Ladies, I’m really excited that we finally got our website up and running. My hope and prayer is that this blog would be a place for helpful information, a way to be connected with others doing the study, and to see what Jesus is teaching others. Please feel free to email me if you have questions, need information for me, or need some extra help with your studies. Enjoy your time with Jesus while in his word!
Question #10 on page 71 really made me ponder a bit of the opposite of what was asked. “How can we relate all that we have learned about being the bride of Christ to an earthly marriage? How could this view change how earthly marriages function?” I began to think, “How can we relate how …View full post
While going through the “Marriage For All” chapter, one section of scripture really stood out to me. Ezekiel 16 is one of the most raw explanations of Israel as “The Lord’s Faithless Bride” I have read in the Bible. I would highly suggest reading it. It talks about Israel’s filth and sin against God in …View full post
During our Bible study times each week, I have been honored to hear women in the group share from their heart. We have had the opportunity to share issues, fears, sins from our past, and also painful memories. I am thankful that the women in my group have been open to sharing, willing to listen …View full post
Tip #5 – When you are doing your research, keep a few questions in mind. Who wrote this passage of scripture? Who was it written to? Why was it written? What was going on in that time (culture, era, etc.)? How does it apply to you, if it does? What does it have to do …View full post
Tip #4 – Enjoy the research part of each chapter. This can be the most challenging part of the study for many women. Use it as a time to get to know Jesus and his word better. If you feel frustrated or lost, find someone that can help you. If you are a Bible nerd, …View full post
Question #10 on page 71 really made me ponder a bit of the opposite of what was asked.
“How can we relate all that we have learned about being the bride of Christ to an earthly marriage? How could this view change how earthly marriages function?”
I began to think,
“How can we relate how we honor our spouse to our relationship with Jesus? How could this view change how our relationship with Jesus is?”
Since I read Ezekiel 16 and really took a deeper look at what it means to be a “whore” in God’s eyes, it really made me think of my marriage. The word “whore” is such a vile word that it repulses me to read it repeatedly in Ezekiel. We often “whore” ourselves out to other gods, giving them more time, money, honor, praise, glory, thought, emotion, etc. than we do to God. It is very appropriate for God to use such a vile word to describe our sin against him, yet we don’t often see our sin in that light. As I read Ezekiel I thought of my husband and how he would feel if I had an affair. Hopefully, since we are Christian women, we seek to have eyes only for our husbands. It is of utmost importance to me to be pure in heart for my husband only, not looking at other men, coveting someone else’s husband, wanting to be single, and confessing sin if any of those ever occur. The thought of having an affair on my husband makes me sick and something I don’t ponder on. Is this how I walk in relationship with God? Do I take as much care and concern in my relationship with God to be sure that I’m not a “whore” in his eyes seeking other gods? Sadly and regretfully the answer is no. I should take much more care to be sure I am not coveting other gods, worshiping other gods, and entertaining other gods. My desire to repent of this is great and I pray that God would continue to redeem me just as he did Israel. I am utterly grateful that he loves me so much even though I could never deserve it!
While going through the “Marriage For All” chapter, one section of scripture really stood out to me. Ezekiel 16 is one of the most raw explanations of Israel as “The Lord’s Faithless Bride” I have read in the Bible. I would highly suggest reading it. It talks about Israel’s filth and sin against God in a very offensive way. To be honest, it became difficult for me to read, but it also brings home the depth of our filth and sin against God as well. It isn’t just Israel who has sinned against God in unfathomable ways, but we too sin in the same ways. This section of scripture is also the most beautiful description of how much love and royalty God lavishes upon us regardless of our sin against him. He gives to us willingly, knowing that we will still continue to seek other gods. Through all of our rejection of the greatest gifts he offers, he still brings us redemption. How do you relate to Israel in this section of scripture? How have you experienced God’s lavished love?
During our Bible study times each week, I have been honored to hear women in the group share from their heart. We have had the opportunity to share issues, fears, sins from our past, and also painful memories. I am thankful that the women in my group have been open to sharing, willing to listen to each other, and celebrate God’s grace as a result of it. One thing that I will never tire of is hearing about people’s brokenness from their sin or someone else’s to see the fullness of God’s grace! I have seen so many women find great joy in their past sin, sorrow, struggles, temptations, and pain because they trusted enough to share it and see how God has redeemed it. Thank you to all of the ladies that have freely shared their parts in God’s story to show his great power and love for us!
Tip #5 – When you are doing your research, keep a few questions in mind. Who wrote this passage of scripture? Who was it written to? Why was it written? What was going on in that time (culture, era, etc.)? How does it apply to you, if it does? What does it have to do with Jesus (don’t give trite answers for this, really think about it!)
Tip #4 – Enjoy the research part of each chapter. This can be the most challenging part of the study for many women. Use it as a time to get to know Jesus and his word better. If you feel frustrated or lost, find someone that can help you. If you are a Bible nerd, like me, you might enjoy finding a chronological Bible or check out verses in different translations. “Skies the limit” on how you can study scripture. I found it fun to look in the chronological Bible to see what was going on in particular passages in history, that particular time, culture, etc.
Tip #3 – **For Leaders** Be willing to lovingly challenge the women in your group to be completely open and honest. It will take your encouragement and example for others to be able to do the same. I would also encourage you to be sure everyone is doing their homework. No, it’s not a requirement, but a good way to see where the women’s hearts are. Lead well, strongly, and lovingly all for the glory of God.
Tip #2 – One thing that will greatly effect how much you get out of this study is how deeply you answer the questions. It’s really easy to give simple, fluffy answers, but that’s not the goal of this study. This is a chance to dig deep, get real, and lay your true “junk” out on the table. Like I said earlier, Jesus already knows all of your stuff anyways. To be intimate with Jesus, it takes your ability to get very real. In getting real you will not only find more freedom in your own relationship with Jesus, but you will also encourage others to do the same. I have been repeatedly thanked throughout my life for being real, because it has given others the “ok” to do the same. We are ALL sinners, need Jesus, and by his grace are set free from it all. The freedom is found once we are able to let it all out.
I was asked by a group to give some helpful hints in doing this study. Since this women’s bible study is very different than many other studies, it’s a great question to ask. I’ll start with one tip today and then write four more over the course of a few weeks.
Tip #1 – My suggestion is to do 20-30 minutes of the study a day. This is not a study that you can sit down last minute and cram for a half hour to an hour. Sorry to those of you that likes to cram! You will get way more out of the study, answer the questions more deeply, and understand the context of what you are studying better. Even for those of us that have small children, we can always find 20 minutes in a day!
Last week I was blessed to be able to join a group of women that had just started the NBJ study. I was talking to two women and one said that she had “cheated” and looked ahead at the next chapter. We laughed and told her it wasn’t cheating. She admitted with a tear in her eye that the “Father Heart of God” chapter was going to be very difficult for her. The other woman I was standing with agreed. One of the women’s dad had left the family and the other woman said her dad passed away when she was four years old. Both women still seemed pained by the loss of their earthly fathers for good reason. I encouraged both of them to really press into the chapter, spend a good amount of time reading the scripture and allowing God’s Father heart minister to them in a powerful way. It would be easy for these women to skim this chapter and not deal with the pain of their losses, but God doesn’t want us to avoid any pain in life. He desires for us to seek him through our pain and know that he will comfort us and be with us through all of it. He’s faithful to the end!
I experienced an amazing monumental moment in our NBJ study group recently. One woman was discussing her thoughts on the chapter “Hearing the Voice of the Father”. She said that she does not have a problem hearing God’s voice clearly, but she fears what he would say to her. We asked her a few questions about why she feared what he would say and it boiled down to the fact that she feared being that intimate with Jesus and being completely known by him. The rest of us all sat quietly listening to her then one gal in the group picked up the study and showed her the front cover of Naked Before Jesus. She said what you need is to be Naked Before Jesus! We all had the same thought going through our head. It was one of those beautiful moments where time seemed to stand still. The gal that had picked up the study then said that she had always liked the title of the study, but it now had just greatly changed what the title really meant to her.
Ladies, if there are areas of your life that you struggle to truly set before Jesus without hesitation, spend some time meditating on the title of the study. What does is really mean to be Naked Before Jesus? What does this entail? What would it take for you to lay down your life in intimate detail before Jesus? It’s all worth it and best of all, he already knows all of it and still loves us!