NEW TRENDS IN BIBLE STUDIES CATER TO THE TIME-DEPRIVED AND THE INTERNET SAVVY.
Women have long been known to be the backbone of Christian congregations in America. According to a 2000 report from Christian researcher George Barna, one out of every five Christian women--or 20 percent--belong to a small group that meets regularly for Bible study, prayer or Christian fellowship. The same statistic among men is only 13 percent.
Unfortunately, family and jobs tend to dictate how much time a woman devotes to study of the Word. As women progress through different life stages they desire Bible studies that are tailored to their interests, schedules and spiritual maturity.
GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY CAN COVER US AND EMPOWER US TO CHANGE, EVEN WHEN WE'VE BLOWN IT BADLY.
At this very moment, an ancient battle continues to wage between Satan, the enemy of our souls, and the daughters of Eve. Since the Garden of Eden, this enemy has been unrelenting in his attempts to shame, strip and dishonor women in order to challenge God's work in their lives.
Sadly, his most vicious offensives are often launched under the guise of religion. Nowhere in the Bible is this more evident than in the story of the woman caught in adultery. This account, found in John 8:1-12, is an incredible and telling example of the cruelty of law and religion as well as the beauty of God's mercy and love.
When you ask God for something great, you also ask Him for great testing. The unspoken part of your prayer is, "Train me for it."
Make sure you understand that God will prepare you for the answer to that for which you are praying. He wants to qualify you, and the qualifications may be so rough that you tell Him to forget it.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites left Mount Sinai and walked a large circle in the wilderness before reaching Kadesh Barnea, where they sent out a spying party into the promised land. Ten of the 12 spies weren't ready for entry, and they came back with a bad report (see Num. 13:31).
Both my parents grew up on farms in rural Washington County, Georgia. As a result, they were able to pass along a treasure trove of country wisdom inherited from their parents and grandparents.
One of the pearls they were frequently prompted to share when I was a kid was "not to put the cart before the horse." My folks wanted me to understand that the important challenges and opportunities of life require preparation and the proper ordering of priorities. Though in themselves these rudimentary steps aren't always the most exciting or the most visible to others, the broader lessons they provide--perseverance, faithfulness and obedience--are vital to one's ultimate success.
Truthfully, as a young girl given to much dreaming (day and night), I needed this counsel more times than I can remember. It was a known fact that I harbored more than a few lofty ideas about where I'd go in life.
We've all envisioned what we believed the future held for us. And a lot of what we've imagined has come true.
But timing is everything. And therein is the source of a great deal of our frustration. Whereas God's view is eternal, ours is limited--and we feel compelled by what we perceive to be our short "life span" here on Earth to do everything now.
But lately I'm being challenged by the Spirit of the Lord to come to a new place of authentic peace in God, not because all my dreams are coming true at the rate I expected, but because I'm coming to know Him (see Is. 26:3). In fact, I'm just beginning to know that I know that He loves me and can be trusted to open opportunities for me that are the best.
This is why I'm grateful to Stormie Omartian for her ministry. Stormie calls us to do "first things first," to cultivate a relationship of devotion to the Lord through prayerful communion with Him.
It's not a new concept but one we can easily leave in the dust as we rush out the door to accomplish everything on our agendas. This performance mentality often has led me into confusion about whether to hitch the wagon behind the horse or, well, you know.
Prejudice occurs when we prejudge a person because of race, gender, religion, profession and so on. Often we inherit prejudices from our forefathers. Far from innocuous, prejudice is sin in God's eyes.
God views praise and worship as high spiritual priorities. Praise, meaning "value" or "price," is the proclamation of God's importance or worth.
Many of the praise and worship expressions in the Scriptures were exhibited around David's tabernacle and are still culturally functional for today. As defined in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, some of these Hebrew and Greek words are "ingredients" for the posture of worship and service to God.
Towdah is an extension of the hand. It implies a choir of worshipers lifting their hands (see Ps. 100:4).
Many christians object to the idea of women in ministry because they believe the bible forbids it. The scriptures show their belief is unfounded.
How is it that women would venture to preach when female ministry is forbidden in the Word of God?
This is a serious objection to consider and, if capable of substantiation, would receive my immediate and cheerful acquiescence; but I think I can show, by a fair and consistent interpretation, that the very opposite view is the truth--that the public ministry of women is absolutely enjoined by both precept and example in the Word of God.
We often cry out for God to send His glory among us. But how well do we understand what we're asking for? God's glory encompasses His holy character revealed in Jesus. READ Ex. 24:15-18; Ex. 33:18-23; Lev. 11:45; 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 1:25-29; Heb. 1:1-3.
Christians often suggest that God created women to be frail and quiet. But biblical submission is not about weakness or silence.
According to self-proclaimed relationship expert Laura Doyle, "something magical" happened when she decided to "surrender control" in her marriage. She stopped doing the family finances. She started cooing "Whatever you think" when her husband wanted her opinion.
She decided that the way to secure happiness in marriage was to become "a surrendered wife." Then she started organizing clubs all over the country to teach other women how to, as she says, "relinquish control."
In spite of the heavy messages to the contrary you may hear from the pulpit, the pursuit of God is a happy--not a glommy--endeavor.
Sin and ill are the false notes struck by man across the harmony of God's will, and to strike upon or even remember such notes is instant banishment from the music of His presence. Where all is joy, there joy is all; and he who has not reached this joy does not know God--he is still a follower, and not a possessor, and he should refuse in his heart to remain satisfied with his condition, but climb on. Why stay behind? Climb on, climb on!
Often I have been mystified and disturbed by the attitude of many religious and pious people who appear to believe that to follow Christ is a way of gloom, of sadness, of heaviness. Often I have gathered from sermons that we are to give up all the bright and enticing things if we would follow Him, and the preacher goes no further!