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ARE YOU EXPERIENCING GOD DURING BIBLE STUDY?

GEORGE WHITFIELD

THE MAN WHOM GOD USED SO MIGHTILY

DURING THE GREAT AWAKENING

SAID

I SIN WHEN I PRAY

I SIN WHEN I READ THE SCRIPTURE

 

HE KNEW HIS HEART

HOW EVEN WHEN DOING SACRED THINGS

HOW DESPERATELY DARK HIS HEART COULD BE

HOW IT COULD QUENCH THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-lautermilch.html

 

HOW DO I SQUEEZE THAT GENTLE DOVE?

HOW DO I CAUSE MY SHY LOVER TO RETREAT?

HOW DO I QUENCH THE QUICKENING?

 

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

  • When I am reading to feel good about myself as a Christian, checking off my chapters
  • When I am studying to become smarter, but not transformed
  • When I make the Bible all about me and not all about Him
  • When my motive is not intimacy with God, but to feed an idol

 


CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD

AND RENEW A RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN ME


THE HOPE OF EXPERIENCING GOD DURING BIBLE STUDY BEGINS WITH

  • REPENTANCE – FOR ALL MY WRONG MOTIVES
  • ASKING, KNOCKING, SEEKING FOR HIM TO COME TO ME

THE WIND, I KNOW BLOWS WHERE IT WILL — SO IT MAY NOT HAPPEN

BUT IF HE COMES

  • IF A VERSE QUICKENS ME
  • IF QUESTIONS ARISE IN ME
  • IF EMOTIONS COME

 

I AM LEARNING TO STOP BECAUSE HE’S COME TO ME.

Right now I’m reading through Matthew and Micah. This morning I was reading about the terrible beheading of John the Baptist — and the next verse quickened me: “Now when Jesus heard this he withdrew in a boat to a desolate place.”

I was quickened. You grieved too, Lord, when one you loved was taken from you. You had to withdraw. You had to grieve.

You understand our sorrows.

It was just a moment, but I experienced the presence of God, like a gentle hand on my shoulder.

This week I pray you will experience God — in the Bible study, in the music, and in the wonderful message I want you to watch from Paige Benton Brown. You may have heard her through the Women’s Gospel Coalition website (or been in person) — but I want you to watch another message from her that moved me to the core.

There is no more important factor for Bible study transforming you than having a responsive heart. I am anticipating a GREAT WEEK WITH A WONDERFUL GROUP. SO MANY OF YOU JOINED US LAST WEEK. SO GLAD YOU ARE HERE — WE WELCOME YOU SO!

LET’S SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO.

SUNDAY/MONDAY ICEBREAKERS

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

We also have an enemy

who longs to

distract us from experiencing God.


The Song of Songs warns:

Catch the little foxes for us,

the little foxes

that spoil the vineyards

for our vineyards are in blossom

(Song of Songs 2:15)


 

 

 

 

E-mail is one of my little foxes. So tempting to look first thing in the morning — but then it’s got me!  So after I wash my face, brush my teeth, and get my coffee — I’m meeting with my Bridegroom.

2. What is a little fox you must guard against?

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY   BIBLE STUDY

(IF YOU GET DONE SOONER, GO ON TO SERMON, BECAUSE IT IS WONDERFUL YET LENGTHY)

We are going to look at Psalm 101, a psalm of David when he was to become King of Israel. He had high aspirations for how he would behave himself as king. Though he failed, he walked in repentance, returning to these standards.This psalm also points to the King who kept the standard.

And though we are not kings, in particular, the first four verses are relevant to us and to experiencing God.

Read Psalm 101 slowly.

3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

Each of us has favorite artists and songs that minister to us. I love Sandra McKrakin and Sara Groves, among others.  One of my favorite you-tube versions of Hiding Place is this one:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_xUkXRDXUA

Whatever songs minister to you — use them more this week than you usually do. Sing before you meet with Him, sing along the way, sing as you do the dishes, sing in the shower — sing of his steadfast love and justice, make music to the Lord. Sing Sing Sing and be ready to report how it is impacting you later in the week!

In fact, sing now! It will soften your heart so the seed of the Word can sink down.

6. What does “I will ponder the way that is blameless” mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!)

7. What does “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” mean?

8. What does “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” mean?

9. Is anything from the above quickening you? Stop then — ponder — and let us know what it is.

Thursday-Friday: Watch this video — take it in — let it speak to your heart — and then tell us how it does! (And keep singing!) Link

10. Share your notes, your thoughts, your heart.

11. Have you been singing more? Share what you like here.

Saturday

12. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

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275 comments

  1. oh Dee! This looks like a great week…convicted already! LOVE LOVE LOVE this from Sara Groves–OH.

  2. 2. What is a little fox you must guard against?
    FaceBook.
    It’s becoming an idol that needs to be weeded out!
    And it’s going to be a challenge because my Pastor’s wife had a meeting with all the women in the church to delegate certain ministries. She was asking the women to step up and take over some over because her teaching & singing engagements are starting to pick up.
    I couldn’t make the meeting but received an e-mail and the two left were the Newsletter and the “To the Heart Ladies Ministry” page on the church’s FaceBook site.
    I said I will take the FaceBook page because I’m always on it.
    She messeged me back and said she wants to meet with me when she gets back from her trip. She is a her 25th wedding anniversary trip with Pastor. She said she is not a “FaceBook person” so that would be great.
    I would like to remain anonymous with this site because I want to give God the Glory!

    I posted an outline of her study in Ephesians before she left, and she liked it so much she asked me to post it on the Ladies Ministry page.
    The Psalm you posted, ” Create in me a clean heart, renew a right spirit” is one I often quote because I learned it as a child. I so want to be used of God, but very much need to be humbled in order to be used. I’m not used to getting attention, or noticed. Im an introvert. I need to learn how to handle it in a Godly and wise why.

    1. Laura Marie–I will pray for you in this–exciting but sounds like a big challenge!

    2. I will pray too Laura, for wisdom and balance for you in this.

      1. thank you Elizabeth & Chris S, much appreciated

        1. Praying too, Laura Marie…nice picture of you!

    3. Praying for you too, Laura Marie. So great to see a picture of you. Facebook like other social media can be a blessing and a curse. We need to all learn to use it in a godly way.

      1. amen to that! and thank you to Diane.

  3. We sang this at church this morning and I couldn’t get over how applicable I found it to this week’s study. http://indeliblegrace.bandcamp.com/track/laden-with-guilt-and-full-of-fear-feat-sandra-mccracken

    Laden with Guilt and Full of Fears-Isaac Watts/Sandra McCracken/Indellible Grace

    1. Laden with guilt and full of fears,
    I fly to Thee, my Lord,
    And not a glimpse of hope appears,
    But in Thy written Word
    The volumes of my Father’s grace
    Does all my griefs assuage
    Here I behold my Savior’s face
    In every page.

    2. This is the field where, hidden, lies
    The pearl of price unknown
    That merchant is divinely wise
    Who makes the pearl his own
    Here consecrated water flows
    To quench my thirst of sin
    Here the fair tree of knowledge grows,
    No danger dwells within.

    3. This is the judge that ends the strife,
    Where wit and reason fail
    My guide to everlasting life
    Through all this gloomy vale
    Oh may Thy counsels, mighty God,
    My roving feet command,
    Nor I forsake the happy road
    That leads to Thy right hand

    1. like button!

  4. OH MY! Sorry to post so much today–just wanted to encourage. I had some extra quiet today and thought I’d start the talk before my week gets crazy–I started and couldn’t stop! IT SO MOVED ME. Oh wow. So much. Thank you Dee for sharing it with us. So much to chew on…

      1. Laden With Guilt was Isaac Watts originally–but I don’t know more about it. The lyrics this morning really moved me–especially after reading your blog post. Loved this “And not a glimpse of hope appears,But in Thy written Word”

  5. (Taking this way out of order before I forget.)

    10. Share your notes, your thoughts, your heart.

    A. Recognition of sin in God’s sight – are you trying to find an angle as justification? self-justification? microscope of truth — God’s magnifying glass

    B. Take Responsibility – sin is deliberate. No blame shifting. My sin is in inward parts. We sin because we want to. nature vs. contrition. I am wrong.

    C. Regeneration – Create in me a clean heart, O Lord (Psalm 51)
    Isa. 57:15 – Revive the spirit of the lowly and the heart of the contrite. We can want to be found.

    D. Repentance – see your sin in relationship to God. Our sin is a character assassation of God. II Cor 7:10 – Sorrow because you’re breaking God’s heart. Covenant love of God – Turn from sin. Turn to God

    E. Restoration – of relationship – Transformation. Do you want to be well? Change in focused way. Repentence is ongoing.

    After all of David’s sin, the laziness, the adultery with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband Uriah and multitudes of others, Jesus calls Himself the Root and Offspring of David. (Rev. 22:16)

    1. The only time I’ve spoken before a church group I spoke on II Tim. 2:3,4 – “Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” What an example Uriah the Hittite provided!

  6. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why? The thoughts from George Whitfield humbled me—of sinning when I read Scripture. Sometimes I can lose the motivation to read Scripture because I don’t feel I will be “quickened”—but there is my sin—I am making it all about me and what it has to offer me. I want to read for intimacy with God.
    Also what Dee teaches about slowing down. Before Dee, I never paid much attention to that instruction—I’m not very patient by nature!…and so often in previous studies I just searched for the answer to the question. But she has taught me to slow down, lest I miss His gentle quickening. This study has really helped me linger over just one verse at a time and to take note when something pops out at me.

    2. What is a little fox you must guard against?
    My “to-do” list; productivity, my reading is often rushed so I can get to my “schedule”. I have my daily reading on my computer—but the danger is of course in turning on my computer—and the flood of distractions it brings!

  7. Posting my notes early because I have a full week–it was SO SO good!!

    Paige Benton Brown “The Responsive Heart”

    Psalm 51-David’s response—“have mercy on me o God”
    1. Recognition-David sees his yuck for what it is. It’s not enough to just see our sin, but to see it as God sees it. By His standards alone our actions and motivations are weighed.
    The mirror example cracked me up! We can so easily find an angle to make ourselves look better! When I do this I am looking to justify myself. If I do try to self-justify, I will never look to the Cross for justification.
    Chinese proverb: The beginning of wisdom—is learning to call things by the right name.

    2. Responsibility—we often say when we sin “that was so unlike me!”—David is saying “this is JUST LIKE ME”. The Vanderbilt example—so relatable! I try to blame something else, circumstances—but I sin because I want what it gives me more than I want anything else.

    3. Regeneration-David doesn’t ask for one more chance. He’s not just concerned with his sin, but what it says about his heart. David doesn’t ask for a new start—he asks for a new HEART. He is asking for a new creation—a miracle. It is admitting total helpless-ness, that we have nothing to offer. Not just ‘forgive me’ but ‘change me.’
    Only in Christ can we be known—fully, AND loved. Because of the miracle of regeneration, we don’t have to hide—we can WANT to be found!

    4. Repentance– He first gives us a new heart, so that we CAN repent. Many see their sin, but still never repent. Repentance doesn’t stop with seeing my sin in relationship to me—I have to see it in relationship to God. See the heart of my sin—cosmic treason—a rejection of God. All of my sin is a character assassination on Him.
    We do not lose the joy of our salvation when we sin—we sin when we have lost the joy of our salvation.
    The difference between godly and worldly sorrow, found in 2 Cor 7:10-: Godly sorrow brings but repentance that leads to salvation and no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
    With remorse you are the reference point-you look at your mess, you look inward, you hate self; there is regret that leads death
    In repentance, God is the reference point-you look at your mess and turn upward, you hate your sin—which leads to life

    I like the quote from Tim Keller she gave “If you have cracked and breaking metal—you can’t hammer it back together, it has to be melted and reshaped”

    The fuel of repentance is not the fear of God’s wrath, but the kindness of God draws us to Him. Biblical Repentance is turning from sin and turning to God. If we turn from the sin, without turning to the Lord, we only re-name our sin. We only find a new idol.

    5. Restoration—the goal of the responsive heart is the restoration of the relationship. David cries out for reconciliation. It is always a moving forward into what we were made to be. The way to know if we have a responsive heart is evidence of CHANGE. Ask myself, ‘Have I changed?’
    We have to want to get well. Jesus asks the man by the pool if he wants to get well because cure has its implications. When a whole way of life has been built up around my sin—do I really want to be well? Am I ready for the implications?

    Change must be in a focused way—there should be particular change. And the change must be full–there should be a newness in us—full of repentance. Luther: “All of life is repentance”.

    Let my heart be broken—that I will run to Him, let my heart be melted, and reshaped into a heart that reflects His.

    In closing she quotes a prayer by A.W. Tozer:
    “Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys.
    I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from me heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there with-out a rival. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine it it, for Thyself wilt be in the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  8. SUNDAY/MONDAY ICEBREAKERS

    1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    George Whitfield said he sinned when he prayed. I wrote out lengthy prayers years ago regarding anything and everything. I filled notebooks with these prayers.

    Then, I walked away from a God-given ministry for reasons that will remain private. I had wholeheartedly devoted myself to God, to that job and the people I encountered during that job. I was told by my pastor that those who put their hand to the plow and turn back are not worthy of the kingdom of heaven. I was so angered, so hurt, so traumatized by things that were happening that I went home and wrote curses in a prayer notebook. I immediately recognized that this was sin. I destroyed most of the notebooks and stopped writing prayer. To this day I seldom record my prayers in writing.

    And then, I reflected. How can I curse the Almighty God? How can I turn my back on Him Who has given me everything, my very being, my salvation? How can I turn from God Who gave me Jesus to save me from this hideous heart and outlook?

    It took a long time to regain trust, but thank the Lord, He didn’t stop caring for me. He showed me Lamentations 3:22, 23 which says, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

    I believe God has forgiven me, because of what Jesus did for me on that cross and I praise Him for not giving up on me.

    1. Chris G.,
      Thank you for your transparency in answering this question. Your story is very powerful, and so is the verse from Lamentations.

  9. 2. What is a little fox you must guard against?

    Sticking my nose in the business of others. Butting into conversations that are occurring between others. Taking sides in arguments that have nothing to do with me.

  10. This struck me, Dee: I SIN WHEN I PRAY I SIN WHEN I READ THE SCRIPTURE HE KNEW HIS HEART HOW EVEN WHEN DOING SACRED THINGS HOW DESPERATELY DARK HIS HEART COULD BE HOW IT COULD QUENCH THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD.
    A few weeks ago a dear friend said how much she was bothered by our pastor saying how much he sins – everyday, all the time. I wondered how a person could think they don’t sin every day and all the time and then I realized it was the ugliness of morality/religiosity – something I am well acquainted in my past church and something I fight daily. Even though I have grown so in this area it is good to keep speaking truth to my soul and this opening spoke to me and re affirmed it.

  11. This is so powerful:
    I SIN WHEN I PRAY

    I SIN WHEN I READ THE SCRIPTURE

    HE KNEW HIS HEART

    HOW EVEN WHEN DOING SACRED THINGS

    HOW DESPERATELY DARK HIS HEART COULD BE

    HOW IT COULD QUENCH THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD

    Our hearts are desperately wicked, but praise God he forgives us when we come to Him in repentance.

    Hopefully I will be able to participate more this week. I am home from visiting my newest grandbaby – so adorable, and such a good baby, which is so helpful to a mother of two.

    1. I am glad you are back Diane!

      1. Thanks, Chris S. I am glad to be able to participate more fully. I get so much more out of working through and writing out the answers on my own than from just reading your answers. It is amazing how God speaks to me when I actually ponder and listen to what God is saying to me.

        1. I agree Diane. Glad you are back for we did miss you and that it is in the working through the questions that He speaks to me.

        2. So true and welcome back. Glad you had a good time with your grandbaby.

  12. 3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    We try to be perfect in our daily dealings, but we are not perfect. We make human mistakes. Sometimes we are so busy that we do not “hear” God. We must stop and listen for Him. it is important that we try.

    4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

    David is going to surround himself with people who are good; those who are trying to live upstanding lives. He speaks of the “one who is blameless” (God?) will be his minister. He talks of not being around those who slander, are haughty, and are proud. Liars and those who are deceitful are not welcome in his house.

    I wonder though, how he will “put to silence” those who are wicked?

      1. 8 Every morning I will put to silence
            all the wicked in the land;
        I will cut off every evildoer
            from the city of the Lord.

        Does bs just mean that be won’t listen to the wicked? I’m not really good at interpreting poetry….

        1. Amplified Bible-8 Morning after morning I will root up all the wicked in the land, that I may eliminate all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.

          The Message-8 I’ve rounded up all the wicked like cattle and herded them right out of the country. I purged God’s city of all who make a business of evil.

          I think that it is just referring to getting rid of evil. Also that it isn’t just a one time job, morning after morning it has to be done, just like the weeds in a garden.

  13. Can’t wait to get started on the study this week-looks wonderful and yes..oh…oh…the song…! Getting ready to leave- have a 7 a.m. dental appointment for the boys. Then Isaac, my one with High functioning Autism has his first time ever going out for football at 8:15 a.m. He really wants to-I need to trust God..Am trusting Him this morning. Pray! 🙂

    1. prayers for Isaac, let us know how it goes!

    2. Yes, I can feel for you and will pray also.

  14. 3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    David sings praise to God—recalling His truths. He desires to live blamelessly before God. Starting in his own house, with his family, he desires to please God. He will guard his eyes and time. He wants everything in his life to be pleasing to God.

    I found it interesting how many times David says “I will” in—I counted 9 in the psalm, as opposed to “I will try”. There is a deliberateness, a boldness, in wanting to follow after God.

    4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

    He will use his power as king wisely–not allow slander, pride, haughtiness, unfaithfulness, or deceit. He says “every morning I will put to silence…”—it just made me think of starting each day fresh—with every morning, putting aside distractions, the “foxes”, and seeking Him.

    5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?
    HE is worthy of all my praise. He is the One deserving—and His attributes, His love, His mercy, His justice—there is no end to the praise He deserves. My music should be for Him.
    I love what it tells me of His heart—of Who He is, that He loves music—there is such a tender warrior beauty in that to me—if that make sense out loud?!

    6. What does “I will ponder the way that is blameless” mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!)

    Micah 6:8 says “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
    I am not blameless on my own—I am not without sin–but I am blameless because of Gospel, through Christ. I keep thinking—to ponder the way that is blameless, maybe to ponder the Gospel daily–living in light of my sin and Christ as the only acceptable atonement, my indebtedness, my unworthiness…the humility of my righteousness in Him alone. But remembering also that He gives a regenerate heart–
    “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

  15. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    I am intrigued by the picture of the dove. I see the wooden Cross in the background. Has the artist depicted the hands of Jesus holding the dove?

    The questions: “How do I squeeze that gentle dove?” “How do I cause my shy lover to retreat?” “How do I quench the quickening?” These are penetrating questions to ask. I know one way is to have a hardened heart.

    When I make the Bible all about me and not all about Him – does that mean that if I am looking for comfort if I’m hurting, that I’m making it about me? I’m being self-focused?

    When my motive is not intimacy with God, but to feed an idol. I’ve never thought of that before – am I using Bible study to feed my own idols? This is a question to really chew on and ponder. It certainly means there is no bottom to the depth of the depravity of my own heart.

    2. What is a little fox you must guard against?

    Okay, I have foxes running around everywhere. One can be plain laziness. I’ll get up early only to find myself catching some more sleep on the couch. Another is wasting time on the computer. Another is being mentally distracted by all the things I need to get done.
    A big one is hopelessness which spirals down into just wanting to give up. I had an especially difficult weekend emotionally. I went to church but I did not want to be there. I felt apathetic in Sunday school and in worship. I can just sit and stare into space, finding it difficult to read the Bible or even pray. It’s the “what’s the use” mentality.
    A fox is believing the enemy’s lies – that when I’ve sinned, God doesn’t want to hear from me anyway.

    1. I am sorry to see you had a tough weekend, but comforted that you know that what you are hearing are lies, love to you Susan!

    2. Susan–I relate to this–“A fox is believing the enemy’s lies – that when I’ve sinned, God doesn’t want to hear from me anyway”

    3. Thanks for this Susan:

      “When I make the Bible all about me and not all about Him – does that mean that if I am looking for comfort if I’m hurting, that I’m making it about me? I’m being self-focused?”

      It helps remind me what I should be focused on.

  16. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    I thought about Whitfield’s awareness of his own sin, that that has been one of the marks of revival, and that it is a gift from God to understand the depths of our heart so that we can repent.

    I thought of this verse;
    2 Chronicles 7:14
    “ if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
    Oh that all of us would humble ourselves and pray and turn from our own wickedness. Imagine if the whole Body of Christ looked first to our own hearts rather than trying to see into the hearts of one another

    I appreciated your thoughts on Jesus’ grief over John the Baptist. I have thought much about John the Baptist since our trials. John’s followers were jealous that people were leaving John to follow Jesus, they didn’t understand. John wondered if he had been wrong about Jesus being the Messiah while was imprisoned, it was not working out the way he had thought it would. Jesus said that among those born of women none was greater than John, be he was beheaded, very hard for his friends family and followers to understand, but it was part of the plan.

    I can relate to the bewilderment they must have felt, sometimes things are not to be understood, perhaps it is sin that wells up in my soul demanding explanations.

    Psalm 131
    1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
    I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
    2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.
    3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
    from this time forth and forevermore.

    2. What is a little fox you must guard against?

    I have been feeling that I should begin my day with prayer, and begin writing down my prayers for certain things. My prayer life has been tiny. I used to pray more, but I see now how much pride there was in my prayers.

    I have felt guilty about how little I have prayed these past two years, but perhaps that house built on the sand needed to be washed away, so that I can start fresh.
    So I think that the computer is my little fox, I need to leave alone until I have prayed, that’s what I am feeling led to do.

    1. love your heart for prayer Chris–and the 2 Chron. verse, so good

    2. I like your thoughts in this post, Chris. “I can start fresh”. Isn’t it wonderful that with God, we always can start fresh!

      1. “we always can start fresh!” What a wonderful thought, Chris S. and Susan! “God’s mercies are new every morning.” Amen.

        1. When I read your comments Susan & Diane, I thought fo Anne of Green Gables saying “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”

  17. What is a little fox you must guard against?
    Facebook!!

    1. amen (lol)

  18. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    I read this post yesterday morning before church and God let some things soak in. Especially to hear him when he comes and he does come-oh he comes in different ways!

    He came to me in Proverbs 15 yesterday at church, and through a friend at church. It is a long story-but so wonderful. I am going through hormonal changes and have been cranky on and off. I said something without thinking to my husband Sunday morning before church. It wasn’t wise or edifying-it was selfish of me to say what I said WHEN i said it. I could have communicated my feelings in a better way. He is used to me doing that, but I just let it out this time. So I confessed this to a trusted friend at church. She identified with me. I told her I know part of it is hormones, but I really don’t want to use that as an excuse totally. Sin is there too-discontentment and not trusting God-is he really ultimate over my circumstances each morning with the stress that can come? She agreed and said she too struggles with hormones, but she too doesn’t want to stop there but wants to be transformed. We agreed we need progesterone cream-;-) but also encouraged one another in Him..we are praying for one another.

    Then when we got into service our Pastor was teaching in Proverbs 15. God came to me-it wasn’t condemning at all, His goodness in how he confirmed my conviction. He is Good..I was reminded He is Wisdom-I was reminded of How Jesus relied on God’s direction constantly as He spoke. I was reminded to hold my tongue and think about what I am going to say before I say it-to be asking him what is pleasing to him before I say it. Really, in all areas of my life!!

    My friend immediately texted me after the sermon and said, LOL! Now wasn’t that awesome how God moved?!? 😉

    1. so good Rebecca “How Jesus relied on God’s direction constantly as He spoke”–and praying for you and all these changes! 😉

    2. Progesterone cream has been very helpful to me.
      I am glad you had a friend to confess to Sunday! How did Isaac’s practice go?

      1. Chris, Yes I am finally going to break down and buy some of that cream. 🙂

        Isaac’s practice went great for his first time. We will see how it goes. I do have something more awesome to share..We went to our church picnic Sunday at the lake and Isaac was dying for me to go with him to look at the sunset. After the picnic was over he and I walked toward the sunset and He said he loved how God made the sun to reflect off the lake, and he made that just for us. This was my kiss from God-that my son loves to adore Him through what He has made, and I really think God delights in that.

        1. That is a beautiful picture to imagine…you and Isaac admiring the sunset God provided for you:)

        2. I have been thinking how I need to get that cream and try it again. My sis in law says hormone balance is key to getting rid of headaches. Funny God would draw my attention to this again…hmmm.

        3. This is great, Rebecca – you and Isaac and the sunset!

  19. I agree with all of the comments re “a little fox you must guard against”. Certainly, Dee’s comment on the very slippery email trap. Email, in itself not a sin, but how to prioritize it and all social media, is a challenge for our current times. Maybe not long phone calls so common from previous times, but now long periods spent on our e-devices. Times that could be spent listening to our dear Heavenly Father. May I repent, and have more intentionality for this precious time with Him.
    Looking forward to listening to the message.

  20. 2. What is a little fox you must guard against?

    I sense all kinds of little foxes nipping at my heels today. I am back from vacation but now I have all kinds of cares demanding my time, and I find myself resenting them. I am also aware of a close friend who is undergoing major family stress and I find myself caught up in her feelings of being overwhelmed. Strong negative emotions can be snapping foxes that bring me to a standstill, like quicksand that I am trapped in. I have to firmly and deliberately turn my head away from the emotions and put my eyes on Jesus. I do not want to miss the blossoms and fruit in the vineyard because I am too busy fending off the foxes.

    1. Diane–this just greatly ministered to me–like a devotional reading when it really hits the spot…”Strong negative emotions can be snapping foxes that bring me to a standstill, like quicksand that I am trapped in. I have to firmly and deliberately turn my head away from the emotions and put my eyes on Jesus. I do not want to miss the blossoms and fruit in the vineyard because I am too busy fending off the foxes.”

      1. So glad it ministered to you, elizabeth.

        1. It ministered to me also, Diane

  21. 3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    Praise – vs. 1 “I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
    to you, O Lord, I will make music.”

    Contemplation – 2 “I will ponder the way that is blameless.”

    Seeking God – vs. 2 “Oh when will you come to me?”

    Obedient living – vs. 2 “I will walk with integrity

  22. 3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    Praise – vs. 1 “I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
    to you, O Lord, I will make music.”

    Contemplation – 2 “I will ponder the way that is blameless.”

    Seeking God – vs. 2 “Oh when will you come to me?”

    Obedient living – vs. 2 “I will walk with integrity of heart within my heart,” and vs. 3 “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.”

  23. 4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

    He plans to destroy the slanderers, the proud and the liars (vs.5, 7)
    He plans to promote the faithful and have them to his counselors. (vs.6)
    He plans to destroy the wicked from the countryside and the city of the Lord (Jerusalem). (vs. 8)

  24. 5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

    “I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
    to you, O Lord, I will make music.”

    God’s steadfast love and his justice go hand in hand. I heard a good sermon on this yesterday, saying that the wrath of God is just another aspect of His love. If he really loves us, he must punish sin. When we worship God, we must recognize that to expect God’s love without His justice is to create a weakling God who cannot fix wrongs and make things right. He cannot wink his eye and shrug his shoulders at sin. We cannot just change God to fit our whims. We cannot change the definitions of sin to suit our fancies. He is a Holy Judge, a just parent, and a Jealous Lover who merits our obedience.

    I have been aware of how our culture does not want to hear about sin. It hates the word. Well, actually, we all do. I do not want to hear that I have sinned.

    There is a young woman that I have mentored for many years who has fallen into sin but justifies her actions and does not want to be “condemned” by church people. As a result, she has stopped going to church because they are “condemning” her for doing something that the Bible teaches is wrong, but that the “world” does not. I find myself deeply troubled and grieving over her situation and pondering how to speak the “truth in love” to her in such a way that she will hear and respond to God’s voice. I am hearing God’s voice to me that I must “confront” her with her sin, at the same time being sensitive to her ability to understand what sin really is, how she is hurting the God that she claims to love. I would appreciate your prayers in this matter. I have been reading Jeremiah today and how he was weeping over the sin of Israel.

    I think I understand Jeremiah a bit better now.
    Jeremiah 8:21 “For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded;
    I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.”

    1. oh Diane-praying now for this woman you mentor.
      Lord, thank You for putting Diane in this woman’s life. Thank You for Diane’s obedience to the call, selflessly giving her time and energy to mentor this woman. I pray Lord You will give Diane wisdom about confronting her in her sin–give her the time, the words–and most of all Lord I ask that You work in this woman’s heart–prepare the soil that she may hear the words of Truth and find the strength to run to You–may she find the joy that freedom from her entanglement in these lies will bring her Lord.

      1. Thanks, elizabeth. That’s my prayer, too.

        1. Praying for her, Diane

    2. You know I’m praying, Mom. You & I are at the same spot, not quite sure what to say to her. I don’t want to push her away, yet she needs to hear the truth.

  25. What srood out above and why?
    what you wrote about Jesus having to withdraw because of grief over the death of John the Baptist:

    “I was quickened. You grieved too, Lord, when one you loved was taken from you. You had to withdraw. You had to grieve.You understand our sorrows.”

    I always think of “Jesus wept” over the death of Lazarus and don’t think I ever heard anyone point out how He had to withdraw from society for awhile because of the death of His cousin, John the Baptist.
    Thinks brings a stronger impression of the humanity of Jesus that I ever understood before.

    1. “it brings a stronger impression of the humanity of Christ”
      I have to start reading through clearer before I post…

  26. Whatever songs minister to you — use them more this week than you usually do. Sing before you meet with Him, sing along the way, sing as you do the dishes, sing in the shower — sing of his steadfast love and justice, make music to the Lord. Sing Sing Sing and be ready to report how it is impacting you later in the week!

    I chose the hymn, “How Great Thou Art”, the words speak to my heart and remind me of the Majesty and Greatness of Christ. This song always moves me when I hear it and I chose Carrie Underwood’s version not only because of her voice but because of the conviction in which she sings it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhvaDJTUmrU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    1. Pretty new picture, Laura Marie.
      Love Carrie’s version.

    2. Thanks for sharing that, Laura Marie..so beautiful!

      1. When I watched Carrie Underwood sing that, I found my mind wondering to how beautiful she is and looking at her dress and eyebrows and gloss on her lips and how beautiful a voice she has! I felt myself idolizing her, instead of God, so I have to minimized the video and go to a picture of Jesus or sunset or something to look, while listening to the song itself, and to really feel the words to that song in my heart for God. See how wicked our minds and hearts can be? As simple as that…listening to a beautiful gospel song, my wicked idolizing heart is on the prowl, idolizing something other than God. Our minds wander during prayer and bible study, church and praising God and even singing to him. I feel so thankful he can forgive me.

        1. I play my Pandora on my iPhone and this version came up. It’s the song & the meaning of the words that move me. But I know what you mean, if I am listening to someone at church sing, I find myself critiquing what they are wearing or how they should be singing the song in my mind..

        2. I posted that version on my FaceBook wall and someone I know ( who is a Pastor of a church) said he lost all respect for Carrie Underwood.
          I deleted his post because I thought, I don’t want controversy over everything. But then I thought, I should ask him why.
          So, I went to his Facebook wall and apologized for deleting his post without asking.
          I asked him to expound, and he did. He posted an article on this singer publicly making a stand on same sex marriage.

          I don’t know if it is right, I felt convicted so I took down the post. But to be honest, I was more convicted that he was the one to point this out.

          I wonder if its conviction of condemnation?

        3. Laura-Marie, I kind of lost you on this. What beef does your pastor friend have with Carrie Underwood?

  27. 3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    We can sing of the lovingkindness and justice of God and sing His praises — I think of Great is Thy Faithfulness. We pay attention to things around us and choose the best way –the way that pleases the Lord God Almighty. I heard one time that “I choose my destiny daily.”(Rev. Milton Akey)– Powerful and true. We can walk with integrity of heart. We can choose to dwell on the excellent, the praiseworthy, the true, the honorable, the right, the pure, the lovely, the things of good repute (Philippians 4:8) rather than the worthless. We can encourage those who are slipping away to return to the Lord. We can guard our own hearts and pray that the Lord deliver us from evil.

    4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

    Goals of King David include destruction of secret slanderers, not enduring haughtiness or arrogance, rather, looking to the faithful to be in his presence. He looks for the blameless to minister to him. Those who practice deceit or falsehood will not serve with David. He is zealous to destroy the wicked and to cut off sinners.

    5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

    Singing of lovingkindness, justice and praises to God focuses our eyes heavenward. When we are focused on God and Christ Jesus and heaven, when our total commitment is to the Lord Jesus Christ there is no room for wrong thinking and sin.

  28. 2. What is a little fox you must guard against?
    Definitely daily distractions and not starting my day with Him and then not communing with Him and before I know it my day has slipped by and I have not given Him my best. I have no power over idols when I am not washed in the Word first. I need to hear from Him and commit my day to Him.

    1. Kim, you distribed me! I’m the same way.

      1. One way I try to fight those nasty little foxes away in the morning is I tell myself I can’t get on the computor at all untill I have quite time with the Lord and my bible and my devotionals. My day goes much better then. I tell myself I can’t get on facebook untill I’ve been to Dee’s study too! Even if it’s just catching up on comments.

        1. Yes, I agree. Why the b-day cake?

        2. It’s my birthday today!!! I am 63

    2. Kim, I liked this:

      “I have no power over idols when I am not washed in the Word first.”

  29. SUNDAY/MONDAY ICEBREAKERS

    1. What stood out to you from the above and why? – I love the picture of the hands holding the dove with the cross in the background. I found this on http://www.neverthirsty.org  and it me more aware of what this picture and saying really meant. 
    Bible Question:  What does it mean “Do not quench the Spirit?” Bible Answer:  The scripture passage you are quoting is found in 1 Thes 5:19. 
                    Do not quench the Spirit . . . (NASB) 1 Thess 5:19     
    Meaning of the Greek. The actual Greek words read “the Spirit not quench.” The Greek language places the most important part of the sentence first. So verse 19 is emphasizing “the Spirit.” We also need to note that the root Greek word for “quench” is SBENNUMI which means “to extinguish” or “to go out.” The word was used to refer to putting out fires, sparks, or the putting out of a lamp. The word is used in Matthew 25:8, And the foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ (NASB) Matt. 25:8
     
    Now we have part of the information required to understand the verse. So far the verse says that we are not to “put out the Holy Spirit.” The ministry of the Holy Spirit was evidenced by flames of fire (Acts 2:3). We must not forget that God is called a “consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29) and His angels are flames of fire (2 Thess. 1:7). The Holy Spirit is never actually called a flame or fire, but His ministry was like fire.
         Context of the Verse. Now we need the context to give us the meaning of the verse. 
    Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. (NASB) 1 Thess. 5:16-22
     
    This passage is wonderful. It deals with three aspects of holiness: talking to the Lord, allowing the Spirit to minister to us, and pursuing righteousness. In the Greek, the passage is broken into four statements. I have highlighted every other grouping. Each statement is like a proverb. Each group has similar ideas. The first grouping is rejoicing, praying and giving thanks. The third group is examining everything in order to hold to that which is good, and the last group is “abstaining from evil.” The second group, not quench and not despise, is the one we are interested in. They go together. So how do not quenching the Holy Spirit and not despising prophetic utterances go together? The grouping is about the ministries of the Spirit. 
         Meaning of the Verse. Both the meaning of the Greek and the context of the passage tell us the ministry of the Spirit is Paul’s concern. We are not to quench the ministry of the Spirit! Is Paul talking about not hindering the ministry of the gifts of the Spirit, or the convicting ministry of the Spirit, or the teaching ministry of the Spirit, or His ministry of leading and filling? The answer is “Yes” to all of them. 
         There are many ways one can hinder ministry of the Holy Spirit. First, we hinder His work in our life when we sin, because we grieve Him (Eph. 4:30-31). 
    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (NASB) Eph. 4:30-31

    1. Julie, Your comments are wonderful. I couldn’t get the web site to work, but I can search for it. Thank you for the Greek meaning of the word Quench.

      1. Oh Joyce thanks but the only comments that are mine is the first line. Everything else was on the website. I just typed in the browser “what does quench not the spirit mean” and this site was one that came up as the answers.

  30. LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

    When I am reading to feel good about myself as a Christian, checking off my chapters
    When I am studying to become smarter, but not transformed
    When I make the Bible all about me and not all about Him
    When my motive is not intimacy with God, but to feed an idol

    I can identify with all of these…sorry to say:(

    Oh how I pray these words…”CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD

    AND RENEW A RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN ME”

    I love this weeks study because I need it so bad. I will try to sing alot this week, but I can’t remember the words to a whole song! I tend to repeat the chorus over and over alot to songs I love, in my mind. But at least I am Praising God while doing that.

  31. 2. What is a little fox you must guard against?

    I think this is a very healthy question I must ask myself daily.

    When I wake up I meet with Him and give Him my day. The Fox comes in my vineyard when I don’t talk with him first thing. Also throughout the day when things happen and I don’t let Him interrupt. So I think my fox is the lie that I don’t need to yield to him throughout the day-that the other things that call for my attention, affection and concern are more ultimate.

  32. 5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

    That we should praise God no matter what is happening in our lives.

  33. 6. What does “I will ponder the way that is blameless” mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!)

    Try to understand those who do right, not wrong.

    7. What does “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” mean?

    That I would be upstanding within myself. I will be true to my emotions.

    8. What does “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” mean?

    My grandama used to say “when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.” this is what I think of when I read this passage; to not be in the presence of things that will not be a good influence to me.

  34. I wanted to comment on Dee’s encouragement to sing. Oh how this is true! Sometimes when I sing to Him it brings me to repentance as He softens my heart. Some of the best times are when I am working on songs alone in the kitchen-those have been such great times of worship.

    3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    In David, I see a willing heart to yeild. He loves God and pursues Him. He is willing to turn from evil and yield to God-When we refuse to do that we won’t experience God.

    4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

    I think he is wanting to catch the foxes in the vineyard as King. He wants to stop slander before it starts, he won’t tolerate haughty eyes and a proud heart; He surrounds himself with people who are also faithful to God-who also desire to yeild-who will build him up in the Lord; He wants to catch the foxes in the vineyard before they get a hold of that fruit and spoil His intimacy with God.

    5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

    I am thinking to start by singing of His character-all of His wonderful attributes can soften my heart and open my eyes to His heart and His desires and then my heart and my life can line up with His. I see David doing this. David truly has His desire for love and Justice.

  35. 2. What is a little fox you must guard against? – for me right now the little foxes that I’m dealing with is my life and all the issues in the lives of my family. I feel like I’m at my limit and really don’t know how much more I can take on.  I am so fed up with it all I feel like running away and not give a forwarding address. I just want to scream. I have to concentrate on the Lord and what He wants me to do and let everything else be second or third our fourth in line.

    1. Julie, I am feeling this way too right now. It is a scary place to be and I don’t like it one bit. I think you have the right idea though – focus on Him.

  36. Just popping on to say Happy birthday, Joyce. I hope you have a wonderful day. May God also grant that you be pain free today.

    1. I must have missed the birthdates given while I was on vacation–
      HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear JOYCE!! Oh what a GIFT you are to us–your faithful prayers, your model of perseverance. Praying today is filled with joy!

      1. Oh happy birthday JOYCE!!! You are such a blessing!

        1. Happy Birthday sweet Joyce! I agree, you are a huge blessing here! 🙂

        2. Happy Birthday Joyce!!

        3. Happy Birthday dear Joyce. We love you!

        4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU JOYCE!

          I hope you have a wonderful day, and yes, will pray that it is a good day for you health-wise.
          We all love you!

    2. Happy birthday, dear Joyce. Love to you.

    3. Happy birthday, Joyce:)

    4. Happy birthday Joyce 🙂

    5. Just caught an Internet signal. HAPPY Birthday, Joyce!

  37. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why? Again His great love despite my sin. So amazed by that kind of love. Then that His word shows us and illuminates it more and more by His Spirit in us. So amazing.

    2. What is a little fox you must guard against? Facebook, email, twitter, kids, husband…lol everything that pulls and demands and yells for me. I must protect boundaries where intimacy with the Lord can and must happen for the sake of everyone else. Yet their pulls are sometimes so accusing and demanding it is a real struggle, not as much the social media but the family…realistically they can live without me and they need to learn this. It hinders their growth as well.

    1. Miss you Angela. Hope you are well!

  38. Happy birthday to you Joyce. May God grant you many blessings today and always. Have a great day!

  39. 1. I am grateful for the direction we are taking. I want meaningful, intimate times with the Lord more than anything and so I wonder why other things distract me so easily.
    It stands out to me that Jesus went to the Father with His pain. He did not look for distraction. So often I will go to food or a book or movie to comfort myself and take my mind off of my pain. He did not even go to friends to pour His heart out to. That is a lesson to me.
    I love the Sarah Groves song. Thank you for that Dee. The song and the pictures are beautiful. I don’t know what it is about me and Scotland but the place has captured my heart. Alfred has it too. We do have ancestry there though we know very little about them. I suspect it some sort of spiritual heritage that may never know until I reach heaven.

    2. I agree, there is much distraction on the computer. I turn it off and close it yet it frequently calls to me as I seek to focus on the Lord. My thoughts also distract me. Fear, worry and guilt will take me straight away. I am learning to speak to fear and worry but now I see guilt that will get me up to do something that I forgot or neglected to do. A leader in a prayer group once gave gifts of those long list pads for us to use in our quiet times. It was for writing down those things that come to mind that we don’t want to forget. I must return to doing that.
    I also see how I sin as I pray because I stress over the things (people actually) that are so important to me. It is to the point of being faithless. How much more pleasing to the Lord if I trusted Him and spent my energy on true petition?

      1. Thanks Dee. We are on vacation and having some internet difficulties.

    1. Missed you, Anne

  40. 3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    The first thing I see in verse 2, “O when will you come to me” is sandwiched in between how he is living, walking blamelessly before Christ. This tells me of the importance of walking with God if we want intimacy with Him. I know for myself He calls more frequently when I am longing for Him or maybe it’s that I am tuned in?
    In verse 3 he notes he must keep care of what his eyes see. He also hates evil things.
    Verse 4 his heart is changing – perverseness is departing.
    Verse 5 he is being careful who he spends time with, that they are on the same spiritual path that he is on. He refuses to allow others to slander in his presence.
    Vs 6: He is saying those who minister to him, pours into his life spiritually must be walking blamelessly as well.
    Vs 7: again he is being careful who he spends time with, the people who he surrounds himself with.
    Vs 8: He is making a difference to those around him. He is changing his world.

  41. 6. What does “I will ponder the way that is blameless” mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!)

    free from accusation- beyond reproach,
    innocent – irreproachable – guiltless – faultless
    so that you shine like stars in the universe
    clean-handed; guiltless; innocent (free from evil or guilt)
    A favorite verse of mine is “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly!” (Psa.84:11)

    To me he is saying that he watches and patterns his life after those who walk blameless.

    7. What does “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” mean? He is the same man at home as he is in public.

    8. What does “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” mean? For me this talks of what we watch on t.v. what we pour into our spirits. What we allow to affect us and change us.

    9. Is anything from the above quickening you? Stop then — ponder — and let us know what it is.
    Yes, question 9. I get lax in what I allow my eyes to see and ears to hear on t.v. and need to be watching things that inspire me to be blameless. Just because a show isn’t necessarily bad doesn’t mean it encourages my faith walk.

    1. Very nice comments Kim

  42. I am around, just got the chance to read over the Bible study for this week. I will do what I can but I know I will not be able to do it all. Preparing for my weekend away with my husband. 🙂 Next Tuesday is our 8th anniversary and we are getting away Friday night-Monday afternoon for camping, just the two of us! With of course the help of Jeff’s mom and my mom for being willing to take turns taking care of our boys.

    1. Oh how nice Krista…I’m so glad you both are going to get away by yourself for awhile. We hardly ever get away from Kendra, but is so nice when we do. “Happy 8th Anniversary”!!!!!

  43. 7. What does “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” mean?
    I found this definition–Integrity: The entire, unimpaired state of any thing, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty.

    OUCH. To live with integrity within my house—to be completely pure, incorrupt…wow. The first thing that comes to mind as most “impaired” is my demeanor. Sometimes it’s not even so much my words as my exasperated attitude. My children so often especially see a tired, wiped out, impatient mom. I’m just tired a lot right now–and some is purely physical, but often it’s that exhaustion that comes from trying to protect my idols—control my time, comfort myself with (the striving for) a chaos-free life… I have to daily surrender. One positive that seems to have come from the physical fatigue I’ve had lately is that the gift of perspective. I have actually noticed I’m a bit quicker to say “I really don’t care—you decide…whatever you think…” and just the act of seeing that life does actually go on around here just fine without me trying to micro-manage…it’s a good thing. Oh I fall so short—by the minutes, but thankful for grace and that God doesn’t put me on a schedule! I just thought of that—He never says-‘you can only ask for forgiveness between the hours of 10 and 2’ He is ALWAYS there, ready to wipe the slate clean. PRAISE!

    Sorry for that spiel! OK, I also see walking with integrity as protecting what books/TV/media, come into our home. A few years ago I realized I couldn’t stand to go in Blockbuster stores anymore (esp. not with kids) because of all the images. I know there is a balance—being in the world, not of it…but it is especially hard with kids—I say that, but I too, am so sensitive—just hate so much of what the culture throws at us.
    Integrity reaches farther than even my words, attitude, and what we see—I think it includes how I spend our money, and resources. I can see it as overwhelming—or as many opportunities to reflect Him in my daily life.

    1. Elizabeth, no spiel…loved every word! How has your nerve pain been lately? Hope better.

  44. Dee, I tried to watch the video (is this the lecture?) but it said the material was not available. What should I do?

    1. Laura–try this link–it’s the first one “Responsive Heart”–I was able to use the download link on the right and save to my computer:
      http://www.2pc.org/resources/audio-library/preacher/paige-brown/

      1. Thanks, elizabeth. I was having a hard time getting the lecture too. I thought it was just my computer because it has been slow these last few days because of storm cloud blocking my Internet connectivity to the satellite. Now I can download and listen as I have time.

  45. This hymn has been on my heart today–“My Hope Is Built” by Edward Mote,1834
    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

    On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
    All other ground is sinking sand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    When darkness seems to hide His face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace.
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.

    His oath, His covenant, His blood,
    Support me in the whelming flood.
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my Hope and Stay.

    When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh may I then in Him be found.
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

    1. Love that hymn. Thanks 🙂 Now it will be on my mind, too!

    2. Thank you Elizabeth, that is such a beautiful song and gives me chills…Happy Chills!!

    3. I love this too Elizabeth, thank you for posting it, it gave me chills too Joyce

  46. I had a wonderful birthday; Thank You all so very much for your well wishes:) I feel so loved here, that it must be an idol I run to! Hope not! I’m afraid God would have to pry my hands off, to get me to leave here! You all are sweet sisters in Christ and love you so much. I had a pain free day, too!! (Your birthday is next, Dee!) ((22nd of Aug. girls!))

  47. 3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    I find that most the verses start with “I will…”I would like to think that I could be like these, desiring to be my best, but I can do nothing without God.

    4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

    Loyalty, justice, be blameless, walking integrity of heart,not look at anything evil, not fall away, perverseness of heart, know nothing of evil.

    5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

    To sing of loyalty and of justice to thee, and sing, sing, sing!

    I’m working on remembering the words of my favorite gospel songs…at least the first time through! How do you do it, Rebecca!? are you ever worried you’ll freeze and forget the words?

  48. 6. What does “I will ponder the way that is blameless” mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!)

    I looked it up and it means integrity, being complete or undivided. ‘Singleness of heart and mind’ in the New Testament. Perhaps ‘pondering’ is meditating on God’s Holiness. God hates evil and hates sin. I don’t think it means following a set of rules-it means desiring to walk upright because we love God and therefore love God’s ways and want to please God by yielding to Him in everything which will lead to walking in integrity.

    7. What does “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” mean?

    In David’s sense it meant as King but also in his house. I think it means as we yield to God every day and are single minded toward Him, the sin will be evident in our home as will the things of integrity. As caregiver in my home God wants me to encourage the holy and pure attitudes but also to address the sin attitudes and actions, and when I fail and I do- I get tired, cranky, impatient and have sin attitudes myself-I miss addressing sin and I miss praising godliness..He wants me to see and then yield and often I have had to ask forgiveness from my boys and husband. I think those times can be opportunities to model integrity- what it looks like to walk with God and to walk upright..I think for most of us it looks a lot like David and even then I fall short. I aspire to be more like David in his humility and yielding heart. 🙂 I so need God’s constant flow of mercy and justice..

    8. What does “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” mean?

    I think it means turning away from something before it ‘gets you’..before it gets your attention and grabs a hold of you and becomes more worthy of your attention and affection than God.

    9. Is anything from the above quickening you? Stop then — ponder — and let us know what it is.

    In looking up blameless, I found what God’s justice meant in context to this Psalm. Matthew Henry-I think it was him-said that our walk with God is a constant stream of justice and mercy that God pours out on us. I went back to verse 1. David has to mean he desires to sing praises to God through both times of singleness of heart toward God and the times he is experiencing the consequences of sin from having a divided heart. Yet even in God’s discipline He bathes us with His mercy!

    David’s heart pleased God and I don’t think God’s favor of him was based on whether he broke the rules or not-it was David’s heart that pursued and loved God-His desire to live in the cycle of repentance and faith and walk in integrity because He loved God.

  49. Read Psalm 101 slowly.

    As I do my reading for today, I went through the above questions, asking myself, for example, “Am I just reading this to be smarter, to find out the meaning, but not to be transformed? Is my motive this morning to have intimacy with God, or to feed some idol?”

    I saw that I often do pursue the meaning of a particular passage, looking up cross ref’s, but neglect to see what is this saying to me – is there some sin this shows in my life, do I need to change in some way? Another one was this – am I doing my morning Bible reading to feed my comfort idol? Is it just because I want to get comfortable and sit some more instead of doing some necessary work around the house that I am reading the Bible?

    These questions are helping me see the true motives of my heart – I am so glad Dee is taking us in this direction. I sure need this. Wow. If I can’t say that I am just so excited to meet with God today and to spend time with Him, then there are wrong motives.

    3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

    *Verse 1: David is singing to the Lord, praising Him. Anne has mentioned on this blog
    that she will focus on a particular attribute of God. I see here David focusing on
    God’s love and His justice. I can focus too on God’s attributes – God, You are a loving
    God; God, You are a Just God. Meditate on His character. Let it lead to praising Him.
    I can sing to Him in private worship.

    *Verse 2: David says, “I will be careful to lead a blameless life – when will You come
    to me?” David knows the connection between sin and intimacy with God. Sin will come
    between him and God, so he is not going to have a casual attitude toward sin. If I
    want to experience God, I have to keep the same attitude toward sin and be careful to
    guard my heart. David also says that he will do the same in his house. I think that
    means that he is the same in private that he is in public. That is integrity – what I
    do in private when no one is around to see. I can’t live a life of hypocrisy and
    expect to be close to God.

    *Verse 3: I think this principle, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing” – we could
    apply today with what we choose to watch on TV, for example, but I think it means more –
    I’ll wait ’til the question later to explain. David says he hates the deeds of
    faithless men – I shouldn’t think sin is funny or “cute”. I am to hate sin like God
    hates sin.

    *Verse 4: I have to be careful in choosing my friends. I don’t think it means that I
    can’t be friends with an unbeliever, but if they are living a “perverse” lifestyle in
    any way, I have to keep a safe boundary. They can’t be a close friend. I am to flee
    from evil.

  50. 4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

    In the days of the kings, were matters brought before the king for him to decide? David says that a person who is slandering his neighbor, he will silence. Does that mean that he will reprimand the person, or worse? I don’t know if this is “literal” because it would be impossible for a king to know the character of every person in his kingdom. Perhaps he is saying that among those in his household, his closest friends, advisors, military men, he will not tolerate slander, haughtiness, pride. He is going to surround himself with people of good character.
    Verse 6 seems to support this where he says that the faithful will “dwell with me”, and those who walk blamelessly “will minister to me”. Also in verse 7, David says that no one who is deceitful or who is a liar will either dwell in his house or be in his presence.

    David says that each day it will be his job to “put to silence all the wicked in the land” and to “cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord”. This could mean – prison, execution, being expelled from the city?

    5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

    I’m going to “sing of His love and justice” – I’m going to extol Him to others. It reminds me of Keller’s sermon on 1 John – John was just “bubbling over” with excitement and so should I be, to tell others about His character. Also, I need to sing to Him, not just on Sundays in church, and to remember I am singing TO HIM – He is my audience!