“They seek Me day by day and delight to know my ways, as a nation that has done righteousness and has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, they delight in the nearness of God.” Isaiah 58:2
We are so grateful for your generosity last week in filling up our red bin for the Rescate Family Rescue Center ! This week’s lesson speaks about the privilege we have of expressing our compassion of Christ to others and we are so encouraged by your enthusiastic participation in this outreach project.
In Day 4 of this week’s lesson, MacDonald challenges us to identity the five things God promises in Isaiah 58:8-9: “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ ”
MacDonald summarizes the blessings as follows: 1) Your light will shine 2) Recovery, healing, health and wholeness will come 3) Righteousness-victory over sin will be yours 4) The Lord will protect you 5) and when you need Him, He will be present. These 5 promises of God come as a result of Him igniting the worship of a believer.
Our prayer throughout this study has been that you would be gripped by God’s greatness in such a profound way that your life would be transformed. Our Sunday evenings have been a dawn-like light in the darkness of Hollywood. Some of you have shared personal experiences of healing and the beginnings of recovery. God has granted us victory over our past sin in accordance with His abundant pardon. He has keep His promise of protection and every week has graced us with His presence. May He receive all the praise and glory !
In what way has your life been transformed through the weeks of our study ?
Which of these 5 promises of God are you struggling to grasp?
What new way will you allow God ignite your worship this week ?
“So will my word be which goes forth from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding for the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
How timely it is that we had the privilege of celebrating Easter the same week we are studying the works of God. On Easter we celebrate the greatest work of God in the sacrifice of His son in order to provide for us an “abundant pardon.”
In Day Three of our lesson we are reminded that as believers we sometimes experience God “dropping a boulder” on our lives. McDonald defines a boulder as, “Some crushing personal experience that obliterates pride and independence from God” (87). Your leaders have both experienced “boulders” which brought about a new experience of God’s forgiveness in a “profound and life-altering way.”
“In 2004, as a high school senior, after years of dreaming of moving to LA to pursue my dreams as an actor, God dropped a boulder on my life. That same year, I failed to graduate, my parents announced that they were divorcing after 13 years of marriage and I was forced to move in with a friend. My world was completely rocked as I was faced with the reality that I had no plan for my future. I realize now that God brought about this “boulder” in order to destroy the superficial things I was clinging to in order to begin building a strong and lasting foundation in my life. It was on the heels of this crisis that God revealed again His plan for my future which entailed answering his call to ministry. ” -Kevin
“In 2008, having moved to Los Angeles with my family to answer a call to minister in Hollywood, God dropped a “boulder” on my life. My husband of 15 years filed for divorce, I discovered our home was on the verge of foreclosure, and having just had my third child, I was jobless. My whole life, which had been based on making all the right choices, was shattered. I realize now that God brought about this boulder to reshape my view of Him and His true purpose for my life. It was in this crisis of faith that I learned that we have the choice to use our difficult circumstances for His glory.” -Kathy
What “boulder” has God dropped in your life?
How have your allowed God to use this experience to bring about a “profound and life-altering” change?
“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Thank you for your sincere sharing last Sunday on the Awesomeness of God in relation to our call to Hollywood ! This week we have been specifically praying that God has helped you set aside a few minutes each day to delve into His greatness.
In Day Three of our study, MacDonald writes, “Choose to bury your face and even your tears in the mystery of His sovereignty.” (69) I learned two lessons from this statement. First, when the difficulties of life overtake us, we as believers are faced with a choice to accept or reject God’s sovereignty. During the darkest times in my life, that choice seemed daunting. When I realized, however, that I could choose to step out in faith and trust God, I was flooded with peace and comfort. Secondly, this statement tells us that embracing God’s sovereignty is hard and often filled with resignation and tears. It reminded me of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane tearfully wrestling with submitting to His Father’s will. In the moments when I cannot see God’s purpose in my life, submissive tears fill me with the assurance that the God of the universe has it all under control.
Now it’s your turn. In what past or present circumstances are you having difficulty accepting God’s sovereignty? Will you prayerfully and tearfully submit to Him this week ?
“The Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God.” Deuteronomy 10:17
I hope your week off has been a time of rest and rejuvenation where you have allowed God to help you press the pause button on the busyness of life.
In this week’s study my understanding of God’s awesomeness was deepened by the explanation on Day Two about the two “arms of God.” As McDonald states, “One arm is mighty and powerful, demanding holiness and righteousness. One arm tenderly cares for the weak and wounded” (40).
Because I was raised in a religious faith that emphasized being afraid of God, I have struggled with a pattern of punishing myself when I fall short of His holiness. In those times, I find it difficult to allow Him to demonstrate His tender care for me.
In this study I am learning that being “gripped by God’s awesomeness” means allowing both of His arms to be at work in my life. While I can embrace God’s holy arm which has His righteous plan for my future, I need to allow God’s arm of tender care to bind the wounds of my past.
In which arm of God are you currently resting?
How will you this week allow God’s awesomeness to fully embrace you?
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:3
Thank you for the uplifting time of worship, fellowship and study last Sunday. We are so encouraged by your commitment and step of faith to join us the next few months as we “climb up the mountain” in the book of Isaiah. We are praying that you are taking the time this week to delve daily into the holiness of God. If you are struggling, please let us know and we will give you a few tips on how to do this effectively each week.
In Day 3 of our study this week James McDonald writes, “When we experience God for who He really is, we suddenly see ourselves for who we are. We have no identity problem when we understand ourselves from God’s perspective” (pg. 25). In my high school and college years I struggled to find my identity and purpose. I was desperately searching for what my place was in the world. It wasn’t until after college graduation, upon joining an in-depth Bible study, that I started to find the answers to these questions. The more I began to know God, the more I knew myself. And after twenty years of studying God’s word, I can see how the answers I sought were intertwined with my growing understanding of who God was. It was a surprising revelation for me to “find myself “in the pages of God’s word.
What about you ? Where do you struggle to find your identity and purpose ? How will you begin to take steps this week to a deeper study of God’s word, in order that you might know Him and yourself even more ?
Dear H4H members,
What an absolute joy to meet you all last night ! It was so evident that God answered our prayers in putting together our group for this study. We are excited about delving into “Gripped by the Greatness of God” and into claiming God’s promise in Isaiah 9:2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.” Our prayer for the next 8 weeks is that this light will shine brightly into your hearts and into the places God has called as we meet with Him and with each other. Thank you for your commitment and desire to do that with us. Gripped by His greatness, Kathy and Kevin
Are you a currently working in the Entertainment industry?
Do you desire to be equipped to live out your call in Hollywood?
Join group facilitators Kathy L. Young and Kevin Deegan on Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 pm, Feb 19-April 29 as we explore James McDonald’s highly relevant study, “Gripped by the Greatness of God”, an 8-week study into the book of Isaiah.
The study will meet in Studio City and registration is $20 which includes a personal workbook.
*Registration is required so please register below:
For more information, please email Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org