Giving God Your All: Women of Faith Study Guide Series

Giving God Your All: Women of Faith Study Guide Series

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Women are asking good questions about their faith. With our study guides, we want to join them in their quest for knowledge and lead them in finding the answers they are seeking.See more details below

Overview

Women are asking good questions about their faith. With our study guides, we want to join them in their quest for knowledge and lead them in finding the answers they are seeking.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780785252610
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
06/20/2005
Series:
Women of Faith Study Guide Series
Edition description:
Study Guid
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
413,015
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

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Giving God Your All


By Thelma Wells

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7852-5261-0


Chapter One

Take Me to Your Leader

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1 NKJV

Clearing the Cobwebs

Have you ever had a mentor-a person who showed you the ropes when you were starting something new?

You're standing in line, arms loaded down with packages, inching your way towards the customer service counter. Your list of tasks and questions is long-a couple of returns, an exchange, a rain check, and an inquiry about the store's gift registry for your daughter. It's your last errand of the morning, and it'll be a relief to get it all done. Finally it's your turn, and as you step forward, you groan inwardly. The clerk's face wears an uncertain smile, and her smock sports a badge with block letters-"Trainee." The next several minutes become a test to every one of your Christian virtues. First, she botches the returns. Then, you find out she's never done an exchange before. Next, she can't find the gift registry forms, and she's never even heard of a rain check. Will your morning end with an exercise in futility? But then you hear those blissful words, "Let me call my manager."

There are times when we don't want to wastetime dickering with someone who isn't in charge. We want to deal with the one who is in charge. We need someone who knows what's going on, knows what they're talking about, and knows what to do next. We want someone with the authority to take charge, make decisions, and effect changes. So we say, "Take me to your leader."

1. Let's take a quick look at the Lord's qualifications as "upper level management."

What rather majestic titles does Paul give to God in 1 Timothy 6:15?

How is Jesus described in Revelation 17:14?

In Revelation 19:16, Jesus wears His name clearly. Is it "Trainee"? What is it?

2. God's authority is unquestioned, and His ability to lead unparalleled. Match up these psalms, which pray for and thank God for His leading in our lives.

___ Psalm 5:8 a. For Your name's sake, lead me and guide me.

___ Psalm 25:5 b. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

___ Psalm 31:3 c. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness.

___ Psalm 43:3 d. Lead me in the way everlasting.

___ Psalm 139:10 e. Let Your light and Your truth lead me.

___ Psalm 139:24 f. Lead me in Your truth and teach me.

___ Psalm 143:10 g. Your right hand shall lead me and hold me.

3. Consider the theme that runs through the next three verses. What do each of them compare the leading of the Lord with?

Numbers 27:17 - "Who may go out before them and go in before them, who may ________ them out and ___________ them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like ____________ which have no ______________" (NKJV).

Psalm 80:1 - "Give ear, O _____________ of Israel, You who _________ Joseph like a ____________" (NKJV).

Isaiah 40:11 - "He will _________ His ____________ like a ______________; He will _______________ the _____________ with

His arm, And ____________ them in His bosom, and ______________ _________ those who are with young" (NKJV).

4. One of the most familiar chapters in all of Scripture begins, "The Lord is my shepherd" (Ps. 23:1 NKJV). God leads us, just as a shepherd leads his flock of sheep. What happens to sheep who have no shepherd-no leader-according to Zechariah 10:2?

5. And what characteristic of the multitudes that followed Jesus touched His heart with compassion, according to Matthew 9:36?

There's nothing more endearing than a little lamb in the springtime, frisking and dancing in the meadows for the sheer joy of living. But Scripture's comparison of us to sheep is not entirely flattering. Sheep are useful creatures, true enough. But sheep are also skittish, gullible, defenseless, short-sighted, and rather smelly. Can you imagine walking up to a milling flock of sheep and asking, "Who's in charge here?" And from the midst of the flock comes a bleating voice, "That would be me!" But how could that sheep lead, when she cannot even see past the wooly rumps that surround her? She cannot guide the flock, protect the flock, or shelter the flock because she's just one of the flock. Sheep need a shepherd-one who can see over the flocks and oversee their care.

6. Sheep may not be the brightest animals in God's creation, but there's one thing they do know! What do these verses say it is?

John 10:4-5

John 10:27

7. From the very beginning, the prophets foretold that Messiah would lead His people-"But you, Bethlehem ... out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel" (Matt. 2:6 NKJV).

What does Jesus call Himself in John 10:11, 14?

How does Peter describe Jesus in 1 Peter 2:25?

What title does 1 Peter 5:4 give to the Lord at His coming?

8. We can't be both sheep and shepherd. When we've determined to give God our all, we must accept His leadership in our lives. Where do these verses tell us the Lord will lead?

Isaiah 42:16

Isaiah 49:10

Revelation 7:17

9. We have a Shepherd who knows the way, but the fact of His presence isn't enough. The Shepherd can only lead those who are willing to follow! What does Jesus urge us to do in John 12:26?

Digging Deeper

There are many more verses in the Scriptures that talk about shepherds and shepherding. Here are just a few more, if you'd like to dig a little deeper.

Psalm 28:9

Ezekiel 34:12, 23-24

John 10:16

Hebrews 13:20

Ponder & Pray

Some of us prefer to lead, and some of us would rather follow. But for anyone, it can be hard to submit to the leadership of others-especially if we do not trust them or we do not like the direction they are headed. This week, ponder over the lessons we can learn from the humble sheep and their relationship with the shepherd. Pray for an ear to hear the voice of your Shepherd. Pray for a heart that will not wander, but is willing to follow so that you will not go astray. Remember how much you are dearly loved by the Shepherd of your soul.

Trinkets to Treasure

At the close of every Women of Faith conference, women are asked to play a little game of pretend. Each conference guest is asked to imagine that a gift has been placed in her hands-one from each of the speakers-to serve as reminders of the different lessons shared. This study guide will carry on this tradition! At the close of each lesson, you will be presented with a small gift. Though imaginary, it will serve to remind you of the things you have learned. Think of it as a souvenir. Souvenirs are little trinkets we pick up on our journeys to remind us of where we have been. They keep us from forgetting the path we have traveled. Hide these little treasures in your heart, for as you ponder them, they will draw you closer to God.

Trinkets to Treasure

Before we can confidently give God our all, we must be sure that He will take good care of the life we are putting in His hands. Just as a sheep must know and trust its shepherd, we must know and trust God completely. He is our Good Shepherd, and so our trinket this week is a shepherd's crook, to remind us that the Lord will lead us aright.

* Notes & Prayer Requests * _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________

Chapter Two

Plans and Agendas

"If this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it." Acts 5:38-39 NKJV

Clearing the Cobwebs

Primetime sitcoms have introduced us to many a TV family. Do you have a favorite husband-wife duo, past or present?

Are there times when your husband seems to have melded permanently with his recliner? It's a stereo- type that many women live with-the couch potato spouse. In fact, it's become a source of wry humor in many a sitcom. Behold, the man! He reclines peacefully after a long day at work. The television is on, his stocking feet are propped up, and a chilled beverage is close at hand. He is at peace. Enter the wife. She's a little disgruntled by his inactivity. There's yard work to do, there's a leak in the bathroom, there's garbage to take out. And so she compensates by being extra energetic. She bustles about the room, picking up clutter, stacking magazines, and whisking away dust particles. She cleans around the man, as if he isn't there. He calmly lifts his feet when the vacuum cleaner buzzes past. He accepts a proffered coaster for his drink. He doesn't mind the fuss. But the lady of the house is perturbed. She plumps pillows with vigor. She attacks the dust bunnies under the couch. She stomps through the room with stiff-legged displeasure. Why? Because his plans aren't lining up with her plans.

We women usually have some kind of plan in mind, and we don't like having our plans postponed for any reason. And that's where we often run into trouble with the Lord. Very often, His plans for our lives aren't exactly what we had in mind. But when we're learning to give God our all, we must realize that all our lives-even our schedule and life goals-are in His hands.

1. When we have a plan, and God has a plan, and those two plans don't seem to be matching up, we are mightily tempted to ignore God's plan altogether. What do Psalm 9:17 (NLT) and Galatians 6:7 (NLT) warn about living as if God weren't there?

2. Have you ever made a willful choice against God? How do the people in Jeremiah 18:12 decide to live their lives?

3. God is aware of our wandering hearts. He lets us make our own choices. But we are warned that the plans we make apart from God are doomed from the start.

Why do people's plans fail, according to Isaiah 22:11 (NLT)?

What happens to those who try to hide their plans from God, according to Isaiah 29:15 (NLT)?

What is certain for those who are contrary and rebellious to God?

4. When Jesus had risen from the dead and all of Jerusalem was in an uproar over it, the Jewish leaders gathered together to try to decide what to do. In the end, what were the wise words that dictated the Sanhedrin's decision, found in Acts 5:38-39?

5. You can't get around the sovereignty of God. He sees all, knows all, and can do all He plans. What do each of these verses tell us about God's plans and the plans of mere mortals?

Psalm 33:10

Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 19:21

If you want to get anything done in life, you have to make plans. We're told to make lists, set realistic goals, and keep track of our progress. We need a one-year plan, a five-year plan, and a ten-year plan. We're supposed to have a financial plan-college funds, retirement funds, investment funds. We're supposed to be on a Bible reading plan, a Scripture memorization schedule, and the women's missions planning committee. Our calendars are locked up from week to week with school schedules, sports schedules, church events, and appointments. Sometimes, it feels as if our lives plan themselves!

But in the middle of all this hubbub of daily life, our heart has its own plans, dreams, expectations, and attitudes. These are what guide our decisions and choices. And this is the part of us-the heart of us-that we can give to God.

6. David was delighted that God had so many plans for his life. What does he express gratitude for in Psalm 40:5 (NLT)?

7. What does the psalmist say about God's plans for us in Psalm 138:8 (NLT)?

8. There is comfort in the fact that the Lord is changeless. He's dependably the same no matter what our circumstances might be. The same can be said of His plans. What does Psalm 33:11 tell us about God's plans?

9. When we give our plans and agendas over into God's capable hands, we needn't fear. What does Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) tell us God has planned for us?

Digging Deeper

There's a song many of us have known since we were children. Simple, yet profound, it tells us, "He's got the whole world in His hands." This theme is found throughout Scripture. Job said, "Isn't it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hands" (Job 12:9 MSG). If, indeed, all things are in the Lord's hands, what kinds of things in your life can you trust in His hands?

Ponder & Pray

During the week ahead, ponder over the state of your heart. Ask yourself honestly, "Have I been so wrapped up in my own plans and agendas that I've given no thought to God's?" We have been assured by Scripture that God's plans are good and that nothing can stand in their way. Ask the Lord for a heart willing to shape its agenda around His plans.

Trinkets to Treasure

Just as a disgruntled wife can stomp through a room, busily dusting and straightening in protest of her sedentary husband, we often find ourselves rebelling when our plans run in conflict with the Lord's. Our trinket this week is a feather duster, which will hopefully bring a picture of this woman's attitude clearly to mind. There will be times when God's plans run contrary to our own, and there may be times when it seems as if God isn't doing anything when we think there's much to be done. Rather than be impatient, these are the times when we must trust God the most. He will do what is good and right and best when the proper time comes.

* Notes & Prayer Requests * _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________

Chapter Three

It's My Life

"Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Luke 22:42 NKJV

Clearing the Cobwebs

Have you ever had anyone in your life that loved to spoil you?

In today's society, we are taught that our lives are our own. See for yourself. Decide for yourself. Be yourself. Express yourself. Pamper yourself. Have faith in yourself. Be in touch with yourself. Be sure of yourself. Believe in yourself. Be true to yourself. When making choices, we're urged to look within for our answers. Listen to your heart. Trust your instincts. Follow your heart. You've earned it. You deserve it. You owe it to yourself. Self-interest is molded into positive character qualities-self-assured, self-possessed, self-reliant. Selfish choices are applauded. We are born with the desire to put our own interests ahead of anyone else's, and then we learn that this attitude is socially acceptable. Is it any wonder so many of us struggle with hearts that are self-serving, self-righteous, and self-satisfied?

1. When it comes to surrendering our lives into God's hands, we're often faced with a battle of the wills. My will vs. God's will. And it can be the fight of the century! What does 1 Peter 4:2 say we should live for?

2. God called David "a man after My own heart." What does Acts 13:22 say that David was willing to do?

3. Submitting our will to God's isn't always easy to do. What were Jesus' famous words when He gave His all to His Father, in Luke 22:42?

4. There are promises and blessings connected to those who do with will of God.

What does Jesus call those who do God's will in Mark 3:35?

What does 1 John 2:17 say about those who do the will of God?

5. There's a distinct line between willful and willing. When we give our all to God, we must be willing to put what He wants above what we want. How does Ephesians 6:6 describe such an attitude?

When we were babies, our parents couldn't wait for us to say our first words. Invariably, we thrilled our parents by gurgling out an indistinct, "Mama" or "Dada." But not long after that, we learned the next two words in a toddler's vocabulary-"No" and "Mine." We exert our independence by the time we can stand on our own two feet.

Independence-it's a part of growing up. Individuality-it's what makes us us! But we're foolish if we begin demanding our rights as individuals without once considering the One who made us uniquely us! He made us the way we are to suit His own purposes. Learning to give God our all means learning that our lives are not entirely our own.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Giving God Your All by Thelma Wells Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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