Personal notes Beth Moore Breaking Free study

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Today’s Woman’s Bible study (Beth Moore’s Breaking Free) was a tough one for me, but I am beginning to see how much God has changed me. The subject was God’s agape love – and then some questions about how much we love God back.

Beth covered the fact that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)

Then she talked about how love motivates obedience (we trust Him when He directs us, even when it doesn’t make sense to us), it motivates perseverance, and safety. We need to know how much God loves us, then we can love others.

There are some common strongholds that prevent us from believing God’s agape love.

One is that we sometimes believe a lie. Satan’s scheme is to convince us that God doesn’t love us (that His love is conditional and we are so sinful, bad, dirty, ugly, etc. that God couldn’t love us if He wanted to). And also satan wants to convince us that we love God when we don’t love Him the way we think we do. We think we wholeheartedly love God, but we phileo (brotherly love) not agape (unconditional love) Him.

We talked about John 21:15-25 (Context, the disciples were fishing, and Jesus appeared to them, and had a conversation with Simon Peter – who had denied Christ three times, so Jesus will ask the same question three times. Note that the word “Love” is used in the text, and I am going to substitute the Greek word used so you can see something important.”

“So when thy had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you AGAPE Me more than these? He said to Him, “Yes Lord: You know that I PHILEO You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He (Jesus) said to him again a second time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you AGAPE Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord: You know that I PHILEO You.” He (Jesus) said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He (Jesus) said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you PHILEO me? Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you PHILEO me?” And He said to Him, Lord you know all things, You know that I PHILEO You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

Note, Jesus wanted Peter to AGAPE him, but Peter was not fully committed, he could only PHILEO Jesus. AGAPE means to esteem, reverence, direct will, choose and be determined to love God, finding one’s joy in something or someone, love with the best interest of the other in mind. Phileo is brotherly love, love because of common interests.

It is interesting that in 1 Peter, he finally can say that he AGAPE’s Jesus, so His love grew as He walked in obedience to Jesus, 1 John 4:7

It was pointed out that often we think we love God, but sometimes we do not really Agape God. And we were given a little quiz to grade ourselves. The answers were often, sometimes and rarely. I ended up drawing tick marks to show where in the continuum I was located, for sometimes I was not often, but more than sometimes, etc.

Here is the quiz:

1. Does He (God) regularly circulate into my thoughts? (Ps 63:6)
2. Am I often drawn to spend time with Him?
3. Does my life demonstrate a love for God? (Romans 5:8)
4. Do I often enjoy God? (Ps. 16:11)
5. Do I find relief or satisfaction in the obedient life? (Ps. 51:8; John 14:21).

This test was meant to locate our areas of strength and weakness in our relationship with God, not to condemn. And I suspect on one day some questions would score higher than on other days.

She then said that since she was 20, Beth has prayed a simple prayer that goes something like this: “Make me have a heart that loves you with all my heart. God, I can’t make my feet move, but I am willing for you to drag me, nothing’s worth being out of the will of God.”

I so want a heart that loves God without reservation, but there are still pockets of resistance, but I pray, and I know that one day these pockets will be removed.

Have a blessed day.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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