Jan 18

Greater~That’s a Wrap!

****There is still time to enter! Winner will be announced tomorrow, January 25th!  Read on for details.

If you are still with the Greater Online Bible Study, let me salute you!  Great job. This is a super big eye-opening book! Hard-core. Challenging. Awesome.

We are now at the end of the book, Chapter 12, Strike the Water and the Epilogue, These Bones.   When Elisha struck the Jordan River with his cloak, that was the sign he was ready to step into the future as a prophet in his own right. What does it mean for you to strike the water and move into the greater future God has planned for you? What is your next step? (Question #1 from reflection questions)  Funny how we are finishing the study Greater, but we are beginning our lives of Greater.  How do you feel about going for greater in your life? Are you ready? What are you excited about?  (Question #2 from the reflection questions)

I’m so sad to finish this book for a few reasons. First, Pastor Steven Furtick is the pastor of my church. My family is on fire for Christ because of him. My kids LOVE going to church and volunteer on their own. I respect him so much. I see him live his faith…and his insecurities. This book study has been very special to me. But also, this study has changed me. I’ve decided not to settle for mediocre, I’m going for greater.

Today I’m asking everyone to post a comment. How has Greater changed or affected your life?  Would you leave Pastor Steven Furtick a note in the comment section of this blog a note telling him about it and thanking him for an amazing book? I’m going to compile all the notes and send them to him and I really really really want everyone to participate. Let’s bless and encourage him, ok?   Everyone who does this will be entered to win our entire 2013 Online Bible Study book package. That includes each book we will be studying this year: a copy of Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman, Stressed-less Living by Tracie Miles, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst, and A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. And you’ll also win a purse-sized Bible.

Speaking of purse-sized Bibles, we have our winners from this week’s give away. These ladies have won a purse-sized Bible for themselves and a regular sized Bible to give away. Our winners are:

Nancy Silvers

Jenar ~ email beginning lokua02

Danielle Wright

Lee Hagins

Dana Young

Congratulations ladies!!!  Our beautiful OBS Executive Assistant, Angie, will contact you via email with instructions on how to receive your prize!

There are many more give aways going on over the next few weeks. As we wrap up our study of Greater, we are gearing up for our study of Let. It. Go.  which begins February 3rd.  We have  books, DVDs, and study guides to give away plus more Bibles! Stay tuned!

Thank you all for being a part of the Greater Online Bible Study. I’m so thankful to each of you. Keep in touch or better yet, keep studying with me! Whatever you do, I pray that you have been blessed somehow by studying with our Online Bible Studies Group. You have for sure blessed me.

Love, Hugs, and Blessings!

 

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. To Pastor Steven Furtick,
    I loved your book. It was so easy to read and so powerful!! I now realize God can use me right where I am. Often when you hear about doing greater for God it involves becoming a missionary or some radical life change. But I can live the greater life right here in my own home with my family and friends. I can be a light to everyone who sees me in my little part of the world. Thanks for opening my eyes to the greater life.

  2. Pastor Furtick, Thank you for being so real. This study has given me a new sense of hope in this season of my life. I’ve been able to let go of some of the anger I’ve held on to. I’ve learned how to move on to Greater things He has planned. Thank you so much! God has used you to do GREAT things in so many lives.

  3. Pastor Furtick:

    There were many things in this book that ‘hit home” for me. I was not raised in a Christian environment, although my mama always taught us to do unto others as we would have them done unto us. There was HUGE dysfunction from several marriages and my mom’s attempt to get it “right” on her own and growing up without a dad. Even though she did not attend church, I was allowed to go to Sunday school with my best friend occasionally. I was saved at the age of 14, but didn’t realize what a relationship with God was until my late twenties. It has been hard to let go of my past and trust that God has a plan for me. Fast forward to GREATER.

    “In spite of all the parts of us that are anything but good, God is holding the door open to a life that is greater.” – Chapter 2

    Thank you for confirming that in God’s eyes, I am beautiful, my past does not define me, and I don’t have to have it all together for God to use me. Because, I don’t…have it…all together.

    What I do have is the gift of encouragement, a heart for hurting women, and the desire to serve. This is the oil I that I will begin to allow God to pour out and fill up in others where it is needed. I am standing at a crossing point to my future. (Chapter 12…of course, you know this) and they are waiting for God to touch them through ME, even if they don’t know it yet. =)

    I needed this study and my family/friends needed me to participate in this study. I am picking it back up from where it fell and moving forward. It’s time to STRIKE the water!

    Thank you so much for writing this book and thanks again to Proverbs 31 Ministries for blessing me every day in some way. I enjoy being a part of this online community and look forward to learning more and serving more.

    Mary

  4. Jennifer Y. says:

    I am in the midst of going through a broken-off engagement and my future plans have been curtailed. God couldn’t have brought this study to me at a better time. Thank you Melissa for leading us in this study. Thank you for introducing me to Pastor Furtick’s book and sermons. Pastor, I really am blessed by your ability to be down to earth and real in your teaching of God’s Word. You have been given the ability to reach all types of people. I have listened to your Greater sermons and now listen to your sermon’s online. It is during this time that I have been drawn closer to Christ. I am burning my plows and focused on starting anew as I know that God has great things ahead for me. The book Greater is a book to be passed on and also to keep on your bookshelf and read again.

  5. Nancy Silvers says:

    Thank you so much for this blessing and congrats to all the other winners!! I am so excited about the Let.It. Go. Bible study…it’s an answer to prayer and I really mean that. I’d love to share the story with you sometime. It’s amazing when you turn something over to the Lord and HE shows you the way. I have been blessed several times because of this answered prayer and am praying to God to show me how to “pay it forward” on a shoe string budget!! God is AWESOME!!!!!

    God Bless you!!

  6. JAN dEITZ says:

    Thank you Pastor and everyone for letting Christ shine through you. I have had a past bad year. But thanks to your ministry and fellowship that I do not have locally. These studies are a huge blessing. I would very much appreciate the chance to win the new material for the study. Jan Deitz

  7. Deanne G. says:

    I loved retracing the events of Elisha’s life and seeking how to apply it in my own life. This book truly challenged me. Thank you, Pastor Furtick for your bold teaching and dynamic leadership as well as your transparency before your church and your readers. I am still sorting out what God desires, but I know that starting smaller is an important part of it. May you continue to ignite a passion for God in many hearts.

  8. Monica Del Rosario says:

    Pastor Furtick,
    I don’t even know where to begin.
    I had been searching and praying for the Lord to show me where He wanted me to be.. what He wanted me to be doing.. as far as a job.. or just in general.. I just wanted direction! And I prayed, and prayed and prayed for months and months….
    And then this book came along. The description alone had the Lord speaking straight to me.. This is what you’re looking for.
    It sure was.
    Turns out I feel God was calling me to be Greater in my marriage. To step up, to let Him work on my heart. To humble myself before Him by asking me to be something I wasn’t comfortable being. To stop acting like it’s all about me.
    True wake up call. I feel so incredibly blessed by this book.
    I hear you in my head everytime I want to be stubborn and you don’t know how much that means to me. How the Lord has used you to speak truth into my heart.. into my life…. INTO my marriage.
    Thank you Pastor Furtick. Thank you for being Greater for God even in the midst of your struggles!
    I would buy a copy of this book for every single person I know if I could. It’s that special to me.
    Thank you.
    May God continue to Bless you immeasureably~!

    Monica Del Rosario

    • Karri (OBS leafer) says:

      You made me smile, Monica because I feel a lot like you do! We ALL have the power to be greater that we ever knew!!
      Love and Blessings,
      Karri

  9. Jeanie Kelley says:

    I enjoyed doing The Greater study. It made me think about God’s greater for me. I am beginning the task of starting small and going into a Greater Life that God has for me. I have begun Choir for this season of my life. I am ready to face the challenges of the next study and what God would have me do. Thanks for a wonderful study.

  10. I’ve been a single parent for a number of years. I’ve always prayed for the man that God had for me and my life. Over the last six months, I’ve been involved with a man that just didn’t quite feel right, but I’d been alone for so long that it was nice to have companionship. After reading the chapter about burning your plow, I was strongly convicted that I needed to put this relationship behind me and seek God’s will in that part of my life. I was reminded that having no one in my life is better than having the wrong person in my life. Since I broke that off, I have felt an abundance of peace and know that when/if it is God’s will, the right person will enter my life.

    • I am single too and have been with the wrong guys before too, and yes it is so much better to be alone than with somebody that you should not be with. God will show us the right ones.

  11. Pastor Furtick,
    I loved reading your book, Greater. It has challenged me to live beyond what I see or think and let God live through me. I am not satisfied with just the status quo anymore. I want God to really use me for His Greater. Thank you for writing this book which I know has already helped so many people to live Greater for Christ!! Blessings!!

  12. Pastor Furtick,
    Thank you so much for following the call of God in your life. Your book of honesty, truth and humor was just what I needed at this time. It helped me step out in faith and into a ministry position God was calling me to. Thank you again for saying the tough truth that people need to hear, especially when faced with a calling from God. Many blessing to you for your obedience and a continued fire for the Lord as you serve!

  13. Pastor Furtick,
    Wow….Thank you for the truth in this book! So many nuggets I have taken from it. A couple of my fav’s:
    “Nobody does greater things for God because they’ve got it all together. And nobody is disqualified because they don’t.” (Didn’t you just hear me shout, Amen!)
    “Nothing you can do is more loving for those around you than to position yourself to be all that God has called you to be. To truly love people means to love God first and foremost.” :-)
    This book was very timely in my life. I believe the “greater” life God is calling me to is within arms reach. I have lifted my cloak, and it is inches from the water!
    Thank you for your words which are helping me work through the cowardice and believe in the steps ahead!
    ~b

  14. Pastor Steven,
    I was introduced to your sermons over a year ago when I found Melissa’s blog. I have listened to many sermons and I ever subscribe to the podcasts as I live in the Midwest. It always seems that when I listen to a podcast, I learn something about God than I have never heard before. I signed up to do this study and was not quite for sure what was in store. I enjoyed the book a lot. As others have said, the book was a very easy read. Sometimes it was hard for me to stop reading at the end of a chapter. But it showed me in little ways that I need to put myself on a Greater path if I am ever to experience the greatness that God wants me to experience in my life. Thank you for writing a book that forever changed how I view God.

  15. Elizabeth (Amber) Oatman says:

    Pastor Furtick,

    Thank you so much for being an obedient and willing vessel. Your book has and will continue to change my life and the lives of others. Greater was the affirmation and the inspiration I needed to step out in faith towards the path God has set forth for myself and my family. I know that I will continue to go back to your book for the courage and hope I will need on my journey. I pray that you will receive ten fold the blessings you have bestowed on everyone that has come in touch with this book and with your church.

    Agape,
    Amber Oatman

  16. Samara (in England) says:

    Dear Steven Furtick,
    I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing book “Greater”. It has inspired me to really look at my life this year, and be braver. God has often told me to do things and I’ve chickened out! Now is the time to do things! Our church here, in Clevedon – a small town in the South West of England, began a new series in January called “Come follow Me”, and it really fits in well with what you’ve been talking about: putting our security in God, relying on Him, and being obedient to Him, and doing it now are just some of the subjects we’ve looked at so far. I’ll be reading Greater again, (and my Bible of course!) to really get those truths into me. God’s blessings, and thank you for your words, Samara.

  17. I’m glad I stuck it out and finished this study. I must confess that during the study, I was at a loss as to what my “Greater” should be and then I realized I was thinking too big. I truly needed to start thinking smaller.
    In today’s world of so many working moms, it’s not easy to feel as though the daily accomplishments of a stay at home mom matter. I can easily lose my perspective of what a note in a lunchbox, remembering to cut the crust off the bread, or being here when they get off the bus, means. It’s so easy to look at other women, (especially the women who have blogs at Proverbs 31 ministries!) and feel as though I’m not doing enough.
    Reading this book at first seemed to compound that feeling. My daily life includes a lot of water – dishes, laundry, tubby time – but certainly not any water I hit with my cloak and divide!
    I have come to realize that my “Greater” is to live right now, with just what I have, and find happiness. Doesn’t sound like a lot perhaps, but I truly believe now that if everyone on Earth could do this, we would all live in a much greater place.

  18. As with so many others, I’m so thankful for this study! I thank Pastor Furtick for writing it & more importantly, I thank God for seeing the need of the words in my life, divinely making sure they get to me. (Long story with shortened version…I experienced divine nudges that moved me into a set of choices that ultimately blessed me with winning this book when just days before, I was disappointed I couldn’t be involved. We barely had money to get the bills paid much less spend any extra on books. BUT…God did not let that stop me from receiving this blessing…He found a way to get it in my hands!!)

    From day one, I just knew that this was something that would guide me, direct me into my ‘purpose’. How could this (for me) not be direct communication from God?? To say I was excited does not even really express it…I was beside myself with HOPE!!

    In getting started, I prayed for direct guidance from the words in this book, the scriptures…the meaning. I began to really connect on page 3 and ‘connected’ all the way through!! Reading Pastor’s words of ‘Some days, actually, I feel like I sort of suck as a Christian’…then to go on and read about having ‘honest moments when we’re gripped by a desire to feel that what we’re doing matters more. That who we are matters more’ I knew this was what I needed to ‘hear’, right from the beginning!! For months, even years now, I’ve felt really stuck in my faith. I’ve felt that I was meant to do something BIGGER than what I’m doing. I’ve felt so many times that I want my story, my testimony to God, to be more than what it is currently. I mean my small circle of very close friends & family know what God has done in my life for me, for HIS glory…it’s just not gone any further than that. I want it to be more for the Glory of God and that means, ultimately sharing what He’s done for me, and how He’s been there even when I barely even acknowledged Him! It’s such a true testimony of love, forgiveness and FAITH that I can’t wait to be in a position to share it openly!

    It’s just not time yet. It’s not God’s time yet…I have to be patient & ‘work out the details’ to get where I need to be and this book helped me realize that!! For the last couple of years, I’ve asked prayers for guidance & direction…I feel with this study & my one chapter revelation ( I did take away so many positive, Godly things from all the chapters but, really only one chapter spoke to me on a very, very personal basis…Ch 10) My prayers for guidance & direction have been answered!!! I will begin to work on the road that paves the way to my ‘Greater’…the first call has already been made. I’m currently awaiting a call back on some references for Christian counseling. (Some of the ‘direct communication from God’ that I received in Ch 10) I do believe deep down that God sent me this study to get through this very fact…it’s time to begin to share…one on one for now…who knows what later?! I’ll leave it up to God & be very thankful that He’s answered my prayers!!

    This study has been a blessing, it has made me accountable to sit and actually pray and think…pray and think…pray and think…on and on. This study/this book inspired me to start blogging…where I can prayerfully begin to slowly but surely share my testimony, piece by piece….eventually ending with my ‘puzzle’ being put together…Oh, I can’t wait!!!!!! Until then, I will continue to take steps; I will re-read ‘Greater’ one more time, two more times, as many times as it takes!

    God Bless

  19. Melissa Taylor says:

    Pastor Furtick,
    While I was reading this book I made some significant changes in my life that will bring me closer to Greater. Most importantly they have brought me closer to the Greatest, God. I have a desire like I have never known to know Him. While I was reading this book I was waiting for Him to give me this awesome plan to Greater. But in the end I do not have an awesome plan but I do have a faith and belief that if I will just start small and believe that He is working in me everyday I am Greater than I was than when I started the study. I know this book has changed my relationship with the God forever. It has set a fire to find Greater. So please know that from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

  20. Thank you, Pastor Furtick, for sharing your vision of living a Greater life. I have been so inspired by this study. I can’t tell you how many times I have faced a challenge during the day and have said a short prayer “Oh, God, teach me how to (fill in the blank) in a greater way than I have done in the past.” I know that I will re-read this book as I continue on my spiritual journey trying to live my life in a Greater way for Him.
    I end this study with a grateful heart.

  21. Karri (OBS leafer) says:

    I can’t begin to explain how I have grown but I can tell you, that I know without a doubt that I am here for a Greater reason that I can fathom and I can’t wait to see what is in store for all of us in the future!!!
    Thank you,Pastor Furtick, for your humor and letting me understand scritpure in a whole new light!!
    Blessings,
    Karri

  22. Thank you Pastor Furtick for writing this book. I love how down to earth the book is and how easy it is to read. My 17 year old daughter wants to read it when I am done. There are many areas of the book that I enjoyed. The part that hit home the most was Chapter 11, Open My Eyes. There are several parts of this chapter that “opened” my eyes. I have a 6 year old at home and how you explained “my father says” is something I have started to use with her. The passage that I think means the most was on page 176: “Do you really think you’re capable of fulfilling what God has called you to do?” I know I can now answer YES to this. I just have to keep that in mind when the enemy what’s me to say no.

    Once again thank you and your church is blessed to have you as God has shown you a Greater life.

    Joy

  23. Pastor Furtick,
    Thank you! That’s all I have. From the deepest part of me, thank you!

    Think on the little things,
    Kristy Laird

  24. Pastor Steven Furtick,
    Thank you for listening to God to write this book. The whole book was amazing and inspiring. My lightbulb moment came in Chapter 11 -all of it! I especially loved “My father says I am”. How empowering those words are!
    Also, thank you for revealing- in entertaining and understandable language-how loving and empowered our God is. I know we are only scratching the surface of how incredible He is.
    Sue

  25. I missed the Greater Bible study but it sounds like one I would really enjoy. I look forward to future Bible studies!

  26. Christine Penney says:

    Not too familiar with blogging although I do belong to the social network Facebook and Pinterest oh yea Twitter too but I have not really figured out Twitter or how to tweet….Looking forward to the online bible study starting in Feb….

  27. Christine Penney says:

    How do I add a picture to my postings??

  28. Melissa, I was away last week but I hope you’ll pass this message on to Pastor Furtick. Loved the book! I think the message I took away from the book was that I may experience self doubt or feelings of “not good enough” but that those don’t have to stop me from Greater. With Him all things are possible and that is WHY I can be greater if I choose to follow His calling. I need to do more listening and spend more time in quiet reflection for awhile as I seek the path ahead. I think this is one of those books I’ll read over and over.

    Greater was my first Bible Study and my first OBS and I really enjoyed being a part of it. Because of school I’m not ready to commit to another OBS yet but I will definitely look into one with all of you later this year- for now, more time with quiet reflection and listening for His calling and direction is in order. Melissa, thank you for the encouragement and positive thoughts and feelings you share on your blog each and every week. I really enjoy visiting here and plan to join you for another OBS later this year!

    Jenny

  29. Im very excited. This is my first bible study let alone on- line study.Looking forward to see how I can get through this.
    God Bless
    Deinse

  30. Kara Dennison says:

    I finally finished the Greater study on Wednesday night. I am a little late finishing, but by God’s grace, I finished. :) I was hesitant to start this study, but by the end, God changed my perspective. I did the conference calls and listened to the Greater series podcast as extra resources.

    I did Unglued and followed that up with Greater. These two studies have changed my life and my growth in the Lord. I am making imperfect progress while following God as I walk greater in Him. Will my greater journey be easy? No. I am making imperfect progress and who knows where my greater journey will take me.

    I have seen where I let my walk with God get dull and I have lost my edge. Over the last several months, I have been resharpening and growing. This book made me face my fears and insecurities and to burn them. No looking back, right? Only forward, with God. I believe that God wants great things for my live, I need to want greater things. I need to dig my ditches, and He will bring the rain and I’ve experienced the rain. My God is faithful and keeps His promises. :)

    I need God to open my eyes, that I may see. God has given me His power to live greater, He has given me the strength to live greater. I just need to walk in that power and live victorious through Him.

    I just want to thank Steven Furtick for following God’s leading in your life to live greater for Him. Thank you for writing this book, so that others can be encouraged to follow God anywhere He leads and to be greater.

    Thank you Proverbs 31 ministries for your heart for women. You are an encouragement to me and my family. Like, Paul said, “Follow me, as I follow Christ.” Your ministry is “Paul” to me. Your ministry focuses on striving to be God-seekers. Thanks.

    Thank you Melissa Taylor and the rest of the OBS team. You have a wonderful gift as you use it to bring women closer to Christ. I am a stay-at-home mom as well as a home school mom of three. I can’t go to a morning Bible study, so this website is a blessing to me.

    Thanks again! :)