study

Attitude

Vacuuming was my least favorite household chore. I decided it had to be because of my vacuum cleaner, a new vacuum would make the task enjoyable. I read reviews and planned my purchase. I was so excited to use my new vacuum!  I thought, “Problem solved! My attitude toward vacuuming has changed.” However, I was quickly back to dreading the task. The problem was not the vacuum, it was me. I needed to change my attitude, not change my vacuum. Vacuuming was bringing out the dirt in my heart. 

His Strength

Sometimes I feel like I am failing. It is a feeling that often creeps in when I look around at the laundry I haven't done and the bills I've forgotten to pay. When I notice how my heart is quick to seek foolish comfort in judging others to feel better about myself. When I hear my tone of voice harden as I allow myself to be angry with my husband. It comes when I feel my patience slipping away in my interactions with my children. I see how far I am from the woman that I want to be, and I begin to feel like a failure.

The Father

BY KATRINA COSTALES

Verse to Memorize: “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” Psalm 103:13,14

Have you ever found yourself repeating something important so that you will not forget? Pick up milk, pay power bill, soccer at 6:00. In Psalm 103, King David is reminding himself to praise God and rightly remember all of His attributes and blessings. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits.” So much of our struggle in life and battle with sin can be traced back to a wrong view of God’s character and nature. If we are wrong about who God is and what He is like, we will be wrong in the way that we interpret and respond to the situations of life. As a result, our emotions will also be wrong, not in line with scripture. Our actions and emotions are a byproduct of our thoughts.

David reminds himself and us that God is our Heavenly Father. He describes His children as those who fear Him. One is not a child of God because God is obligated to love us, or because we are made in His image, or that He has given us physical life. A child of God is one who has been born again through the new birth of salvation. It is rooted in the gospel. We are adopted into the family of God, chosen and loved, as Father God has compassion on His children. The word compassion is to be tender or have mercy, to love deeply as only a parent can. We have a special relationship with God. He is now our Father and it is a permanent relationship of love.

We can’t look to our earthly fathers to understand our Heavenly Father. We must look to the place where He has revealed Himself to us, the Bible. The Bible tells us that because of this fatherly relationship, we have access to Him in prayer, and we can call Him Abba Father. He will answer our prayers and give us good gifts, including the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is preparing a place for us, and we will one day be with Him forever in heaven. He will also discipline us in love so we will be holy like He is holy.

As we remember God’s fatherly care for us, we will grow in trust and obedience. It will keep us from worry, fear, doubt, anger, despair and indecision.  It will motivate us to live holy lives like our Father. What we believe and what we think will flow out in how we live. That is why we need to remind ourselves that God is our Father. We are deeply loved and cared for daily by our Father.

I hope you will dig deeper into the great truth that God is Father and how that truth should impact our daily lives.

The Holy Spirit

BY DEBBIE DAVIS

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26

I was driving up Dash Point Road one night on my way to church. I admit that I was feeling a bit sorry for myself thinking ‘no one likes me.’ Out of nowhere, the verse Isaiah 43:4 came to my mind: “Since you are precious in My sight…” It goes on from there, but what grabbed me were those first 7 words. I am precious to God! Precious means an object of great value. I am of great value to God! Wow! Needless to say, I no longer had even the faintest echo of that ‘no one likes me’ thought. I was overwhelmed with God the Father’s love for me. Now while I was having my pity party, I didn’t reach over and thumb through my Bible, nor did I pop onto my phone to search my favorite Bible app for a verse about God’s love for me (as both those activities would have been hazardous to me and everyone else on the road!). This verse trumpeted itself into my thoughts spontaneously! How? Well, many years ago I memorized this verse, and I’ve reviewed it at times over the years. So it was there, in my memory, ready for the Holy Spirit to use to encourage me on that commute to church. Memorizing Scripture puts God’s Word where the Holy Spirit can pull it out to teach, reprove, correct, and train us in righteousness. (2 Tim 3:16). And it’s there no matter where we are.

The Holy Spirit can’t bring Scripture to mind if the Scripture isn’t in our minds. Memorizing Scripture means that no matter where we are, sitting at a restaurant table with a friend, driving in the car with family, in a meeting, in the shower, God’s Word is accessible to us so the Holy Spirit can bring it to our remembrance. Even with our ubiquitous electronic devices, there are times when we can’t (or shouldn’t) access them to look up a verse. In those times, if we’ve memorized verses/passages, they are always available to us. I can spend my shower time, driving time, waiting time meditating on a verse. I can encourage a friend, exhort a child, praise the Lord, explain a concept, because the Spirit has brought that memorized verse to mind.

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, sent by God in Jesus’ name, lives in us. Let’s be consistent to memorize Scriptures that He can use to teach us, comfort us, and encourage us.

Memorization Tips

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. - Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV)

Hello there, 

We will be starting The Gathering: Summer Scripture Memorization on Sunday, May 31st. That's tomorrow! Can you believe it's almost June? We trust you are taking full advantage of this summer sun! 

Here's how it works: We will send out a weekly email on Sundays. In that email you will have the verse of the week along with a small devotional for you to meditate on throughout the week. At the end of the summer, you will have memorized 14 verses alongside of, potentially, 300 other women at Christ's Church.  

We know that Bible memorization can feel daunting; but we have pulled together some simple memorization tips to help you along the way.

  1. Write it Down. It's such a simple strategy. Write the verse you're memorizing down on paper. But don't just write it once; write it many times. Five or ten times is a good start (some of our overachievers write out their memory verses up to 50 times!).
  2. Say it Out Loud. Just as writing a verse out can help in memorizing it, so speaking the words aloud is an excellent way to burn them into your memory. One suggestion: turn the radio off while you're driving, your commute to work, playdates, to get groceries, each day and recite your memory verse out loud instead!
  3. Incorporate the Verse into Your Prayers. When you pray, include elements of the verse in your words to God. Pray that God will help you understand and apply the verse to your life. Pray for God's help in fixing the verse in your heart and mind.
  4. Put it Everywhere. Write your memory verse out on multiple index cards or sticky notes (combine this with tip #1 above!) and put them all over the place, so that you'll see the verse many times throughout your day. Tape the verse to your bathroom mirror or computer monitor. Tuck it into your purse, lunch sack, car glove compartment, pockets... anywhere you'll see it.
  5. Use Technology. There are many apps and websites available to help you memorize scripture. Here are a two of our favorites: 
      • ScriptureTyper.com - Available on the web, iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle, this app allows you to type out the verse many times, leaving out more words each time until you have the entire verse memorized. 
      • BibleMindedApp.com - Available on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Kindle App. With BibleMinded you can add your own verses and memorize the Bible using their awesome study modes, track and test yourself.

You got this girls!

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