Monday, June 27, 2011

Daniel 4 - Day 1

Sweet Studiers,
I'm so sorry that I just now got Daniel 4 up for you to view. It sounds as if most of you might be a few days behind, so I'm hoping that it didn't throw too many off.

And, let me speak to being a few days behind. Y'all, so many feel condemnation when they fail to follow through with a spiritual plan, exactly as they set out to do it. This is called legalism.

Now, is it a good spiritual discipline to put ourselves in God's Word every single day? Yes, without a doubt! But, when life happens, we fall short. We are human, and we are destined to fail. Don't waste a single second beating yourself up for that. Simply, crack open your Bible, and start again.

There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. He desires for us to desire time in His Word and in His presence. And, when we fail, He simply waits patiently for us to draw near to Him, once again.

Make sense? I just felt that I needed to address this little human fact. We've all done things that grieve the heart of God, if we hadn't, we'd have no need for Jesus and the gospel.

So, don't wallow in self-destructing shame and guilt. Just try, try again.

Happy studying!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daniel 2 - Day 3

Good Midday, Wonderful Ones!

I don't know about you, but I'm loving my time in Daniel. Today, as I was reading through Daniel 2, a few key concepts stuck out to me:

1. In verse 18, Daniel petitioned his friends to pray for him. Y'all, the power of a prayer community is supernaturally powerful. I've experienced the power of God through the prayers of His children.

2. Daniel immediately praised God when He answered His prayer (verses 20-23). I think sometimes we're quick to pray but slow to praise. These verses challenged me to make sure that I make a habit of praising God.

3. In verses 28 and 30, Daniel makes it abundantly clear to Nebuchadnezzar that his abilities to interpret dreams is only because of the power of God in him. He takes no glory for himself, rather gives it ALL to God. I like that. Satan loves nothing more than to convince us that the good that we do is by our own doing. It isn't. That's blasphemy.

I hope that God is revealing more and more to you each day. Know that I'm praying that for you.

And, you'll also notice "Daniel 3 - Week at a Glance" is up and ready at the top of the page. I'll be starting it on Monday.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Daniel 2 - Day 1

Good Afternoon, Sweet Studiers!

I've just finished spending some time reading through Daniel 2. When I stopped and honed in on the first 9 verses of the chapter, I could sense great frustration in King Nebuchadnezzar. It seemed that he was desperate for the truth. He called in all the experts, and still he wasn't able to find the answer to his questions.

This passage made me realize what a privilege it is to serve a god who allows me to have direct access to Him for truth. He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide us through the twists and turns of life. Nebuchadnezzar had no such guide.

When I finished reading, I realized that King Nebuchadnezzar's searching is not unlike the searching that we see in our secular society today. There are psychics, fortune tellers, and prophets yelling out guidance from every direction. But, King Nebuchadnezzar wasn't satisfied with these counterfeit options.

Unfortunately, as our world becomes more and more loud with TV, internet, music, and movies the Truth of the gospel often gets lost.

This section of Daniel 2 challenged me to be a speaker of truth in the midst of a chaotic world. It challenged me to carry truth and God's guidance to so many who are frustrated and searching for answers.

How did it strike you?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Daniel 1 - Day 3

Don't forget to leave your comments. God has called us to live in community, and sharing your thoughts with us foster a strong sense of community. Also, please notice that I've added next week's homework at the top under the "Daniel 2 - Week at a Glance" tab.

Happy Hunting for God's truth!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Daniel 1 - Day 2

Good Afternoon, Lovely Ladies (and maybe a man or two)!

I don't know about you, but the book of Daniel has got my mind reeling. Jessa, I agree with your comment about the faith Daniel displayed in saying, "Even if he [God] doesn't save me, I'll still praise Him." That is real-life, authentic faith. And, I do my best to say the same thing when I'm faced with trials, but our flesh is weak, isn't it? I desire that rugged, "regardless of what happens" faith. Good thoughts, Jessa! Thanks for commenting!

And, Sandra, oh how my heart is grieving as I think of your sweet husband in his radiation mask. You can rest assured that I am interceding for y'all. Those were hard, hard days, but God made them worshipful as loved ones read scripture over the microphone during my treatments. I'm praying for healing, but more than that, I'm praying that God will entrust you with more and more of himself as you struggle. He is able, dear one! Thank you for sharing!

And, to all of those who are participating but not sharing, shame on you! :) Of course, I'm joking, but we can't truly form a unified, Bible Studyin' team if you don't tell us your thoughts. So, reveal yourselves, already! :)

Okay, onto Day 2's thoughts from me:

Y'all, it bugged me that the Lord handed Jehoiakim over to Nebuchadnezzar. I couldn't understand how he could give him to an idol-worshipping king. It didn't make sense to me. So, I dug deeper. I went back and reviewed 2 Chronicles 36:5, which says, "Jehoiakim was 25-years-old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem 11 years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord His God."

This reminder made me realize how critical it is that we look at God's hand from a wide-angled lens. You cannot take one, isolated incident and get an accurate depiction of God. We need to see how He's worked in the past, in order to understand how He's working now. He was exercising His power and authority to judge Jehoiakim for his past evils.

Ahhhh, now I get it. Let my lesson work for you. If you don't understand something, seek out truth until you do get it.

Happy studying!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Daniel - Day 1

Let the games begin!

Click on the "Daniel 1 - Week at a Glance" tab at the top of the page, and do "Day 1". Then, come back here and click on "Comments" to tell us what you thought. If you didn't have any thoughts that you'd like to share, how about you just tell us your name and what you're hoping to get out of your study of Daniel. I can't wait to meet you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Welcome to Daniel!

In just a few days (Monday, June 6th) I'll be launching a new online study of the book of Daniel. I hope that you'll choose to participate. I think the Lord has great things in store for the study of His Word. Stay tuned!