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These topical guides will deal with issues that women wrestle with today: God's Will, Living in Christ, Prayer, and Worry.
Reaching an audience across race, socio-economic, denominational, and age boundaries, these guides will enhance the lives of women in America as they empower them in their weekly devotions. The study guides can be used for both individual and group settings.
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.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Living In Jesus
By Christa Kinde
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2003 Thomas Nelson
All rights reserved.
Alive in Him
"In Christ all shall be made alive."
1 Corinthians 15:22, NKJV
Did you wake up today feeling alive? Do you face each dawn with the enthusiastic motto, "You only live once, so make it count!" Do you frequently sigh, "Ahhhhh. This is the life." A life worth living! Or is it?
We talk about living. — living dangerously, living large, living high, living it up. 'We claim a right to life. 'We work to make a living. Some of us live in the past, while others live for tomorrow. We live and learn. We live and let live. 'We have livable expectations. Our homes have lived-in looks. What more could we ask?
Its easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day living. The world we live in is quite authentic. — it is all we have ever known. But we forget this life is fleeting in comparison to the eternity that lies ahead. Paul says that our real life is hidden with God in Christ (Col. 3:3, NLT).
1. Life is a gift from God. He created us, and He made each of us unique. Job declared, "The breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4, NKJV). What does Isaiah 42:5 say?
2. And so we are born. Beautiful babies are brought into this world every day. But the taint of sin touches each new life. How is this described in Ephesians 2:1?
3. God didn't stop with giving us life on earth. A handful of decades was not enough. He prepared an extraordinary gift for the faithful. What is it according to 1 John 5:11?
4. So there is this life on earth, which we are born to. Then there is our new life, which remains hidden in Christ for now. How does Peter compare these two kinds of living in 1 Peter 1:23?
5. Romans 6:11 says that we are now "dead to sin" and "alive to God." Quite a transformation! What other changes have taken place? Consider Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 5:15-17.
6. What hope! Look at the promise reworded in the letter to the Romans — Romans 8:10. Note your thoughts below.
7. What direction does Paul give to Christians in living out this new life?
Remember Elijah? There was a time when he was heartsick and footsore and feeling very alone. He wanted desperately to hear a word from God. He needed His touch. So he sat up and watched for Him. Elijah thought God would come in a whirlwind, but He didn't. Elijah looked for God in an earthquake, but He wasn't there either. Next, he listened for God in the midst of a great fire, but God did not speak from it. In the end, Elijah found a little whisper tickling his ears — rather anticlimactic after the empty showmanship he had witnessed. But that quiet voice was just what Elijah had needed (1 Kings 19:11 — 12).
God works many miracles in this world, and He reaches out to touch the weary and the hurting. But God doesn't always come in with a bang these days. He doesn't need to! Do you know the song that says, "You're the only Jesus some may ever see"? Or how about that wonderful chorus that goes "We are His hands, we are His feet." Though our efforts to lift one another up may seem anticlimactic after the Lord's ministry on this earth, it is just what your hurting sisters need. In quiet ways we can show God's love, and that love can work real miracles!
8. What else does Paul say about "the life I now live"? Look in Galatians 2:20.
9. What does this mean? How does Christ live through you?
10. We are alive in Christ, and eternal life will be the reward we receive from our loving Heavenly Father. How does Romans 2:7 describe the faithful believers who receive this gift of life?
There seems to be a running theme through the Book of John about eternal life. Many verses there speak about our never-ending future with God. Let's explore a few of them here.
Ponder & Pray
Thank the Lord this week, for you are alive! The life you now live will stretch out into eternity, and you will dwell in the presence of the Lord forever! Amen! As you walk through the week ahead of you, ask God to show you small ways in which you can change the lives of those around you. By reaching out to your sisters in Christ, Christ lives through you. Then, consider how Jesus would reach out to others in your circle of influence — husband, children, parents, neighbors, coworkers, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Is God calling you to share life with them?
Trinkets to Treasure
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 on them, they will draw you closer to God.
Our trinket to treasure this week simply must be something alive. So you must have an ivy cutting. — a living gift to remind you that you are alive in Christ. If you care for it properly, your ivy will grow and flourish, filling out and sending fresh tendrils of greenery around it. Then, you will be able to take cuttings from your own full-grown plant and give them to more friends. They can then pass along cuttings to their friends. You see, sharing ivy cuttings is a lot like sharing our faith — spreading love and life to those around us. In this way, Christ lives through us!
Notes & Prayer Requests
Hidden in Him
"Your life is hidden with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:3, NKJV
My children hide from me sometimes. They are looking for a safe haven when they think I will be upset with them. The crash of breaking glass is usually followed by the sounds of scurrying feet, then sudden silence. The culprits must be coaxed out from behind chairs and under beds before their explanations can be heard. It's not always fleeing the scene of the crime, though.
My kids love to grab their blankets and flashlights and shut themselves into their closets, pretending to be campers or whispering plans for a secret birthday gift. Sometimes they hide from me just for the sheer joy of surprising me. — I guess they like the fleeting glimpse of astonishment when they jump at me from around corners. My absolute favorite hider, though, is the one- year-old amateur. These are the children who believe, for some strange reason, if they cannot see you, you cannot see them. My son once tried to crawl across my bedroom floor on knees and elbows, hands firmly pressed against his eyes. He was completely convinced of his invisibility as he passed by in plain sight.
There are times when I want to hide, too. Sometimes I long for a few hours of blessed quietness. Many of us have burdens we'd like to sneak away from for a time. — pain, worry, fears, stress, memories, heartbreak, expectations, homesickness, loneliness, addictions, overwhelming responsibilities, sorrow. When we feel the urge to run away, we don't really have far to go. God welcomes us with open arms, and He can be our hiding place.
1. Have you ever had a time when you desperately wanted a place to hide?
2. When David wanted to hide, where did he turn? Read Psalm 59:16 and 91:2.
3. God is a safe place for believers. He is always near. What does Jesus promise in Matthew 28:20?
4. Nothing is hidden from God, yet He is able to tuck us away, safeguarding us from the enemy. What does Hebrews 4:13 say about the watchful eye of our Lord?
5. In the days just before He was crucified, Jesus offered up a prayer for His disciples. What did He ask of His Father in John 17:11 — 16?
6. What else is hidden in Christ? Look up Colossians 2:3.
There are two different ways to go about decorating a home, as far as I'm concerned. One way is to decorate for others. The other is to decorate for yourself. You know you're only decorating for others when all the pretty things in your house are out where people can see them. I prefer to suit myself, even if nobody else will ever see my creations. I have painted the insides of drawers in daring shades of green. I have color-coordinated my laundry room. My prettiest birdfeeder is tucked away in the backyard, where even my neighbors cannot see it. It doesn't bother me that nobody sees my hidden treasures. I see them! Their beauty gives me joy.
How much more care should we take in putting the finishing touches on our hidden person — our soul? If you spend all your time decorating the outside of yourself, then you are just decorating for others. You are putting on a show, but all the while you are hiding dusty drawers and empty closets. Though nobody but God will ever see the hidden places of your heart, don't neglect that part. Beautify your hidden spots, and the results will be precious in the eyes of God.
7. God is concerned about your hidden parts. He knows you intimately. What does He desire to find in your secret places? Consider 1 Peter 3:4 before answering.
8. Our heart is a holy place, for it is where we meet God! What else can be hidden in your heart? Psalm 119:11 makes an invaluable suggestion.
9. Psalm 51:6 holds a promise concerning our hidden parts. What does David assert?
10. Only those things which are hidden in Christ will last forever. Read Jesus' Words in Matthew 6:20 and Luke 12:33. What things in your life are safe in Christ's hands? What will happen to the rest?
The Psalms are filled with references to God as a hiding place, a shelter, a safe haven. These verses hold promises, each a precious reminder that you are in God's protection and care.
Ponder & Pray
If you find yourself longing for a hiding place this week, run to God. Reread all of His promises to be your shelter, and pray for the peace of His refuge. Please spend time this week giving your own hidden places some consideration. Take to heart the Psalmist's words in Psalm 119:11, and begin to hide God's Word in your heart. This would be a wonderful time to begin a systematic Scripture memorization plan. It doesn't take much effort, but you will carry those Words with you into eternity. They will be treasures indeed.
Trinkets to Treasure
We are hidden in Christ, and the security of that safe place fills our hearts with confidence and joy. So this week's little gift is something to help you remember a place to keep the things we hold most dear secure. Our trinket this week is a safe. Our minds are put at ease when we think of the protection this week's trinket offers our most precious items. When you think about our trinket for this week during your day, thank God for His care — and smile!
Notes & Prayer Requests
Rooted in Him
"Wickedness never brings stability; but the godly have deep roots."
Proverbs 12:3, NLT
Tree lots are a familiar sight during the holiday season. They crop up in every vacant lot, surrounded by makeshift fences with bare bulbs strung around their perimeter. They are like little forests in the middle of busy neighborhoods. Scotch pines, Douglas firs, blue spruce. — evergreens of every description are lined up. The scents are amazing. Fresh, green, balsam scents. It's the smell of Christmas.
The tree lot trees are vibrant, fragrant, and appealing. They give life to the otherwise dismal days of winter. Some of the trees have even been sprayed in the fields, giving them a startlingly green hue. — sort of like Astroturf. But for all their glossy needles and forest fragrances, the tree lot trees are doomed to fade. Every day that passes brings a fresh shower of needles on the carpet, and once the holidays are past, a tree lot tree is only good for the wood chipper.
Tree lot trees are pretty things, and they brighten our festivities during the holidays. But they cannot last, for they have been cut. Even an evergreen cannot go on without the nourishment it received from its roots.
1. Several times in the Scriptures, the righteous man is compared to a thriving tree. Consider Psalm 1:3 and Jeremiah 17:8. What is the source of these trees' abundance?
2. Similarly, we are to be rooted in Christ. Where does Colossians 2:7 say our roots should lead?
3. From where do our roots draw their strength? Ephesians 3:17 offers another source of sustenance.
4. The importance of good roots is undeniable. Jesus even referred to them in one of His parables. Matthew 13:6 is the snippet of the parable we want here, and Matthew 13:21 gives us the Lord's explanation of His tale. In the Parable of the Sower, what happens to the seeds that are thrown onto the rocks? Why?
When we moved into our most recent home, there were all of three trees in the yard — mot nearly enough by our estimation. So every year we have added trees and shrubs around the property. Some came from cuttings we took from the trees at our old home. — several willows and a few cottonwoods. Others were bought at the local nurseries — a paper birch, a flowering dogwood, three crepe myrtles, and a whole row of Bradford pear trees. With each addition, we watched and watered carefully. My five-year-old son offered to help with the watering duties. Clutching the hose in two hands, he would aim the nozzle high, sending a shower of rain across the baby tree's leaves. He needed to be taught it was the roots that needed the water more. A slow and steady trickle of water at the base of a tree does it much more good than a scatter of droplets across its leaves.
Are you getting nourishment from the Lord in erratic bursts that splash across your Sundays, or have you discovered the soul-satisfying nourishment of a steady supply from the Scriptures every day?
5. What happens to you when you face trials and temptations?
6. James mentions the message that God has planted in our hearts. What does he say about it in James 1:21?
7. Paul uses planting as an illustration of his ministry. He went across the ancient world, sowing the seeds of the gospel everywhere he went. Paul didn't want Christians to give too much credit to his work, though. This is found in 1 Corinthians 3:6–7. What did Paul consider the most important ingredient in the nurturing of spiritual seeds?
8. Where are you planted? Where do you turn to find the spiritual nourishment you need? David offers some good words in Psalm 92:13.
9. Read Colossians 2:7. It is a prayer and an admonition for your life from Paul's pen.
Several passages in the Bible speak of being rooted and of growing as we are given strength from God. Lets explore just a few here.
Romans 11:16, 18
Ponder & Pray
Your study this week has provided seeds of thought and the watering of the Word. Ask the Lord to cause these seeds to grow, flourish, and blossom in your life. Pray for an excitement for deeper Bible study, and send out your roots deep into the Scriptures. Draw nourishment from the Living Word, and pray that "you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth" (Col. 2:7, NKJV).
Trinkets to Treasure
Your trinket this week must be a tree — though it's hard to bring a maple or a scotch pine to every woman of faith in this study. So we shall content ourselves with a small tree, like a beautiful bonsai tree that could sit on your windowsill. The tree shall remind you that "you shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water," able to weather storm and drought, only when your roots go down deep in Christ. Jesus is the source of your strength. Let your little pine tree be an invitation to read His Word, to do His will, and to bear fruit for His glory.
Excerpted from Living In Jesus by Christa Kinde. Copyright © 2003 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.
Table of Contents
Theme Verse, x,
Chapter 1 Alive in Him, 1,
Chapter 2 Hidden in Him, 9,
Chapter 3 Rooted in Him, 17,
Chapter 4 Walk in Him, 25,
Chapter 5 Trust in Him, 33,
Chapter 6 Complete in Him, 41,
Chapter 7 Strong in Him, 49,
Chapter 8 Rejoice in Him, 55,
Chapter 9 Refreshed in Him, 63,
Chapter 10 Bold in Him, 71,
Chapter 11 Hope in Him, 79,
Chapter 12 Glory in Him, 87,
Shall We Review?, 93,
Leader's Guide, 95,