Women At the Well Ministries

A ministry to women who suffer with mental and emotional problems

Before You Begin Your Quiet Time Study

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"  ~ Psalm 46:10 ~ (NKJV)

This Quiet Time page is a place where you can go to be alone with the Lord. This is your personal devotional time.

Before you begin this Quiet Time Study, ask the Lord to quiet you with His love.  Ask Him to remove all distractions from your mind that might hinder this precious time that you are going to be spending with Him.  Thank Him for His tenderness and His loving care in bringing you here for this time with Him. Ask the Lord to speak to you through the Holy Spirit.

This time has been reserved for you to sit alone with Jesus and reflect on your personal relationship with Him. Write a prayer asking the Lord to open your mind and heart to receive all that He would say to you. 

Thinking on God’s Truths - Part 4

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.   ~ Philippians 4:8 ~

In Part 3 we took a closer look at the 8 conditions that make up our biblical thinking as mentioned in verse Philippians 4:8:  Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Since we are striving to attain these characteristics, it makes sense to hold on to the One who has all of these characteristics by His very nature – Jesus! From Part 3 do you remember ‘how’ to hold on to Jesus? By quoting your favorite Scriptures; remembering and thanking God for His goodness, patience, mercy, grace and love toward you, and by thinking on other heavenly things as mentioned below.

Since we cannot prevent negative, ugly thoughts from entering our mind, and focusing on them, we can focus on the attributes of God, the words and life of Jesus; Scriptures the Lord has placed in our heart, and numerous other things relative to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and/or His Word (including worship and praise). Allow these things to take the place of those thoughts. I can’t repeat this enough because it’s not normal for us to NOT think about those negative thoughts. We want to find a solution for them. That’s the control in us that needs to be given to the Lord.

Read Philippians 4:8-9

Remember, focusing on the things in verse 8 will take much practice (verse 9). You will have to be deliberately conscience about focusing on them, perhaps multiple times in 1 day, 1 hour or moment by moment. We are way too lazy, too stressed, too impatient and too busy to want to do this. It’s hard! It’s natural to take charge of every aspect of our life, including all of our thoughts – good and bad. But if you want the principles, which are laid down in Philippians 4:6-9, to be effective, you ‘must’ apply them to your daily life.

One of the Hebrew words for praise is yadah (yaw-daw'), meaning to make confession; to give thanks. The compatible word in the Greek is homologeo (hom-ol-og-eh'-o), meaning the same thing; confession is made; give thanks, as in:

I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.  ~ Psalm 7:17 ~

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.  ~ Hebrew 13:15 ~

In 1John 4:15 our English word ‘confess’ is the same Greek word homologeo.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.  ~ 1 John 4:15 ~

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  ~ Matthew 10:32 ~

Let’s review specific heavenly things we can focus or refocus on:

First – focus on the things of God

        o     Meditate on the person of God and His attributes: Do a study on the Names of God.

        o     His goodness and grace: Exodus 34:6; 2Samuel 7:28; Romans 2:4; 2Thessalonians 1:11.

        o     His protection for you: Psalms 146:9; Genesis 22:8; Matthew 19:26; Proverbs 3:5-6.

        o     His grace to you as His child: John 1:14, 16; Acts 20:32; Romans 3:23-24; Ephesians 1:3-6.

        o     Think about the many promises of God. 1John 1:7; Psalm 32:7; Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 119:114; Isaiah 42:16; Psalm 27:5.

Second – focus on His Son, Jesus Christ

        o     Think about the prophecies and plan of God pointing to Jesus’ appearance.  Especially in the Old Testament. Isaiah 53; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 9:24; Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 42:1.

        o     Look up the Gospel accounts of the life of Christ -- from His nativity to His death, resurrection and ascension. Specifically in the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew 1; Mark 1; Luke 1:26-56; John 1.

Third – focus on the Holy Spirit and the teachings in the Word

        o     Read your Bible daily.

        o     Pray (without ceasing) – having an attitude of prayer.

        o     Make sure you have a quiet time with the Lord.

        o     Wait quietly for the Lord to speak to your heart. Don’t just jump up from prayer.

        o     Read a Proverb a day.  There are 31- one for each day of the month.

        o     Sing songs of praise from the psalms.

        o     Play worship music.

Get your mind filled with the things of God; His Son, Jesus; His Word. That’s how you can protect your thoughts from further pollution when those fiery darts of doubt, condemnation (condemnation is from Satan; conviction is from God), despair, misery, discouragement or depression, attack your mind.

And finally…

Verse 9

New King James Version (NKJV)

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

            Learn – to acquire knowledge of a subject or skill through education or experience.

            Receive – to take or accept something given.

            Hear – to understand fully by listening attentively.

            See – to examine, look at or watch somebody or something using the eyes.

            Practice – to do something repeatedly in order to improve performance in; to do something as an established custom or habit.

Look at the different versions of Philippians 4:9:

King James Version (KJV)

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

New International Version (NIV)

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Bible in Basic English (BBE)

The things which came to you by my teaching and preaching, and which you saw in me, these things do, and the God of peace will be with you.  

Today’s English Version

Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.

The Greek word for practice is prassw  prasso (pras'-so), perform repeatedly or consistently.

As Paul exhorts the disciples to be doers of what they learned, received, heard and seen in him, I exhort you to put into practice, on a daily basis, the things you have learned concerning focusing and refocusing. Practice until they become a part of who you are.

Are you ready to give up control to Jesus and submit every thought and action to Him…no matter how much your flesh fights back?

Selah (Pause, rest)

Read John 9:2-3

The Lord looks at the intent in our heart (Hebrews 4:12). As we can see in John 9:2-3, the Lord is more interested in your spiritual sickness than your physical sickness. As painful as it is to accept, there may be times when He allows you to continue to have physical ailments in order that your spiritual life is healed.

1.     In verse 3 of John 9, what do you suppose Jesus meant when He said "but that the works of God should be revealed in him”?

Read Psalm 107:19-20

2.     What are some of the ways God promises to heal you?

Read Exodus 15:26

3.     Learning the truth about what is in your heart from harmful experiences can be very painful.  However…

        a.     Are you willing, whatever the cost, to allow the Lord to reveal these hurtful experiences to you in order that you will “give them to God” once and for all?

 

Read Romans 8:18 and 2 Corinthians 4:17

4.     How does the suffering that Christ went through compare to the suffering that you may be going through now?

 

Read Matthew 9:9-13

5.     What areas of your life are still in need of Christ’s healing touch?

 

6.     Only God, through Jesus Christ His Son, can heal a sick and hurting heart completely.  Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).  Search your heart and invite Jesus into the dark, private and often painful recesses of your heart.  Ask Him to reveal, “…if there is any wicked way in…” your heart (Psalm 139:24).  How is He speaking to you in this matter?

 

Read Lamentations 3:40-41

7.     What are we to do with the painful hurts in our life?

 

Read Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8

Scripture tells us that God never changes. 

8.     From the Scriptures below write down the characteristics of God that never change?

        a.     Numbers 23:19 -

        b.     Lamentations 3:22-23 -

        c.     Psalm 18:50 -

        d.     2 Peter 3:9 -

9.     From the list above, which Scripture(s) minister to you the most?  Why?

 

Read John 3:19-20

10.   Keep going in your openness with God - no more hiding, faking, stuffing or minimizing.  After going this far in the study, can you say that there are still things in your heart you know God does not want there?  If so, give details? 

 

Read Psalm 44:20-21

11.   We all have or have had secrets in our lives, whether big or small, good or bad.  Ask the Lord to reveal any secret things that are still hidden in your heart that are causing bitterness, anger, grief, envy, jealousy, pride, etc.  Write them here:

 

Read John 15:20-21

Not everything the Lord asks of us is easy.  Our flesh wants to rule and be comfortable.  We want what we want!  When we want it!  And how we want it! 

 

12.   Is the Lord asking you to do a specific thing His way and you’re resisting?  Even if it’s uncomfortable, are you willing to let God have His way? 

        a.     If you are, why are you resisting?

 

13.   What is He asking you to do His way, and are you ready to submit to His will and His way? If so, you’re on your way to a healed heart. Maybe you’re already there…

 

Thinking on God’s Truths - Part 3

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.  ~ Philippians 4:8-9 ~ 

How do we give our worries to God, and not take them back? How can I practically cast my cares at His feet?Can I literally give something to God?

It all has to do with focusing and re-focusing. But not just on anything like sweet smelling babies, or long strolls on the beach, watching the fall colors on the trees, or thinking on that wonderful vacation, a great husband, a loving family or any of those things. They are nice to think on, but they aren’t working on eternal rewards and everlasting peace and joy. In other words they act on a temporary basis. What you and I need is something that will really last and work. Something guaranteed. It’s not what but “Who” we focus and re-focus on.

The things of God; the way of Christ; the teachings of the Word; these are the things that are eternal and effective in battling the enemy in our mind. When those ugly, negative thoughts come charging into your thought process, focus on these three things; God, Christ, His Son and the Spirit through the Word.

This sounds so simple, yet for some of you this will probably be the single most difficult thing you will do in your Christian walk with the Lord.

Pay Attention: We can’t prevent the negative thoughts from coming, but we do have a choice as to what we do with them when they do come. Before those negative thoughts come we must have a plan. If you wait until the thoughts come, it’s too late. They will already have a hold on you. You will ponder them, mull over them and try to take control of them. Gotcha! Says the enemy. It’s impossible to think on 2 things simultaneously. That means you cannot think on ugly thoughts (worldly things) and the Father, Son and/or Holy Spirit (heavenly things) at the exact same time. Try it! You can’t do it!

Read Philippians 4:8

Let’s take a closer look at verse 8 (NKJV): There are 8 conditions that make up our biblical thinking:

1.     True – (Greek, alethes, pronounced al-ay-thace'); as not concealing; also the gospel-truth.  All that is agreeable to unchangeable and eternal truth.

2.     Noble/honest – (Greek, semnos, sem-nos'); dignified, honorable, worthy of respect. Whatever becomes you as women, as citizens, and as Christians.

3.     Just/right - (Greek, dikaios, dik'-ah-yos); innocent; holy.  All that you owe to God, to your neighbor, and to yourselves.

4.     Pure/holy - (Greek, hagnos, hag-nos'); morally undefiled; innocent, modest.  In reference to the state of the mind, and to the acts of the body.

5.     Lovely - (Greek, prosphiles, pros-fee-lace'); Whatever is agreeable on its own account and on account of its usefulness to others, whether in your conduct or conversation.

6.     Good report/admirable - (Greek, euphemos, yoo'-fay-mos); something fit for God to hear.  Whatever things the public agree to acknowledge as useful and profitable to mankind.

7.     Virtue/excellent - (Greek, arete, ar-et'-ay); If it promotes the general good of mankind.

8.     Praiseworthy/praise - (Greek, epainos, ep'-ahee-nos); high praise, glorification; anything that calls down God’s approval and worthy of praise (admire; commend; pay tribute to).

Every single time a negative, hurtful thought comes into your mind, instead of entertaining it, i-m-m-e-d-i-a-t-e-l-y REPLACE THOSE THOUGHTS WITH ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:

First – focus on the things of God

        o     Meditate on the person of God and His attributes: Do a study on the Names of God.

        o     His goodness and grace: Exodus 34:6; 2Samuel 7:28; Romans 2:4; 2Thessalonians 1:11.

        o     His protection for you: Psalms 146:9; Genesis 22:8; Matthew 19:26; Proverbs 3:5-6.

        o     His grace to you as His child: John 1:14, 16; Acts 20:32; Romans 3:23-24; Ephesians 1:3-6.

        o     Think about the many promises of God. 1 John 1:7; Psalm 32:7; Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 119:114; Isaiah 42:16; Psalm 27:5.

Second – focus on His Son, Jesus Christ

        o     Think about the prophecies and plan of God pointing to Jesus’ appearance.  Especially in the Old Testament. Isaiah 53; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 9:24; Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 42:1.

        o     Look up the Gospel accounts of the life of Christ -- from His nativity to His death, resurrection and ascension. Specifically in the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew 1; Mark 1; Luke 1:26-56; John 1.

Third – focus on the Holy Spirit and the teachings in the Word

        o     Read your Bible daily.

        o     Pray (without ceasing) – having an attitude of prayer.

        o     Make sure you have a quiet time with the Lord.

        o     Wait quietly for the Lord to speak to your heart. Don’t just jump up from prayer.

        o     Read a Proverb a day.  There are 31- one for each day of the month.

        o     Sing songs of praise from the psalms.

        o     Play worship music.


 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  ~ Hebrews 4:12 ~

Selah

Read Philippians 4:8-9

1.     When we are thinking in accordance with verse 8, who should be Lord over our thoughts?

 

2.     Philippians 4:4-9 are great Scriptures for our mental health.  We are commanded in these verses to rejoice and to be thankful.  In verse 6 we’ve learned God’s way for us to deal with anxiety is to – pray with grateful language! 

 

        a.     Why are we to think on such things (Proverbs 23:7a)? 

 

        b.     Read the following Scriptures and explain in your own words how your thinking affects your attitude and actions:

 

                i.     Proverbs 12:2 -

 

                ii.     Esther 9:25 -

 

               iii.     Ecclesiastes 7:29 -

 

3.     Remember:  We can’t stop the ugly thoughts that come, but when they do come and seem to be controlling you, what can you do to change them?  Ask the Lord to help you remember and retain what you have learned so far.  Then write as many ways as you can think of (Philippians 4:8).

 

Read Isaiah 26:3

4.     Meditate on this verse.  Look up the words “stayed/steadfast” in a dictionary and write the definition here:

 

        a.     What does Isaiah 26:3 teach us about our thinking?

 

 

5.     Philippians 4:9 concludes Paul’s exhortation to the believers at Philippi.  To receive the promise of verse 9b, what 4 things must the believer do?

        a.              

        b.             

        c.              

        d.             

 

Re-read Philippians 4:6-9

6.     Why is this necessary to experience God’s peace?

 

Read Ephesians 1:18

7.     What struggle or struggles are in your heart that you would like to see replaced with His Light?  Be specific.

 

8.     According to Ephesians 1:18, how can you use your past to glorify the Lord as Paul did and not give Satan power over you?

 

Read Jeremiah 29:11-14

9.     What plans does the Lord have for your life? 

 

        a.     What desires has the Lord placed in your heart?  Write them all out here:

 

10.   What 3 things can you do as a result of believing in your heart that God has a future for you?

        a.              

        b.             

        c.              

 

Think On God’s Truths - Part 2

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.  ~ Philippians 4:8 ~

Do you want to know how to conquer those ugly thoughts from the past? Pay attention to this lesson and the previous lesson, and then look for the next lesson to come. But you've got to put into action what you learn.

Our thought life is vital to our finding peace! What we think and how we react or respond to those thoughts affect our overall life. Verse 8 gives us the ingredients that should make up the content of our thoughts. So much of our Christian walk involves the mind. The Bible is full of verses about the mind:

Romans 12:2 speaks of a renovation of the mind and the essential place of being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

2 Corinthians 10:5 speaks of the importance of casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Isaiah 26:3 speaks of God’s promise and will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (to lean upon or take hold of) on You, because he trusts in You.

Psalm 51:10 should be our hearts cry to Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew (rebuild and/or repair) a steadfast spirit within me.

What we choose to meditate (ponder/focus/mull over) on matters. What Paul describes here in verse 8 is a practical way to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The conscious human mind is always thinking about something! Think on something often enough and it’s going to become very difficult to stop thinking about it.

Our thoughts direct us. The devil wants to fill our minds with confusion, fear, impure thoughts and mostly unbelief. There is a war raging and that war is for control of our mind. Apart from the devil trying to steal control of our mind, let’s look at 2 areas where we can fall ‘prey’ to the wiles of the enemy:

The first area is called Outside Pollution. These are the things that cause pollution outside of self. Things like the internet, television, worldly friends (this includes carnal Christians as well as the unsaved), ungodly up-bringing, work environment, school, and yes, even some things that happen within the church, i.e., gossip, etc.  

Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."  ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33 ~

You can see by this verse that we need to consider our circle of friends. The Bible also tells us to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).  That means to hold oneself off and away from all, any and every form, appearance, fashion, shape and sight of hurtful, evil influence. Did you get all of that? Does this mean we need to throw out the TV, cancel the internet, and get new friends, change jobs and school? Well, for some of us it may take such drastic measures, but for most of us that means we need to be careful what we watch and who and what we listen to. Because what we watch and listen to is not only stored in our mind but also stored in our heart. If you think the things you watch and listen to won’t affect you, read the words of Jesus, keeping in mind that leaven in the Bible represents sin:

…Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  ~ 1 Corinthians 5:6-7 ~ 

Ask yourself this when you’re watching TV, at the movies, engaging in conversation at work, school, church, home or with friends, “Do I want Jesus to be here with me watching and listening to this?”

The second area is called Inside Pollution. These are the things that cause pollution inside of self. They would be the negative thoughts that we choose, yes choose, to mull over and over in our mind. The only way we can put away these things is to keep them from entering and lingering in our heart.

**We cannot prevent the negative thoughts from coming, but we do have a choice as to what we will do with them when they do come**

That’s when we must choose to refocus our thoughts on the things of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and other heavenly thoughts. But we must make the decision to do this refocusing before those negative thoughts come. If you wait until the thoughts come and then think about refocusing, it’s too late. By that time we will be in a panic, anxious, confused and saddened and caught in the vice of the enemy. Thoughts of bitterness, resentment and discontentment, fear and wanting to control the situation must be brought under the obedience of Christ.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.            ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ~

 But how do I bring those thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ?

Pay attention: It is impossible to think upon 2 things simultaneously (at exactly the same time). Try it! You can’t do it! We can oscillate (move back and forth) between the 2 thoughts, but we cannot focus on them at exactly the same time. Since we can’t think on 2 things at exactly the same time, we have a choice as to which we will think on – the ugly thoughts coming in my mind or switch (refocus) and think on something or someone else.

Do you want to focus on those negative thoughts or do you want to focus on THE ONE who says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5)?

When those thoughts come turn your focus on the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, His Word instead of choosing to mull over and over those negative, ugly thoughts.

So, let’s re-cap:

Have a plan b-e-f-o-r-e those ugly thoughts come. That plan is, “I will focus on Jesus, the Father, things of heaven, sing worship songs, read the Word, quote Scripture (out loud if necessary), call a prayer partner or someone I can trust with my emotions or focus on those Scriptures that have brought me comfort in the past. I will make this decision before those thoughts come.”

Selah

Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Making my thoughts subject to Jesus Chris - Salvation is based on relational and personal knowledge of God, which comes through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Not on hidden or philosophical knowledge.

1.     What are the weapons that 2 Corinthians 10:4 refers to?

 

2.     From the following Scriptures, how can you bring every thought into captivity and make it obedient to Christ?

        a.     Philippians 4:8:

        b.     Deuteronomy 15:9:

        c.     1 Thessalonians 5:21:

3.     What does 2 Corinthians 10:5 say you need to do with your thoughts in order to be obedient to Christ?

 

Read Ephesians 4:22-24

4.     What do we need to do in order to think right?

 

5.     What are we to lay aside, and what are we to renew?

 

6.     Realizing what we introduce in our minds we produce in our thinking and behavior, how should this verse be applied to our…

        a.     Internet viewing –

        b.     TV viewing  -

        c.     Movies we watch  -

        d.     Books and magazines we read -

        e.     Conversations we have -

 

Read Job 12:22

7.     List 5 things you are thankful for:

        a.              

        b.             

        c.              

        d.             

        e.              

 

Think On God's Truths - Part 1
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.                                 ~ Philippians 4:6-7 ~ NKJV

This study may look familiar to some of you, as it is part of lesson 7 of Women at the Well Bible study. It never hurts to review, right? Sometimes we need to be reminded daily on those thoughts we should have as opposed to the ones we do have.

Look at the many different dictionary definitions of anxiety/anxious/anxiousness:

o        Worried because something bad might happen.

o        Wanting something, especially when this makes you nervous, excited, or impatient.

o        Concern respecting something future or uncertain which disturbs the mind and keeps it in a state of painful uneasiness.

o        Feeling of worry–worry implies persistent doubt; uneasiness; nervousness or agitation (often about something that is going to happen). Fear that produces strong mental agitation.

o        Strong wish to do something (especially if the wish is unnecessarily or unhealthily strong).

o        Extreme apprehension.

o        Strained about some uncertain event or matter.

o        A state of restlessness and agitation, often with general reluctance or unwillingness to do something.

o        Feelings of fear and concern detached from objective sources.

o        Mental oppression of varying degree arising from heavy responsibilities. 

 **Anxiousness is a mental tension that is found in most forms of mental disorder**

Verse 6 describes our communion with God. Prayer is not a monologue; it is a dialogue. And it is important that we wait for God to speak to our heart, as well as to speak to Him. I must listen for Him to speak, laying my heart out before Him, waiting on Him, worshiping Him, loving Him. These are all part of prayer. But I’ve got to know His voice in order to hear and heed it. I’ve got to be in His Word consistently to know Him and what to expect from Him and know what He expects of me. We must spend time with our best friend to know her. We must spend time with God to know Him.

“…let your request be made known…” Doesn’t God already know our requests before we pray them? Of course He does; yet He will often wait for our participation through prayer before granting our request.

“…with thanksgiving…” This cautions against a whining, complaining spirit before God when we let our requests be made known. We really can be anxious for nothing, pray about everything, and be thankful for anything.

When we come to the Lord to seek communion there is an order that Paul shows us:

Don’t be anxious

Communicate with God

Be direct with humility and sincerity

Be thankful

Let God know what you want

And the results…“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Stand guard over your heart and mind by means of Jesus Christ is a first-century term for high security, denoting to set a watch, post spies at gates and keep securely locked. Wow!!

Through prayer, experience God’s peace that surpasses all understanding!

This peace is not senseless, but goes beyond our ability to understand and explain - therefore it must be experienced. This peace doesn’t just surpass the understanding of the worldly person; it surpasses all understanding. Even the godly person can’t comprehend this peace.

When people seem to “lose” their heart or mind, it often is connected to an absence of the peace of God in their life. The peace of God then does not act as a guard for their hearts and minds.

Selah

1.      Worry and anxiety are miserable companions, but the Lord gives us the method to deal with them in Philippians, chapter 4.  Read it slowly and thoughtfully.  How do you usually handle worry and anxiety?  What does verse 6 and 7 say happens that releases us from anxiety when we pray?

2.      In your own words record what Philippians 4:6 says about the following:

         a.     Nothing –

         b.     Everything -

         c.     Thanksgiving –

3.      Look up the definitions of anxiety and concern on pages 44-45 (Lesson 7 Outline) and write here their differences.  Give an example of each in a sentence:

         a.     Anxiety –

         b.     Concern -

4.      According to 1Peter 5:7, what are we doing when we choose to pray instead of being full of anxiety (overly concerned about something or someone)? 

         a.     Why on Him?  (1 Peter 5:7b)

         b.     What do these Scriptures say about the Lord caring for us?

                 i      Psalm 34:4 –

                 ii     Psalm 55:22 –

                 iii    Psalm 116:1-8 –

5.      We all want our faith and trust in the Lord to grow.  These are some verses that can help in this sometimes trying area.  Beside each verse write the promise or instruction given:

         a.     Isaiah 26:3 -

         b.     Isaiah 41:10 –

         c.     Isaiah 43:1-2 -

         d.     Matthew 6:25-34 -

         e.     Romans 4:20-21:

         f.      Hebrews 13:5-6:

6.      What should our prayers and requests be accompanied with (Philippians 4:6)?

7.      Describe the last time you felt an inexpressible joy.  Give details.  Ask the Lord to bring this to your remembrance if you’re having difficulty remembering.

8.      In light of the great promise in verse 7, what still hinders you from taking all of your anxieties to God in prayer?

 

He Who Has Begun a Good Work

 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ:  ~ Philippians 1:6 ~

This is such a profound promise from God. The next time you read this verse, after today of course, think about what it is saying. Like so much of Scripture, we have the tendency to quickly read over verses that the Lord wants us to stop and meditate on; think about. Mostly noted in the Psalms, and 3 in Habakkuk chapter 3, you will find the word Selah placed at the end of certain verses. That’s put there to remind us to pause. Since much of the psalms were put to music, the Selah is put there for suspension of music; again – pause:

Selah <hlo> celah, (pronounced seh'-law); of Hebrew origin; suspension of music, pause.

The word Selah is not in the New Testament because it is a Hebrew word. But, nevertheless, aren’t there a lot of verses you think the Lord would want us to stop and pause. I believe this should be one of those verses here in Philippians 1:6. Let’s take a closer look at this verse:

To begin with Paul expresses his confidence in God’s ability to complete that work. In other words Paul is fully and firmly persuaded or convinced that God will do what He says He will do, and that is to finish what He has started. Does God lie? Has God ever failed you? Has He ever taken back a promise?

Next, who has begun a good work? – That’s right, God! God sent Paul to the Philippians with the Gospel, just as God brought the Gospel to you and me. No, unfortunately Paul didn’t bring it, but we have it through the written Word.

Paul is convinced that God will uphold the work of God; the work of Christ by His grace. This work certainly was not by their own will. It was on the fact that it was begun by God, and that it would be permanent. Would you and I have the conviction of God to start such a good work? No, because nothing that we do today can we say with certainty that we will continue to do the same thing tomorrow. If the determination of the Christian depended entirely on the Christian, there could be no sure evidence that he would ever reach heaven. In other words, if I tell you that I know without a doubt you will go to heaven, but I don’t have any evidence other than this is what I think because you’re a nice person, do you think you would go to heaven, just because I say so?

Let’s stop and look at this good work Paul mentions – For that we have to back up to verse 5:

Philippians 1:5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,

The good work is the fellowship in the gospel. The word fellowship <koinwnia> is a Greek word koinonia (pronounced koy-nohn-ee'-ah); it is a very intimate gathering of believers. It’s the idea that the Philippians “partnered” with Paul in his spreading of the Gospel through their friendship and financial support. They didn’t wait to see if Paul was a “winner” before they supported him. They got behind Paul and his ministry early.

We can continue our part in this good work of the Gospel through fellowship with other believers, financial support of missionaries, our home church and other ministries. We can also be part of this good work by giving of our time and energy. A simple smile, or “Jesus loves you” at the grocery store is considered doing our part in this good work that God has started, and sharing the Gospel by word and by the way we live our lives.

As we continue in obedience to God’s Word, then God will absolutely be faithful in seeing us through, carrying us and being with us all the way to when we see Him face-to-face in eternity.

This brings us to the word complete (your translation may have completion, perform or perfect). The Greek is <epitelew> epiteleo, (pronounced ep-ee-tel-eh'-o); to fulfill further, execute, accomplish or finish.

Unlike you and I, God will not leave unfinished this great work of partnering in the Gospel with His Son. He would not start it and then abandoned. He will not love you and then abandon you. The believer has now been justified (made innocent), and sanctified (made holy) by the blood of Christ. Only God, through Christ His Son can do this for us.

When is the day of Jesus Christ – It is the day that we are called to His presence, to His Kingdom and glory. Now, we have everything we need (we are complete) in Him. Then, we will be perfected in Him.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  ~ Philippians 3:12 ~ NKJV 

With all the revelation that we have, with our limited powers to reason, we can at best know only a part.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  ~ 1 Corinthians 13:12 ~ NKJV 

In the glorified body we will not have to learn from secondary sources, such as from pastors, dreams and revelations, but we will know directly from God, because we will be face to face with Him.

Blessed be God, the work of grace is in the hands of One who never leaves His work unfinished.

Who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  ~ 1 Corinthians 1:8 ~ NKJV

Selah

1.      What does my prayer time look like?

2.      What does my personal devotion time look like?

3.      Do I wait to hear from the Lord after I’ve read Scripture?

4.      Is my confidence in God’s ability to complete the work in me, or am I fearful He will abandon me before the work is done?

5.      Do I try to control situations that I don’t understand?

6.      What is the good work in Philippians 1:6?

7.      How is my fellowship with other believers? Am I avoiding that fellowship?

8.      What do I need to do in order to continue my part in this good work of the Gospel?

9.      What area or areas of obedience do I need to work on?

10.    Is there something I should be doing that God has said in His Word?

 

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