Thursday, 30 April 2015

Leviticus 9: Draw near to God

Good morning girls! Today I am rejoicing in the Lord's goodness and His faithfulness to me. I was saved this very day, 33 years ago! I remember when I got saved someone said to me, I'll give you 6 months and see how you get on. I always say in my testimony that if it had been up to me, I probably wouldn't even have lasted the 6 months, but God is the one who keeps us, not us ourselves. Sometimes when people are thinking about getting saved, they will say, as they look into their future, "Oh I could never keep it" and that is so true. But real, genuine salvation isn't like an object which you look after and keep good, maybe setting it on a shelf and hoping people will admire it. No, genuine salvation is a whole new life where we are no longer in control but Christ is and we are happy to hand over the reins to Him because He can take much better care of us than even we can! I am so very glad I answered His call that day. He has blessed me and done so much for me.

Knowing what we know about much of Israel's history and their regular times of disobedience and backsliding, we can look at the events of chapter 9 and see a very special and blessed time in their lives. All of the Israelites, and in particular Moses, Aaron and Aaron's sons, have just obeyed every single instruction given by God to the letter and now something spectacular is about to happen! Obedience is always followed by blessing as far as God is concerned.

The important words that I'd like to focus on here are (verse 5) "...AND ALL THE CONGREGATION DREW NEAR AND STOOD BEFORE THE LORD". Moses had told them that this very day, God Himself would appear before them, which is exactly what happened. "All" the congregation drew near, not just a few of them or even a lot of them, but all of them. Every single one of them was there to receive the blessing. They "drew near and stood before the Lord". This is seen in our congregational worship and also in our personal devotions. God wants us all to come together to worship Him and be near to Him as a group of believers, in fellowship with Him and also with each other. But He also wants us to grow strong in our own personal walk with Him and to be able to do this, we must draw near to God and stand before Him in prayer and praise.

Imagine if Moses had made the announcement that the Lord Himself would soon meet with His people and some didn't bother to come. They would have missed out on a great privilege and blessing. They would have lost on fellowship with their God and Saviour. Sometimes, especially on a Tuesday night (which is our church Prayer Meeting), and after a long day at work, I feel tired and think that maybe I'll just not go tonight, surely the Lord will understand. But I am convinced in my own heart that this would be the very night that the Lord would have a special word for my heart and I would miss it by not being there. Or, what if the Lord answers the cries of His people's hearts and sends revival during the Prayer Meeting and I lose out because 'I'm too tired to go'. This would be a terrible loss and one that I would be afraid of happening. So, I just tell the devil (who I believe would try to hinder us from drawing near to God) that it doesn't matter if I'm tired, I'll go and get a blessing from my heavenly Father!!

Prayer matters:
♥   Ask the Lord to help you to be an obedient Christian
♥   Pray that He will help you to make the effort to draw near to Him and meet with Him for public worship and private devotions
♥   Pray for those you know who are not yet saved and who will also, some day, have to draw near and stand before God to give an account of their lives; pray that they will come to Christ and be saved 

Hugs, Karen x

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Leviticus 8: What it means to be a 'priest' unto God

Good evening girls! Here we are in the middle of a 'wintry' week here in Northern Ireland! We thought spring/summer had finally landed but it looks like the winter woolies are still needed! Today I'd like to welcome two new followers, Gillian and Tracey ☺. You are both very welcome girls, we are glad to have you with us and hope you enjoy our studies here on this blog. You may have joined us at a difficult section of God's Word, Leviticus, but hopefully you'll get stuck in and follow through as we look for a special word from the Lord to our hearts each day.

There are three very simple thoughts that I got from this chapter.

First, we read here that Aaron and his sons were being consecrated (set apart for a special job) and the only way this could have happened was by God calling them to this particular task. It is only those who were the descendants of Levi, those who were born into the family of the Levites, who could be in this special and honoured position. This made me think that only those who have been born again into the family of God through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ can be a priest unto God. He is the ultimate high priest who makes atonement for our souls by His sacrifice on the cross and by trusting in Him, we also become priests to serve Him.

Secondly, you will see (especially if you highlight and colour-code your Bible) that there are 6 instances where 'obedience' to the Lord is concerned. God gave exact directions to Moses to pass on to Aaron and his sons, and Moses did "as the Lord commanded" him. He didn't leave any bits out, he didn't add his own bits in...he just obeyed completely and perfectly. God requires us to follow His directions through to the letter, so when He says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart", He means with all our heart, not just a small percentage of it! When He says "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved", He means believe (or have faith in) the Lord Jesus, not in our own good works to get salvation.

Thirdly, I have learned from this chapter (as from many others in God's Word) how much He loves to hear His children pray. I don't know about you, but I love certain smells! I love scented candles, Coco Mademoiselle perfume and gorgeous smelling hand creams! When their scent reaches me, it gives me a feeling of contentment because generally I associate these smells with good memories, such as being on holiday or receiving these things as a gift from a loved one. This is just a small illustration of what I think it must be like for our Heavenly Father when he hears us coming to Him with our heartfelt petitions. It rejoices His heart because it shows Him that we love Him and need Him in our lives, that we are dependent on Him and most especially that we are aware that He is the only one who can satisfy our needs and answer our prayers. He loves it that we have come to Him with our worries and concerns instead of going elsewhere such as to a false god or the god of some cult.

Prayer matters:
♥   Pray that the Lord will help your friends and family to see their need of coming to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith if they are ever to be a part of His family; if you are already saved, ask Him to teach you the great privilege that it is for you to be chosen by Him and what a service you can do for Him. As a 'priest' you can call upon God to save your loved ones.
♥   Ask Him to help you to always follow His commands fully, not just picking out the bits you like or that appeal to you.
♥   Ask God the Father to show you the importance of prayer and how much it pleases Him to hear from you

Hugs, Karen x

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Leviticus 7: Peace between God and man

Good Morning Girls!
Good to have you with us today, learning more about the Lord and what He has done for us. Have you thought about this week's memory verse and how you can glorify God today before whatever people you come into contact with? Remember, you might be the one and only genuinely saved person they might meet today, this week or even this year and how you live before them will either draw them closer to knowing God or turning them further away from Him. We all have to take our walk with God seriously.

Today's thoughts are very simple and are what the Lord has laid on my heart. Maybe He has spoken to you in a completely different way. Why not share with us here, or on your What's app group, what He has taught you? Remember to check back in this blog to Exodus 29 where we talked about the various offerings made to the Lord and what they signified.

In verses 12 and 13, we learn that if a man offers a sacrifice of a peace offering and it is with thanksgiving, then it has to be offered in a particular way -
  • with unleavened cakes mingled with oil
  • as well as unleavened wafers anointed with oil
  • also cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried
  • as well as all this, he is to offer 'leavened bread'
It is important to notice the significance of the various meanings here, for example, as we have already said in a previous study - 
  • the 'unleavened' cakes speak to us of God the Father, holy and pure
  • the 'fine flour' speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ who was bruised and beaten for our sin
  • the 'oil' speaks of the holy Spirit
  • the 'leavened' bread or cakes speak to us of sinful man. Remember leaven reminds us of pride and sin in the Scriptures and was often applied to the Pharisees by the Lord Jesus.
So what we see here is that man can offer a peace offering with thanksgiving, or I suppose for us today, we can come to God in prayer with thanksgiving, because there is now peace between God and man through the sacrifice that the Lord Jesus Christ made for us. The unleavened and leaven are offered together because Christ, the unleavened, was beaten and bruised for us, the leavened, and through the workings of the holy Spirit there is now peace in our hearts and between us and the God of heaven. We have so much to thank our Saviour for!

Prayer matters:
  • Pray that the Lord will help us to praise and thank Him for the way of salvation through the sacrifice of His dear Son
  • Ask the Lord to fill you with His blessed holy Spirit today so that you can praise Him fully for the peace that we now have with a holy God
  • Pray that others will come to know this same Saviour that you serve and that they will see Him in your life
Hugs, Karen x

Monday, 27 April 2015

Leviticus 6: The Trespass Offering and Restitution

Good Morning Girls and welcome to week 2 of Leviticus. How did you find it last week? Although you may have thought it was quite difficult, I think that the more you read it and get used to the different style and content, the easier it will become. Don't forget to keep asking the Lord to open your understanding to the lessons in each chapter. Your memory verse for this week is Leviticus 10:3, here on the left. Does anyone happen to know where this picture was taken? 'Yes' to all you clever clogs who said "the Mourne Mountains", our own beautiful piece of scenery here in Northern Ireland created by the Lord Himself!
The verses that spoke to me in this chapter are 1-5. God Himself tells Moses to teach the people (which includes us, since we are His children too) about what happens when we sin against our neighbour (not just the people who live beside us, but anyone with whom we share society). If someone:
  • lies to another person about something he was meant to look after for him, for example a dog that may have been injured while in the person's care
  • lies about something that was stolen from him 
  • deceives his neighbour in some way
  • finds a missing item and then says he knows nothing about it
then they are sinning. God says they must do the right thing by returning the full value of the item PLUS another 20% worth to the person to whom it rightly belongs (read Luke 19:8 to see where Zacchaeus stole from his neighbours but when he got saved he returned to them four times the amount he had taken to make restitution). When we sin against other people like this we must remember the words of verse 2, "If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord..." which teach us that we are actually sinning against the Lord Himself, because any sin, no matter how big or small, is ultimately against a holy God and His divine law. You can also take from this that when another person hurts or harms you in some way, it is also God that they are harming. Surely, knowing this, it should make it easier to leave the matter with the Lord because since the sin was ultimately done against Him, He will be the one to deal with it.  

    These verses in Leviticus 10 that we have just looked at, reveal to us how seriously God takes sin. It isn't just a matter of sweeping things under the carpet because we don't think they are that serious. God sees every sin as a serious matter because it goes completely against His godly law. It's at this point, many years ago when I was just a young newly-saved Christian, that I might have felt some degree of despair, thinking 'I'll never be able to come up to God's standards so what's the point in trying?'. The point is, the punishment for all of these sins has been laid upon Christ. He has paid our debt and we, like those who brought the sacrifices in the book of Leviticus, are forgiven...our past, present and future sins have all been laid upon the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And so, with the grace, mercy and help of God, we now take each day, even each minute, as it comes and live in His strength, trusting Him to lead us in the paths of righteousness. Our duty is to read, learn and live what is in His Word and He will give us the power to do this by His holy Spirit.

    Prayer matters:
    • Ask the Lord to help you to be an honest Christian, not one who lies to and deceives others
    • Pray that the Lord will awaken you to the seriousness of sin but also to the strength of God's help and grace to guide you as you live for Him.

    Hugs, Karen x

    Friday, 24 April 2015

    Leviticus 5: The Trespass Offerings

    Good evening girls! Well now, that's our first week in Leviticus over! How have you been getting on? There have been a lot of references to sacrifices and blood and this can be hard for us to understand when we didn't live in the times of animals being sacrificed as offerings to God to atone for sins, because we look back to a time when the Lamb of God was sacrificed for our sins, and we just accept that. We read about it, we believe it by faith but we don't experience it in reality in that we no longer have to offer up sacrifices as they did in Old Testament times. These sacrifices had to be made continually and regularly but the wonderful thing about Christ's sacrifice for sin is that it was a ONCE ONLY sacrifice never to be repeated because His finished work was sufficient to put away sin and to satisfy a holy God. We may not always understand some of the things we read in the Bible, and of course we should always ask the Lord to open our heart to understand His Word, but sometimes we just have to accept by faith what He teaches us. He is a wise and loving God and He knows what He is doing, even if we don't understand it.

    There are a few verses that spoke to me in this chapter and they have quite practical applications, even for modern day life..
    Verse 1. This has to do with hiding the truth when a person has sworn to be an honest witness - in court, especially, it is a criminal offence which can incur a penalty of imprisonment. The whole legal system is based upon the foundation of honesty and telling the truth and it is viewed as a very serious matter when the truth is not given. God teaches us that we must be honest and open and tell the truth. If a man refuses to give evidence, or only gives it in part, he is sinning. The most important lesson here is that if we swear an oath to the Lord, it is a very serious matter to break it.

    Verses 4-6. This is about making rash promises (or swearing to do something, either good or evil) and then finding out later that it is either illegal or something that just cannot be done. The person who made this oath must confess his sin and bring his offering to the priest for atonement. The offering speaks of prayer and humble confession of our sin. Notice that in verse 5 at the end it says "...he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing...". This means that when we sin, and pray and ask for forgiveness, we must confess the exact sin and pray for specific forgiveness for whatever it is. This means that if I tell a lie, I shouldn't just say "Lord please forgive my sins this day" but rather, because I know I did something specific, I should pray "Lord please forgive me for telling that lie to so and so when I said...". We shouldn't be too general in our confession because that shows that we may not be totally sincere and even aware of what we did; we should be specific because that shows the Lord, and us, that we know exactly what we have done and we need to confess it and try not to do that particular thing again. I remember when my children were young and they did something wrong, they knew they had to come and say 'sorry' but I also asked them if they knew what it was they had done wrong and when they told me what it was, they were able to be more specific about what they were saying sorry for and they knew that they should try not to do the same thing again.

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that the Lord will help you to be honest at all times, including telling the whole truth and not just the parts of a story that suits to be honest about.
    • Ask the Lord to help you to be specific when you confess your sin to Him, and to be sincere in your repentance
    Hugs, Karen x

    Thursday, 23 April 2015

    Leviticus 4: The Sin Offering

    Good morning girls! Welcome to a brand new day! Another 960 minutes to give to God!
    Today we are looking at Leviticus 4, the same chapter that our memory verse for this week is found.

    Up until today we have had three types of offerings:

    • Burnt
    • Meat
    • Peace
    Today, it is the 'Sin Offering'. Can you see how all of these different offerings and sacrifices point towards the lovely Lord Jesus Christ? All these wee animals were innocent; in the same way, Christ was completely innocent of any charges laid against Him, yet He freely and willingly allowed Himself to be offered up as a Sin Offering for us. How can we not be overwhelmed by His amazing love for sinners? The sins mentioned here that are atoned for by the sin-offerings are:
    • evident - people, including the one doing it, knew what they had done but perhaps didn't know that it was a sin ("through ignorance").
    • even committed by the priest himself. There is no person on earth, now or ever, who is sinless except the Lord Jesus Christ. Every single man, woman or child needs to repent and be forgiven.
    Verse 12. After the animal had been sacrificed, the remains (ashes) were taken outside the camp. When we repent of our sin, we are to put it from us completely, so as not to risk temptation to sin again. It should be out of sight and out of mind.

    Sin is a dreadful thing. It separates us from God and breaks down any chance of true fellowship with Him. As Christians we must confess our sin to God the Father on a daily basis and ask Him to cleanse us afresh in the atoning blood of His Son, the Lord Jesus. But we must not go back to it again and repeat it. If we ask for forgiveness, God will surely be gracious but we must do all in our power to keep out of the way of temptation and sin.
    For any of you who are not yet saved, all you have to do is repent of your sin and come to Christ and ask for His forgiveness and He promises that He will - 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."

    Prayer matters:
    • Pray that the Lord will show you when you have sinned against Him
    • Ask Him to give you a heart of humility and repentance
    • Pray every day that He will cleanse you when you sin against Him in thought, in word or in deed and ask Him to help you to turn your back on whatever sin it is that you have done; He promises cleansing to the humble, penitent sinner
    Hugs, Karen x

    Wednesday, 22 April 2015

    Leviticus 3: The Peace Offering

    Good morning girls! I hear the weather here in Northern Ireland is to be wonderful today, so I hope you have a good day and enjoy the blessings of sunshine in your heart from the Lord.

    I think the very obvious lesson that we can learn here is that the Lord Jesus Christ is our peace. Through His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary and the shedding of His precious blood, He has made peace between God the father and man the sinner. When the animal was killed for the offering, the priests (Aaron's sons) sprinkled the blood around about the altar, as commanded by God Himself. This is a picture of what happened with Christ. The laws surrounding these offerings are not something that Moses made up; they are straight from God Himself. In fact I read recently that the book of Leviticus is one of the most important in that the very words come straight from God Himself. He is not speaking through a prophet or an apostle. He is saying what needs to be said.

    When we pray to God the Father, it is always through Christ's Name that we claim the promises and plead for mercy. This is how God has ordained prayer. Christ is our mediator, the one who has broken down the wall between us and God that was erected when sin came into the world to separate us. We now come to God in prayer through His Son, our peace-maker. This is why we should finish our prayers with words like "in Jesus' Name".

    Prayer matters:

    • Praise God and thank Him for the sacrifice that His Son became for us
    • Pray that the Lord will help you to see that everything we have, and are, is because of the Lord Jesus; He is the one who has allowed us to be united to God the Father by conquering sin
    Hugs, Karen x

    Tuesday, 21 April 2015

    Leviticus 2: The Meat Offering

    Good morning girls!
    Wow! Leviticus is hard going, isn't it? But we are NOT going to give up, are we?! This is only the second chapter and I'm sure some of you are thinking, 'maybe I'll just wait until Leviticus is over and then start back again'. Please try and persevere. You may not know what blessings you'll miss out on, maybe even something that the Lord has specifically for YOU, if you give up now. Remember, we're all in this together. I'd be happy for any of you to click on the comment button at the bottom of each post, if you have something you'd like to add that I didn't see, or maybe something that blessed your heart. Please share it with the rest of us. 

    I had to look up a couple of commentaries to help me with this because there is a lot of symbolism, so I can't take all the credit for what you read today (Matthew Henry and Andrew Bonar).

    So let's look at five particular words that have occurred more than once in this chapter and that have special meanings. Always keep in mind that these laws and offerings point continuously to the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His life a sacrifice for us.

    "Fine flour" - the best of the wheat was chosen and it would have had to have been beaten down for quite a long time to get it to the quality and standard of 'fineness'. This reminds us of the Lord Jesus Christ who was beaten and bruised as He bore our sins. There is no one finer or more perfect than Him. He was God's chosen one, the only one who could do the task of saving filthy sinners, because He was the beloved Son, in whom God was well pleased. 

    "Oil" in the Bible generally refers to the Holy Spirit; any gifts or service we offer to the Lord must be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. We need His gracious sanctification in our lives to make our work acceptable to a holy God. We read in verse 1 that the oil was to be poured on, not sprinkled on. Pouring something denotes a lot, not just a wee bit, so we need to be covered and filled with the blessed Holy Spirit's power and presence to be able to serve the Lord.

    "Frankincense" speaks of the sweet smelling fragrance that we should be emitting to all of those around us. It also speaks of 'prayer' in the Scriptures, so I take it from this that as Christians we should spend time in prayer and then others will know by our life and testimony that we have been with the Lord.  

    "Salt" - preserves food; gives taste and flavour to our food. We need to preserve our testimony, by keeping close to God and trying to obey Him and glorify Him at all times. Salt makes a difference to the taste of our food and we should make a difference in the lives of others. Salt is also a natural healer - when I wasn't well last month with a really sore throat, I gargled with salt and water and it really helped. As a Christian, are you someone who brings healing to others by your kind and generous and caring spirit? A kind word or gesture can make all the difference in the world to someone; this is something that we can all do.

    These are four things that we should have as part of our Christian lives. But we also need to take note of something that God doesn't want us to have - "leaven". Leaven in the Scriptures speaks of malice, pride and hypocrisy, all condemned by God. In the New Testament when Christ was ministering to the people, He often talked about leaven and usually it was in reference to the Pharisees. This is why they hated Him so much. He knew what they were really like and He warned the people about them. They looked good on the outside but on the inside there was nothing but sinful pride in their hearts. We need to be careful not to be like the Pharisees.

    Prayer matters:
    • Ask the Lord to fill your heart and life with His Holy Spirit so that you can be a vessel fit for His use.
    • Ask Him to remove any 'leaven' that may be in your heart and to cleanse you and make you more like the Saviour.
    • Pray that He will lead you into prayer with Himself so that others will know you have spent time in His presence.
    Hugs, Karen x

    Monday, 20 April 2015

    Leviticus 1: The Burnt Offering

    Good Morning Girls

    Good Morning Girls! Here we are, a new week, a new day and a brand new book of the Bible to study! It's Leviticus! I knew it was going to be a difficult book to get into so I had prepared myself to be patient and take my time over it and I was amazed by what I did learn from it. Obviously, we no longer perform sacrifices like these because they were used in Old Testament times to typify and to teach about the Redeemer who would come as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of men, the Lord Jesus Christ. The people who lived before Christ were looking forward to His coming; we look back to His birth, life, death, crucifixion and resurrection and ALL of us are saved by faith in Him.

    In chapter 1 right through to the first part of chapter 6, we will learn about five different types of Offerings and then from ch.6:8 to ch.7, we will read about specific laws surrounding these offerings, in more detail. Just keep asking the Lord to open your heart to receive His Word with patience and joy, and to make it plain and clear to you ☺.

    Here is your memory verse for this week (the 'priest' of course is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ only) and also your bookmark:

    Here is your reading plan for this week: 

    Just before we start, I'd like to welcome our newest follower, Jean. We're glad to have you and I trust you will find comfort and refreshing for your soul as the Lord leads you closer to Him.

    The whole of chapter 1 speaks to me of the lovely Lord Jesus Christ. When I first read through the chapter, I just thought it was about animal sacrifice but the more I dug into it, the more I could see lovely pictures of Christ. There are various references to Him and to His work.

    Verse 3. "a male without blemish". The animal to be sacrificed was to have no stain, no spot, no blemish, no disease. This perfectly describes our Lord and Saviour; He is the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, a perfectly acceptable offering to God the Creator.

    Verse 5. The "blood" is mentioned four times. Often today, people don't like to hear the blood being mentioned - but this is God's choice and it pleases Him. The life is in the blood and it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul (Lev 17:11). This means that to be truly saved, a life must be given for mine; blood must be shed for my sins to atone for me. Christ did all of this on Calvary for you and me - the sinless, spotless sacrifice was offered up to God for sin, mine and yours, and His life was given in my place and yours so that we could be redeemed. We have so much to praise and thank God for.

    Verse 7. This is the first of three mentions of "in order". God is a God of order, not of confusion. God always gives us exact directions to follow when He wants us to do something. He did this for Noah when He told him to build the ark, including measurements and materials, and similarly when He told Moses to build the Tabernacle. If Noah and Moses hadn't followed the directions perfectly and accurately, then there could have been the chance of the whole thing being destroyed. The ark may have come apart at the joints and the people and animals inside drowned; the tabernacle may have fallen down and been blown away if Moses hadn't put every joint exactly where God said. So it is with salvation - God gives us direct instructions and He expects us to follow them perfectly in harmony with His teachings or it will all fall apart at the seams. He says we are to acknowledge our sin before a holy God, repent, believe in His Word and trust in the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross, making Him Lord of our life and we shall indeed be saved. If we leave out important instructions like our sin being covered in the blood, then our sins are not atoned for and we are not saved. If we cannot see that we are sinners then why would we have to have a Saviour? Again, failure to humbly accept God's instructions will mean we are not saved.

    You do not have to do any good works to get to Heaven; the sacrifice has already been made and all you have to do is accept God's way, come to Christ and trust in Him and you will be saved for all eternity (Acts 16:31).

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that God will open your heart to receive His precious word, no matter how difficult it may be to understand at first
    • Ask Him to help you to be completely obedient to His commands, whether in salvation or service as a Christian
    Hugs, Karen x

    Friday, 17 April 2015

    Proverbs 3:7-10 "Honouring God brings blessing"

    Hello dear friends and welcome to the beginning of your weekend! Yay! I love Fridays!! I'm also glad to welcome two lovely new followers, Rachel and Anne who just joined our blog today. Hi there girls, good to have you with us and I really hope that you are blessed by what you read here as the Lord speaks to your heart. Please feel free to email me at any time or even leave a comment on the blog. If you want as well, you could send me your mobile number and I will text you with Scripture verses and other encouragements. For those who are on 'What's App', I also have a daily group with all the ladies that I know of who follow this blog and for whom I pray weekly. If you'd like to be added to that, let me know. For anyone who isn't sure about following my blog, you can simply sign up for emails (scroll down on the left hand side of this blog) by entering your email address where it says Follow By Email and each time I post something, it will go directly into your inbox. This is the end of our studies in Proverbs for now. we will be back here on Monday with a new study in Leviticus! I hope you'll join us.

    So, let's get back to the Bible verses. Tonight we are looking at four verses in Proverbs 3.

    Verse 7. Again, as in previous portions in Proverbs, we read about not being wise in our own sight; wisdom comes from 'fearing the Lord' - worshipping Him, giving Him the glory, reverencing His holy name. Being wise also means to stay clear of evil - don't get involved with it in any way - evil only brings pain and heartache to those who meddle with it. Only God can bring good out of evil, as for example, He did with Joseph, but don't be the one who causes pain to others through evil words, thoughts or deeds.

    Verse 8. On the other hand, there is spiritual health and blessing when we fear God and do good in His name. Who wants to be spiritually sick when we can be full of spiritual health and vitality?

    Verse 9. This verse is about honouring the Lord with your tithe. Give your tenth to God, and do it willingly. Set aside a tenth of your income for Him. It's not that God is asking for a huge 10% and only leaving us with the rest; everything we have belongs fully to Him and He just asks for 10% and gives us a huge 90%. Think about it...when you work (with the health that God gives you), the government takes a hefty 20% off all taxpayers (or more, depending on your income). But all God asks for is half of that, just 10%. If you tithe your money as soon as your pay comes in, you won't even miss it. I'm going to be totally honest with you here - I tithe every month when my pay comes in, and with sensible money management, I can STILL save money every month! The Lord sees and knows it when we obey Him and He does indeed bless us. I am always amazed and thrilled by how good the Lord is to me. He blesses me abundantly, and I don't just mean financially, but in so many ways. Remember that the Lord loves a cheerful giver and when we are generous to the Lord and His work, He always rewards us!

    Verse 10. And here's how much we are blessed! "...filled with plenty..." and "presses shall burst out...". There is enough, more than enough and absolute abundance here! God is a generous God. He has so much to give and He is not selfish. He wants us to have blessings abundant and what do we have to do? Simple - be obedient!

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that the Lord will give you a generous heart and spirit towards Him, His work and His servants (eg missionaries)
    • Ask Him to help you have nothing to do with evil; pray that He will keep you close to Himself and away from things that would grieve Him and harm His witness and testimony in your life.
    Hugs, Karen x

    Thursday, 16 April 2015

    Proverbs 3:5,6 "Trust in the Lord completely"

    Good morning dear friends and followers. Today we are looking at Proverbs 3:1-6, but especially verses 5 & 6.

    What a wonderful God we have! Aren't you just amazed by His love and goodness to you? With obedience to the Word and commands of God, blessing always follows.

    Verses 1 & 2. If we keep His commandments, He promises a long and peaceful life. Isn't this all we could really ask for? If we're wise, we'll not be seeking after things, beauty or popularity. As women who love the Lord and who want to grow in grace, our chief desire should be to glorify His holy name and to live in peace as we serve Him.

    Verses 3 & 4. If we hold mercy and truth close to our hearts, God promises favour and good understanding in His own sight and in that of others.

    Now we come to two of the all-time favourite verses of many of God's people - verses 5 & 6. We often quote these verses, to others as well as to ourselves, in times of confusion and a seeking of God's will for our lives. Notice the one important word that occurs twice - "all". It can be easy enough to partly trust what God is doing but to sit back and say, "OK Lord, You're in total control and I'm not going to manipulate things or try to work things out as I'd like to see them done." Remember how Sarah took matters into her own hands regarding Hagar and allowing Abraham to have her as a wife because she thought God was too slow in bringing His will to pass? What a disaster that turned out to be! We are to trust God with our whole heart. He knows what's up ahead or around the next corner...and we DO NOT, so we MUST trust that He knows what He is doing and WHEN He will do it. Seeking God's will is one of the hardest things a Christian can do, but it is vital. I remember once about ten years ago going outside of God's will because it seemed like the right thing to do. I prayed about it a bit, but not whole-heartedly; I rushed into things without having verses or a peace to confirm it was of the Lord. And it was the biggest mistake of my life which has affected me in certain ways until this very day. So now I am doubly cautious before I make any big (or even small) decisions. I MUST KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that it is what God wants. My husband always says 'If in doubt, don't'. That doesn't mean 'don't ever' but just not right now. In other words - wait; be patient until you are sure. Some steps you take, and especially if they are outside God's will, can be irreversible so there must be NO DOUBT! If we trust Him, wait on His leading, and acknowledge that He is in control and knows what He's doing, then the wonderful promise is this - "HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS".

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that God will help you to be patient and to fully trust in Him and in His timing, especially if you are seeking His will today
    • Pray that God will make His will so clear to you, that you have no doubts in the decisions you make
    Hugs, Karen x

    Wednesday, 15 April 2015

    Proverbs 2:6-22 "Good versus Evil"

    Hello friends! I hope you have had a good day whatever it is you are doing. If things are not so good for you today or even if they are terrible, please be assured of my prayers and also hopefully of the other girls who read this blog. I hope you can take comfort from our memory verse on the left for this week. Remember, the Lord never fails and He ALWAYS keeps His promises.

    Verses 6-11. Here we read about how good God is and what He does for His people. He keeps them safe and preserves them; He leads them into every good path IF they follow His teachings and are guided by His wisdom.

    Verses 12-19,22. These verses talk about evil men AND wicked women. The words that jump out here are:
    darkness, frowardness, crooked, strange, flattery, forsaking and forgetting God and His laws, death, dead, cut off, rooted out. Not very pleasant and not to be wished for.

    However, in verses 7-10 and verse 21, we read words that are much more uplifting and good and they describe the saved person:
    righteous, walking uprightly, saints, righteousness, judgment, equity, good paths, wisdom, pleasant, upright, perfect.

    The question here is which side are you on today? God's side, the side of goodness and truth? Or are you still following on the side of the devil, the side of darkness, wickedness, death? If the second one is the case, it's my prayer for you today that you would leave the darkness of your sin and come to the Lord and be saved. He will wash your black heart white and will give you mercy and forgiveness so that you can spend the rest of your time on this earth walking "in the way of good men, and keep(ing) the paths of the righteous" (verse 20) with the result that you will "dwell in the land" of heaven that God has prepared for those who love Him.

    Prayer matters:
    • Pray that the Lord will help you to see your need of forgiveness from sin, if you haven't already, and then ask for Him to lead you to the Rock, Christ Jesus, for salvation.
    • If you are saved, ask the Lord to help you today to keep close to Him through His Word and prayer so that you will remain wise and righteous and walk in good paths
    Hugs, Karen x

    Tuesday, 14 April 2015

    Proverbs 2:1-5 "Desperately seeking wisdom"

    Good evening ladies. Tonight I'd like to share a couple of thoughts from the first five verses of Proverbs chapter 2.

    If I told someone that there was £1,000,000 hidden in a field near our house, I imagine they would gather together some gardening tools and get started straightaway into digging and searching for this money. I would think they would hardly even stop for a break. I don't think they would just shrug and say "I'm not interested", and walk on. I think they would do everything in their power to get this treasure. For some reason that is the effect money has on some people. They would move mountains to get it.

    But here, God is saying that His Word and His commandments are of much more importance than any wealth and He promises that anyone who makes the effort to seek out His truth will find it and will be blessed with a knowledge superior to anything the world might teach us. But it's not just a case of opening God's Word at any portion you feel like and hoping to find something encouraging or a lesson to learn. It's so much more than that. When it comes to knowing God, through His Word and through prayer, here's how the Lord describes it:

    • "incline thine ear unto wisdom" - lean closer to hear what He has to say by closing out all the distractions around us and focusing fully on His Word.
    • "apply thine heart to understanding" - I have a friend who, like myself, has no clue about Maths. We both struggle terribly with it, and in fact, if someone even mentions numbers we almost have a breakdown, such is our dislike of them and inability to understand them! However, this friend of mine decided that (in her late forties) she wanted to get her GCSE in Maths and she has been doing the course since September of last year. She has made significant progress and is getting there bit by bit. She goes to class every week and even does her homework! She has made this decision to undertake this task and in doing so has applied herself to it. She really wanted to get to grips with the subject and she has achieved so much with all of her hard work. Nothing worth gaining is easy. It needs effort and hard work. God is also telling us that we are to apply our hearts to understanding. Sometimes what we read in the Scriptures isn't always easy to understand - but that's OK; we can pray and ask the Lord to make it clear to us. We can also get a good commentary and see what that teaches about the verses, or we can ask a godly person like an elder or minister who can show us what it means. Put the effort into reading the Scriptures and you will reap the benefits.
    • "if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding" - pray and plead with God for understanding, knowledge and wisdom. For many of us, as I said before, it doesn't come naturally, so we have to ask.
    • "If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures..." - just like the person who is searching for all the hidden money in the field, we have to make the effort to find the treasures hidden in God's word. Sometimes they are not immediately obvious but if we keeping reading, researching and praying, the Lord will bless our hearts with some nuggets of wisdom and understanding.
    The result of all this searching is that we will grow to understand how we should be living as a Christian and how to live for and how to serve our living God; we will joyfully discover what He wants us to know. It's so sad that there are blessings abundant for the Christian to enjoy but so many just leave them lying undiscovered and hidden through lack of effort.

    Prayer matters:
    • Pray that the Lord will help you to be patient and thorough when you are reading His Word
    • Ask Him to open your heart to understand what He would have you to learn
    • ask Him to help you to really make the effort to get to know Him more through His Word
    Hugs, Karen x

    Monday, 13 April 2015

    Proverbs 1:33 - Peace and Quiet

    Good evening ladies. I hope you are well. Thank you for faithfully following along with this Bible Study. I really hope that you are growing closer to the Lord. Proverbs 1:33 is our memory verse for this week.

    Do you ever wish for some peace and quiet? Maybe a little bit of time on your own just to take a relaxing bath? Or read? Or go shopping? Or maybe to do nothing at all! I know this can be especially difficult if you have little ones or young people in the house. Sometimes all you need is an hour or two to yourself just to recharge your batteries. The thing is, with children or young people in the house there is noise, movement, mess and much more. But when they grow up and leave home, you might find that there is just a bit too much quiet, so cherish those years with your wee ones and even your teenagers, because these days pass so quickly. But still, it is nice to have a bit of peace and quiet now and again!!

    Verse 33. To 'hearken' means to give heed or pay attention to what is being said. God tells us that there are blessings for those who really pay heed to Him, to His Word, to His instruction. What kind of blessings, you might ask? To be able to live in peace, safely, free from worry, guilt and fear; to have a peaceful life. Isn't this what so many people wish for? Real peace only comes from God so it is from Him alone that we should seek it, not from somewhere or someone else.
    He also promises us that we will be quiet, at rest from fear of evil. We will still be in contact with sin and sinners but there is no fear that we can be harmed or destroyed by the devil. Remember God's faithful and perfect servant, Job? God allowed Job to be tested by the devil but he was only allowed to go so far. The devil was not allowed to harm Job or destroy him. Remember this ladies - God loves you and He cares about you and wants you to live free from sin and evil and have a life of peace. Come to Him tonight with all of your burdens, worries and fears and leave them at His feet. God gives peace that passeth all understanding.

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that the Lord will give you peace and quiet within your soul, even when the storms of life are raging all around you.
    • Ask Him to help you bring your fears and worries to Him and LEAVE them before Him to deal with.
    Hugs, Karen x

    Friday, 10 April 2015

    Proverbs 1: 8 and 9 - Grace

    Good morning girls! Today we are looking at verses 8 and 9 in Proverbs chapter 1. I just LOVE the book of Proverbs, there is so much teaching in it and something to learn for every single life situation. It's amazing that, although times change, God's Word never does and it's as up to date today as it was hundreds of years ago.

    Solomon, the king of Israel, would have learned much from his godly father, king David. And now here he is, passing on his knowledge to his own son. Remember too that Solomon's wisdom was a gift he received directly from God, so we can be sure it is worth listening to and following.

    Verse 8. The words here imply that the parents are Christians, who follow the Word of God and who teach it to their children. Parents who love the Lord should always make sure they live right before their children (not just in public) and teach them about the Lord and His ways. Remember, children know when their parents are living right or are being hypocrites.

    Verse 9. Isn't this such a lovely picture? The teachings of God are described as 'an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.' For my 50th birthday a few months ago, my husband treated me to a beautiful necklace. It took me ages choosing the right one but when I saw it, I knew it was perfect. I wear it every day, even though it was expensive. I remember someone once saying, "Why would you keep something for just special occasions and maybe never even get the chance to wear it? EVERY DAY is a special occasion, so wear it and enjoy it!". Also, can you imagine how hurt my husband would be if I just put it away in its box 'for that special occasion' and hardly ever wore it? Every time I wear it, it reminds me of his love for me and his generosity and I want to enjoy it. It's also nice when others see it and admire it. In a similar way, Solomon is saying here that the teachings from God's Word should be lived out in such a way by the Christian that His truths are evident to those around us, including the unsaved and that our lives should be so covered by God's grace that they are lovely to observe. We need to read, search, study and LIVE God's Word on a daily basis so that what we learn and apply to our lives will be evident to those who would never read a Bible. Just like my necklace, I don't try to hide it but I wear it openly and happily. Similarly, we should wear our grace with joy so that when others see us, they also see Christ living through us and the evidence of true grace in our lives.

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that the Lord will help you to soak yourself in His Word on a daily basis so that you can be a living testimony to his wonderful grace.
    • Pray that as a Christian, and especially if you have been blessed with little ones, you will live right all the time, and not just in church on a Sunday. The hardest place to be a Christian is often in the home when we feel we can let our guard down, but the children need us to be a Christian most there. Try not to be a hypocrite but be a bright and shining light wherever God places you.
    Have a good weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday.
    Hugs, Karen x

    Thursday, 9 April 2015

    Proverbs 1:5 and 7 - Wisdom and Knowledge

    Welcome to our study in Proverbs for the next 7 days, excluding weekends, while we wait to start Leviticus.
    What would you say if I asked you if you thought you had wisdom? Some people seem to be born with natural wisdom, like they have an old head on young shoulders, people like my husband. His dad was wise and he has obviously inherited the 'wise' gene from his dad! But me, now that's a different story! In all honesty I would have to say that, while growing up, I definitely wasn't the wisest kid on the block!! In fact I made some very stupid decisions, like the day I thought it would be a good idea to make a pair of sunglasses out of a giant piece of bubblegum I'd blown! I held it up close to my eyes to try and look through it, there was a huge gust of wind that blew it over my eyes and I ended up running home blindly to my mum in hysterics. She thought I'd been burnt in a fire (really, mum?) and panicked too. Everything turned out alright in the end though and we still laugh about it to this day!

    I am sure, as I look back over my life, that I definitely didn't get wisdom until I got saved. Once I started reading my Bible and learning what God had to say about all sorts of different matters, I got more and more wisdom. Then, when I got married, I learned more from my husband as I watched him and listened to him. God's Word is where we will find the answer to every problem, the solution to every need, the wisdom for every decision.
    I definitely agree with the words of Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge". This is where it all started for me. Also verse 5 says, "A wise man (or woman, in our case) will hear, and will increase learning; and a man (or woman) shall attain unto wise counsels". This means that if a wiser, older Christian gives you advice from their experience, you should listen. You should seek out the advice of saved people who you would know to be wise, perhaps your own pastor, husband or a parent. But most importantly, if you need wisdom, go straight to God's Word; it's all in there!  Here are some verses to help you in times of need.

    Bitter or Critical
    Conscious of Sin
    Disaster Threatens
    Facing a Crisis
    Faith Fails
    Friends Fail
    Leaving Home
    Needing God's Protection
    Needing Guidance
    Needing Peace
    Needing Rules for Living
    Sick or in Pain
    In Trouble

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that the Lord will give you wisdom for every area of your life, especially when making decisions and choices. Don't rush into action (I've learned this hard lesson many times - I'm a slow learner!) but take your time and make sure it is God's will for you by praying over the matter and studying His Word.
    • Pray that He will help you to prioritise, always going to Him first for His wisdom, followed up by advice from godly people who you know and trust
    Hugs, Karen x

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015

    Matthew 28: Don't Be Afraid

    Good evening, ladies and welcome to the last chapter of the gospel of Matthew. Before you start reading tonight, let me warn you that you might need a large cup of tea or coffee to keep you going because this is a really long post compared with normal!!! Well done to all of you who are trying to keep up. I know it isn't always easy to get time or peace to get into the Word of God and to pray especially if you have little ones to look after or elderly relatives to take care of or other time-consuming commitments, but the Lord takes note of the effort you make to get to know Him better and He will bless you abundantly for this. Always remember that time spent with Him is never wasted time!
    I would also like to welcome our newest follower, Angelica, and I hope that you receive a blessing from the Lord as you visit this blog.
    Before we look at our chapter tonight, I'd like to give you an update on what Courtney at Good Morning Girls has planned for the next few months. Click HERE to see what she says. I know I told you already that we are going to be looking at Leviticus next and I'm afraid that some of you will be scared off by this deep and difficult book but there's hope because after we finish it, we will be delving into Proverbs and the Song of Solomon, so that's the motivation. Here's what Courtney said about Leviticus:

    "I know this is one of the least popular books of the Bible. Reading the Ceremonial, Civil and Moral Law is not an easy read.  But you are intelligent women – and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are capable of reading and wrestling through God’s Word.
    You are not walking this road alone – the Good Morning Girls community is a vibrant group of women who are serious about walking with God everyday. We will read one chapter a day through the book of Leviticus.  It will take us 5 1/2 weeks to complete this book."
    On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, came to see the tomb where Jesus' body had lain. The soldiers who had been sent to guard the tomb in case anyone tried to steal the body were terrified when they saw an angel sitting on the stone and they passed out. There was no one to help or comfort them. But this same angel brought words of comfort, joy and peace to the hearts of the two Marys - he told them not to be afraid. There was good news and something wonderful for them to rejoice in. The Lord Jesus Christ had indeed risen from the dead, just as He had promised He would. Everything He had told the disciples would happen, did happen. In the same way today, for us, if God says in His Word that something is going to happen, we can be sure it will. This is why His promises are so wonderful to cling to. God does not, and even CANNOT, lie so if He says it, He means it.

    Soon after the angel had spoken to the women the Lord Jesus Christ Himself met them as they went to tell the disciples the good news of the resurrection. He also told them not to be afraid. As Christians, we have nothing to fear anymore. Jesus has conquered Satan, sin and even death, through His bodily resurrection. The things the most people are afraid of, and probably things that would have also caused us fear before we were redeemed, should no longer have any hold over us. For the Christian man or woman, death is to be looked on positively because it is just a matter of crossing over the Jordan from this world of sin into the welcoming and loving arms of a Saviour who gave His all to bring us to Himself.

    What are you afraid of tonight, dear sister-in-Christ? The Lord doesn't want you live in fear. He wants you to know peace and joy in your life, He wants you to know that He loves you and will comfort you in His everlasting arms. In the midst of whatever storm you are passing through, remember that He is in the vessel with you and as soon as it is His perfect timing, He will calm the storm. Read Psalm 56:3, this verse should help you, whatever you are afraid of.

    I got this on Pinterest and thought it was excellent and wanted to share it with you.The little visual story is about the Christian having to bear their cross for the Lord and how He makes a way out for us. It also teaches that God knows the way ahead when we don't and that there is a reason for EVERYTHING!!
    Sometimes we complain about the cross we bear, not realizing that it’s preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot…This is eye opening!

    Read carefully the encouraging words of this blessed  and very well-known hymn by John Newton:

    1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
      That saved a wretch like me!
      I once was lost, but now am found;
      Was blind, but now I see.
    2. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
      And grace my fears relieved;
      How precious did that grace appear
      The hour I first believed.
    3. Through many dangers, toils and snares,
      I have already come;
      ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
      And grace will lead me home.
    4. The Lord has promised good to me,
      His Word my hope secures;
      He will my Shield and Portion be,
      As long as life endures.
    5. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
      And mortal life shall cease,
      I shall possess, within the veil,
      A life of joy and peace.
    6. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
      The sun forbear to shine;
      But God, who called me here below,
      Will be forever mine.
    7. When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
      Bright shining as the sun,
      We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
      Than when we’d first begun.

    Prayer matters:

    • Pray that the Lord will give you a peace in your heart, knowing that He has conquered sin, the devil and even death. What need is there to be afraid when you are in His hands?
    • Pray that He will comfort you and that you will always come to Him with your fears and lay them before Him. He can help you like no one else can.
    Hugs, Karen x