Counterfeit: “Into the Word” Week 30

Cheap imitations abound today.  My pastor likes to tell the story of a watch he bought years ago in front of a convenience store.  The seller told him it was name brand, but when the watch stopped working a few weeks later, he learned a hard lesson.  You get what you pay for. 

This week while I was digging  “Into the Word,” I was reminded that this fact is especially true in the spiritual realm.  Christ is the way, the truth, and the life — no other cheap substitutes will do.  The Epistle of Jude warns us about this scam happening in our churches and gives us marching orders to defend ourselves from deception:

But you, my dear friends, must remember

what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said.

They told you that in the last times

there would be scoffers whose purpose

in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.

These people are the ones

who are creating divisions among you.

They follow their natural instincts

because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.

But you, dear friends, must build

each other up in your most holy faith,

pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,

and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will bring you eternal life.

In this way, you will keep yourselves

safe in God’s love (vs. 17-21, MSG).

I love it that God gives us a sound game plan here to deal with the counterfeits in our midst — build each other up, pray in the Spirit, keep your heart focused on the eternal reward ahead.  Division in the church is a red flag that something is amiss.  By heeding these guidelines, we can avoid being suckered into a cheap imitation and stand firm in our faith.

Q4U:  Have you ever spotted a counterfeit?  How do you avoid being mislead by cheap imitations of the Gospel?

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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The Resolution for Women: July 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.

The Resolution for Women  by Priscilla Shirer outlines 13 principles for Biblical womanhood and encourages the readers to firmly resolve to put them into practice.  Shirer passionately describes how each woman is created by God for more–and she challenges her readers to purposefully pursue their calling.  Each section has three to four chapters which describe God’s design for women who seek to live life as disciples and leave a legacy.

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

  • A graceful woman is content: “When you’ve concluded that what you already have on hand is enough, that it’s adequate–that it’s been deemed by God as sufficient–then you’re equipped and empowered to participate fully in the tasks set before you during this season of life” (p. 20).
  • The wise woman builds in time for her self: “Overwork is a form of unbelief” (p. 109).
  • The discerning woman is a good listener:  “A woman who is quick to listen is one who gathers up all information before releasing her reaction.  She resists the urge to spout off everything her mind formulates, choosing rather to give her solutions time to settle, to become properly shaped before being shared.  When she speaks, her advice and assessments are sensible and sober.  Prudent and purposeful.  Those who are on the receiving end of her conversation realize they’re hearing a response that hasn’t been considered halfheartedly” (p. 118).
  • An honest woman fosters integrity through self-examination: “Not everything that bothers one believer is necessarily forbidden for all.  Just because some wouldn’t consider it ‘good’ doesn’t mean it’s worthy of being ‘slandered’ (Romans 14:16).  But as you consider your own structural soundness, would you say it’s able to bear the weight of your Christian profession?  Would it hold up if some of your fellow church members arrived at your door unannounced? Are you who you claim to be?” (p. 150)

Up next will be The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict, a book written to demonstrate how applying Christ-like principles of forgiveness and love will transform every day misunderstandings and disagreements.   Want to read it with me?  I will be posting about it on August 31st.

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.
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  • 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 August 3rd to participate.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Defensive Driving: “Into the Word” Week 29

I am not that great of a driver.  My sanguine personality leads me to be easily distracted.  Thankfully, every time I got a ticket as a kid, my dad sent me to traffic school.  There I learned about defensive driving.   A good driver is alert, cautious, always anticipating what might happen ahead. 

This week, I realized yet again that the Christian disciple needs to have this same attitude — we must be vigilant.  While digging  “Into the Word,” I discovered a passage that presents the rules of the road for this process:

Watch, stand fast in the faith,

be brave, be strong.

Let all that you do be done with love.

I Corinthians 16:13-14, NKJV

The Message translation uses the phrase “keep your eyes open” for the word “watch.”  This reminds me that I need to be on guard, praying for my family’s protection.  Love is the rule that guides my every action.

Q4U:  Are you a defensive driver?  What can we do this week to be “on watch?”

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, Life in Bloom, 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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Magnification: “Into the Word” Week 28

My husband has a new toy — a magnifier.  It arrived this week via UPS, and he  was delighted to demonstrate its powers for me.  He asked me to hold it up to my eye, and then move my thumb in close visual proximity.  What I saw alarmed me.  Ew!  I didn’t realize my thumb nail was that dirty.  To the natural eye, everything looked quite different.  I quickly dropped the magnifier and ran to wash my hands.

This week as I was digging “Into the Word,” I read a story in II Kings 6 where God and Elisha magnified the vision of Elisha’s servant.  With his natural eyes, all the servant saw was an ambush and his imminent death waiting to happen as they were surrounded by a hostile army.  But, with spiritual magnified sight, he came to see a much different scene: 

 And Elisha prayed,

“Open his eyes, Lord,

so that he may see.”

Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes,

and he looked and saw the hills full of horses

and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

18 As the enemy came down toward him,

Elisha prayed to the Lord,

“Strike this army with blindness.”

So he struck them with blindness,

as Elisha had asked.

II Kings 6: 17-18, NIV

This story has challenged my thinking.  Where does my spiritual focus lie — am I focused on the opposition, or do I rest in His care knowing that I am surrounded by the Hosts of the Lord ready to do battle for my protection?  This week, I pray that my mind’s eye magnifies and hones in on my God, the Warrior who is fighting my battles for me.  May God open my eyes — I want to see!

Q4U:  Does your vision tend to be more like Elisha’s or like the servant’s?  How can we sharpen our spiritual vision so we are magnifying the Lord? 

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 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 12: Hiding 20 in 2012 Scripture Memory Challenge

When I was a child, I loved playing the memory game concentration.  It was like a treasure hunt for similar special trinkets.  The more I played, the better I became at scoping out matching pairs.

Now as an adult, I also must remember that I need to cultivate spiritual concentration through Scripture memorization.  In his book Scripture by Heart: Devotional Practices for Memorizing God’s Word, Joshua Choonmin Kang explains how daily Scripture memorization strengthens our thinking:

“Nothing is as indispensable

in leading a victorious life

as the power to concentrate.

Success doesn’t necessarily come

to those who work hard;

rather it comes to those

who work in a focused way.

When we learn Scripture by heart,

we grow in the sanctified habit

of concentration” (p. 61).

How about you?  Are you ready to exercise your concentration skills?  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:

“Let us pursue the things

which make for peace

and the things by which

one may edify one another.”

Romans 14:19, NKJV

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”:

“Life and death

are in the power of the tongue,

and those who love it

will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 18:21, HCSB

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