Friday, August 6, 2010

Be careful what you wish for

Welcome to A Good Bible Study. We are sharing insights related to Joyce Meyer's devotional titled, The Love Revolution Devotional Workbook and Field Journal. It's a great place to get to know God, go deeper in your relationship, and be changed for the better, from time in the Bible.

Let's begin with prayer to get the most out of our time:

Dear Father, help us to let go of our busy day, for just a few minutes. Sometimes it's hard to discipline ourselves to meet with you everyday, but the rewards of a  more peaceful and light-hearted life are worth it! Stir our hearts up today to long for Your love so much that nothing is an inconvenience for us, if it means more time with you. In Jesus' name, amen.

We are nearly at the end of the third chapter of our field journal. It's a good place to talk about busy-ness. If you ask anyone how they are today, the answer is usually "busy." Sometimes busy just means too busy for anything else but our own wants and desires. Sometimes it means we are too busy with a lot of good stuff, but too much good stuff. Much of what we do is good, but is it taking time from the best?

What are you busy with?

Read John 15:4-5, 8, 16 and 17

We have been chosen by God Himself and He intends for us to produce good _____.

Read Galatians 5:22-23

The fruit God wants us to produce is l_____. j___, p______,
l____-s__________, k_______, g__________, f____________,
______________, and s____-c_______.

In The Love Revolution Devotional Workbook and Field Guide we are asked to compare our list with the following:

What am I doing that produces eternal fruit? ____________________

What am I doing to increase God's kingdom, in some way helping
anyone else to discover God's love and become a believer?

What am I doing to improve the life of anyone else?

Read Luke 9:57-62

The cost of following Jesus is often times inconvenience or discomfort. It's easy to get excited at a conference, moving church sermon, or Spirit-filled gospel concert, but what about day to day serving?
In the above passage, Jesus brings up the common excuses we use to put off serving God. He knew the hearts of those who offered to follow Him, and knew insincerity when He heard it.

1 Samuel 16:7 New International Version says: "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

In the Luke passage, all three potential disciples got excited about serving until they realized it meant a true commitment. One couldn't have dealt with sleeping on the road or relying on the generosity of strangers, perhaps because that required humility. Another wanted to wait till his father died (according to Jewish law, if the man's father was already dead, the man would be at home in mourning.) A third used his family as an excuse to delay. He wanted to go back and say farewell, which probably would have resulted in more delays.

It might seem as if Jesus doesn't want any volunteers, but the truth is, He wants people who are truly committed, not half-heartedly interested. Bob Deffinbaugh of calls this conflicting commitments, and its worse than not being interested at all.

Do you want your significant other to tell you how much he or she loves you, but never spend any time with you, never sacrifice any of his or her resources on your behalf, and never cancel any plans to help you out? If you are married, do you want your spouse to spend time with you first, or keep stopping off at Mom and Dad's every night on the way home? Do you keep friends around who leave you stranded the minute something better comes along?

At the end of the day, words only go so far, and then we want to see sincere action. Would you expect God to want any less from you?

List the excuses you have been making to avoid getting involved in helping and reaching out to others?

Let's pray now. Lord, I realize that a lot of what I think is so important, really isn't in comparison to helping hurting people, and spending time with you. Help me to let go of what I consider good, to make room for what is best. Open my eyes to my excuses, forgive me for putting my comfort above all else, and give me a heart ready to show love to someone who needs it. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Love, Karen

Photo by Tina Phillips, courtesy of

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