Wednesday, June 28, 2017

IBS Week 10:

Nick:

2 Timothy 2:21 – “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

Father, thank you for this morning here with You in Your Word.  Thank you for your grace and mercy and for allowing me to be healthy.  Thank you for Your Word and Your revelations of who You are.  On Saturday the 24th, on the way to the beach, Austin asked me to teach chapel on the 6th of July.  God, You are so incredible.  To bring a guy like me from where I was to where I am now is a miracle.  It’s who You are.  It’s what You do.  You brought to mind on Sunday during church a verse that You gave me very early on during my walk with You – 2 Timothy 2:21.  Lord, You have cleansed me from what is dishonorable, and now I am ready for You to use me for every good work.  Whether it be teaching, media, gardening, or leading my family, they are works that You have prepared for me to bear fruit for You.  God, You are so good and faithful.  Thank you for choosing me to be a part of Your kingdom.

Julie:

Luke 7:36-50 – The woman with the oil


This woman was bold by being such a sinner and walking into a Pharisee’s house.  She honored Jesus (I think) by standing behind him.  She acknowledged who she was by weeping.  She obeyed the Holy Spirit (I think) by giving Jesus her oil.  She sacrificed (I think) by giving her valuable oil.  If I had to guess, I would say it was expensive.  She didn’t do this act to be forgiven (I don’t think).  I honestly think she was compelled by the Holy Spirit to pour out all she had to Jesus, whether it was much or little (like the feeding of 5000).  She probably thought she couldn’t offer anything of enough worth because she was such a sinner, but she had the same child-like faith that the boy had in the feeding of 5000 to humble herself (to not care what others thought) and to give up what she had (sacrifice).  She did not even have water or a towel.  She used her tears and hair.  On her way to Jesus I’m sure she thought, “I am so unprepared to do what I am being compelled to do, but here I go anyway.”  She was faithful when it made no sense to be.  She was so bold and courageous to walk into a Pharisee’s house being such a sinner that everyone knew her.  And little did she know that by giving her oil, tears, and hair (something so little), she gave MORE than anyone else at that house.  She didn’t let the enemy tell her that because she had so little that it wasn’t enough in comparison to the “Pharisees” and “disciples”.  She just walked when God called.  And in being so faithful, Jesus forgave her of her sins and she was able to be at peace.  For a sinner, it is truly a relief to hear that you are forgiven.  I’m sure hearing it from the mouth of God, face to face with Jesus, was beyond words can explain.  This woman didn’t seek to serve Jesus to earn her forgiveness, she simply walked in the Spirit.

Friday, June 16, 2017

IBS Week 9

Nick:
LUKE 7:22-23 - AND HE ANSWERED THEM,"GO AND TELL JOHN WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN AND HEARD: THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT, THE LAME WALK, LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, AND THE DEAF HEAR; THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, THE POOR HAVE GOOD NEWS PREACHED TO THEM.  AND BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO IS NOT OFFENDED BY ME.


THE DISCIPLES OF JOHN CAME TO JESUS WANTING ANSWERS FOR JOHN ON WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS THE ONE TO COME. IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT WHEN THEY ARRIVED HE WAS PERFORMING THE MIRACLES THAT HE PROCLAIMED HE WOULD DO EARLIER IN CHAPTER 4, WHICH WAS PROPHESIED IN ISAIAH 61. JESUS DIDN'T HAVE TO SELL HIMSELF OR JUSTIFY HIMSELF OR CONVINCE THE DISCIPLES OF HIS IDENTITY. THEY WITNESSED THE MIRACLES AND JESUS SIMPLY SAID "GO AND TELL JOHN WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN". HE IS THE ONE TO COME AND HE IS DOING THE WILL OF GOD BUT IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN WHAT JOHN THOUGHT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE. HE MAY HAVE BEEN WONDERING WHEN HE WAS GOING TO SET HIM FREE FROM PRISON, BECAUSE THE PROPHECY STATES THAT HE WOULD SET THE CAPTIVES FREE. HE DID SET THEM FREE AND GOD'S WILL FOR JOHN WAS TO BE WHERE HE WAS. IT ALSO STUCK OUT TO ME THAT WHEN WE ARE BEING SAVED BY JESUS, WE BEGIN TO SEE, WALK, WE ARE CLEANSED, WE HEAR, AND WE ARE RAISED UP BECAUSE WE HEARD THE GOOD NEWS THAT WAS PREACHED TO US BY THE SPIRIT. AND BLESSED ARE WE WHO ARE NOT OFFENDED BY HIM WHO WORKS WITHIN US.

Julie:
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 – “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

When I first read this verse, years ago, I thought Paul was just being poetic.  I completely overlooked important words like “chosen” and “Holy Spirit” and “conviction”.  But as God has grown my understanding for Him and my desire to be closer like Him, I have begun reading the Bible with different eyes.  1 Thessalonians was not on my daily reading today, but I felt compelled to read it.  And as I read this verse, I was amazed at how possible it actually is to be completely transformed by God when we hear His gospel and accept it.  The Holy Spirit really can radically save and give power and conviction.  It doesn’t always have to be a struggle with accepting Him (like Jacob the night he became Israel).  I know this is possible because I have seen my husband’s walk with the Lord.  It took a while for me to humble myself and accept that he is sold out for the Lord.  And it took even longer to accept that I was the one who struggled with God.  But watching Nick’s walk and seeing his loyalty and faithfulness to God, I have been encouraged to let go of the struggle and just accept because IT IS possible.  And v6 says …”with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all believers…”.  Nick really has set an example of true surrender to the Lord. And as I humble myself and see him for who he truly is (a man of God), I step into the role of submission and respect to him as God has designed.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

IBS - Week 8

Nick:
FRIDAY MAY 26, 2017. MARK 13:37 AND WHAT I SAY TO YOU I SAY TO ALL: STAY AWAKE. 


I HAVE TO STAY IN AN EXPECTATION THAT HE IS GOING TO RETURN IN MY LIFETIME. THAT HE IS GOING TO COME IN ALL HIS GLORY RIDING ON THE CLOUDS CALLING US UP TO HIM AND TAKING US HOME. I DONT WANT TO BE SLEEPING IN MY FAITH AND RELATIONSHIP WHEN HE DOES. I WANT TO KEEP MY HANDS TO THE PLOW,, NOT TURNING TO THE LEFT OR TO THE RIGHT. EACH DAY THAT PASSES IS ONE DAY CLOSER TO HIM IN HEAVEN. I FIND IT FASCINATING THAT EVEN JESUS DOESNT KNOW WHEN THE DAY WILL COME FOR HIM TO RETURN WILL BE. I IMAGINE ON THAT DAY, THE FATHER TURNING TO JESUS AND SAYING ITS TIME. JESUS STANDS UP FROM THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD AND OUT OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US, COMES AND TAKES US HOME. I HOPE TO BE ALIVE ON THAT DAY. IT WILL DWARK EVEN THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE OR REVELATION HES GIVEN TO ME. OUR HEARTS WILL MELT AND WE WILL BE OVERCOME BY THE SIGHT OF HIS GLORY. COME LORD JESUS! BRING US HOME.

Julie:
IBS Week 7 – Luke 1:45 “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

I always love to find verses in the bible that talk about “she” and “her”.  Although some verses are saying “she” as in wisdom or a city.  But this verse is about a woman!  This verse can actually relate to us as women, because it was said by Mary.  God gave Mary a promise and she believed.  She had faith.  She carried the promise that God spoke to her and didn’t doubt.  Not only is her faith and belief something to point out and admire, but also her promise was fulfilled.  God DOES fulfill His promises to us.  He fulfills His promises to me!  He wants to see me living in his blessings, but with faith.  His will will come to pass regardless of my faith, but how much more significant is his fulfilled promise when I can say I held on to faith with endurance during the suffering and waiting.  Mary is truly an example here for me.
IBS - Week 7

Nick:
MAY 24 MARK 11:22-24 AND JESUS ANSWERED THEM, HAVE FAITH IN GOD. TRULY, I SAY TO YOU, WHOEVER SAYS TO THIS MOUNTAIN, BE TAKEN UP AND THROWN INTO THE SEA, AND DOES NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART, BUT BELIEVES THAT WHAT HE SAYS WILL COME TO PASS, IT WILL BE DONE FOR HIM. THEREFORE, WHATEVER YOU ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED IT, AND IT WILL BE YOURS.


I CAN NEVER FORGET GODS PROMISES THAT HE MADE TO ME EARLY ON IN MY WALK WITH HIM. GOD GAVE ME THE FAITH TO BELIEVE GENESIS 12:1 EVEN WHEN THERE SEEMED TO BE IMPASSABLE MOUNTAINS IN THE WAY WHEN HE GAVE IT TO ME. GOD HAS MOVED SO MANY MOUNTAINS BETWEEN NOW AND THEN I COULD’NT EVEN COUNT THEM IF I TRIED. IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE AT THE TIME, TO BE FOR ME TO BE WHERE I AM TODAY, A YEAR AND A HALF AGO. PRAISE GOD THAT I CONTINUED TO BELIEVE WHAT HE HAD TOLD ME IN MY HEART AND NEVER THROUGH IT AWAY. THERE WERE MANY TIMES OF DOUBT, BUT GOD ALWAYS SEEMED TO RESTORE MY BELIEF. I CANNOT FORGET THAT, BECAUSE OF JESUS’ STATEMENT IN THESE VERSES, I AM EVEN HERE.

Julie:
 Galatians 6:17 “From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus”

I was beginning to let the enemy get to me.  I was letting him use people to take my eyes off of Jesus.  He dangled a shiny ball in my face and I began to bite.  But very quickly God unhooked me from that and directed me in another path. (And more importantly, He moved me with His Word and His Truth.  Which shows growth in our relationship.)  He reminded me of two things – 1. I bear the marks of Jesus Christ and 2. Because of that, no one should cause me trouble.  Jesus suffered the mocking, the shame, the flogging, the scourging.  Jesus carries the whip marks on His body.  Jesus had the nails pierce His hands.  It was Jesus whose side was pierced, shoulder dislocated, face spit on.  I can only imagine how many actual marks were on his dead body.  And why? For me!  That’s what I deserved.  And if my mindset is on Him and what He did for me then I am humbled.  And where does a humble man sit?  On the floor with their face to the ground.  Therefore, let no one cause me trouble because I can go no further down than I already am.  “There is no counter punch for humility”.  And if I keep my eyes on my Savior and meditate on His Spirit that lives in me (and bears the marks), then I can “mind my own business”.  This keeps me free from letting people and circumstances influence me.  This keeps me out of the enemy’s bondage.  I was truly freed in reading this verse. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

IBS Week 6
 
NICK:
MAY 19, 2017 MARK 7:15 “THERE IS NOTHING OUTSIDE OF A PERSON THAT BY GOING INTO HIM CAN DEFILE HIM, BUT THE THINGS THAT COME OUT OF A PERSON ARE WHAT DEFILE HIM.”
ITS ALWAYS GOING TO BE THOSE THINGS THAT DEFILE ME, THAT TAKE ME OUT OF THE SPIRIT AND HIS PEACE. JESUS CARES ABOUT OUR HEARTS, NOT ON THE THINGS ON THE OUTSIDE. THESE THINGS DO HAVE SOME IMPORTANCE IN HIS KINGDOM, LIKE STEWARDSHIP, BUT THE CONDITION OF THE HEART IS OF MORE IMPORTANCE. THERE ARE MANY OUTWARD THINGS THAT GOD HAS CALLED ME TO HERE, BUT THEY SHOULD NEVER COME BEFORE THE HEARTS OF MY FAMILY. THE MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY WIFE AND SON ARE WEIGHING ON MY HEART AND I FEEL AS THOUGH THERE COULD BE MORE LOVE DIRECTED TOWARDS THEM. I NEED TO BE SPENDING MORE TIME WITH THEM WHEN NOTHING IS GOING ON AROUND HERE. I CAN BE INVESTING MY TIME INTO THEM SO THEY FEEL MORE LOVED BY ME. LORD I NEED YOUR HELP IN GUIDING ME IN THAT DIRECTION. I CANT FULLY LOVE THEM THE WAY YOU CALL ME TO WITHOUT YOUR HELP. I WANT TO BE A LOVING HUSBAND AND FATHER WHO GIVES THEM MY TIME.
 
Julie:
IBS Week 6
Mark Chapter 5
Mark Chapter 5 has shown me more of who Jesus’ character is.  Which is amazing because I prayed for that before I read this morning.  God is so good!  There is a pattern here with three different occurrences.  The pattern is the “unclean” coming to Jesus in faith and Jesus healing them with compassion.   Jesus goes to Gerasenes and comes in contact with a man that possesses an “unclean spirit”.  Before Jesus arrives, the man is unable to be contained and is cutting himself.  The man was not happy and cried all day and night.  The man sees Jesus (v6), runs to him (v6), and falls at his feet (v6).  And Jesus cast the demon, named Legion, out of him.  Jesus had the compassion to heal this unclean man despite what the old testament says which is to leave the unclean alone.  Because of this man’s faith in Jesus, he was healed.  The second instance is when Jesus heals the woman who was bleeding, which according to the old testament, the women who bled had to remain outside the camp because they were unclean, but Jesus had compassion on her.  She heard who Jesus was (v27), came up to him (v27), and touched him (v27).  Her faith in Jesus and who he was, healed him, as it says in v28 – “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”  And being face to face with Jesus, she fell down before him and confessed (v33).  Her faith and boldness and confession healed her.  The third instance in this chapter is Jarius’s daughter who was dying.  Jarius was a Pharisee or some kind of Jewish worshiper in the synagogue.  He should not have believed in Jesus like the others, but he did!  He saw Jesus (v22), fell at his feet (v22), and implored (or begged) him (v22) to heal his sick daughter.  During all of this, the child did die and Jesus went to her.  And taking her by the hand – actually touching her (v41), she came back to life.  In the old testament it is a law that no one could touch a dead body because it was deemed “unclean”.  Ok – so all of these circumstances occurred for us to remember that Jesus defies the laws!  He actually steps over them in love and grace and heals us!  Us – unclean people – sinners – liars – addicts – dead to Him – doubters – adulterers. I mean, Jesus loves us, as we are!!!!! And if we are willing to recognize him, fall at his feet in humility, and in faith believe that he can heal us a love us then he will (be it his will).  The best way to sum up this chapter is with v36 – “Do not fear, only believe”.  The depressed man, the man opposing Jesus, and the shamed woman I’m sure all had fear in confronting Jesus, but despite that, they did it in faith not fear that he would heal them and he did!!!!


IBS Week 5
NICK:
SATURDAY MAY 13, 2017  MARK 2:9-12 WHICH IS EASIER, TO SAY TO THE PARALYTIC, YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN, OR TO SAY, RISE, TAKE UP YOUR BED AND WALK? BUT THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT THE SON OF MAN HAS AUTHORITY ON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS-HE SAID TO THE PARALYTIC- I SAY TO YOU RISE, PICK UP YOUR BED, AND GO HOME. AND HE ROSE AND IMMEDIATELY PICKED UP HIS BED AND WENT OUT BEFORE THEM ALL, SO THAT THEY WERE ALL AMAZED AND GLORIFIED GOD, SAYING, WE NEVER SAW ANYTHING LIKE THIS.
 THE SCRIBES IN THE SCENE COULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR OWN EYES THAT JESUS REALLY DID FORGIVE THIS MANS SINS BECAUSE OF THIER LACK OF FAITH AND BELIEF. SO JESUS DECIDED TO GIVE THEM PROOF OF HIS AUTHORITY ON EARTH. HE WAS GOING TO DO SOMETHING EQUALY AS IMPOSSIBLE FROM AN EARTHLY PERSPECTIVE. HE WAS GOING TO HEAL A MAN OF HIS PARALYSIS SO THAT THEY KNOW HE HAS THE POWER TO FORGIVE THIS MAN HIS SINS, REGARDLESS IF THEY BELIEVED OR NOT. HE HEALED THE MAN AND HE JUST WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM. I CAN JUST IMAGINE THE ROOM IN DEAD QUIET AND PEOPLE JUST IN ABSOLUTE AWE OF WHAT JUST HAPPENED. IT SAYS THAT THEY WERE AMAZED AN GLORIFIED GOD. THIS EVENT WAS SO INCREDIBLE THAT ALL THEY COULD DO IS GLORIFY GOD. ANOTHER THING IS THAT EVEN THOUGH JESUS HAS ALL AUTHORITY ON EARTH, HE NEVER USED IT FOR BAD OR RETALIATION OF DEFENSE OF EVIL AGAINST HIM. HE ONLY USED IT FOR GOOD. WE HAVE TO HAVE THE FAITH OF THE FRIENDS OF THE PARALYTIC WHO BROUGHT HIM TO JESUS. WE HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS WANTS TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE WITH PEOPLE. WE HAVE TO BELIEVE HE WANTS TO DO THE SAME FOR OTHERS AS HE HAS DONE FOR US. HE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DO SO, WE JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE AND HAVE FAITH THAT HE WILL, FAITH THAT HE CAN SEE.
 
Julie:
 
IBS Field Time Week 5
Colossians 2:16-19 – Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.  These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.  Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
“Let no one pass judgment on you…” and “Let no one disqualify you…” both really spoke to me and ministered to me.  The passing of judgment is regarding the things that we involve ourselves with.  In the old testament, before Jesus, this included Jewish ceremonies to advance spirituality.  Today this means, in my life, raising my child as a Christian the way I see fit in the Lord.  I will not be moved by the world any longer in regards to what I know is the right way to raise Trent.  I had always fallen back into the judgment of other people and let them shake me.  And in fear of them, I changed my way of raising Trent to a more worldly way instead of staying on the Godly path.  The disqualifying of one is in regards to strong self-disciple and strong worship.  Some have looked on my behavior as a Christian and said that “I have taken it too far” or “I’m too radical” or “I’m trying too hard to earn God’s love”.  I have let myself be embarrassed for my outward display of love that I have for Jesus, and I have let it stunt my growth with Him.  I have to remember that only God can truly pass judgment me on my day of going home to heaven, and only He can convict me for over doing any act of disciple or worship for Him.  He alone keeps me pure and grounded.  So why should I let the world sway me with their judgment and disqualifying when I do not answer to them?  (Yes, I do answer to my husband and authority – but only in what’s pleasing to the Lord and I submit to them unto the Lord.)  I will be in prayer to not let the criticism of the world sway me but instead draw me closer to Jesus.  I have to remember that the world tried to judge and disqualify Him first.
 
 


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

IBS Field Time Week 4

Nick:
“WHO THEN IS THE FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANT, WHOM THE MASTER HAS PUT IN CHARGE OF THE SERVANTS IN HIS HOUSEHOLD TO GIVE THEM THEIR FOOD AT THE PROPER TIME? IT WILL BE GOOD FOR THAT SERVANT WHOSE MASTER FINDS HIM DOING SO WHEN HE RETURNS.” MATTHEW 24-45-46

 THE LORD HAS BEEN BRINGING ME BACK TO LISTENING TO HIS VOICE AND BEING OBEDIENT TO IT. I HAVE BEEN DISTRACTED FROM ALL THE BLESSINGS AND SURROUNDINGS THE LORD HAS PLACED IN AND AROUND MY LIFE. EVEN THOUGH I AM IN A MINISTRY WITH OTHER BELIEVERS, THERE STILL IS THE THREAT OF THE ENEMY DISTRACTING ME WITH THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD. ALSO FOR MY FLESH TO TRY AND SATISFY ITSELF IN THINGS GOING ON AROUND ME. PRAISE GOD THAT HE HAS BROUGHT ME BACK TO OUR RELATIONSHIP AND HIS VOICE BECAUSE ITS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS. ITS WHERE ALL THE FRUIT COMES FROM. ITS THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIS WORD. ITS THE ONLY WAY I CAN LIVE THIS VERSE OUT. THE LORD HAS BLESSED ME WITH A WIFE AND SON AND HAS CALLED ME TO BE IN CHARGE OF MY HOUSEHOLD, AND TO FEED THEM AT THEIR PROPER TIME. IF IM NOT IN THE SPIRIT AND LISTENING FOR AND TO HIS VOICE, HOW AM I TO KNOW WHEN HE IS ASKING ME TO FEED THEM? HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT TO FEED THEM? IF IM TRYING TO DO THIS IN THE FLESH, IM LIKE THE SERVANT IN VERSE 49 THAT BEATS HIS FELLOW WORKERS. THIS IS A VERY TERRIFYING POSITION TO BE IN WHEN NOT RELYING, DEPENDING, AND TRUSTING IN THE LORD. THE LORD ISNT CALLING ME TO PREACH TO MY FAMILY. HE IS ASKING ME TO FEED MY FAMILY AND GUIDE MY FAMILY IN HIS STRENGTH NOT MINE. LIKE PAUL SAID IN ROMANS, “THANKS BE TO GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!

Julie:

Matthew 23 – “Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees (me)” …

 v3 – They preached but did not practice.  I do not want to be the hypocrite who tells people to have faith during storms but when a storm coms upon me, I have no faith.  V4 – They lay heavy burdens on people’s shoulders.  I do not want to be the wife or friend or sister who lays my burdens on other people to make my load lighter.  It only creates a stumbling block for them in their walk with Christ.  V5 – They do their deeds to be seen by others.  I have recently been convicted of seeking the Lord in vain and it makes me sick that I can be that rotten and self-centered.  I do not want man to look at me and say, “good job, but instead God look at me and say, “well done my good and faithful servant”.  V6 -  They love honor and the best seat and people addressing them as Rabbi.  I can say all day how these kinds of arrogant and assertive people test my patience, but I can very easily be the same way.  When I don’t get the best seat, I want to be happy for the one who does deservingly get it.  V15 – They travel far to recruit but them corrupt them with false doctrine.  I do not want to just be enthusiastic about acts of service, but also give my service the best I can.  I do not want to grow lazy in a responsibility I was once so happy to receive.  V16 – The swear by  the temple, but the gold of the temple is too sacred to swear by.  Wow – that anything could have been more sacred than God, but how many times do I do the same thing?  I do idolize certain things and the real confusion (which could be the same in this passage) is what I idolize relates to God.  So what I’m doing is dressing up my sin of idolatry with God and calling it Holy, but in reality and deep down I know that I am choosing God’s gift to me over God himself.  V23 – They tithe spices but not justice, mercy, and faithfulness.  They were giving away things of the flesh, but not things of the heart.  God asks us to die completely to ourselves and that includes our hearts as well.  I pray that I never let my acts of kindness be more visible than the work it is doing in my heart.  V25 – They clean the outside of the cup while the inside is still dirty.  Can I really think that if I serve every time I can, and always smile, and fast and pray fervently, that no one will see through the façade.  I can clean the outside of my cup till it is crystal clear, but if the inside of my cup is dirty then any water I pour out will be just as filthy.  A dirty cup does not have living water in it.  Only by Christ can our cups be washed clean on the inside.  V30 – They mourn for the martyred and the dead prophets, then boast that their fathers were the ones that killed them.  I never want to be someone who exaggerates who they are to fit in with the crowd they are around.  I once was this way, like a boat without an anchor being tossed by the waves, but now I have an anchor and over any characteristics I have, I am first a daughter of Christ and my full identity is found in Him and His truth.
IBS Field Time Week 3 April 24th-30th


Julie:
Matthew 17:26 “And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.”


In this section, Jesus and Peter are approached by a tax collector who asks Peter if Jesus pays taxes.  Peter answers “yes” and they go on.  But I love the way Jesus turns this into a lesson for Peter.  He asks him if he thinks Kings take taxes from their heirs.  Peter believed that the kings collected taxes from others, and Jesus adds “Then the sons are free.”  I am an heir of the King!  Therefore, I am free and exempt from paying taxes to Him.  The ultimate payment was already made, and that was Jesus Christ.  I am free from having to pay for my sins because I am a child of God.  I do not have to earn my freedom.  I can keep my mouth shut and my body still and I will still be exempt.  And going along with saying that I am a child of God is Matthew 18.  “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  What is a child?  They are vulnerable with their parents.  They are humble enough to ask their parents for help when they are in need.  And they trust that their parents will protect and comfort them in all situations.  This is the child of God I want to be, and who He wants me to be.  I am thankful to be an heir of God, so my prayer is to have more gratitude in my heart.
Field Time Week 2 April 17th-23rd

Nick:
Tuesday April 18, 2017 Matthew 10:27-28 "What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

Through the spirit we receive revelation and insight from the Lord. He pours out his wisdom and understanding on us. He shares his truth with us. There will be times when the spirit is compelling us to say things in the light to people. Things that Jesus told us in secret that he wants us to proclaim from the rooftops. He may ordain a certain conversation with somebody, or put us in front of many people. II Corinthians 5:20  "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. God uses us to further his kingdom and for his sovereign will to be done.” And when he does call and ask us to be those messengers, we must not fear flesh and bone. We must fear the one who created us. The one who determines whether it will be heaven or hell.

Julie:
Matthew 13:44 “The Parable of the Hidden Treasure”


This parable has really made an impression on me.  I’ve heard that there are a couple of different ways to view what Jesus means when he says, “the kingdom of heaven”.  When I read this verse, I thought of heaven itself.  Some may think of heaven on earth.  Anyway, the revelation I had was that heaven is my ultimate reward.  My walk with the Lord thus far has been to seek Him, and sometimes when I do that I get discouraged when I get no reward.  Then I realized my heart must be in the wrong place to feel tired of chasing Jesus and coming up short (in my mind).  But, I was missing the heart – the love – the faith.  The man in this parable found his treasure (heaven).  Then he covered it back up and walked away from it.  That must have taken some real faith that it would still be there if he left it there while he went out and handled other business.  His faith becomes even more encouraging when we find out what he left his treasure to go do.  He sold all that he had.  I can’t wrap my head around what everything was to him.  Was it his money and assets, or was it his family, was it himself?  Whatever it was that he sold, the treasure he found was greater.  And once all that he had was gone and he stood alone with some denarii, he didn’t seem to question what his next step was.  He purchased the field that possessed his treasure, so that it could be his.  This man didn’t steal or manipulate or cut corners to get his treasure.  He didn’t say “I want to have my cake and eat it too”.  No, he sold all that he had it hopes to possess the best treasure he had ever seen.  He did this out of faith, and his treasure for that faith was treasure.  What he gave up where things of the world, but what he gained was eternal life.  He didn’t have that child-like mindset that says, “I would rather have one now than a hundred later”.  He knew what was important and he put his mind to it until he possess it.  I am praying that I can be that faithful and steadfast like the man in this parable.
IBS Field Time – Week 1 April 10th-16th

Julie:
Matthew 10:39 – “Whoever find his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”


I am finding myself numb, like a robot.  On the plane back to Guatemala and a few days after arriving I was worrying a little inside because I thought I had cracked.  I thought I was broken of connecting my emotions to my actions.  But as I was journaling, I was saying how lost I feel.  I feel like I have lost grips of who I am and what makes me “me”.  I feel like I no longer possess compassion or empathy or happiness or sadness or anger.  I’m just existing right now.  The enemy has tried telling me that people in my life who are emotionless have rubbed off on me.  He has also tried convincing me that Dad dying as so tramatic that I have flipped all my switched off to avoid dealing with it.  But instead of freaking out (which I can’t do anyway), I turned to God.  And God showed me this verse and reminded me that I am on the right path.  I felt so much peace when I read it.  I felt joy – not to be confused with happiness.  I felt my fruits growing not my emotions.  God reminded me that if I lose myself, I will find myself in Jesus.  God is sanctifying me.  He is setting me apart from the way the world thinks.  I do not want my emotions to guide me anymore, but instead the truth.  I felt like I was walking just parallel to the Christian walk, so close that it looked like I was on it, but my path had a cliff that I had just walked off.  But this verse disillusioned the trick the enemy was playing on me.  I feel so comforted knowing that God is transforming and renewing my mind to be more like Him.

Friday, April 14, 2017

3/31/17 – Friday – IBS – Proverbs 12:1 - Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but he who hates reproof is stupid.

Julie:
Pretty direct.  Those who love and accept discipline, accept knowledge.  Those who hate discipline, hate knowledge.  This verse is so simple, but means so much.  For instance, no one can ever take knowledge from you, so why not accept it?  This point should help us to realize how special knowledge is.  The next point is, why we think we shouldn’t.  It is because we think we already know.  But all over God’s Word it says that the prideful are not wise.  The world thinks those two characteristics go together, but in reality (or in God’s eyes), it is a hindrance to any growth.  Not accepting disciple for the sake of gaining knowledge hinders our growth in not just knowledge, but it also hinders our humbleness, our self-control, and the softening of our hearts.  This person is a fool (or stupid as my ESV says – but we don’t say that word in our house).  
Thursday March 30, 2017 II Timothy 2:2 And what you have from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Nick:

The revelation and understanding that God gives us through his word is a blessing that we are not to keep to ourselves. We are to have fellowship over it. Some are called to teach it to other faithful men who will then in turn teach also. But we all are called to be students of his word. We never know when God will place us in a circumstance that requires us to draw upon the knowledge we gained during our time here as students. We were all called here for a reason and I believe its because God in some way wants to use us all for his kingdom work. There will be some of us who will be called to teach and some even to preach and pastor churches. This season is to prepare us fro the next season, and the next for the next and so on. Knowing this, we must continue to be students of his word in each season because we never know when he will call us to teach what what we have learned to other faithful men.

Julie:
This verse is the truth of a disciple. In verse one, Timothy refers to the readers as children.  What they have heard and what has been taught to them should be then taught to other faithful men.  In doing that, they will turn around and teach others the same.  If we think about a nicely stacks display of glasses, with fifty on the bottom then forty-five then forty and up and up until it gets to one cup on top, then we pour water into the first cup.  What happens?  The first cup gets full and begins to overflow, but the cups that are holding it up now get poured into until they are overflowing, then the next cups, then the next.  This is a beautiful picture of what it means to disciple.  Timothy understood that what these children in the faith learn, they must eventually get to a point of spiritual fullness where they go out and and teach others, who go out and teach others.
Wednesday March 29, 2017 Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

Nick:

Our righteousness is our faith in Jesus Christ. Teach one who belongs in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will increase in learning. Why does the righteous man increase in learning? The righteous man knows that he always has something to learn. He knows that he can never fully understand all of what God is. Teach him can come in many different ways. Know . ledge is one way of learning. Like here in ignite, there has been a curriculum laid out for us to learn from, to walk in. We learn from pastors and teachers teaching from the word in a class room setting. We also learn from experience. An example here has been Austin letting the guys teach a message on an area of scripture that God has put on our hearts. For me learning from experience is the most efficient way to learn things. Counsel is another way of being taught. Something comes comes up in our lives and we want to make sure we are doing things pleasing to God. Sometimes we are so caught up in the circumstances we can’t see through the fog. So we go to trustable godly men for couple or advice on what route to take. Proverbs 15:22 Without couple plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. All these different ways of being taught in the end come from Gods providential hand, and I think that is the key to increasing in learning. God is always trying to teach us something, we never will fully understand it all.

Julie:
So many times I think I'm wise enough.  So many times my pride stands in the way of receiving instruction.  But this Proverb says that a wise man takes instruction.  So what I'm understanding from this verse is that a wise man humbles himself to receive correction.  He may know the measure of his wisdom, but he also knows that it is never enough.  The hunger to humble ourselves so we can be filled with more is wisdom.  What I am is skewed and foolish.  I'm full of my self in this sense.  So how can a person who is full of themselves be full of anything else?  They can't!  And the worst part about it that, is pride is a synthetic fullness.  Nothing about it fruit bearing.  Today I was given instruction on how a godly woman should act.  I felt my pride welling up inside me saying "You are already a godly woman.  You don't need to change anything.  Especially what this person is saying. Be meek!?! Ha! No way!  I need to be a light.  My efforts, my credit, me, me, me."  But I knew, after reading this verse, that those thoughts are nothing more than the enemy trying to get a foothold of me so I cannot grow.  He wants to stunt my spiritual growth by letting my pride hinder my acceptance of instruction.  I pray that the Lord will give me more opportunities to choose the humble road of accepting intruction instead of choosing pride.
3/28/17 – Tuesday – IBS – Luke 2:46 - After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

Julie:
I can only imagine how terrified Mary must have felt when she realized her son was missing.  If Mary was confident enough to have Jesus’ head count before they left, then I can only assume that was because he was such a well-behaved child.  Plus he was twelve, not seven!  Anyway, if Jesus, being a well-behaved character was drawn so far from obeying his mother and father, it must have been for something worth it.  And it was.  It was for God.  Something sparked in him deep enough to say to himself “God over parents”.  I bet it was the Holy Spirit drawing him in closer to where he came from, heaven.   I feel that sometimes.  I feel the Holy Spirit attempting to draw closer to me.  But He only draws as close as I’m willing to soften my heart.  If I remain stiff-necked and hard-hearted I do not get to experience Him on such a deep and intimate level.  Unfortunately, this softening requires letting go of things in the world.  But Jesus didn’t leave his parents forever.  He was with them again.  Which gives me hope when I have to let go of things and it hurts.  Jesus chose God over literally everything.  His family, his source of food, protection, shelter, his everything.  He watched it keep walking and he chose to stop sit at God’s feet and dwell there instead.  Jesus truly is the greatest example we can have.
Monday March 27, 2017 Mark 4:10-11 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything is in parables.

Nick:

Jesus is the secret of the kingdom of heaven. The disciples had Jesus, the word in the flesh. Everything that was prophesied in the Old Testament about the coming of Christ was sitting right in front of them in the flesh. Colossians 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the rich of the Glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Being born again and baptized by the spirit, we have been born into the kingdom of God. We are part of his body, the church. He dwells within us using us a vessels to accomplish his master plan. Colossians 2:9-10 For in him the whole fullness of the deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Jesus is the secret of the kingdom of God, and we have been “crucified with Christ, it is no longer us who lives, but Christ who lives in us. and the life we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Julie:
Jesus told the people, including the disciples, about the parable of the sower.  He taught many things in parables.  But why?  This was the same question that the disciples and a few others had.  He said, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables”.  That sounds like another riddle as an answer to his first riddle.  But what Jesus is actually doing is letting them know that the very fact that they are asking for an explanation shows that they already know the real secret past the sower parable.  They did not here, not comprehend, and walk away.  They were hungry for answered and stayed to get them.  They did not understand but wanted to!  The other people, which were so many he had to get in a boat to teach, did not care to understand his teachings.  They are considered “outside” in Jesus’ explanation.  When we search for understanding of God’s Word we are searching for God.  I am guilty of thinking, “Oh, that teaching went way over my head. Oh well…”  And when I do that, I am just like an outsider, not gaining the secret of the Kingdom of God.  I am a student to God, so everything I here, I should want to understand.  I do not want to just here someone’s doctrine and run with it because… well…. It keeps me from thinking too hard.  I want to be teachable to God’s Word.  That desire is the secret.
3/21/17 - Tuesday - IBS - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 -  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Julie:
What I feel when reading this is conviction of not having the self-control that I should have.  I have a big heart and the right motives, and that is good momentum, but without self-control, I'm useless.  Self-control helps me to not exhaust myself.  It keeps me from keeping simplicity alive.  It keeps me out of danger.  I need self-control over my thoughts, my actions and my words.  I tend to get excited and let that take me too far.  This is immaturity because it is a lack of self-control.  It's a form of being impulsive.  I may not be impulsive to buy things or make changes in my life, but when it comes to expressing myself, I am impulsive.  But I am running a race.  And just like runners, I do not want to sprint the whole time less I tire out and quit.  Sometimes I have to slow my pace down.  Long distance runners are constantly calculating how much distance they have left vs how many calories they have eaten to burn.  They are deliberate with their actions.  That is self-control.  And at the least, they do not quit when they get tired.  I want all of these qualities in my spiritual race.  I wan to obtain the imperishable crown for running with endurance and self-control.  I want to get to the finish line where my Father tells me how proud he is of me.  These forms of self-control are something that I have desired for a long time, and I am just not able to obtain them.  So I know that I can only get them through God.  I just have to stay in prayer for him to give me self-control.  I have put myself in enough bad situations from lack of self-control to realize that I need to pray for God's discipline to rule over me until it becomes natural to run with self-control.
Monday March 20, 2017 I Timothy 4:8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and life to come. 

Nick:

While practicing self control and whipping your body into submission as Paul likes to put it is of value here, godliness holds both value here and in the life to come. What is godliness? I Timothy 3:16 says "Great indeed we confess is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” The understanding  of what God did through Christ and magnitude of it. So training myself in this understanding of Jesus Christ and the knowledge of him is of much more importance than physical training. Christ crucified should be an importance in my daily walk with the lord. It should be a meditation. Reading scriptures on the events leading up to, during, and after should be a daily discipline. Having fellowship with other believers over these scriptures and revelations would only increase my understanding and would draw out more insight into his life. Seeing that he is the way, the truth, and the life, why would I seriously devote the majority of my time to something other than growing in godliness. Keeping ourselves in what he did and his love for us will be the source of our joy and hope here and in the life to come.

Julie:
When we think of bodily training, we may think of running and working out.  And although that is correct, it is not the only kind of training that we need to strive for.  Being self controlled, patient, and loving all require training as well.  They are fruits of the Spirit, and as we all know, fruit does not just appear.  It must be grown.  Or else it is fake or plastic fruit.  It is easy to be discouraged when we do not see immediate fruits after three days of caring for a garden.  If we get more real with this metaphor: It is not easy when we give our brother our other cheek when he has struck one.  It is not easy to acknowledge the plank in our own eye, when we are focused on the speck in our brother's.  It is not easy to lay our fear down so people can taste and see the Lord through our boldness in faith.  It is not easy to cast our anxieties onto the Lord.  I could some all of this up by saying it is not easy to way the costs of following Jesus and still pick up our cross to follow Him.  That is why we train in the little things, so that when Jesus calls us to deeper water, we go.  The training place may be nothing like the arena, but it's all relative.  As an example, walking with 5 lb weights on each ankle may not seem necessary.  It may actually be a nucence.  But as you walk, your body is building up muscles stronger than if you had no weights, so that when the day comes that you need to run, you can do so faster.  God is working out our muscles of self control, love, patience, endurance, unity, faith, discipline, and so many others.  It is hard and it hurts, but the Heavenly reward is so worth it.  I pray that when I am in seasons of suffering or lacking, that my perspective would be thankful that I am actually training for godliness.
3/16/17 - Thursday - IBS - Philippians 3:11 - that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Julie:

What power resurrected Jesus from the dead?  What power resurrected Lazarus from the dead?  The power was the Holy Spirit.  I too want to attain the resurrection, the Holy Spirit.  I too want him to breathe life into me.  Whatever the cost.  But if I am already, dead then I have nothing to do to earn or give to receive It.  I believe the only thing I can do is give my body and allow myself to actually let go and die.  That is the only time that the Spirit can really resurrect.  He will not revive what is not fully dead.  I have done a lot of dying to myself since being in Ignite, but I have been noticing this area that is still living in me.  And it is breeding sin.  But to let that part of me die would require me really having to take that step of faith and trust that God will revive me when I let it die.  Does that make any sense??? In other words, or an illustration, I am this crepe myrtle tree.  I identify who I am by my pink or purple flowers.  "I am a pink crepe myrtle", or "I am a purple crepe myrtle".  But what am I going to identify myself in when my Gardener prunes my branches and all of my colors are gone?  Who am I then?  The world won't look at me and say "look at that bare tree.  She is beautiful".  BUT, what should I care what the world thinks?  The world does not take care of me, my Gardener does!  And I know that when I allow my Gardener to prune me in total submission, then He is happy with me.  And more, my flowers come back.  The difference is that I now find my identity in my Gardener and not my flowers.  "I am God's tree, and I am in total surrender to Him.".  The total surrender is death to self.  I am honored that God loves me enough to expose my wicked branches and prune them back, so I can be the best tree that He designed me to be.  Because without His love, my wicked branches would hinder my growth.
3/15/17 - Wednesday - IBS - Philippians 3:10 - that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Julie:
The two words that initially stand out to me are resurrection and death.  Paul says that he wants to know the power of the resurrection and he wants to share in the suffering of Jesus' death.  I believe that we cannot have one without the other.  To know the power of the resurrection, we must first be willing to suffer and die.  And to be willing to suffer and die, we must first understand the power in the resurrection.  I want to be like Jesus on this level.  I want to think like him on this level.  I have the desire that Paul has, to not be a sideline Christian, but instead jump in and walk with Jesus.  I want to crawl through the trenches with Him, and be ostracized with Him, and die an undeserving criminals death with Him.
3/14/17 - Tuesday - IBS - Philippians 3:9 -  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
Julie:
My righteousness is found in my faith not the law.  That is what I am getting out of this verse right now.  Yesterday in my persnal devo God spoke this to me in Numbers 19.  I learned about a sin offering and what it was used for.  A whole young cow would be burned in the sight of the priest until it was simply ashes.  Then those ashes would be poured into water.  This water was kept for people who came in contact with a dead body.  If they touched a dead body, then they would have this water sprinkled on them and they would be considered unclean for seven days.  The law said that to be righteous again, aftering touching a dead body, they would have to go through these rituals and sacrifices.  It was such an eye opener to me, because I was that person who not just touched but held a dead body five months ago.  And I had never felt closer to God.  I did not feel the guilt or shame of what I was doing.  I didn't feel like I had to do a bunch of nonsense to become clean in God's eyes again.  I felt clean as I held him.  I felt peace.  I felt righteous in the eyes of God.  And that is because of the faith I have in Jesus Christ being my Sacrifice.  He sacrificed himself so I could touch something dead and mourn without guilt.  And he is my Savior because I felt peace. This is an applicable way I have found my righteousness in faith and not the law.
Monday March 13, 2017 Philippians 8:8 - Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.

Nick:

This was one of the key verses when I first got saved. It encouraged me to let go of everything I was or had so that I could gain more of Christ. Paul counted any title he may have had, any position, anything attained, as loss. Sounds like Jesus earlier in Chapter 2 verse 6-7, "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God, a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant.” This has been something that has been coming up in my life recently. I have been given a destination and a position in which I am being raised up for. I have recently also found out from the Lord some of my giftings that I will be applying once I have taken the position. What God is teaching me is even though I am called to theses things from him, they are not something that am to hold on to. They are not my identity. They are not some level of christian that I have now attained. Its not something I have earned because of me service to God. It is so easy for me to become prideful and become confident in the flesh. Paul says earlier in the chapter that if there is anyone who should be confident in the flesh, it should be him because of his background. Paul Counts them as garbage, worthless. Jesus did the same when he came to earth. My righteousness or identity isn’t in titles or positions, its in Christ and what he did for me. Its in the love of God. Its in the faith that God has given me in himself. Its knowing, trusting, and depending on who he is and what he did. It isn’t the things he calls me to or the roles and circumstances in which he puts me in. It isn’t the things in which were predestined for me. I didn’t save myself and I haven’t gotten myself here, God did. 

Julie:
In this section, Paul is having to get on the same level as the Philippians to get them to understand.  Paul is not an arrogant guy, but he knows the Philippians will not listen to him unless he talks like them.  They are like children who think they know and have everything.  It's the same way I talk to Trent when I want to make a point.  I cannot talk like an adult because he is not one.  I have to talk in terms that he will understand.  So these Philippians think they are set because they have all of this knowledge and status.  And Paul tells them that not only did he once have have the same thing, but he was greater.  They may be circumcised, but Paul was circumcised more.  He was a Hebrew and a Pharisee.  He truly knew the law and abide by it.  He persecuted those who followed Jesus because it did not fall in line with the law.  I can only imagine that right now the Philippians are thinking something along the lines of "Wow, this man Paul is the real deal.  Look at all that he is and what he has done.  Obviously he isn't an idiot.  Maybe we should listen to what he says and take his advice.".  Now that Paul has hooked them, he begins to reel them in.  He goes on to tell them that all of his fame and accomplishments, he counts as loss for the sake of Christ.  I'm sure the Philippians are scratching their head thinking "You are willing to totaly give up your life and your status and your control to follow a man?".  I believe that's why he starts v8 with "Indeed".  Paul counted everything as loss.  Everything truly is a lot.  But in the same breath, it is so freeing once it is let go of.  Especially, when we let go because we know that simply knowing Jesus Christ is worth more than anything that this world has to offer.  Paul actually said that it was a "surpassing worth".  So him being a Pharisee (being with the "in" crowd of religion), being a Hebrew (higher social class), and knowledge he had from both was so far less important to him than Jesus that it was surpassing in worth.  I want to feel the same way for Jesus.  I want just knowing Christ to be worth more than what I own, or my family, or my status, or my money.  My true identity is being the daughter of Jesus.  And praise God that Paul, this man who seems to have no problems with letting go of the world, says that he "suffered the loss of all things".  He is assuring us that it will be hard, but putting Christ on the throne of my heart is not the hard part.  It's when I have to remove my idols and count them as nothing.  But in doing that, God does not forsake me.  I believe that I will actually draw closer to Him.  I should know that I will not be left alone with Jesus on the throne of my heart.  And I believe that in doing that, I will gain Christ.  

3/9/17 - Thursday - IBS - Matthew 18:15 - If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Julie:
If a brother or sister who walks with Christ wrongs me, I am obligated to address it with them, because I want to see them flourish in Christ.  They may not be aware of their exposed area that is hindering their growth.  And what kind of sister would I be to not want my fellow brother or sister to grow in Christ?  I know I want to flourish in Christ, so if I have a spot in me that is keeping me from growing, I would expect my fellow brothers or sisters to point it out so that I can pray about how to remove that from my life.  The enemy came to steal, kill, and destory, so when we choose not to confront a fellow member of Christ about their sin, then we are allowing the enemy to steal our fellowship, kill the good fruits growing with the sin, and destroy our confidence in God to redeem and restore.  I know I want to continue to grow in God as long as I am living on this earth, so if you brother or sister sees a flaw in my walk with Christ, I would hope they would bring that to the light.  And I would hope that I had a mature enough heart to recieve it as corrective criticism and not let it become something wicked.  I do not want the help to fester in my heart as someone out to get me.  That just means that there is still pride in me that is hurt.  But if I am really dead and now live in Christ then who am I to worry what counsel another Godly brother or sister has to share?  It's all for the growth of our love for God and each other !
3/8/17 - Wednesday - IBS - 2 Corinthians 13:11 - Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 
Julie:

Paul is concluding his letter with five commands. Rejoice.  Restoration.  Comfort.  Agree.  Peace.  As he says in the verse before, these are commands given for building up and not tearing down.  Jesus walked with these traits.  And since Jesus is our cornerstone, these traits should be a part of our foundation.  If our foundation is not built on these traits, then whatever we build will have to be to torn down because it cannot withstand the weight the world puts on us.  These five commands are the materials that make up that cornerstone to keep us from being shaken.  And crazy enough, all five of these commands are not for our own building up but the building up of others.  Rejoice with others.  Restore others.  Comfort others.  Agree with others.  Be at peace with others.  So as we keep the foundation of our cornerstone as Christ-like, then we help others lay their foundation as a Christ-like one.  When two people come together that are both built on Jesus' solid foundation then they are stable enough to be in unity.  When a congregation comes together on the same foundation then there is unity and fellowship and there you see the body of Christ.  I know that I cannot take it upon myself to build someone up because they have the free will to listen or not, but what I can do is be a strong tower unto the Lord and let that be an example for anyone.