This week at the Bible Cafe™ we discussed living an abundant life. For week five of “We Saved You a Seat,” we looked at John 10:10 where Jesus brings us abundant life. What is an abundant life?
The abundant life is the presence of God in an intimate relationship. This reminds me of the Garden of Eden. It also reminds me of eternal life, the abundance of living with the Father beyond death. And of course, abundance life is the Holy Spirit dwelling inside me…the sanctuary of my heart.
An abundant life refers to a life that is characterized by richness, fulfillment, and a sense of abundance in various aspects. It goes beyond material possessions and encompasses emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. An abundant life is often associated with feelings of joy, gratitude, purpose, and contentment.
An abundant life involves living with a sense of purpose and meaning. It means identifying and pursuing activities, goals, and relationships that align with your values and bring you a deep sense of fulfillment.
Cultivating gratitude and appreciating the blessings in your life are essential for experiencing abundance. Recognizing and expressing gratitude for both big and small things fosters a positive mindset and amplifies feelings of abundance. Giving thanks is biblical.
Nurturing healthy and supportive relationships contributes to an abundant life. Surrounding yourself with loved ones, friends, and a community that uplifts and encourages you fosters a sense of connection and belonging. Fellowship is biblical.
As I meditate on Galatians 5… I see the fruits of the Spirit. He generously gives us these fruits. He generously gives us the gift of eternal life though we have sinned and are unworthy. God’s love is generous. Abundant!
With gratitude, I thank God for my friends. I love giving and receiving cards in the mail. I keep my cards in a treasure box as a reminder to nurture the friends God has placed into my heart. When I receive a card I always THANK the sender so she knows it arrived. Giving thanks takes 3 seconds with a text message. But it has a lasting heart imprint saying “I saw your kindness today.” Can you take 3 seconds and thank a friend? Try it.
Looking at Scripture, Jesus has some interesting friends named Peter and Judas. Both men were friends of Jesus, dined with him, prayed with him, and knew him. Both betrayed Him as part of their divine destiny and to fill God’s purpose. Peter sought forgiveness from God, Judas went to the religious leaders to affirm what he did was right.
What I find interesting about Peter and Judas is that you can be close enough to hear Jesus breathe.. and still not KNOW Him because of your peer group or people’s approval.
Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “Forgiveness is an act of generosity.” I looked further into my Bible and found this beautiful verse:
The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. Proverbs 11:25 NKJV
If we look at biblical examples of forgiveness, Joseph forgives his undeserving brothers. They tried to kill him and sent him into exile. Because Joseph lived with a forgiving heart, he did not carry a stronghold of bitterness or resentment. He was able to see the actions of his brothers through the eyes of God- not man.
Does Jesus forgive everyone? Well…look at this verse:
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Matt 12:31 NIV
If you look at the original Greek meaning for blasphemy (G988) you discover it means- slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name; and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty.
Anyone can create a false confession. Jesus came to reveal the true confession of faith and His disciples. Do not slander His name! Let your mouth speak life and be respectful of your Holy King!
This week in our online Bible study called “We Saved You a Seat” we explored the “new girl” concept. Being the new girl can be a transformative experience filled with growth, new friendships, and exciting opportunities. We can embrace the unknown with an open heart, a curious mind, and a resilient spirit.
Remember that this journey is just the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and with time, you’ll build a strong foundation of connections and create a sense of belonging in your new community. I enjoyed the New Girl challenge this week from page 93. When I look back at the times I experienced welcoming new people or being a new person myself, I see opportunity. There are so many layers of revelation in the experience.
We also examined Mark 10:35-41, whentwo brothers James and John ask to sit at the right and left of Jesus. In my opinion, I think they could be seen as self-serving, using the kingship hierarchy, seeking reward and privilege. But on the other side of my opinion, I think they could have been craving wisdom and being close enough to hear His words.
Jesus says, “…a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him” (John 13:16). Often people will try to get close to the messenger without getting close to God. We worship God, and we can serve His messengers without worshipping them. My pastors are messengers in my life, carrying God’s word each week in sermon and worship. I serve them with tithes, prayers, and speaking positively about them and their work. However, I do not worship them.
As a friend said this week, “All who pray for me, share my faith, preach the Good News, encourage me to grow in my faith by being in the word are messengers in my life. In fact the Bible Cafe is a great example of messengers of Christ because we grow in the word through these Bible studies.” Okay, those are beatifukl words!!
My goal at the Bible Cafe is to see women disciple others to live like Christ in our modern world
When you represent Christ, as His messenger, what type of “soul clothing” do you wear most: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12-15)?
I tend to wear compassion, and I need to cultivate gentleness. I am driven to help people and extend anything the Lord has given me as a blessing to bless others. For example, when I think about my dining table or outside patio table, my desire is to use it for “heaven’s gaze.” It is a plae of compassion where everyine is welcome to sit.
Get yourself an outdoor table (freecycle). Prepare it in advance, location, convenience, visible. Have mugs and French press coffee pot. Invite people on specific time each week. The table is “open” to serve the Lord.
Why be intentional only on holidays? Lets open our homes or our front yards for conversation. Jesus dined numerous times in the Bible because He met people where they were!
Perhaps we can feed the spiritually hungry, right in our homes? Keep the doorway of your heart open. Let people know you are a praying Christian. Have the Bible visible and not on a shelf. In my neighborhood, people know that I pray. Someone will say “I have (illness)” and my reply is always “I’ll pray for you.”
Since I dont have a front yard table (yet) a neighbor recently sat on the pavement (no sidewalks here) in front of my house and shared her personal trials with me. I listened and prayed for her.
Your mission field is your FRONT yard. Sit in your wheelchair (in the front yard) like my stepdad did. He would talk to everyone who had time to listen to his heart. You are not too frail to witness for Jesus. You have a mouth. Use it.
Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “I’ve been given this little lot in God’s kingdom. It’s my job to be a good and generous host here.” How can you steward the “little lot” that you are given?
Before this study I saw my little lot as an embarrassment. Never clean and overgrown with weeds. Now I am intentional to keep the house ready for guest anytime. And to pull the “superbloom weeds” which have invaded the garden. I am planning a neighborhood summer in that garden and getting ready to receive Jesus guests.
When was that time you felt like the “new girl?” When I moved to my new neighborhood and rental house, people did not bring pies or cookies. Instead, they were suspicious of me. I was an outsider, and they were a tight community. They immediately referenced all the bad things (supposedly) the past renters had done. Later I discovered these were lies. They drilled my children on “what kind of Christians are your parents?” It was unwelcoming. When I moved to my permanent house, they were still giving me the inquisition and by this time I knew how to answer without triggering a rejection tag on my home and family. Today, those neighbors are close friends.
Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “Friendship isn’t something we passively receive. Friendship is something we actively do.” And so, I can actively be different and allow my friends and neighbors to be different too. We all grow in our faith, often in seasons of difficulty. When those seasons come, I am planted right where God needs me to bloom.
One of my neighbors painted rocks and put them in her front yard with a sign “Take one.” Another neighbor puts her garden flowers in vases in the front yard and has a note “Take one.” Many neighbors put their unwanted household furniture or items in the front yard with a sign “free.” In my home, we have a “reverse garage sale” and give everything away.
Love your neighbors- where God has planted you for a season.
Are you longing for a deeper and more vibrant connection with God? Do you desire to experience the transformative power of faith in your life? Look no further—Beth Moore’s groundbreaking book, “Believing God,” is here to guide you on an incredible journey of trust, hope, and spiritual growth.
For the Summer 2023 Online Bible Study, we have two book options.
Option #1- Get the Chapter book and read two chapters each week before your small group meeting. Recommended for busy women who are traveling, caretaking, or too busy for daily homework. Available on Kindle too!
Option #2- Get the Study Book version and complete the weekly lessons. Recommended for women who like classic Beth Moore deep-dive studies.
🌟 Unlock the True Potential of Your Faith 🌟
“Believing God” is not just another book about religion. It’s a powerful resource that will challenge you to move beyond mere intellectual belief and embrace a dynamic, personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. Beth Moore, an esteemed Christian author and Bible teacher, draws from her own experiences and scriptural insights to inspire you to take your faith to the next level.
📖 What You’ll Discover Inside 📖
✨ Overcome Doubt: Learn how to conquer the doubts and fears that hinder your faith journey. Beth Moore provides practical guidance and biblical examples to help you overcome obstacles and trust in God’s promises.
✨ Embrace God’s Promises: Dive deep into the nature and character of God. “Believing God” will empower you to take God at His word, to trust in His faithfulness, and to live a life that reflects your unwavering confidence in His goodness.
Discover the Transformative Power of Faith with “Believing God” by Beth Moore
✨ Experience True Transformation: Gain practical insights on how to apply your faith in everyday life. Beth Moore offers practical steps and thought-provoking questions that will challenge you to live out your beliefs, resulting in genuine transformation.
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💫 Why Choose “Believing God”? 💫
🔆 Proven Author: Beth Moore is a renowned Christian author and Bible teacher who has impacted countless lives with her insightful teachings. With “Believing God,” she brings her expertise and passion to help you experience a deeper faith.
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🔆 Inspirational and Engaging: Beth Moore’s writing style is captivating and relatable. Her personal anecdotes, biblical illustrations, and heartfelt encouragement will keep you engaged and inspired throughout your reading journey.
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🌟 Take a Leap of Faith Today 🌟
Don’t let doubt and fear hold you back any longer. It’s time to step into a life of abundant faith and trust in God’s promises. Allow Beth Moore’s “Believing God” to be your guide on this transformative journey.
Order your copy of “Believing God” now and embark on an adventure of faith that will change your life forever. Experience the joy, peace, and purpose that come from truly believing in God and embracing His abundant blessings. Your faith journey starts here!
Join the Bible Cafe™ University for “Breaking Free” Bible Study by Beth Moore. Let’s Experience True Liberation and Spiritual Growth!
Are you tired of feeling held back by past hurts, insecurities, or lingering sin? Do you long for a deeper connection with God and a life of true freedom and purpose? Look no further! Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free” Bible study is here to guide you on a transformative journey towards breaking the chains that bind you and experiencing the abundant life God has in store for you.
When: Starting June 6, 2023
Group 1: Tuesdays at 7am Pacific/10am Eastern with Janice
Group 2: Tuesdays at 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern with Christine
How: Select Group 1 OR Group 2. Each Zoom group lasts one hour.
Where: This is a Bible Cafe™ University (BCU) course. Become a member or request a scholarship.
🔒 Unlock the Power of Freedom: “Breaking Free” is not just another Bible study—it’s a life-changing encounter with God’s truth. Through this powerful study, Beth Moore masterfully weaves together personal anecdotes, biblical teachings, and practical insights to help you identify and overcome the strongholds that have kept you from experiencing the fullness of God’s love and grace.
💫 Discover Your True Identity: In “Breaking Free” workbook, Beth Moore will walk alongside you as you embark on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. Through thought-provoking lessons, you will uncover your true identity as a beloved child of God, understanding the incredible purpose and destiny He has designed specifically for you. Break free from the lies that have defined your self-perception and step into the truth of who you were created to be.
🌟 Overcome Past Hurts and Insecurities: It’s time to release the burdens of your past and experience healing in every area of your life. With vulnerability and compassion, Beth Moore tackles the sensitive issues that can hold us captive—past traumas, insecurities, and destructive patterns of behavior. Through “Breaking Free,” you will find the tools and biblical principles needed to let go, forgive, and walk in the freedom that Christ offers. This is a Biblical course and not counseling or therapy. Our conversations will be Bible-focused.
📖 Dive Deep into God’s Word: The heart of “Breaking Free” lies in immersing yourself in God’s Word. Beth Moore’s profound teaching and insightful study book will ignite your passion for Scripture, leading you into a richer understanding of God’s promises and His unwavering love for you. Engage in personal reflection, group discussions, and practical exercises that will deepen your spiritual journey and equip you to apply biblical truths to your everyday life.
👭 Experience the Power of Community: “Breaking Free” is not meant to be a solo journey. Connect with like-minded women who are seeking the same freedom and growth as you. Join our Bible study group and create a circle of friends to embark on this transformative experience together. Share your insights, encourage one another, and witness the power of community as you break free from the chains that have held you captive.
📚 The Bible Cafe™ University Experience: When you invest in “Breaking Free,” you’ll receive a comprehensive experience that includes a 10-week virtual study with Christine Abraham and Janice Childers.
CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is the Bible Cafe™ Founder and helps people understand the Bible, fellowship in small groups, and develop a lasting relationship with Jesus. She earned a Graduate of Theology degree in Biblical Studies from Liberty University. Christine has facilitated more than 100 Bible Cafe™ studies. She is a popular Christian Life & Leadership Coach. She loves to spend time walking the beach, drinking coffee with friends, and praying in her garden.
JANICE CHILDERS is a leader at Bible Cafe serving in women’s ministry. She has a Diploma in Theology from Life Christian University and is a Christian speaker, teacher, and prayer warrior. She served for 10 years as a co-pastor, serving as a worship ministry leader, children’s church pastor, and women’s ministry leader. She has spoken at women’s retreats and conducted a children’s ministry workshop. She served for 3 years as an Area Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse. She loves to spend time with her grandchildren, go for walks with her dog, Lucy, and has a heart for helping others.
Don’t wait any longer to experience the freedom and liberation you were meant to live. Embrace the “Breaking Free” Bible study by Beth Moore and embark on a life-transforming journey towards deeper intimacy with God, release from bondage, and a joy-filled existence.
Break free and step into the abundant life God has prepared for you! Order your copy of “Breaking Free” today from ChristianBook, Lifeway, iTunes (digital), or Amazon, and begin your journey toward true liberation and spiritual growth! Become a member of Bible Cafe™ University for access to this course. Scholarships are available upon request.
We Saved You a Seat at the Bible Cafe™ Encouraging a friend can be a powerful way to uplift and support them.
Here are some suggestions on how you can encourage a friend:
1. Be a good listener: Take the time to listen attentively to your friend without judgment. Show empathy and validate their feelings. Sometimes, simply lending an ear can be incredibly encouraging.
2. Offer genuine compliments: Point out your friend’s strengths, accomplishments, or positive qualities. Let them know what you appreciate about them. Genuine compliments can boost their self-esteem and make them feel valued.
3. Provide emotional support: Be there for your friend during challenging times. Offer a shoulder to lean on and let them know they’re not alone. Offer words of comfort, understanding, and reassurance. Pray with them.
4. Offer words of affirmation: Speak positive and uplifting words to your friend. Encourage them by expressing belief in their abilities, reminding them of their past successes, and expressing confidence in their future endeavors. Let your words speak LIFE.
5. Be a source of motivation: Encourage your friend to pursue their goals and dreams. Offer words of motivation and remind them of their potential. Help them stay focused and provide support in their journey.
6. Celebrate their achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your friend’s milestones and accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Express genuine happiness for their success and let them know you’re proud of them.
7. Be reliable and dependable: Show up for your friend when they need you. Be someone they can count on in both good times and bad. Being a reliable presence in their life can be encouraging in itself.
8. Offer practical help: Sometimes, encouraging a friend involves taking action. Offer your assistance or support in practical matters. Whether it’s helping them with a task, offering advice, or providing resources, your practical support can be greatly appreciated.
9. Share uplifting and inspiring resources: Recommend the Bible Cafe™ University, books, articles, podcasts, or videos that you think might inspire and uplift your friend. Sharing resources that have helped you in the past can be a meaningful way to encourage them. Bring her to a church Bible study or or Sunday worshi.
10. Express gratitude and appreciation: Take the time to express your gratitude and appreciation for your friend. Let them know how much they mean to you and how their presence has positively impacted your life. Feeling appreciated can be incredibly encouraging.
Remember, everyone is unique, so consider your friend’s personality, preferences, and needs when offering encouragement. Small acts of kindness and genuine support can make a significant difference in their life.
Seek the opportunity to look at the calling/anointing of your friends. I mentioned earlier in the study how nice it would be to have a friend group with different spiritual gifts: from Ephesians 4:11, “It was He (Jesus) who gave some to be (1) apostles, some to be (2) prophets, some to be (3) evangelists, and some to be (4) pastors and (5) teachers.”
Ask yourself: Do I know a missionary/evangelist? Are there any prophets in my life speaking words of knowledge? Who are the teachers in my life? Which friends fill the discipleship role? My pastor once told me “There are people in the Church who know these things. Pray and look for them.”
In a good way the Fear Of Missing Out/FOMO allows me to get out of my comfort zone. Just yesterday a group of neighbors were walking to the beach and asked me to join them. We enjoyed a backyard party with them Friday evening. I had to overcome my discomfort and interruptions and become intentional on MY part not to reject their invitations because the weather was cold or I was busy doing something else. I take responsibility for not missing out …. when I let go of perfection or familiarity and adapt to the invitation!
Lisa-Jo Baker points out that encouraging others not only lifts up the one being encouraged but the one doing the encouraging as well.
According to 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT): So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. >
The One who encourages is Christ, from my heart to hers. -Christine Abraham
Don’t get discouraged through. It’s easy to be judged and misunderstood (or ignored) on social media. That like button needs to go away! People measure their likes against other people they follow. The algorithm can hide your content and make you feel ignored.
And yet, social media has opened the door for online Bible study. We have many women participating at Bible Cafe™ who are international, or unable to attend local church groups due to caretaking or personal illness. They want to talk, be encouraged, and make friends. We love our online Bible study groups!
Imagine you are a friend of GOD. What things might you do to grow your friendship? 1) spend time with Him 2) ask Him for wisdom when you need direction 3) seek Him for comfort when you are hurting 4) laugh with Him and express your joy through worship 5) respect His name
Memorize 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (CSB) 4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person. 7 A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good: 8 to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, 9 to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of tongues, to another, interpretation of tongues. 11 One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as he wills.
Look again at verse 11>>>distributing to each person as he wills.
Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “Blessings are not for hoarding; they’re for forwarding.”
“We Saved You a Seat” is a Bible study book written by Lisa-Jo Baker and facilitated as a Bible Cafe™ Online Study. The study focuses on the theme of friendship, exploring the joys and challenges of developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with others. It is designed to help women dive into Scripture and discover biblical principles related to friendship, hospitality, vulnerability, and community.
The title, “We Saved You a Seat,” suggests the invitation and inclusiveness of the study, emphasizing the idea that there is always room for one more person at the table. The book encourages participants to embrace the value of authentic connections and provides practical insights and discussion questions to facilitate group conversations.
Each week we have the opportunity to discuss three friendship challenges with our Bible Cafe™ Small Group community. I enjoyed all the challenges. In our Bible study I discovered that I want to offer ENCOURAGEMENT to the women around me, so I’m going to have to make INTENTIONAL time to text, send cards, and call them. I need to visit them if they are nearby.
Since we started this study, my friendships are blooming! Easpecially with my neighbors who are close enough for a hot cup of coffee or homemade ice cream on the patio.
After reading a companion book called “The Turquoise Table” I told my husband we need to make our home an “Embassy for the Holy Spirit” and I asked him to put a table in the front yard. We compromised…we will put a table on our “party deck” which you can see from the front yard and add a staircase to the deck so anyone can come up and sip coffee or tea with us.
As you recall in our Bible study this week, we learned about “perfectly curated” images and lifestyles. How can we be more vulnerable in our “real” lives? As a family rule, I never post images of my kids or husband online. So that means I post my dogs, garden, books, or latte photos. And these are snapshots of my life. To be more real online, we simply need to be who God made us to be. Share our hobbies. Tell our stories.
And…Let’s be very clear: Being vulnerable is not giving you permission to GOSSIP, or diminish a family member or friend because you’re “being real.” Guard your mouth and words so you speak life.
For introverts like me, vulnerability can feel awkward because we are constantly judged or misunderstood. When I put my words (and heart) online, someone is not seeing what Jesus sees and forms their biased opinion about me.
Because my confidence is in Christ- not people- I have learned not to care about the critical spirit and I allow myself to be free in Christ and His love for me. -Christine Abraham
On a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest, everyone begins at a 3 on the friendship scale. I trust them and expect them to have mutual respect and mutual vulnerability. A few of them move up to my level 5 on the scale as we get to know each other more and more.
Jesus had 12 apostles, and 3 moved into his level 5 circle. Two of His friends betrayed him. Like Jesus, I still love the betrayers in my friendship life but no longer allow them access to my deepest heart.
As we talked about fences, hedges, and protection last week, we remember how some people need the outer fence, and some are allowed into the inner fence of your heart.
I see friendships as a garden and so God has planted a beautiful garden into my life and heart. It is my job to sow and tend to the garden. Sometimes if we pull weeds from the garden, we will lose a few good flowers too. For example, when our church of 12,000 split into two churches after a leadership disagreement, the friends who left my church small group eventually disappeared from my life. They followed the new church and pastor and disconnected from the original church.
Martha and Mary went to Jesus with their disappointment the first time Lazarus died. Where do you go when you feel disappointed? I used to go to food- sweets- to keep my mouth silent from speaking about disappointments. And I gained weight. Now I go to Jesus with my emotions. I pray in the garden, two hours daily! And I have learned that you can’t eat food with dirt and weeds in your hands. Back to Eden!!
Bible Cafers love like Jesus, speak like Jesus, and KNOW Jesus. -Christine Abraham
Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “We’ve been groomed by our culture to present a flawless version of ourselves to the people around us.” How do you feel about your online biography, so far? Actually, I’m fine with my online biography because it is not a flawless story. I am me.
Be yourself and share Christ in you. I’ll see you in our Zoom groups or online small groups next week.
In the Bible, many friends are loyal and helpful. Learn about the friendship verses from the Bible. Scripture verses about friends are found here. Friendships are designed to share compassion and empathy. We spend time with friends, trust them and borrow from them. Sometimes they give good advice and other times they might disappoint us. We explore friendships through the We Saved You a Seat Bible Study.
Friendship Bible Verses
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in times of need. Proverbs 17:17 NLT
The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. John 3:29 NIV ❤️
Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Exodus 33:11 NLT
“Are you friend or foe?” Joshua 5:13 NLT
She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children. Judges 11:38 NLT
“Come over here and sit down, friend. I want to talk to you.” So they sat down together. Ruth 4:1 NLT
And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself. 1 Samuel 20:17 NLT
“Is this the way you treat your friend David?” Absalom asked him. “Why aren’t you with him?” 2 Samuel 16:17 NLT
And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 2 Kings 4:3 NLT
David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come in peace to help me, we are friends. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our ancestors see it and punish you.” 1 Chronicles 12:17 NLT
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17 NIV
You would even send an orphan into slavery or sell a friend. Job 6:27 NLT
Yet my friends laugh at me, for I call on God and expect an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me. Job 12:4 NLT
My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God. Job 16:20 NLT
I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends. Job 16:21 NLT
My relatives stay far away, and my friends have turned against me. Job 19:13 NLT
My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me. Job 19:19 NLT
When I was in my prime, God’s friendship was felt in my home. Job 29:4 NLT
Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence. Job 32:1 NLT
You adulterous people don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. James 4:4 NIV
When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Job 42:10 NLT
O Lord my God, if I have done wrong or am guilty of injustice, if I have betrayed a friend or plundered my enemy without cause, then let my enemies capture me. Let them trample me into the ground and drag my honor in the dust. Psalm 7:3-5 NLT
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. Psalm 25:14 NLT
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me. Psalm 41:9 NLT
You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend. Psalm 88:18 NLT
More Bible Verses About Friendship
I am a friend to anyone who fears you— anyone who obeys your commandments. Psalm 119:63 NLT
Wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly. Psalm 3:32 NLT
With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous. Proverbs 11:9 NLT
The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. Proverbs 11:30 NLT
You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:14 NIV
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 NIV
Welcome to We Saved You a Seat Bible Study. Our study is based on the Lisa-Jo Baker book published by Lifeway Women. This is a 6-week study about Biblical friendships. Grab the study book and join us. You can register here.
When you think about friendship with God, what people in the Bible demonstrate Biblical friendship? I first thought about David, Abraham, and Moses. They were friends of God in the Old Testament. I love learning how they developed their relationship and trust. In the New Testament, my favorite friendships were Lazarus, Martha and Mary who were close friends of Jesus.
How about you? Is there a favorite Bible study on friendship that you have enjoyed?
When I became a ministry leader I lost ALL of my friends. So I lamented and prayed, asking God why He took them away. In my heart, I heard the best answer from the Lord “Because Jesus is your Friend.” I spent the next 12 months enjoying friendship with Jesus through prayer and Bible study. Later, I learned methods to invite new friends into my life.
I have a Friend. His name is Jesus. -Christine Abraham
Hang in there…this is just the beginning of your turnaround. First, you’ll peel back those layers of past friendships. And then you will begin to look at Jesus and His model of friendship. If you look at your past friendships and lost a few, no need to feel doomed. Pray, seek wisdom from God, and look for friendships that are framed through the Bible.
The Bible refers to a hedge or a fence of protection. The Shepherd kept his flock inside the protection of the fence when there were thieves. There are so many beautiful references to protection in the Bible. When I think of being a friend of God, I think of this protection.
Maybe you’ve heard of this verse: Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13 NKJV)
What is a contemporary example of “laying down your life for a friend?” Have you ever protected or guarded a friend? When my friend’s 2.5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, I offered my daughter’s stored cord blood from the blood bank. I offered to have it tested to see if it would match (it did not). But I was willing to lay down what I had…for what she needed.
I joined 600 people and registered to donate my bone marrow and blood. I was not a match for Katie, but years later I matched bone marrow for a stranger through the National Bone Marrow registry. They did not need my marrow and kept me on the match list.
The friend’s daughter is now 21 years old and survived with an experimental cancer treatment. This is her miracle story.
Jesus says in John 17:12a (CSB), “While I was with them, I was protecting them by your name that you have given me. I guardedthem and not one of them is lost…”
Jesus protected and guarded you during (name your event).
When I look at the spiritual markers in my life I see how Jesus protected and guarded me and my friends. It feels wonderful knowing that He sees ahead of what I see. He knows more than I will ever know. And because I trust Him… I am fearless and living joyfully on this side of eternity.
In We Saved You a Seat Lisa- Jo Baker writes, “Being willing to be interrupted isn’t about the state of our houses. It’s about the state of our hearts.” I hope you read the lesson this week about allowing interruptions in your life!
I responded to a recent interruption with active listening and did not judge my friend for what was troubling her. Then I held my tongue and did not repeat her troubles to anyone else.
This week of Bible study I observed three things Jesus did when interrupted. He commanded illness with His voice (get up, go). He commanded demons to “leave.” He touched people (forehead eyes, or with His robe). Jesus took the interruption as an opportunity to reveal the faith of those who interrupted Him.
When we take time for interruptions, we are allowed to grow in our lives. All the fruits of the Spirit. Go back and look again at Galatians 5…the fruits of the flesh. When we don’t allow interruptions, which negative fruit is operating there? If we reject an interruption…the fruit of idolatry is probably working.
This study is helping me to become a better friend. Since we started I have organized two neighborhood parties, assisted a neighbor with a fallen tree, and listened when neighbors wanted to sit on my lawn and talk…interrupting my gardening. It’s a great study so far!
And, did you notice that “friendship is not about me!” It’s about serving and loving others as Jesus did.
We Saved You a Seat Bible Study begins today! This is the introduction week for online Bible study. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet our Bible Cafe™ team and start your first online Bible study. Because….we saved you a seat!
If this is your first time at the Bible Cafe™, make sure you read the Getting Started page. You’ll find helpful information about joining groups, finding your books, and having conversations.
I’d like to introduce myself. I’m your Bible Cafe™ Coach and Founder of this ministry. I’m from California, married 30 years, and have two adult daughters. I also have two rescue dogs who keep life playful and fun. We live near the beach in a coastal community. My neighbors are my friends, and we enjoy swapping scones, banana bread, and storm stories. I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you in this online Bible study.
We Saved You a Seat Bible Study
You’ll want the workbook from Lifeway Women for this study. We Saved You a Seat by Lisa-Jo Baker is a 6-week online study and our discussions will be centered on weekly reading assignments. I bought my book at Amazon but you can also find this at Lifeway Stores and ChristianBook.com
When you hear the word “friendship” what is the first thought that comes to your mind? I like to think of a friendship garden! My friends look different, grow differently in seasons of life, and need to be nurtured (like me). I love when we celebrate the bright days and when we pull together under the dark and cloudy days.
There are many examples in the Bible about the friends of God. I look forward to learning from this viewpoint and hope you will too.
Since we just completed a 10-week study about the Prayers and Promises Bible Study, I wanted something lighter and saw an opportunity to help us grow closer as a community. If you are a member of the Bible Cafe™ then you’ll find this study to be less “homework” each week. This is only three reading lessons per week, a topical study about friendships.
In this study, we are looking back at past friendships. We are also looking forward to modeling our friendships after Jesus. When I think of the Savior, He had 12 apostles but not all were “inner circle” friends. He had three that He was closer to…and then one who was like a brother and cared for His mom.
We will learn about discernment and decisions…who stayed with Jesus in the darkest hour. And who Jesus did NOT trust within that circle of twelve. Sound interesting???
When I spend time with friends, I enjoy drinking lattes at a cafe! That is how I founded the Bible Cafe™ in 2009…I modeled it after my conversations with friends at local coffee shops.
I prefer everyone to be a friend, even my cashier at the shopping mall or the grocery store. And so, I invite them to the local cafe. Initially, I know their names, bring them gifts, and pray for them when they need comfort.
For me, an acquaintance is someone who has entered my friendship door and is ready to receive the hospitality of Jesus. Like Jesus, I am on a mission to make disciples. So they need to enter the door.
In this study, I want you to learn how to strengthen your friendships so they look more like Jesus and less like the world.
As YOU study friendship you will have skills you can teach your children, nieces, nephews, or grandkids. You are learning something that can be valuable to the NEXT generation.
Welcome back to the God’s Promises Bible Study and our final week. Congratulations on completing the Prayers and Promises of the Bible study! This has been a beautiful journey of discovery. We finished our course learning Promises to Meet Spiritual Needs and Promises to Meet Ministry Needs. Thank you for joining me in this important study.
I like the 10-week format because it gives me more time to get to know someone and make new friends. A 1.5-month study is too short to get to know someone well. I also like this workbook series and hope we do another book in the fall. I like the resource in the back of the book too. A full list of 200 prayers and promises. We could…pray ONE each day for nearly a year!
Jesus resisted temptation by quoting the Old Testament.
When the devil is coming at me, I quote the Bible, not the news or “experts.” -Christine Abraham
When I am in my garden praying, I again quote the Bible and meditate on the words. When I am troubled, there it is again…the Bible in my heart! On social media, I quote pastors, authors, and Scripture to help people think about things above and not on the worldview. Since I detest politics, you’ll never find me quoting from that population.
God’s Promises Bible Study
What foundation are you building your life upon? I like this question! When I was a teenager I built my foundation on my appearance and acceptance by others. When I was a college student I built my foundation on my grades and degree. When I was a bride I built my foundation upon my spouse. When I was a Mom I built my foundation on keeping my kids healthy and safe. THEN… Jesus showed me my foundations were faulty and He spoke into my heart through the Bible. The more I listened to the WORD, the stronger my foundation became as my faith became the foundation for everything: parenting, career, marriage, finances, and health!
Now that we have learned 200 prayers and promises of the Bible, you realize some of God’s promises are often redundant. We tend to forget, and because the promise is so essential that we need to hear it more than once. This is why I encourage you to read the Bible daily, cover to cover, year after year. Remember His promises. Don’t wait for a Sunday sermon to be reminded.
The world is louder than God, it seems. Because we see more of the world and God is seen in His Word, His love, His Church, and His protection. What are YOU looking for? Eyes on Jesus.
My friends, you have everything you need to live a victorious life. During the last 3 years, I was reminded that we did not “need” a graduation ceremony for my high school senior. We did not “need” for her to live in a college dorm her first year and attend in-person classes. We did not “need” access to restaurants, hair salons, and shopping malls. When these were sheltered by a pandemic- we needed God and He was there!!
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 NKJV
Have you ever leaned on your understanding instead of God? I would not want to be a Navy Seal recruit trying to lean on my own understanding! I would need the expertise of the officers who are training me. In faith, I need the expertise of God’s Word as my training manual and understanding.
Remember, the Pharisees had blind spots. They were judging people. And yes, we are prone to the same blindness today and need to be very discerning before we speak. We need to tame the tongue. We need to quiet gossip. We need to avoid the temptation to slander. That is the playground we are living in today. The same playground that Jesus experienced when He walked upon the earth.
We have entire ministries that judge people. We have authors who write books judging people. In one book I reviewed recently, the author named two popular authors who are “supposedly Christian” and my goodness, who is SHE to decide that??? Jesus decides, not us.
Be kind with your words. That is how you love your neighbors.