In His Eyes: Becoming the Woman God Made You to Be

In His Eyes: Becoming the Woman God Made You to Be

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by Margaret Feinberg
     
 

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How does God see me? Most of us would answer immediately that God sees us as His beloved children. But underneath that answer, many of us are still afraid that God sees us as unappealing or disappointing.

Through this study, women will examine the idea that what we believe about ourselves shapes who we will become. We'll be challenged

Overview

How does God see me? Most of us would answer immediately that God sees us as His beloved children. But underneath that answer, many of us are still afraid that God sees us as unappealing or disappointing.

Through this study, women will examine the idea that what we believe about ourselves shapes who we will become. We'll be challenged to exchange our misperceptions for the freeing truth of how God really sees us. Together we can let go of the false perceptions we have of ourselves and live out the reality of who we are in His eyes—His redeemed children whom He has given mighty purposes to live out in this world.

Features include:

  • 12 sessions of interactive Bible study
  • Perfect for individual or group study
  • Tips for leading a great group included

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401676308
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
08/13/2013
Series:
Women of Faith Study Guide Series
Sold by:
THOMAS NELSON
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
File size:
713 KB

Read an Excerpt

In His Eyes

Becoming the Woman God Made You to Be


By MARGARET FEINBERG

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 Thomas Nelson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4016-7630-8


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Wholly Forgiven by God


Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts God gives us. A friend of mine once stumbled on a sign that read:

If we had needed healing, God would have sent a Physician.

If we had needed knowledge, God would have sent an Educator.

If we had needed information, God would have sent a Scientist.

If we had needed money, God would have sent a Banker.

Because we needed forgiveness, God sent a Savior.


This wondrous gift of forgiveness is extended to us through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, everything that stood between you and God is erased forever and ever. You are forgiven.

But what does being forgiven and extending forgiveness to others really mean?

Forgiveness is granting pardon or giving up all claims of something owed. Forgiveness means wiping the slate clean and cancelling any indebtedness.

Consider the following modern-day example. A bank named the Crédit Municipal de Paris practiced forgiveness in a practical fashion. They've been offering affordable and accessible loans to the residents of Paris since 1637. To celebrate their 375th anniversary, the Crédit Municipal de Paris cancelled debts of the city's poorest. More than thirty-five hundred people had their slates wiped clean. They could begin again.

While the grace and forgiveness extended at the Crédit Municipal de Paris is noteworthy, God's forgiveness extends beyond our wildest imaginations. God's Son stepped in and took the weight of our sins on Himself. Jesus died on the cross, bridging the gap between broken humanity and a perfect God. All debts were paid. Every last cent. Forever and ever!

Through Christ, God wholly forgives us. Psalm 103:12 reminds us, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." This means when God looks at you, He no longer sees a list of wrongdoings or sins you've committed, but instead treasures you as holy and blameless.

God not only freely offers complete forgiveness but challenges us to humble our hearts and completely forgive those around us. Only then can we truly experience the freedom that walks hand in hand with forgiveness.

1. On the continuum below, mark how easy experiencing God's forgiveness is for you. Then explain your response.

I experience God's forgiveness wholly and completely with ease.

I struggle to accept and feel God's forgiveness.

2. When receiving God's forgiveness, we need to ground ourselves in what the Bible says. Look up the following passages. Record what each passage reveals about God's forgiveness.

Psalm 86:4–5:

Psalm 103:8–12:

Isaiah 1:18:

Isaiah 38:17:

3. Which of the passages you looked up is most meaningful to you? Why?

God extends radical forgiveness to us. Though we may tell ourselves that God can't possibly forgive us, God can remove any and all sin from our lives through Christ. The Bible uses rich imagery to show how God responds to our sins.

4. Using the chart below, draw a line between the biblical passage and the image of forgiveness to which it alludes. Then circle the verbs describing how God responds to our sins.

Scripture
Forgiveness is ...


Psalm 51:9
God covering our sins.
Colossians 2:13 God throwing our sins into the deepest sea.
Psalm 32:1
God making us alive together with Him.
Micah 7:19
God hiding His face from our sins.

5. Which image of how God responds to sin from the chart above fills you with the most gratitude? Why?

Despite God's readiness to forgive us, sometimes we don't feel ready to forgive others. At times, forgiveness isn't just hard, but can feel downright impossible. Yet God's call to forgive remains.

6. Read Mark 11:25. What are three specific situations in your life where you're struggling to extend forgiveness? (Hint: Think of people you don't want to run into at the supermarket or phone calls you try to avoid.)

* _______________________________________________________________ * _______________________________________________________________ * _______________________________________________________________


When facing these situations, it is important to remember we're wholly forgiven and to specifically remember how and when God has shown us forgiveness.

7. In the space below, make a list of ten specific things for which God has forgiven you. How does remembering how God has forgiven you prepare your heart for forgiving others?

* _______________________________________________________________ * _______________________________________________________________ * _______________________________________________________________

8. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18–19. In what ways are you being challenged to forgive others and become a minister of reconciliation right now?

As you close your study in this chapter, reflect again on the three specific situations in your life where you're struggling to extend forgiveness. Spend some time asking God for His strength and grace to forgive each person. Then boldly take the step and choose to forgive.

You are wholly forgiven by God. The slate has been completely wiped clean. Remembering how much God has forgiven you will strengthen you to extend forgiveness to others.


Digging Deeper

Read Matthew 18:23–35. In this story, Jesus told of a servant who owed the king an impossible amount of money. When pardoned from the debt, the servant turned around and threw another man in jail for a far smaller debt owed. Just as God forgives us, we are called to extend forgiveness to those around us—no matter the debt. When in your life have you behaved like the forgiving king? When in your life have you behaved like the unmerciful servant?


* Personal Challenge

Pick up a journal or sheet of paper, and spend ten minutes asking God to bring to mind any people you need to forgive. Over the next week, prayerfully consider how to forgive those listed and erase the debt for whatever wrong they may have done to you. Continue to pray for each person listed every day this week and ask for God's blessing on their lives.

CHAPTER 2

Wondrous Children of God


You are a child of the Creator of the universe. Think about this miracle for a moment: God calls you His own!

In the gospel of John, a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus approached Jesus. He was struggling to wrap his mind around Jesus' identity. Jesus responded by telling Nicodemus that unless he was born again, he couldn't see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

"Born again" may seem like a strange phrase, but when a person is born into this world, she enters as a child. When a person accepts Christ as her Savior, she is born again, becoming a child of God. In essence, she's reborn, or "born again," since God gives her entrance or birth into this new life of following Jesus. When we choose to become followers of Jesus, we become God's kids.

God identifies Himself as our Father. As His children, we can call on God anytime—24/7—knowing He is more than ready to respond. Our heavenly Father is not unapproachable, but near to us. We can approach our Father with the confidence that He wants to spend time with and listen to us. Unlike earthly parents, our heavenly Father is perfect. He loves us unconditionally and takes responsibility to care for us. Now this doesn't mean we won't face hardship or illness, but rather, in those moments, God remains with us and provides the grace we need.

At times, our infinitely patient and profoundly wise Father will need to discipline us. But even when we experience discipline, we can rest assured it's for our good, producing long-lasting fruit of righteousness and goodness in our lives.

Being children of God also means we can expect an inheritance from our Father. All the property of our heavenly Father, all the spiritual riches in Christ, which are both in this present life and in the life to come, are available to us. We are heirs of God. And throughout this life we experience gifts of God—joy, strength, peace, salvation, hope, and more—that we can share with others.

As wondrous children of God, we also experience changes in our relationships with other people. Those who also choose to follow Jesus are now our brothers and sisters. They may be much younger or older, they may live in our neighborhoods or in another country, they may speak our language or a distant dialect, but together we are part of God's family. We are able to have fellowship with God and each other.

As children of God, we are given an abundant future. This life and this world are not the end of the story; they are only the beginning. We are destined for heaven. In John 14:2, Jesus said His Father's house has many rooms and promised to prepare a place for us. Those who choose to believe in Christ will live together in heaven for all eternity.

The God of the universe loves us so much that He wants us to know Him as Father, receive an eternal heritance, become part of His family, and enjoy Him forever. Indeed, being called children of God is wondrous.

1. What does being a child of God mean to you? In the space below, write out your definition of what a "child of God" means.

Throughout Jesus' teachings, He regularly referred to God as "Abba" or Father. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), Jesus used the term "Father" to refer to God—reminding His listeners that God is both His Father and our Father.

2. Read the following passage aloud and circle each time the word "Father" is used as the name of God.

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Matthew 6:1–7)

How does recognizing God as Father affect your understanding of Jesus' teaching?


Of all the followers of Jesus, the disciple John laid hold of the love of God to such an extent that it infused all his writings. The love of God is highlighted throughout the gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, as well as the book of Revelation.

3. Read Psalm 103:13 and 1 John 3:1–3. What images or words come to your mind when you think of God as your Father? In what areas of your life do you most want to become like your heavenly Father right now?

4. Read Matthew 6:26–34. What do Jesus' words reveal about God's desire to care for us? What prevents you from trusting God as your Father who wants to provide for you?

Since we are God's children, our Father doesn't just want to provide for us, but He also wants to give us an inheritance.

5. Look up each of the following passages. What does each one reveal about our inheritance in Christ?

John 14:1–3:

Romans 8:16–17:

Galatians 4:4–7:

Ephesians 1:3–14:

Titus 3:5–7:

How have you experienced the inheritance God promises you?

Being a child of God means you have brothers and sisters around the globe. Christianity is so far-spread and wide-reaching no specific region can claim to be a center of global Christianity. You are part of a two-billion-plus person family that is still growing. From the CEO of a major company, to the neighbor down the street, to orphans in a remote African village, our brothers and sisters in Christ live everywhere.

6. Read Galatians 6:10. What opportunities have you had in the past month to show kindness and generosity to your brothers and sisters in Christ? When in the past month have you experienced kindness and generosity from your brothers and sisters in Christ?

God also promises us a rich future as children of God. In heaven, people of every race and from around the globe will gather. Heaven promises to be a place of great joy and celebration as we experience God's presence.

7. Look up the following passages. What does each one reveal about heaven and our future?

Revelation 7:16–17:

Revelation 14:13:

Revelation 21:4:

Revelation 21:7:

8. What aspect of being a child of God is the most meaningful to you— calling on God as Father, receiving an eternal inheritance, becoming part of the family of God, the promise of eternity with God, or another aspect? Explain. Spend some time thanking God for the privilege of being His child.

You are God's child! As children of God, we have the privilege of knowing God as our Father. We are promised an eternal inheritance, ushered into the family of God, and given abundant promises regarding our future in heaven with Him.


Digging Deeper

Read 1 Peter 1:13–16. As children of God, we're called to obey our heavenly Father and walk in obedience to Him and His ways. In what area of your life do you sense God calling you to greater obedience as His child? What's preventing you from responding?


* Personal Challenge

Over the course of the next week, go online and use a website that allows you to search the Scripture, such as Biblegateway.com, to look up the word "Father" in the Gospels. Write down the passages that speak of God as Father and prayerfully consider how God wants to reveal Himself to you as your loving heavenly Father who wants to care for you in every way.

CHAPTER 3

Handpicked by God


Several years ago, everything felt as though it were unraveling and nothing made sense. I prayed and cried out to God, yet all I heard was silence. I began wondering, "God, where are You? Do You even hear me at all?"

In the midst of this challenging season of life, my husband and I escaped on a much-needed getaway to a small mountain town. When we arrived, we discovered an outdoor festival was taking place in the downtown area. Small booths of companies promoting their goods lined the central city park. We strolled from vendor to vendor to see their offerings.

At one booth, we were invited to fill out a small raffle to win a pair of sporty sunglasses. The vendor explained they'd be giving out one pair of sunglasses on the hour every hour for the next three hours. To win, we needed to be present for the drawing. My husband and I dropped our tickets into the bin.

When we returned for the first drawing, we found a crowd gathered around the booth. Several tickets were drawn and those who won received smaller prizes—a water bottle, T-shirt, and sunscreen. Then the time came for the grand prize drawing of the sunglasses. I held our two tickets in my hand. The vendor hand picked a ticket and called out our number. We won!

After selecting a pair of sunglasses, the vendor explained that the winners' tickets would be returned to the bin for the next hourly drawing. When we returned an hour later for the grand prize of the sunglasses, we were astounded. Our ticket was hand-selected again! We stood in awe of the chances of winning twice in a row.

An hour later, we returned for the third and final drawing of the afternoon. As the vendor reached into the bin to hand-select the grand prize winner, he announced, "Surely it can't happen again." Then he read the numbers. We won a third and final time.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said. "It's like yours is the only ticket I can draw."

My husband and I looked at each other. We had already won two pairs of sunglasses and knew someone in the crowd could use the third pair of glasses more than we could. We asked the vendor to redraw so someone else could have a chance of winning.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from In His Eyes by MARGARET FEINBERG. Copyright © 2013 by Thomas Nelson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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.

Meet the Author

A self-described “hot mess,” Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive, and Women of Joy. Her books, including The Organic God, The Sacred Echo, Scouting the Divine, Wonderstruck, Fight Back With Joy, and their corresponding Bible studies, have sold nearly one million copies and received critical acclaim and extensive national media coverage from CNN, the Associated Press, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and more.

She was recently named one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today by Christianity Today, one of the 30 Voices who will help lead the church in the next decade by Charisma magazine and one of 40 who will shape Christian publishing by Christian Retailing magazine. Margaret lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, Leif, and their superpup, Hershey. She believes some of the best days are spent in jammies, laughing and being silly.

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In His Eyes: Becoming the Woman God Made You to Be 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
KLH77 More than 1 year ago
I was surprised how faint the ink color was (especially when compared to a woman in my Bible Study). The "Personal Challenge" at the end of each chapter is so faint and light that it's difficult to read. I would purchase this in person to make sure the copy isn't as light in tone/ink color. The content is worth purchasing, but I would not have bought this had I known how difficult it would be to read due to the light ink.