Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Nurturing a heart of Humility' Living in Humility Day 2

      "What is in a name? Well for starters, consider the name of the wonderful woman after God's own heart you'll be metting in this lesson- Elizabeth... which just happens to be my name too! I carry in my personal leatherbound journal a tasseled, Laminated, tapestry bookmark that was given to me by a cherished friend. It reads Elizibeth- consecrated to God. Two scriptures are also woven into the ribbon: 'My soul doth magnify the Lord' (Luke 1:46) and 'A good name is reather to be chosen than Great riches' (Prov. 22:1)
     Elizabeth means 'God is my oath' and 'a worshiper of God.' And today we meet a woman who lived out the meanings of her name this humble woman was chosenby God to play a most important role in His final countdown to the Savior's appearance.

From the Heart of God's Word...

As you work your way through these verses from Luke 1, keep three things in mind -
          first, a theme of Luke's Gospel is that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
          Second,. God's will is always perfect; and
          Third, so is His Timing (Luke 1:20)

1. Luke 1:5-7
     Who is the couple introduced in in verse 5, and what is said about each?
     How is this godly couple discribed in verse 6?
2. Luke 1:8-22
     As we key in on Zacharias , what miracle occured in his life in verse 11?
     And what information and instruction was Zacharias given (verse 13)?
     Briefly, how is the child to be described (verses 14-17)
    What questions of unbeliefe did Zacharias ask... and how did the angel reply (verses 18-20)?
     What happened when Zacharias came out of the temple ( verses21-22)?
3. Luke 1:23-25 In the end what happened to...
     ... Zacharias?
     ... Elizabeth?

From Your Heart...
  • Character- Barrenness apparently carried a reproch in the culture of this couple's day (Luke1:25).   In spite of their personal difficulty and sorrow, how is the character of this godly couple described (verse 6)?
How do you, dear reader, tend to cope with difficult, discouragement, and disappointment? How consistant are you in your devotion to God during times of adversity? And how does Elizabeth  and Zacharias's steadfast devotion over decades of blighted hopes show you a better way?
  • Consecrated- As we learned earlier, Elizabeth means 'Consecrated' and consecrated means 'set apart unto God.' What did the angel Gabriel say about the son Elizabeth was to bear (verse15)? 
This is a reference to a Nazirite vow- John was to be a Nazerite, a person separated completely and consecrated unto the Lord (Numbers 6:2-8).

Just for fun note the names of these famous sons who were also Nazerites, consecrated to the Lord from the womb:
     Manoah's wife's son in Judges 13:7-24
     Hannah's son in 1 Samuel 1:11, 20
Now copy 1 Peter 1:15 -16   15'but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy.'
Do you see yourself as consecrated to God? As dedicated to Him for his purposes? As separated from the world for God's use? As a believer, you are, whether you see it or not! What a difference should this fact  make in your daily life?
  • Chastised- there's  no doubt that Zacharias was chastised by Gabriel for his unbelief! what was the consequences of his unbelief (verse 20)
Imagine! the Most exciting thing in your life has just happened... and you can't tell a soul! What similar temptations to unbelief do you face? And how should you be responding with greater faith?
  • Conception- How did Elizabeth respond to her conception (verse 24)? And what did she say in her heart (verse 25)?
Nurturing a Heart of Humility...

Life is difficult- it's a fact! And 'God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. the only choice is how.' Elizabeth and Zacharias show us the how-
the proper, godly, humble response to discouragement, disappointment, and blighted dreams. What can we learn from them? we must...
  • Nurture a heart of Prayer (Luke 1:13).
  • Nurture a Heart of Obedience (Luke 1:6).
  • Nurture a Heart of Service (Luke1:8).
  • Nurture a Heart of Humility.
     Elizabeth was finally given a child- in God's timing and for God's purposes... and in a miraculous way! And when God blesses her, hers was a humble response. She acknowledged and blessed the Lord. Elizabeth gave thanks and recognition and glory to God.
     But what if Elizabeth and her husband had never received the child they prayed for and hoped for? They would probably have continued to be the same couple they had always been and had become- a couple whose hearts were humbly set on prayer, obedience, and service.
Could the same be said of you, dear one?"


Monday, November 29, 2010

'Nurturing a Heart of Humility' Finishing the Masterpiece Introduction - Day 1

From the Heart of Gods Word –

  • “Where does the record of the life of Mary begin? And where is the best place to begin our study? Isa.7:14-  14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
·        Now read Matt. 1:21-23 - 21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:  23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel"

  • Look up Micah 5:2 –
    2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

·        Next Read Luke 3:23-38. Don’t let this genealogy of Mary’s Lineage overwhelm you. Begin by listing the names you already familiar with. It’s important to understand that the genealogy in Luke 3 gives the human line of Jesus, the son of man, tracing His lineage through MARY (Heli in verse 23 was MARY’S Father back to Adam. First-century people through Jesus was the son of Joseph. Luke made it clear that Jesus was actually GOD’S Son and that Mary was his mother.

From Your Heart…

“As we step into our study, we realize that 400 years have passed since the conclusion of Malachi, the last book of the OT. And in the biblical record, over 500 years have gone by without a Miracle. Bible scholars call these years “the silent years.”  What happens when God is silent… or seems to be silent? How did God’s people behave during those silent years? And what did they believe?

The people you’ll be meeting in the scriptures below and in the days and lessons to follow show us the answers to these questions-they served God…period. They were not wanting something more true they looked with anticipation for the promised Messiah. But they woke up each and every day of their lives and sought to live a righteous life before God. They endeavored to trust and obey, to walk and yield to God’s already expressed will.
Now how are you to live while waiting upon God to finish His Masterpiece, and His master plan for your life?

Live expectantly- God’s people during any age are to live with the anticipation of God’s redemption.

What was Simeon in Luke 2:25-26 Expecting?
And Anna in Luke 2:38?
-         And as a Bonus Question, HOW did these saints live while waiting?
Simeon (Luke 2:25)?
Anna (Luke 2:37)?

            Live in Obedience-How did Elizabeth and Zacharias in Luke 1:6 Conduct their daily Lives while living expectantly?

            -And Mary in Luke 1:30 and 38
            - And Joseph Matthew 1:19
            - How well do you measure up in your own Obedience as compared to …Simeon?
            - Anna?
            - Elizabeth and Zacharias?
            - Mary and Joseph?

            Live with understanding- God is NEVER silent, and He is  ALWAYS at work directing  the course of events throughout the world to bring about His perfect will in His Perfect time. He rules the changing tides of history. How does Psalm 75:6-7 Comfort you and encourage you?

Nurturing a Heart of Humility

  Dear one, we must also live humbly. This study about Mary, a woman after God’s own heart, a woman desirous of fulfilling God’s will for her life (Acts 13:23). And the lessons to come will reveal that Mary was a woman with a heart of humility. So, how do you and I set about to nurture the same heart of humility toward God and others that we’ll find Mary exhibiting throughout these pages?

Read your Bible regularly-the Bible discloses God’s will for your Life. Once you know what His will is then you can humbly obey it.

Pray regularly- Prayer develops the heart-and a posture-of Humility. Prayer also helps bring your will in line with God’s will.

Worship Regularly- God asks for your worship-both private and corporate worship. When you worship you are submitting yourself to be quiet before God and to be taught by Him and by others. Both acts nurture humility in your heart.

Serve others regularly- Whom should you serve? Serve your Family first…and beyond them, serve everyone who crosses your path. Service it the outward working of humility.

And now, may God Richly bless you as you nurture a heart of humility, for ‘Humility is the Christian’s loveliest virtue and his crowning grace’”

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed typing it all out!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Characteristics of a Meek and Quiet Spirit

     This is right from Revive Our Hearts I copied and pasted because I was reading it and it was SO great I had to share!! Hope you all enjoy!! Also if you need to Look up any of the Verses Bible Gateway is a great web page that you can copy and past the Bible References, pick your "Bible Version" and there you have it!!

Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul. It is the tranquil stillness of a heart that is at rest in Christ. It is the place of peace. Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ.
The meek will be at rest in the storms of life …
(Matthew 11:28–30; Psalm 37:7; Hebrews 4:1–11)

The fretful will be fearful in the storms of life …
(Mark 4:35–41; Jeremiah 50:6)

The meek will react to circumstances with peaceful trust …
(Isaiah 26:3–4)

The fretful will attempt to manipulate individuals or circumstances …
(James 4:1–3; Proverbs 7:21)

The meek will make life choices based on Scriptural principles …
(Psalm 119:105)

The fretful will make life choices based on emotions or fleeting passions of the moment …
(James 3:13–18; Proverbs 19:16)

The meek woman’s confidence is in the security of the truths of Scripture and the faithfulness of God …
(Proverbs 3:26, 14:26; Psalm 119:165; Jeremiah 17:7–8)

The fretful woman’s trust is in her own abilities and power to control others and details …
(Proverbs 12:15, 14:12, 16:25; Jeremiah 18:12)

“Meekness is the silent submission of the soul to the 'providence' of God concerning us.”
—Matthew Henry

The meek woman finds her worth and value in knowing who she is in Christ …
(Ephesians 1:3–8)

The fretful woman finds her worth and value in her own accomplishments and what others think of her …
(Psalm 49:11–20; Proverbs 11:28, 16:18–19, 29:25)

The meek woman finds her strength of character in Christ …
(Ephesians 5:8–11)

The fretful woman finds her strength of character in her own personality traits …
(Proverbs 28:26)

Meekness restrains the stormy tempest of our emotions and passions by commanding them“peace be still” …
(Proverbs 16:32)

Fretting fuels the stormy tempest by venting passions and emotions …
(Psalm 37:8; Proverbs 14:29–30, 29:11, 22)

Meekness is the strength and courage to battle and overcome our own sinful anger and passions, by holding fast to peace—through trusting in the providence of Almighty God …
(Romans 12:18–19; Colossians 3:1–17; 1 Peter 4:19)

The fretful woman is too fearful and weak to trust God,but allows her sinful emotions and passions to rule …
(Proverbs 28:25)

“The work and office of meekness is to enable us to govern our own anger when at anytime we are provoked, and patiently bear out the anger of others that it may not be a provocation to us.”
—Matthew Henry

Meekness is constancy and steady composure in spirit and frame of mind, reflecting the consistent stability of our Lord, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
(Psalm 102:25–27; Ephesians 4:13–15; 1 Peter 3:13–16; Hebrews 13:8)

The fretful woman is always on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, continually up and down …the only thing consistent about her is that you never know what mood to expect.
(Proverbs 21:9, 19, 25:24)

Meekness does not allow the mind to run away with vain imaginations and to dwell on thoughts which inflame volatile emotions and passions …
(2 Corinthians 10:3–5; Philippians 4:8–9)

The rash woman is filled with suspicions, doubts, and assumptions based entirely on emotion, and allows these imaginations to determine the course of action …
(3 John 9–10)

The meek woman does not avoid or run from controversy, but walks through necessary confrontations under the control of the Holy Spirit …
(Galatians 6:1–2; Proverbs 27:5)

The rash woman enters controversy hastily and recklessly …
(Proverbs 10:19, 13:3, 14:16–17, 29:20)

The meek woman is at peace because she is master over her passions …
(Proverbs 17:27, 25:28, 29:11)

The rash woman is fretful because she is mastered by her passions …
(Psalm 37:1–8; Romans 6:16; James 1:14–17)

“It is better by silence to yield to our brother, who is, or has been, or may be, our friend, than by angry speaking to yield to the devil, who has been, and is, and ever will be , our sworn enemy.”
—Matthew Henry

The meek woman speaks truth in love, the law of kindness is on her lips …
(Proverbs 31:26, 16:24; Ephesians 4:1–2, 29)

The rash woman speaks harshly, and is not truly concerned for the listener’s feelings …
(Proverbs 12:18, 16:27; James 3:6–12)

The meek woman patiently waits to hear the whole matter before reacting …
(Proverbs 15:28)

The rash woman reacts emotionally before giving time to pause and consider …
(Proverbs 15:18, 18:13)

The meek woman is not unemotional, but her emotions are ruled by the Spirit of God …
(Proverbs 14:30, 31:25; Galatians 5:22–26; Philippians 4:4–7)

The fretful woman is ruled by circumstances, emotions, and passions …
(Proverbs 29:22; Psalm 37:1–8)

“To study the art of quietness is to take pains with ourselves, to work upon our own hearts the principles, rules, and laws of meekness; and to furnish ourselves with such considerations as tend to the quieting of the spirit in the midst of the greatest provocations.”
—Matthew Henry

The meek woman does not entertain suspicions or assume the worst concerning others—but reacts based on first-hand knowledge …
(Proverbs 18:13, 17)

The rash woman imagines and assumes the worst, then she reacts accordingly …
(1 Timothy 4:7, 5:13)

The meek woman is not easily offended …
(Proverbs 19:11; Romans 14:19, 1 Corinthians 13:4–7)

The fretful woman is easily offended …
(Romans 12:3, 16)

The meek woman forgives quickly …
(Matthew 5:23–25; Ephesians 4:26–27, 31–32)

The fretful woman holds onto offenses and hurts, becoming bitter …
(Hebrews 12:14–15)

Meekness demonstrates gracious restraint. It responds to accusations or criticism with restraint rooted in humility, by recognizing that without God’s grace, I am capable of far worse than what I am being accused.
(1 Peter 3:8–9)

Rashness seeks vengeance. It responds to accusations or criticism with the wrath of a haughty heart.
(Romans 12:14–19)

“If God should be as angry with me for every provocation as I am with those about me, what would become of me?”
—Matthew Henry

The meek woman is still and knows that He is God; therefore she trusts in Him and is at peace …
(Psalm 46:10; Proverbs 18:10, 30:5)

The fretful woman runs through life at a frantic pace, not stopping long enough to sit still and listen to the Master’s voice …
(Luke 10:38–42)

“It is 'in the sight of God of great price.' It is really a precious grace, for it is so in the sight of God … Herein we should every one labor and this we should be ambitious of, as of the greatest honor … it is a thing attainable through the Mediator from whom we have received instruction how to walk so as to please him. We must walk with meekness and quietness of spirit, for this is 'in the sight of God of great price.' Therefore this mark of honor is, in a special measure, put upon the grace of meekness, because it is commonly despised and looked upon with contempt by the children of the world … meekness and quietness of spirit is a very excellent grace which we should every one of us put on and be adorned with.”
— Matthew Henry  

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Nurturing a Heart of Humility'

I am totally Excited for Christmas... and I am really excited about this "Blog"... So I thought... Hmmmm Do I have to stop?

NO I don't!

SO for the month of December I am going to post EVERY DAY (Lord willing!)
I am going to go through....
'Nurtuting a Heart Of Humility, Character Studies- Mary' -by Elizabeth George

I did this book back in 12/07-3/08 there are only 26 devotionals so I will start on next Monday Nov. 29!!
I know you will enjoy it, and please I would love comments if you have time!
Please know I will primarily be quoting the book, and will add my thoughts in at the end!!
If you don't want to receive Email updates about the study let me know and I will remove your name from the list.

Also, I am going to delete most of the "Personal posts". That way if you want someone else to read this Blog for the Month of December you can invite them.

I really hope you enjoy this upcoming month of study! I am really excited!

Hope you all have a GREAT day and a HAPPY Thanksgiving...

( I am going to post Pics of the 20lb Turkey that I am cooking, and the 20lbs of Mashed potatoes, the Place settings/favors that the girls and I made, and the "Bingo" Game that Evelyn and I made! Maybe here but for sure on FB!!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gospel Centered Marriage

I am reading this GREAT book On Marriage!!
                    ‘Love that Lasts’ By Gary and Betsy Ricucci
The part that I am going to share is in the First Chapter of the Book. It is compelling and really makes you look at the Gospel and what it means for you Marriage and how it should empower how you to live with and Love your Husband!
Hope you enjoy it! J

“Does your Marriage Find its Hope in the Gospel of Grace?
Jerry Bridges Defines grace as God’s ‘Undeserved Favor to those who deserve his wrath’ Grace redirects our focus from our guilt to God’s Forgiveness, from our Failures to Christ’s Perfect Righteousness, from our total in ability to God’s Complete sufficiency, from all we feel burdened to do to all Christ has already done on our behalf.
NOTHING is More important to your marriage than you Theology (what you believe about God), and nothing is more important to your Theology (and Hence your marriage) than the Gospel.
·        Because of the gospel, Christians have become new Creations 2Cor. 5:17. Therefore in our marriage, our past does not define us, or determine our future.
·        Because of the gospel, we are forgiven Eph. 1:7. Therefore we live free from all guilt and Condemnation for every sin , and we can trust that in God, in all his mercy, will be gracious to us.
·        Because of the gospel, we can forgive, just as Christ forgave us Eph. 4.32. Nothing done against us compares to our sin against God. Therefore ALL offenses, Hostility and bitterness between Christians can be completely forgiven and removed.
·        Because of the gospel, we are accepted by God Rom. 15:7. Therefore we are not dependant on a spouse for who we are or what we need.
·        Because of the gospel, sin’s ruling power over us is broken Rom. 6:6,14. Therefore we can truly obey all that God calls us to do in our marriage, regardless of an circumstance or situation.
·        Because of the gospel, we have access to God through Christ Heb. 4:14-16. Therefore we can at any time take any need in our marriage to the One who can do all things.
·        Because of the gospel, we have hope Rom. 5:1-4. Therefore we can endure marital difficulty, hardship, or suffering, with the assurance that God is working all to our GREATEST good. Rom.8:28.
·        Because of the gospel, Christ dwells in us by his Holy Spirit Gal.3:13-14. Therefore we are confident that God is always with us and is always working in our marriage, even when progress is imperceptible 1Thess. 5:23-24.
·        Because of the gospel, we have power to fight and overcome remaining sin, which continues to dwell and war within us Rom. 7:19-21, 24-25, Gal.5:16-17 This indwelling enemy represents the essence of what is called the Doctrine of sin.

Sometimes it’s not easy to live in the reality of these truths. But it is always possible-and not because of our strength or determination, but because of God’s empowering and enabling grace.
When we Grasp the depth of God’s Love for us revealed in the Gospel, when we rest in the joys of Gods Forgiveness toward us in the gospel, when we experience God’s Transforming power in us through the gospel, and  when we begin to emulate the pattern of humility and obedience we see in the gospel, what a wonderful difference this will make in our live and marriages! Nothing is more essential to a marriage, and nothing brings more HOPE, than applying the gospel of Christ Jesus.”

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!!

~ Apryl Yoder

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Fountain of Youth

1 Peter 3:4 -  let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

That is what I want to be Precious in God's Sight... Not just but VERY Precious.
To have the eyes of my Loving Father looking at me knowing he is there Loving me watching me.
An Imperishable beauty. There is the Fountain of Youth! We Ladies have Found it!! It isn't Physical for us but... it is expressed Physically! (The way we talk, walk and reach out to our Family and our Christian Family.)
So what do I need to Put off, so that I can Put on this Beauty?

My Tongue/tone, James 3:1-12
My Pride, Is.66:2
I needed these words today! I Hope this helps you as the week is only half way through and I need to have a Quiet Spirit and a Gentle Spirit with my family!

(This is one of my favorite "Things". I read this almost monthly anymore. So rich are her words, and how I need them! Hope you can Enjoy her Thoughts also!
(Can't copy n' past... and I don't have time to type it all out. Just read the first page of this Newsletter. that is what I do! [I actually Have it printed off and I have it in a notebook so that I can read it any time!] )
~ Apryl

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 4 Psalm 103:1-5

 1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
         And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
         And forget not all His benefits:
 3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
         Who heals all your diseases,
 4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
         Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
         So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

I have really been thinking and focusing on Joyfulness and Blessings this month and today I read to the girls our little book that we are going through 'God's Alphabet For Life'
And today's Letter was 'M' For 'Make a Joyful noise unto God all ye lands' Ps.66:1
It proceeded to tell us about How the Birds wake up and sing Praises wholeheartedly to the Lord and how that is the first thing that they do every morning! "Are my first thoughts of God Thanking him for his Son and the Gospel and that I wake up to a new day?"
God is Good I know that and that we read that everywhere but do we really believe it? Do we live it? Not just for our selves but for our kids Everyday? I know I don't and that I need to teach them a thankful heart in everything! Not making a list and telling them what the next thing that they need to do. ( I do this SO much that Evelyn now does it to me!) We need to stop and Thank The Lord. Being holy... is also having a heart that recognizes our unworthiness and having thankfulness for being saved from ourselves!

Praying that out Family becomes Little birds that sing to the world the Greatness and the Goodness of our GOD!! (May we NEVER be annoyed with birds waking us up! May it remind us to Give Thanks!)

These are thoughts for me and sometimes it is etched more heavily in my heart if I type it ALLout!

Hope you all had a Great day in the Word!