OVERCOME

Scripture Reading: Revelations 3:7-13

For the past several years, I have entered the year with a single word and scripture where I focus, set my intentions or goals for the year. Sometimes those goals are professionally related (finish a project, write the book), and at other times, it’s more personal (rest, read, or relax more). Most of the time, God surprises me with new and unexpected things. For example, in 2016, my word was “Greatness.” God spoke clearly and vividly through a dream as I entered that year. There is much more to this story, but the short of it is: when I got to the end of the year, I was dreaming bigger. One thing that I have always wanted to do was visit the continent of Africa. By the spring of 2017, I was in discussions about visiting the continent, not once, but twice that year! (I can’t wait to go back!) This year was a lot different than the previous ones. December 2018 found me wrapping up the “A Sojourner’s Truth” book tour, and I was tired. Then I hosted friends and family, including a lot of sick kids…which made us sick, for much of the Christmas holiday. So, I did not enter this year rested, reflective, or intentional. The year just came, and I just was. I had this nagging feeling (lie) that I was behind. But I entered into the year with the purpose to celebrate anyway, because I was turning 40 years old, after all. We did practice the discipline of celebration. I did get some days away to pray, rest, and be present, quiet, and still with the Lord. During that time of reflection, this is the word that kept coming to mind. This word was the continuous call that God gave to the seven churches in the province of Asia (Revelations 3:7-13). There are eternal rewards for those who overcome. So, I decided to move forward this year with an “in spite of…” and “…but God” attitude. God is with me.

It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through the year! Have you thought about any words, messages, prompting, goals, or dreams that God has given you this year. What have you done with them?

Take some time to reflect on God’s word and purpose for you this week. What do you need to remember? Where do you need to write down, commit to, or adjust?

God is faithful to do exactly what he said. God is with you. Therefore, you will overcome.    

Blessings, Natasha   

Leader: Are you Weary in the Wilderness?

Desert and Camels

God uses the hard realities of life to expose our deepest fears and internal struggles. These experiences make us more self-aware so we can cultivate the spiritual disciplines necessary to lead ourselves and others well. Consider what happened to Moses, the humblest person on earth (Num. 12:3). After the people complained about their misfortunes yet again in the wilderness, Moses was miserable. He cried out to the Lord: “What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised? … If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11–12, 15).

Who would have thought that the humblest man in the world could fall so deep into despair? Have you ever found yourself in such a state of weariness? There are many days in my life when I find myself praying: “God, please don’t let me become weary in doing good, for I know that at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I don’t give up. Help me to press on and do good to all people, especially to those who belong to your family” (see Gal. 6:9–10). This prayer is particularly helpful when I’m going through a wilderness experience or dealing with difficult people. Prayer disciplines us to humble ourselves before God, and it also provides revelation for how to move forward.
Continue Reading at Christianity Today.

Summer Bible Study

Recently, I completed a Part 5 Bible study series with the kind folks at the Discover the Word broadcast. We went through the gospels to discuss God’s purpose and plan for intentional discipleship. These recordings are now available and would be a great option for a personal devotional this summer, or to engage a  small Bible study group.

Mentor for Life image

Below you will find the series breakdown and highlights:

Part 1 How do we live out Jesus’s Great Commission?

 

Mentoring as intentional discipleship is for God’s kingdom purposes. Why is discipleship and the use of the mentoring language important?

Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20

 

Part 2 Is there a difference between Christ-followers and the lost?

Evangelism without discipleship is incomplete; they are two sides of the same coin. Is our current way of thinking about evangelism and discipleship in the right order?

Scripture: John 1:35-51

 

Part 3 Discipleship: A Matter of both Knowing and Doing

Discipleship requires that we look outside of our own needs to see the spiritual and physical needs of others.

Scripture: John 6:1-14

 

Part 4 Our Walk of Faith Requires Training

Love God and love people is the basic principle of discipleship. We can learn how to love well, and we can teach others how to love us well. There is a cost involved.

Scripture: Luke 10:25-28

 

Part 5 Mentor for Life (16:00 min)

The 5th Law of the Navy – “On the strength of one link in the cable, dependth the might of the chain, who knows when thou mayest be tested? So live that thou bearest the strain!”

The training of making disciples prepares us for the mission, and the training also prepares us for the test.

Scripture: John 4:31-38

Conclusion: Intentional discipleship or mentorship is an invitation to LINK Up with God in the kingdom work he is already doing in the world.

At else are you reading or studying this summer?

Blessings, Natasha