Happy Monday friends! Today, I am so excited to share some of the prayer and research I’ve been up to in preparing for the interactive Bible Study I’m releasing in March 2019. The research Im releasing will be extensive in its range of sources, all […]
Welcome to the second installment of the research and info accompanying the I Believe Bible Study I am launching, as part of my fulfillment of my Christian Studies degree.
To learn all the details about the Bible Study, and how to sign up, head here: Announcing the I Believe Bible Study
To get caught up on the research, head here: Research Episode One
Today’s research focuses on the title of the Bible Study: what does believing in God entail?
There is a reason I titled a Bible Study about fasting as “I Believe.” And that reason is simple and primary and the first step: if God isn’t God, and He isn’t who He says He is, there is certainly no point in fasting to spend more time with Him.
However, in thinking about who this study is for, I do not intend to limit it to being for people who are confident in their faith, and believe fully in/have a relationship with Jesus. If you are in a place of being curious about faith in God; have many questions; want “help with your unbelief” (Mark 9:23-25), even skeptical, this is for you, too.
And I do believe that spending time in prayer and asking of God, the mighty One Himself will answer your prayers (though often not how you think), guide you, and intercede for you.
Drawing on a sermon preached by Pastor Mike Rutledge at my church, Risen City, if we believe in the God of freedom, Jesus Christ, we believe in a God who absolutely is who He says He is. And if He IS the Prince of Peace, the Light of the World, Creator and Friend, then a life lived for Him is going to radically change us. His Holy Spirit promises to intercede for us (Romans 8:26), making us more others focused people.
In this sermon, Pastor Mike talked about the first of the Ten Commandments given in the Old Testament of the Bible.
He explained that, at the time these Commandments were given, the people took them very seriously, as strict rules that, if broken, threatened their relationship with God.
0 And God spoke<sup class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-2053B" data-link="(B)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top”> all these words:<sup class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-2053C" data-link="(C)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top”>
2 “I am the Lord your God,<sup class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-2054D" data-link="(D)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top”> who brought you out<sup class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-2054E" data-link="(E)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top”> of Egypt,<sup class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-2054F" data-link="(F)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top”> out of the land of slavery.<sup class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-2054G" data-link="(G)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top”>
3 “You shall have no other gods before<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NIV-2055a" data-link="[a]” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top”>[a] me. Exodus 20:1-3
But when God came to us in the form of Jesus, He came to set us free from the Law. This doesn’t mean that this Law isn’t for our good, or that these Commandments are not things we should adhere to. They should absolutely be adhered to. But it means that love wins, and that we now have the Holy Spirit to help us, because God knows we can’t live out these Commandments ourselves.
It is truly a fairytale. We have an ever-present help.
And the more time we’re spending with that ever-present help, the more we will grow in and with Him. The less we will desire anything but life with and for Him.
This world doesn’t need a bunch of rule keepers. It needs reformed hearts. –Mike Rutledge, Ten Commandments Sermon 1, https://www.risencitychurch.com/messages/
And where do such reformed hearts come from?
Jesus. Relationship with Him.
Whether you’ve had faith in Him for years and years, you are so full of questions you don’t know where to start, or your heart is stirring for more, this Bible Study is for you.
Feel free to comment, connect with me via email, or send me a personal message for more info about the study. I am always happy to answer any questions.
Three of my favourite words! Banana, Nut Butter, Oatmeal. Put them all together to make one delicious, healthy dessert? Heck yes! Banana Almond Oat Cookes (This recipe was good for just me, or about 4 ball shaped cookies!) Ingredients 1 Tbsp almond butter 2 Tbsp […]
I am currently surviving off coffee after one of the most exciting/emotional/crazy weekends of my life. Full post on that pending…
Today, however, I am excited to share with you the most well-edited and concise version of my testimony ever published. I am so honoured to have a second piece of mine published in the incredible Canadian magazine, Love is Moving.
Read the article here.
In the publishing of this article, I am humbly reminded of the number of opportunities this story has had to be shared. That being said, I want to iterate how necessary it is that what is gleaned from this is that God through Jesus saved my life, and is saving it every day, redeeming me. I am not perfect, His Spirit is perfect. I still have struggles, but He is a perfect redeemer.
“The only reason healing is difficult to grasp is because it hasn’t been our experience.” Dan Mohler
If you’re curious about eating disorder recovery logistics/physical recovery, I am happy to answer questions.
If you’re curious about a relationship with Jesus, I am a friend and shoulder, but He is the Friend and Shoulder.
Thanks for reading friends, and be sure to check out the other amazing articles in this 30th issue of Love is Moving!
He actually does fulfill His promises. When a worry or fear creeps into your mind, how do you go about addressing that? Sometimes, I find myself consumed by the worry. I recognize in myself a tendency to overanalyze the future, coping by trying to control the […]
If you know me, you know how much I love cooking and food creating. You know that the kitchen is my happy place, and that I love getting creative. If you really know me (comment if you’re one of the few😝) you know that I […]
Since announcing last Monday the news that I am publishing an online and in-person Bible study, I am so excited by the responses and participation. You can find all the details about When and how and what here.
Over the next several weeks, before the study itself launches, I will be sharing some research and prayer that has informed my decision to pursue this topic of study and this format. Several sources from people of different backgrounds and experiences will be used.
To catch you up to speed, friend, here is what the I Believe study is all about:
The above is my thesis statement for this study. Disclaimer: this Bible Study is a project in fulfillment of my undergraduate degree in Christian Studies and Global Citizenship at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Now, let’s dive into the literature today’s research focuses on.
Mark R McMinn, Ph.D., in his book, Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling, argues for the importance of Christian morality as part of mental therapy, namely biblical principles such as redemption, prayer, and forgiveness.
McMinn states that “Prayer assumes need. Prayer and helplessness are inseparable.”
He supports this with Luke 18:9-16:
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
I think that one of the most unfortunate assumptions about Christians is that they are self-righteous and “holier than thou.” There are certainly people pertaining to all beliefs that operate out of these traits. I would argue that we all do, in various ways.
But the call of a Christian is to be absolutely humble, recognizing his or her brokenness, and “need,” as McMinn says, for God. A recognition of this need, then, should lead to prayer.
If we go on in our selfish ways, thinking, as the man in this parable, “Thank goodness I’m not like the robbers or evildoers,” failing to recognize how broken we are, we will very likely turn to selfish means of living.
When we pray, however, recognizing our need to communicate with our God, our need for His guidance– we can operate out of the humility and love of the Holy Spirit (John 3:34).
McMinn’s explanation of how prayer requires “humble awareness of our need for God” lends itself to the first step in the I Believe Bible Study: praying about what, exactly, you will fast.
I am so excited to see how God continues to work out His plan for this study, and how many hearts and minds will be able to grow and learn from one another!
My Sweet, special sister, 18 never looked so beautiful. My sweet pea, you have such a fiercely loving heart. You have always had this beautiful compassion for people that translates to the way you interact with people. I have watched you feel so deeply and […]