When We Are Called to Suffer and Submit

Love God Greatly

Suffering and submitting.

Two words many Christians don’t like to talk about… including me.

Yet here in verses 11-12, Peter encourages us – like a good friend – to keep our focus in the midst of the suffering. To live lives that glorify God.

Sometimes God allows the suffering because of what it produces in our lives. Ironically, many times it’s the suffering that matures our faith and makes us stronger rather than the days of blessing. As I read over these verses, I’m reminded that as Christians, we are told in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). So it’s not really a matter of “IF,” but rather “WHEN” trouble and suffering will arise.

When people accuse you of doing wrong… how will you respond?

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12)

When an injustice is committed against you…will you retaliate? 

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate, when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”- 1 Peter 2: 23

Dear friend, if this is where you find yourself today, let me encourage you…

God has not abandoned you in this pain. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

The hurt and rejection you are feeling? Jesus has experienced that same heartache.

Remember Whose you are. YOU, my dear, are a child of the King….you bear his name! (Galatians 3:26)

Trust God in this moment. He is working! Growth always occurs first underneath the soil.

Even though you don’t understand it now, God does have a plan. Walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

In verses 13-17, Peter goes on to talk about the importance of submitting to those instituted in authority in our lives. I know this can be a hot topic, especially with the character and integrity of some of our leaders. But nonetheless we are called to submit to them for the Lord’s sake (vs. 13). Because this life? It really isn’t about us. It’s about Him and our obedience to Him.

Does this mean that as Christians we can’t stand up for ourselves and voice our opinions? Absolutely not, but we need to remember to do so in a respectable manner.

“It is possible to submit to the institutions and still disobey the laws.”- Warren W. Wiersbe

The story of Daniel and his friends choosing not to eat the food of the king is a great example:

“…they disobeyed the law, but the way that they did is proved that they honored the king and respected the authorities (Dan. 1). They were not rebels; they were careful not to embarrass the official in charge or get him in trouble; and yet they stood their ground. They gloried God and, at the same time, honored the authority of the king.”- Warren W. Wiersbe

We know we are not saved by our good works, but God calls us to do good with the lives He has blessed us with and in doing so, we silence the critics by the evidence of him working through us. We don’t accomplish this by opposing their authority. 

“A true Christian submits himself to authority because he is first of all submitted to Christ. He uses his freedom as a tool to build with and not as a weapon to fight with.”- Warren W. Wiersbe

Yet in Acts 5:29 Peter says,  “We must obey God rather than men.” …

So the issue comes down to discernment. We respect the office and submit to the authority in our lives unless we have to choose between obeying God or obeying men….

This is why we must be in God’s Word. We have to study it and pray for discernment to know when it’s right to submit to authority that has been placed over us and when to take a stand in obedience to God.

Dear friends, there will be days when following Jesus will take everything we have. Days when we will have to lean hard into Him and His love for us, remembering that we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…a people belonging to God (1 Peter 2:9). May it be said of us when outsiders look at our lives that we loved each other well, that we lived upright, obedient lives in love for our Lord and that we honored those in positions over us.

LoveGodGreatly

Looking to Jesus as our example…may we live lives in service to one another, willing to suffer and submit for the greater good…the glory of God!

There is no greater time than now…the world is watching!

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

________________________________________________________

On a personal note…

It has always been a dream of mine to one day travel to Italy…God in his amazing ways has recently blessed be with an opportunity, through our new partnership with Global Advance, to travel there this week and speak to hundreds of women about Love God Greatly and the amazing work he is doing through our ministry! (My husband and I are also extending the trip and celebrating our 15th year anniversary, too….why not?!!!) I would SO appreciate your prayers as I travel to Italy! Please pray for God to speak through me to these precious women’s hearts! Ohh how I want to serve him well! Thank YOU for joining me on this amazing journey! To God be all glory!

I will be sharing pictures of my trip along the way on our Instagram feed and Facebook page! I would LOVE for you to follow along!

1 & 2 Peter: Week 1-Monday- Our Inheritance

Love God Greatly

I remember my grandma – Nana, as I loved to call her – talking to my mom about the importance of leaving an inheritance to her children and grandchildren one late evening when I was in high school.

As a teenager, I remember thinking how silly that sounded. Why should she leave money behind for us to enjoy when she could enjoy the money now? I know she had dreams of traveling the world and building that addition on her home, like she had always talked about. And we were not a family of means, though my grandpa worked hard all of his life in the automobile factories where my family lives in Indiana. We knew the sacrifice it cost her to put money away in the bank each month. But my Nana was a generous woman. She loved to give and bless those in her family. It brought her joy to be able to help provide for her loved ones.

And so as she would talk about this inheritance that we would have one day, we would smile, kiss her on her forehead and thank her for her giving heart… never wanting or expecting a penny.

As the years went by my sweet grandpa passed away, and a few years later my Nana eventually went into an assisted living facility. Ohhh we tried to talk her into moving to Texas and living with us, but not that Indiana born and raised woman. Though she loved her family in Texas, she couldn’t bear the thought of not being in the same area she had lived her whole life. We learned that you can take Nana out of Indiana but you can’t take Indiana out of Nana. Indiana was in her blood and in her heart. She just couldn’t grow roots out here in Texas, so she went back to Indiana to live near our family there.

Yet make no mistake, every time we would go to visit her she would remind us of the inheritance she had sacrificed for us; the inheritance that was waiting for us. And visit after visit we would smile, kiss her on her forehead and thank her.


As the years went on, her sweet sacrificial inheritance dwindled down as the cost of the home increased. Eventually the inheritance she had spent years investing into was gone….and she was heartbroken. My Nana cried when she told us. All those years of saving, sacrificing: gone in her eyes, but not in ours. Like always, we would smile, lean down and kiss her on the forehead, and this time told her that she had already given us the best inheritance a Nana could give…loving memories of a woman who loved her family with every part of her heart.

My sweet Nana is now in heaven, and she is experiencing the reality of the amazing inheritance Peter talks about in Chapter One. An inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. An unlimited bank account that can never be emptied by too many withdraws.


This is the reality for those who are found in Christ. Here Peter writes a letter of hope to a people, then and now, who are suffering, hurting… who are needing to be reminded that there is this amazing inheritance waiting for them when they get to heaven. An inheritance beyond anything they can ever imagine. A place with no more pain, sadness or heartbreak. A place were we are finally complete, whole… and without sin.

The place our hearts and minds have been aching for since we drew our first breath. Home. Our real home. 


As we dive into 1 Peter this week, let me end with this encouragement…

Like Peter states at the very beginning of Chapter One, we are strangers in the world.
This is not our home. So let’s start living with this truth in mind.

Let’s stop trying to make heaven here on earth.

Let’s stop trying to “save” for the future, and instead pour our lives into NOW.

Jesus is coming back you all, and with the passing of each day His arrival is getting closer and closer. Let’s spend our days wisely, investing in what will last for eternity…

Let’s Talk:
How does focusing on the fact that those who are saved have an amazing inheritance waiting for them in heaven change your outlook of life?

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

 

 

Week 1 Video

(Click here if you can’t see the video!)

Week 1 Memory Verse
Love God Greatly- Peter Week 1 Memory Verse

Week 1 Challenge
Love God Greatly Weekly-Challenge

Week 1 Reading Plan
Love God Greatly: Reading Plan Wk1

Note: Our Reading Plan is also on YouVersion! Click here to start it today!

 

New to Love God Greatly? Welcome, sweet friend!

Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

1st & 2nd Peter Bible Study Materials Now Available!

Love God Greatly- Materials Available

Oh friends,

We are less than a week away from starting our 1st & 2nd Peter study with you! Today I’m excited to share the reading plan and study guide for our upcoming study! All our materials are FREE and we have two simple ways for you to download them!

* You can either download the reading plan and study guide directly from this blog post.

or

* As a subscriber to our blog, they are listed at the very bottom of every email we send out!

Materials for our study can be found here AND in your LGG email!

1st & 2nd Peter Study Guide

1st & 2nd Peter Reading Plan

 

To make sure you get our full study, please subscribe to our blog so you will receive our Monday-Wednesday-Friday blog posts that go along with this study!

On Friday we will be sharing our amazing 1st & 2nd Peter translations so stay tuned! We believe it’s important for women around the world to have the same opportunity to dig into God’s Word as we have so our translated studies are FREE as well!

And for those who are wondering, our YouVersion plan should be available on Friday also….just remember to not start it until MONDAY!!! Hehehe….I know you’re super excited!:) So are we!!!

 

Love God Greatly!
Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

 

Invite some friends and join us on Monday!
Love God Greatly-Peter Study

 

 

Special Announcement: Jen Wilkin joins Love God Greatly!

Sweet friends,

We are one week away from starting our 1 & 2 Peter study! If you haven’t done so already, let me encourage you to reach out to a few friends and invite them to join you for these next eight weeks. It’s going to be an amazing study….and besides, it’s always more fun to dig into God’s Word with your friends!

Today I have a special announcement for you and I can’t wait to share it!

God is really growing Love God Greatly and today I am SUPER excited to announce that Jen Wilkin, author of Women of the Word,  is joining our Love God Greatly team! She will be adding content to our Bible Resources area of our blog that we are currently working on! Jen is a gifted writer and will be a wonderful addition to our team! I simply can’t wait for you to meet her!

Jen Wilkin head shotJen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and Bible teacher. She has a background in women’s ministry, and has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen is a mom to four teenagers and has been married to Jeff for 22 years. She and her family are members of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas where she currently serves as the managing editor of The Village Blog. She is the author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds and The Sermon on the Mount.

Jen grew up in Texas, and came to saving faith in elementary school. Her childhood was marked by time spent in seven different denominations – a range of experience that left her with the conviction that knowing the Word was the only sure means of discerning truth from error. Her passion is to see women become articulate and committed followers of Christ, with a clear understanding of why they believe what they believe, grounded in the Word of God. You can find her at jenwilkin.net.

Please join me in giving Jen a warm welcome to Love God Greatly!

Angela- Love God Greatly

 

 

 

Starting NEXT Monday!

Love God Greatly-Peter Study

 

Community in Action…Personal LGG Stories

LoveGodGreatly

For the last eight weeks, we have read, soaped, and discussed ‘Made for Community.’ Now we’d like to share about our Love God Greatly community of women! We connect with our Lord and each other by using our phones and computers.

The majority of the team behind Love God Greatly have never met in person. We communicate with each other via Skype, phone, email, text messages and private messages. Each one of us use the gifts God gave us to work as a team to bring Love God Greatly Bible Studies to women in 70+ countries. Our community consists of women tithing their time and gifts, so graciously. We have seen each other through tremendous joys and heartbreaking hardships. We’ve formed a unique bond by logging online to connect with each other!

“We need friends who will come along side us and hold up are arms as we grow weary…

We were not made to do battle alone.

We were made for community…

We were made to work together…

We were made to be the Body of Christ…

We each have an important role to play. No one’s role is more important than any one else’s.

We are a team and we need each other!” ~ Angela Perritt

Today, we would like to share a few stories and testimonies from our Facilitators…

“God is using Love God Greatly by allowing me to do what I feel God is calling me to do and that is minister to and lead other women to a closer relationship with God, and also building and growing my relationship with God.” Jennifer L.

“It has truly been one of the best studies. It has given me renewed enthusiasm for some of the things I used to do for outreach into the community and shown me how to share God’s love in so many additional ways. As our group shares I add things daily that would be so worthwhile as a way of showing the Love of God to our community.” Ellen B.

“Loving God Greatly in the Scottish Highlands! We are a group of 10 ladies from various church congregations in our area. We were brought together by our desire for more of God and at just the right time for each of us. We have laughed, cried, shared meals, prayed and supported each other. We have been greatly blessed by the studies, challenged by the daily messages and by the accountability of the group. This is our first study together, but are looking forward to the next one! Many thanks and love to you all out there who are our sisters in Christ.” Fiona T.

Fiona’s Group
LGG1

 

“I have grown so much in my walk with the Lord during the LGG studies. The encouragement and accountability in my group is such a blessing to me. I am thankful for the leaders of LGG who are real and genuine, sharing their struggles along with us. I also now have a great friend and accountability partner I met through one of LGG’s leadership mentoring program sessions. We have been co-leading a group together for over a year and I am so thankful for her!” Jennifer T.

 

This isn’t so much a story but a beautiful picture of the international community a study like this provides. The 18 women in our group span 4 continents, 7 countries of residence (USA, Japan, Korea, China, Kenya, Indonesia, and Austria), and 9 time zones (hence, no group picture!) Many of us are serving in international Christian education, and for several of us LGG provides our only option for participation in group Bible study. We are able to share with and pray for one another confidentially and freely. On a personal note, I have lived in local Christian community with each of the ladies in our group at some point over the past 15 years, but only 2 of the members live in the same country as I do currently. Our group provides a way for many of us to reconnect on a deeply personal, spiritual level, while welcoming new friends in the Body of Christ. One of my group members posted this today. She (along with her husband and two girls) made 3 international moves (missions-related) over the past 4 years. ‘I want to praise God again for this entire study and all of you. I have felt my desire to more willingly and intentionally engage in my new community here in Indonesia increase over the last couple of weeks. Some would say that is just because I am getting used to things. I would say not! I would say God placed me in this LGG group to remind me, reteach me, and teach me new things about His desire for his children to be in community. He is so good. Thanks to each of you for your insights and encouragement…I love how members of my previous day to day communities (and their friends!) continue to be part of God’s plan and provision for my spiritual good now.’” Jeanelle F.

 

“We were a group of strangers. We all have special needs children. I am the redhead on the left. My current group secretary/unofficial co-facilitator is Stephanie, on the right. This pic (with my son photo-bombing) was taken in NC where I had stopped on a vacation trip, for the purpose of meeting her. This once stranger is now one of my dearest friends.” Karen A.

Karen and Stephanie

LGG2

“One of my email groups has been together for over a year now. They are at different stages in their lives, ranging from newlyweds and young mothers, to grandmothers. For the first few months, they did really well as posting their SOAP each day and encouraging one another. Then during a “break” study, I started asking for prayer requests on Monday and challenging them to type out prayers for the needs of the group. Wow! what a difference! We have connected in amazing ways as issues like weight struggles, prodigal children, raising grandchildren, and being Godly wives started being shared. Now they share birthdays, adoption days, baptisms, inspections, and tax headaches like true “Sisters of the SOAP” (their nickname for the group). This week they have set a time to pray for the group’s husbands, children, and other needs at 6:45. That’s local time for the member and each chooses am or pm – because really, 6:45am in North Carolina is 3:45am in Washington state and 12:45am the next day in New Zealand.

“Here are some of the members thoughts about the group:
‘We each have different posts each day which highlights something God wants us to learn – some things hit us more than others – it sharpens us, encourages us, gets us off our backsides, keeps us in his Word.’
‘This is God at work. He knew we would lift each other up, He trusted us to let go of what we thought others might think of us in this group. He gave us the courage to share with people we didn’t even know. We are a community and we love each other and we look out for each other. We pray for each other. He knew that we needed to connect with others that share the same concerns. This is all God!!!! There is no way this just happened. There is no way this is a coincidence. This is God!!!’” Amy A.

 

“’Woman of Faith – Builders of Community’ was the name our group selected for this study. Our group of ladies has been together since last Easter – at least 5 of us. Then about 10 more joined us last fall. We have formed great bonds of love and trust amongst ourselves. We’ve seen illnesses, job stress/loss, personal battles, and even miracles over our year together. In our prayer requests, we all grew to know this was a powerful God-filled place to ask to be remembered. If you asked, you knew that you would be prayed for until something happened. The government paperwork that had been stymied for months came through. The job that was in such discord became a place of peace and accomplishment. The illnesses were given a reprieve and hearts were mended from pain and doubt. Not once, not twice, but multiple times did we see God’s hand at work in our lives. We all knew, with no doubt, that we gathered in His name, thousands of miles apart, but as close as a whisper in prayer.

 

“This study brought a financial issue that touched our hearts – the need for extensive oral surgery for the teen daughter of a member. We read a mother’s hurting heart plea for comfort for her child. For wisdom to know what to do next when it appeared all options had been taken. But, out of faith, we just decided we had to do something. And so, we asked for $5.00 if possible and along with the request, another to share the email about Abbye’s need for the oral surgery to our own personal friends outside our study group. We prayed about it, we shared God’s love and our request, and we waited… expectantly. In less than 10 days, the full amount of $2400.00 had been received, and God even supplied more, as He always does! By now, Abbye has had her surgery and is doing much better. Her mother’s faith never wavered and neither did ours. God tells us to bring our concerns to him in prayer and faith. To wait patiently and to be expecting his response. He certainly brought to each of hearts and minds His living power to still work miracles in 2015! And through the studies, we have become the hands and feet of Christ. What a joy! The mailman may have brought the envelopes, but God himself moved the hearts and hands of each person who read our messages and responded. We shared with family, friends and then they in turn shared. Checks were from people known only to God. In summary, ours is but one of the many wonderful communities with LGG that God has blessed. Just had to share this awesome handiwork of God! All praise and glory to Him!” Sheila M.

Sheila’s Group –Paid Bill
LGG3

“The Love God Greatly Bible study for women has helped me and encouraged me to study God’s Word in such a way that is easy, and amazing. I have been with them for a year, sprouting from a group member to facilitator. It has and still is an awesome way for women from around the world to learn about God and His word that is freely given to us. The free online materials, and easy study groups have helped me to have a daily accountability to study God’s word, and change habits, thoughts and actions. Through this ministry I have been able to grow into God’s love, His forgiveness, and seek His help on a daily basis. My faith has sprouted through answered prayers, His promises, and encouragement from others. In addition, through Love God Greatly, I have become a better wife, a better mom, and a better sister in Christ. Anything is possible through Jesus Christ, it’s an indescribable joy, peace, and patience in my life. Because now I know God’s got this!” Stephany C.

 

“This study has been such an inspiration! The ladies seem so excited about what they are learning, being real with how they have been in the past, and their need for real community in their lives. I believe this study has been God’s perfect timing to kick off the year and get everyone’s focus on what is truly His heart… people. This world screams “everyone for themselves,” which has put people in “survival mode,” but this study has slowed us down, and made us see the Father’s heart for us – it was never one against the other but together, in unity, one body – loving one another as He has also loved us. This study is truly empowering us all to take what we learn and go out and reach people, connect, build relationship and see a community develop. Life isn’t about what we can get but what we can give… Jesus came for people and this life is about community. Thank you LGG for this eye opening study! God bless you all!” Sheila M.

Sheila and Keri
LGG4

 

“The LGG study has made a huge impact on my life, helped me stay focused on God during hard times, and helped push me out of my comfort zone. We were homeless in November 2013 and the LGG study sure kept me focused when we were going through the hardest time we have ever faced. I logged in regularly and still kept up with the study amidst our tough time; I even included my family in the study. Also, the LGG study helped push me out of my comfort zone and I am now leading a group of teens through these studies, including my kids as well. I absolutely love these studies, and am so grateful for them! I have also been able to interact with other women through these studies and that is awesome because I lost a lot of friends when I quit drinking, etc, and became a Christian. Thanks again for all you do, and God bless you all!” Jaime M.

 

“This is a picture of me (and my daughter) running with a group member, Ruth. Last year, I introduced her to the Intentionally Focused study. When she went to register she asked about joining a group, and that’s how our group started. Six studies later, and more than a dozen ladies are getting into His word daily!” Brandi C.

Brandi and Ruth
LGG5

“We scheduled a Girl’s Day Out, getting tickets for a matinee theater production in the city (an hour away). Two of us work and are full time caregivers for our moms with dementia. During the performance received a call that her mom had taken the car keys and driven off. Although her daughter was orchestrating things at home, we all walked out, two minutes before the curtain call, and headed back. Thankfully, God brought her back home safely. We laughed on the way home that it really does take a village, whether you’re raising kids or your parents! We are also planning what we’re calling Homemade Community. A gathering to invite friends, to share their talents and make homemade items and gifts.” Barbara HS

 

“Thank you for your awesome Bible Studies and the online tool! I am a pastor’s wife, home school mom, women’s ministry leader and caretaker of my mom (who lives with us while battling pancreatic cancer.) Love God Greatly has been a great blessing to the women in our church to help us stay connected during this season in our church when we are not meeting face to face in Women’s Bible Study. The group has allowed us to stay connected in the Word and also in sharing our lives and encouraging one another! Thank you! I feel like I know each one of you, you are precious! Thank you for taking the time to pour into the lives of women, it is greatly making a difference! I also pray for your families!” Heather R.

“Some of my real-life LGG girls! We gathered for brunch at my house last Saturday. Oh, how I love these girls and the accountability and pure joy they bring to my life!” Whitney Daugherty

Whitney’s Group
LGG6

This is my personal LGG group! We’ve been together since our oldest were babies! I have been so blessed to have these sweet friends in my life! We have weathered many storms of life together from the loss of parents, cancer and divorce. I love doing life with them and am so thankful for the community God has given to me! We are not meant to do life alone….and I’m forever thankful!

Angela’s Group
LGG7

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...