat, and various delicacies—and took them to David’s camp. As soon as she saw him, she fell to the ground at his feet, making one of the longest speeches by a woman recorded in the Bible. 3. (pg. 167)

8. Abigail was a courageous woman, who made the best out of a difficult situation. She knew the cultural principles at work here: Nabal —out of just plain good hospitality and out of gratitude for the protection David’s men had provided —should have given David’s men what they asked for. Yet when David sought vengeance, Abigail interceded, realizing that vengeance wasn’t something that was up to David —or her—to give. 3. (pg.  167)

9. David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. (I Samuel 25:32-33)

10. When Nabal was informed of his wife’s action on the morrow after his nocturnal debauch, he suffered a stroke and died within ten days. Shortly thereafter, David took Abigail for his wife. 1. (Vol. K-Q pg. 491)

1. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Abingdon Press, 1962.

2. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995.

3. Women of the Bible, Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan, 2007.

 

Women of the Bible, Abigail – August 2, 2014

Abigail is our eighth study in our series from Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Jean E Syswerda. The study of Abigail is found on page 91. The Bible Study small group will be held on  August 2, 2014, 4:00-6:00 p.m. If you have not received your books for the study, please see Glenda. Remember that all materials are free as they are gifts to you from students participating in Homewords Small Group Bible Study Ministry. For information contact Glenda at 727-542-4683.

The Profile of the Blessed

Psalm 1:1-6
In the first Psalm we are taught:
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he mediates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (NIV)

To the Believer “being blessed” is our state of mind, in good and bad times. Being blessed is reflected in our attitudes and always in our behavior. Being blessed is a learned state that begins when we accept that Christ is our Savior. The state of blessing is amplified when we submit to His lordship/authority over our lives. For some Believers this state of blessedness and the recognition of it did not come until many years after professing that they were Christians.

Being blessed is an awakening; it’s a process at which we gradually arrive. We “get it” that we are blessed when we come to the realization that everything (good or bad) comes from or is allowed by God, our Father.

We don’t endure “being blessed.” We awake each day in this state of blessedness, bask in it several times during the day by recognizing that God’s hand is directing the events of our day. We thank God for it, and rest in this state of blessing as we sleep each night. We start this process over the next day and the next.

Blessings are added to and multiplied as we unselfishly give them to others. We are able to pass-on blessings through our smiles, greetings, and encouragement to others.

We are able to demonstrate being blessed by being patient with those who have not arrived at our level of blessedness, but have the potential to do so. We need to provide those whose “wings of faith” are underdeveloped with some growing space. We can risk damaging others and derailing the process when we mandate that others ought to recognize their blessings immediately. Because it is not us who provides blessings, we should be careful with our superior attitudes towards others who are slowly becoming aware. Being blessed is a “self-study” of our “individual blessing plan.”

A blessed attitude is one that does not murmur or complain about whatever God sends to us. We observe what God is doing, we study His Word, we apply what we see Him doing to our hearts in gratitude to Him, as we follow His directions.

The profile of the blessed, which ones of us can, fit the profile?

Prayer: Lord we thank you for showering us with new blessings each day.  We will continuously give you the praise. In your name, we pray. Amen.

 

Originally Released in Homewords Small Group Bible Study Ministry, Facebook group, September 22, 2010

Bible Study for July 24, 2014 is Rescheduled

Due to scheduling conflicts the Bible Study for July 24, 2014 is rescheduled for August 7, 2014. 

 

Most of the students will be attending the Summer Revival of First Baptist Institutional Church, Saint Petersburg, FL where the Dr. Wayne G Thompson is Pastor. Guest Evangelist is Dr. Carolyn Ann Knight of Atlanta, Ga. July 22-24, 2014, 7:00 P.M. nightly.

God’s Blessings to all following Homewords Small Group Bible Study.

The Gospel of John Bible Study – Meets July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014 – Schedule Life Change Series – We will continue Lesson Fourteen – John 12:1-50, The Hour Comes, A prediction of death (12:20-36), page 132, “life”. If there are questions, respond by the social media on which you received this notice.

God’s Blessings to all following Homewords Small Group Bible Study.

Delilah Bible Study – 10 Key Points for Bible Study 07/19/14

For our lesson of Delilah, Judges 16:4-22, here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 73-74 of the text, but may help you in our discussion at the Saturday Bible Study 07/19/2014.

1. Delilah was in all probability a Philistine, though she bore a Semitic name. (Judges 16:4) 1.(The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 2 pg. 792)

2. Her name has become a synonym for deceit and treachery.  In the game which he played with her, seeming to reveal the secret of his strength but in reality retaining it.  Sampson engaged in an amusing but dangerous sport.  He was playing with fire; he was so often on the verge of yielding his secret, of selling his birthright, that finally in a weak moment, vexed to death (vs. 16), he went over the edge—into the abyss. 2. The Interpreter’s Bible

3. The Philistine rulers offered Delilah an extraordinarily generous amount to get Sampson to reveal the secret of his great strength. (16:5)

4. Delilah was given what she thought was the source of Sampson’s strength: For him to be tied with fresh thongs that had not been dried. (vs. 16:7)

5. When tested, the seven fresh thongs were not the source of his strength. (vs. 16:8)

6. Delilah confronted Sampson, accusing him of making a fool of her. She again asked for the source of his strength. (vs. 16:10)

7. Sampson gave her another answer for the source of his strength—to be subdued with “new” ropes. (vs. 16:11)

8. When tested the new ropes also failed to be the source of his strength. (vs. 16:13)

9. She again asked Sampson for the source of his strength. (vs. 16:13)

10. Sampson told her that weaving the seven braids of his head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with a pin was the source of his strength. This also proved to be a false source of his strength. (vs. 16:14)  

1. The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume 2, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York.

2. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995.

3. Jean E Syswerda, Women of the Bible, Zondervan, 1999.

 
 

Women of the Bible, Delilah – July 19, 2014

Delilah is our seventh study in our series from Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Jean E Syswerda. The study of Delilah is found on page 71. The Bible Study small group will be held on July, 19 2014, 4:00-6:00 p.m. If you have not received your books for the study, please see Glenda. Remember that all materials are free as they are gifts to you from students participating in Homewords Small Group Bible Study Ministry. For information contact Glenda at 727-542-4683 .

The Process of Coming to God’s Perfect Placement

The Process of becoming what we feel God wants us to be is not easy. When a prefect God, brings us closer to His perfection, for His use, our adjustments to His requirements are not easy. But the adjustments we call difficult, can’t in any way be compared with the difficult task Jesus had of dying for the sins of others. Every day, we must continue to hope that  “just at the right time” we will experience the feeling of accomplishing exactly what God wants. However remember, the process of becoming is not easy.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance , character; and character , hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:1-8)