Greater Is He That Is In You {1 John 1-5}

landscape view on sky with rainbow at sea.

Good Morning Girls!

We are in the book of 1 John and today I want to do an overview of the entire book and then focus on 1 John 4:1-6.

If you struggle with certainty of what you believe – then 1 John is  a great book for you.  I almost always counsel new believers to start reading their Bible in 1 John followed by the gospel of John.

The author John is well-known as the disciple “Jesus loved”. He was commonly listed as one of Jesus’ three closest friends – Peter, James and John.  John was an outgoing, bold man which led to his imprisonment on the Island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation.  He also wrote the gospel of John and 1st, 2nd and 3rd John.

This book is a favorite for many because it is simple, brief and full of love and light.

But we see in 1 John a warning against false prophets and how in 1 John 2:19 – some who were with them, left and did not return because they were not true believers.

This caused the Christians to be uncertain of their own salvation and how to distinguish a genuine Christian from a false one.

And so the book closes in 1 John 5:11-13, with these assuring words: 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

Do you have the Son of God?  Have you placed your faith in Him? Then you have eternal life –guaranteed!  Know this and be assured.

Another one of my personal favorites is found in chapter 4 verse 4 and it says:

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Oh such precious reassuring words.  We are God’s children.  We are overcomers not by our own strength but by the great and glorious God who is within us!!!!

And so that brings us to today’s video where I share more about this verse and one of my favorite childhood Old Testament stories from 1 Kings 18 that displays the greatness of our God.

(if you cannot see this video - click here)

John closes the book of 1 John with these words:

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. ~ 1 John 5:21

As the story is told in the video above – we see – the idols are dead.  They have no ears to hear. No eyes to see. No hands to help.  Idols are worthless.  And for us –  idols are anything that come between us and God.

Since we know we are children of God. Since we know we have eternal life. Since we know how to walk in the light. Since we know Satan will attempt to draw us away with false prophets.

Since we know “Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world.”

Since we know the one true God…

Do not fall for the devil’s schemes!  Keep yourself from idols!

It is hard to remember that this world is not the end game… This world is just the opener for real life  that will begin when we step onto the shores of heaven.

Everything in this world is a mirage – it is fleeting.

Only our souls and what is done for Jesus will last.

Do not let anything of this world come between you and your great God.  Keep yourselves from idols.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime in:

What is your favorite verse or section in the book of 1 John? What are you learning as you read chapter by chapter?  

Are there any idols that have come between you and your great God? Any worldly pursuits or darkness that the enemy has deceived you with?  

This week’s reading plan:
this week's reading plan
Next week’s reading plan:

GMG week 4

 

October’s reading plan – coming soon – we’ll be going through Genesis, one chapter a day!!!

 

BLOGGERS: Are you blogging through the Bible with us or have you written a devotional based on your own quiet times this week? Put this graphic in your post, link it back to GoodMorningGirls.org and then link up below – we’d love to come visit you! Blogging through bible with GMG button

Baked Caramel Apples Recipe – A Side Dish or Ice Cream Topper!

 baked caramel apples 2

Janelle from Comfy in the Kitchen has the perfect fall recipe for us!  She writes:

Autumn is my favorite time of year…when the air cools, the sun shines, and the leaves turn color. One of the first things I want to do with my children is to take them to the many wonderful apple orchards we have in our area. We pick so many that our home is bursting at the seams with apples!! Here is one of my favorite apple recipes… you will LOVE the smell and taste of this comfort dish. Add it as a side, eat it alone, or top it “a la mode” (ice cream)…. enjoy!

Water, brown sugar, flour, butter, salt, cinnamon and apples – looks like one got away in the background! Oops!

Start making your homemade caramel sauce by placing in the sauce pan the brown sugar, water, butter, salt, and flour.

Heat until bubbling-it will thicken.

Peel your apples.

Cut apples into medium sized chunks.

Pour homemade caramel sauce over the cut apples.

“Dot” with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover and bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour, stirring at the 30 min mark.

ahhhhhh…

Fresh out of the oven…

An amazing accompaniment to pork chops.

Baked Caramel Apples
Serves 6

Preheat oven to 350

Peel and cut about 8 apples into quarters (enough to fill a 9” round baking dish)

Sauce:

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup water

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp flour

Put all sauce ingredients into a saucepan and bring to soft boil-it will thicken and turn into a caramel/gravy texture.

Place apples in baking dish and cover with caramel and stir. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and bake for 1 hour stirring at the 30 min mark.

Enjoy!

Signature
speakerJanelle Nehrenz

Janelle is a Christian, a Wife, a Stay at Home Mom of 3 young children and a proud- to- claim- it “Foodie”.

You can find her displaying step-by-step photos of her recipes, giving devotionals,and sharing meal ministry stories on her blog.

You can follow Janelle’s blog at ComfyInTheKitchen.com
Follower her on facebook at Comfy In The Kitchen
Follow her on Twitter at ComfynKitchen

The End of the World {2 Peter 3}

A person holding a globe on wooden background.

 

As we “Read Through the Bible”, cover to cover – one chapter a day, we are going to come to passages that typically I would never blog about – but here we are!!!  We are in 2nd Peter chapter 3 and guess what it’s about –the End of the World as we know it!

This is fascinating friends.  So join me as we read about how the world will end.

2 Peter 3:1-4 says:

1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved.

In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

This chapter begins with the church being mocked because Jesus had not returned yet.  Now remember that Peter is writing to persecuted Christians who have been scattered and running for their lives.  They are already discouraged and now this mockery adds to their mental anguish.

What is Peter’s comfort for those suffering?

A reminder to remember the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures!

When we are down and discouraged we need to always remember to turn to God’s word.  Remember the words of the holy prophets, the apostles and of the Lord!

Note in verse 3 why the mockers mocked.  They were following their own sinful desires.

Consider this, people do not always deny creation and a belief in a holy God because it’s unbelievable but sometimes it’s simply because they don’t want to be held accountable on judgement day for their lifestyle choices.  Perhaps for most people, this is less of an intellectual pursuit and and more of a lust for self-indulgence.  Atheism and evolution are convenient tools for many who don’t want to give up their sinful desires.

Let’s continue reading in 2 Peter 3:5-7

5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

This passage tells us the world begins and ends with God!

Actually, it goes one step further and it tells us that the world began and will end by the “word of God”.  He spoke it into existence and he’ll speak it out of existence!

Gulp – wow! We serve a mighty God.

Now look at verse 5 where it says that the earth was formed out of water and then in verse 6 it was deluged with water and perished.  This reference is to the days of Noah.  Remember the rainbow when Noah left the ark?  That rainbow was a promise that God would never flood and destroy the earth with water again.

So according to verse 7, what will God use to destroy the earth this time?

Fire.

Water and fire – two necessary elements for survival – also used for destruction. The earth is covered in water with waters above as well. The earth’s core is fire, along with stars – fire balls in the sky – as well.

Let’s continue on to verses 8-10:

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Time –time seems to fly everyday here. But even though we may think a lot of time has passed – that is not necessarily how God sees it. According to verse 8, a thousand years is like a day to God!  He does not work on our timetables. God exists outside of limited time.  (mind baffling right?)

While the scoffers think that God’s patience is a problem – we understand the purpose of His patience. The purpose is redemptive.

Consider this – the world has not ended yet because before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 4:1), God chose you and me to live in 2014 and become his children!

Another wow moment, right?

But then we see emphatically in verse 10…

…BUT… the day of the Lord WILL come!  Oh friends, He is coming and when he comes –it will be like a theif in the night!

Now here’s the application in verses 11-18:

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Some applications from verses 11-18:

Be holy.

Be Godly.

Watch and wait for the coming of the Lord.

Be spotless.

Be at peace.

Share the gospel as the Lord is patient unto salvation.

Do not get carried away by error or lose your stability.

Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.

And one final (politically incorrect) thought:

While it is important that we steward God’s creation well, may we not spend our days trying to “save the planet.”  As we see in 2 Peter 3, God has plans to destroy our planet by fire.  May we have a godly perspective, which according to this passage would mean we long for the day the Lord returns and creates a new heaven and a new earth.  Until then, may we spend our time seeking to save souls rather than the planet.

And grace. Enjoy the planet. Steward the planet. But never worship the planet.

Walk with the King,

Courtney 

**Chime In:  What have you learned this week through your study in the book of 2 Peter?

this week's reading plan

Messy Beautiful Love – 3 Copies of the Book & Journal Giveaway!

cover-messy beautiful love

Today I am celebrating the launch of my dear friend – the Time Warp Wife‘s book:
Messy Beautiful Love* by Darlene Schacht.

Darlene and Courtney

I had the honor of writing the Forward to this book!!!

This book both challenges and motivates me to exchange God’s ideas and ideals for my own.  Her hope-filled story of a marriage changed by the grace of God reminds us that no marriage is ever beyond God’s redeeming grace.

This excerpt from the book is raw…as it takes us to the day her husband discovered her affair but it’s only just the beginning – the beginning of God revealing himself to Darlene in new ways and her marriage transforming from messy to beautiful.

Darlene Writes:

******************************

It was my husband’s birthday

I still had some wrapping to do when I heard the hum of the garage door open and close. I glanced at the clock. It was only three thirty; the kids weren’t even home from school yet. Michael wasn’t due home for at least another hour, and if you know my husband at all, you’ll understand why this took me by surprise. Michael’s never been late for work, he doesn’t come home early, and he’ll miss a day only if he’s bleeding from the eyes. Whatever the case, I was just glad he was home. This was going to be an awesome night with the family, and I couldn’t wait for it to get started!

Leaving his briefcase by the door, he asked me to join him in the living room. I wasn’t sure what was up, but one glance at the stone-cold look on his face told me that something was wrong—terribly wrong.

Sitting across from him, I’ll never forget the sound of his voice as it rang in my ears and ripped through my heart.

“Are you having an affair?” he asked.

Looking up at him I quickly answered, “No. Why would you even ask that?”

“Please don’t lie to me,” he said. As he continued to question me, the heat rose in my face. My cheeks were numb; my mouth was dry; my body was weak. “Did you have an affair?”

I hung my head, unable to look in his eyes. Sitting alone on the couch, I felt the fear of truth spin around me like the web of a spider until I was helpless to move. Barely able to speak I lifted my chin in a nod and then in another. My house of cards collapsed, my shame crashing to the ground along with it.

My sin, the glorious fruit of lust, had enticed me into the pit where all I could think of was death. For death itself had enveloped me, and with it came shame and reproach. I had sinned against God, my husband, and my family. Everything I had once held so dear to me loomed above the pit of sin and shame I had dug for myself.

Every muscle in my body was heavy, tense, numb. I was disconnected from the pounding of the blood that sped through my head like a runaway train. Even if I wanted to speak—even if I had something else to say—I couldn’t. My jaw was locked; my throat was closed.

Michael stood up, and as I watched him walk out of the room, I realized that in every sense of the word, I was alone.

Through a fog of confusing emotions I managed to get off the couch and go out to the car where I fished through my purse for my keys. Not knowing what else to do, I drove. I didn’t know where I was going, what I should do, or where I’d be spending the night. All I knew was that I had to go someplace—anyplace—but where?

Finally pulling into a parking lot, I stopped the car and collapsed onto the steering wheel. My thoughts were a dark and dusty swirl of emotions that ripped through my heart and beckoned me into the grave. Tears poured down my face like poison escaping a wound, and I sobbed until my stomach was raw from the pain.

I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a home. And I didn’t have a shoulder to cry on. All that I had were the shattered pieces of my life.

A few hours later I made my way back to the house, where I started packing up a few things I could carry. Michael came into the room and sat down on the far corner of the bed. Staring straight ahead, he started to talk. This was my husband, the man I had lived with for nearly half of my life, but in every way he was different, from the sound of his voice to the way that he carried himself. We were suddenly strangers.

We exchanged words for a while,but at the end of the day I had nothing left to offer him but soiled rags, words of remorse that he couldn’t rely on, and promises where all trust was gone. My eyes were swollen from crying; my heart was heavy with shame.

“Do you want to stay?” he asked.

I didn’t know how to answer. All I wanted to do was stay with my family—to turn back the clock a year. Back to a time when being a wife and a mom was all that I knew and all that I wanted to be. But I was unworthy to be a wife, a mother, and a child of God. How could I stay in a place where I didn’t belong? How could I ever live on the surface again? How could I ever be trusted to love?

“I can’t,” I said. “I just can’t.”

Again he said, “That’s not what I’m asking you. Do you want to stay?”

Loving his wife as Christ loves the church, Michael reached down to me with a hand of grace when I needed it most. When every thought told me that I was unworthy of love, something miraculous happened that changed the way that I look at marriage and the way that I look at our Savior. It was the realization that I am saved by nothing but the power of grace.

Perhaps that’s how the woman who was caught in adultery felt when she was brought to Jesus. Face-to-face with her Savior, she was left with nothing but His hand of grace. What did Jesus write in the sand with His finger that day? Some say He was listing sins—and perhaps He was. But a part of me will always wonder whether it was an invitation that beckoned her to come home to a place where sin is washed away by the blood of an incomparable Savior.

There is incredible power in the words of Jesus Christ, who said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11 nkjv). It takes incredible strength for a man to echo those very same words.

I didn’t deserve Michael’s love and forgiveness. I didn’t deserve a second chance. I didn’t deserve my family, and I didn’t deserve to be loved by those whom I hurt. But in that moment of darkness when one person in this world cared enough to display the covenant-keeping love of Jesus Christ to His church, I turned from my sin and clung to the grace of God that is strong enough to break the bands of sin and death. It’s strong enough to graft one man to a woman when everything in this world threatens to pull them apart.

Excerpt from Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages,* (Thomas Nelson)

Here’s the Book Trailer:

(If you cannot see this video – click here)

I’m so excited to be giving away
3 copies of the book
along with this beautiful journal today!

giveawaypromopic

Enter here to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t delay waiting to see if you won this giveaway or not.

If you know your marriage is a mess and you need encouragement -
buy Messy Beautiful Love:
Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages

TODAY!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

*Amazon Affiliate Link 

How to Deal With Differences In Marriage

How to deal with differences

All marriages deal with differences. If we traded in our marriage for another, we would just be trading problems with this guy – for problems with that guy – because the reality is, all marriages have problems to varying degrees.

Sometimes I wonder why God made men and women so incredibly different.  And while I understand that our differences should make us complement each other – some days it just feels like a huge hurdle.

My husband and I are very, very different people.

I am an extrovert – the more the merrier is my mentality!

He is an introvert – he is very private.

I love social media and social gatherings fill me up!

My husband does not participate in social media, and social gatherings drain him.

I am a very cautious person when it comes to safety.

My husband loves to shoot guns and ride motorcycles and prefers I be on the back of the motorcycle with him…which is not really my cup of tea!

motorcycle riding

He even bought me this jacket……let’s just say, I wear it for him ;) and pray the entire ride!  I appreciate how he has enhanced my prayer life! Lol!

motorcycle jacket

He has also enhanced my prayer life by taking the kids on very long road trips on the back of his bike. ;)

I like pop music (anything with a beat), Christian and classical piano music (weird mix right? Lol!).

He likes country music and talk radio.

I like Diet Coke.

He drinks Sweet Tea by the gallon.

I prefer new cars – you know with a cup holder and a DVD player.

He loves old classic cars…without cup holders and DVD players.

I love big cities and living in a neighborhood.

He prefers to live on a huge piece of land and not see the neighbors!

I love to sing.

He does not.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg friends.  Our temperaments are very different.  Our family histories are very different. Our school experiences were very different. Our hobbies are very different.

And while I list all these things and wonder how in the world we ended up vowing our lives to each other –”till death do us part,”  I am amazed at how like-minded we are on faith, our view of the world, our morals, values, love for each other and love of family.

I could sit all day and focus on the things that are different between my husband and I and get very frustrated.

Let’s face it – you can’t change a zebra’s stripes. God absolutely changes people from the inside out and I’ve heard testimonies of dramatic changes in marriages where God was at work on sin in their lives…but I don’t foresee my husband’s taste of country music or sweet tea or personality traits, such as loving social gatherings, changing anytime soon.

During different seasons of life, I have tried to get my husband to change. This always brings fights and it’s miserable and he feels disrespected.

Philippians 2:3 -5 says:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

This is truth!  When we look only toward our  own interests, our own selfish ambitions will ruffle feathers in our marriage and stir up trouble.  We will create misery and though it may feel unintentional – it is very real and it can put a wedge in our marriage.

So how do we deal with differences in marriage?

1.) Do not be selfish. (verse 3)

2.) Humble yourself and look at your husband as more significant than yourself. (verse 3)

3.) Do not discount your husband’s interests. (verse 4)

4.) Have the mind of Christ. (verse 5)

This my friends, is nothing like how the world would advise us.  But this is God’s way.  Number 4 is vital to overcoming the selfishness and pride in marriage.  We must pursue having the mind of Christ.  Christ was humble to the point of death on the cross for us.

Have you humbled yourself and considered laying aside your own interests for the sake of your husband, for the sake of your marriage and for the sake of Christ?

**Chime In: What differences in your marriage has God brought to mind while you were reading this?  Will you selflessly put that issue in the hands of God and trust Him with it?  

And one final thought, when we pray that God changes something about our husband – if it is done in selfishness, most likely it will not be answered. One thing I have learned is to pray for these changes for one reason alone – so that our marriage would be more unified and bring more glory to God by the way we love and care for each other.

Next week, we’ll talk more about unity in marriage but until then – let’s pray humble, selfless prayers that focus on God’s will for our marriage rather than our own will.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**This post is a part of the…

Embrace[3]

Coming next:

September 22: Embracing Oneness
September 29: Embracing Your Friendship

This week’s group marriage challenge is:

Embrace Your Differences – Don’t just tell your husband that you love him today. Tell him some of the reasons you love him.

Today my friends pictured above are also writing on
Embracing Your Differences in Your Marriage.

Please visit them!

Darlene Schacht at TimeWarpWife.com
Jennifer Smith at UnveiledWife.com
Sheila Gregoire at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com
Ashleigh Slater at AshleighSlater.com
Lisa Jacobson at Club31Women.com