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

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

This Week’s GMG Reading Plan {9.14.14}

GMG500x500

Good Morning Girls!  We are reading through the Bible, one chapter a day, cover to cover.

This week we completed the book of Esther and 1 Peter!  Way to go!

finished collage

Here is this WEEK’s Reading Plan {09.14.14}:

SeptWeekThree[1]

 This is a free printable – click here to print it.

Here is this MONTH’S Reading Plan {September}:

SeptReadPlan[1]

This is a free printable – click here to print it.

 Here are the free eWorkbooks for this month:

Esther  - Short eWorkbook
Esther – Long eWorkbook

I Peter – Short eWorkbook
I Peter – Long eWorkbook

II Peter – Short eWorkbook
II Peter – Long eWorkbook

I John – Short eWorkbook
I John Long eWorkbook

II John – Short eWorkbook
II John – Long eWorkbook

III John – Short eWorkbook
III John – Long eWorkbook

Jude – Short eWorkbook
Jude – Long eWorkbook

Psalm 1-30 – Short eWorkbook
Psalm 1-30 – Long eWorkbook

The SOAP method of study is explained in the workbooks.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE ARE NO ASSIGNED PASSAGES TO SOAP – PLEASE FOLLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT’S LEADING AND DO WHAT TIME ALLOWS.

Some may NOT want to SOAP at all – simply work on the daily discipline of being in God’s word.  

Some may want to SOAP 1 or 2 verses, others may want to do 5-10, still others may want to write out the entire chapter.  Do whatever time allows you in this season of life.

Grace. ;)

The short eWorkbook has one worksheet a day for journaling your thoughts.

The long eWorkbook has 4 worksheets a day for those who like to write more or do extra research.

You do not have to use a workbook at all though. You can simply follow along just reading one chapter a day.

Below is the free printable of every book and chapter of the Bible to mark off as you complete your reading. You will want to print this and save it somewhere near your Bible (or in it). We will be flipping back and forth between the Old and New Testament, so you will want to keep track of what you have completed in case you need to take a break and return.

reading through the Bible Graphic

Click here to print the

“Reading Through the Bible with Good Morning Girls” Plan.

 5 International Translations

Spanish Translators: Beth Vollmer Chagas & Julie Chagas

2 Peter – Spanish Short eWorkbook
2 Peter – Spanish Long eWorkbook

1 John - Spanish Short eWorkbook
1 John – Spanish Long eWorkbook

Portuguese  Translators: Beth Vollmer Chagas & Julie Chagas

2 Peter – Portuguese Short eWorkbook
2 Peter – Portuguese Long eWorkbook

1 John –  Portuguese Short eWorkbook
1 John – Portuguese Long eWorkbook

German Translator: Petra Rushing

2 Peter – German Short eWorkbook
2 Peter – German Long eWorkbook

1 John – German Short eWorkbook
1 John – German Long eWorkbook

Croatian Translator: Rosilind Jukic at http://dobrojutrodjevojke.blogspot.com

2 Peter – Croatian Long eWorkbook

1 John – Croatian Long eWorkbook

Dutch Translator: Eve Jansen at  http://www.lookaroundthecorner1.blogspot.com    

2 Peter – Dutch Short eWorkbook

1 John – Dutch Short eWorkbook

Are you a blogger?

Friday’s post will include a video and a link-up for bloggers who are blogging through the Bible or writing about their morning quiet times.  Simply use this graphic in your post  (right click – save as) and link it back to GoodMorningGirls.org then link up with us on Friday!

Blogging through bible with GMG button

Are you wondering what we’ll be reading next? In the months of October and November we’ll be reading…

Genesis!

I’ll see you back here this Wednesday with a discussion of this week’s reading.

Have a great week as you walk with the King!

Courtney

**Special Announcement: I have started a new Good Morning Girls Facebook Page.  I hope you will join me there today!

A Steady Diet of Beauty Magazines Will Starve Your Soul {I Peter 3}

woman lying on couch and reading magazine at home

Today we are in 1 Peter 3 and these verses are not easy to tackle.

1 Peter 3:1 and 2 says:

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”

First we see that Peter is speaking to wives – that’s us!

Do any among us have a non-Christian husband or a husband, who is not obeying God’s word?   How do these verses say we will win them?

The answer…without a word.

Notice this does not say, by how many Bible studies we attend, how many meals we cook for the sick, how many Christian books we read, by the Christian music we listen to or by pointing out our husband’s flaws.

A husband is won…

without a word.

Simply by our submission…respect and purity.

1 Peter 1 continues in verses 3 and 4:

3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but 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.

In this passage the word adorning is also translated as beauty.

Does this passage forbid the braiding of hair or gold jewelry?  No! Thank goodness because I love braiding my hair and my daughter’s hair ;) and if you’ve seen my videos, you know this girlfriend likes some big earrings, right? Lol!

This passage says our focus should not be the same as the world’s. The world sells beauty as the pinnacle of achievements for women.  Every magazine in the grocery store is graced with a cover of a gorgeous woman and then 10 tips on how to apply eye shadow, 4 tips on how to diet, 5 tips on the newest fashion trends and so on.

A steady diet of beauty magazines will starve your soul.

It is a woman’s “fear of God” that will lead her to pursue what is precious in God’s sight – - – a gentle and quiet spirit.

I remember when I first discovered these verses in high school.  I was mortified!  Did this mean I had to stop laughing so loud and become introverted?  I was anything but a quiet girl.  How could I become what was precious in God’s sight?

After talking this over with my mother, I learned that this was not about my personality! Thank goodness!

This passage is referring to an inner peace, calm and strength that comes from a deep trust and faith in God.  A woman with a gentle and quiet spirit will be meek. She will deal lovingly and gently with others. She will not be consumed with worry but have a quietness and peace in her soul that draws others to Christ in her.

1 Peter 3:5-7 says this:

5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”  7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Oh boy, the difficulty of this passage continues.  Stick with me here.

We need a little background about Sarah to understand what she did that was so exquisite.

In Genesis 12:1-20 we see that Sarah was beautiful externally and Abraham was fearful that the Egyptians would kill him to steal his wife. So he asked her to…stretch the truth… and say she was his sister. Truthfully, she was his half-sister.  See what happened below:

10Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

14When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.

17But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.”

In 1 Peter 3 we see Sarah being praised not because she was externally beautiful but because she trusted God and obeyed her husband in a dangerous situation rather than giving way to fear.

Now – hold on to your hat because this gets even more interesting… this scenario repeats itself again in Genesis 20 when King Abimelech sees Sarah’s beauty and once again, Abraham tells her to call herself his sister. She is taken as King Abimelech’s wife and then later she is released after the King has a dream from God that he should not have her as his wife!

Seriously!  Abraham – what are you doing? Why was he not trusting God? He was giving into fear! But Sarah – was as cool as a cucumber. She submitted to her husband, trusted in God and God protected her.

Sarah was clearly beautiful on the outside – possibly she was as beautiful as Queen Esther…since both a Pharaoh and King pursued Sarah’s hand in marriage the moment they laid eyes on her.

But it’s not Sarah’s external beauty we read about in 1 Peter 3 – it’s her inner beauty.  A beauty God admires and a beauty God has called us to.

You won’t read about having a gentle and quiet spirit in the beauty magazines being sold at your local grocery store.  But as we read through the Bible cover to cover, God will transform all of us from the inside out as we lay down our ugly sin filled hearts at the foot of the cross and exchange them for what is precious in God’s sight.

Today we have a choice – what will we pursue? A steady diet of the world’s beauty secrets or a steady feast of the living bread.

Let’s look at beauty from God’s perspective.

Let’s examine ourselves according to this passage and see where we are lacking.

Let’s ask God today to help us make changes in areas where we are lacking.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Looking for the GMG resources for this month? –> click here. 

 

**Chime In:

Why do you think 1 Peter 3 is such a hard teaching for women of our day?

Do you struggle with having a gentle and quiet spirit? What gets in the way?

How does your husband respond when you display this kind of living?

What else is God teaching you this week through your study in 1 Peter?

 

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



Are You a God-Fearing Woman? {1 Peter 1}

finished Esther

If you completed the book of Esther with us- Congrats!
That’s one book down and 65 left to go!
Be sure to mark it off on your “GMG Reading Through the Bible” Plan!

Here is this week’s reading plan:

reading plan for the week

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

Beautiful woman in red dress standing on the stone and pray

Today we begin the book of 1 Peter.  If you are new here – we are simply reading one chapter a day.

As we dig into 1 Peter, I marvel at the author of this book.  Peter  intimately knew our beloved Jesus!  He walked on the water and was there the night the soldiers came to take Jesus away.  Peter denied Christ 3 times BUT he also boldly preached Christ name to thousands in Acts and ultimately died a martyrs death, crucified upside down.

I wish we could discuss every part of this book because there  is SO much meat – simply just in the first chapter.  Immediately we see deep doctrines mentioned such as election, foreknowledge, the trinity (verse 2), sanctification, grace, peace, mercy, faith, joy, the gospel, angels and holiness.

But today I’ve chosen to focus specifically on 1 Peter 1:17-21.  It says:

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. (niv)

It is because of the blood of the lamb that we have faith and hope in God.  All penalties for our sins were paid for at the cross but God has called us to holiness.  1 Peter 1:16 says “Be holy because I am holy”.

Sometimes we are tempted to return to our old way of life but as verse 18 identifies, our old way was –the empty way.

But what is the new way?

The new way is…

holiness and living in reverent fear of our Almighty God.

Are you a God-Fearing Woman?

I’ve been told by many women over the years, the reason they miss their quiet times is because they are simply “too busy”...

I believe it goes a bit deeper than that.  May I suggest that perhaps we don’t comprehend how HUGE our Majestic God truly is?  Perhaps we need to fear God a bit more in a culture where fear is frowned upon.  “No Fear” is a mantra we hear so often that maybe…just maybe…we need someone to pause and say to us…

Oh yes – we must have a healthy fear of God.

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.~ Ecclesiastes 12:13

 Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! ~ Deuteronomy 5:29

Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! ~ Psalm 112:1

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~ Proverbs 1:7

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. ~ Matthew 10:28

In today’s video, I explore the fear of God a bit deeper and explain how I believe it will transform your daily time in God’s Word.

(if you can’t see this video – click here to play it)

John saw God in Revelation 1:12-19 and here is how he described Him:

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.

When we see the Lord Almighty as He is – we will not be able to keep away from the word – we will run to Him in the morning!

Are you a God-Fearing woman?

This fear should not cause anxiety but rather security.  You are a child of the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, therefore rejoice and pursue holiness today!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime In:  Who do you think wants us to not fear God?  Why do you think we focus more today in our churches, on the love of God rather than the fear of God?  How can you live out the fear of God in your life this week?

What else did you learn from your quiet time in 1 Peter today?

And in case you missed the Big News! Good Morning Girls has a new Facebook page! I will begin posting verses that correlate with our “Reading Through the Bible” plans Wednesday morning! Come join us!