Limitless Life, Week 2 Peek at the Week

Week 2 verse of the week, Ephesians 2:10

Week 2 verse of the week, Ephesians 2:10

Wow, wow, wow!  What an AMAZING start we’ve had exploring the negative labels from our past, and uncovering more of how we can stitch new ones onto our hearts to live a Limitless Life!  (And this is just the beginning!)

This week, we’re diving into two more powerful chapters, 3 and 4: “From Mess to Masterpiece” and “From Orphan to Adopted.”  Melissa Taylor & I (Steph Raquel) have the honor of leading our time this week, so know we are praying for you as we continue on this journey together!

Our Peek at the Week

  • Verse of the week ~ “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Mon. & Tues. ~ Dive into Chapter 3. Check your e-mail for the study post, then join us here for discussion led by Melissa.
  • Tues. ~ Tweet it Up Tuesday is back!  Tues., June 3 at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).  Details in Tuesday’s post or follow @P31OBS to join the fun. Not on Twitter? That’s okay — it’s entirely optional!
  • Wed. ~ Read Chapter 4. Join us here for discussion led by yours truly, Steph Raquel.
  • Thurs. ~ It’s a triple-header!  First, the Blog Hop (More info. to come Thursday; see the topics below.) PLUS …
  • Thurs. Conference Call Series continues!  Join author and speaker Renee Swope alongside Melissa Taylor, Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies director, for a special message, Mess to Masterpiece, at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT).  Sign-up & FAQs, here. AND then …
  • Thurs. Rev It Up LIVE, our interactive hour-long Bible study on Facebook.  Click HERE to RSVP and join the fun live, or later at your leisure!
  • Fri. ~ Wrap-up post for the week!

The Blog Hop returns!  Your chance to part of the global conversation through writing, commenting, picture-taking or just reading!  Here are this week’s topics, to get those creative juices flowing:

MAP IT: Ephesians 2:10 — Expand our weekly verse using various study methods (verse mapping, word studies, etc.).
SNAP IT: God desires to be our friend, and longs for us to be in fellowship with Him and fellow believers. We’d love to see a pic of 1) you in fellowship with your community; or 2) your quiet time with God showing your fellowship with Him.
WRITE IT: Choose one of the following writing prompts from Chapters 3 & 4 and share something from your heart relating to our study: Spiritual GPS, Deceived Into Doubting, Image Bearer, Humility, The God Without Limits, Marinate on That!
SHARE IT: Do you have a story or testimony of going From Mess to Masterpiece or From Orphan to Adopted?

Lastly, here’s a little teaser from chapter 4.  Pastor Derwin Gray writes, “Through years of discipleship and mentoring others, I have learned that the people who manage to climb out of emotional quicksand are those who intentionally stop the cruel, destructive habit of revisiting in their minds the events or the people who have hurt them.

Marinate on that — and we’ll be back later in the week to discuss it!

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Comments

  1. I am so excited for this week!! This is my first OBS and I am loving it. I can’t wait to connect with more of you lovely ladies over the course of the week.

    • Jennifer N ( OBS small group leader) says:

      Tiffany, we are so excited you are here! Praying for you to continued to be blessed this week and throughout the study – much love! 🙂

    • So glad you’re here! Praying you’ll making some lasting connections here in OBS. I’ve met some of my bestest friends right here! It’s great to connect with other Jesus lovin ladies!
      Emily

  2. Someone in my group read chapter three already and posted that this one was written just for me. So im eager to see what God has in store for this week

  3. This is my second OBS and I am getting so much out of them. The last one led to me reading a book on prayer, Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars. That book and Wendy Blight’s testimony of the people she didn’t know that were praying for her, and her suggestions on prayer have gotten me into a habit of praying for others daily through a list.
    When I reread the Chapter on Addiction I made the discovery that Derwin says that any other idol is misplaced worship. We need to worship God instead. I have an understanding in my head, but I still have a stronghold with food to overcome. I need to become part of a small group. It would be wonderful to join one of the small groups here. I am on facebook now so I can join. I joined facebook for this study, but I forgot to do the rev it up last week. Can anyone help me with that?

  4. Dorothy Palmer says:

    Hi Jan, I too after doing So that I have read Sometimes He Whispers,Sometimes He Roars. It has me praying more for others as well. I’m also addiction to food! But, I’m praying and working on that! I haven’t done rev it up as my church Bible study is on Thursday night. But, I have gone one the facebook rev it up and seen where this Thursdays is up there.

  5. I am excited for this week! I am in awe of the simplicity in which Pastor Derwin Gray relays his message to us, in such a powerful way. Thank you for including this in our study plans….I thought I loved Wendy’s Study, well I did; it prepared me for what I am learning from the Limitless Life. Thanks you for putting so much thought and prayer into each study, and for following Gods’ direction. You P31 team are truly loved!!!!
    See you in the comments,
    Be Blessed, Teresa

  6. Hi, Dorothy, I am adding you to my chubby book and ask that you’d agree with me in prayer that God would mightily help us overcome our addiction and help us become prayer warriors. I think overcoming this addiction will be a way to witness about Christ and helpful in bringing others to Him. Thanks for your reply, Jan

    • Jan & Dorthy, I am praying for both of you! God is able to do more than we could ever think or imagine. Believe Him. You ladies have a mighty power working within you. You can do all things through Christ!
      Emily
      P31 OBS Volunteer

      • Thank you, Emily. I will believe Him for all of my unsaved friends and relatives. I am going through a very hard trial. Any prayers here would be a Godsend.

        • It’s a pleasure to pray for you!

          • Emily, I love how you’re praying and encouraging so many of us on these blog post. I treasure your prayers as I have few friends to ask them for prayer.

  7. wow all I can say is wow. I just read chapter 3 and it really hit home! In the past I’ve taken viable studies and participated in groups but here and now Im all in!!! I’ve been wondering why I’m going thru chaos and stuff right now and all I want to do is throw a party cause I’m about to learn something and God is bout to move my mountain!!! I can’t wait to jump into chapter 4! Thank you for calling me and teaching this amazing instruction.

    • Praying God will move mountains for you Mary! He can and He will! Believe He will and trust Him to move. Oh goodness, I am so excited for you! All in here & now!!! God is up to big things and I’m praying He will move big for you as you trust in Him.
      Love ya!
      Emily
      P31 OBS Volunteer

  8. Thank you! Loving this study. 🙂

  9. Mary Jo Cyr (OBS Proverbs 31 Team) says:

    This sooooooooo rings true for me………”the people who manage to climb out of emotional quicksand are those who intentionally stop the cruel, destructive habit of revisiting in their minds the events or the people who have hurt them.“ ~ from Chapter 4 “Limitless Life” and I can truly testify that it is so very true. Coming from plenty of baggage from my past, marrying young, having our first child young and making many mistakes as an immature wife and mother with plenty of growing to do, I’ve learned, through the Grace of God that focusing on Him and His forgiveness is what brings you UP and able to move forward. PRAISE THE LORD

    • I can so relate to this quote Mary Jo! You are not alone. Whew!!! This is going to be a great week!!!

  10. Nancy Silvers-OBS Volunteer says:

    I am so excited about this week! I have read the Chapters and can’t wait to participate with the study and conversation! Last weeks conference call was great-if you don’t subscribe to them you can still do it and get access to the recording from last weeks call!

    • Deje Jensen (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Volunteer) says:

      Nancy I am planning on listening to the recording today! Yesterday I finally got to do the LST webinar! The end of the year craziness is in full swing – only 2 days left!

    • Mary Jo Cyr, (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team) says:

      Amen to that Nancy

  11. Melissa says:

    I am learning so much already, in just the first few chapters of this study. Thank you, Pastor Derwin Gray and the whole P31 OBS Team. 🙂 The labels I have given myself are changing from negative to positive. Praise God!

  12. Looking forward to chapter 3&4! I especially like Derwin’s quote at the very end above. That’s so much what I do. I dwell on things forever! I’m a daydreamer anyway and have a great memory for past events so this will be a challenge to stop thinking about the stuff that has hurt me – getting over things.

    • Lois,

      It is hard but remember Philippians 4:13 Lois can do all things through Christ who gives her strength! There were things that I never in a million years could have done on my own, but when I leaned on the strength of Jesus in me it became possible. Also, I try to take captive every thought. How? By thinking on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

      God bless you!

  13. Cathi Wilson says:

    Loving this study!

  14. Deje Jensen (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Volunteer) says:

    Wow! I read Chapter 3 this morning and I am pumped! I love how God takes the messiness of my life and works it for good! Can’t wait to read Chapter 4 – just may have to do that today! 🙂

  15. Anne Duifhuis says:

    This is the devotional in the inbox this morning – I think it is a good match for our week:
    Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:13-14
    Two of Australia’s indigenous creatures, kangaroos and emus, have something in common—they seldom move backward. Kangaroos, because of the shape of their body and the length of their strong tail, can bounce along with forward movement, but they cannot shift easily into reverse. Emus can run fast on their strong legs, but the joints in their knees seem to make backward movement difficult. Both animals appear on Australia’s coat of arms as a symbol that the nation is to be ever moving forward and making progress.
    The apostle Paul called for a similar approach to the life of faith in his letter to the Philippians: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).
    While it is wise to learn from the past, we shouldn’t live in the past. We cannot redo or undo the past, but by God’s grace we can press forward and serve God faithfully today and in the future. The life of faith is a journey forward as we become like Christ. —Bill Crowder
    I’m pressing on the upward way,
    New heights I’m gaining every day;
    Still praying as I’m onward bound,
    “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” —Oatman
    I will go anywhere—provided it is forward.

    • Amen!!! Praying for you as we all PRESS ON!! Prayers for the blessings God has planned for you ahead!
      Love,
      Emily
      P31 OBS Volunteer

    • Terri Satterwhite says:

      Anne – I love that both animals are not really made to move backwards. Really cool analogy of our study! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Kelly Smith says:

    God finally gave my label to me the other morning, courageous. And in the past I have constantly been in a spiritual warfare battle. A tough – God, me,
    Satan, and his hell & earth demons and a lot of attacks! (and I will continue to fight the spiritual battle that we’re all fighting as Christians but I think I’m retired from the special ops forces) And I’m a sinner of every sort. So I can wear many labels. But the other morning during my prayer time, God labeled me “courageous”… And he told me to write my story. So if I can get it written by Thursday then I’ll post on the blog.

    Blessings,
    KellyS91709 grp#58

    • Kelly,
      I’m praying God would protect you from spiritual attacks as you write & share your story! I can’t wait to read it! Dear Lord, please help Kelly to use her spiritual armor to keep her strong in faith as she pursues you in all she does. We know you are stronger than any other force we may face. You are stronger and you are greater. We trust you will protect Kelly and let her story reach the eyes & ears of others to glorify You. We praise you for the protection and power you provide for us. We love you so much! Amen!
      Love,
      Emily
      P31 OBS Volunteer

    • Can’t wait Kelly, I to will be praying for you this week as you compose this testimony. I saw something on FB about this is the kind of woman you want to be. That when she rises in the morning the devil says with a groan “She’s Up!!” God’s Speed my dear sister in Christ keep up the good fight. Hugs

  17. Shantell says:

    Wow a masterpiece.I never thought that all of the hurts endured would lead to an incredible destiny. Praise God!!!!

  18. LOVE that quote and this chapter 🙂

  19. What an amazing quote you guys used by Pastor Derwin Gray… I believe this is totally true!

    “Through years of discipleship and mentoring others, I have learned that the people who manage to climb out of emotional quicksand are those who intentionally stop the cruel, destructive habit of revisiting in their minds the events or the people who have hurt them.“

    • “Through years of discipleship and mentoring others, I have learned that the people who manage to climb out of emotional quicksand are those who intentionally stop the cruel, destructive habit of revisiting in their minds the events or the people who have hurt them.“ –

      Agreed! That was one I really took some time to think about.

  20. God took me from victim to victorious by changing my heart towards those who have hurt me and still hurt me through His wonderful grace. What a beautiful gift!!!!

  21. Wow! What an incredibly powerful week this is going to be! I am so anxious to see what God is going to teach us all this week.

  22. Wow!! It doesn’t get much better than this study does it? Like so many other of my sisters I have deep hurts or wounds from the past. And if it’s just human nature or a more personal destructive desire to perpetuate this pain I can’t claim to know why. I just know that I find myself repeating this abusive ritual year after year. But what I’ve been reading in the first three chapters has been so helpful.

    I absolutely love how Pastor Gray has tied together Philippians 4:13, The story of the oyster and the pearl, Ephesians 2:10 and how God takes our wounds and turns them into a Masterpiece. Like most of you I was aware of these verses and story but Pastor Gray’s presentation of them has made a lasting impression on me. I’ve said it with every Bible Study so far and this is my is my fourth but I just have to keep saying it. “I Thank God for the Godly woman who work so diligently day in and day out, year and year to further Christ’s Cause here on earth, Thank you, thank you, thank you for your ministry to all of us. Big Hug.

    • Kelly N says:

      Loresa, I am praying for you to stop repeating the cycle. May the truths you are reading take root in your heart and mind.
      God bless you,
      Kelly

  23. Dorothy Palmer says:

    Jan, I will add you to my chubby prayer book as well!

    • Thank you Dorothy, I am so excited to meet someone here that I can pray for who has walked the same path lately in so many ways. I should have asked for prayer for my unsaved husband who went to church today and didn’t get saved. He is Catholic and he said he thought it was too long a service. I found myself not praying for him during church. Oh how I wish I did and how I wish he got saved. Our pastor is good but maybe he isn’t the one who will bring my dear one to Christ. I tried to believe it would happen.( Lord help my unbelief. I write down my prayers in my book every day but the continuous habit of prayer is a hard one for me. Lord help me I cry out to You.) Thanks for being a prayer partner Dorothy. Jan

      • Terri Satterwhite says:

        Jan – I came to know Christ right before I was married. My husband is also a Catholic and did not go to church. He went to Catholic school and felt he had gone to all the masses he would go to. You got your husband farther than me. Only on special events for our son, did he come to church. And I could tell he was so very uncomfortable. Well, fast forward 20 years. I started going to the Catholic church with his aunt. And now HE goes to church. Praise the lord! It can and will happen – keep praying (as I know you are). Blessings.

        • Hi, Terri, Thank you for your encouragement. I have gone to church at my husband’s church for years. Within the past year or so he stopped wanting to go to his Catholic church. My kids were raised Catholic. My son shows no interest in going anywhere, but my daughter came to faith through a friend who invited her to a wonderful Baptist church’s youth group which she has been going to for years. She is now going to a Christian college next year and so wanted her father to come to this church and to want to go to it. It is a big change for him. An hour and a half service and a lot of singing in modern worship songs. I think he’ll go again. I think a lot of my relatives that I have been wanting to believe already do. They just haven’t let it change their behavior. I believe but sometimes I might not pray as much as my relatives do. They just haven’t declared that they are trusting in Jesus alone for their salvation. I heard it said that if you are a real Christian you’ll want to share it with others. And I think you need to understand that it’s what Christ did for you and nothing you do yourself that saves you. Satan seems to be keeping me from sharing effectively. In the case of loved ones and relatives that have died whom I couldn’t ask if they are believing solely in Christ, I have prayed for Christ to reach them somehow before they died.

  24. Martha S. says:

    Just finishes chapters 3 & 4…love Derwin’s writing style! There were many phrases that hit home. When he blew out his knee, “I learned to pray and be with God. And the more I read the Bible and prayed, the more God renovated my life.” When talking about the cancer and the fear it produced in them, he says “…we retreated deeper into Jesus, He became our fortress of hope.” In my own reading, I found Phil. 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” In other words, the past is the past — let it go! But cling to Jesus and strive ahead for His best that He has already given us. Chapter 4 stung. I’m not an orphan, but I have an older sister but no relationship with her. I’ve tried in the past to contact her, write her letters, but she never responds. For years I’ve been hurt, and lately I’m mad because she moved to a different state when she retired but didn’t tell me. I found out thru another one of our sisters. I’m going to write her a letter pouring out my heart to both her and God, and then tear it up. Hopefully I will find peace with that.

    • Martha,
      I am praying for you right now. Oh how I know how it must hurt to feel unloved by your sister. Just as you wrote, press on, the past is the past- let it go… easier said than done but I am praying that God would fill you with love, His love, which is greater than we can even understand. May God fill you with peace as you move forward. I will continue praying for you sweet sister! There are so many sisters here who love you! Continue to pray for your sister, and I will do the same!
      Much love,
      Emily
      P31 OBS Ministry Team

  25. Shantell says:

    Loresa,
    Like you I am blown away by the simplicity and power of the Gospel but specifically phillipians 4:13 & ephesians 2:10. Like you I have to choose the better path. Whenever I find myself traveling down the path of death as I now refer to it as I mentally recite proverbs 27:12 which says the prudent sees danger and takes refige but the simpleton keeps going and pays a penalty. When I recite this I think of something dangerous then the action I would take to get to safety. Such as the road is icey and unsafe. I would turn around and look for a better path. This gets me right on track. Sometimes I have to recite it several times throughout the day depending on the activities of the day. Which I am fine with because I am no longer giving my joy to satan.

    You are in my prayers. I pray that God will make His presence known to you when you find yourself in the clutches of vitimization.

    God bless

  26. Suzanne A says:

    I was behind in my reading but caught up today. How powerful was chapter 1!!! wow. I am so thankful for Pastor Derwin writing this book. I have been working through lots of personal issues and this year is truly one of self improvement… funny enough my word for the year was Self-Discipline. I am so thankful I serve a God who is gracious and forgiving… I was really touched by the part of chapter two that said when God looks at us, he doesnt see our sin or our accomplishments but he sees Jesus. Thank you Jesus!!
    One of the things I really got out of the readings was addiction can be many things. For me it is finding my worth in recognition and relationships. God recently brought me a way to be recognized in a positive way that would also help other women. I hadnt even thought of the opportunity that way. That new perspective makes me even happier to be involved!!
    Blessed in Texas!

    • Suzanne,
      Praying for you as you continue on your road of self-improvement. I love that your word is self-discipline. Discipline is critical when we seek improvement. May God continue to direct your steps as you seek Him. Praying you’ll find your worth in Him, He sees how awesome you are! You are in Christ! WOW! Remember that when you face recognition & relationships. Praising God for new perspectives!
      Blessings to you!
      Emily
      P31 OBS Ministry Team

  27. Tammy Haymon says:

    Looking forward to another limitless week! I love the verse about me being God’s masterpiece. If I read it another million times, I may start to believe it. 🙂 I have a hard time believing that God thinks I’m that special.

    • Tammy ,
      You ARE AWESOME!!!! Believe it!!! I’m praying for you. I pray that Gods truths and His thoughts about you would soak in, permeate & saturate your soul, and become your thoughts about you! You are special and loved and God truly thinks you’re His most valued treasure. We do too! 🙂
      Love,
      Emily
      P31 OBS Ministry Team

  28. Debbie from Australia says:

    Loresa what a concept when I wake up the enemy groans,I want that as my reality WOW!

  29. Latasha says:

    Looking forward to another awesome week. Pastor derwin and friends great insite and perspective. I’m just starting chapter 3&4. It feels good-ooood to get rid of those sticky labels. I pray that everyone has received the removal of those sticky unwanted labels. Thanks to the leaders and followers of Christ. Amen Jesus !!! Yay God !!!

  30. Dear Debbie from Australia and Latasha,
    I bet God is doing a happy dance over you both! I pray this is a good week and you feel strengthened. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

  31. I am going to admit here I am having difficulty in seeing how everything I have gone through and am still going through is going to turn victorious. Sorry I just am. Too long of a story to post. As to chapter 4 I keep wanting to apply it to my other parent (long story). I will keep reading. Mary

    • Mary,
      Praying that God speaks to you and shows you how your messes can be masterpieces, defeats can be victories, and pain into eternal pleasure. Surrender your situation & circumstances to God and let Him work the outcome out for your good as you trust in Him. Praying for you!
      Emily
      P31 OBS Ministry Team

  32. Gail Harless says:

    Wow wow wow. So much to be excited about!

    If you know me at all, you know that I am thrilled to pieces that we are having a Twitter party. They are so much fun and afford us so much growth!

    I miss getting a video from you, Melissa. Maybe later this week!

    And what a thrilling highlight from Pastor Derwin! ““Through years of discipleship and mentoring others, I have learned that the people who manage to climb out of emotional quicksand are those who intentionally stop the cruel, destructive habit of revisiting in their minds the events or the people who have hurt them.“

    Wowzer! When you are forced to be around someone who has hurt you in the past — both 20 years ago and yesterday — it is very difficult to remain present and in the present.

  33. CarolAnne says:

    Loving this Study and learning new ways to look at these verses! You Leaders & Sisters are the best. Thank you for all your insights. It is so helpful 🙂 xo

  34. Elizabeth says:

    This is my first OBS, and so far it’s hit me harder than other Bible studies I’ve participated in. I pray that God will transform me through this study because I am in a bad place right now. This is an awesome study and although I’m behind, I’m truly grateful for this opportunity.

    • Kelly N says:

      Elizabeth,
      I am praying that through this study you allow God to transform your heart and lift you out of your dark place. Know that you are not alone! You have God and all these sisters in Christ to come to if you need encouraging. Keep pressing on in your reading and do not be discouraged if you get behind. Just pick up where everyone else is or read only the chapters that sound relevant to you. God bless you, Elizabeth!
      Kelly

    • God loves you, Elizabeth. Jesus is right beside you every step you take.

  35. Elizabeth, I am glad you are here & this is my third with Proverbs. God lead you here & its going be okay. May not look like it but once the fog clears, you will be free! I am excited about these next chapters!

  36. I am keeping up better with the reading this time! I already have three and four read. It is good because now I can reread them this week. I liked these two in particular as I am in a 12 step program and it fits me perfectly what he is saying.

    • Bless you, Kelly.
      Father, thank You for Kelly. Thank You for leading her to this study You so perfectly designed just for her!
      You know her every need Lord, and love her so much. Help her to continue to focus her heart and mind on You this week as she studies and rereads chapters three and four. Let her grow in her knowledge and understanding of Who You are and what you want Kelly to soak in. We love you, Lord! In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

  37. Eugenia Green says:

    I am really enjoying this study and the book. I have highlighted and taken so many notes. It speaks volumes and really drawing me to the light in a lot of areas. This is my first OBS being in a small group. Its great and our leader Tracy ROCKS!!

    • That’s awesome Eugenia! May I say a prayer for you?
      Good morning, God. Thank you Father, for Eugenia! She has a heart after Your own heart! Help her continue to grow in her knowledge and love of You. Keep excitement for You planted deep in her soul, allowing it to spill over to those around her. Thank you for the small group lead by Tracy that you placed her so carefully in. We love You and praise You, Father! In Your Son’s Holy Name I pray, Amen.

  38. Week 1 was awesome. Can’t wait to start week 2!

    • Me too, Amanda!
      God, thank you for bringing Amanda and me to this study and Your Word. Open our eyes, ears, and hearts to what you want to say to us. Let us grow in our knowledge and understanding of You. Help us continue to shed old labels and learn about the limitless life that You desire for us to have. You are an Awesome God and we love You for Your faithfulness. Thank you for sending your Son so that Amanda and I might find the freedom you have waiting for us. We love You! In Your Son’s Name I pray, Amen.

  39. Terri Satterwhite says:

    This is my 4th online bible study, and while the others were super, this one is my favorite. It also helps to be a new member of a small group which has truly added to my growth. I received some guidance on another issue that I believe pertains here. While not easy, the guidance is to “Move on” and “To let go and let God”. I try to think of this when the old labels start rearing their heads (which is often). I do feel like often I am a mess – I have gotten so much out of chapter 3. Cannot wait to see what else says in store for us!

    • Hi Terri! I’m so happy you are doing this study with us. I am getting a lot out of it, too. May I pray for you?
      Good morning, Father. Father, thank you for Terri and for guiding her to this study. Let her find strength in You and courage to continue to believe You are who You say You are, and that You are in control. Help her to remember she can do all things through Christ and find guidance in Your Word. In Your Son’s Name we pray, Amen.

  40. In 1988 I got saved. Things were going good until about 10 years later, when I fell out of God’s will by quitting going to Church. Suffering a back injury thru bass fishing tournaments, I had ruptured a disc and started taking pain meds, getting addicted for 10 yrs. My life spiraled out of control and in ’09 I was successfully selling commercial playground equip, but when the economy bottomed out, I was laid off w/ 3 months severance pay. I got a job making hourly wages at Bass Pro Shop and 5 months this later went to work for the State. ) months after I lost my job, my wife who was a court reporter worker for a County Judge, got laid off b/c of State Budget cuts. We wound up losing everything we had. I finally had back surgery and cold turkey got of narcotics. By then I was using my back as an excuse fore the pain meds b/c I was self medicating myself from the depression and axiety of living out of God’s will and knowing it. Finally I crashed and lost it! I got on my knees begging for Jesus not to leave me forever, and txt’d every Christian I knew to please pray for me! That was the week before Easter in 2011. A friend txt’d back and said to read Deut. 31: 8, and to rest in His promises. At that point which was about 12:00 am on a Sat morn, I opened my Bible and read that verse. I cried from Fri night thru Sunday non-stop. My wife wanted to admit me to a mental hospital, but it was God Breaking me. Long story short, God REDEEMED ME!! I didn’t deserve it and was so unworthy, but Thank you Jesus for loving me that much to not give up on me! It was the hardest thing I’ve ever been thru in my life, but to get back ind the right relationship w/ God, I’d do it a 1,000 times over!! I still fall and stumble, and still go thru depression/anxiety, but God is faithful, and I know by Trusting Him, He has and WILL always provide as long as I keep Him 1st in my life! I will Praise Him in the Storm!!

    • Steve, we serve such an awesome God, don’t we? I know He was with you throughout your trials, hovering, watching every step you took. He loves you so much.
      LORD, we come to You with hearts full of praise. Thank you for restoring Steve to your everloving heart. Please help him to continue to focus his heart and mind on You and be with him this week as he faces challenges and distractions. Thank you, Father, for your faithfulness. In Your Son’s Name we pray, Amen.

  41. Shantell says:

    Steve
    Thank you for sharing your testimony. A truly inspiring story. As I read the bible, limitless life and daily devotionals the truest journey with God begins in tragedy. It is so wonderful to know that God is with us through it all and uses it to shape us into something so much better.

    I am so glad to hear the good news of your recovery and return to God.

    May He be forever with us and guide us.

  42. Kim Riddle says:

    No matter what we go through, God always reveals Himself in a Huge way! We are all LIVINGPROOOF that you can go from mess to masterpiece! We have all overcome, even if we still have stuff to overcome! If you are saved, your a masterpiece! Ever time we are saved, and I don’t know about you but Jesus saves me on a daily basis, we become more of a masterpiece than the time before! So I Am Livingproof that my God CAN turn a mess into a MASTERPIECE!

  43. I am so behind on this study. I got tangled up in the holiday weekend and family stuff. Any advice on how to catch up?

    • Hi Liz! So glad you’ve joined us for this study. Getting behind is going to happen to us all from time to time, so first know that you are not alone and this is ok. Give yourself some grace 🙂 The enemy would love for us to believe that we have to read every word and answer every question on the blogs in order to benefit from a study. That’s his way of keeping us discouraged or getting us to quit. But the truth is, God can work in and through the smallest of details. It also helps me to remember that it’s not about completing all the assigned work and doing so perfectly, but rather it’s about allowing God to complete HIS PERFECT work IN us.

      Then secondly, one of the great things about this book is that each chapter is a completely different topic and so they each can stand alone and don’t necessarily have to be read in order because they don’t necessarily build on one another, if that makes sense. My recommendation would be to start today in Ch.3 with all of us as we tend to get so much more out of study when we are on the same material and working through it in a group. Then, if you have any extra time at the end of each week, you can always go back to those chapters you missed. I’ve done this in past studies and it felt better to me than trying to play catch up and always being behind everyone else. Praying it helps you too and that God does a mighty work in you through the remaining 4 weeks of study!! God bless.

  44. Shantell says:

    Hey Liz,
    As a fellow participant,this study is amazing if you have not had the opportunity to read chapters one and two I would definitely start there. We are starting chapter three today so you are not that far behind.

  45. Love the quote! Started chapter 3 this morning and so far it is really good!

  46. Nadine Janik says:

    Wow, I feel a bit overwhelmed, I have not gotten my book yet and plan on doing reading and gettting plugged in this week. There have been so many labels my whole life and have done a lot of work through the past years on this, but it is amazing how sometimes the enemy wants to come and try to reclaim ground to things I have already worked through, or so I thought… i WAS a little catholic girl that had no idea what it meant to love Jesus and had a family life that didn’t ever look christian, grew up wanting to be a horseback rider, artist and veterinarian and because of life and the tolls it took became at the time a dirty biker girl full of promiscuity, and abortions, divorces, sex, drugs, tattoos rock and roll and then went from there to witchcraft and occult… and then on my knees 5 years ago, God got ahold of me and I gave my life to Jesus Christ… So I have head knowledge of being forgiven and loved by our God, but I want my heart to feel that and to be able to look in the mirror and not have to feel like I don’t ever do enough, or to beat myself up when I do wrong. I need to know Gods labels for me.. and his grace and truth.. not law and condemnation… I am a single mom and now turned and remain celebate and trying to find my place in this world and have two beautiful children and need support… That the battle during this study wouldn’t be so hard, that God would help me carve out time at night to be able to press into the reading and find out what his true labels are for me… I so want to stop thinking that I haven’t done enough or beating myself up or that bad things happen because I let God down… I want to know the truth, to stop owning other peoples mistakes and sin and to be able to stand tall and learn to love myself again and to be not afraid at night as a single mama and to just have peace and know he is with us and sees me for who I really am, I am so different, God has changed me and I am so thankful… I am tired of the past coming at me… I am praying for a time of restoration and healing for my kids and I, and daily… to restore what the locusts have taken and to help me and my kids walk in the fullness of his love and grace and HIS labels.. not the ones that everyone put on me from so early on in my life… To restore the broken places in the heart that he knows I have and to be gentle with me… I am just sharing my heart and being brokenly honest… I look forward to this study.. I have been harmed by groups in the past, so tthis is hard for me to do… so hello everyone 🙂 Praying for protection over my home and kids and dogs and I so that God can identify and help me see in the mirror the labels he wants me to see not the ones that others have put on me for so many years.. Nadine

    • Hi Nadine,
      I am joining you in prayer that you will be able to accept the fact that God has forgiven you and you do not have to continue to beat yourself up over your past mistakes. I just recently realized through our last online Bible study that I had been viewing every bad thing that happened to me as punishment for my past sins so I understand what you mean about beating yourself up and feeling like you haven’t done enough. But God has forgiven me and He has forgiven you, we just have to move forward believing that truth not the devil’s lies. I think this study is a great next step because we need to remove those old labels that keep us feeling like failures. I am praying that God will show you how to make the time to make the time each day to spend time with Him and in this study.

  47. Jennifer says:

    Wow! I just finished reading chapters 3 and 4 and I am loving this study. I feel like I wrote this book. Derwin Gray’s experiences and words are my experiences and words. I can’t wait to read more and then share this book with others.

  48. Lynn Fincher says:

    Powerful chapter 3 finally got to it ..I was away at a conference for a few days and now I am playing catch up. Really got a lot out of this chapter..I really love the part if that the masterpiece of Jesus is in us..How awesome is that! God also does take us out of our comfort zones and boy what shaping He does as He is molding us into the people He intends us to be.
    Blessings to all..

    • I am playing catch up myself. I also loved the idea of a masterpiece from the mess that is in my life. It is interesting watching where God pulls us out of our comfort zones and into new areas of growth.

  49. I am so excited to be doing this study! It’s my first on line study & it’s great. It’s wonderful to deal with things in my life that have been shoved under the carpet from generations past that have lead me to make wrong decisions. It allows me to take responsibility for the things I need to change in my life because I am forgiven & my FATHER in HEAVEN loves me!

  50. A HUGE, COURAGEOUS PRAYER –
    I’m just working my way through chapter 1 and just read the section “The God without limits”. I have a huge, what seems to us, impossible prayer request. My husband is a pastor and we have always lived in a church provided house. Currently he is semi-retired and doing interim pastor work. Last spring we started looking for a house to purchase and made some offers. But God seemed to close each possible door with someone else purchasing the houses we thought would be good for us and reasonably priced. It was suggested that we build our own house. This had always been a dream of ours. As we asked God for direction it seemed that door opened for us and we purchased a lot where we want to build. It’s been fun to watch God put us in various situations where we’ve been able to meet and get acquainted with our neighbors. Within the past few months He provided 20 loads of dirt needed to raise the area to build on. That has been so encouraging to us. However, we still have not seen a clear way we can afford to build our house. It seems like an impossible mountain to us. Yet this is the direction God is leading us and He has no limits. Please pray with us about this need. We should complete the work in this current church sometime next year. My heart cry request to God is that our house would be ready to move into at that time. Pray that we continue to trust Him in the process of waiting on Him. We have waited so long for this to be a reality that it is hard to remain hopeful.

    Thanks so much for your support in praying for God’s grace and provision in this.

    • Hi Barb, I am joining you in praying for your home situation. I pray that you will be able to focus on the blessings that you have received and not on the delays. In our small group study, we were challenged yesterday with a quote from Chapter 4 where Pastor Derwin writes: “When you and I focus on how we’ve been done wrong in our past, we do not focus on how we’ve been done right by Jesus.” -Limitless Life. Our leader encouraged us to use our journals and make a list of how we have been done right by Jesus. I encourage you to do this for your house. Think back on all of the blessings that have occurred and list those and continue to do this until you house is ready. If you are watching for the positive forward movements maybe the delays won’t seem as overwhelming–you may even find blessings in them.

  51. I am so far behind also!! Just starting chapter 3. I have read comments that alot of others are behind and realize I am not the only one! I got caught up in holiday weekend and kids coming and going from college. I do love this book! I just want quiet time to read!! 🙂

  52. This is my first Online Bible study and don’t know if I’m getting the best out of it. Don’t even know exactly why I joined. Gess the book intrigued me. Didn’t have the book right away. But I’m ready for chapter 4 tomorrow. Reading chapter 3I felt God leading me to apologize to some people I wronged in my past. Not for the’er benefit. But I felt God saying this will help you move on into your future. Moving me from a mess to a masterpiece!
    This book as been a blessing already. It’s awsome how God devinly chose to but this book into my life. In the midst of me looking and making some life changing decisions.
    All I can say is thank you!!!! From the bottom of my heart. I shall enjoy getting to know God better through this time.

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