Standing On The Word – 5/04/2020

How’s it going? For some it has been rough! Inconsistency, uncertainties, and anxieties are running rampant. Fear, illness, and even death are realities that have become more evident than before. Families are facing financial, domestic, and other crises that cause stress and strain.

This passage offers hope!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

The Name of the Lord is a phrase that implies the character of God.

He is loving. He is faithful. He is strength. He is merciful. He is all that is lovely and all that is right. In a world where all things seem to fall apart, we can run to the Lord. Why? Because He, like a fortified tower, keeps us safe from the world’s assault.

In Him, we can find the refuge we need.

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Write the Word-May 2020

Hello dear ones!

Still writing? Great!

I’ve received some questions as to why we are not writing the entire chapters. This is because we are writing through the major themes of 1 Corinthians. A few of the themes we are focusing on are:

• Be Sensitive to One Another
• Observing the Lord’s Supper
• Spiritual Gifts
• Unity in the Body of Christ
• All About Love
• The Gifts in Worship
• Order in Worship
• The Risen Christ

Even by going through the major themes we can still experience God’s word powerfully. However, if you desire to write the entire chapter please feel free to do so.

One of the most well known chapters of 1 Corinthians, is the 13th chapter. We affectionately refer to this chapter as the love chapter. Paul tells us what love is and what love is not, and how love is one of the greatest gifts we could ever receive. Chapter 15 is one of the most powerful chapters we will ever read. It is about the risen Christ, this is the reality of our faith. This chapter contains the basic tenants of the gospel. We see Christ from death to resurrection, ending with Christ’s rousing victory over death, hell, and the grave.

Like always, use this guide as you see fit. Allow God’s Word to permeate your soul.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Happy writing,
Your friend in the journey,
Erica

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I WILL Wednesday

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You. For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God in the light of the living? Psalm 56:12-13

As we sit in our homes and long for some routine, we may be thinking “normal is a long way off.” Well David could relate to what we are feeling as many of us are greatly missing the connectedness that may come from our jobs, social activities, and especially from our church family fellowships.

In today’s I WILL Wednesday, David can relate to what we are experiencing. Psalm 56 was written at a time when David had been captured by the Philistines in Gath. He was afraid, yet trusted God all the way.

Though he was far from the altar where he would normally offer sacrifice, David felt an obligation to honor God. He was constrained by his vow to do what he promised. More so, he felt that in the light of the mercies of God, He would present his offering, just as he would if he was before the altar. Because God is good and faithful to His promises, David knew that his rescue would come. Even in what appeared to be imminent danger, David knew he was walking in the light of life. Therefore, even in the midst of captivity to the Philistines, David said, “I WILL render praise”.

Today, we don’t offer sacrifices in the same way as they did in the time of David. But we do bring sacrifices of praise into the “House of the Lord.” We render praise and service in ministry to fulfill what we consider to be our Christian duty. Right now, we may feel like David, far from the House of God, but let me remind you that YOU are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)! Where you are, God is there! You don’t need a building to praise, you don’t need walls to rejoice! What about rendering service? Romans 12:1 speaks to this, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” I love how the Message Bible puts it, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him” (Romans 12:1 MSG)

In light of what God gave for us, His Son; and in light of what Christ did for us, gave His life, we are constrained to worship. Not just lifting hands and singing songs with a congregation in a building, but in all that you do, worship Him. Present your body—all that you are and all that you do—as a living sacrifice. That’s your worship—that’s real worship!

Though there are talks—more like controversy—about opening back up our country, we may still be a long way from normal. No matter where you stand on the issue, you can say like David, I WILL render praise!

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I WILL Wednesday 4/15/2020

As for me, I will call upon God, And the Lord shall save me. Psalm 55:16
It is I Will Wednesday!

Today we find David  making a declaration that no matter what is going on in his life he will continue to rely on God, despite what others do.  To get a full understanding of what David is saying, we can look at the previous scriptures where he is noticing those who embrace destruction, iniquity, and wickedness and he draws “a line in the sand” stating he will not follow suit.
In his writing, David  refers to these people as those who would seek the Lord with him and stand beside him; these were not enemies.  I truly believe that their actions broke his heart, but David, (being a man after God’s own heart) had to stand up for God and what he believes.
Have you ever been in a situation where people who are near and dear to your heart suddenly make a decision that lead them on the wrong path? More so, they are so caught up in what they are in that they refuse to listen or return? It can be extremely painful. You miss that friendship, you miss that person you could call on. Your heart goes out to them, and you want to do any and everything to get their attention so that prayerfully they will turn and come back to God.
But just like David, sometimes we have to draw a line in the sand.  As children of God we have to make a declaration concerning our posture and how we are going to react to situations that arise.  “And that ye may put a difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean” Leviticus 10:10
(KJV)
Our declaration has to be the same as David’s, that in spite of what others do, I Will call upon God and I know the Lord will save me.
As the world seems to be turned upside down, I WILL call upon God. As
health issues seem to grow all around me, I WILL call upon God. As I sit here in my home wondering when this pandemic will end,  I WILL call upon God, and rest in the fact that my Lord will save me.
No matter what comes your way, stand on the Word of God and declare with me, “I Will call upon God!”3842085D-8BCC-474F-A54B-51E703957722

Standing on the Word 4/6/2020

A85F14CD-40C4-4BF8-8F19-6BE8E3E6E156This prophecy of our suffering Savior brings to light more than just the events that took place at Calvary, but also the reason Jesus chose the cross. He bore OUR grief and carried OUR sorrow. Wounded for OUR sins, punished for OUR peace. He suffered because of US, choosing the pain and the shame so the WE might be made free. Take that in this week. Calvary wasn’t just something that happened but it is the greatest gift of love you will ever receive. A personalized gift, just for you and just for me. We will never find a greater love or a truer friend. Thank You Jesus!

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

Write The Word- April 2020

We’re writing through 1 Corinthians! This is a powerful book with so much for us to explore. This is just part one, but still packed with all the power that Word of God possesses.  Also, for those who would like to write up until Resurrection Day, here is  a special Write the Word guide leading up to Resurrection day.

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Standing on the Word 3/30/2020

I heard a song this morning that reminded me of this beautiful passage (another one of my life verses). Grief, mourning, and heaviness are weights that we can carry, but there is a beautiful exchange our Savior offers to us all. In exchange for the ashes of life, He gives us a crown of beauty. For mourning and grief, He gives us His joy. For our sorrow, heaviness, and sadness He wraps us in a garment of praise (oh that garment of praise!). And then we will be like trees that stand firm in a storm. And not just stand firm, but stand for righteousness because we have been planted by the Lord and we stand in His glory. Are you standing in what seems to be the ashes of a life gone up in flames? Are you consumed by grief? Is depression pulling you down into a bottomless pit? Well, there is a Savior who offers us a great exchange. Our broken, useless, shattered pieces for His wholeness, love, and beauty.

“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

 

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I WILL Wednesday 3/18/2020

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me.” Psalm 44:6

Today’s I WILL passage is more of an I WILL NOT.  Like many other Psalms, this one was written by David. David was a highly skilled warrior and experienced many victories in battle even as a teenager. In fact, his big introduction to the world was on a battlefield when he defeated Goliath with a slingshot and five smooth stones ( 1 Samuel 17).  Here we see David speaking opposite of what a warrior would say when he says “I will not trust my bow, neither shall my sword save me”.

Wait a minute, David was a highly trained and skilled warrior! When opposing kings heard that David and his army were on the hill or in the valley waiting to come in and wage war, knees trembled, fear rose, and people fled for their lives. Just the thought of David’s anger being turned in their direction caused people to retreat and rethink their actions.

You would think this would produce an arrogance in David, but instead, this great warrior humbly admits that his many victories are not gained through physical warfare. David could boldly say this was because he knew his victory was not in the sword or the bow. His victories did not come from having the best strategic plan in the battle.  People greatly admired David and would wonder “how was he so successful in battle?” David gives this answer in Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Even though David was a warrior among warriors, he knew that he could do nothing without God. It didn’t matter the size of the enemy, the victory would only come from God.  It didn’t matter how much planning he did, the victory would only come from God.  It didn’t even matter if it looked like the win was “guaranteed” the victory would only come from God.

We should say the same thing in our lives today.  No, we don’t go around with a bow and sword (except for the Word of God). However, we are tempted to place our trust in the things we have or the things we’ve obtained. Nothing we have, be it education, skills, knowledge, or financial prosperity—NOTHING can secure our victory apart from Christ. Therefore we should not place our trust in these things. I’m not saying don’t use these things, because we should. David would never go out into battle without his sword or bow, but he didn’t put his trust into those things, he put his trust in God alone. The only one who can save us and secure our victory.

1 Corinthians 15:57 says “But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So, as you face situations in your life, especially amid this COVID-19 pandemic or any other thing that may be plaguing your lives, confess like David, I WILL NOT put my trust in my bow.  I WILL NOT put my trust in my sword!  But I WILL trust God!

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I WILL Wednesday 3/4/2020

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Psalm 43:4

Today’s I WILL passage is found in a journey from pain to praise. At the onset of this Psalm, the psalmist starts by crying out to God. From a place of despair, he seeks God’s help in desperation. He pleaded for vindication and rescue from the assaults of his enemy. The psalmist cried out to God because he confidently knew that God could deliver him. Verse 4, our focus for today, points out a very important thing the psalmist did, he went to the altar. Now an altar, in this time was a place of sacrifice, a place where something changed, a place where something died. Today it’s not so much a place, but the posture of our hearts. Our hearts should be a place where something changes, where something is altered.

This psalmist reminds us that when we come to the altar something will change. It may be your broken heart, it may be your wounded spirit, it may be your wayward thinking, or even your negative outlook. In the presence of the Lord, change happens!

Look at the psalmist’s altar experience. At the altar, he remembered his God; at the altar, a praise burst forth. At the altar, his pain turned into praise. He began to speak to himself! The psalmist asked himself, “ Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues?” (v. 5MSG). Then he had a reality check, and told himself, “Put your hope in God” (v. 5).

At the altar, we can gain an objective view of ourselves! Am I wallowing in self pity? Have my circumstances clouded my thinking? Is what I’m going through bigger than my God? NO! Then adjust your thinking, adjust your speaking, and place your hope where it belongs, in God.

Are you in need of a change? Does depression, negativity, and self pity need to die in your life? Do you need to journey from pain to praise? If so, remember this psalmist and share in his declaration, “l WILL go to the altar of God.”

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Write the Word 2020

Hello Sparrow’s Song Family!

It has been one year since the launch of the Write the Word Challenge and we are celebrating how God has sustained us, revealed Himself to us, and has never failed us!

We have been blessed to become acquainted with some wonderful people who have become members of our Sparrow’s Song community from all over the world!  So to ALL of our newcomers, WELCOME!

Now let’s get down to the Word. This month we are kicking off Write the Word with a study of the major themes of Ephesians.  Ephesians is a foundational book that tells believers key truths about our position in Christ, our walk with Christ, and how to stand against spiritual attacks from the enemy.  I will also add last year’s guide so that you can choose from the two, or feel free to use your own.

Just like before we are just writing the word. This format is just a guide for you. If you wish to write different scriptures please don’t feel like that is not okay BECAUSE IT IS!

One last thing, if you are new to Sparrow’s Song Ministries, we invite you to join and follow the Sparrow’s Song Ministries Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/sparrowssongsong/#
Here you will be able to join an online community where people are striving for a closer relationship with God, receiving encouragement from others, and also encouraging others who are in their own personal journey in Christ.

So here we go… Let’s write The Word!

~ Erica

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