Thursday, September 30, 2010

The first key to stressing LESS

Hello and welcome back to A Good Bible Study. Let's pray and get right into the Word of God.

Our Father, who lives in heaven, and in our hearts, Your name is holy on our lips. Let Your kingdom rein in me, let Your will be done in me, let me be so malleable to Your will that I respond instantly to Your voice, just as the angels do in heaven. Take care of my needs today, Lord, and help me to have a soft, forgiving heart, like Yours. Go before me Lord, and remove obstacles for me. Let any evil plan formed against me whither and die before it reaches my awareness. For to You belongs this Kingdom, from You comes all Power, and You alone deserve any Glory in this world, or beyond. Thank you Father. In Jesus' name, amen.

During this bible study, I will share with you the three most important keys I have found to reduce stress, and increase joy and satisfaction in life. The first key is called Authenticate.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines authentic as: conforming to fact, and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief.

Do you conform to the fact of who you are inside, and as such do you inspire others to trust you, rely on you, and believe in you?

Living your life authentically means being genuinely who you are, at all times. Sounds easier than it is, if you have been raised to please others at all costs, or tend to feel you don't measure up just as you are. Don't worry. By the time we are through with this study you will have a much more accurate picture of your value both to God, to yourself, and to those around you.

How many of you grew up with all the affirmation you needed to feel valued and loved, all the experiences you needed to develop confidence and competency, all the opportunity you craved to allow your creativity to flourish? Anyone . . . . anyone . . . . anyone. (If you ever watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off, you got that.)

I'd be surprised to hear back from more than a tiny handful. That's just not how most of us were brought up because we are each raised not by perfect individuals with whole hearts and complete agape (self-less) love. No, you and I were raised by fallible human beings doing the best they could with the knowledge, resources, and inner strength that they possessed at the time. Bummer.

Guess what, we are raising our children with some of the same problems. Scary.

The good news is that children are able to respond very quickly to a change in our behavior and attitude. They want the best of us and from us, and will accept a new, improved me and you with ease. Other people might take a little time, but believe me, the best way to change the way someone treats you, is to change the way you treat you. All in good time.

Open your bibles to Genesis chapter 1, and read it all the way through.

Do you see that God created more and more complex and wonderful life each day. What did God create on each day?

Day one _________________
Day two _________________
Day three ________________
Day four _________________
Day five__________________

So, He created everything with less intelligence, capability, and creativity in the first six days, saving the best for last. His "p`iece de r'esistance."

Read verse 27.

In whose image were man and woman made? _______________
Strong's Concordance identifies the word image, used in this passage, as the Hebrew word tselem, which means just that: image or resemblance.

Is God unworthy, untalented, lacking, un-lovable, strange, boring, less-than? ______

If you are created in the image, the likeness of God, a resemblance of God Himself, how can you be anything except wonderful? Not a vain, self-centered, arrogant sort of wonderful. But think of it. You and I were designed from the beginning from the "form or molding" of God.

Read verse 31.

"And God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very ___________. NKJV

Let's pray.

Father, I am so thankful to know that I am not an accident, not some random spark of genetic mutation that somehow created a chain of events leading to me. When I look at myself from now on, let me be fully aware that I am looking at the image of God, no less than when I look at my parents, or my siblings, or my cousins, that I am looking at the image of my family. I might have my parent's features, but I have my Father's genetic design. When others look at me now, I pray they see the family resemblance to You. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Folks, I have an assignment for you tomorrow, that is very important. Instead of reading this study, I want you to get your bible and look up all the verses you can find in which God expresses His value, love, appreciation, or pleasure in humans. Write them down so when you are feeling less-than, you can remind yourself of the truth.

I encourage you to share with each of us in this study, through the comments, what verses mean the most to you. You can just post the verse itself if you do not want to elaborate. Let's learn from one another.

Until Monday,

Love, Karen

Photo by ENTER_DESIGN, courtesy of

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