For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
Theme: If not You, then Who?
Today is dedicated to reviewing what we have learned over the past five days. This is a good time to catch up on the comments if you haven’t had a chance to read them all.
What can you apply to your life from the discussions related to Counsel, Creation and Sabbath?
Please share any thoughts from your review that you believe others could benefit from.
March 27, 2021 at 6:58 am
This week’s lessons reminds us that we should be open and willing to not only embrace and accept Christian counsel, but live the life that creates an environment where others will want to come to us for counsel.
Rest is essential. Too many of us make excuses as to why we don’t get rest, and just continue with our “bad” habits. I always want to get one more obligation checked off my “To Do” list. The list never ends, however. We really should take time each day, even if for a short time, and dedicate it to us. Some of us may choose a day of the week to be our rest day, in addition to the shorter times during the week. At least one of these rest days/times should be dedicated to a reflection of our day or week in a quiet time with God.
I’m going to make the effort to follow my own advice.
Have a wonderful weekend!
March 27, 2021 at 9:03 am
While reflecting, I couldn’t help but to think, what an amazing God we serve, who has made his creation a part of his plan, to partner with him and do his work here on earth. He prescribes things to us in the Bible and also equips us with what we need.
He wants to be a part of ALL areas of our life, not just on Sundays or our “quiet time.” Being a follower of the way is hard work, but it is a necessary challenge and way of life where God looks after our own best interest, but most importantly His glory.
I pray everyone may be able to have a least 1-2 people that they can confide in, here on Earth and openly share their thoughts, struggles and journey with.
We are all in this together (1 Cor 10:13). Remember you are not alone.
March 27, 2021 at 9:47 am
Very helpful. What a great reminder of those things that are needed for successful Christian living. Creation reminds us that God is a god of order and that helps me stay grounded. It empowers me to stand firm in the values I believe in even in this disordered world. I am not easily swayed by all this new age stuff that counts everything traditional as outdated or wrong. I am also reminded of what I am missing by non church attendance, all the godly advice I could be given or give. I like listening to godly people as a compass because godliness is sorely lacking in this society. And finally the discipline of Sabbath is something I struggle with. I am either stressed out over some problem or issue or wasting time on the internet. Dr Stanley says pray to God to help you make good use of your time. Never occurred to me to do that. Therefore I am adding this to my prayer list. Amen. Have a great Saturday!
March 28, 2021 at 10:06 am
What stands out for me is the wording in one of the lessons that when we take our own counsel and take decisions each day, without knowing God’s way, God’s “rules”, it”s like taking the reins from God. Time to reflect is throughout each day. Also, on the Sabbath even more, as we have been commanded to do, to obey. Reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying in all situations is integral to living each day, to knowing who God is and staying close to Him. Knowing His Word as a part of our spiritual armour, to be prepared.
March 28, 2021 at 10:17 am
For this week’s review, i must say the lessons have given me strength and motivation to move on and not get stuck with this ugly feeling I had after having “hurt issues “ with my closest and long time friends at church, or I should say my very long time friends like my “own siblings” here in Japan. After one and a half months I finally returned today (Sunday, March 28) to my church of 31 years. In the past days, my sadness and anger, made me contemplate to change church because of some misunderstandings and wounds/ hurt I cradled for a while. After I spoke with my pastor last week and with honest conversation with God in my prayer, slowly but surely, God put me back to where I need to grow. I know I was distracted and allowed disappointments and frustrations to overwhelm me. Truly, God’s grace, mercy and indwelling of the Holy Spirit are the reasons for the victory in the life of every believer. The study on Creation and Counsel this week had helped me as well, to forgive those friends who have hurt me and also forgive myself too for being angry. Indeed, prayers, studying God’s word, reflecting, repentance, and being connected with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and being focused on God are the reasons for my heart’s renewal. It was a perfect timing that I’m studying with all of you in this 40 days of Discipline. In our study of Creation, knowing that our God is unchanging and His love is constant inspires me and gives me assurance that I’m loved and complete. I thank the Lord for His faithfulness and presence in my life. Below is something a friend of mine shared with me from the book “None like Him by Jen Wilkin:
The Comfort of Changelessness
Consider how great the comfort in being personally connected to a God who changes not. From the Old Testament to the New, he is the same. None of his attributes can increase or decrease because each is unchangingly infinite. His knowledge cannot increase or decrease. His faithfulness cannot increase or decrease. Our actions, good or bad, can neither add to nor diminish his glory. He cannot become more holy or less steadfast. He simply is these things to the utmost— forever. The God who was is the God who is. The God who is is the God who is to come. The God who is to come is the God who was.
Because he does not change, we can rely on the unchanging truth of Scripture. What he pronounces as sin will always be sin. What he pronounces as good will always be good. All that he has promised to do must come to pass. The gospel itself is bound up in the idea of God’s immutability. We fervently need God to stay the same— our great hope of salvation lies in his remaining exactly as who he says he is, doing exactly what he has said he will do. As long as his infinite sameness endures, he will not change his mind about setting his love on us. We cannot commit a future sin that will change his verdict, because his verdict was passed with every sin past, present, and future fixed in view. Whom God pronounces righteous will always be righteous. Nothing we could do can remove from us the seal of his promised redemption. Nothing can separate us from the unfailing, unchanging love of this great God, the Rock of our salvation upon which the house of our faith is built.
March 28, 2021 at 3:13 pm
(1) Sabbath : We need to trust and obey God even in what seems to be unrealistic situations. He has given us the Sabbath to rest so that’s why on the sixth day He gives us bread for both the sixth and the seventh days. Apart from the biblical interpretation of this, to me, this is symbolic of us working while we can and trusting God to bless and preserve what He has instructed us to save up when we should be resting, even later on in life.
(2) Creation; God has the power to resurrect dry bones, literally and otherwise, no matter how impossible things may seem as in the case of Israel’s future national restoration when things seemed hopeless in captivity, deprived of her land, her king and her temple, divided and dispersed for such a long time that unification and restoration seemed impossible (Source: gotquestions.org). Excuse the English Literature teacher in me, but from a literary perspective, dry bones could symbolize any dead situation, not only spiritual. God has the power to bring to life all the dry bones in our valleys/lives.
(3) Counsel: Be careful to recognize sound counsel, as opposed to counsel given out of cunning, craftiness and deceitful scheming . Counsel truthfully in love so that we can grow to become in every respect [a part of] the mature body of Christ.
March 28, 2021 at 9:30 pm
I learned that I have so much more to learn from God’s Word.
I know if I keep up following his Commandments I would be better off!