The Secret to Contentment: “Into the Word” Week 25

Contentment is such an elusive concept sometimes.  In Philippians 4, Paul challenges us to learn to be content in all circumstances.  Easier said than done, right?

This week, as I was digging “Into the Word,” I discovered a verse that provides the secret to contentment: 

The fear of the Lord

leads to life;

    then one rests content,

untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19:23, NIV

 I love this promise!  The “fear of the Lord” means to reverence Him, to honor Him in all that I do.  As I cultivate a worshipful life, contentment fills my soul. 

Q4U:  Do you struggle with contentment?  How does this promise impact your understanding? 

Every Monday we will be working our way through Anne Graham Lotz’s 52-week study “Into the Word.”    Hop on over to the 3dLessons4Life Blog Facebook Page to join us as we dig into God’s Word together.

Linking up with a like-minded sisters at Faith Filled Friday, Thought Provoking Thursdays, Good Morning Girls, God -Bumps and God-Incidences, On Your Heart Tuesdays, Soli Deo Gloria @ Finding Heaven,  Playdates with God and “Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday!”

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Crazy Love: June Reading List “Net Out” and A GIVEAWAY!

In case you forgot, I love to read.  Stacks of books seem to pile up all over the house — most of them half read.  Other women buy shoes; I buy books.  For 2012,  I am purposing to be a bit more intentional about my reading plan.  I hope to read 12 books and post a “Net Out” here on the blog using a  format similar to Michael Hyatt’s.

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan is a book that unpacks how the unconditional love of God breaks through and radically changes our lives. Chan’s book packs a lot of punches — he hits the mediocre, materialistic believer right in the gut.  The book provides narrative examples of every day people who have literally taken up their cross and given up all to pursue Christ.

Here are some “take away” truths that captured my attention:

  • God demands all:  “It is important that we not measure our spiritual health by people around us, who are pretty much like us…The core problem isn’t the fact that we’re lukewarm, half-hearted, or stagnant Christians.  The crux of it all is why we are this way, and it is because we have an inaccurate view of God…Jesus came humbly as a servant, but He never begs use to give Him some small part of ourselves.  He commands everything from His followers” (p.22).
  • God desires for us to be reverently intimate with Him:  “The very fact that a holy, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful, fair, and just God loves you and me is nothing short of astonishing….The irony is that while God doesn’t need use but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time” (p.61).
  • Our lives should be a love letter to God:  “When we work for Christ out of obligation, it feels like work.  But when we truly love Christ, our work is a manifestation of that love, and it feels like love”  (p.110).

Chan’s book is not for the fainthearted — he will challenge your assumptions and make you examine your Christian walk in a whole new way.  He moves you to see your mediocrity and despise it.  This book is a life changer for those who respond to his challenge.

Up next will be The Resolution for Women, a book written to challenge women to passionately pursue their unique roles as God’s chosen feminine agents.   Want to read it with me?  I will be posting about it on July 27th.

I would love to hear about what you are reading.  Feel free to share in the comment section below to be entered in a Giveaway — I will be giving away a copy of each of these 2 great books.

One additional entry can be earned for each of these:

  • Follow @3dLessons4Life on Twitter. Leave a comment indicating that you did.
  • Tweet or Retweet about this contest giveaway.   Leave a comment indicating that you did.
  • “Like” 3dLessons4Life’s Facebook page.
  • Use the box on the top of the sidebar on this page to subscribe to this blog. Leave a comment indicating that you did.
  • Grab the 3dLessons4Life button from the sidebar and add it to your blog. Leave a comment with a link to your blog so we can connect!

Just make sure to enter on or before June 29th to participate.  Thanks for stopping by!

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The Present of His Presence: “Into the Word” Week 24

Last night, we attended the Saturday evening services at our church.  At the close of the sermon, the speaker provided an opportunity for those who had never made a profession of faith in Christ as their personal Savior to come forward and pray what we Christians call “the Sinner’s Prayer,” confessing Him as Lord.  I always am so overjoyed to see folks come forward because I know what a gift they are about to receive — the gift of His presence in their lives.  He never leaves us not forsakes us.

This week, as I was digging “Into the Word,” I came across a verse that perfectly highlights this gift:

For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a Mighty Savior.

He will take delight in you with gladness.

With His love, He will calm all your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Zephaniah 3:17

Isn’t that a wonderful promise?  I am so thankful for the present of His presence.  My ever-present God is able to see me through any situation.  What peace that provides to my weary soul!

Q4U:  How have you experienced the present of His presence during a dark season? 

Every Monday we will be working our way through Anne Graham Lotz’s 52-week study “Into the Word.”    Hop on over to the 3dLessons4Life Blog Facebook Page to join us as we dig into God’s Word together.

Linking up with a like-minded sisters at Faith Filled Friday, Thought Provoking Thursdays,Good Morning Girls, God -Bumps and God-Incidences, On Your Heart Tuesdays, Soli Deo Gloria @ Finding Heaven, Playdates with God and “Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday!” 

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Verse 10: Hiding 20 in 2012 Scripture Memory Challenge

During my recent hospital stay, I did not have a private room.  Sharing a room with a complete stranger is not an easy task — especially when your neighbor is not a peaceful person.  I was thankful when my neighbor was discharged so that I could rest.  Peace is a wonderful thing.

In his book Scripture by Heart: Devotional Practices for Memorizing God’s Word, Joshua Choonmin Kang explains how daily Scripture memorization brings a special blessing:

Memorizing Scripture invites

the blessings of peace into your life  (p.51).

How about you?  Will you invite the blessing of peace into your heart?  Let’s hold each other accountable by Hiding 20 in 2012.  In the comment section below, write out the verse you will be working on for the next two weeks. Make sure to include your first name, your home state, the verse’s address/location, and the Bible translation:

Lyli from Florida:

“Heaven is My throne,

and earth is My footstool!

what sort of house

will you build for Me?”

says the Lord, “or

What is my resting place?”

Acts 7:49  (HCSB)

Here’s a little play on words for all you Pinterest Fans. Rather than ‘Pin it,” let’s purpose to “Hide it.” I will end each post with a “Hide it” Suggested Verse.

“Hide it”:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

    to which indeed you were called in the one body.  And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15, NRSV

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The Alabaster Life: “Into the Word” Week 23

Over the last couple of months, I have been hospitalized twice.  I am learning much about daily dependence on the Lord.  I don’t want to lose this connection — this urgent need to tap into His strength, His wisdom, His direction.  This hunger for Him is a gift that I am clinging to and never want to lose. 

This week as I was digging “Into the Word,” I was reminded of how important it is to be wholly His as I re-read the story of Mary and the Alabaster Jar.   I love how Christ defends her to the naysayers:

But Jesus said, “Let her alone.

Why are you giving her a hard time?

She has just done something

wonderfully significant for me.

You will have the poor

with you every day for the rest of your lives.

Whenever you feel like it,

you can do something for them.

Not so with me.

She did what she could when she could—

she pre-anointed my body for burial.

And you can be sure

that wherever in the whole world

the Message is preached,

what she just did

is going to be talked about admiringly.

Mark 14:6-9 MSG

Mary laid her life at His feet and gave her all, in total dependence.  Jesus responded with love, compassion, and understanding.  I pray that I may continue to live an “alabaster life.” 

Q4U:  How do you combat self-sufficiency in your daily life as you strive to give your treasure to Him?

Every Monday we will be working our way through Anne Graham Lotz’s 52-week study “Into the Word.”    Hop on over to the 3dLessons4Life Blog Facebook Page to join us as we dig into God’s Word together.

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