Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Philippians 3:7-14 April 27, 2010

Filed under: Philippians — womenembracingfaith @ 3:08 pm
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“…and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own…

Paul explained what it means to be “in Christ” in another letter.  Here his emphasis is on our applying the righteousness of Christ to our daily lives–that “righteousness from God that depends on faith–” (3:11).  When we sin, and the guilt causes us to despair, we are to remember we are clothed in this perfectness, this life of the Lord Jesus who never sinned.  Practicing this enables us to passionately pursue our goal of knowing God and experiencing his power. 

Then, we can follow Jesus’s example, as well as, put off our own sinful desires, and our selfishness, and put on love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering….. 

“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immortality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealously.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). 

Paul even encouraged them to look at his example of how to live this out. He knew he was not perfect; his only perfectness was found “in Christ.”  God declared Paul righteous. It depended on his faith–the gift of God.  He kept his eyes on his goal of knowing God, and he insisted this was the only way: to be “in Christ.” 

I used to have a sign on my podium reading “Follow me to the library.”  The senior social studies kids weren’t very appreciative.  That just wasn’t on their minds. 

Here, Paul was encouraging his readers to follow his example as he followed Christ Jesus.  Is that what is on your mind?

THINK ABOUT THESE VERSES:  Comparing verses with each other helps us understand and apply them.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:1).

“For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:  sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and coveteousness, which is idolatry….You must put them all away:  anger wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouths…Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, …” (Colossians 3:5-12).

 

Reading Philippians February 1, 2010

Filed under: Philippians,Uncategorized — womenembracingfaith @ 4:29 am
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I hope you will join me in reading Philippians during these wintery days.

Bible Input is one of the spiritual disciplines.  Just making yourself do it.  Self-discipline in a spiritual arena.  Self-discipline fights self-indulgence, one of the empty pursuits to which we are all prone.  And it is something we must insist upon our children developing–discipline for the sake of  godliness.

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. ” (Philippians 1:1-5)

From Self-Discipline To Joy

Every time Paul thinks about these people– remembering what happened, how they met, how the whole city got into an uproar over their work together, how he had to flee for his life, then come back later to teach and preach and strengthen them in the Christian faith and way of  living–he is flooded with joy.  He is so glad they met.  He is so happy these Greeks have joined with him– a strictly raised Jewish boy from a “Turkish-Syrian” city–to plant churches.

Remembering all this then causes him to pray.  He thanks God for the way they have worked together with him all these years to tell others the wonderful news about the Lord Jesus Christ.  He wants them to experience again the unmerited favor of God and the peace that brings.  He wants them to remember their work together for Christ Jesus’s Kingdom and to keep on, keeping on.

Take a few moments today and remember who you have partnered with to tell others how they may trust in Jesus for right-standing with God.  See if you don’t remember them with affection and joy and thankfulness.  Why not pray for them today–that they will continue to serve the Lord Jesus Christ whatever their circumstances and will discipline themselves to keep on chasing after knowing God and becoming more like Him? Maybe you should contact them someway.

There are many I remember with thankfulness and affection.  Some I’m able to see and be with, but many are miles away or already in heaven.  But, I’ll never forget Mr. Whitt and Ernie Reisinger who kindly and gently welcomed me as a Christian, then helped me along the way.  I’m sure it took self-discipline on their parts to take time out of busy South Florida ministries to visit a young girl and listen to a young mother’s problems.  We shared the grace and peace that comes from believing.

I hope you will be filled with joy in remembering those with whom you have worked and prayed.


 

THINKING UPSIDE DOWN January 26, 2009

Filed under: Family Life,Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 7:55 pm
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caption id=”attachment_234″ align=”alignnone” width=”225″ caption=”John William “]John William [/caption]

Brandt and John

Brandt and John

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Grandchildren sure light up my life. They remind us of God’s infinite ability to create. Each child is, of course, entirely unique, but also a reminder of the families’ genes from which he comes.
He is our creator; we are the clay, not the potter who molds it. Remembering that principle makes all the difference in how we live. These three boys remind us all of that everyday!

Isaiah used this Creator principle to rebuke the citizens of Jerusalem 2700 years ago:

“Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, ‘Who sees us? Who knows us?”
You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’? (Isaiah 29:15-16)

Probably the most important thing to teach little children is a regard for God as their Creator. Do all you can to instill it early because that view of God leads to reverence and awe. All of our earth and what we can see of the universe screams it. And that screaming will be a reminder to them the rest of their lives not to turn things upside down
thinking they are in charge and God has nothing to do with their daily lives.
Of course, upside down thinking has lots of repercussions for you as well. Are you approaching God with reverence, respect, and a biblical fear? In that awesome day of His judgment (or your physical death), are you righteous enough or perfect enough to enter His holy and pure presence? Why should He let you into His courtyard? Upside down thinking has all kind of answers–even to believing there is no life after death.

“It (

righteousness, perfect life) will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4 :24-25).
We have to ask the right questions to think correctly about spiritual things. The question is not: Do I talk to God? Or to use a currently popular way of putting it: Do I have a personal relationship with God?
The real question is: Since God is just and perfectly holy, how can I even think about entering His presence? Who am I to claim to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe? The books of Isaiah and Romans have the answers. Read them, asking the right questions! I will come along beside you and help.

 

THE BIG PICTURE September 22, 2008

Filed under: Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 5:54 pm
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Shelling is a lot like Bible study. Focusing on the little things can get in the way of the big picture. I’ve learned to suck in a deep breath as I cross the dune. I pause and let my eye sweep across the horizon and down the beach. Color dazzles. Light flickers. Tide in or out? Is it rough on the Gulf Stream? I take in the whole picture. I enjoy it all as I move down to the water’s edge. Before my eye begins its search for that one special shell or shark’s tooth.

Understanding the Bible is like that too. You can’t let the details block out the whole picture. You need to pause; think about the sweeping themes. Don’t focus on the details of Goliath’s armor and size before tying the story into God’s plan of salvation. One of David’s great, great, etc. grandsons would be the Savior. Jesus would live without ever sinning, then die and be cast into hell because He took on all David’s (and our) sins. His glorious resurrection dazzles, lightens, gives us hope. God’s mercies to and thru David were certain! That is the broad image behind David’s whole biography.

Of course details matter. David was heroic and charismatic. He was sensual, relied too much on his cousins in war and governing. His family was dysfunctional. Yet, he never lost sight of the big picture. He was assured of his own salvation:

“As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;

I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

So whether you’re telling a story to three year olds or studying for yourself, always relate the details to the main theme of God’s purpose to save sinners, not by anything we could be or do, but only by faith in Jesus Christ’s perfect life, shameful death, and eye-witnessed resurrection.

 

Book Order Update May 19, 2008

Amazon.com has used copies of my book, Old Paths For Little Feet. That might

help you save a little money if you don’t have a copy. Just type in Carol Brandt at search.

Don’t forget you can download chapters from my unpublished book about leading teens

(or yourself) into thinking skills that will help with Bible study. The download is free.

Just clink the link on sidebar: Old Paths For Little Feet. It will take you to CarolBrandt.net.

Hope this will help someone on a tight budget.

Carol