3 Things We Should Be Doing as We Wait for Christ’s Return…

Love God Greatly-Peter-Week 8

Love God Greatly- Peter- Week 8

I remember reading this passage when I was in high school and it terrifying me.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…”- 2 Peter 3:10

I don’t know about you, but I’m not fond of surprises…

I like knowing what to expect…the time of the event, the date…you know, the exact details.

Yet, here we see Jesus promise He will come back and when He does it will be sudden and without warning…but no exact details are listed.

Though, we are not given a day and time…we do know as each day passes, we are one day closer to His final return.

For this reason, I earnestly pray and fast for my family and friends who are not saved.

Taking this truth to heart, how are we to live our lives? Peter tells us in verse eleven and twelve…

“You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming..” 2 Peter 3:11-12

1. We should live holy and godly lives…

“Christians should be different, not odd. When you are different, you attract people; when you are odd, you repel them.”- Warren Wiersbe

We are called to live “holy” lives…lives that are set apart for God.

We are called to live “godly” lives…lives devoted to pleasing God out of our love for Him. Lives that desire to love God with all our mind, heart and soul. Every area of our life is focused on seeing the world through His eyes and loving out of the overflow of His heart.

 

2. We should look forward to Christ’s second coming…

Realizing Christ is returning should make us invest our precious days in what truly matters….God and others.

Everything else….all the possessions we have worked so hard for will be destroyed, only what is eternal will last.

That’s why we need to run our race well now.

That’s why we need to stay focused on what is truly important in this life and not get sidetracked by “things” that won’t go with us into eternity.

We need to be earnestly watching and working toward our Beloved’s return…thanking Him for His patience as He waits for our dear friends and family to repent and turn to Him.

 

3. We should be active in praying for His second coming…

“…and speed it’s coming.” 2 Peter 3:12

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come…” we are invited to pray and participate in the ushering of Christ’s return.

“If God’s work today is calling out a people for His name (Acts 15:14), then the sooner the church is completed, the sooner our Lord will return.”- Warren Wiersbe

 

Ohhh friends, what an amazing future we have to look forward to. Let’s not waste our lives on the temporal…let’s invest our days wisely, pouring our lives into others, sharing Christ and putting our faith into action.

A world is watching and we don’t have much time…what if THIS is the generation when Christ returns?

Let’s Talk:
Today let’s do something a little different. For those of you who have friends or family members who are not saved, go ahead and leave a comment. It can just simply be “friend” or “loved one”….then let’s earnestly pray over the friends and family members listed. After you leave a prayer request comment on our blog, go and pray over someone else’s loved one and leave a comment stating that you are praying for that person. Let’s join together and pray that God will move powerfully in these dear friends and family members lives and they too will receive God’s free gift of salvation!

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

 

Don’t forget, our new summer study begins June 15th!

Share this image with your friends and invite them to join us this summer as we dig into Psalm 119!
Love God Greatly Psalm 119

Week 7- The Profile of a False Teacher

Love God Greatly- Week 7

Counterfeits and false teachers are nothing new; Satan is the “great imitator” (2 Cor.11:13-15), and has been hard at work since he deceived Eve in the garden. (Gen. 3:1-7; 2 Cor. 11:1-4)

In the Old Testament, Jeremiah and Ezekiel had to deal with false prophets in their time, and expose their counterfeit teachings even though many continued to follow them. Why?

“Because the religion of the false prophets (teachers) was easy, comfortable, and popular.” – Warren Wiersbe

So how can we protect ourselves and our families from false teaching?

Peter, in today’s passage, gives us four warning signs to help us identify them.

1. Destructive Heresies

“False teachers use our vocabulary, but they do not use our dictionary.” – Warren Wiersbe.

False teachers “appear” to believe the fundamentals of our Christian faith, yet slowly introduce their false doctrine over time. Peter describes their words in the Greek as plastos, which is where we get our English word for plastic. In other words, these false teacher’s words were like plastic… They are easily twisted and formed into various meanings.

False teachers are known for what they deny in Scripture rather than what they affirm… pointing their followers away from, instead of toward, God’s truth.

They deny the Sovereignty of God. 2 Peter 2:1

“They deny the inspiration of the Bible, the sinfulness of man, the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross, salvation by faith alone, and even the reality of eternal judgment. They especially deny the deity of Jesus Christ, for they know that if they do away with His deity, they can destroy the entire body of Christian truth. Christianity is Christ, and if He is not what He claims to be, there is no Christian faith.” – Warren Wiersbe

Will all Christians agree on the secondary points in our faith? No. But all true Christians must agree on who Jesus is and what He has done.

Jesus is the Son of God.

God is Jesus, and Jesus is God.

Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and only through our faith in Him can we have eternal life.

2. Shameful Ways

We see why false teachers want to deny God’s truth and point their followers away from Scripture instead of toward it: because they want to satisfy their lusts, their desires.

Lust and desire can come in many forms. When we hear of lusts of the flesh we most often think of sexual sins. And looking through history we see that many false teachers or cult leaders definitely used sex disguised in “religion” to fulfill some of these evil desires. But lust can also come in the form of fame, power, things, and especially money.

Make sure you not only pay attention to the lives of these false teachers, but to the lives of their followers as well. They may profess with their mouths to know and love God, but their lives tell a different story.

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16)

3. Greed

Plain and simple, money is their god.

Let me make this very clear: as Christians we are called to financially support our churches and pastors – we see this in Luke 10:7, “For the worker deserves his wage.” I love tithing to my church and various other ministries because I love joining them in the work God is doing through them, and am honored to give.

But here we see that the false teachers financially exploited and took advantage of their followers. Their motives are not for ministry but for money. They are more merchandisers than they are ministers.

When giving money make sure to pay attention to how the money will be used. Is this person open to sharing how the money given is being spent?

4. Liars

They deceive and flatter with their words. They tell made up stories instead of truth.

We need to make sure that we are in God’s Word for ourselves. We need to train our ears to listen to God’s voice. Our world is filled with many voices telling us how we should live our lives. The false teacher has all the answers. He or she has a “new revealed word” to share. They have “special” insight that others don’t have.

My sweet sister, everything that we need to know about is found within the Bible.

Nothing needs to be added to it… It is complete.

“The sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3)

“The mark of a sheep is its ability to hear the Shepherd’s voice.” – Max Lucado

I read an article a few years ago about counterfeit money spotters. Instead of looking at all the different ways money can falsely be reproduced, these men and women are trained using authentic money. They spend much more time learning how genuine bills and coins are to look than they do with the false money.

The same is true with our faith. Our best defense in not being taken in by one of these false teachers is making sure we spend time with Jesus in His Word, reading it for ourselves. The better we know the Bible, and ALL of the Bible, the easier it is to spot when someone is twisting Scripture.

A few questions to think:
• What are you more impressed with, the teacher’s style and charisma, or the words he or she speaks?
• What do you remember most about the teacher’s message?
• Does the person point you to Scripture or away from it?

So thankful for you and your desire to dig into God’s Word for yourself! The better we know God’s Word, the better we can be in spotting false teaching!

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

 

 

 

Week 7 Challenge

Weekly-Challenge-7

Week 7 Video

(Click here to see the video)

Week 7 Memory Verse

LoveGodGreatly-Week 7 Memory Verse

Week 7 Reading Plan
Love God Greatly- Week 7 Reading Plan

The Importance of Living a Life of Gratitude

Love God Greatly

Love God Greatly

Part of living a life of gratitude is remembering what has been done for us. We are cleansed from our past…

choices we wish we had never made…
places we wish we had never went to…
words we wish we had never said…

Oh friends, we have been forgiven much.

May we never allow Satan to hold us captive because of our past, but may we also never forget and become ungrateful.

We need to live in the humble balance of remembrance and grace.

“He…has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” 2 Peter 1:9

May it never be said that we have forgotten…

Because when we are thankful, we desire to grow and be like Christ.

We make the “effort to add to our faith” and desire to increase in faithfulness, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. (2 Peter 1:5-6)

“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8

Now is not a time to be ineffective or unproductive in our families, communities….world.

“Some of the most effective Christians I have known are people without dramatic talents and special abilities, or even exciting personalities, yet God has used them in marvelous ways. Why? Because they are becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. They have the kind of character and conduct that God can trust with blessing. They are fruitful because they are faithful; they are effective because they are growing in their Christian experience.”- Warren Wiersbe

You see there is a lie that is being spoken that only those “special” Christians are making a difference for God.

The ones with the biggest followings, most book deals or largest speaking venues…

The ones with the special talents God needs to help spread His message throughout the world…

Not ordinary women like you and me…

Ahhh but don’t you believe that for a second!

God is an expert in using the ordinary to do the extraordinary!

Our job is to “make every effort to” continue working on these qualities year after year, to increase in our knowledge of Jesus, as God produces more and more fruit in our lives

We are the body of Christ and we ALL have a special part to play in this amazing story of love and redemption God is writing with our lives…

How you love, grow and serve matters!

The fruitfulness of your life matters…

Your vision matters too…

Though we know our “good works” do not save us, the overflow of a thankful life is good deeds. How can we remain unchanged if we truly understand the price Jesus paid for our sins? Our understanding should prompt us to reach out to others…

We must strive to see others outside our immediate community and not become nearsighted or blind seeing only those in our lives.

“There are some Christians who see only their own churches or their own denominations, but who fail to see the greatness of God’s family around the world. Some believers see the needs at home but have no vision for a lost world.”- Warren Wiersbe

Ohh I pray God will increase our vision as we choose to not become nearsighted.

There is a hurting world out there who needs to hear about Jesus and witness the difference He makes in our lives as we choose to grow in obedience and produce the fruit of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love…

Let’s choose to live lives of gratitude, growth and not forget…heaven is waiting and one day there will be a welcome party for us as we come home!

Because we’re not home yet, so let’s make the most of our days now…

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk:
With God as your partner, how have you intentionally been working on increasing in goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness or love?

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Love God Greatly-Psalm 119

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Use the hashtag #LoveGodGreatly)

Ohh friends,

I’m so excited to announce our upcoming summer Bible study!!! Normally we do a book club in the summer but we’re changing things up a little this year! Ha! We have some super fun plans in store in the coming months and I can’t wait to share them with you, but for now let’s just focus on this, our NEW SUMMER online Bible study in Psalm 119!!!

If you’ve ever read through Psalm 119, you know how incredibly powerful it is!!! So invite some friends and join us! We’d love to have you!

Here is all the information you need to know:
1 & 2 Peter study ends: May 15th
Break: May 16th-June 14th & mentor training (2 weeks) followed by enrollment
Summer Study: June 15th-August 7th
Break: August 8th-September 6th & mentor training (2 weeks) followed by enrollment

My Trip to Italy…30 Years in the Making!

As a little girl, my step-dad had lived in Italy for two years before he married my mom. I grew up hearing stories of Italy, of it’s people, food and culture. God used those stories to plant a seed in my heart for a country I did not know, for a people I had not yet met, but he planted a desire in my heart to one day change that.

What started out as a small seed began to grow and grow over the years, and developed into a love for a country I could only dream of one day visiting.

I remember as a child, having a little silky red map of Italy that was trimmed in gold stitching hanging on my wall next to by bed that my step-dad had given to me from his time in Italy. I loved looking at that map. I remember dreaming and wondering if I’d ever be able to go there.

And then in God’s perfect timing, the opportunity came through our partnership with GlobalAdvance… and I stepped out in faith and took it.

Two weeks ago, as I participated in a conference there in Italy, raising my voice and praising my Lord in Italian, a language I did not know, I was overcome with emotion. Memories began to fill my mind as I thought back over the years on how God used so many events in my life to get me to that place. For such a time as this…

Love God Greatly- Italy

Love God Greatly- Italy

I flew into Rome on Good Friday…

Love God Greatly- Italy

Nothing in our life is a coincidence.

Long before some of the girls attending the conference had even been born, God had spoken to my heart as a child and planted a seed… and it took almost thirty years to bring it to fruition.

Don’t doubt the work God is doing in your life right now… even if it seems to be taking years.

“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8

King David was told when he was younger that he would one day be king… but God allowed him to walk through many hardships, which prepared him to be the type of king God was wanting.

We must be patient; we must learn to obey God right where he has us in this moment… we must learn to trust him in the present so that we can follow where He leads in the future.

Our obedience in the small matters in life make way for obedience in the larger ones.

I truly enjoyed my trip to Italy but I have to admit, besides spending some great time with my husband celebrating our 15 almost 16 years of marriage, my second favorite experience was spending time with the new friends I was able to meet on my trip.

Love God Greatly Love God Greatly- Italy

Having the opportunity to be in their country, experience life with them, hug their necks and eat their yummy food… it was incredible and worth the 30 year wait!

And their passion for God? Ohhh friends… it was beautiful and humbling all at the same time.

They are hungry to know God… even more than they do right now.

They are passionate about reaching their next generation for Christ.

I was so honored to be with them, and forever changed.

And sharing our translated FREE Bible study resources with them… I honestly don’t know who was more excited! I almost wanted to cry as I unpacked the study guides and materials from my suitcase before I headed down to the meeting… humbled and honored that I GET to share in this blessing.

Love God Greatly- Italian Materials

Our Italian translators did a beautiful job translating our 1st & 2nd Peter study guide, reading plan and graphics…

Acts 20:35, “It is better to give than receive”, came to mind as I met with their women leaders and shared with them our materials… it was truly an honor and blessing to be able to offer these beautiful resources to them, free of charge.

Sometimes I have to pull back a little and get a larger view of what God is doing around the world through Love God Greatly… it is amazing and humbling all wrapped up together!

 And this community here…

God is blessing the nations through Love God Greatly, and we are humbled and thankful for the opportunity.

God is moving.

Yesterday, Whitney flew out to Nicaragua to speak at a conference Global Advance is putting on and there she will also be meeting with women leaders from local churches and sharing our free Spanish Bible study resources thanks to Edurne and our amazing Spanish team.

 Please pray for Whitney as she speaks, that God will speak through her and these precious women will feel the deep love of God through her!

Ohh friends, God is opening doors like never before and we are honored to walk in obedience through them.

THANK YOU for joining us on this journey…

THANK YOU for being a part of our beautiful community and for praying over all of us!

To ALL our teams of volunteers….THANK YOU for helping us encourage women not only in our own country to be in God’s Word…but around the WORLD!

Because, what we do with our lives matters for eternity…

Our choices…

Our obedience…

How we choose to invest our life…it all matters!

TOGETHER, let’s advance God’s Word to the ends of the earth…and around our neighborhood streets.

Love God Greatly- Italy
Because Jesus is coming back…

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you happened to miss my Monday video from Rome in front of St. Peter’s church…you can watch it here. 

You Are Not Unseen

Love God Greatly

There are days I need to be reminded that my life is in His hands.

Days when I need to slow down, pray up, and concentrate on the truth of God’s Word because the fact of the matter is, my life, my children’s lives, my family and friends lives… they are all in His mighty hands, not mine.

I know life can be hard.

I know the bad days can outnumber the good days.

The world we live in is crazy, cold, and mean at times, and we daily have to fight for joy, fight to choose love over anger, and fight to see Jesus in each moment.

But I want to encourage you with this… He is there.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.- 1 Peter 5:7

Friend, you are not alone in your battles or your sufferings.

Like David in the Psalms, tell God what is worrying you. Be honest with Him… it’s the only way to pray.

And choose to clothe yourself everyday with humility… it’s the most beautiful garment a woman can wear… besides a loving heart and smile, of course.

And remember to trust in God’s timing…

Though at times the world seems out of control, don’t believe that lie.

God has you right where He needs you… you are not unseen by Him.

“God never exalts anyone until that person is ready for it. First the cross, then the crown; first the suffering, then the glory.”- Warren Wiersbe

Are you walking through a hard situation right now? Do you feel like all your work and service for God is going unnoticed? Take heart, and remember that God has a plan and purpose for your life. Our lives are for His glory…release yourself from the pressure to perform and please everyone.

We live for an audience of One.

Love God Greatly

As women “of the cross” we are called to humble ourselves before our loving King and move under the protection of His mighty hands. He is in control, trust Him to lift you up…in His timing. 

Because we place our lives into His mighty hands we can trust Him with the outcome. We are called to love, obey and serve. We walk in faith and dig into scripture…but the results of our lives? The results, the harvest…that is not a burden we are meant to carry. Release that burden, that anxiety you are holding to Jesus, He can carry that load.

Don’t rush the process of growth God has you in. It takes time to grow into your calling.

Remember, trees don’t mature over night. It takes years of continual growth both above ground and below for a tree to grow healthy and strong.

God has a purpose for where you are right now… learn, grow, and embrace the season.

You are seen.

You are loved.

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

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