Monday, October 31, 2016

Living Beyond The Trees....(This world)




Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”  As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died." -- Acts 7:56 & 59-60



Stephen is a perfect model of a man who spoke and lived grace & truth.  For those who were at church yesterday morning...Stephen is the example of what it means to live beyond the trees.  In the midst of accusation and even death---AS THEY STONED HIM! Stephen's eyes were on the world that is to come, the one that lasts FOREVER & EVER!!!


 

One of my favorite parts of our Sunday evenings is when the servant team arrives early so that we can pray relationally through scripture.  It anchors our heart to Him and ties our hearts to each other and to the beautiful women we walk with on this journey with Jesus.

 

Our worship last night moved hearts mightily.  We were blessed to use the same songs we sang Sunday morning.  It was a continuation that knit the whole day together beautifully.


(Think of Joseph, Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego, and Stephen from Acts)

MEMORY VERSE:  Dear friends, don't be surprised by the fiery trials you are going through as if something strange were happening to you. INSTEAD, be very glad --because these trials will make you partners with Christ in His suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing His glory when it is displayed to all the world. -- 1 Peter 4:12-13

This verse is for our Lori this week.  Would you pray it for her as you practice?  When I meditate on the words above and commit them to heart I can't help but think of all those Hero's of faith that has LIVED this and left a legacy of holiness in a world that lives between the trees. 


MEMORY VERSE:  "Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your Master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive His approval."--  Romans 6:16


Our discussion question last night from Romans 6:16:  What one thing are you choosing to obey keeps you from the fullness of 


 

Last night we compared the character of Stephen, the Counsel, and the Unbelievers...WOW!

STEPHEN:
  • Christ-like
  • Obviously filled with the Holy Spirit
  • His fruit spoke volumes
  • Eyes firmly focused on that which is unseen
  • Lived beyond the trees
  • Intimate knowledge of the scriptures
  • Bold 
  • Courageous
  • Heart for heaven
  • Heart for God



COUNSEL:
  • Pride/Proudful
  • Man-Pleasers
  • Puffed Up
  • Pot Stirrers
  • Man-made rituals and beliefs
  • Like their fathers
  • Hard hearts
  • Angry



UNBELIEVERS:
  • Followers of men
  • Liars
  • Mob Mentality
  • Strife Stirrers
  • Argumentative
  • Caused Stephen's arrest


Lord, give us a heart that pants after you!  Let us be inspired by ordinary men like Stephen who stayed firm in extraordinary circumstances!



Our last table discussion of the evening was going through our Knock-Knock book.  We talked about the gospel.  How to share it, how to receive it, how to become more intimate and familiar with offering hope to the hopeless.  I was blessed and inspired by Tammy's humble testimony of how she walked in church for years and though she knew about Jesus, she didn't KNOW JESUS.  



LOVING ON LORI

 

 What a blessing it is to get to walk with our sisters.  To know that in community we are never alone.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to join other women who love Jesus with all their hearts and to get to pray for each other.  I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit who walks before us and moves on our hearts for special occasions.  What a JOY it was to watch God lavishly love on Lori through many hands and hearts.  


 

I realized after I got home last night that I did not get to tell you what was in the bag.  Kevin and Phyllis shared a few of her favorite things:

  • Diet Coke
  • Milk Duds
  • The War Room (Movie)
  • Index cards (For after she watches the war room)
  • Pretty pens
  • Lavender Candle
  • Handwritten Scripture cards to breath LIFE and to PRAY

 

What a POWERFUL way to close out our night!  A time of corporate prayer from the ladies for our sweet sister in Christ.  

WE'RE BETTER TOGETHER!

2 comments:

  1. I like to tell you, HI! I saw all this beautiful work you did and summarizing the night up so perfectly. Thank you for all you do to give God glory. We ARE better together!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like to tell you, HI! I saw all this beautiful work you did and summarizing the night up so perfectly. Thank you for all you do to give God glory. We ARE better together!

    ReplyDelete