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YADA: How do you define “to know” God?

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We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 (NIV)

Yada! A term I equate with true success in my life. This word ranks high on my favorite list yet, it has not always been this way.

Yada is a Hebrew word meaning “to know”. I love learning! So, it probably doesn’t come as a shock for those who know me to hear me state my deep feeling for this term. However, there is more to this four-letter word in my life than the surface level.

Visually, the world sees me craving information and textual knowledge. There is no denying it-I do. I would even go so far as to say it has opened the door to a deeper meaning of Yada in my life. This “to know” has placed me on a journey to go beyond textual knowledge of the LORD and really “know” Him for who He is. But remember, I said it hasn’t always been this way.

For many years, my “to know” was for my success. Then my intellectual knowledge of the LORD began transforming my heart and allowing me to redefine what it means to really “know”. Also, I began pursing my definition of “yada” for God’s glory and not my own.   

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By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3 (NIV)

Due to failures in life and finding myself at rock bottom, spiritual wisdom was gained. I realized that the most important thing in my life was a growing relationship with the LORD. The life change I had to make was to go beyond periodically meeting with God to walking with Him 24/7. Although I still fall short at times, I have set a goal to live with the LORD right beside every moment-because He is.

So, what did this require of me? I have had to learn to say good morning every day, turn to Him first in all circumstances good or bad, trust in His promises, have faith in His attributes, and love Him on a level of complete obedience and count it as an honor. Let me just say-this is a struggle within my flesh, and I continually fight against “gods” taking the LORD’s place.  

The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

Making God my firm foundation has been a journey. My desperation caused me to begin taking my relationship with the LORD to new heights and to realize it is an ongoing process. I had to learn to live my life with an open Bible, feed on His Word, and let the Holy Spirit lead. (Boy, that sounds easy when I see those words on paper!)

The difference between “to know” and “TO KNOW!” has been eye opening. My new “yada” has taken me from meeting with God periodically to walking with the lover of my soul continually. The LORD wants this for everyone. He loves us exponentially and craves for us to walk closely with Him in a relationship different from all others. This takes us beyond intellectual textbook knowledge to a deep personal commitment that transforms our heart, mind, and soul.

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20 (NIV)

Refinement Ministry exist because of this life changing concept. The goal of the Bible studies, retreats, workshops, etc. is to support spiritual maturity. Hey, we are just ordinary, everyday people just like you who want to seek out this journey with like-minded Christians. We believe in community and the importance of sharing experiences, wisdom, and perspective with each other.

What is your definition of yada? Are you looking for ways to know God on a more intimate level? If so, we invite you to be a part of one of our Bible studies online, upcoming getaways, or weekend workshops. 2022 is dedicated to helping others go beyond text knowledge to intimate knowledge of who GOD IS and experience this through Scripture Notebooking!  

We are so excited to share this beautiful “yada” definition with you. Trust me when I say, it is life changing!

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 1 John 4:2 (NIV)

REDEEMING LOVE found in HOSEA

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“Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.” Hosea 1:10-11 (NIV)

The book of Hosea is a love story of a life changing devotion only God can give. Throughout the Bible, the depth, breadth, and width of his sacrificial commitment to us is mind blowing! His love and affection are so evident through Christ Jesus, His Son, who paid the ultimate price for us even while we were still sinners!

Probably much like you, this atonement is not unfamiliar. Most of us have heard the message of salvation throughout our lifetime. However, how many of us really take to heart the redemptive lover of our soul to the point of being completely transformed into His image? As for me, I find myself falling short of the mark as I dig into Hosea.

Recently Francine Rivers’ book, Redeeming Love, has made its debut on the big screen. You may or may not know this, but her writing was inspired by the book of Hosea. This romance novelist was captured by God’s all-consuming admiration Hosea portrays and she developed the plot and characters around her takeaway from this book in the Bible. I read this story many years ago and was mesmerized by her talent. She eloquently delivers a story of fervent, costly love pointing to Christ Jesus and God’s never-waiving, eternal compassion for us.

As I began preparing for this study, the Holy Spirit really caught my attention regarding my relationship with the LORD. Very rarely have I viewed my connection with the father as a marriage, a redemptive one at that! Hosea’s words really brought to light the passion God has for everyone, including me. I found myself spellbound and captivated by this concept in such a riveting way.

In my hypnotic state of mind, I began thinking about my eternal relationship with the LORD. I began asking myself, “How could I fully be in love with God, the way He is with me, if I don’t invest my time in knowing Him the way He knows me? How can I faithfully rely on God if I don’t spend time discovering His attributes? What am I doing to grow our relationship? Is my obedience and devotion on the level the LORD desires? Are there barriers within my life keeping God’s love at bay? Am I allowing Him to captivate every part of my being so He can refine and transform me to be His redemptive bride?”

These questions, along with many others, have led me to seek out God’s never-ending love through focusing on His attributes. I know like most of my deep lasting relationships, it takes time to build a strong bond.  It seems crazy to me not to devote time to knowing the LORD more intimately when I reflect upon what He has promised: to love me no matter what, to fully restore me, to want me despite my warts, to give me hope, to always be beside me, to forgive me of my numerous sins, to be in close relationship with me, and to promise me an eternal home through the salvation found from His own Son’s sacrifice. WOW!

Hosea has given me a fresh beginning to press into defining who GOD IS personally for me. To identify those fascinating attributes and deepen my reliance on the LORD. I want to be grounded in Scripture to know the truth of who the father is really like and how I can grow closer through my reliance on His character and promises.

So, what about you? The father craves interaction with us more than we can possibly know, but we let our life rejections, hurts, earthy measure of worth, past sins, other’s opinions, low self-esteem, etc. get in the way of discovering God for who He really is and allowing Him to love us to completion. What is holding you back? What has possibly distorted your perception of God’s great love? Why do you need redemption in your life?

I pray this study will deliver clarity of who the LORD really is and how He wants to restore through His redeeming love. I am excited to see the different levels of discernment and hope God provides as our group on Monday nights draw closer to Him through His Word.

In what ways are you looking to receive Redeeming Love from the LORD? Come join us on Monday nights for one hour (6:00 pm CST) via zoom. We would be delighted to have you. Feel free to email us for the link and handouts at refiningjourney@gmail.com. The study is only for 7 weeks!

HOSEA Study & Scripture Notebooking

1 Thessalonians 2:13
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

Are you ready to take your Bible intake to a new level? Come join us via Zoom every Monday night for seven weeks. We will show you how to digest Scripture differently through your very own handwriting.

Grab your Bible, your favorite pen, and a small notebook. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. See you soon!

Need a Bible Intake Makeover?

Scripture Notebooking

Have you read promising headlines such as “You can be transformed by Scripture” and thought this promise was for anyone else but YOU? I know the feeling all too well.

Honestly, I seem to never get enough of studies and books published by outstanding leaders, pastors, authors, etc. passionate and dedicated to teaching the Bible. I am drawn to writings encouraging others to dig deep into the Word of God and grow in relationship with the LORD. When I finish a study or book, I walk away refreshed and invigorated. Yet, I have still felt deficient in digesting Scripture on my own.

Several years ago, the Holy Spirit pressed upon me to assess my relationship with the LORD. It became evident that I had been more dependent on “close associations” of God’s Word than the Bible itself. I was focusing on “popular” Scriptures based on other’s point of view instead of my Maker’s own voice. (That’s not easy to admit, my friend!)

I truly wanted to be transformed by Scripture and equipped to dig deep into the Bible on my own. I knew the Lord wanted me to advance in spiritual maturity, but I lacked sustainable direction in how to advance my skills after Biblical intake.

My heart desired a very personal relationship with the God. I craved His voice and touch. Nothing excited me more than increasing my knowledge of Him and experiencing Him personally. I wanted to go beyond the text and beyond the writings of someone else. I yearned for authentic intimacy with the LORD.

The time had come to discover a pathway for me. It was time to find a way to know God’s Word up close and personal. Time to go beyond the sermons, small group studies, and daily devotions and get a Scripture intake makeover.

The Holy Spirit led me to Jeremiah 24:7 which states, “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”  All I could say was YES, YES LORD, I want YOU to have ALL my heart. So, I prayed for His discernment.

Going Beyond the Text

There was an assurance within my soul God would strengthen me to handle Scripture on my own, grow me in knowledge of Him, and deliver intimacy in our relationship. I knew what seemed like a lofty promise before, “You can be transformed by Scripture”, was on the horizon.

I began by simply writing down one verse a week from a sermon or study that stood out to me. I would display it and read it over and over throughout the week. From there, I started reading the entire chapter of each verse and investigating the background and Biblical meaning. I spent time locating cross references and sitting at the feet of my Savior to gain the message for my life.

God had given me the desire of my heart-a method to go beyond my Bible Intake. Trust me-it was better than a miraculous makeover on What Not To Wear! (That reveals my age). My time in Scripture was transforming my heart, mind, and soul. I began knowing the attributes of the LORD on a deeper level and His commands and promises began directing my life in a remarkable way.

The Lord revealed my niche for digesting His Words and my heart was overflowing with gratitude. I went from index cards to a composition book. The gap between those topical studies and sermons AND knowing God’s Word in its entirety was closing. My Biblical intake was becoming a visual legacy of my faith journey with the LORD. Gone were the days where I just relied on Scripture knowledge from listening in small group and church and reading books and daily devotions-then moving on with my life without true saturation and transformation.

Scripture Notebooking was the main part of my entire spiritual makeover. It has been such a treasure-my secret treasure until now.

The time has come to share with others just like you. Time for others to find the confidence, growth, and transformation I have found through writing God’s Word.

This year the Refining Ministry is devoted to empowering others how to actively participate with verses highlighted by the Holy Spirit. We are dedicated to walking out this process with you.  

I am living proof that your Bible Intake can be transformed. This journey is so rewarding. Let me be honest-it has been difficult at times and humbling in many ways.

God’s Word has become the helpmate it was designed to be-His voice directing my life according to His plans and not my own. (Thank goodness!) I cannot wait to share this gift with you in the upcoming Bible studies and Scripture Notebooking getaways in 2022!

Are you ready for a makeover?

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