I Am Loved: Walking in the Fullness of God's Love

I Am Loved: Walking in the Fullness of God's Love

by Wendy Blight, InScribed

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310090410
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 12/26/2017
Series: InScribed Collection
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 213,503
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Wendy Blight is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries' First 5 Writing Team and serves as the Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Study Small Group Ministry Training and Development Coordinator. She is a national speaker, Bible teacher, attorney, and author of Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life and Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story, both featured as Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Studies. She has been a featured guest on Oprah Radio, the 700 Club, Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey, Revive our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Wendy's favorite place to be is at home in Charlotte, North Carolina writing and enjoying time with her husband, Monty, and their two children, Lauren and Bo. You can connect with Wendy through her website at www.wendyblight.com and through Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

WEEK ONE

Walk in the Light

*
PRAYER: Oh God, I'm excited for a new journey through Your Word. Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to understand eternal mysteries that only You can reveal on this exciting adventure through the book of Your " beloved," John. Carve out time for me each day to spend with You. Give me the discipline to do my work, the perseverance to continue when I want to give up, and the mind to practically apply all that I learn. Reveal marvelous new truths and promises from Your Word. Draw me close. Speak into my life and transform my heart and mind in fresh new ways. I ask all this in Jesus's name, Amen.

DAY ONE

Meet John

MEMORY VERSE:This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

Do you remember the first time your parents left you alone? I do. I don't have many vivid childhood memories, but this night I remember. Our neighbors had invited my parents to a dinner party. They gave me fair warning and encouraged me to "be a big girl" and stay home by myself. The very thought terrified me. I wanted to jump up and down, stomp my feet and scream, "No!" But I didn't.

The dreaded night finally arrived. Orange and purple hues adorned the sky as the sun began to slip behind the horizon. Heart pounding, I watched my parents walk out the door, down the sidewalk, and into the fading light.

This won't be so bad.

I shut and locked the door. I was alone. All alone.

My stomach twisted and turned as darkness consumed the sky. I remembered my Dad's last words, delivered through kind eyes, "Don't forget. We're just a phone call away."

But I wouldn't call. I couldn't call. I needed to do this.

In the quietness, I walked over to the television and turned it on. Yes, in those days you had to actually walk over to the television to turn it on! I'm giving away my age here. I then hopped onto the couch, grabbed a pillow, and curled up with my favorite blanket. My selection for the night, The Carol Burnett Show. What better way to take my mind off my fears?

But my stomach continued to churn.

Familiar furniture, plants, and bushes took on strange shapes and sizes. I imagined bad guys lurking inside and out. Crouching ... watching ... waiting for me to go to bed.

Why did they have to leave me tonight? I'm not old enough. I don't want to be alone.

Bedtime arrived and that meant walking through the scary shadows. Why didn't I close the blinds? Why didn't I turn those lights on before it got dark? Tears spilled down my cheeks. I hate this. Clutching my blanket, I tip-toed through the dining room. If I could just reach the light switch. It seemed miles away. What if someone's watching? Again, I envisioned the scary man waiting ... watching me outside the window.

The imagined terrified me.

I wanted my parents.

Finally, I reached the light switch, flipped it up, and light flooded every dark space. Everything looked familiar again. I felt safe.

The real replaced my imagined. The imagined fears that held the little girl in my story captive dissipated the moment light flooded the room.

It's a simple fact, my friend. Light dispels darkness. With light, there are no more illusions ... no more imagined fears. Light brings clarity, safety, and security.

My little-girl fears perfectly illustrate a scriptural nugget tucked in the first chapter of John's letter.

But, before going any further, let's get to know the author of 1 John, the man with whom we will become intimately acquainted over the next five weeks. His name is John. He often called himself "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23).

We first meet John in Matthew 4:21. Not long after Jesus called His first two disciples, Peter and Andrew, He encountered two brothers named James and John (also called the sons of Zebedee). Like Peter and Andrew, they were fishermen. Simple, hardworking men going about their business. Jesus called them by name while they were with their father getting ready to cast out their nets for the day. Upon hearing Jesus's call, they did not ask questions or give excuses. Scripture says, "[I]mmediately they left the boat and their father and followed him" (Matthew 4:22).

Wow! Immediate obedience. Wish I could say I always react that way when Jesus calls out to me. All too often, I don't.

James and John left family and all that was familiar to follow this man they barely knew. For the next three years, John and eleven other disciples walked alongside Jesus, watching Him turn water into wine, heal the sick, feed thousands with nothing but a few loaves and fish, and — most amazingly — bring the dead back to life.

Read and record what the following passages reveal about John.

* Luke 9:51–56

_____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

* Mark 9:33–37 _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

* Matthew 20:20–28 (What do these verses communicate about John's relationship with his mother?) _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

* What was Jesus's response to her request? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

I can so relate to John because I am quick to take offense. Quick to lose my temper. What about you? And don't we all at one time or another long to hold that place of honor in someone's heart or at their table?

Those were John's younger days. An amazing transformation occurred between the time Jesus found him fishing and the time he wrote this letter. In 1 John, we see a different man. A gentler man. A kinder man. A man motivated by deep love for God and for God's people.

John matured over the years as he walked alongside Jesus, observed His ways, experienced His love, listened to His teachings, and obeyed the call to full-time ministry.

My favorite image of John comes near the end of Jesus's life as He gathered His disciples around a table to share a message and meal. Scripture describes John as leaning into Jesus (John 13:23–25), resting his head upon Jesus's chest, so near he could sense the rhythm of our Lord's heartbeat. John loved Jesus with all his heart and knew Jesus loved him just the same.

In that moment, John had no idea it would be his last meal with Jesus. No idea he would witness his beloved teacher's arrest, unjust trials, beatings, and crucifixion. No idea he would look upon his teacher's beaten and bloody body, hanging limp and lifeless from a criminal's cross.

But, the tide turned three days later. John walked into an empty tomb to discover Jesus had defeated death and risen from the grave (John 20: 1–10)! And a few weeks after that beautiful resurrection moment, John's last glimpse of Jesus would be his beloved Savior, arms lifted toward the heavens, toes dangling from beneath his white robe, speaking words of blessing over His friends, ascending into the clouds (Luke 24:50).

"Then [Jesus] leads them out to Bethany. He lifts His hands and blesses them, and at that moment, with His hands raised in blessing, He leaves them and is carried up into heaven. They worship Him, then they return to Jerusalem, filled with intense joy, and they return again and again to the temple to celebrate God" (Luke 24:50–53 The Voice, empha- sis added).

Don't miss Luke's words. John and the disciples returned to Jerusalem "filled with intense joy." I believe it's this unspeakable joy that fueled John's ministry for the remainder of his days. Despite decades of persecution and struggle, hard work and loneliness, John persevered. His love for Jesus and for the call God placed on his life never waned. His heart never wavered.

Over time, John's hair grayed. His skin bore the deep creases of his decades of serving and suffering for the One who had called him by name. John spent years recording the rich and treasured memories tucked deep in his heart and mind. Church tradition holds that he authored the gospel of John, the three epistles of John, and Revelation.

As we begin our journey with John, we sense his deep and abiding joy in his opening words in 1 John chapter one.

DAY TWO

Message from John's Heart to Ours

MEMORY VERSE:This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

John opened his letter with these enduring words: "We want to tell you about the One who was from the beginning. We have seen Him with our own eyes, heard Him with our own ears, and touched Him with our own hands. This One is the manifestation of the life-giving Voice, and He showed us real life, eternal life. We have seen it all, and we can't keep what we witnessed quiet — we have to share it with you. We are inviting you to experience eternal life through the One who was with the Father and came down to us" (1 John 1:1–2 The Voice, emphasis added).

John's words lay the foundation for faith in Jesus. A faith based on reality. A faith grounded in fact. Because he was an eyewitness to every word he wrote, his teaching is trustworthy. His experience real.

He courageously traveled, preached, and penned every word of his experiences to ensure Jesus's followers could know the same Jesus he knew. And so that you and I could know and believe in that same Jesus.

As you read his words, can't you sense his passion? The pleading in his voice? Believe our words because we have seen Him. Touched Him. Heard Him. We walked with Him! This One we followed, he says, spoke the voice of God.

Jesus gave John life. Real life. Everlasting life. Jesus loved John and the disciples in ways they had never experienced before. He performed miraculous wonders they had never seen before. He prophesied events that came to pass.

Digging Deeper

Read 1 John 1.

Understanding John's audience and the culture in which they lived is essential to understanding his letter. John wrote to the children of God ... those who believed in Jesus.

Specifically, John wrote to embolden a declining church, a church he knew was compromising its beliefs. He didn't direct his letter to a specific church. Rather, he addressed it to all believers, using inclusive words like "my little children" and my "beloved."

He wrote with intentionality to expose the spreading virus of Gnosticism and the false teachers promoting it. What is Gnosticism? We'll dissect it more later. For our purposes now, it was a prominent movement counter to the Christian church, led by counterfeit Christians (false teachers) who had infiltrated the church.

In this day and age, how do we recognize a counterfeit Christian? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

I first heard the term "counterfeit Christian" at a church in my home- town of Charlotte. The pastor centered his entire sermon on people who look like Christians, talk like Christians, but in the end, do not bear the marks of authenticity that belong to genuine believers in Jesus.

To bring it to a level to which we can easily relate, let's compare a counterfeit Christian with a counterfeit bill. Let's say you and I stop by our favorite pizza place for lunch. You treat and pay with a fifty-dollar bill. Amidst the change, you receive a twenty-dollar bill. It looks good to you. It looks good to me. And because you are a kind and generous mom, you give that twenty to your sixteen-year-old-daughter who just got her license. She uses it to buy gas and an Icee for herself and her friend. You and your daughter are such generous people! At the end of the day, the gas station manager takes that twenty-dollar bill, along with the rest of her cash from the till, to the bank and deposits it. At that point, one with greater knowledge about money than you, your daughter, and the gas sta- tion manager, rejects the bill.

You all used the twenty-dollar bill, and it remained in circulation until someone with specific knowledge identified it and exposed it for what it really was.

That's the way it is with counterfeit Christians. They show up in church on Sunday and play the part. To blend in, they speak the right words. They do the good deeds. But upon close examination, their hearts and lives don't line up with the truth of God's Word. Counterfeit teachers manipulate God's truth by leaving out the hard stuff of faith. They want more followers, so they don't want to exclude. And, because they want more power and control, they twist God's Word to fit their personal agenda.

Scripture is clear on the topic of counterfeit Christians. Matthew 7:21–23 says:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

The frightening part about the counterfeit teachers in the early church — the Gnostics — was that they spoke of God, light, truth, and salvation but from their own philosophical and mystical interpretation. Their words sounded familiar. Sounded legitimate. But, when examined closely, the Gnostics approached these topics in radically different ways than Jesus. They twisted them for their own gain. They misled God's sheep.

For example, they advocated that Jesus never came in the flesh, that He was not human. They claimed that earthly matter is inherently bad and only the spirit is good. Because of that, anything done in the body, even the most horrific sin, had no meaning because real life existed only in the spirit. They also claimed that God is remote and distant from His creation, that He is pure and holy and cannot have anything to do with sinful and vile humanity.

John wrote his letter, in part, to expose and eradicate this heretical teaching.

Think of examples of counterfeit Christians today. Who are they and how do you recognize that they are counterfeit? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

How do counterfeit Christians hurt the Christian church today? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

In addition to issuing a warning about the Gnostics, John wrote this letter to invite the church into more intimate fellowship with one another and with God the Father and His Son. John knew the more closely knit their community, the less likely they would fall victim to the Gnostics' lies and deception. The more familiar they were with the truths of Scripture, the stronger their ability to stand against the false teachings and combat the doubts that accompany them.

Do you find this true for yourself? The more connected you are in church and Bible study, the more you can stand against the sway of the culture.

Give an example of when being in fellowship with believers has kept you from falling away from your faith. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Apply It

Read 1 John 1:4 and 3 John 1:4. List another reason John wrote his letter. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Joy marked John's ministry.

He deeply loved God and God's people. Shepherding and teaching brought him great joy. This joy fed his soul. John longed for everyone to know the joy, love, and fellowship that comes when believers come along- side each other in faith.

How does this carry over into our lives?

One of the distinguishing marks of an authentic believer is that she enjoys sharing the treasures she has received from knowing and loving God. She wants everyone she loves to experience the riches she has found in having a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus and with other believ- ers. It makes her joy complete!

How are you sharing the riches of Christ with those around you? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Choose one person to encourage this week. Note his or her response to your encouragement, how it made you feel, and how God used it in your life and/or theirs. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

DAY THREE

Living in the Light

MEMORY VERSE:This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

The false teachers and teachings infiltrating the early church disturbed John greatly. So much so, that he addressed them in this letter one by one. He began with a big one. The Gnostics' teaching that those with unrepentant sin can still have intimate fellowship with God.

To answer this lie, John defined what it looks like to have fellowship with God, using not his own words but the words of Jesus.

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:5–7).

What do you think it means when John says, "God is light"? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Jesus called Himself "the light" (John 8:12).

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'"

Who is Jesus, and what does He promise if we walk with Him? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "I Am Loved"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Wendy Blight.
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.

Table of Contents

Message from My Heart xi

Week 0 Video Introduction 1

Week 1 Walk in the Light 3

Week 2 Walk in Obedience 45

Week 3 Walk in Love 99

Week 4 Walk in Faith 157

Week 5 Walk in Victory 203

Endnotes 263

Proverbs 31 Ministries 265

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I Am Loved: Walking in the Fullness of God's Love 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
TruthWarrior 12 months ago
This is a great study on 1 John and how to walk in the fullness of God's love. It's a word, a mindset that we need to hear and receive. There are so many lies out there that women believe, and this well written and easy to follow study combats. You will love this book (even without the videos, but they do add a lot. I love listening to Wendy!). I love learning from Wendy Blight, she is anointed. You will be touched!
gbautista72 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this study of First John. I had started reading First John daily since middle of December and this study became available via an online bible study. This book has enhanced my study of First John and brought to light many scriptures to enforce these truths. I am loved. I am a dearly loved child of God. Satan can't touch me because God abides in me. I've got big brother Jesus with me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW!! I have gone through Wendy's previous Bible Studies ~ Living So That and I Know His Name ~ so was excited about this one before I even opened it. I also had some hesitation as my Bible is pretty well marked up in 1 John due to how much I have studied it previously. BUT Wendy opened my eyes and took all my previous learning to a whole new level. She weaves the whole Bible together taking you to related passages throughout Scripture in order to receive the full picture and extent of God's LOVE for you and me. She is a truly gifted Bible teacher and has something to teach you no matter how seasoned a Bible studier you are. HIGHLY recommend!
Mefielding More than 1 year ago
"I am Loved"-Wendy has filled this book with God's Word, Truth, Wisdom, Beautiful Heartfelt Prayers, Real Life Situations (that I can so relate with). This book takes time to read and to study and to apply God's Word and to just sit and process, spending time thinking about the message Wendy is sharing with us. For the first time in my life I am beginning to understand and feel God's enormous love for me. For you. For each of us. Thank you Wendy- for "I Am Loved." #IAmLoved
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wendy Blight is my favorite Bible study teacher. I always learn so much from her. I love that this book includes something for everyone, new Christians or mature ones. From page one Wendy's heart is pure in sharing God's truth compassionately as if each reader is a dear friend.I love that Wendy encourages her reader to go back to the Bible frequently. She gives practical tips to apply the Bible. It is also fun to learn words from Greek and gives a deeper understanding of Scripture. 1 John is a shorter book in the Bible that does not always get the attention it deserves. It is exciting that God put it on Wendy's heart to write this amazing book. I cannot wait to use this study with my Bible study group. I would highly recommend this book to any woman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wendy Blights newest book, I Am Loved, is an excellent study of a truth we all struggle to accept we ARE loved. With an in-depth look at 1 John, Wendy backs up the books title with Scripture and the firsthand testimony of a beloved disciple of Jesus... John, who walked with Him and talked with Him and who personally knew the tremendous love Jesus had for all people. This book helps reinforce a powerful truth and build closer relationships with our Savior.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With anticipation, and my bible in my lap, I tucked into I Am Loved, the latest book from Wendy Blight. If you have read Wendy before, you know you can’t start without the Word close to hand! From page one, I just loved this book! I found myself happily exploring the text and the Bible for hours. In the time I set aside each day, I discovered found new ways to live out John’s gospel and now have a new perspective on old truths that has changed the way in which I act. One example that really resonated: “How are you sharing the riches of Christ with those around you? Choose one person to encourage this week. Share his or her response; how it make you feel, and how God used it in your life and/or theirs.” This book is an intense bible study, beautifully and carefully led, with tough topics and several moments of truth suited to those who are looking to dig deeper. It is a reassurance and a call to action in the hard times. It is for those ready to really interrogate scripture and wrestle with tough elements of love and hold hands with a writer who paints hope and casts light through her insights. John’s life and testimony is at the centre of the inspiration supported by Wendy’s testimony and both give such honest accounts one can only be encouraged. It’s a feast of information, nuances in the text, references and cultural context. I am amazed at the amount I learned about a topic I thought I knew! It changed my prayers, my bible study time and the way I viewed and interacted with the world. Bite-sized tasks break down huge discussions into changes that are manageable. This book arrived as a balm to my weary soul. Battle-scarred from a bumpy year, Wendy reminded me whose I am, the promise and gift that that is and then why I strive to live it out each day. By tackling the hard parts of love, the intricacies of it and the biblical truths underlying it, she brings hope. Hope that in the world of chaos and pain my truth north stands strong. The book feels so needed and relevant to face real life in a way that glorifies God daily. The weaving of John’s multiple books together to build a life walked in truth shifted my biblical understanding. I loved every minute of it and highly recommend it, 5 out of 5.