Good Morning Girls in 2013. The study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, is still available as a free download, so if you are interested head on over there and get it. Scroll down and click on the book-like image similar to the illustration above, and the pdf should open right up.
Just a note too that I am also doing Sunday Scripture posts over at my Christmas blog, Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen
-- and I am using different verses (from the same study) in those
Sunday posts. So if you really want some biblical encouragement during
this Christmas season, you might enjoy reading at both blogs.
I've mentioned before that I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the studies from GMG use a very similar one. I find this method a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or passage, or praise for what it means to you.
Each week of this Advent study focuses on a theme: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. This third week's verses are focused on Joy.
Today's Scripture is 1 John 1:4-7. In the actual study, this one was from December 16 -- just in case you downloaded the study and are following along with it.
S= "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
"This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.
"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:4-7)
O= John's first letter has been described as a family photograph album in which God's children learn of the likeness they are to have to their heavenly Father. One of John's reasons for writing these things, as stated in verse 4, is that the joy of these "little children" might be full.
He goes on to talk about the conditions of fellowship with their Father and the necessity of walking in the light. Since God is light, with no darkness in Him at all, it's impossible for His children to walk in darkness and still have fellowship with Him. We must walk in the light, as our Father is in the light. When our sin prevents us from doing that, we turn to Him for forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration of fellowship.
C.I. Scofield writes, "To walk in the light is to live in fellowship with the Father and the Son. Sin interrupts fellowship but cannot change relationship. Confession restores fellowship, and immediate confession keeps the fellowship unbroken."
A= It's so good to know that our joy is not dependent on life's circumstances. Regardless of the situation, if my heart is right with God it is always possible for my joy to be full. To that end, I need to be sure I am keeping "short accounts" with God in regard to my sin. If I am going to speak to others of the fellowship I have with Him, I need to be very sure that I am not walking in darkness in any way.
P= "Lord, I thank and praise You that true joy does not depend upon the circumstances of my life. My joy may be full as long as I stay close to You, confessing sin as I become conscious of it. Help me, Lord, to walk in the light, as You are in the light. Help me every day to keep short accounts with You. In Jesus' name, Amen."
There is our Advent study for this Sunday. I hope it's been an encouragement to you!