Monday, April 07, 2008

Book Study - Assignment 1

Here is part of what Karen has to say about our first assignment in our book study of "Lies Women Believe" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

Let me just say that I am really excited about this study. One of the things that stood out to me in the introduction was how the author takes Eve's decision to eat the fruit and show the progression that led to her action. The progression she points out is that Eve first listened to the lie. Then she believed the lie. Finally, she acted on the lie.

Listened - Believed - Acted

The author discusses this progression again in Chapter One

Question #1
As you begin this book study, where do you see yourself in relation to living in freedom? Do you feel like you are walking in total freedom? Explain.

I think I'm much freer than I've been earlier in my life. I spent many years believeing so many lies, lies about my worth, about what God thought of me, about why things happen in life ... But God is so faithful to continue showering us with His truth. Still, I know that I have a long way to go and much to learn about His Truth that sets us Free. I still stumble, I listen to thoses lies, even believe and act on them sometimes ... which is one reason this book and this study intrigued me so much.

Someone sent me a prayer request for this family today and when I read today's entry (Monday April 7th) ... my jaw hit the floor becuase the way she describes her early years ... all her fears and worries almost exactly describes how I was, but I was never hospitalized. God has made amazing changes in my life, but I think as long as we are ths side of Heaven there is more to learn and more to work on in Christ.

Question #2
Write out John 10:10 in your favorite translation. After you've written it out, personalize it.

I'm not sure I have a favorite so I'll write three:

John 10:10 (Message)
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

John 10:10 (Amplified)
The theif comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)

John 10:10 (NAS)
The theif comes only to steal andkill an destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Honestly I'm not sure how I would "persoanlize" it ... but am going to stick my neck out here and ask a loaded question:

Does anyone else struggle with the idea that He came to give us "a better life than we ever dreamed of" or that He came so we might "enjoy" life? I do believe that God wants to give us good things, as every parent wants to give to thier children ... but it seems that God id God! He has a plan and whole world to order ... how could he be concerned with me "enjoying" my life?

Is it perhaps that we can really only "enjoy" life if we are completely committted to Him? Or am I just hung up on that word "enjoy" ... I don't think He means to give us one big long happy party of a life and I've yet to meet anyone who would describe thier life that way :-)

I hope that makes some amount of sense ... it just what is running through my brain as I consider this.

Question #3
What do you think living abundantly in Christ means? What do you think it looks like?

Wow ... thats a hard question! I'm not sure I really have adeffinition for living abundantly in Christ yet. I guess being totally consumed with God's will and being free of fears, of worrying what other think of our choices. To be truly living God's plan/God's will for my life.

Our Memory Work

"'Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"
- John 8:32 (NIV)

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free..."
- Galatians 5:1a (NIV)


twinklemom said...

I was so humbled and inspired by your post for this week's study questions! *Hugs* God bless you!

Marsha said...

I love your seeking heart!

Your question in regards to John 10:10 really comes down to 3 things. 1 - How Bible translations (or transliterations - some are not actual translations meaning translated word for word from the original languages) best translate the meaning of the word.
2 - What is the context of this passage?
And 3 - What the reader perceives to be the meaning of the word.

The best translation of this word is the word 'abundant'; exceedingly, abundantly, filled to overflowing.

It appears at first glance, the context of this passage goes back to chapter 9 when Jesus healed the blind man on the Sabbath and also affirmed His Deity. This riled the legalistic Pharisees. They followed the letter of the law - they themselves were in bondage and in need of being set free. When Jesus pointed out to them their blindness and sinfulness it was more than they wanted to admit or see. So when we get over to John 10:10, Jesus is giving them more word pictures of the truth of His deity. He had come to give life and the opportunity to live it freely, fully, and fruitfully. When He healed the blind man in chapter 9, the blind man was set free, He saw fully who He was that healed him, God Himself. He gave testimony to God.

Today, we live in a 'me first' society. We are very self centered and looking for self gratification. So when we see words like enjoy and abundance, there are some who say, "Yeah! God wants me to have all this stuff!" Nothing is further from the truth.
Yes, it's okay for us to enjoy pleasures and enjoy life. He created us with the ability to appreciate things. But I don't believe that the abundance He is speaking of means Him making us a 'feel good' bubble to live in. I believe He's referring to the fruit that flows from our lives. The abundance of thankfulness, gratitude, praise, peace, joy, patience - the fruits of the spirit. Our life here on earth is just a bleep on the radar screen of eternity. Therefore, I must base my belief of what abundance is upon what eternity looks like according to scripture.

I'm sorry. I think I got carried away and wrote a book!

I hope this helps and I promise to not be so wordy the next time.

Have a blessed week and take care, blessed mama!

Blessedw4mom said...

Marsh ~ Thank you so much and don't be sorry for writting to much! This is very helpful! Its really what I was thinking/feeling, but could not figure out how to explain. I love your point about "what abundance is upon what eternity looks like according to scripture"

And to some point I think my hang up is on words like "enjoy" and "abundance" ... perhaps our society's meaning for those words are not quite the same as those words meant back then.

Again thank you for your explination!

Marsha said...

Thank you for your kind words on my blog and here. May I suggest to get a better understanding of the word abundance, go forward in John to chapter 15. There we see the abundance is the amount of fruit produced - the harvest. Oh sure, it looks pretty sitting on our part of the vine branches, all that lush fruit. But who produced it? Not the branch, but rather the Vine. And who is the abundance for (the harvest)? The Vinedresser. The One who owns the vineyard.

Have you ever known someone or met someone that was so like Jesus that you desired to be more like them? Jesus abundance wasn't beauty, fame or possessions. His abundance was His Father that flowed out of Him.

Does He bless with material possession sometimes? Yes. But they are all His and we are merely stewards of His abundance that He so lavishly shares with us, His children.

Denise said...

Bless your precious heart.

Karen said...

Hi Heather. I haven't had much time to read everyone's posts today. Hopefully, I'll be able to sit down and read everybody's posts tonight after the children go to bed. I look forward to reading your post.

I'll be back soon.

Karen said...

I think Marsha made some great points in regards to your question about "enjoying" life. It makes all the difference in the world to look at what the original Greek or Hebrew word meant. And Marsha made a good point about translations. That's why going back to the original Greek or Hebrew is so important. Also, as she pointed out, context is very important.

I agree that part of what abundant living is - is producing the fruit of the Spirit. And it's not us that produces that fruit. It's God working in us through His Spirit to yield that fruit.

In your answer for #3 you said, "To be truly living God's plan/God's will for my life." I want to share with you something that I read in my personal Bible study time just this morning. Beth Moore said, "Christ chose and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. He placed His Spirit within you the moment you received Him as Savior. He annointed you and equipped you with spiritual gifts. He means for you to use them with great effectiveness in the body of Christ. He has given you life experiences intended to turn into testimonies and ministries that help make the Savior irresistible to the seeker." ("Stepping Up" Beth Moore pg. 105)

I think her words describe abundant living.

I appreciate your courage to step out and ask difficult questions.

Karen said...

Please stop back by my blog for a discussion day wrap-up.
Take care and I look forward to next week's discussion!

GinaLaughed said...

I totally agree with Marsha and Karen.

Life here is life as in the Spirit and we're talking about the Spirit filled life. So life on the spiritual level is more abundant as in never thirsting again by walking in the Spirit. That is how we are able to be joyful in *all* things, despite our circumstances, as I wrote in my blog.

I'm so glad you have joined the study! I've been reading through your blog and have really enjoyed my time here. I *heart* your beautiful belly! I was I wasn't so embarrassed to show mine off when I was PG. I would love to have pics of that time in my life.

Hugs and love to you, Heather! I look forward to our study time together! :D