May 13

SLL Week 6, Day 1 ~ Bible Verse

 

Our reflection verse this week, Matthew 6:33, gives us a promise if we make the choice to have God first in our lives.

“But seek first his kingdom,” the first part of this verse plainly tells us to turn to God first. He needs to be our first choice and not our last resort. We are called to seek Him first. God demands first place in our lives. The word seek means, “to pursue, crave, go after with all your might.”

When one of my boys has lost a precious toy, he goes about with great determination to find the lost item. It is all he can think about, talk about and is willing to go to great lengths for it. My child is seeking the lost item just like you and I need to be seeking God. However, we do need to be mindful in seeking God that we are seeking His “presence” and not His “presents”. God delights when we choose to spend time with Him because of who He is and not what He can do for us. Think about it this way, do you want a person to be your friend simply because of what you can give them? Absolutely not, then let’s not do the same thing with God.

The next portion, “and his righteousness,” is talking about being filled with God’s desires and be willing to serve and obey Him in everything. The question we have to ask ourselves is “what is really important?”

In our fast-paced, crazy scheduled lives there is simply not time to do everything. This leads to feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed. The only answer is to prioritize and ask what’s important. You and I will make time in our lives for what is important. If God isn’t top priority – first place – other things will take His place and He will not have a place or time in our lives. Therefore, you and I will not feel true peace and the joy of living with less stress.

Matthew 6:33 is situated in a passage where Jesus is teaching about worry. Christ called his disciples to a life free from worry, a life that is defined by trusting God to provide for their daily needs. Like his disciples, Jesus wants us to focus our first energies and priorities on the Kingdom of God because He understood how burdensome and destructive worry and stress could be in our lives. The simple solution is to look at God’s faithful provision in our lives.

However, there are times in my own life that I simply feel weighed down and can’t see how I will make it through. There is just too much to do, too many bills to pay, too many places to go, too many people wanting a portion of me….but GOD. You and I must remember that God gives us enough grace to face each day’s challenges. He will see us through whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. In these times of feeling overwhelmed and drowning, it is a wonderful time to stop and think of how God has provided in the past.

Your Turn to Share

  • I  encourage you to not only look up the other stress busting scriptures at the end of Chapter 6, but to journal about them. Which one of these scriptures spoke to you today?
  • Write out our reflection verse for the week, Matthew 6:33 and keep a copy with you or posted to remind you to stop and think about what is important and to strive to seek God first in all things. This would be a wonderful verse to try verse-mapping. I would love to see your photos of your verse-mapping or have you share what stuck out to you in this verse.

Be sure to comment throughout the week to be entered to win the stress relief goodies pictured.

120

Melissa

Comments

  1. I was reminded by you Melissa that God does not gives us what we can’t handle. He does give us the grace we need to face each challenge but I always seem to forget that until I have stressed and worried so much that I am sometimes sick or in bed crying. I wish my first reaction to any type of stress or worry would be to instantly call to God. I am trying to instill this into my son so he is not in my shoes at this age. I have heard other ladies talk about how hard it is sometimes to trust that God will give us the grace we need to face our challenges because there is nothing tangible to see or actually touch. How hard it is to trust or believe someting we can not see. I know this is the struggle for me being that I was not raised attending church or learning about God. My OBS group leader and all the ladies in theses OBS studies have been wonderful teachers though and I am slowly learning.

    • Barbara Prince says:

      Heidi, as long as you have a willing and open heart, God will continue to draw you to Himself. He will show you the way. The Bible tells us that in quietness and rest is our peace. It is just imperative to your own well being, as well as your family’s, that you carve out some time for your Father. When I had young children, I set my alarm for about 30min. before that got up. Often at night, I’d go to the bathroom for a quiet place. I pray that God will reveal Himself to you as you are seeking His Face.
      Barbara P. (OBS small group leader)

      • Thanks for the encouragement Barbara. I have decided that I will spend time in God’s word in the morning before my daily routine.

  2. Missy C. says:

    I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13. I need to remember that it is through His strength not my own. But God… The times when life seems to overwhelm me, this verse is a go to verse for me. I need to evaluate what the demands of my life are and make sure they are truly things I need to be doing and not demands I have put on myself or allowed the world to put on me. When I truly believe God wants me to pursue theses things if I still feel overwhelmed I turn to this verse. It is not my strength, but Gods.

    • Barbara Prince says:

      I know what you mean Missy, I got over-whelmed the past several days. I said yes to some things I should have said no to; others things required my “yes”. Wisdom is knowing the difference. I get in trouble when I say yes or no without checking with my Father first.

  3. Carol Thompson group 26 says:

    Seek God first…..He must be our first priority. Seeking Hm and getting to know Him so that we can reflect Him in all we do. Easy to say while I sit here alone with my Bible, a little hard to do when the world starts creeping in. But God is good and He will give me the strength I need if I can keep my focus on Him.

    • Barbara Prince says:

      You are so right Carol, we are to be a reflection of Jesus in the world – to our family, to our friends and neighbors, and to strangers we meet. I, like you, am so glad that God is patient with me.

  4. I am going to dwell on Matthew 6:33 this week. I am still thinking of Melissa’s message on the conference call last time about 3D Change. I want to so desire the things of God I will seek His kingdom in the first place not as a last resort. This verse compliments Melissa’s message. God is so amazing. Everything I am reading and studying lately seems to be about trusting, seeking and being thankful for everything. I think God is trying to get my attention. Well He has it. I pray that I will keep desiring His ways and learn to trust Him more everyday. I’ve been a Christian quite awhile now and I am amazed at so much I have to learn.

    • Lori, I so agree with you! Melissa’s message was so appropriate. It’s been on my mind ever since the call. And there is SO much to learn and digest. I wish sitting at the feet of Jesus was my full-time job!
      Beth A. (OBS Group Leader)

  5. As I was reading the focus verse, I decided to read the entire chapter to see a fuller picture of its context. In doing so, I got to the end and read verse 34: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

    Oh how true! So often, I jokingly utter that famous line attributed to Scarlett O’Hara. You know… the one about tomorrow being another day. Through this study, I am beginning to think that the whole theory about waiting for tomorrow instead of worrying about it actually has Biblical roots. I shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. I need to have faith in God that he can take care of whatever tomorrow brings my way and I just need to pray about it, believe in him, and trust that he CAN and WILL strengthen me to deal with it.

    • Janet F says:

      I am also doing an OBS with Renee Swope on her book “A Confident Heart” and in the chapter we are on this week she says ““Even when we’re physically present in today’s tasks, our minds tend to live in tomorrow troubles.” You are so right Stella we need to have faith that God will take care of our today’s and tomorrows!!

      • TABITHA JONES says:

        Janet F. I am currently doing the Renee Swopes study too. When I started reading this weeks study I thought how ironic that the two studies are about worry. We do need to have the faith that God will take care of our todays and tomorrows.

    • Stella, my husband and I use this verse with our daughter about not worrying about tomorrow. We use it in connection with her worrying about things that are out of her control and how worrying doesn’t help. But it’s something I have to keep in mind for myself, too. Sometimes I start worrying about what tomorrow will bring and I shouldn’t be. I should just “seek first the Kingdom of God” and everything will work according to God’s plan.

      Thanks for the reminder.

  6. This weeks stress busting scriptures are bringing the word obedience to mind. In the past weeks, I have found the verses to be comforting and affirming. This week I am being called deeper into the heart of the matter to obedience. He gives me the tools, the resources and now it’s my turn to stay the course no matter what. It’s still not conditional love, but if I chose to stray out of the bounds there are consequences and not just for me but for my family. Prayer for the strength to keep turning it all over to Him and staying the course.

    • Janet F says:

      AMEN Katie!! I so struggle with obedience. I want to hear the Lord’s voice and not ignore it, but obey it. I need to stay on course with that also. Thanks for posting!!! God bless you!!

      • Donna Harris (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

        Katie,
        Obedience for me has been a long time issue. My problem with obedience is accepting that it is what is good for me. My mind always wants to say “they get to do it, why not me”.
        Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am chosen and because I am chosen I am set apart. Being set apart means that I have the ability, through Christ, to shine a light in this dark world so that others may see it and be drawn to it. They then can enjoy God’s life saving grace.
        Remembering this makes my obedience so much more desirable.
        Lifting you up right now in prayer sister.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I enjoyed chewing on Matthew 6:33 a little more:
    But – Do not be worried about what to eat or wear – my Abba feeds the birds and clothes the grass with beautiful lilies – He knows I need these things – and to know how to handle my kiddos as my beloved hubby headed out to Chicago this morning, and how to make my precious in-laws feel welcome in my home, and what to pack for my own business trip to Salt Lake this Thursday – He knows, and He will provide everything I need in His perfect time.
    Seek – my priority, my focus
    First – before anything else is done
    [His] kingdom – and receive the blessing and benefits of less worry and stress by embracing His perfect way
    [and His] righteousness – living in such a way that honors and points to Him – thus sharing in His joy
    [and] all – each and every one
    these things – what to eat and wear and every other guidance I need to live my life in a way that honors Him
    [will be] added [to you] – When I live in this space, all the guidance I need will be added to all the blessings and benefits I receive from being in the right place with Him.

    For me, though, the huge challenge is being still, asking, and waiting for His guidance – the blessing is greater wisdom and clarity than I could ever take credit for. My children were home by themselves this Saturday while I ran to the grocery store, and when I called to ask a question about yogurt flavors (the one they wanted wasn’t there), some pushy-shovey occurred and someone got hurt. Rather than stress and panic and drop everything and run home, I gave it to The Lord, and He graciously proved through a follow-up phone call that everything was OK, and gave me an appropriate discipline for the offender on my way home. I never yelled or got out of control, and it was such a blessing. I pray that this example of His goodness will constantly linger in my mind as I work to seek His will for His best use of me this week.

    Much love,
    Jennifer

    • Barbara Prince says:

      Jennifer, what a great testimony of how God instructs us in the way we should go. All we need do is listen and follow.
      Thank you for posting this!

      • Wow…I really get what you are saying. Thanks for sharing. I have so many things going on everyday and it can be overwhelming. Thank you for putting into words what I was thinking…

  8. As I wrote out the stress buster verses last night, it came to me that no longer can I stay in my comfort zone and still fall at the feet of Jesus. He gives all and he takes all. He covers us in desperate times and also in the good times. Today, I choose to give my ALL to Jesus, good and bad. Through this bible study I have found in stark reality, I am only half of the Christian God intends for me to be, and it is time to step up, and completely let go!

    • Barbara Prince says:

      I totally agree Pamela. I am a very reserved person, although I was that way when I was young. However, my being reserved too often can extend to my Father. That attitude is not pleasing to Him. I often think of how I want my children to respond to me and then remember, that is what God wants from me also.
      Thank you for sharing with us.
      Barbara P. (OBS small group leader)

      • Donna Harris (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

        Ladies,
        You have hit a soft spot in me as well. I am struggling with this right now. I am realizing that there is so much more for me out there if I just open up and let God lead me. Easier said than done, but hey, I am making progress. It is nice to know that I have sisters on the same road as me. Lifting you both up in prayer.

  9. Lynn Graham says:

    Psalm 37:3-5 spoke to me today that to delight in the Lord we must know him better. knowledge of God’s great love for us will indeed give us delight. by commiting ourselves to the Lord means to trust in him believing that he can care for us better than we can ourselves. we should be willing to wait patiently for him to work out what is best for us.

  10. I can feel the stress whelling up in me as I begin this incredibly busy week. I will be preparing for house guests, a grad party for my daughter, and a piano recital to take place in our home. All this prep has to be done while hobbling around on my sore hip and knee. I am praying that:
    *I will seek God first thing each morning.
    *I will carry Him with me throughout the day.
    *HE will be my “go to” when things get tense.
    *I will be faithful to just do the next thing.
    *I will enjoy this special time in my family’s life (i.e. be a Mary, not a Martha!)

    • Barbara Prince says:

      I have had a few occasions of “surprise” house guest this year and through that I’ve learned that everything in my house doesn’t have to be “perfect”. My guest want my attention more that a perfect house to stay in.

      • Donna Harris (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

        Lifting you up sister.

        • yes Barbara,

          I gave up a perfect home a long time ago! Having four kids cured me of that! My house is neat, but don’t give it the white glove test, because it won’t pass. It also helped me to pick the important battles with regards to my teens. I would rather fuss at my daughter about her idea of getting tattoo than the bed being made in her room. You know? I think we can make everything a battle ground and never win any of it…

  11. The sentence, “God needs to be our first choice not our last resort” hit me right between the eyes this morning!! Sadly, I realize I have been living my life like this only going to God when I can’t fix it! This week I am going to consciously make an effort to make God my first choice in all areas! Thank you so much for pointing this out. Blessings ~

    • James,
      I agree; that has been on of my main focus topics for my index cards. Seeking Him first, going to Him first, learning to lean on Him. My other focus is that God wants to change your heart, not your circumstances.

  12. Would someone please post the stress busting scriptures for me. I’m still waiting on my book (on back order) but I’ve been doing the Bible study parts each week. Help me pray that my book will come soon so I can catch up on my reading! Thanks! God bless all you wonderful OBS ladies!

  13. God is with me. Always.

  14. Stephanie L says:

    Rita,
    Phil 4:13, John 15:10, 1 John 2:16, Eph 6:12

  15. The Stress-Busting scripture that spoke to me today is
    Phillipians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
    When I opened my bible to look up this verse, there was already a marking from February – I have been to this verse before! The wording in my New American Bible is slightly different, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.”
    The 3 words in the middle stay the same, “everything through him”…this speaks to me! Good times or hard times. Beautiful, easy, breezy days or awful, heart-wrenching days. Every day, everything. When we put God first in our lives, we can do “everything through him.”

    • Rebecca says:

      This is the verse that stuck out to me this week as well. This reminds me that I can do things because God is with me giving the strength, even when I don’t think I can.

  16. Tonya McCoy says:

    Jamy, it is so great to have a face to put behind the emails I have received from you. Thank you for being such a blessing to me! I will be praying for you this week as you are leading our study!

  17. Stephanie L says:

    It’s not about seeking the world and boasting in what we’ve done, as the world does. Because the here and now is all the world has. It’s about God’s kingdom and what He has done for us. I really liked the definition of “seek”- the crave, and go after with all your might really stuck out to me. How can we go after His kingdom with all our might? Being focused on the people in the world that really need Him the most. It’s so easy to get stuck in our little Christian bubble and ignore what is going on in the world. Or surround ourselves with other Christians because it’s comfortable, when we need to befriend those who are in need of Him.

  18. Michele says:

    I love it where you said to seek God’s presence and not the presents. That is so true that I usually come to God in desperation instead of meeting with Him regulary, and It’s usually cause I want something. I just need to meet with Him because of who He is!
    Blessings,

  19. Amber Oatman (OBS leader) says:

    Jamy you completely changed the way I look at this scripture. I had always thought of ‘seek’ as look for and hadn’t thought about ‘looking’ as you would if a child was looking for their favorite toy. When you change it to – Crave first His kingdom and pursue His righteousness or Go after His kingdom with all your might and crave His righteousness, it completely changes EVERYTHING.

    Thank you for this wonderful teaching. I am really looking forward to verse mapping this scripture.

    Blessings to you <3
    Amber

  20. “Like his disciples, Jesus wants us to focus our first energies and priorities on the Kingdom of God because He understood how burdensome and destructive worry and stress could be in our lives.”

    I needed to read this. God wants us to focus on Him not only because He is a jealous God and worthy of all of our firsts, but also because He knows what’s best for us. God doesn’t command things to hurt us but to help us. Such an a-ha moment this morning! I really going to be focusing Matthew 6:33 this week and trying to live it out faithfully!

    • Kelsey, this spoke right into my heart, too. He knows what is best for us, and if I will trust in that, “all these things will be added” in His way and time.

  21. It is so hard not to worry about tomorrow when you think tomorrow will bring you a lost job because you live twenty miles from work and you can’t make your car payment so the car shuts down and no way to work. It is hard not to worry about tomorrow when you know that by midnight Monday, tonite, you need nearly $200 to make that car payment so you can earn the money to pay the next one. Worry, worry, worry. What is life without worry. My daughter is in that position right now, a new home, new town, new job and new car she is buying on payments through a car lot that will literally shut down the car if she doesn’t make her payment. And as I am mom and not able to help her, I am stressing big time. She needs her car, she needs her job. She had to move because of various issues one being that her grandma is mostly blind and 84 and needed someone to live with her as she is too stubborn to move in with someone herself. The job transfer came through and Serenity moved with her family. Now things aren’t going so good and no back up car. I am over 100 miles away so cannot help her. Please pray for a miracle and that the $$$$ will come in for the car payment. She so desperately needs this job. Plus raising the three grandkids makes it stressful too. I don’t get a lot of sleep because I stay up later in order to have some “me” time and get up early for the kids. I need this study so much. Love you all

    • Amber Oatman (OBS leader) says:

      Lifting you and your daughter up in prayer Jeanne. It IS hard not to worry sometimes. But GOD! is faithful <3 SO many times God has provided exactly the amount of money my family needed for something or He has provided a blessing that we didn't understand at the moment but saw later. As humans it is impossible for us to see the whole picture but God does <3 He sees our lives from end to beginning. He knows how it all ends and He knows exactly what needs to happen along the way. Praying for peace for your mommas heart and God's will for your daughters life <3

    • Will be praying for her. Have been there and understand. God Bless

  22. Great stress busting scriptures (as usual). But the one that spoke most to me was Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

  23. The rest of my thoughts… This verse (Eph. 6:12) is part of the Armor of God passage. It reminds me that if I put on the FULL armor of God, I will not feel so stressed. I believe that most of our stress comes from Satan trying to distract and discourage us. I know that he is the loser in the end but I don’t want him to even have these small victories in my life. Pray for me, ladies, as I will also pray tor you all!

  24. Tracy Law says:

    God is so amazing and comforting as He brings His peace, grace and strength each and every day to need Him. Thinking this week would start a little craze then be a breeze it came to a halt as I started reading todays lessons here. We took our 7 year old bichon/shih tzu into our vet to go to sleep and have her teeth cleaned. Do you know how are it is to clean a dogs teeth? Think of them being a toddler and not wanting to open their mouth or biting on the tooth brush and you get the picture but they never grow up to make it easy. Any ways, the Vet just called her presurgical screen (blood work) came back liver enzymes slightly high. Can they get more blood to check the other 2 liver enzymes for $20. more? If the other 2 come out higher, no sleeping to have teeth cleaned.

    So as I finished the study page here I am reminded of how God has provided in the past. Just last week HE went before us to get the insurance to issue a check to get repair of the front of our home and be able to open the front door from the car crash 7 weeks ago. Yes you read that right, this study started 1 week after the day before Easter crash. But GOD brought peace, grace and strength as I processed and slowly went back into that room when I was in it and it hit.

    God has given me strength each and every day living with chronic illness’ for over 22years. So I am striving to stay in God’s Word especially today waiting to hear about my constant companion and sensitive soul who comes to me before I even know iI’m upset over something. God will give me grace for waiting with Him today. God will provide grace to go to my Dentist on Wed. for cleaning and the bone she hammered back into the jaw 3 weeks ago is now sticking out and has sharp points.

    So ladies I have come to realize the “enemy” knows that this is a truly important study for us. He has used our stress to harm our bodies through this life and he knowS if we get this truth from our heads and into our hearts to “PUT GOD FIRST EACH DAY.’ He is already defeated! So let us each stamp out the enemy by resting in God’s (Daddy’s) arms first each more for our hugs so we can enjoy each day. This I will now commit to do each and every day until Jesus comes or I go home because I’m tired of being tired and hurt each day. No more I say, no more!

  25. The great lessons that I have and continue to learn is God’s Grace. The fact that when I fall He knows just what I need to pick me up. Sometimes it is not what I like or I may get stubborn, caught up in the world, then He brings a subtle “breeze” to remind me it is all about Him. I find myself more and more closing my eyes and talking a walk by faith. I take a breath and exhale, refocus and call those things as though they are, Believing to receive. Oh dont get me wrong I have been tried and tested especially the last 4 weeks, but I am HERE by Grace and sharing How the Blessings leads me forward. To God be the Glory.

  26. I needed this verse today as I woke up overwhelmed by everything that “has to” get done. If I decide to seek God first, I know everything will get done that needs to and it will all fall into place. Now I can breathe, thank you for the reminder!

  27. Jamy, than you for getting this week off to such a helpful start with your thoughts. I, too, loved the analogy of your son looking for his lost toy. I couldn’t get the phrase, “a dog with a bone” out of my head. I often find that where I fall down is when I get so wrapped up in a stressful issue that I obsess over it – and don’t take it to God first. When I pursue every other avenue of “relief”, a friend’s advice, online solutions, turning to food – or anything other than God first? That’s when my stress becomes destructive and Satan get’s his foothold.

    This verse in Matthew is powerful, for the clear call it sends right into my heart. Seek FIRST. That is sticking with me today. I intend to seek out God first in every instance where the world seems to be calling me away. I’m looking at it as a fun experiment, of sorts, to see how today goes compared to days where I don’t seek Him first. I choose, today, to “remain in his love”, as we are told in John 15:10. And I’m so excited for it.

    I have to tell you OBS Leaders and sisters walking through this study together, I don’t think I have EVER leaned so hard into actually APPLYING the principles that God lays out for us in His Word. And it is thrilling to see the changes He is working in my heart and my demeanor because of it. Thrilling!

  28. I am learning to seek God first, but it is a daily challenge to stay focused that way. Distractions are all around me! Seek first His Kingdom…I get it, but I don’t always act on it. My prayer today is to REALLY dig my heals in and keep this verse at the forefront of all my life activities.

  29. Dawn H. says:

    Since doing this study I have been focusing on my 18 year old son who is about to leave the nest. He is struggling with his faith – well not so much with his faith, but more so with organized religion. He believes that church’s are filled with a bunch of hypocrites that stand around in an unforgiving mode talking behind people’s backs. I don’t disagree, but that is exactly why they need to be in church! I have give this boy back to the Lord! I am amazed at the sense of peace I have praying for him everyday and letting God take control of him. He, too, has been calmer, I have noticed. I don’t know if it is my new outlook on him or God is truly working! I am going with it! But – I am starting my prayers with Matthew 6:33 and I am posting it on every mirror in this house – so that my children can be reflections of Him! They can seek Him first and all that they do. If we don’t seek Him, then everything else in our lives falls apart! Amen?….AMEN!!!!

    • Mary G. (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Dawn, I can relate to that since some of my family things this way. It’s very discouraging but I am glad you have given him over to God. I am learning how to do this again with my own family. Prayers and hugs!

  30. Crystal says:

    When I looked up Matthew 6:33 in the Blue Letter Bible, the word “seek” in the Greek means: to seek in order to find by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire after, and to crave. When we realize how much we need God, we will crave Him and seek Him first because we will see how much of a difference it makes in our lives.

    • Danielle Trevino says:

      I love that, to crave, thank you for sharing the reference from the blue letter Bible, taking note :)

  31. Ephesians 6:12 really ministered to me and reminded of when God spoke to me during a difficult time in life. I had a friend who turned on me and basically told made up a story about me. One night during those days of trial I went to bed crying. During the night God gave me a dream. I knew it was from HIM.

    In my dream an evil presence was there tormenting me and suddenly the spirit of the Lord appeared and spoke Ephesians 6:12 to me! Immediately the enemy fled and I woke up. God clearly showed me that my battle was not with her, but that it was a spiritual battle and the enemy meant to bring harm to me! I had peace that day I had never experienced. I was able to forgive her and even pray for her. I asked God to bless her. It was a game changing moment for me in my walk with The Lord.

    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

  32. Phyllis Wiley says:

    The whole “seek first” verse really struck home with me this morning. When I think of the sacrifices that I will make to get something I really want, do I make that same effort to seek that time with God? Things I need to work on!

  33. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I recall on this verse a lot. I know I spoke of this before, but when we first moved it was hard trying to meet new people and such. Both my husband and I are very social. I remember walking into a woman’s group at the church we have been attending not knowing anybody. And I kept repeating that verse over in my head, and everything turned out just fine. They were all very welcoming. I don’t know why I was even worried for a second. God will take care of everything. And he always gives us strength.

  34. Courtney says:

    Jamie, I can tell by your introduction this is going to be an awesome week! All of the stress busting scriptures are a blessing, however, the one that really spoke to my heart is Philippians 4:13. When I am weak, weary, and do not know how I am going to go on, I must remember that God is my rock and gives me the strength to go on. I also need to remember he gives up enough strength and grace for the DAY! I seem to skip over the troubles of today and go as far a to stress about things that are weeks, even months, ahead. I need to remember that I have the strength for this day, and let tomorrow take care of itself.

    Also, as this week’s reflection verse states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
    I also need to remember when a crisis arises, I need to seek God FIRST! Not have a total meltdown, phone my bestie or hubby, try to solve the problem (which usually I have no control over), then seek God has a last resort. He needs to be the first person I talk to! He will always give the best and right advice. :)

  35. Lori K (OBS Group Leader) says:

    Ephesians 6:12 is speaking to me right now because I have a lot going on with someone very close to me and it is starting to wear me down. This is a great reminder for me that my struggle is with my enemy. He does not like that I am in this study and he is doing whatever he can to try and keep me discouraged and beat down. Not gonna happen. I have put on the armor of God.

  36. I finally got my book & am slowly but surely catching up, stress will pop it’s ugly head up at every turn , that’s why it so important to always seek him first in everything we do
    Helen

  37. Bree (OBS FB Team Leader) says:

    Loved today’s blog entry! Thank you, Jamy!

    I included this poem in my group earlier today:

    “Satan tells us we’re weak; our hope is in vain.
    The good that we seek we’ll never obtain.
    But he can’t take from us (though often he’s tried)
    The heart-cheering promise – The Lord will provide.”
    —John Newton

  38. jackie s says:

    prayer journal, nail polish, AND Hershey’s? now that is a stress-relieving basket:)

  39. With everything going on in my life I am learning to put God first. I’m trying to get into the habit of reading the devotion and His Word in the morning but so far it is hard on the Mon, Wed and Friday because we take care of our 3 yo grandson and he comes over like a powerhouse ready to enjoy the day. I am enjoying this study Can’t wait til July 28th for the new one

  40. Thank you for the reminder to put God first! It is so easy to get caught up in my daily tasks and forget that critical start to my day! First God! then all els falls into place so much better!

  41. I have gotten in the habit of keeping a journal every day (that is my goal anyway -ha!) It is where I talk to God and let Him know my most personal thoughts, and it has helped.

    The give a-way this week looks awsome!!!

  42. Peace in the Storm

    How can we feel at peace, when our lives feel like a storm? How can we be at rest, when peace is not our norm?
    How can we wake up feeling a joy and zest for life, when worries always drag us down and cause us pain and strife?
    How can our hearts feel lifted, in spite of what we face? How can we forgive ourselves and offer others grace?
    We can ask ourselves these questions and we may never know, but when we involve God, He steps in to run the show.
    But, why do we wait until the storm is really strong, and the wind has beaten down and we are barely holding on?
    He wants us to trust Him no matter how dark the night, He wants us to remember what He showed us in the light.
    Worry, fear, and doubt do not come from God, those are only places that Satan loves to trod.
    Satan fills our head with lies and wants us to believe, but the thing about Satan is he only deceives.
    Where is our suit of armor when we need it most? It is living right inside us, He is the Holy Ghost.
    Just ask Him for peace and be earnest in your prayer, and He will help defend you from Satan’s deadly snare.
    Then peace can reside and calm the fiercest storm, then the clouds will roll, the sun will shine because the veil is torn.
    So, keep your eyes fixed and never lose sight, of the One who calms the storm in the dark, lonely, night.
    God is true to His word and His promises he will keep, because He is our Shepard and we are His sheep.

    I had written this poem when I was in Chapter 5, but it also goes nicely with chapter 6. Satan wants nothing more than to distract us from God. Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God..will be my focus verse this week.

  43. Rebecca says:

    I really like this verse from Matthew reminding us to seek God. The one that really stuck out to me when reading chapter 6 yesterday was the Phillipians 4:13.

  44. I have been keeping Isaiah 41:10 with me at all times. It is such a visual reminder that God is by my side wherever I go an with me in whatever I have to accomplish. He has given me little “hugs” every time I start to panic over a project at work or a situation with my teens. I have received such a renewed sense of peace by trusting in Him first. And it was not something that took a huge leap of faith! It was such a small step! An yet, God used my small step towards him to fill a huge gaping trust gap. I love this weeks verse and plan to CRAVE God. Thank you toall the leaders over the past weeks for guiding us in this study. God is using you!

  45. Mary G. (OBS Group Leader) says:

    The verse that spoke to me today after a good weekend cut short by some tough stuff is Ephesians 6:12. When these bad things happen this reminds me who or what my struggle is actually caused by and makes me want to grow deeper in God’s word so I have the tools to fight the real enemy.

    Today I experienced the power of prayer right smack dab in the middle of the grocery store. Talk about weird and comforting at the same time!!! I know God is working on my behalf which is why the other verse that stood out to me is….

    But seek first his kindgom and his rightousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 NIV

    Moving along and gaining valuable knowledge on how to handle stress the right way!!!

  46. Lori D. says:

    I have not yet read chapter 6 and am a bit behind on finishing chapter 5. It seems as though I was feeling Gods peace and seeking him when it all just fell apart in a matter of days. The old feeling of being overwhelmed with worry and anxiety, my panic attacks that had diminished a bit came back full force and the thoughts of being unworthy of his peace all took control of me once again. I appreciated hearing Jamy say that I am not just a number and that my writings are read. Between my brothers terminal illness getting worse, two of my teenage girls giving me trouble, my husbands new job, after four years of being unemployed, hours were just cut, I feel myself just slipping backwards and then feeling so guilty for disappointing The Lord. I pray that I can take more steps forward instead of backwards and get caught up with this bible study I need more than you could know.

    • Mary G. (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Lori, I can relate to the teenage problems. Tough weekend for me as a matter of fact. I had to read Chapter 3 again about parenting and our responsibility to that calling. Praying that you continue to move forward and hang on to the hope offered in God’s word. Hugs!!!

  47. Matthew 6:33~ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
    I am seeking His righteousness right now. I am crying out to Him for an answer. I am believing He will open the door for me!

    For some time now I have been “stressed out” about a certain situation in my life. I know this study came at the perfect time for me and read through the first 5 chapters has really opened my eyes to some things I was doing to bring more stress upon myself. As I sit here today typing this comment I feel the stress building in my body, not from this study, but from that certain situation. I am filled with fear to step out in faith and sit here waiting on God to give me kick in the right direction. I feel so overwhelmed right now and restless it is causing my sleep apnea to really bother me and my blood pressure is rising. I have been swimming about 4 or 5 times a week and that helps relax me but this issue keep creeping up for me to deal with it. If you have a moment can you say a prayer for me, that I will be open and ready for God’s answer. Thank you & God Bless!!

    • Crissy, I’m praying for you & covet your prayers as well. I, too have been struggling with a situation in my life. I keep giving it to God then snatching it right back. I pray that the Lord will give us both His peace in knowing that He is in control & working out all things for our good & His glory! Praying that you will have good sleep & bp will be normal!

      • Rita, Thank you for the prayers! You are in mine as well. I know He has a plan for us. I feel better today :) I am trying to just be still and know He is God and He has an answer for me in His perfect timing. ((HUGS)) Thank you once again for your response and prayers. Have a blessed afternoon.

        • Crissy, I’m praying that today will be a great day for both of us! ((Hugs)) back at you! :)

  48. To seek here I think means more than just looking for something. It is a continuous search. We never stop looking for God’s kingdom. If I look more towards working for God’s kingdom and follow HIS plans then I know that my stress will decrease. There is such peace sitting in the lap of God. I so loved that analogy that Traci used.

  49. Matt 6:33 & Philippians 4:13 are two of my favorite verses!! :-)

    Our pastor is doing a series on the Ten Commandments — yesterday was #2 (no idols or graven images). One point he made was that when we place anything or anyone above God, what we’re really doing is saying that we don’t trust God to handle it. Which made me think… when I allow the stress & worry to take over, isn’t that exactly what I’m doing – not trusting God? Seek God first — He’s got it & can handle it so much better than I can. Seeking Him is the only way I can hear what he would have me do.

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