Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Virtuous Life Day 1 Notes

   I began a new Bible study today, along with several friends.  You can find everything that you need to know about it on the Time Warp Wife blog.  I had to wait for new ink before I could print it and then I had to wait for a quiet moment to actually get started.  The day was a little rough since it rained all day and the kids were wild.  I managed to find time in the afternoon to color the color page that goes along with this week, which really helped me to calm down a little bit from the chaos.  I was excited to see that all of the printed scriptures in the study are from the King James Version.  This makes the scripture cards and color pages useful and relevant for me, since I prefer KJV.  One other note before I type up my written notes from my study tonight:  Today's study was just for me!  It reiterated a conversation that Gabe and I had last night and gave me the peace that I need for this period of my life.

From my study notes dated 4-18-16:
   Esther 4:6-5:8

What does Esther teach us about wisdom, foresight and practical judgment?
          Esther didn't just run to the king when she was asked to speak to him.  She knew that could get her killed before the king even heard what she had to say.  She prayed for the Jews safety and asked them to fast and pray while she prepared to speak to the king.

Idea yields prayer, which yields a plan, and then an action.

Mordecai presented an idea, it was prayed over, a plan was established and then Esther took action.  This pattern lead to being heard and later receiving the answer that they wanted.

The commentary in the Life Application Study Bible gave some steps for planning.
   When facing a difficult task:
          1.  Calculate the cost.
          2.  Set priorities.
          3.  Prepare.
          4.  Determine your course of action.
   Once you have done those things, move ahead boldly.  Don't dilly-dally once you have your plan, JUST DO IT!!!!

Week 1:  Prudence
   Prudence is wisdom, foresight and practical judgment.
   Prudent means showing care and thought for the future.
   Folly means foolishness.

Proverbs 14:8
          The wisdom of the "one showing care and thought for the future" is to understand his way: but the "foolishness" of fools is deceit.

Ruth also took the time to plan and then she stepped forward boldly.

Luke 14:28-32 says that no one will start building a house without knowing the cost.  No king will go to war without knowing what he is up against.

If you find yourself unsure of God's direction for your life, or you are unable to form a plan for reaching His goal for you, all you have to do is PRAY!

James 1:5
   If any of you lack wisdom (prudence), let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally, and (upbraideth)  "doesn't put you down" and it shall be given him.

Just ask and God will give you the wisdom that you need.

2 Peter 1:5-6 paraphrased
    Work hard to become virtuous (showing high moral standards), then gain knowledge, then self-restraint, then patience, and finally godliness (conforming to the wishes of God).

   I've always thought that godliness meant being like God.  I looked it up tonight and found that it actually means conforming to God's wishes for yourself.

   I can't fulfill His wishes for me without
          1st showing high moral standards,
          2nd gaining knowledge about His plans for me, as well as gaining knowledge of His word,
          3rd showing self-restraint when things don't go my way,
          4th being patient, and
          5th conforming to His plans for me.

Patience may refer to my environment and to my response to those around me.  It may also refer to waiting on God to reveal His plans or for Him to tell you to act upon those plans.

Reflection Question:  What is God telling you and how can you apply this?

   WOW!  Right now we are in a waiting period.  We don't know where God wants us.  I'm a bit scared of this wait and all of the changes that come along with preparing ourselves to be used by Him.  I think that God has used tonight's study to tell me to straighten up my life, and "work diligently" to clean up my sin.  Only once I am living a virtuous (moral) life will God reveal His plans and further my growth in order for me to be used by Him.

   For now my wait is not because of God's timing but because I don't have my life right.

Direction for digging deeper tomorrow:  look at fasting.  What is the purpose and is it still relevant for today?

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