Friday, January 31, 2014

Intentionally Focused, Day 10

This lovely graphic is by Little Birdie Blessings
I've just concluded my second five-day week of doing the Intentionally Focused Bible study from Good Morning Girls.  The weekends are not included in this particular study, so I've been doing something else on weekend mornings, and may share some of that at a later time.

But this Intentionally Focused study ... well, I just have to say that it is exactly what I needed to begin this new year.  I think that in some areas I've been getting just a little bit "weary in well doing"-- something the Bible warns against in Galatians 6:9 and 2 Thessalonians 3:13 -- and this study is helping me to get my focus back where it belongs.

As I mentioned, I've been doing the study on my own, just reading the Scriptures in the reading plan and using the SOAP method of meditating on the specified verses for each day.  I do look at the emails from Good Morning Girls and am benefiting from them, but seldom read them before I've done my own study for the day.  I just have to say how excited I am about the things God is showing me and reminding me of.  I would blog about my study every day but I don't want to overdo a good thing.  I may go back later and just post a few more of the daily studies, but for now I'll probably stick to posting about it weekly.

Anyway, my study this morning was so encouraging that I just had to share it with you all.  Here goes:

S [Scripture]= "Because Thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee.
"Thus will I bless Thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
"My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips."  (Psalm 63:3-5)

O [Observation]= This Psalm is titled "A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah."  My Bible gives a cross-reference of 1 Samuel 23:14, which reveals: "And David abode in the wilderness in strongholds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph.  And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand."  [Wow!  Did you catch that?]  And apparently it was in this same time frame that "Jonathan, Saul's son, arose, and went to David into the forest, and strengthened his hand in God."  Could this psalm have been the result of that encouragement?  This psalm certainly takes on fresh meaning when we consider the backdrop against which it was written.

David says that God's loving-kindness is better than life.  Because this is so, David will praise God with joyful lips.  He will bless God while he lives, lifting up his hands in God's name.  His soul is fully satisfied even though he's living in daily difficulties -- even in near impossibilities.  As David said in another place, "there is but a step between me and death."  (1 Samuel 20:3)

A [Application]= Wow, does this ever apply to me!  My situation as a very busy member of the "sandwich generation" can be challenging at times, but it is minor compared to the situation David was living in.  May I always remember, no matter what, that God's lovingkindness is better than life!  My soul finds its satisfaction in Him, no matter what my daily circumstances may include.  I can say with certainty that I have found this to be true in my life.  Regardless of the circumstances, I can joyfully praise God!

P [Prayer]= "Lord, how I thank You for the blessing and the instruction that Your Word is in our lives.  I praise You that your lovingkindness is better than life.  I praise You that regardless of my circumstances, my soul finds its full satisfaction in You, and I can experience daily joy.  Help me every day to look to You and not my circumstances, remembering that You are in control and that You are working all things after the counsel of Your own will.  I thank You for all that You are doing, and all that You will do.  In Jesus' name, Amen."

So that was my study for today.  I hope that it will encourage someone else as much as it encouraged me.  If you are interested in getting the information you would need to do this study on your own, it's not too late.  You simply need to go to Good Morning Girls and sign up for their emails.  The study material is free and you can click on the link at the bottom of the email to download the study guide and the reading plan.  Even though the study has been going for 2 weeks already, if you plan to do this on your own you can certainly work at your own pace.  You don't need to keep up with anyone.  God will bless you abundantly through your own personal study as you dig into His Word on your own!

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