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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I WILL Wednesday 4/1/2020


It’s I WILL Wednesday!

I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.  Psalm 52:9

In today’s passage, David ends Psalm 52 with a beautiful, yet powerful statement of praise and faith to God. It comes after God delivers David from Doeg, the Edomite who was chief herdsman to King Saul and responsible for the deaths of a large number of priests (1 Samuel 21, 22). When David realizes that deliverance had come, he says to God, “I will praise you forever, because you have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” In those few words, David said so much concerning his faith in God, his dedication to God, and his trust that God can and will bring forth deliverance. Let’s look deeper at the parts of this verse.

“I will praise You forever.” Not only was David making a declaration of his allegiance to God, but he was also speaking to his posture in difficult situations. He says, “I will praise You forever!” In the good times and the bad times; in the happy times and in the sad times I will praise You. David was making a commitment that his posture would not change. Just like David, our posture towards God should not change. No matter what the situation, we should have a posture of praise, and a posture of reverence to God at all times.

“You have done it.” When David proclaimed this message he was talking about his deliverance from Doeg, but we too can say the same thing, “God, You have done it!” You delivered me from my pain.You have delivered me from shame. You have delivered me from all types of trouble. When we take a look back on our lives whether it was years ago or even minutes ago, God has done it (His work of deliverance), in each of our lives. He has delivered us from things we had no idea how we were going to get out of. He provided for us when we had no idea where we would get our resources from. Just like David, we all can say, “You have done it!”

“And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” David’s love and dedication to God was never hidden from the public eye. This is the same King who danced out of his kingly garb in the middle of the streets! He was not ashamed of Who he depended on, He was not ashamed of Who he belonged to. The last part of the verse says, “I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” This is so amazing! He was saying in every situation, he could wait on God, because God never let him down. I’m sure we all have people who said they would be there for us, but unfortunately they ended up letting us down. But not God! His is a name you can depend on. No matter the situation, hold fast to the trust and the faith that you have in Him. He will not let you down, He will be there right on time.

Isn’t it a wonderful thing, to know that God is faithful in deliverance, faithful in His love, and faithful to supply our needs. Oh yes! He is faithful indeed. So like David, make the declaration “I will praise You forever,” and no matter what “I will wait on Your name.”

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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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The Fear Factor

In the old show, Fear Factor, contestants would come face to face with extreme and bizarre challenges. In the end the contestant that successfully faced their fears and overcame the challenges emerged as the winner and the host would say, “fear is not a factor for you!” Exciting stuff!

But, truthfully, fear is a factor for us all. It is one of the enemy’s most used tactics. It keeps us from truly walking in the things of God. It can stop us cold in our tracks and keep us right where we are with no hope of moving forward. We’ve heard all of these things before. But what HOPE can we give someone who is truly afraid? David shares His heart in Psalm 56. This beautiful song, filled with transparency, can bring hope to anyone who feels fearful.

Psalm 56 was written during a time when David was running from Saul. He ran to the Philistines. He fled from one enemy to escape another! David found himself in an overwhelming crisis! This account is found in 1 Samuel 21:10-15.

David fled from Saul because he was afraid. David acted like a madman to escape the Philistine king because he was afraid.

David was afraid.

And sometimes, so are we.

In the Bible study Trustworthy, author Lysa Terkeusrt makes this profound statement, “I can sometimes feel afraid, but I don’t have to live afraid.” Yes! Fear is something we all feel at times. We can’t, however, allow fear to consume us. Before we allow fear to paralyze us, we can reach to Our Father.

Psalm 56:3-4 shows two coexisting realities for David, fear and trust. Yes, coexisting. David says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” David couples two thoughts to combat the fear he felt.

The two thoughts could read like this:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
Because I trust in You I will not be afraid.

David doesn’t deny that fear exists. Instead he tells us what to do when we feel fear—trust. That trust in the middle of a storm leads a courageous life—because I trust You, I will not be afraid.

Let’s read Psalms 56:3-4 again, in The Voice Translation
When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone.
In God I place my trust, I shall not let fear come in.

Courageous living is not the result of the absence of fear, but it is the result of confident trust in God even when we ARE afraid. Leaning and depending on the only One who calms my fears blocks out the fears that attempt to destroy my security.

Is fear a factor for you? If so trust God!
Pour out your heart to God! Tell Him what you are feeling. Run to Him, trust Him and then fear will no longer be a factor for you.

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Write the Word 2020-Week 4

Welcome to week 4! The finish line is so close in the Write The Word Challenge. But it doesn’t have to be YOUR finish line. Hopefully we’ve all come to fall in love with God’s Word more and more.

Just learned about the challenge? It’s still a great time to get started. You can start your journey today! And share your journey with us! In times like these, we need the sweet reminders of God’s love for us that are found in His Word. We need hope like never before, and the Word of God is our source of hope because the Word lets us know that God is still in control!
This is just one passage that brings me hope; Yes, it is one that I stand on.  
Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand
-Isaiah 41:10
This and many other truths can wash over you in this time and help you stand, so you will not fall.
Share your journey with us in the Sparrow’s Song Facebook group. We would love to hear from you!  As you write this week, take time to focus on the value of the Word of God, more importantly, its value to you! 2 Timothy 3:15 says All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. God, through the Holy Spirit, breathed His Word into human authors to give us a gift like no other. It is the perfect gift! A love letter, personally addressed to us. Yet it is also practical and functional. The Word teaches us; it rebukes while bringing correction. We are trained in right living through the Word. As a result, we become worthy vessels of honor who are ready and able to do the work and will of God. What a gift!

Tips for this week:
1. Include your Family. My entire family is involved in this challenge and it is such a blessing to us all. I challenge you to invite your spouse, children, and siblings to be a part of the challenge with you.
2. Memorize scripture. You can memorize verse by verse, or chapters. Some have even ventured to memorize whole books of the Bible. Don’t be intimidated. Start where you are. There are lots of ways to do it. Sticky notes, index cards, put it at the top of your to-do list where you’ll see it often, or use an app like Bible Memory or FighterVerse for guided practice.
3. Don’t give up on yourself. Where ever you are, keep going!

Let’s pray: Father, We thank you for Your Words. They are the lifeline we need in every area of our lives. Help us to make the necessary application that will lead us to Your peace. I believe every promise in Your Word and I receive them now.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For those who are interested, below is the Word W.O.R.K.S. from March 2019.