"Held and Beloved" online study – chapter five

Yesterday was our first Sunday at home, under more earnest “shelter in place” directives. Nothing about these days feels “normal” or routine, but they are precious in their own ways (time to rest, watch online Bible teaching together, play games as a family, connect with far away loved ones over Zoom!).

BUT, my Sunday night prayers for our online study are happening this morning instead … thankful it is never too late, never a bad time to pause and pray!

I thought last week’s study about the LORD’s limitlessness was so timely. After hearing a message about a deeper thought yesterday, I believe this week’s focus will be even more personal and poignant! CHAPTER FIVE will ask us to ponder a challenging concept: that sometimes the LORD sends us knowingly and purposely into the face of a storm, not because He wants to hurt us, but as Micah Tuttle explained*, it is because He wants to show us how He will use the very thing that threatens to defeat us to deliver us instead!

Dear heavenly, gracious Father, we can get lost in the swirl of the storm, the winds that blow, the torrents that rage, the terror that our “boat” might overturn. Help us not fear the storm, but look for You in it! Remind us that the One who commands the storm also holds us in His tender yet powerful grasp. Open our hearts to understand that Your rescue may look different than we imagine, but that it is exact and purposeful and it will lead us to You. Give us a broadening vision of the other side, the safety of Your embrace, and eventually the distant shore, where we will arrive with a heart that beats closer to Your own. In the Name of Your Son and our Savior, the LORD JESUS, amen.

This week we will take a look at CHAPTER FIVE. As you have time on your own, read through the chapter and the accompanying Bible passages. Keep a notebook handy to jot down anything that touches your heart, encourages you, leaves you with questions. As the LORD leads you, share your thoughts below! It is amazing to see how He can guide our “conversations” to help each other make new discoveries of His truth and His heart.

the One who leads me through the storm: blessed is she who steps out with courage

Brief summary: Esther was purposely placed in a pagan palace to plead for the deliverance of GOD’s people. Mary was purposely chosen to walk a painfully difficult path as the mother of the LORD JESUS. The author was purposely called to make a second and increasingly more difficult move away from anything known and familiar, to learn to reach for the LORD when she felt lost in a fog of uncertainty. The LORD revealed Himself as the One who leads us through the storm, allowing us to discover new depths of His love and power, and granting us the courage to step out in faith.

Read more of their stories . . . and reflect on your own!

Esther 1–10 (focus on Esther’s personal experience)

In what unusual (scary!) circumstances did Esther unexpectedly find herself?

When facing her greatest fears, what request did she make? On whom did she depend for help?

How did the Lord use her unique position, time, and place to alter her story and that of her people?

Luke 1–2, John 2, John 19

As a young girl, what unique path did the Lord call her to walk? What might have been the joys/challenges of her calling?

How did Mary respond to all that the Lord revealed to her heart?

What might have been the darkest day for Mary? How did the Lord Jesus come close to care for her personally in those hours?

Matthew 14:22–33 (the disciples on a stormy sea)

What causes you to treasure the unique and intensely personal relationship that is growing between you and your Savior?

Through what difficult days does He call you to walk? What encourages you to trust Him? Emboldens you to step forward with courage?

How differently might your circumstances appear if you search for His eyes, allow yourself to be captivated by His love and His power, to be quieted by His tender care and sovereign will?

What Scriptures speak truth that steadies your heart?

As the LORD leads you, comment below?

#heldandbelovedbook #onlinestudy #learningtogether #forsuchatimeasthis #newchapter #ESTHER #MARYofNazareth #intothestorm #Heleadsus #Hemeetsusthere #Hecarriesustotheotherside  #nofear #trustingJESUS #ohhowHelovesus #coverofHisPresence #amazedbyGRACE #lostinwonder  #mysteriouskindness #Biblestories #theytellofHisheart

* to hear Micah Tuttle’s full message about the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, find Boulevard Bible Chapel on Facebook and scroll down to the video message from 3/15/2020

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