Day 15: The Gem Inspectors

imageSo here we are two thirds of the way through our 20 days of digging deeper. Just like last Sunday, rather than look at new fruit, I think it is a good idea to take some time out again, and explore what we have uncovered this week.

Do you remember right back at the beginning when we met those happy little chappies digging away in the mine? The cute clip from the Disney film that we watched showed the dwarfs not only digging, but also inspecting the gems they had uncovered. This was a vital part of their process of mining!

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That’s what I’d encourage us to do today. Take some time to review what we’ve learned this week and think about what has particularly challenged you. That’s the whole purpose of keeping a journal, so that you can look back and remember what God has been saying. Hold up the things that you’ve heard God saying to you and inspect them closely. Let them really shine out to you today. The ‘gem inspector’ would hold his diamonds up to the light. We can do that by talking to God about our gems, since He is the Light who can show us the way to go forward with the teachings He has put in our hearts.

In the parable of the soil that we considered in Day 1, one of the problems that prevented the seed from growing was that it got snatched away by the birds right at the start. It’s so easy to let this happen with the Word of God. We read something, we’re challenged about it, but somehow in the busyness of life, we allow it to be snatched away before it has taken root in our lives. We can prevent this happening by taking some quiet time today to look back at the fruits of

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Which of these have you most been challenged or encouraged by? Listen closely for what God is saying. We’ve covered a lot of ground, but can you hear Him laying one particular thought or challenge on your heart?

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Another Enemy Tactic

We’ve mentioned before how badly the devil wants to keep us all back from God’s Word. He knows that when we start digging deeper we will uncover precious truths that will ultimately change us to become more like Jesus. Obviously, if you’ve been following the Bible studies then these enemy tactics haven’t worked! However, let’s not be fooled…unfortunately he has plenty more ammunition, but we can get wise to his tricks.

I sometimes enjoy reading blogs about healthy eating and exercise; however, at times when my own eating has been far from healthy and my only exercise is walking from the car to the house, those blogs have made me feel useless. I can be so overwhelmed by all the things they tell me I should be doing or not doing that there’s only one response applicable….reach for the maltesers!

In a much more important sphere though, it can sometimes be a bit like that when we explore a lot of practical teaching from the Bible, such as this week. Rather than encouraging us, it can make us feel very bad about ourselves. “I’m useless.” “There’s so much in my life that needs to change”. “I just don’t know where to start.” Our response to those feelings of guilt can sometimes be to just block it all out and give up. Please don’t! This is just another ploy of the devil’s to keep us back from becoming the bright shining stars God has planned for us to become.

The process of becoming more like Jesus is called sanctification and it is exactly that…a process! It won’t happen overnight, but through His grace and power we can be changed bit by bit to become truer reflections to the world of who He is.

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So that is another good reason to take some time today and ask God

“What one thing are you saying to me Lord?”

Last week I introduced you to the Set Apart Girl website and magazine. There is a really helpful article in there on this very topic and it is well worth a read. In it Leslie Ludy explains the difference between being convicted about our sins by God, which is a positive thing and the start of the process of changing us, and being condemned by our sins, which is a negative and destructive thing. You’ll find it by clicking on the link below

http://setapartgirl.com/leslie-ludy/blog/05-12-14/condemnation-or-conviction

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Read Ahead:

I’m sure you all like to get your homework done well in advance of deadlines and would never be caught out being a ‘last minute” kinda girl. Right?

Well over the next two days we will be exploring our next fruit by looking at the life of just one young person: Joseph. We’ll be dipping into a few different situations in Joseph’s very colourful life, looking at just a selection of verses; but to really help you get the most from this it would be a good idea to take time today to read the entire story if you can.

You’ll find it in Genesis chapters 37, 38-45

Why not take this as an opportunity to experiment with the Audio Bible which is available on most Bible apps? You can sit back and listen to the chapters being read to you. Or another way that can help the story come to life is to read it aloud yourself and as you do so picture the whole story being acted out. In each part really think about how Joseph would have been feeling.

We’ve got lots more gems to uncover!

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