Sunday, December 28, 2008

Scripture Challenge {Week 52}

Can you believe this is our last word? I truly cannot believe we have been doing this all year--literally for 52 weeks! Wow! Congrats to those of you that have seen it through! Well, let's get to our last word and study.

Week 52 Challenge Word: Love

We certainly could not finish this study without talking about love. How much do you love God? How much does He love you? How much do you love your precious family, friends, neighbors, etc.?

First, God gave us His precious Son showing just how much He loves us. The Bible is His love letter to us. He chooses to love us not because of anything we do but because He chooses to. He knows our faults, our weaknesses, our mistakes, our sins, everything about us, and He still loves us despite them all.

Our pastor sent a letter out to our members a couple of weeks ago. In it he says, “God continues to amaze me by bringing joy out of the midst of sorrow. Many of us are worried about the economy. Many of us have recently lost loved ones in death. Many of use have suffered broken and damaged relationships. It would be easy to allow our sorrow and worry to overcome us. However, I’ve learned that Christmas is more than some idealized gathering of family. I‘ve celebrated Christmas in the face of death, car wrecks, hospitalizations, and floods. Every time, I’ve found God being born anew into my life. No, God doesn’t make everything easy or happy. But God so loved us that He chose to be born into the same hardship and difficulty that each of us faces. And in love, God still chooses to be with us, and in time, change our mourning into joy.”

He loves us so much, He sent Jesus. He loves us so much, He chooses to be with us. Not because of anything we have done but because He chooses to. It's incomprehensible to us.

And because He loves us, we are to love others. 1 John 4:7-12 says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

Several years ago when I would carpool with a group of women to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), there was one particular woman that just drove me nuts. I dreaded the ride each week. I don’t know what it was about her but I just could not find love for this particular person. Well, I realized that I in my human nature and stubbornness, I could probably never love this woman. I began praying that He give me His love for her. God was so good, and completely answered my prayer. I didn’t dread the rides anymore, and I had His genuine love for her. When you have those people that just seem impossible to love, ask God for His love. He will answer!

One other quick point I want to touch on before leaving our final study. A lot of people struggle with this passage from Matthew 10:37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

I know I always struggled with this until it was explained to me by a very wise Christian. God is not asking us to love our husbands, our children, or our families any less. We just need to love Him that much more and love Him above all others. And I hope you saw my post on Wednesday—1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Version. If not, be sure to look here. I think it is wonderful and something we can truly apply each and every day!

For my card this week, I went bright and "groovy" for our word LOVE! The papers are Pink Paislee and Basic Grey. I then used four different Unity "love" stamps and Shimmerz Paints. The Unity stamps used here are Friendship Love Miracles, Birds of a Feather, Remember Happiness, and Bliss & a Birdie. And the Shimmerz I used were Angel Wings on one of the love sentiments. Oh, and that beautiful big ribbon--it is from Stampin Up!Since most of us are familiar with John 3:16, I wanted to find different verses regarding love. Here is what I used:

Ephesians 5:2 ". . . live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us . . ."
John 13:34 "As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

And to continue reading about God's love, look here. I think you will enjoy it!

Thank you all SO much for joining me on this journey this year! My prayer for you is that this study has truly blessed you, that you have grown in your walk with our precious Lord, and that you have become more comfortable in sharing your faith with others. I know I have truly been blessed this year! If you have stuck with it all year, then I know you know exactly what I mean.

Please do not forget that I have a new study beginning January 4th called His Holy Name Challenge. It will be just like this year's study; however, we will be doing the Names and Attributes of God. How exciting is that? Also this Scripture Challenge will be reposted in 2009. I will be posting it every other Sunday along with the His Holy Name Challenge posts. I hope you will join me!

May the Lord bless you with peace, joy, and blessings in the New Year!!! In Him,

5 comments:

Yvonne said...

Thanks so much for sharing this word with us. I've just recently found your blog and am looking forward to beginning both the Scripture challenge and His Holy Name challenge in the new year. My family is in the midst of some very challenging circumstances and in all honesty, I am doubting the Lord's love for us. The words you posted today seem as though they were written just for me. I know God's timing is perfect. Thanks so much!

Elaine M said...

I am just so excited about the Scripture Callenge and His Holy Name Challenge that's starting in January. I've been on the sidelines watching this year's blog and now am ready to jump head-first into the big middle of it all. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into these studies. Be blessed - Elaine M

Elaine M said...

It's me again - sorry - I wanted to ask if we need to sign up for the challenges?
Thx
Elaine M
mtn.moven.faith@comcast.net

katemeri said...

Patter, thank you so very much for organizing the scripture challenge this year. I only completed the first six but have been writing down each week's word in my book so I can keep working on the project. It's an awesome project!

Thank you also for what you wrote about how to love a difficult person with God's help - I have two people in my life right now that I have been struggling with. I reset myself each day so that I can deal with these people who are in my life and it has been a little easier but still very difficult. Why didn't I think about asking God for his help loving these women sooner? You have helped me so much this year and I am so glad that I found your blog.

I wish you and your family all the best in the new year.

Kate in Costa Rica

Cariann said...

That is a beautiful card.
Do you have a list of 2008 weeks that you could share? I did the challenge hit and miss and wanted to put them in order and work on filling in the ones I missed... I plan on doing 2009 in a 6x6 album I picked up at goodwill for the scripture challenge and possibly an 8x8 for His Holy Name Challenge.

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