Life Designed Sample Pages

Week 1

Week 1


Called to Flourish

Day 1


"'For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines, and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.  The fig tree has ripened its figs, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.  Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come                         along!'"  

Songs of Solomon 2:11-13  New American Standard Version (NAS)

    

It’s spring!  My pink dogwood tree is in full bloom and the hostas beneath it are a jumbled mass of white and green.  My garden is clean and trim and there is a healthy depth of mulch on top of good soil.  Chimney swallows are back in my chimney chirping like mad.  Soon their babies will liven up the whole family room.  


It’s spring!  Everything is alive, sprouting, growing, joyous and flourishing.  It was all called by God to flourish.  Even the rocks, as pretty, but as dead as they can be, would be singing out hallelujahs if all else was silent.  


Have you been called by God to turn to Him, depend on Him, put Him first and get His holy temple, your body, healthy and flourishing?  


“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 NAS

This Bible study builds on that committed call. 

You and I strive toward this call to honor God and to become more like Jesus.  Jesus called His own body the Temple.  


“Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’   The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’  But He was speaking of the temple of His body.” John 2:19-21  NAS


    This Bible study drives you into God’s Word, connecting you with your Maker, and propelling you to a place and time you can strengthen physically and spiritually.  It is the place you can live out grand purpose, your life design.  Now is your time to feel that rush of fulfillment as you watch God’s purpose for your life unfold because you have the health, vitality and confidence to live the life you were always designed to live.  God is reaching out from ahead, smiling, saying simply “come along.”


Here is how the Bible describes a person seeking God and taking action to live a God-purposed, healthy life.   

 

"You are a garden spring, a well of fresh water, and streams flowing from Lebanon.'"  Songs of Solomon 4:15 NAS




Week 3


Called to Disrupt

Day 5


“So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses, 

and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes.  

Thus the land had rest from war.”  Joshua 11:23


    Giving control to God unplugs us from a dead outlet and allows us to connect to God’s bolt of lightening calculated at 100 million volts.  Over time, we may even be unaware it is a dead outlet.  We may have gotten used to little or no energy coming from it; we don’t realize, or believe, there is an alternative and an absolute Source of power available.  We rely on our own abilities and decisions and lose trust there is a better way.  We lose trust there is a powerful way.

 "I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.  The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice.  And He sent out arrows, and scattered them, Lightning, and routed them.”   2 Samuel 22:4, 14-15  NAS


This step of unplugging and re-plugging gives new meaning to 2 Timothy 1:7  


“…for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.”  RSV


The woman, centurion and tax collector from yesterday’s passages unplugged from a dead outlet and replugged into a live one.  When they did, they had a resource for change, healing, direction and progress.  It impacted their world.  It made an impression on everyone who witnessed their interaction with Jesus and gave these people permission to change their lives, as well.


Gideon and his tribe were plugged into a powerless outlet.  This reluctance to change caused spiritual and physical damage.  Gideon thought he had zero resources and too many limitations to make a change.  It is easy to feel this way.  You and I may have a good list of both resources and limitations.  Do our limitations excuse us from fulfilling our God-given purpose?  Or, are our limitations there to help us rely on God and engage in an exercise of courage?  Does God exempt us from our call if it blows a hole in our familiar and comfortable?  The Gentile woman, the centurion and the tax collector were in strange and uncomfortable situations when they approached Jesus.  

Would you want to miss your purpose because it makes you feel awkward or it takes effort?  What a thing to miss!  I think you and I are designed to thrive with the resources God provides for us and, with faith and God’s power, these are enough to accomplish His intent.  This is different from being wealthy or living a charmed life. This is about accomplishing our God-given purpose and call.  


What God provided each of these biblical characters outweighed their limitations and forfeitures.  Their stories give us hope, encourages us to take a risk and to rely on the power of God.




Week 8


Called to Pursue


Day 1


“weary yet pursuing….”  Judges 8:4  NAS


A lot changed from the end of Judges 7 through the beginning of Judges 8.  The passages read like things changed instantly.  In reality, the miles and heights that had to be traveled took days, weeks or even months. 


Motivations changed.  The 300 who stood their posts despite the terror around them were fueled by new momentum and taste of success.  Those who answered the second call realized they would be joining a formidable army instead of a rag-tag mess of starving victims.  


The tribe of Ephraim entered the fight and ambushed the Midianites as they made their way south along the west side of the Jordan River.  Ephraim captured and killed Oreb and Zeeb who were generals, or leaders, of the Midianite army.  Some Bible versions call them princes.  Whatever title they held, the Ephraimites considered themselves worthy of better prey.  By capturing generals instead of kings, the Ephraimites were denied status and the spoils attached to royalty.  A lot of money was involved.


Ephraim’s complaint may have gotten Gideon thinking about other benefits of pushing back the Midianites: riches and status.  It was no longer a matter of just getting rid of the Midianite menace to survive another year.  The now confederated tribes of Israel could triumph over its enemy; with that came financial rewards divided among Israel’s warriors.  


Consequences of our actions, both good and bad, are inevitable.  There are often, if not always, good, satisfying, humbling and unexpectedly wonderful consequences to obeying God.  That is how it is supposed to work.  


Obedience is difficult when we need to rise to a level we never thought ourselves capable.  Gideon didn't think he was capable.  God is capable!  He will lead us to those higher levels and reach down and pull us up to them if we are willing to go.  You and I must  make the effort to reach out to the mighty arm He offers.  This verse is worthy of memory.


“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock 

that is higher than I.”  Psalms 61:2  NAS


David, when he wrote this verse, had to change his location to survive.  David needed God’s help to get to a better place.  It was an unknown place without guarantee but it was a place closer to God.  Reaching up to God's arm was worth the risk because it deepened David’s relationship with the Almighty.  David was rewarded with the presence of the Master.


Whether we go to where God leads or not, the consequences for our choice remain the same.  If in obedience we eat well and get active, we get healthier, look healthier and have fun looking in the mirror.  These are wonderful consequences God provides.  It is our collection of spoils!  We save money on doctor (or hospital) visits and pharmaceuticals and save wear and tear on multiple parts of our bodies.  We save the frustration working with insurance companies and spending days sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms.  We enjoy saying “thank you” for the compliments we receive as we stand straighter, walk more confidently and wear clothes that really fit instead of drapes of fabric to camouflage lumps (more hiding).  We avoid early grief for our children.  This is good stuff God has wants for you and me.  They are godly gifts.


Comments