Archive | February 2013

Dangerous Comparisons

2-28-13 comparisons 2“You’re average and always will be.”

“You’re just not as intelligent as they are.”

Maybe these aren’t the exact messages playing in the recesses of your mind, but I’m certain there’s some recording from long ago that the insecure part of you won’t let you forget.

No, these probably aren’t the messages you hear over and over again. They’re mine. But, you have your own, and you know exactly what they are. Most likely, your recordings have shaped your thinking over the years just like the above recordings have shaped mine.

Chances are also good that at least one of those recordings involves comparisons somehow. What’s more, those comparisons probably put some aspect of yourself up against that of other women.

Magazines. Television shows. Romance novels. There’s no shortage of ways for women to compare themselves to one another. Add in the comparisons we make to the women we see face-to-face every day, and the weight of comparison gets even heavier.

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What exactly happens when we compare ourselves to others? Let’s not look to the answer a psychiatrist or counselor might give, one often laced with glorifying self, but to the answer God’s Word so plainly provides.

When we compare ourselves to others, we…

Fortunately, scripture also offers motivation for the other end of the spectrum, for focusing on our individual growth based on who we are in Christ and nothing else.

When we focus on who Christ created us to be, we…

Comparing yourself to another is dangerous because you can always find someone who is doing better in some way, and you can always find someone who is worse off in some way. Comparisons to others simply don’t portray truth. They don’t make us more or less acceptable. They just weigh us down.

But when we base our worth and value on Christ, we find we are acceptable just as we are.

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DISCUSSION: What does knowing you are wholly acceptable to the Lord do to those old recordings?

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Love Revealed, Part II

2013 Theme

Our Women’s Ministry 2013 theme is “Love Revealed.” So, once a month throughout 2013, we will discuss this theme and look at ways to apply it in our lives. Like last month in Love Revealed, Part I, this month we will also  explore specifically how to reveal His love.

Today, let’s specifically look at ways we can reveal His love to others through our attitudes, actions and words. And we will use scripture as our guide.

2-21-13 RJesus set up a deliberate act for us to do to remember Him, and in doing so provides an example of how we can also build in ways to remember how much He loves. With that process of continual remembering, we can find motivation for revealing His love more and more to others.

2-21-13 EThe word “express” can mean “to represent.” As an ambassador represents someone or something (like a king, president or country) and expresses his desires, we too “express” or “represent” Christ. And we do this as we reveal his love through our attitudes, actions and words.

2-21-13 VWe should never forget that God valued each one of us enough to give up His only son for us. Should we not look at others as having that same value? Having this perspective can change your attitude, actions and words toward others.

2-21-13 EncourageThere are a lot of ways to encourage others. But by far the best source of encouragement exists through the hope we have in His second coming. What better way do we have of encouraging others than through this hope?

2-21-13 AAmplifying means taking what you area already doing deeper and increasing the quality. Knowing God amplifies our lives, and the quality is ever-increasing as we get to know Him more and more. Love revealed involves amplifying our desire for others to have this knowledge of Him too.

2-21-13 LLoving God, loving ourselves, and loving others are “equally” important. If in doubt of how to treat someone else, start here. Showing more love is never a mistake.

2-21-13 EmptyThis word “empty” implies humbleness. The goal here lies with more of Him and less of us. How do we do this? Through love.

2-21-13 DDelight is a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment. It means experiencing pure joy. As this Psalm indicates, true enjoyment and pleasure comes through our obedience to God. In that, we can fully know the meaning of delighting in the Lord.

DISCUSSION: Which one of the above will you focus on next? Why did you choose that focus?

A Wise Woman Builds – February Application

11-1-12 A wise woman buildsRemember that our goal for studying the Proverbs 31 Woman was to have goals and standards that we can work toward to increasingly become godly women. This description should not be a heavy burden. Please never forget that.

February 2013 Application

This is a gentle reminder to always pursue deliberate application of God’s Word.

For February… Pick a verse from Proverbs 31 and memorize it.

May these monthly suggestions be gentle reminders of the potential we all have as Christian women.

Blog Update

2-7-13 changesThis week’s message is simply to alert you to some minor but hopefully helpful changes to the blog.

You’ll notice on the menu bar (just below the name “New Hope Ladies”) that there are now just two choices.

The Home page will always take you to the most current blog posting.

If you click on the Bible Studies page, it will take you to a listing of all of our past studies. Or, you can click on one of the study names via the pop up menu that is revealed when you hover your mouse pointer over the Bible Studies menu option.

As a reminder, the following is a listing of our past studies:

That’s it for today.  Please leave any suggestions for additional change in the comments below as well as any future post or study ideas.

Have a terrific week! Next week’s post will be the February Reminder for the A Wise Woman’s Builds study we just completed.

This entry was posted on February 7, 2013. 1 Comment