Thursday, October 27, 2011

WEEK ONE: Day 4..... The Blessing of Greater Purity

Today's Bible Study is about The Blessing of Greater Purity.   Our main scripture passages are Psalm 51
and I John 1: 8-9.   You may click on those passages to read them, thank you! 

In the Bible we are taught to confess our sins and seek God's forgiveness.   These verses focus on confession.

Psalm 32:5

New International Version (NIV)
 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
   and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
   my transgressions to the LORD.”
And you forgave
   the guilt of my sin.

Proverbs 28:13

New International Version (NIV)
 13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
   but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 

James 5:16

New International Version (NIV)
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 

1 John 1:8-9

New International Version (NIV)
 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

[When you click on the highlighted scripture links, you are able to select your own version of the Bible.  You may decide to write one or all of the above verses on your index cards we talked about from yesterday's lesson.  As a reminder, I personally use the 4x6 cards as I have an index card box that holds that size and for me it gives me the room I need to write out the verse(s).]

1.  God asks and desires us to live pure and holy lives.  We learn in the following verses that prayer is needed in order to confess our sins and restore purity in our life.  The following verses are biblical teachings about how to nurture purity in your own life.  As you read the passages, please ask God in prayer to help you to understand the following verses and how to apply them to your own lifeI am asking God to help me to do this as well.  

Psalm 24:3-4
For me, this verse tells me that whoever has a clean heart does not worship idols.  What are idols?  In the Wikipedia we learn about idolatry and idol worship. If you click on the following link you will find what the Bible says about idol worship.

Psalm 119:9-11
For me, this verse says to live according to God's Word.

Philippians 1:9-11
For me, this passage says to be able to know the difference between what is best and be pure and blameless.

Philippians 2:14-16
For me, this passage says to do everything without complaining or arguing.  Wow!  Everything?  Yes, that's really difficult to imagine.  So try asking God to help you begin to stop complaining or arguing at home, work, at church and in public.  You'll have to start with baby steps on this.  You could write on the back of
this index card one goal for home, work, church and in public.  That includes your blog or places you socialize online!  :o)  I'm asking God to help me with this as well.

Philippians 4:8
New International Version (NIV)
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

2.  God's Word says that David was confronted with his sin by the prophet Nathan.  David then repented and wrote a psalm of his confession.  Please read Psalm 51 and then ask God to help you to understand the requests that David made of God in confessing his sin and what can we confess to God?  

3.  As I was reading this Psalm I found three things that David said he would do in response to God's
forgiveness and cleansing.

a.  I will teach transgressors Your way.
b.  My tongue will sing of your righteousness.
c.  My mouth will declare your praise.

4.  As you read Matthew 7:3-5, please write out the reason(s) that it is easy to see the sin in someone else's life but to be blind to the sin we are doing.  Here is that passage from the NIV version of God's Word,

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

 Responding to God:  "Yes, but how?"

Please read the following scripture and then ask God to bring to mind any sin that he can find in your own life.  I'm doing the same thing.  Then let's pray and name each sin that He brings to your mind and ask Him to forgive us and cleanse us

Psalm 139:23-24

New International Version (NIV)

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting. 

After we have prayed and confessed our sin we are going to try another step.  We're going to read
Ephesians 4:1-3, and ask God to remind us of people we need to confess and ask for their forgiveness.
Let's ask God to help us write down the names that come to mind and find the way to be in touch with these people so that we may ask for their forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:1-3

New International Version (NIV)
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Elizabeth George, the author of the book that we are studying, A Woman After God's Own Heart shares
"As women who are called to righteousness, godliness, faith, love... and prayer, we must not deny our sin, not blame others for it, not hide it, not rationalize it.  No, we must confess it, for it is the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous woman that avails much!"

 Life Scene.    "Denise knows that she overreacted and said hurtful things to her husband, Ken.  In the heat of the moment, Ken responded in the same manner.  He brought us issues in Denise's life that embarrassed her and made her feel her feel small.  Ken frequently belittles Denise's church involvement and seems to relish opportunities to expose what he calls her hypocrisy.  Denise and Ken have hardly spoken to each other since their argument.  Denise finds it impossible to pray or study her Bible, making her feel even worse about herself."  [excerpt from Elizabeth George's workbook, p. 18 of Woman After God's Own Heart.]

What would you suggest Denise do in this situation?  And are you able to relate to this as I am?

I have a wonderful, small book by M. Scott Peck, M.D.(author of the best selling book, The Road Less Traveled,) called  "Abounding Happiness" and in this book are various quotes about different topics concerning our everyday life.  Today I have selected a couple about forgiveness.

"Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast." ~Marlene Dietrich

"A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain."  ~ Samuel Johnson 

Thank you for taking the time to be here today and read this blog entry inspired by God's Word and Elizabeth George.  I hope God blesses you with His Word today as He has done to me and I hope to write another blog entry tomorrow if it is God's Will.  

Conversations with Carolyn: Stop School Bullying!

Conversations with Carolyn: Stop School Bullying!

October has been dubbed as Anti Bullying Month but this is in effect for EVERY month!
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