Covenant Week 6 | Online Bible Study

COVENANTWEEK 6

Welcome to online Bible study at the Womens Bible Cafe! What an amazing time we are having discussing the lessons from our Covenant Bible study workbook by Kay Arthur. This week we will be discussing Week Six, “The Covenants of Salvation” and our weekly lessons included:

  • The Abrahamic Covenant
  • The Covenant of the Law
  • Worshiping Under the Law
  • The Davidic Covenant
  • A New Covenant

This week we learned how covenant is woven together and points to the big picture of our salvation and covenant with Jesus Christ. The old covenant was written by God on tablets of stone. The new covenant is written on our hearts.

 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will  put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I  will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  Jeremiah 31:33

Kay Arthur writes what the new covenant will do:

It puts the law within us, writes it on our hearts.  It makes God our God, and us His people. We will know the Lord–small or great in the eyes of others— we will know Him! Our iniquities will be forgiven; our sin remembered no more!

About eleven years ago, my Daddy needed to have open heart surgery. The doctor explained to us in plain simple terms that we could understand that Daddy had a leaky heart valve which needed replacement for him to survive. His new heart valve was reconstructed using a pig valve. Little did I realize at that time what God was doing in the life of my dad.

daddy_sheree

My Daddy was not always a believer in Jesus Christ. He used to drop my sisters and me off at the church on Sunday mornings, and I realize today that he did that so he and my mother could have a little peace and quiet apart from three rambunctious little girls. We would always come home excitedly telling them about the Good News of the stories we were learning about Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus grew in my heart day by day. My mother was already a believer in Jesus, and we grew up praying for our daddy that He would believe. The years went by and still no change in his heart about Jesus Christ, but we never gave up.

I didn’t realize at the time why my Daddy had a leaky heart valve. But God revealed to me that his heart valve had become so calloused and so hard, that it had to be replaced. The Lord was reconstructing my Daddy’s heart from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. My Daddy not only underwent a physical heart surgery, he also underwent a spiritual heart surgery.

After my Daddy’s heart surgery, he was in intensive care and was in and out of consciousness for about three months. The day he woke up, the first thing he said was “I believe in Jesus, and I want to be saved.” My mother prayed with Him, the sinners prayer, and He was saved that very day and entered into a covenant relationship with our Lord and Savior. When he was released from the hospital, he spoke to the Pastor of our church, and he was baptized about a week later with his whole family sitting on the front pew watching excitedly and cheering him on.

For the next ten years, my Daddy and my mother attended Sunday School and church together regularly. My sisters and I saw our Daddy grow closer and closer to the Lord every day. They even read through the Bible together in a year. They never missed a day. And on January 7, 2013, my Daddy went to be home with the Lord Jesus he came to know and to love. We still do not know what happened to our Daddy for him to have a “change of heart” when he woke up from intensive care that day, but what we do know is that God changed his heart, and for that we are forever thankful.

What an answer to prayer!

Do you have a family member or friend you have been praying for to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior? Do not give up, keep praying. The Lord hears and He answers.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students!  Send a request to “join group” and we will approve it: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCchatroom2/
  • Basic Study:  Complete Week 7 in the Covenant workbook, about 20-30 minutes each day.
  • Optional due to cost:  Watch Session 7 video or listen to the audio and follow along in your workbook on page 155.  To download videos or audios  CLICK HERE
  • Write a prayer to God asking Him to cleanse Your heart. Pray for unsaved family members and friends. You can write this in the margin of your workbook or in your journal.
  • Digging Deeper: Do a word study on the “law” (Genesis 26:5 comparing to Galatians 3:17). Use the resources at www.blueletterbible.org. Instructions on how to use this tool is included in “Files” in the WBC Covenant chat room. Write down your findings in the margin of your workbook or your journal

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)

  1. In Exodus 23:31-33, God gave specific instructions for the Israelites to stay within the boundaries He would give them and not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land because of idol worship. What are some boundaries God gives us today to keep us from idol worship? What are some modern day idols in our lives and our society today? (Page 135)
  2. Moses wrote down ALL the words of the Lord (Exodus 24:4). Moses actually kept a journal. Do you keep a journal? Share something you have written in your journal recently that God spoke to you about. (Pages 136-137)
  3. To worship God is to bow before Him and honor Him for who He is, which means that worship includes obedience. How can we, as Christians, obey and worship God without becoming bogged down by the ways and the pull of the world? (Page 139)
  4. The new covenant of Jesus gives believers a new heart. No longer is the Law written on hard tablets of stone but is now written within us in our hearts.  Who is affected by the new covenant? What is necessary to take part in the new covenant? Share your personal testimony on how you were saved and are now in the new covenant with Jesus Christ. (If you are unsure you are in the new covenant, please send me a private message, and I will be happy to speak to you personally). (Pages 150-151)

Bonus Question: The furnishings of the Tabernacle is a picture of our Lord and His plan of redemption. Study the diagram on page 152, and read about each article of furniture of the Tabernacle on pages 153-154. What article of furniture means the most to you and why?

ANNOUNCEMENT: NEXT INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY

Beginning March 30, we will be teaching the Inductive method of Precept studies using the Book written by Kay Arthur, David Arthur and Pete DeLacy, How to Study Your Bible.  In this book, you will learn the joy and value of Inductive Study that will help you discover truth for yourself when you read and study God’s Holy Word.  Kay Arthur states, “Inductive Bible study draws you into personal interaction with the Scriptures and thus with the God of the Scriptures so that your beliefs are based on a prayerful understanding and legitimate interpretation of Scripture–truth that transforms you when you live by it.”

We hope you will join us on March 30 for this invaluable teaching tool.  A reading schedule will be forthcoming. To order the How to Study Your Bible book, CLICK HERE

Blessings,

Sheree Poole

Fasting For Financial Breakthrough | Book Review

Fasting For Financial Breakthrough by Elmer TownsFasting For Financial Breakthrough by Dr. Elmer Towns is an excellent teaching on Biblical fasting, rooted in theology not prosperity. This is not a “get-rich” teaching and instead focuses on partnering with God to manage your finances. Upon completing the book I felt a renewed and refreshed attitude towards money. I was so impressed with this teaching that I felt called to lead 500+ women through a 40 Days Financial Fast. After reading this book I learned to:

  1. Fast and pray according to God’s will
  2. Fast and pray according to Biblical principles
  3. Fast and pray in faith believing
  4. Fast and pray in fellowship
  5. Fast and pray continuously
  6. Fast and pray to be cleansed of sin barriers
  7. Fast and pray with a great number of people

I learned truths about money, financial obligations, self-control and my relationship with God. While I’m a graduate of the Financial Peace University from Dave Ramsey, there are many theological concepts presented by Dr. Towns that are not included in FPU study. Both teachings are worthy of your time and investment!

My first exposure to Dr. Elmer Towns was a class on The Gospel of John at Liberty University. There I learned he is co-founder of the University, Dean of the School of Religion and a translator for the New King James Bible. After watching numerous teaching videos and reading his book on the Gospel of John, I was so impressed with his work that I started looking for more books by this Bible scholar.

 10 Quotes from Fasting For Financial Breakthrough #TweetThis

Fasting is a time when we do more than ask for money. It is a time to reexamine our relationship with God. Elmer Towns

When fasting, we must find God’s presence, abide in it and fellowship with Him. Elmer Towns

When you need faith to trust God for big things, fasting is a great way to develop it. Elmer Towns

Faith is putting God’s Word into action. We haven’t exercised our faith until we’ve applied God’s Word to our problem. Elmer Towns

Stewardship is the proper management of time, talents and money for the glory of God. Elmer Towns

Biblical money management is putting God first, necessities second and pleasures last. Elmer Towns

We don’t need to pray long prayers for God to answer. He can hear and respond to the shortest cry for help. Elmer Towns

God often gets our attention through money problems. Elmer Towns

Job’s greatest wealth was not his money; it was his walk with God. Elmer Towns

Fasting is the beginning of learning how to get along without things for the sake of God. Elmer Towns

 

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To order a Kindle version of the book- CLICK HERE

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Anonymous- Discovering the Somebody You Are to God | Book Review

Anonymous by Cindi WoodAnonymous: Discovering the Somebody You Are to God begins with a personal invitation R.S.V.P. from Cindi Wood, popular Bible teacher and author of the Frazzled Female series. During the six weeks of study, there are lessons for five days of the week. It took me about 20 minutes to complete each daily lesson and it was easy to understand.  Topics include:

Week 1: Shades of Anonymous- When You Feel Invisible

Week 2: The Woman Who Anointed Jesus- When You Are Judged

Week 3: The Woman with the Issue of Blood- When You Are Tired of Hurting

Week 4: The Woman at the Well- When You Feel Ordinary

Week 5: The Woman Who Committed Adultery- When You Are Burdened with Shame

Week 6: Rhythm of Grace New Name, New Identity

The first week begins with an introduction to feeling invisible. The next four weeks you’ll meet “Judged” in the house of the Pharisee; “Hurting” near the shores of the Sea of Galilee; “Ordinary” by the well in Samaria; and finally, in Jerusalem’s temple courtyard, you’ll meet “Shame.” Perhaps you’ve met Judged, Hurting, Ordinary and Shame…or maybe these are identities you’ve experienced sometime in your life. Upon completion of this study you’ll see them through the eyes of Jesus.

The writing style is conversational and easy to follow as Cindi Wood shares stories from her experiences teaching middle school children and overcoming clinical depression. You’ll like the pleasant personality of the author as she falls in love with her readers!

 10 Quotes from Anonymous: Discovering the Somebody You Are to God #TweetThis

Having a relationship with Jesus Christ dispels every other identity that holds you hostage. Cindi Wood

God does not define you by your current or past struggle. He defines you by who you are in Him. Cindi Wood

Sometimes the best words are those spoken within the heart. Cindi Wood

Those who follow Jesus cannot be snatched out of His saving hand. To suggest so casts doubt on the safe grasp of our Savior. Cindi Wood

God does not want any of His children to live an unfulfilled life. Cindi Wood

Jesus never forces anyone to seek and receive what He has to offer. He simply provides the opportunity to do so. Cindi Wood

God allows in each of our lives earthly experiences to teach us spiritual truths. Cindi Wood

Mercy is best described as God’s attitude toward those who are in distress. Cindi Wood

When you come to Jesus, He’s always full of compassion to embrace you. His love is unconditional and steady. Cindi Wood

If you’ll let Him, Christ will turn your trembling into triumphing. He longs to encourage you in your faith and communication with Him. Cindi Wood

 

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My Amazon Rating 5/5- To rate my review please CLICK HERE

To order a Kindle version of the book- CLICK HERE

To order a Printed version of the book- CLICK HERE

Spiritual Growth Begins Today With 40 Days of Fasting

40 days financial fasting

Are you ready for a 40-day journey you’ll never forget? Let’s get started!

From the beginning, let’s agree this is not prosperity teaching or affiliated with the prosperity gospel movement. I’m not praying to get rich. I’m not giving to my church or charities so that I receive rich rewards. Nope.

Let’s also understand this is not a Lenten activity practiced by Catholics. The Catholic tradition includes penance and self-examination of sins. It focuses on sacraments mandated by the church and also the acts of prayer, abstaining and almsgiving. I’m not fasting to reveal sin.

Now that I’ve removed the obstacles to 40 days of fasting, let’s begin our journey with the Holy Spirit!

According to Dr. Elmer Towns there are Nine fasts of Isaiah 58:6-8

  1. Loose the bonds of wickedness- Disciples fast to break addiction and sin
  2. Undo heavy burdens- Ezra fast to solve problems
  3. Let oppressed go free- Samuel fast for evangelism and revival
  4. Break every yoke- Elijah fast to break discouragement and burnout
  5. Share your bread with the hungry- Widow’s fast to supply physical necessities to the poor
  6. Your light shall break forth- Paul fast for insight and decision making
  7. Healing shall spring forth- Daniel fast for health and healing
  8. Righteousness shall go before you- John the Baptist fast for influence and testimony
  9. Glory of God shall be your rear guard- Esther fast for spiritual warfare and protection from the evil one

I am praying that He teaches me to be a good steward of money, so my financial fast is based on #6 for insight and decision making. I am praying that He shows me what are necessities and what are luxuries. I am praying that He teaches me to fill the empty spaces in my heart with God’s love and the Presence of Jesus, rather than with excess spending or eating. I am praying to take my mind off money and that it will not become an idol in my life. What are you praying for?

While fasting financially, I am praying for you too. I’ll be reading your comments on the Facebook event page. I will be interceding and lifting you up in prayer. Some of you are struggling financially and praying for employment or debt reduction. Others are struggling to create a budget or stay within your budget. A few have let money become the master of your life or allowed it to shame you. Together we’ll pray to break any strongholds that money has assumed in our hearts.

Tip: Facebook event pages are PUBLIC so anything you post there can be viewed by friends, family, coworkers, even your boss! Use the edit feature to delete your comment if you want it removed from the page

God may be calling you to deny yourself something for the next 40 days. Pray into this and ask Him to reveal things on your shopping list that are unnecessary. Ask Him to examine your calendar of events. Sit with your bank statements and ask Him to line-item those things that are necessary and those that are not. Most importantly ask Him “Am I being a good steward of my money?” Wait for an answer.

Create a simple list of what you will allow and what you will deny yourself for the next 40 days. What YOU give up and what makes YOU uncomfortable is going to be different than someone else. For example, I do not smoke or drink,  so if I gave up the cost buying cigarettes or alcohol for 40 days, it would have zero impact on my life and I would not grow spiritually. I do have an addiction to books and it will make me uncomfortable to miss a daily book deal or shop on Amazon. This is just one example of where I feel the Holy Spirit telling me to cut unnecessary spending.

Scriptures to Study or Memorize

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14 ESV

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John  15:7 ESV

Never stop praying. 1 Thess. 5:17 NLT

Tip: using your cell phone, snap a photo of these verses so you can find them easily

Steps For Spiritual Growth

  1. Decide which of the nine fasts from Isaiah that you will be focused on. I shared that I am fasting for insight and decision making. Post a comment below and let me know what you are fasting for so I can write your name on my prayer card.
  2. Fast and pray according to God’s will. Make sure you ask for things God wants you to have. Pray and ask Him.
  3. Create a simple list of what you will allow and what you will deny yourself for the next 40 days.
  4. If you need to move a mountain, put your faith into your prayers. Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22 NLT.
  5. Book: “Fasting For Financial Breakthrough” by Dr. Elmer Towns, read chapters 1 and 2 (optional)

With love,

christine abraham

What Love Is Week Five | Online Bible Study

whatloveis week 5

I can’t believe we’re already on week 5 of our study, What Love Is by Kelly Minter!  This week as we discuss the lessons from week 5 in our small groups, we’ll be covering these themes:

  • The role of the Holy Spirit
  • Prayer
  • Idols
  • Sin

In my freshman year of college, the campus packed a charter bus full of students with ‘leadership potential’ and took us on a retreat to the mountains of Western Maryland.

Most of us shuffled off the bus after the long drive and congregated silently on the sidewalk, awaiting further instructions.  No one really knew each other so we generally avoided awkwardness by pretending to be busy getting our stuff together.

Not this one girl, though.  She pushed right past the group and flung her arms open into the cool October air.

She spun around just as if she were Maria in the Sound of Music singing, “The hills are alive….” and this girl said,  “It’s so beautiful!  How could you see all this and not know God?”

It’s the first time I really noticed her.  We’d spent a whole semester together in a history class and I think I knew her name and nothing else about her by the end.

But here she was, declaring the glory of God in front of all of us. She was bolder than I had been all year.

It turns out, I hadn’t known her at all, hadn’t know what was in her heart and didn’t know about her testimony and her faith.

Sometimes we think we know what’s inside the hearts of others.  We think we can tell who is close to salvation and who is so ‘hopeless’ we might as well give up on them.

But we can be wrong

Maybe you’ve been praying for salvation for a child, parent, spouse, coworker or best friend for so long that you’ve grown worn out and weary or even just forgetful.

Maybe you’ve given up, not knowing if they are simply one step away from faith.

Rahab lived in that pagan town Jericho.  No one would have expected her to be a God-follower, not a rescuer of Israelites or the one person in Jericho who was closest to salvation

She was a prostitute.  Hopelessly lost, for sure.

Maybe that’s what we would have thought if we’d seen her walking the streets of Jericho.

But God knew her heart.  He knew that of all the people in the city, she was the one person who believed that God was a God of miracles.

That’s what she said in a whispered conversation with two Israelite spies she hid on her roof:

For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below (Joshua 2:11 NLT).

She believed.

Who would’ve thought?

God, that’s who.  He sent those spies straight to her door because He knew she would save them…..and He knew that He would save her.

He knocked down a seemingly impenetrable fortress around Jericho, but kept her one lone house standing.

He moved heaven and earth to save a woman whose heart was ready for grace and faith.

This is our God with His heart to save, with His power to do the impossible and to share the Gospel with those who need to hear because He does not want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV).

We’re so tempted at times to limit God by only asking for what looks possible.  Yet, in this week’s lesson, Kelly Minter quotes from Andrew Murray:

Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do.

Noone is beyond the grasp of God or outside the reach of His grace and forgiveness.

Nothing is impossible with our God-of-the-impossible.

Have you given up in prayer?  Have you stopped faithfully asking for salvation for the lost?  Have you written off your requests as hopelessly unlikely and even downright impossible?

This week, choose to persevere in prayer.  Bring those requests right back to the feet of Jesus and remember:

Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for (1 John 5:14-15 HCSB). 

BIBLE STUDY TIP:

I’m a mom with four kids ages 15 months to 10 years old.  Life is fast, loud, busy, and messy at my house!  People tell me all the time they don’t have time for Bible study, and I get it.  The truth is we will never “have” time for God just handed to us.  I never wake up in the morning and find myself with 30 minutes of absolute quiet and inactivity.

We have to make time for God.

But how that works might depend on you.

It may be that you need a set time and place to study.  At the same time every day, you tuck yourself away in your quiet place to be with God.  If you’re like me, I set up camp at the kitchen table with my Bible, pens, laptop and study guide.  You may have another place that works for you.  The point is that consistency helps you establish the spiritual discipline of time in God’s Word.  This is probably the best way to make time for God—-schedule it and plan it in advance.

But, here’s the reality of my life. Every day, my schedule is different.  My kids have varying degrees of patience with what Mommy has to do.  So, what works for me in this season of my life is flexible discipline.  If we only plan to study God’s Word at lunchtime every day and something disrupts our plan, we may never get back to Bible study. Instead, we fall behind and behind and further behind because our plan is too rigid.

For me, I know I’m going to finish my lesson today.  I won’t click on the TV, flip open the novel or scroll through Facebook without it being done.  But today it may happen in the morning.  Tomorrow, I’ll spread out over lunch.  The next day, it will be while waiting for my kids to finish their after school activities.  I may even study in 5 minute increments throughout the day.  If I have the slightest opening of time, I fill it with God and His Word.

 ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students! We meet in this Facebook group. Send a request to “join group” and we will approve it: http://www.facebook.com/groups/wbcchatroom3/
  • Basic Study: Complete week 6 in the study guide, about 20-30 minutes each day.
  • Optional: To watch session 6 video CLICK HERE (optional due to cost).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here):

  1. What characteristic or role of the Holy Spirit means the most to you at this time of your life, and why? (from p. 133).
  2. Have you ever had to persevere in prayer for a specific request?  Maybe you are even still waiting?  What encouragement would you give from this week’s lesson, your personal testimony, or Scripture to someone who feels like giving up on a long-term prayer request? (from p. 135).
  3. According to 1 John 5:18, “the One who is born of God keeps” us as believers (HCSB).  Kelly tells us that the Greek word for “keep” is “terei” meaning “to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard, to keep one in the state in which he is.”  What means the most to you about the reality that Jesus keeps you? (from p. 145)
  4. Like the shepherds in Luke guarded their flocks through midnight’s darkness, the soldiers guarded Peter in prison, and Timothy kept what had been entrusted to his care, in what ways do you specifically guard yourself against idols?  (from p. 150).
  5. In a culture of countless opinions regarding what love is, how has your definition of love either broadened or narrowed through this study?

In Christ,

 heather signature