Today is the last day of our study. For any of you who might have missed the announcement on our upcoming series, “30 Days of Gratitude,” you can click here for all of the details. I’ll have that study guide ready for you in the middle of next week.
Note: if any one is planning on picking up a copy of the Gratitude Journal to use for the study (it’s optional) you can find it on Amazon. Click here to view on Amazon (affil link)
My thoughts on each lesson for this past week are below as well as this weekend’s coloring page. Have a great weekend!
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
Genesis 21:8-20 – Hagar and Ishmael are Sent Away
It wasn’t until I dug into scripture that I realized the gift Hagaar was handed. Not only was she sent off with a promise for Ishmael, but they were also both given an opportunity to grow.
If Ishmael was to lead a great nation, he had to first become a great man.
I’m reminded of a quote by Charles Spurgeon, “Whenever God means to make a man great, He always breaks him in pieces first.”
Hebrews 12:7 tells us, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
In the same way, our lives go through times of testing and trials. During those times of despair, God’s grace is upon us. He never forsakes us, but He does allow us to walk through wilderness places in order to prepare us for those things ahead.
Exodus 16 – Manna from Heaven
What’s disheartening about this chapter is how quickly the Israelites disregarded their freedom. Instead of worshipping the God who delivered them from slavery, they murmured against Him. They exaggerated the comforts back home, and minimized the freedom they had.
The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, during which time God strengthened them as a nation. It was through trials like hunger and thirst that they learned obedience, moderation, and faith.
“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” – Deuteronomy 8:2
After Jesus was baptized, the Bible tells us that He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted (Matthew 4:1). Just like the Israelites He learned what it felt like to hunger and thirst, so that through this time, He would be strengthened in Spirit.
Here’s the thing, there’s a difference between experiencing loss and grumbling about it. That’s where Jesus excelled in character. He trusted God throughout His trials while the Israelites dishonored God with their lips.
Their murmurings signified a lack of faith, but God was patient and gracious toward them providing them manna and quail.
1 Corinthians 10 tells us that these things took place in the wilderness as an example to us, and so as we’re reading these stories from the Old Testament, it’s important to us to take them to heart, to learn from their failures, and to grow from the wisdom we glean.
Luke 7:36-50 – A Woman Anoints Jesus’ Feet
Through these words, we see how God bestows grace on the humble and lowly at heart. There’s really no question as to whether we have sin in our lives, the real question is whether we’ve humbled ourselves in repentance.
Luke 7:45 tells us that from the minute Jesus walked in, this woman didn’t stop kissing His feet. How many of us humbled ourselves when Jesus came into our lives? How many of us continue to humble ourselves day after day?
In those days it was customary to wash your guest’s feet and to anoint their heads with oil. Unlike our cities and towns, ancient roads were unpaved. If they weren’t dusty, they were damp and dirty–therefore it was necessary to wash your feet when you entered a home.
Normally the slaves were assigned to the job, which is why it was humbling when Jesus knelt down in John chapter 13 to wash the feet of his disciples. If there was no servant in the home, the host would furnish a basin of water to offer his guest, who would then wash his own feet. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
In this portion of scripture, Jesus stepped into the home of Simon the Pharisee who neglected to serve him.
His lack of humility was a stark contrast to the woman who was ready and willing to wash his feet with her tears, and dry them with the hair on her head.
Many Christians today are like Simon. They’re missing the point when it comes to salvation. We don’t earn it by our outward appearance or a good track record. It comes by grace through faith and repentance.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” –
Today’s Coloring Page
Click here to download the coloring page