Calling All Christian Writers

Calling All Christian Writers corrected

Do you feel God has called you to write, to speak, or to lead in some capacity to further the Kingdom of God?

In the coming weeks, Sweet Jesus Ministries will be launching a new self-hosted site.  We are a new contributor site that aims to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Currently, we are looking for up to four contributors that would commit to writing at least two posts per month.  As the new site is being tweaked, we will be developing an editorial calendar that will provide a theme for each month.  We will also consider guest posts on occasion.  Please specify your preference.

If you are interested, please pray about it.  Then, if God is calling you to be a part of Sweet Jesus Ministries, contact us for our contributor guidelines at SweetJesusMinistries4@gmail.com.  We will email the guidelines and request a sample writing.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Blessings~

The Sweet Jesus Ministries Team

 

 

 

Wednesday’s Word #3

Galatians 1-10

Wednesday’s Word #3 happens to fit perfectly into the context of the current online Bible study from Love God Greatly.  Today our scripture is Galatians 1:10.   And today’s Wednesday’s Word is ratsah.  Pronounced (raw-tsaw’).  How does ratsah fit into this scripture?

Well, ratsah is a verb from the Hebrew dictionary for approval, delight in, to be pleased with or accept favorably.

Who do you spend your time trying to please?

As Christians we are called to seek the ratsah of the Almighty Father.  We are called by God through his love and mercy to share the Good News no matter the cost.  Though it may offend some and make us unpopular, it is actually an honor and a privilege to be called.  We are all called.  How we are called to share this Good News may look different.  But we are ALL called.

Are you looking for the ratsah of God?  Or are you living to please  people?

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Curious about last week’s Wednesday’s Word?  Check it out here.

Monday Morning Prayer

You rescued us from this evil world in which

This morning I woke early to begin an online Bible study with the ladies of Love God Greatly.  It begins in Galatians with the apostle Paul writing to the churches of Galatia defending a threat made against him while he had been traveling through the area doing mission work.

Paul was accused by some Jewish Christians of watering down the faith in order to win over Gentiles.  The Jewish Christians disagreed that Gentiles did not have to follow Jewish laws first in order to be saved.  The Jewish stated that these Gentiles must be circumcised first.

This dispute, however, was settled in the book of Acts, chapter 15 when Paul stood before the Jerusalem council and said in verses 7-11,

Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe.  God, who knows people’s hearts, confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he gave him to us.  He made no distinction between us and them, for he also cleansed their hearts through faith.  Why are you now burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?  We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the special favor of the Lord Jesus.”

Jesus – Son of God,

Thank you for dying for the sins of ALL mankind just as God had planned from the beginning.  You knew we could not keep your laws and You loved us enough to give us a way out.  You became the sacrifice that would cleanse every believer so that we could spend eternity with You in Heaven.  You rescued us from this evil world in which we live and that is why all glory belongs to God through all the ages of eternity.  (Gal 1:4-5)

~ In Jesus Name, Amen!

Happy Labor Day!

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Wednesday’s Word #2

Jeremiah 32-17

How many times do you sit in Sunday School or church and hear a word you’ve heard over and over again, but really don’t know its exact meaning?

There are so many words used to describe God.  He is SO many things.  But one I love  and that brings reassurance in a world that’s gone mad is sovereign.  Speaking of mad – I always misspell this word.  What happened to the “I before E except after C rule?

Sovereign is defined as a supreme ruler with unrestricted, unlimited and ultimate power. 

That’s our God!  As a matter of fact it is how the Lord is referred to in the Bible 297 times in the NIV translation.  He is in control over everyone and everything.  RC Sproul says:

“If there is any element of the universe that is outside of his authority, then he no longer is God over all. In other words, sovereignty belongs to deity. Sovereignty is a natural attribute of the Creator. God owns what he makes, and he rules what he owns.”

Sovereign.

Check out last week’s Wednesday’s Word here.

 

 

Wednesday’s Word #1

I’m a lover of words!  I’m curious about their origin, breaking them down into their roots, examining their derivatives, their synonyms and antonyms, and how they are used in the context of a sentence.

Welcome to Wednesday’s Word!  Each Wednesday we will briefly examine a new word.  As I’m learning more and more about the Bible, this will help me to analyze words enough that I can make them stick.  I hope it helps you, too.

Today’s word is:  tetelestai

Recently an author from oversees asked if he could friend request me on Facebook.  I apologized and told him I reserved that for family, friends and people I have actually met.  However, I would be happy for him to “Like” our Sweet Jesus Ministries page.  He also attached a YouTube video of a book he wrote called Tetelestai by Eyitemi Egwuenu. (Note: I have not read this book yet.)

Curiosity got the best of me and I began to research the word and the book on Amazon.  I found out that I LOVE this word.

Tetelestai.  This Greek word’s origin is teleo.  According to The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, teleo is found 26 times in the New Testament.  It means to complete, execute, conclude, discharge.  However, my favorite use of the word teleo is found only twice in Scripture and literally means “it is finished – paid in full”. 

In John 19:28 and John 19:30 Jesus dies on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins:

Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, “I am thirsty.”  A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.  When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!”  Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Before Christ, sins were forgiven through the sacrifice of an animal, a substitute.  But God sent his Son, Jesus, to be the final sacrifice.  Upon his death on the cross, Christ took on all the sins of every man, woman and child.  Thankfully, every person was – and still is –  given the opportunity to be made right with God if they choose to believe and accept this offer.

Tetelestai

If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you still can.  Don’t wait.  Escape the penalty of sin and live eternally with God.  Because He loves you enough to die for you, He finished it – paid your sin in full.

Tetelestai.

Blessings~

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Why Bible Study and Resources

Your Word is a lamp to my feet

Upon being saved I expected a miraculous change where everything wrong in my life just suddenly disappeared.  Although, God can make that happen, that is not typically how life unfolds as a new Christian.

Once we repent of our sins and confess Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives is when the work begins. The Lord pursues, convicts and lovingly encourages change. The great news is that we don’t do it alone.  The Holy Spirit settles in our heart and brings a peace – even a joy to bring about necessary change in an effort to prepare us for Heaven.  His Kingdom! The struggles we endure here become less and less burdensome and He makes a way for us to heal from our past; living ungodly lives, sin, bad choices, pain, unjust afflictions brought on by those that might have hurt us.  All hurts!

As we begin to heal our focus changes.  No longer on ourselves, but to the salvation of others.  Our hearts become burdened for those lost in sin who risk never seeing Jesus’ face on their day of judgment.  Even those that use to feel like our enemies.  It becomes so clear that:

We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. ~ Ephesians 6:12

Want to know how to begin the work of healing?  It’s simple.  Seriously non-complicated.  The effort comes with taking the time.  I promise it will be the best time you ever spend.  One glorious day the trumpet will sound for His coming.  It will be a truly beautiful day for those that know Jesus and have a relationship with Him.  That can only be done by spending time with Him and in His Word – the Bible.

Sweet Jesus Girls have put together resources below for Bible studies that we’ve participated in in the past and that are either free or fairly inexpensive.  Leave a comment if you choose to sign up for one of our resources or let us know of Bible studies we haven’t already listed.  You never know when one of them may be a study another person needs.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bible Study Resources:

Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies: Taming the To-Do List by Glynnis Whitwer.  Begins September 8, 2015

Love God Greatly Online Bible Studies: Galatians – Freedom To Grow in Christ.  Begins September 7, 2015

Hello Mornings Online Bible Studies: Study Challenge.  Begins August 24, 2015.  Register the Monday before.

Proverbs 31 Ministries: First5.  A phone app alarm clock that provides an interactive ongoing Bible study available as soon as you wake up every morning.

Blessings~

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Evidence of a Life Changed

When you know you know you know, there is a peace that cannot be explained in human terms.

Fruits of the Spirit_LoveJoyPeacePatienc

Last week we talked about How To Be Saved.  This free gift from God secures our eternal home.  It invites the Holy Spirit into our hearts to live.  And the Holy Spirit creates in us a power and desire to grow more and more like Christ every day.  Galatians 5:16, 17 says:

So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy spirit.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.  But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to this law.

Once we repent of our sinful nature and ask Christ to come into our hearts, we are free to allow the Holy Spirit to create fruit in us.  This fruit is evidence, a by-product, of a changed life – a saved person.

Galatians 5:22 lists the fruits of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This isn’t accomplished independently of the Holy Spirit or without our surrender.  Evil desires such as described in Galatians 5:19-21:

sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin

must be dealt with.  We must examine our own hearts and motives and allow the Holy Spirit to show us where we need to change.  These sins cannot be ignored.

Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:21

Of course, no one has ever lived a perfect life except Jesus Christ.  But once saved, we should be conscious of the Holy Spirit’s leading.  He puts in us a desire, an awareness, and the power to fight our flesh.  And the more we follow his lead, the more fruit we produce.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.  Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.  Galatians 5:24, 25

As we begin to produce fruit, we become very aware of God’s presence in our lives and it’s difficult to keep quiet about it.  My prayer is that each of you know you know you know that you are saved and that your eternal home is waiting in Heaven.

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How To Be Saved

Romans 10-8-10

Imagine it.  You stand with your palms to the glass wall.  It is the only separation between you and your child. Watching as he stumbles around lost and hopeless.  You call your child’s name and for a split second you think he hears you.  But nothing changes.  Your boy continues to wander and seek out something or someone to ease the emptiness that is you – never locking eyes on the one who could lead him home.

And your heart breaks wondering when he will just give up searching.  Time is wasting.

I wonder if this is how the Lord must feel about us – His children?  God, the Father of the universe, sees all and knows all.  Like that glass wall, our lives are transparent to Him.  He sees and values us, even though we are sinners.  In Matthew 10:29-31 Jesus speaks of fear and that we should not be afraid because:

“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

God knows us better than we know our own children.  He wants a relationship with us.  And it starts with being saved by the blood of Jesus Christ who died on a cross to save every person from their sins; to save you from a life spent wasted on this world and eternally in Hell.

You will go one of two places when you die: Heaven or Hell.

If you would like to accept Jesus into your heart here are four steps you can take right now.

  1. Understand and confess that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior.  Romans 3:23 says, “For ALL have sinned…”
  2. Repent of your sins.  Ask God to forgive you.  “Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins.” {Acts 3:19}
  3. Call on the name of the Jesus to save you.  “For ANYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” {Romans 10:13
  4. Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  God knows you and He loves you with an everlasting love.  Pray this prayer with all your heart:

Dear God,

I am a sinner in need of a Savior.  I believe Jesus was sent to earth by God and died on the cross to save me from my sins.  Forgive me and come into my heart as Lord of my life.  Thank you for saving me.  ~ In Jesus name Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, don’t keep it to yourself.    Romans 10:8-10 says,

Salvation that comes from trusting Christ – which is the message we preach – is already within easy reach.  In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

#TellTheWorldofJesus

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Jan Elmore

 

 

Cornerstone

I couldn’t sleep last night so I created another entry in my Journaling Bible; this one for Psalm 118:22.

cornerstone - main

This verse reminds me of a popular praise and worship song by Hillsong called “Cornerstone.”

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly trust in Jesus name

When Darkness seems to hide His face

I rest on His unchanging grace

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil

When He shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh, may I then in Him be found;

Dressed in His righteousness alone,

Faultless stand before the throne.

Christ alone; cornerstone

Weak made strong; in the Savior’s love

Through the storm, He is Lord

Lord of all

In masonry terms, the cornerstone is the most important piece for laying a safe, secure, and solid foundation. It is the first stone placed during construction and provides a guide for all following stones.

The Bible clearly identifies Jesus as the cornerstone of Christianity. In fact, there are 12 specific references in Scripture: six in the Old Testament and six in the New Testament.

Jesus is my cornerstone.

He is the one whom I place my hope and trust. He is the one who keeps me safe and holds me close.

Thanks to His mighty act of love on the cross, I am forgiven.

Because He defeated death by resurrecting, I have life eternal.

I am God’s beloved child.

No matter what life throws at me, or how weak I become, Christ is my strength.

He is Lord of all.

Amen!

Nicole

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Leap of Faith

I honestly did not understand why God was calling me to attend She Speaks 2015.  Years earlier I felt the pull to attend each time my inbox and Facebook timeline flashed a She Speaks notice.  But this time was different.  Not only were the notices popping up in my face constantly, but the tug on my heart was strong.

Soon I began to really consider going.  In the years leading up I came up with excuse after excuse for not attending.  I would think, I don’t write.  I don’t speak.  I don’t lead a bible study.  It’s too far to travel to learn to do something I don’t do.  But God had another plan and little did I know She Speaks was about to change my life and wreck my faith – in a good way.

My husband didn’t skip a beat after I approached him about She Speaks.  He said, “Go!  If God is calling you to go, go!  Here’s the money.”  It’s funny how we justify not doing something until someone else, especially our spouses, say do it.  Something about his approval made it okay.  It made me feel like even though I wasn’t a writer, a speaker or a bible study leader that I could be.  So I took the leap of faith and signed up.

In the months leading up Satan tried time and time again to wreck God’s plan by throwing up obstacles meant to paralyze me with fear. Recognizing it for what it was, I prayed.  “God give me the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Just help me get there!”  And He did not leave me hanging.

She Speaks was beautiful!  For three days I learned valuable skills needed to write and lead bible study.  But something even better happened.  Something completely unexpected.  God sent his Holy Spirit down on that conference and into the hearts of every woman there.  Through praise and worship and a lot of prayer time, He came.  He filled us.  He loved us.  He spoke to us.  I left there changed and ready to be bold for Christ with confidence I’ve never had before.

Proverbs 13:6 speaks of godliness.  It means righteousness, obedience, doing what is good.  Despite Satan’s attacks, I obeyed. It was hard.  My fear of leaving behind problems and focusing on God scared me.  I mean if I lay those problems down won’t I lose control of them?

Thankfully, God rewarded me in ways that I can’t explain fully in words yet.  I know I know I know without a doubt He’s with me.  That He loves me.  That He has plans for me.  I feel it.  And the results of my obedience is evidence of it.  I hope in the months and years to come I can fully disclose how He did it.  But there’s more work to be done and more obedience from me needed. Proverbs 13-6 Leap of faith What is God whispering to your heart?  What is He calling you to do?  Just take that leap of faith.  Step out!  Even if it’s just a small step that you think won’t change anything.  If you make a mistake there is nothing He can’t fix or use for good.  The intention of your heart is seen by Him.  God will not fail in rewarding you for it.

Just do it!

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She Speaks 2016 is already in the works for the end of July.  Registration will begin early in 2016.  There were nearly 800 attending this year and over 700 on a waiting list.  If you feel God calling you to write, speak, lead bible study or just to go, go!  You won’t be disappointed.