Tossed, Tumbled, and Still Trusting – These are the very situations God allowed into the lives of two prominent women of the Bible, Ruth and Naomi. Perhaps you have experienced a similar loss or trial and you too have questioned, “Why, God.” Tests and trials not only challenge our faith, they reveal our character-who we are when no one is watching. How we act, what we say, value and think matters to God because character determines our choices. God uses our tests and trials to refine our character, purifying it so only the likeness of his son Jesus remains. Our growth is not just internal; it becomes external-obviously visible to those around us. Through the course of this study we will explore the actions and reactions of Ruth and Naomi to their most difficult life struggles. We’ll learn to identify character imperfections and replace them with Christ-like attitudes and behavior. You will come to know that despite being tossed and tumbled by life you can choose to be like Ruth, a woman of excellence. This study will teach you to rise above your feelings, cling to your faith, and believe God for more than what you see. Tossed, Tumbled and Still Trusting: A Study in the Book of Ruth, a nine-week interactive study, features three days of heart-work per lesson, weekly group discussion sessions for any size small group or centralized group, and a leader guide with step-by-step instructions for facilitating nine group sessions.
————– AN EXCERPT FROM THE BIBLE STUDY ————-
Have you been feeling weary? Do you feel as if you are kicking against the goad? Have you been quick speak and slow to listen? Have you had a hard time seeing, in humility, others better than yourselves? Has it been difficult to see past the perceived behavior of a friend, loved one, or teammate and see their heart? Are you lacking in discernment? Do you feel like quitting? Is your strength or stamina failing you? If so know this; your dependence upon yourself to get you through will take you just so far.
I designed you to need a daily infusion of me. You need to sit and drink in your daily fill of me. You see my presence is like the manna I gave to the Israelites. I gave them what they needed for each day. They were not to take more than their daily portion as what I gave them for that day was not enough for the next. It taught them to depend upon me for their needs day by day. So must you learn that the portion you received yesterday is not enough to get by on today. You need me daily. Without your daily infusion of my Spirit you will begin to depend upon yourself and your abilities; not only to get through the day and but also to accomplish the divine work I have assigned to you.
Without a daily infusion of my Spirit:
The love you have for others will fail as your own ability to love will take you just so far.
Without a daily infusion of my Spirit:
Your own ability to see past the exterior of a person and hear their heart will take you just so far.
Without a daily infusion of my Word:
Your determination to take your thoughts captive and fight the battle of the mind will take you just so far.
Without a daily infusion of my Presence:
Your capacity to speak love and truth to others will take you just so far.
Without a daily infusion of my Peace:
Your own peace will soon become strained and that too will take you just so far.
With a daily infusion of my Love:
Self-doubt, low self-esteem, suspicion, dissension, and competition will creep in as your own desire to belong will take you just so far.
Without a daily dependence upon your relationship with the Triune God:
Disunity, disruption, and drama will fill your mind and undermine your relationships because your own integrity will take you just so far.
Without a daily trip to the well of my heart:
You will not have the heart for those you are called to serve or serve with because your own compassion will take you just so far.
My women you have been called to be part of something larger than just your current assignment. You have been anointed to be part of a move of God in your community. I am calling women to myself and I have chosen you and brought you together to be a part of my hand picked team. You have been called to be part of my family, my body. You cannot be successful on your own. I created you to need each other. You need to put each other’s interests above your own. You must believe the best of each other. You must walk together so that you can serve effectively together. But you cannot do that without me. Without me you can go just so far.
There is a dryness that is coming upon you because you have not sought me for your daily infilling. I’m calling you to a higher level. I’m calling you to selflessness and Christlikeness. I will not drag you, and I will not demand it of you. Instead I invite you. I invite you to more; more of me so that you can accomplish more through me. I have all the power, all the love, and the victory. You can have it as I give freely to my children.
I am the alpha, the omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I am the bread of life. I am the good Shepherd. I am life giving water. I am healer. I am life abundant. I am the way, the truth and the life. I am love. I am strength. I am power. And I AM all you need. With me you will always have enough. You will never lack because I AM enough.
Come and be filled. Crawl up at my feet and let me give you my love, my heart, my ears, my power, my discernment, my unity, my peace, my strength, my forgiveness, and my grace. I will teach you to see others through my eyes, and I will fill you up with all you need not to survive but to thrive this day.
Trust in me. Lean on me. Seek me with all your heart and I will take you further than you could ever go on your own. You’ve been just so far but my heart’s desire is to take you so much farther.
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NAS)
——– ABOUT CJ RAPP ——-
Armed with a mission to encourage, equip, and empower women to be all they can be in Christ, CJ steps up to take on the issues women face, tenderly sharing God’s truth from His love letter, the Bible. Her passion for God’s Word is matched by her desire to see lives transformed by its truth—to know who we are in His sight and how He wants us to live in this mixed up world.
Once a young woman suffering from low self-esteem and the consequences of poor choices, CJ has experienced first-hand God’s power to change lives. Her life revolved around the pursuit of shallow cultural values: acceptance, beauty, and career. But all they gave her was emptiness. Finally at the end of her own resources, gave her life to Christ, and found a new beginning. Gradually, gently, God began to transform her heart, thinking, attitude, and actions. In time, her low self-esteem was exchanged for a rock solid identity in Christ. Encouraged by her husband John, and sons Dillon and Austin she answered God’s call and began ministering to women.
God is now using CJ’s past experiences to connect her heart with the hearts of women across the nation. [READ MORE]
———- STUDY GUIDE GIVEAWAY ———-
EVENT PLANNERS, MINISTRY LEADERS, BIBLE STUDY GROUPS, SMALL GROUPS … leave a comment to this post with the name of your group, church, or organization AND in what capacity you serve to enter your name for a random drawing for a FREE copy of Tossed, Tumbled and Still Trusting: A Study in the Book of Ruth to be held on September 23, 2011.