Have you ever wondered what makes a good Christian leader? Or how God shapes and makes those men and women useful servants for His kingdom?
I know I have. Now that I’m serving in ministry and feel called to leadership in worship and discipleship, I have often pondered and contemplated how God chooses and prepares His servants. Throughout Biblical and Church history there have been many amazing and mighty men and women of God. A short list would include giants like Moses, David, Joseph, Mary, Paul, James, Peter, Billy Graham, John Wesley, and Hudson Taylor just to name a few.
But what set these people apart? Why did God choose them? And how did they grow into their roles of leadership? What journey did God take them on to shape and mold them into the leaders of His choosing?
Consider the question carefully. Do you need joy?
Can you say without hypocrisy that you would be 100% content and joyful if you were stuck in a prison cell tomorrow? Are you honestly 100% content and joyful in the life you have now? Can you say that you have truly learned how to be content in any and every situation? Is anxiety and stress no longer an issue in your life? Has the things of this world—learning, material possessions, achievements, success, popularity—all become less than garbage to you in comparison to knowing Christ?
We’ve finished our Christmas series for the season and have rolled into yet another new year. So now it’s time to start a new Bible study. In 2017, we covered lots of ground traveling through the fields of Bethlehem in the story of Ruth, watching the unfolding drama of Hosea and Gomer’s love story, and learning from the mistakes and struggles of the Colossians. Now as we start the new year of 2018, it’s time to jump back into an in-depth study of God’s Word.
It’s a wrap! Over in the “Bible Study” section we’ve finally finished our adventure through the book of Hosea. After five months and forty-four posts later, we’ve come out of our adventure with a greater appreciation for God’s holiness, His justice, and mostly His incredible love--how far He’s willing to go to pursue His wayward children. At least that’s what I came away with and hope you did too!
Editor's Note: This is the testimony and life journey of a dear friend of mine and her personal experience in treasuring God's Word. Formerly a servant in the ministry of family discipleship, Stephanie Hills is now involved in the incredible work of Bible translation. This is the story of the journey God took her on to reach this point in her life and ministry. Though this isn't the style of posts I generally share, I felt that since So I Fix My Eyes... is centered around the Bible, this topic would be fitting. I pray that you are encouraged, inspired, and blessed by Stephanie Hills' story.
A new month, new week, and…new Bible study! As we enter into this month of April, which holds the blessed remembrance of the greatest sacrifice ever given, the hope of spring and new life, and more sunshine, we’re going to start a new Bible study.
“For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
Sent into exile, thousands of miles from home, captives in a foreign land, and separated from the God of their fathers. The Israelite exiles in Babylon had every reason to feel discouraged, lost, and broken. Even though this was because of their own sin, they probably felt far away and distant from God and rejected by Him.
God has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. We love this promise and widely use the supporting verse during graduation season. And while this is true, we often don’t realize this promise and verse was actually given to a people facing the just wrath of God. A people who had sinned greatly against the God of their fathers, had ignited His anger, and forsaken the Lord. So God brought disaster and punishment upon them and allowed them to be taken captive and exiled in the land of Babylon.
After redeeming and rescuing the people of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, God gave them ten simple rules called the Ten Commandments. But now over 700 years later, the people called by the LORD couldn’t even keep the first one: “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Last year, I did a personal Bible study on the book of Jeremiah. At the time, I was not ready to share the insights I gained, but now, during this interlude between Bible studies, I’ll give you a brief mini-series synopsizing a few of the nuggets and truths I found in this great book.
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