Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 10

Today is our last group discussion for Breaking Free by Beth Moore. We have enjoyed the small group discussions and the commitment from the Womens Bible Cafe team. Great job everyone!

As we discussed this week, Jesus reminds us to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We’re captives set free, yet Beth Moore reminds us, others may not understand our position. You can display His splendor to those who are still captive. Don’t judge the captives, as you were once a captive too. Know that each person is on a different pace in their spiritual journey. Let the Holy Spirit work in them and pray for their freedom.

Those set free will often display the Fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5). Integrity, honesty, generosity, and gratitude are also evident in captives set free. As you continue to walk in freedom, you cultivate a posture of forgiveness and hope for the future. You are viewing the world as Ambassadors for Christ.

Let’s make sure we cultivate a garden of good fruit and keep the bad fruit out. Pause, stop, pray, and respond in the fruit of the Spirit.

We radiate His love when others look at our lives and hear our testimonies. It’s “living proof” of Christ’s indwelling. Be transparent in Christ.

Beth Moore cautions us, “The empty places in our lives become the enemy’s playground.”  What can we do to fill those holes with Christ rather than something unhealthy? We can learn to discern and identify our emptiness. Daily prayer and confession help us anchor to God’s Word. Fellowship with believers keeps us accountable to the Truth. Yet we can also watch the atmosphere – is it spiritually healthy? Is the Holy Spirit present here? Am I on Holy Ground?

The Lord will renew our strength, yet we often try to renew it absent of Him. Or we try to renew the strength of someone else. What needs to happen for us to wait for His perfect and complete renewal? Let’s make a promise to ourselves for a Sabbath rest. We can also tame our tongue, and be still when tempted to respond or to sin.

Recommended Book: Sacred Rest by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 9

Welcome back to our womens online bible study of Breaking Free by Beth Moore. Last week we studied the heart and in week nine Beth Moore focuses on the mind. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ It’s a little challenging to love if your mind is a battlefield! If you missed this study, you can access it on-demand at Bible Cafe™ University.

This week Beth Moore writes, “Surrendering our thought lives is a safeguard.”  Giving God control of our thoughts gives Him access to our hearts and mind. When our minds are steadfast with God, we are anchored to the Fruit of the Spirit (not the flesh). Should we surrender our thoughts to nonbelievers and get worldview advice?

Open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NIV: What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked person from among you.

We can expel our thoughts. We should avoid having a depraved mind. Catch your thoughts when they are fleeting thoughts and see if they measure up to God’s word. As Mary Beth taught us in small group this week, it is easier to correct thoughts than false beliefs. Because the false belief becomes a stronghold in your life.

In our study Breaking Free, Beth Moore brings attention to the metaphor “valley” and” harvest.” Many women in our small groups felt they were in the valley season, where your faith is watered by sweat and tears. Others felt they were in the harvest season. I think we can experience both. For example, I am in the valley season as my daughters move out. Many people call this the empty nest syndrome. Yet I also see my harvest season is coming as I trust God with their futures and mine.

One of the mistakes we make is trying to break a stronghold in our own strength.  We try to educate ourselves about a problem, such as Google searches and artificial intelligence (AI) answers. As I teach in my Leadership Coaching Course, these Google results can be manipulated by AI machines. The answers we see are based on popularity, not fact. Or we might call a friend or family member, and she may not be walking with God. She leads us into deeper captivity with her advice.

As Beth Moore writes, “Satanic strongholds need divine demolition.” We need the supernatural power of God to deal with a supernatural demonic stronghold. Sometimes, we need spiritual fasting with our prayer ONLY when directed by the Holy Spirit. You cannot break a stronghold in your strength (or your husbands, mothers, or pastors). You need the Lord. Y

We learned this week that we can be led to victory by the cords of human kindness. In our small groups, we talked about things we can do in the next month to be an example of kindness.

  • Make a meal for a neighbor
  • Send cards to our friends
  • Be intentional to call and talk by phone rather than by text
  • Give sincere compliments on social media posts
  • Meet up with friends for coffee or tea
  • Find inspiration from a consistently kind person
  • Show the Fruit of the Spirit, treat people as Jesus would in love
  • Gently saying no to someone, can be kindness too!

Remember, if we don’t surrender our thoughts and take them captive to Christ, they will take root as our identity. When we meditate on captive thoughts, we are ignoring the truth of the Holy Word. We need to put on the mind of Christ, read the Word, and give all thoughts to Him through prayer.

A keynote experience of completing this study is replacing lies with truth. Some people believe the lie that we are abandoned by God. Truth: You are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:7 NIV)

Or they believe the lie that Satan wins. Truth: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.(Revelation 20:2 NIV)

Two excellent BCU Studies: Lies Women Believe, and Seeking Him are both about breaking free from lies.

How do we take thoughts captive so we are not deceived by lies? We search the Bible for Scriptures and write them down so we can see and meditate on them. We avoid deception whenever possible: news, television entertainment, novels, music, gossip, and slander.

We seek to be a godly woman. She gives her heart, soul, and mind to God. She obeys Him with all her strength. She surrenders her thoughts to Him for discernment, wisdom, and direction (Beth Moore, Breaking Free)

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

 

Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 8

Welcome back to bible study, as we discuss Breaking Free Week 8 by Beth Moore. It seems like a perfect time to study unfailing love. This week we’re learning about matters of the heart, from a Biblical perspective.

We learned this week that God’s love ENDURES forever. An enduring love will never cease no matter what we do. Many of us have experienced a human love that fails. Maybe it was a broken love between parent and child. Or a marriage where the love failed to endure. But the love of God does endure. He is capable of it because of His character.

Enduring or everlasting love, in original Greek, means long duration, antiquity, futurity, forever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world; ancient time, long time (of past); forever, always; continuous existence, perpetual; everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity.

Open your Bible and personalize Romans 8:38-39. For (your name) is convinced that neither ______, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate (your name) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

When you think about this verse, what has satan used against you? Maybe it has been distraction and busyness. But this verse says they cannot separate you from God’s love. Maybe it has been anxiety, sadness, or grief? But this verse says they cannot separate you from God’s love. Perhaps your success, failure, or pride tempts you to feel unloved. But this verse says they cannot separate you from God’s love. Nothing can stop God from loving you. His love endures forever. As we learned in Breaking Free by Beth Moore, rejection by people is not a rejection by God. His love endures.

Turn your Bible to Proverbs 20:6 NIV: Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? Although human love fails, God’s love never fails. Human love is not the same as God’s supernatural love.

Knowing this, the rebellious who have been freed should be FAITHFUL to tell of His works. You’ll notice in our study book that Beth Moore never tells the details of her sin, she generalizes it. Her point is, even if we are rebellious GOD is still faithful.

It’s often said, “We have freedom of choice but not freedom from consequences.” God might allow rebellion to become a heavy burden after a while. When we resubmit to God…we say farewell to unhealthy friends or habits we once enjoyed. Our past rebellion creates sympathy for people still in rebellion. For many of us, these burdens led us back to God.

Can you think of a time when you were suddenly awash with the magnitude of God’s love for you? This is a Godstop, a milestone marker in your journey of faith. If you have not done so yet, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you.

Remember, in John 15:9 ESV Jesus says: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. How do we “abide” in His love? We stay in His Word and read our Bibles daily. We worship God and become good stewards of what He has given us.

Having the Holy Spirit abiding in your heart is a beautiful feeling and experience. Seek it.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 7

Welcome to womens online bible study as we study Breaking Free by Beth Moore. This week we learned how God desires to change us from the inside out, renewing our minds and mending our broken hearts. He wants us free from the strongholds weighing us down. It’s time to release self-destructive thoughts, behaviors, and relationships and embrace a heart centered on Christ.

When did you give a true impression of whom you are by acting as if you belonged to God? For me, this happened by being authentic and not a people-pleasing perfectionist. I learned to let go of childhood labels and identities and allowed myself freedom from shame.

Beth Moore writes, “Any time we attach ourselves or seek safety in a fraudulent savior we have to depend on lies to support the habit.” In small groups, we identified the fraudulent saviors as people, careers, relationships, volunteerism, food, addictions, and false identities/labels. Even religion can be a false savior, as Dotsi pointed out in our Zoom group this week. Some religions elevate a person’s worth based on work and deeds. That contradicts the Bible which places our identity in Christ, not religion.

As we learned this week, w can experience freedom in one part of our lives while still in bondage to another. For example, we can have freedom over one sin (such as gossip) and still struggle with others (such as jealousy). Spiritual bondage can be difficult to detect as the layers get deeper- such as bondage to fear or insecurity.

Christian obedience includes following the Bible, reading the Bible, and living the Bible. Jesus is our primary motivation for pursuing an obedient life. We are obedient through love and respect. Our desire is for a lack of conflict. Obedience is sometimes motivated by the fear of consequences. The Holy Spirit will guide us and counsel us towards obedience, never s

We are blessed by obedience. Beth Moore identifies the 6 symptoms of broken pottery

  • A rebellious child of God doesn’t act like a child of God
  • A rebellious child of God isn’t willing to look to the Lord’s instruction
  • A rebellious child of God prefers pleasant illusions over Truth
  • A rebellious child of God relies on oppression
  • A rebellious child of God depends on deceit
  • A rebellious child of God runs from the real answers

The Lord will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Isaiah 51:3 NIV

As Christians, we are on a pilgrimage to Heaven and just passing through earth. It is a season of moving forward, holy and sacred.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 6

Welcome back to our study at the Womens Bible Cafe, as we celebrate a new beginning. At the end of the Breaking Free Bible study, you will not be the same woman you were when you started the study. You are breaking free! In our sixth week of Breaking Free by Beth Moore, we’re finding beauty from the ashes.

When you think of the word “beauty” what comes to your mind? I think about inner beauty, the humbleness of a person. Externally, three are many beautiful women who are unkind and unloving. But internally is where the heart shines most. We are God’s masterpiece and were created for His enjoyment.

In our study this week, we learned about the ancient practice of wearing sackcloth to symbolize grief. In modern times, how do people symbolize grief or celebrate life? For the past few years, I found it strange that people would take funeral “selfies.” I found myself standing graveside, grieving, and a cousin snapping photos for her Instagram account. It was very irritating as I wanted my privacy at the grave.

Another modern grief practive is crying. Some cultures hire grave criers, to weep and express distress over the loss of a loved one. In South Korea, families celebrate the anniversary of death with a formal ceremony and a big meal.

Sometimes in American culture, we try to avoid pain at all costs and hide our grief. Yet there is a great Grief Share program to help people comfortable express themselves. Overall, grief is both cultural and grief is personal. It’s a topic worth exploring.

“God wants to surpass our dreams,” writes Beth Moore. So why do we limit our dreams to our understanding, instead of His? What needs to change for us to surpass our limitations? We need to put trust and confidence in Him instead of our abilities. Rather than looking at what we can do, we need to remember what God can do. His view helps us break our limiting beliefs.

Beth Moore reminds us to think of the implications of the term bride. What are a few things the word bride implies that the word wife may not? A bride has anticipation of something that hasn’t happened yet, a future event. She is often queen for a day and will seek beauty treatments for her special ceremony. She is getting to know her Groom day by day.

Beth Moore writes “Our Bridegroom doesn’t allow us to grow too comfortable in one place.” Describe a place where you have followed your Bridegroom. What did He have for you there? Many women said He led them to the Womens Bible Cafe! They were in a season of seeking God and landed on this website- where you are today.

Be Blessed.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 5

As we study Breaking Free by Beth Moore, we’re now halfway through our bible study lessons. Many of you have been enjoying the online small groups and Bible Cafe experience. Thank you to our amazing leadership team for leading the small groups each week. To God be the glory! Come join us for the Breaking Free Online Bible Study.

Beth Moore reminds us that “God had only one arrow in His quiver…His only Son.” The importance of God’s plan is evident from Genesis to Revelation. His plan is perfect and based on love.

According to Beth Moore, “Broken hearts can result more frequently from words than actions.” How can we guard our mouths, so we are not breaking hearts? First, we need to know what curses are so that we are not speaking them. A curse can be gossip, slander, putting someone down, telling lies, anger, division, and negative words. Next, we need to tame our tongues. What goes into our minds will come out of our hearts. So if we watch television shows about violence and sex, our mouths will speak these words as common thoughts. But if we watch healthy television, read our Bible, and listen to sermons and Christian podcasts, our mouths will speak these words instead. Guard your mouth with the content that goes into your mind and heart.

Christ wants us free to experience the fullness of the Fruit of the Spirit. And for the Holy Spirit to speak through our hearts and words, we need to know Him as we read our Bible, confess our sins, and pray.

Beth Moore found that her confession of sin allowed God to “forgive me, cleanse me, and change my responses.” Have you experienced a similar refreshment, or does confession make you uncomfortable? Maybe you experienced the childhood confessional, where you sat in a dark booth and confessed sins to a priest. Or perhaps as an adult, you confessed directly to God through daily prayer. Our confession closes the gap between the heart of God and our heart.

If we do not confess then we risk the temptation of bitterness and blame. The book Bait of Satan by John Bevere is an excellent resource for reminding ourselves to put off the offense. When we let go of these negative thoughts, our words are Spirit-filled and life-giving once again.

Open your Bible and turn to 2 Timothy 2:25-26 NLT: “Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” How can we keep from falling into the devil’s trap? We can read our Bible daily, worship, fellowship, and pray. Keeping these activities as regular habits will help us saturate in the Truth rather than in worldview lies.

My prayer is for you to see your identity in Christ, and not in a past behavior and sin. According to the Bible, your past sin is erased by God. So do not go pick up an identity that God has erased. Your identity is Christ alone.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.