Welcome back to week 2!
Last week we talked about living Holy (set apart) and what that looks like. This week, we're discussing how Living Sacred means living in a Reverent manner.
Read: Daniel 2, 4 & 5
Chapter 2 opens with King Nebuchadnezzar's bad dreams. Daniel is the only one who can interpret the dream for the king. The king became enraged that not one of his "wise men" could do as he'd asked (which, was really impossible for any mere man.) Was anyone else surprised at that Daniel's opening statement to the king began his admission that he can't interpret the dream...and that no man can? I think I literally held my breath the first time I read that. What he said next is mind-blowing...and brave! Watch the video below and then chime in with your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Welcome to Chapter One: Holy!
Read: Daniel 1, 3 & 6
This workbook is by no means an in-depth study of the book of Daniel. I gloss over how Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (and their families) were relocated to Babylon against their wishes. Let's take a minute and think about that.
Can you imagine what that must have been like? Not only were they displaced from their homes, but they were hand-picked to serve the king. The king was the one who had forcibly captured and uprooted them. (We know that the Lord ultimately handed the Jews over to the king because of their unfaithfulness to God, but that must have been so difficult to be forced into service to the one who bore responsibility for tearing their families apart.)
The lifestyle in Babylon stood in stark contrast to the Holy life the Jews were called to live. Daniel and company were selected because of their good looks, strength, and intelligence. They could have resisted, but that would likely have led to their punishment or death. Daniel was able to stand for what he knew to be right even in a foreign territory and while being held in captivity. He was also able to do so in an impressive manner.
Take a minute to watch this video where I talk a bit more about Chapter One.
Join in! Feel free to comment below with your thoughts about Chapter One. I can't wait to get the conversation started...
Feel free to share this graphic on social media with the hashtag #LiveSacredStudy:
There's no time for a fluffy preamble to this post. I am burning inside because of the world we live in. Yes, it's been "bad" for a while, but it's becoming increasingly worse.
I often wondered how the day Christ returns could be like the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39)...people living life and going about their business. People getting married and having parties. But I think I'm beginning to see how that could be.
Noah was a freak according to those in his community. He was preparing for something so far out of left field that they couldn't begin to fathom the legitimacy of his conviction. They couldn't perceive the reality of the situation Noah was telling them they were in. Could it be that these people were so far removed from God and so enmeshed in their everyday lives and desires that they slid incrementaly further every day from God, and their eyes had slowly dimmed over time? They were smack dab in the middle of the forest and couldn't see the trees.
Further...could that happen again today?
Let's take a minute to think about how far we've moved away from a God-fearing society and how much closer we've drawn to a self-absorbed culture. Even within our churches and ministries, the focus is very much on the bottom line and what best suits us. As a people, we tend to focus on and measure success by our "like" and "follow" counts, our page views, our class rank, our upward mobility, our church collection balance, our attendance rate, our net worth, our "shares" and "comments". We're a culture obsessed with InstaStories, Facebook Lives, YouTube, self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-care. Are these evil in and of themselves? Of course not. However, the prevelance of their existence in our lives and even in our churches is a testimony to the level of self-promotion we crave. The Bible tells us to die to self. Our culture tells us to focus on self.
I'm not immune. I celebrated 10,000 "Likes" on Facebook just a couple of weeks ago. It's a constant battle for me to remember that God doesn't give me an audience of 1 or 10,000 for my own purposes. It's all and always will be for Him. But why DID He give me an audience of 10,000? If it's for Him, then I HAVE to share what He tells me to share, what stands up to Scripture, and mirrors the message of the Apostles who came long before me. And most importantly--what is True and glorifies Him and only Him. I can't cave to fear or anxiety or insecurity. I can't allow my fake humility (READ: fear of backlash) to keep me from speaking His Truth...even if my knees knock and my voice shakes.
So what do I believe He's telling me right now?
It's time to get up.
It's time to stop hiding.
It's time to stop tip-toeing around His Truth and start delivering His message exactly as He delivered it to us. His Word is clear. When we take the time to stay in tune with Him by reading the Bible and being in prayer daily, He will clarify. He will teach us. He will embolden us. He will pave the way before us, walk along beside us, and watch our backs behind us as we blaze the trail among the people in our circles. We aren't individually called to save the world. We aren't even called to preach the Gospel to the whole world. But...God has us (and plans to work through us) right where we are.
But are we willing? Do I stay safely behind my computer screen, safe in my thoughts that posting this blog is enough? Writing studies, sharing memes, posting witty one-liners that make people feel convicted but not moved to action... is that enough?
What about you? Does this post make you uncomfortable? Is there something that God has nudged you to do or say that you haven't for whatever reason? We can't complain that the world is going to hell if we're not willing to be a part of saving it.
We can't tell God to use us and not be willing to be used.
We can't survey the scene and fiddle while Rome burns.
How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?" Romans 10:14
Hello there! I hope you're as excited as I am about the start of our new study LIVE SACRED: Holding Onto Faith and Living Life Holy! We are exactly 2 weeks away from the start! Order your book NOW to ensure time for delivery. You can purchase a printed workbook or download a FREE PDF by clicking HERE.
Whether you're working through this brief study on your own or with a small group, there are some things I ask you to consider in the "Getting Started" section of the workbook.
As You Read...
Listen for the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to speak to you. Then, write your thoughts in the "Sacred Simmering" section. I don't include questions at the end of every section in this study because I don't want to get in the way of Him leading your thoughts. The videos that go along with this study also provide some conversation starters (or journal prompts if you're working through the study alone).
Try to carve out a time and place where you're in quiet and feel peaceful. I realize this isn't always possible, but to add to the Sacred sentiment this study was birthed under, quieting our environment and our thoughts before Him allows us to more clearly hear.
Keep In Mind...
I am not a pastor or a theological master. I am an average woman, wife, and mom. I simply love reading the Word and drawing parallels from it to my life. If you question anything I say, please consult Scripture. I am not infallible or above reproach, but God's Word is. I do my very best to ensure that what I say is Scriptural, Godly, and accurate, including having pastoral oversight who reviews every word I say to ensure it's not outside of Scripture. BUT...I implore you to allow the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to guide you as you study.
The Way This Will Work...
Each Saturday for 5 weeks a new post will go live on the blog. Each blog post will include a video segment of me sharing thoughts about each chapter and social media graphics for you to share. Please feel free to use the hashtag "LiveSacredStudy" when posting to social media. I can see and find your posts when you use that hashtag and get to know all of you better!
Here I share with you my thoughts on how Live Sacred came to be. This section sets the tone for the remaining five chapters.
Our first week together (February 2, 2019) we'll address the first chapter "Holy". It would be best to have already read the section(s) of the Bible referenced at the beginning of the chapter as well as the entire chapter in "Live Sacred" before reading my thoughts on the blog and watching the corresponding video.
Join In The Conversation...
After reading and watching the video, feel free to join in the conversation here on the blog and/or on the Facebook page. I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts and get to know you better!
Haven't Signed Up Yet?
There's still time! Just click HERE.
I'm so excited to begin in 2 weeks! Grab some friends and join me here!
Here's my word for 2019!
I'd like to share with you the Introduction to my newest study workbook coming out later this month-- SACRED: Holding Onto Faith and Living Life Holy. A Brief Study of the Book of Daniel.
The word came to me one day while I was driving in the car. I was alone and praying out loud. I like to find a “word” and focus on it each year. The Lord had given me the same word for the past two years, but this year was different. Softly and unexpectedly I felt the word “sacred” pressed onto my heart. The word fell softly from my lips as I pictured white linen and hushed tones. I heard whispered secrets shared through the millennia with a quiet reverence. I envisioned earthen floors and sandaled feet kneeling with heads bowed, praying beautiful yet simple words of contrition and humility. I pictured aged fingers holding tightly to small hands as one generation shared Truth with the next. What on earth did that have to do with me in 2019?
This study is beginning Saturday, February 2, 2019. I'll be posting online each Saturday (for five weeks) and we'll discuss throughout the week. I'll also include video segments that compliment each week's discussion. Saturdays are not your only opportunity for reading and commenting, The posts will be up and available at your leisure.
More than anything I want my relationship with God to grow and be pleasing to Him. Aside from that, I want my community to grow as well. I need Godly, God-fearing women to come alongside me and support me. We all need encouragement, exhortation, and friendship.
Beyond that...I want to encourage and equip an army of women to influence their circles and share the Gospel with others.
In addition to the blog post, videos, and discussion, I'll provide social media graphics each week to be shared. An easy way to share Christ and encourage others through social media is through graphics.
I'd love to have you join me each week. Please also consider hosting your own small group to work through the study book and watch the videos together. #IronSharpensIron. Some of my BEST moments have been with friends while we discuss the Bible! Grab some friends, get your study book or download your PDF, and join me!
Needed for this Study:
Are you in? SIGN UP HERE to be notified when the study book and PDF download is available.
Here's to growing together in 2019!
This space is reserved for Founder Mandy's perspectives and viewpoints of Scripture. Man is fallible, but God is not. It's strongly encouraged that you study the Scripture for yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in your understanding.
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