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Glimpse.Glean.Grow.

Question: How long does it take to grow in your relationship with God? Answer: Moments. Simple Moments. If you are looking to learn more about scripture, grow closer to God, and have your life transformed by God’s Word, do it moment by moment.

May Meeting – 7:00 PM May 24, 2012 at St. Paul’s

May 15, 2012

For those of you who are joining us for our monthly meeting, we will meet on MAY 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Somerset, PA. We will be discussing the questions from the last couple of posts. Also, if you are interested in participating in another study, we will begin to study the Gospel of Luke on June 1, 2012 and will meet twice a month. The study guide will be available on the blog site. Please feel free to e-mail me at mbhurley22@yahoo.com if you have any questions regarding this next study.

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help you God?

May 15, 2012

Have you ever been asked that question? I haven’t. I have never been asked to recount the specifics of an event for a court room. I have been asked by my parents to explain to them what happened that caused “XYZ” to break or for someone to get hurt. Though, usually my answer to this line questioning was tainted to prevent implication in the “crime”.

This past week, Paul had the opportunity to share from the witness stand. He wasn’t asked to promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help him God. He just shared his experiences. He shared his story about how the ALMIGHTY GOD spoke to him and changed him. Paul shared his testimony.

I know for me, sometimes I feel like I need to fashion my testimony to “reach” certain people with what I feel they need to hear. Yet, God wants me to share how I have been confronted and changed by Him. God wants me to testify of my experience. He (God) will take care of showing Himself to others.

Here are some questions for you to respond to or ponder:

  1. What has God been teaching you this past week?
  2. What is your testimony? How did God reveal Himself to you?

Have you seen God?

May 6, 2012

One of the questions that is unique to this study is, “What do I learn about God?” It is a question that causes me to pause every once in a while and really seek the Lord in what I am reading. This question prompts me to look beyond what is happening or what I feel the passage is saying about me. This question stops my gaze and redirects back to the One on whom my eyes should be fixed.

I don’t know about you, but I am so quick to read the Bible and ask how my life can be changed by what I have studied. This isn’t wrong to do. God does instruct us on how to live and relate to others and God. However, I wonder what our lives would be like if we looked for God in these passages, if we sought after His heart.

Sometimes this can be difficult. Some people may say that I am really reaching in my observations of God in these passages, but I thought I would share with you a little of what I observed about God this past week.

  1. Acts 20:7-12 : 1. God desires for His people to come together; 2. God wants to share His truth to others through fellow believers; 3. God controls life and death; 4. God has empowered His people to heal; 5. God provides great comfort.
  2. Acts 20:13-24: 1. God chooses to let us serve Him; 2. God loves humility and sincerity; 3. God allows His people to experience hardship; 4. God does NOT discriminate; 5. God has provided a way for us to have a restored relationship with Himself – through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ; 6. God uses His Spirit to move us; 7. God is greater than me; 8. God has given each of us a specific mission; 8. God is gracious.
  3. Acts 20:25-31: 1. God allows man to carry the truth of His kingdom to others; 2. God wants to share His will with the world; 3. God gives us specific gifts through the Holy Spirit; 4. God wants us to care for one another; 5. God bought us with HIS own blood; 6. God is NOT cheap – He lavishes goodness upon us.
  4. Acts 20:32-36: 1. God has set us apart (sanctified us) for His purpose; 2. God gives us an inheritance (a future blessing); 3. God wants us to help the weak; 4. God is giving and blesses us with the opportunity and the ability to give; 5. God wants us to communicate with (pray to) Him; 6. God is trustworthy.
  5. Acts 20:37-38: God is relational and has created us to be relational in His likeness – there is a sense of community in the relationship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  6. Acts 21:1-6: 1. God speaks to us through others; 2. God communicates His plan to us through the Holy Spirit; 3. God exists in community and has created us to be in deep, meaningful relationships and form community; 4. God has a plan for each of us; 5. God wants us to pour our hearts out before Him
  7. Acts 21:7-16: 1. God shares His plan for us through His Spirit speaking within us or by His Spirit speaking to us through other people; 2. God allows His people to experience hardship; 3. God is in control; 4. God wants me to trust Him with my life; 5. God chooses to involve us in His plans.

It is amazing how much God reveals about Himself in the Bible, what He likes, doesn’t like, how He involves Himself in our lives and chooses to involve us in His plan. I hope your life has been blessed this week by seeking God in everything you are doing.

Here are some questions for you to respond to or ponder:

  1. What has God been teaching you this week?
  2. What have you learned about God this week?
  3. Why do you think community is so vital in our lives as followers of God?
  4. How often do you listen to what the Holy Spirit tells you to do? Why do you or do you not choose to obey?

Obsessed

April 29, 2012

Have you ever been obsessed? Have you ever met a person who was obsessed with something? Obsession demands passion. If you have ever watched a toddler (or an adult for that matter) throw a tantrum, you have witnessed someone who is passionately obsessed. Anyone who throws a tantrum does so because he or she is single-minded in passion and purpose toward the object of his/her obsession.

I have three very passionate children. I get the privilege of having a front row seat to several tantrums every day. In every situation, which ever child is throwing the tantrum has determined to be unrelenting until the situation turns to his or her favor. Usually my children can not see that their way will not be best. Their obsession has blinded them. Yet, I do admire them for their enthusiasm. They never give up. Unrelenting Obsession.

This past week we took a trip with Paul through the pages of Acts and landed in Ephesus, home of those obsessed with the goddess Artemis (or Diana). Paul and his crew had told the Ephesians about the futility of idolatry and instructed them on the worship of the One True God (Jehovah), Creator of all things. The craftsmen of the city did not like Paul ruining business for them by telling the people that idols were worthless; they also did not appreciate some random, uninvited Jewish man entering their city and upstaging their goddess with talk of THE ONE TRUE GOD.

The craftsmen and the people of Ephesus were so obsessed with the goddess Diana that they rallied together in the local outdoor mega theater and shouted, “Great is Artemis (Diana) of the Ephesians” for two whole hours. Talk about tantrums – my kids usually stop screaming after about 20 minutes. These men and women did not stop for two whole hours. The Ephesians were blinded by their misplaced obsession which caused them to miss God’s message.

I feel like I am sometimes just like the Ephesians. I become obsessed and controlled by people, places, things, and ideas that are not THE ONE TRUE GOD. Sometimes, I am obsessed to the point where rational thought regarding these idols in my life is extremely unwelcome, even when I know God is speaking this TRUTH to me.

Why am I not obsessed with God the way I am with life and the things of this life? Why am I not shouting, “Great is THE One true God, Creator of All things”?

Questions for you to ponder or respond to:

  1. What has been God’s message to you this past week?
  2. What drives your obsessions?
  3. What are you obsessed about and how does it compete with the place of God in your life?
  4. How can Christians be obsessed with things of this life and not be obsessed with God?

Meeting tomorrow – Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 7:00PM

April 25, 2012

Just a reminder for those of you who are  in town and able to attend. We will have our 3rd meeting for Glimpse.Glean.Grow. tomorrow, Thursday, April 26, at 7:00 PM in the library at St. Paul’s Presbyterian church. If you missed some of the study, weren’t able to complete the passages for the past month or week, come. We will be reading and discussing some selected passages, so you will be able to jump right in and be encouraged by our brothers and sisters in the book of Acts. Hope to see you there.

Be Present

April 20, 2012

Moms tend to be pulled in different directions all the time. We are constantly going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes we are so consumed by our schedules that we forget that our purpose in life is greater than places to be and things to do. I know I am concerned more with assignments that have to be completed, locations for meetings, school, games, etc…, a house that needs to be cleaned, meals that need to be prepared (sometimes I don’t make it to that one), etc… You get my point. Life consumes me to the point that I forget what the purpose of life is all about.

Life is about being present with God and sharing Him with those “who happen to be present” in my life.

The apostle Paul didn’t forget his purpose. He was the exact opposite of me. For Paul, life was all about God’s purpose. Paul devoted himself completely to sharing the Good News of Jesus “with those who happened to be present” (Acts 17:17b). Paul shared God with everyone, those in the synagogues and those he met while at the market. Paul was present with people.

I might not be teaching in the synagogue, but I am often at the “market”. I am often in the presence of people. People are present in my life. I see people all the time, and sometimes I even get a chance to talk to them. We talk about life, the weather, kids, etc… which I don’t think is wrong, by the way. I often find myself involved in these types of conversations. However, how often do I find myself sharing the good news of Jesus? Am I allowing myself to be used by God? Am I leading God out into the open for people to see?

When I went to Bible school, there was a man who used to say, “When life is over, only two things will remain: 1. The Word of God; and 2. People”

If for now sharing God with those adults “who happen to be present” scares you, share with the little people you know. Share with the  kids in your life. Children also “happen to be present”. Make life about God, not about you and what you have to do. We still have to live life; however, we can choose our perspective and purpose to be present with God and to share Him with “those who happen to be present”.

Questions for you to ponder or respond to:

  1. What has been God’s message to you this past week?
  2. What scares you about sharing God with those “who happen to be present”?
  3. What are some ways you have found to be present with God in the midst of a busy life?
  4. What are some ways you have found to share God with those who are present in your busy life?

Reminder

April 19, 2012

We will have our sharing discussion meeting for glimpse.glean.grow. at 7:00 PM at St. Paul’s library on April 26, 2012 (next Thursday). If you haven’t had a chance to come, it is an encouraging time of sharing and learning from others. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them. Hope to see you all next week.

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