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Nahum: A Fatal Blow

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7 (NIV)

Happy Friday my dear friends. I hope you have an exciting weekend planned. They always go by so fast.

Refining ministries have been conducting short studies over minor prophets via Zoom. We take one chapter a week, read it on our own, dig into deeper meaning through personal resources, and then come together and discuss. This has been a delightful experience.

Over the past three weeks we have been focusing upon Nahum. I know—I hear you—why in the world Nahum? I thought the same thing when we studied Obadiah and now when my mind wonders into the judgement zone, I remind myself of the takeaway from Obadiah. The powerful messages that have surfaced from many overlooked books in the Bible has been transforming thoughts, actions, and hearts!

Today, I would like to share with my learning from Nahum.

Let me start with a bit of history: After studying all three chapters, I was appalled from the evil and violent empire of Assyria. They had become a force to be reckoned with and gained major worldly power and possessions through oppression and direct disobedience to God. Their destruction and deception gained them outward attractiveness because of the status they displayed. Nineveh, the capitol, felt protected by its enormous wall and had allowed their ego to reach great heights. They had overtaken the ten northern tribes and were working on a plan to obtain the two southern ones. Disgusting cruelty and gross acts can barely scratch the surface of the levels they went to gain worldly power.

Nahum warns Nineveh that their time is up. God’s justice is coming and His righteous anger will be carried out in the days ahead. They refused to take refuge in the Lord. They wanted to worship their gods and trust in themselves. In chapter 3, verse 19 Nahum tells them, “Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?” Their lust of being “top dog” and doing whatever it takes to get there has now caused a fatal blow to their existence. OUCH!

Our sweet Father gives us a choice of how we want to live. Also, He is the only one who knows our inner part (heart). His goal is to remove sin in our lives and bring inner peace. (Deut. 4:24; 5:9). So, when I went to the Lord in prayer to get His perspective on Nahum, this is what He revealed to me:

  1. What choices am I making that may lead me to destruction?
  2. Who have I possible destroyed, injured, or scarred with my words or actions?
  3. How can I abstain from allowing worldly ways to creep into my life?
  4. Is Chapter 2 a prescriptive of a pathway I am traveling?
  5. Am I obsessed with power, little gods, or anything else which will lead me to sin and a hardened heart?

OVERALL TAKEAWAY:

Put my trust only in God. (Nahum 3:8-10)

Deal with sin because it cuts off my fellowship with God.

Failure to follow God leads to painful consequences. Possibly, a fatal blow!

Yes, all this from the little book of Nahum. Powerful-life changing wisdom and advice! Come join us June 14th as we begin a new three-week study over Habakkuk. I promise you too will have a mighty takeaway and you will always remember Habakkuk. Major wisdom through minor prophets is worth embracing!

How Can Bible Intake Be Visual?

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Hello! How are you this last full week of May? Good news-a three day weekend is on the way for many. The month of May seems to be a busy time with graduations, Mother’s Day, end of summer year, etc. However, it has been nice to enjoy some of these occasions in a somewhat “normal” setting this year.

In the education world, tapping into all modalities of learning is essential. Educators have to be creative in making the text come alive and extending opportunities for those digesting the material to do the same. This is no different for each of us when studying Scripture and ensuring our Bible intake sticks. Making those mental connections and embedded the overall message into our schema is necessary to ignite the transformation of our heart and mind.

Transparency moment: Scripture exposure has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Yet, most of my life it has gone in one ear and out the other. Oh when I first hear or read a promising message, I am so inspired and feel two inches taller, but once life slaps me around a couple of times (usually less than 24 hours later) I seem to be clueless. Why didn’t the takeaway stick?

God has captured my attention in recent years concerning engaging in His Word and allowing it to transform. (the capture was a three letter word-PIT!) I have always equated the Bible as a life manual and valued the power of its words, yet the struggle to infuse my innermost parts with Scripture was very real.

I have read, heard, and tried all kinds of advice-read more, study more, pray more, add in-depth Bible studies to your routine, buy a Bible dictionary, purchase a set of concordances, download this application, get assess to these Bible translations, mark all these websites as your favorite, follow Bible scholars regularly, listen to online sermons, go to conferences, join this Facebook group, etc. These are all terrific ideas and suggestions, but when I first wanted to make a significant change in my Bible intake-adding a million different things without addressing what would really make Scripture stick for me personally just made my life even more complicated. I didn’t know where to focus-everything was over the top good! I wanted engagement not involvement. I just made the issue a frustrating and exploding PROBLEM.

So I began embracing simplicity. Taking bite-size portions daily and setting myself up for success. I could not process the fire-hose information coming towards me. It took me addressing my attempted failures and laying the issue at the feet of God. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see the answer was really simple-get out of the way and let Him lead.

Today, I want to share with you one way I have found to make God’s Word a visual in my life. If you wrestle with making the Bible come to life, I pray you are encouraged to embrace new ideas and are filled with God’s discernment to what will work best for you. Start small and give the Holy Spirit the permission to guide your efforts so the transformational power can ignite and change you inside out.

ONE WAY I MAKE SCRIPTURE VISUAL:

  • I pause and pray before reading God’s Word.
  • I read/reread and intensely study one chapter in the Bible weekly.
  • After praying and meditating over the information, I narrow my focus to a verse/s I feel the Holy Spirit is drawing me to fully digest.
  • I write out the Scripture.
    • The physical act allows me to take ownership.
    • It brings my focus to the words within the verse/s.
    • I seem to remember the Scripture from writing it.
    • The product becomes a snapshot of God speaking directly to me.
  • Sometimes I am drawn to one word within the copied Scripture.
  • I display it for a week and read it throughout my day.
  • I add my own flair to it. (can’t exactly call it art-lol!)
This is what must be done: When he sits down on the throne of his kingdom, the first thing he must do is make himself a copy of this Revelation on a scroll, copied under the supervision of the Levitical priests. That scroll is to remain at his side at all times; he is to study it every day so that he may learn what it means to fear his God, living in reverent obedience before these rules and regulations by following them. He must not become proud and arrogant, changing the commands at whim to suit himself or making up his own versions. If he reads and learns, he will have a long reign as king in Israel, he and his sons. Deuteronomy 17:18-19 (MSG)

Here is an example:

Steps I took:

  • I read Chapter 2 of Nahum.
  • I wrote out the verse which stood out to me to take ownership. (I choose two colors to distinguish the two thoughts presented.)
  • Then I selected one word which stood out to me. (I circled restore)
  • I displayed the card in a prominent spot. I read it over and over throughout the week and let it saturate my thinking.
  • We had a horrific hailstorm which wiped out our tender garden plants and many of the flowers we had planted. After walking through the yard to access the damage, restoration came to mind. I began to ponder the promise of God’s healing after the “destroyer” laid everything to waste. My mind went straight to a blossom. So, I took the card & drew a flower. It was a symbol of God’s promise, the beauty we find when we take refuge in Him, and the healing He will extend.
  • The card is a visual reminder of the message the Lord gave me. At the end of the week, I wrote my overall takeaway on the back of the card.

If you are a “visual” learner-start with just writing out Scripture once a week and allow it to saturate your thinking. Please do not make it complicated. You just need a Bible and a willingness to let God’s Word change you. Investigate ways to make the Bible come to life for you. Ask God for His discernment and help. You will be amazed at what He will reveal.

Share your thoughts. I would love to hear what you do routinely. Blessings and prayers to you, my friend.

NAHUM: 3 week study

Dear friends,

I want to let you know about an online Bible study series I am excited to be facilitating! It is called Major Wisdom through the Minor Prophets. Each segment will focus upon one minor prophet by walking through a chapter weekly. These monthly studies will begin in May and continue throughout the remainder of the year. During the summer months, each series will only last three weeks. This will give you a break between each segment and allow you some time to saturate your life with the learning from each series.

Together we will discuss and reflect on our readings via Zoom. In each study, we will dig deep into Scripture and practice embracing the AMPS Bible intake method. Feel free to join us for a month at a time. We will begin Nahum on May 17th at 6:00 p.m. Again, this study will only last three weeks and each meeting will only be one hour in length.

May 17th-Chapter 1

May 24th-Chapter 2

May 31st-Chapter 3

Please email the Refining Ministry by May 10th if you would like to participate in this study. We will send you the link and additional materials for the study once we hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions!  Also, if you know of anyone who might be interested in attending, please forward this information to them. 

In His Name,

Genna Stotts

P. S. – Refining now has a direct email account: refining.journey@gmail.com

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