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March 15th 2018-Bible Study

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A big thankyou to everyone who came out today! I hope you enjoyed the fellowship as much as I did! There is nothing like face-to-face fellowship 🙂

If you weren’t able to make it today, that is okay. We will continue to have it every Thursday unless it is announced otherwise. Next week please bring a finger food to pass! Same time, same place! If you live in a different state, country, or have something come up, we understand life happens, so the content will be posted online.

Here is the PDF for the bible study:

March 15th 2018-Bible Study-The Great Commission

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! These are my personal notes I prepared for myself.

If you would like to discuss it further with me personally, you can email me at Tanja.Lunney@gmail.com

 

 

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God, Your Love Just Gets Me

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Overlooking Texas

As I was flying back to Texas, I had one of those breath taking moments with God as I overlooked the world from the sky. When you are in an airplane, the world looks so big. We seem so small. Yet, God, the creator of the universe…knows me better than I know myself. He knows every single detail of my life. He knows my heart. The beautiful, the not so beautiful, and the in-between. Overlooking the world (really just Texas), it was in that moment where God reminded me of how much he loves me. That he can pick out the smallest of details to let me know he’s here with me, directing my every step of the way. Yet, still is God of the universe and loves the person sitting next to me in such a profound way, that is individualized to them too. It brings tears to my eyes and such emotion, knowing the Love of God. How extravagant his love is. How reckless it is. How he knows it’s the little details that no one cares to pays attention to, that matter. It continually overwhelms me in the best way possible that he knows exactly what to say and what to do in the moment. Whether its a word of encourgment, a random act of kindness, or criticism out of love for my protection. No one can get in the way of his love for me.

His love never fails.

His love is relentless.

His love is so much bigger than we can ever imagine.

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What Is Your Top Priority?

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I love the way the NLT bible puts this verse. KEEP AWAY from ANYTHING that MIGHT take God’s place in your heart. This verse shows how important it is to keep God first above everything and to protect ourselves from the world’s distractions or maybe the distraction is even ourself! God’s proper place of order is ABOVE ALL, including our spouses, kids, jobs, or *place something or someone important to you here*. Has there been something you’ve been putting first before your relationship with God? What is your first priority? What way can things be put in proper order? Too much of a good thing can become idolatry. Start with a small amount of time and go to your quiet place and spend time with God. Get an accountability partner if this is something you struggle with. A little encouragement can go a long way!

Also, a really awesome book to go along with today’s devotion is- God’s At War by Kyle Idleman.

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Challenging Worldly Thinking Part II

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”-1 John 2:15-17

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here!”-2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”-Romans 12:2

Welcome to Challenging Wordly Thinking Part II! If you missed part one be sure to check it out here: Challenging Worldly Thinking Part I

Did the first post sting a little? I know these topics have for me! When I started my walk with Christ, it was a whole lot of unlearning what I thought I knew and holding onto biblical truth instead of what the world says is good or what my feelings say. Let’s be real both the world and our feelings can trip us up into thinking something other than godly thoughts.

You Don’t Have To Go To College or *fill in the blank* To Be Successful 

The worlds view of successful and Gods view of successful are completely two different things. God’s goal isn’t for you to have all the money in the world and all the materialistic things you ever wanted. God’s purpose is to change your heart and for you to become Christ-like! Sometimes God’s purpose for you may not even be the route to go to college and have a “career”. God may want you to be a stay-at-home mom, work as a waitress. Whatever God calls you to do, is perfect. Because his will is perfect! Just because you don’t have a “career” in the world’s eyes, doesn’t mean you aren’t being used as a vessel to build the kingdom of God. Your family and friends may not understand what you are doing and may even look at you like you are crazy. But that is okay because his will be done, not ours. It doesn’t have to make sense. God sees the big picture not just the small glimpse we see here on our time here on earth!

“God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.”-Psalm 18:30 NLT

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”-Jeremiah 29:11

“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”-Luke 9:23

YOU NEED TO ACT NOW!! YOU CAN’T JUST WAIT!

When I first arrived at Fort Polk I had a job set up and was ready to go to work. I was ready to do what I thought I do best, be a caregiver. It turned out God had other plans. He has had me focus on ministry and serving him instead of working at a 9-5 job. I have been able to focus on ministry, serve others, and really focus on his plan instead of my own agenda. It has made not only me. but my husband really trust and have faith even when we cant see the big picture. It has shown me that God really does have plans for us to prosper but we are on a need to know basis with God. He will direct our steps every step of the way. A lot of my family, friends, and people at church didn’t understand why I wasn’t working. God has continually shown his faithfulness through this new path he has me walking on. I just need to be obedient and trust in his will and timing. Soon, I will be attending college. But that is only because I waited on God’s timing for him to reveal his will! You really want to know God’s will, it’s perfect for everyone. Don’t act unless you know its apart of God’s plan. That would be foolish to act before you know! Every single day we should be asking for God’s will to be done not ours. Every.single.day! Sometimes even multiple times a day!

“Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”-Ephesians 5:17 NIV

“Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”-Matthew 6:9-10

God has saved me from a lot of things I thought I wanted to do that could’ve ended up disastrous for not only me, but for others. I am thankful for the times God has closed a door to something I thought was perfect for me when in reality it wasn’t. A no from God is way better than a flawed will.

The Totally “Acceptable” Sex-Driven Culture We Live In Today

Oh my, where do I start!? We live in a world that says it’s okay to have multiple partners, it’s my body. That it’s okay to live our boyfriend or girlfriend because we love one another we are going to get married. It’s okay we have pre-marital sex. We also live in a world that openly accepts 50 shades of grey and pornography.

Oh man, what a bunch of lies that do us more harm in the long run.

When you settle for any of the above you are looking for temporary satisfaction and a very strayed view of what the world calls “love”. I literally had to make Jesus my boyfriend before he ever brought me to my husband. I had to let God be on the throne of my heart. Not what I thought was love. Not what the world told me was love. ~~I am not perfect. I have a past but I am also forgiven and covered in the blood of Jesus. Keep that in mind if this is an area you struggle with. You are not alone. You are forgiven & today is a new day~~

“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”-1 Corinthians 6:18-20

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”-Colossians 3:5

It’s Okay To Divorce, We Just Aren’t In Love Anymore

I recently was married in October of 2017. The “d-word” is not in our vocabulary. Marriage takes work. A lot of hard work. It also takes both partners to be focused on God and putting God first even before one each other. The devil will be attacking your marriage the minute you decide to even get engaged. After you are married is where the real fun begins. A lot of people don’t understand that marriage is a covenant. Marriage displays the relationship with Jesus & The Church. Your marriage may go through seasons, just as we go through seasons and that’s okay. The focus is keeping your eyes on God throughout the good times and that bad. It does say that the only time it is okay to divorce is because of sexual immorality. Check it out for yourself below:

“Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.””-Matthew 19:3-9 

After Everything I’ve Done There Is Absolutely No Way I Am Forgiven. (I need to be cleaned up first before I start a relationship with God)

This is one thing I really, really, struggled with. I used to be a lot different than the person you know today. (God changes people from the inside out). I really believed this lie that I was worthless, not good enough, and God was disappointed in me. I didn’t feel loved by God. How could he love someone as messed up as me?

Then I was sitting in church on a Wednesday and the pastor asked us to close our eyes and ask Holy Spirit what he thought about us and how much he loved us. I proceeded to do so and what Holy Spirit showed me still blows me away to this day. He first showed me my Grandmother, my now husband, and began to run a very quick slideshow of people that I loved or someone that loves me. Holy Spirit very gently said, “Combine all those people’s love for you and all your love for them, this doesn’t even begin to show you how much I love you.” Let me tell you, I was sobbing. I am teary-eyed thinking about it now. Jesus forgave me and loved me for the very broken, lost, and hot mess I was. He loves me even when I make mistakes now. God’s love is steadfast & your sins we crucified on the cross with Jesus. You are never too far from God’s love or grasp. We just have to reach out to him wholeheartedly.
“But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.”-Deuteronomy 4:29 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”-1 John 1:9

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”-Isaiah 1:18

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood-to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”-Romans 3:23-26

~~I know today’s post was heavy. It wasn’t meant to condemn you, so if that is what you are feeling tell that dirty devil who you Father is and you are forgiven. If you are struggling with many of these worldly thoughts and views, you aren’t alone. When you feel these thoughts, bring them into captivity and line your thoughts up with biblical truth. You will be growing to be more like Christ to the day he either returns or it’s our time to go to our eternal home. It isn’t always a walk in the park to be a Christian and it’s not always easy to train your mind to line up with Godly truth. Having an accountability partner is really helpful. Someone to love on you when things are rough but hold you accountable in your actions. Don’t get discouraged & don’t give up! These posts are “challenging” and that’s okay. Growing pains are well, painful and these post are a challenge. Growing into Christ-like character is rewarding and a blessing, even when you have to lay down your cross daily. Rely on his strength if you grow weary and remember he loves you right where you are at! It’s not an overnight process.~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Speak Up, Speak Life-Being Bold & Courageous and Being Transparent.

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In the years I have been walking with God there are some reoccurring events that he has set before me. Often times, he sets people who are broken just like I used to be and needing exactly what I needed 2 years ago or sometimes even just yesterday. God has placed people directly in my path that need the tools that I have been using to help them become victorious and more invested in their relationship with God. During these times, there has been some really raw, emotional, uncomfortable topics. Such as, I used to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, there was a time in my life I didn’t want to live, and other events such as abuse, trauma, and other things people don’t like to talk about. God has  called me to be Bold & Courageous and be transparent past the point of where I ever thought I would be comfortable sharing. When I started to not care what other people thought and knew that Abba already approves, it what a done deal.

When I started sharing my testimony with people I was terrrrrified. I said ummm or like every couple seconds. Sweaty palms, heavy breathing…you know the works. As I was repeatedly obedient to God, I saw why he was telling me to do the things he was.

I began to see people accept God into their life for the first time. I have saw healing of illnesses that doctors said were permanent. I have witnessed baggage people were never meant to carry and condemnation being lifted and people being freed through what Jesus died for on the cross. When we speak boldly to people about our testimony, it gives others the chance to have the freedom we have found in our relationship with God. It makes them realize they are not alone. You would be surprised how many people are going through exactly what you are going through at this moment but are too scared to speak up.

I’m here to say that sometimes we need to lay aside our fear of disapproval, when God already said he “approves”. Speak up. Speak Life. I am also here to say we sometimes need to lay aside our pride and say we are doing a little rougher than normal instead of the automatic, “I’m good! How are you?” reply.

We are chosen by God to help certain people that really need that transparency. We are also chosen by God to have those people in our lives to love and support us when we need it most. Speak Up. Speak Life.

There is such a thing as guarding your heart because everything flows from it. However, I do believe God doesn’t ever intend for us to put up walls against the things are godly and biblical. Guard your hearts against the things that aren’t of him. We have Holy Spirit to always lead, discern, speak, and comfort us when we need him. We just have to be able to recognize and be obedient the Spirit leads us to do.

For me, being obedient has been Bold & Courageous when I was scared and didn’t want to talk about the wounds or what I was going through at that moment. Not only was being obedient freeing to me, it was freeing for others. Being obedient and transparent has been especially rewarding to me when I see others walking in freedom, truth, and love. Most importantly it shows God just how much we love him.

The devil is really good at lying to us and keeping us in the unknown of what really is going on in the spiritual world when we allow him too. So of course, he will do everything in his power to stop you from being obedient to God and fulfilling your God given purpose. There are also times when maybe its our own flesh and we are scared of what other people think, or we don’t view ourselves the way God see’s us and we don’t have much confidence. (I have been there too.)

Don’t let the anything stop you from being obedient to God. Don’t let anything stop you from helping someone else. Don’t pass up those Ah-Ha moments with God that will fill your heart so much that you will be overwhelmed with tears of joy. & Never forget that you aren’t alone in what you have faced or are facing. Speak up, Speak Life.

 

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Side note: I absolutely love that this picture I found ties into what Holy Spirit used me to write yesterday. (THANKYOU ABBA YOU ARE THE COOLEST!!!) Being Obedient means God could be using you to fulfill someone’s prayer. I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than God wanting you to be that blessing.

Want to check out yesterday’s blog talked about in the photo caption? Here’s the link! *Insert Title Here*