Category Archives: Bible Study

The Posture of Patience


Think Quick!!! What are the first three things that come to mind when you think about yourself?

When I first studied this passage long ago it gripped my heart. I had to get serious about several things and at the top of that list was my physical health. I needed God to tell me to pick up my mat. No, I wasn’t as afflicted as the man sitting by the pool but I had my own insecurities, fears, and limitations.

The man had suffered a long time, thirty-eight years. THE CROWD. He blamed other people; no one helped him. No one wanted him to be healed because they were too busy looking out for themselves. The people in his midst just wanted to “get what was theirs” and move on. The afflicted man needed God.

While we wait… what do we do? Are we concerned about the welfare of others or are we just waiting for our turn? Who would we push aside to: grab the next promotion, get ahead in this life, use as a stepping stone or blame for our current financial or physical status?


I recall a story from either a book or movie about two women. They had won an all expenses paid vacation for two weeks at an extravagant resort. The flight would take ten hours but that was a sacrifice they were willing to make. Once they reached their destination a disheveled man, that looked like a criminal, was frantically beckoning them to get inside a vehicle that had seen better days. They were frightened! With a map in hand, they decided to walk, with their luggage, the two short miles to the resort. Well, that was a mistake. A walk that should have taken thirty minutes turned into two days of being lost in the wilderness of a foreign country. Finally, they emerged into a town with torn clothing, matted hair, and not the best of body aromas. (Hmm…) Seeing a cab driver casually reading a newspaper and sipping coffee they rushed over and pleaded with him to take them to address written on the brochure. Skeptical of their appearance the driver obliged placed their luggage in the trunk and drove them about 400 feet to their destination. Shocked, the only thing the women could do was pay him and laugh at their misfortune. (They never looked up to take in their surroundings). Once inside the lavish building the women quickly became self-conscious, however, a man in a tailored suit greeted them warmly and was so glad they finally made it. Relieved the women followed him to their suite where they were able to bathe, eat, and rest.

We see in this story where there was lots of blame to go around, if the man at the airport had dressed appropriately the women may not have feared him, if the map was easier to read they would not have gotten lost, if the cab driver had pointed to the resort instead of taking advantage of their foolishness they would not have wasted money. These ladies were in for one more shock. The man who attempted to pick them up from the airport was the same well-tailored man that greeted them in the resort lobby. He also followed them at a discreet distance through the wilderness leaving them water, bread, and fruit while they slept. He watched over them shewing animals away and making sure their campfire remained lit. None of that was revealed until the last day of their stay.

God sends his angels to watch over us. Just like the man sitting by the pool these women needed Christ to intervene and show mercy. The impulses we as humans have to check on someone or provide a need I believe is divinely orchestrated. God doesn’t need us but He blesses us with the opportunity to act on His behalf. Instead of looking at who we can blame for our current circumstances either physical, spiritual, financial, or mental we should look at our surroundings. Do we need God and God alone to meet us where we are and take our afflictions away?

Jesus teaches us that even in our pitiful, weak, confused minds He will show us a way up and out of our current circumstances. Many people were sitting by the pool in Bethesda but only one was healed. He had a desire he just didn’t know how to get it. Jesus was the way and he gave him a clear path. Jesus will make our path clear if we will believe just a little that the possibility of him being right may make all the difference in our world as we know it.

Have you been guilty of placing your faith in man instead of God? I know I have and while I could share story after story about my mistakes it would serve no purpose. Growing wiser and more sympathetic to the shortcomings of others has increased the wisdom of my own limitations. When I allowed God to put my life in perspective my bitterness was washed away and I was humbled into repentance for having the nerve to blame someone else. I knew I needed God but, turned to humans instead. It may be time to look up to our Lord to heal us of our afflictions.

~Torrie


Journal Prompts

  1. Who do I blame for my misfortunes? Is it the crowd, do I blame God?
  2. What are my go-to excuses for not being where I know God wants me to be?
  3. Do I use or mistreat people because I am focused on my own healing?

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com, and Our Given Purpose™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com, and Our Given Purpose™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The Posture of Hope

(What is so perfect about God’s Word is that He allows us to be detectives. For the record, I am not questioning the validity of God’s Word. I believe these passages to be accurate eyewitness accounts. The focus of this devotional, The Posture of Hope, comes from Luke 18:35-43 LEB. I pray you will be inspired to connect with God and I encourage you to pray, meditate, and pour over God’s Word through your own study.)


  • Bible Reading: Luke 18:35-43; Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52
  • Focus Scripture: Luke 18:40-41 “So Jesus stopped and ordered him to be brought to him. And when he approached, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, that I may regain my sight.”
  • The Facts- 
  1. The disciples and followers of Christ were close to Jericho.
  2. A blind man (Bartimaeus) was sitting by the road and learned that Jesus was there.
  3. The blind man cried out for mercy.
  4. The people near him told him to be quiet.
  5. The blind man cried out louder.
  6. Jesus stopped.
  7. Jesus asked a question.
  8. The blind man requested his sight be restored.
  9. Jesus healed him.
  10. The newly healed man followed.

As long as you’re quiet you can stay. Have you ever been told that? As long as you remain calm and in your place…as long as you let me do the talking…as long as you _____. We are introduced to the blind man sitting by the road. That was his posture; where he was expected to stay. But Jesus. Jesus was close; He was walking through Jericho and the blind man became aware. Aware of his opportunity to be healed. He obviously knew who Jesus was, he called Him Son of David. He could not see but, his heart knew the truth. His spirit was stirred and he cried out to the one True Living God that could change his circumstance.

The crowd! They hushed admonished, scolded…rebuked him. Why? Did they feel guilty for not doing more? Were they silencing him because they thought he was being foolish? Or were they being selfishly petty and thought that his life was meaningless, that he was better off sitting by the road, forgotten, and afflicted. Jesus stopped.

In His all-knowing power, He still asked the blind man what he wanted. Wow! My God!! You may be wondering why you haven’t moved beyond your present mental or physical condition; don’t let the crowds tell you that you’re ok with where you are. They may be threatened by Christ showing up in their life. Let God show up for you! Let God take the blinders off! Let God show you how to follow Him!

Christ cared, He showed mercy, He showed compassion. He removed the blind man from the roadside and the people surrounding him.

Has Christ, Jesus our Lord and Savior asked you to move? Is there an urgency or tension building? Are you noticing the people around you have no intention of letting you a be great disciple? Are you sitting on the road with people who want to remain in the same afflicted mental, physical, spiritual silence they are in? These people may be afraid and their fear becomes yours. Christ may have appeared to them in a form they weren’t ready to accept. They want to make sure you don’t accept Christ as being God. It is time to move. Raise your voice Believer! If this resonates in your spirit it is time to seek Christ our Lord and Savior; repent, cry out for mercy, and ask for His healing. Stand up. Look at the people who are willing to help that aren’t asking for anything in return, those who are pointing you toward God for your strength. Be in harmony with the community of Christ’s disciples and press forward with God as your guide and the Bible as your map.

~Torrie

Psalm 1:1-6


Journal Prompts

  1. Who is keeping you from seeking the source that can help you get to the next level, be healed of infirmities or grow your business,
  2. Who is selfishly telling you that you can’t do something?
  3.  Are you motivated to speak up boldly for yourself and get the help you need?

 


© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and Our Given Purpose ™ 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and Our Given Purpose ™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Eye in Me

 

  • PRESS PLAY TO LISTEN
  • Bible Reading 1 Samuel 24:1-22 NASB
  • Focus Scripture 1 Samuel 24:10 NASB Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today into my hands in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’

A hurricane is also referred to as a tropical cyclone and has sustained winds of at least 74 mph. The eye is the center; listening to meteorologists they are quick to point out whether the hurricane has a defined eye. At its center, the eye is an area of very low pressure with few clouds and calmer winds. However, the area outside of the eye called the eyewall is the most dangerous part of a hurricane. The winds at the eyewall can reach speeds of 155 mph. *Source http://www.huricanescience.org*


Do you have a defined eye? Who or what lives on your eyewall? Is it ready to destroy what you’ve worked hard to build? Is God in your eye?

While most of us sitting further inland are waiting for Hurricane Florence to make landfall, there are others that are feeling its effects. Wind, rain, flooding, and property damage may be widespread. It’s not easy to wait out a storm of any kind especially if a loss is imminent. But God. His grace and mercy are enough to sustain His children, those who believe in His lessons and see His teachings as a way of growing. Some lessons are harder to grasp than others and we may want to seek revenge or cry out in despair. Psalm 35:1-28 All kinds of ideas run through my mind when I’m being attacked. I wonder if I’m doing the Lord’s will and start to doubt His plan for me. Each time I felt the urge to flee or abandon God’s chosen path His gracious love guides me back, strengthening my resolve to push forward.

King David had to wait, just as the prophet Samuel waited for him in the field because he was out tending the sheep. In 1 Samuel 16:11-12 we learn that David’s eyes are beautiful. King Saul would be replaced because he took his eyes off of doing the Lord’s will and sought to further his own agenda. King Saul acknowledged David would succeed him and asked David to swear not to destroy his name. Our enemies will often ask us to show them mercy when they were not willing to do the same. That is a mark of maturity and love, to know God will judge our enemies according to their actions. Even in this, we must wait.

How we wait is important. Are we: waiting patiently continuing with what God called us to do, waiting with a sense of urgency ready to move when called, waiting with a heavy heart grieving over changes, or waiting idly twiddling our thumbs as though nothing matters? King David had a center focus which was God and he waited 20 years before he sat on his throne. David waited with calm urgency as God worked everything out for His good. God’s voice was louder than those who were with him. Cutting off a piece of King Saul’s garment was enough. (1 Samuel 24:4-7 NASB) David showed mercy and restraint he handed his troubles over to God and revealed his character to Saul. The two Kings were able to make a covenant shielding Saul’s family from the sword of David. What is interesting to note in verse 22 (1 Samuel 24:22) David returned to his cave with the rest of his followers. So while this was a great act and move forward in the right direction, it wasn’t David’s time to move into the palace. He continued to wait.

The eye in me is focused on doing the will of the Lord. I have those around me who say things that are contrary to His will and desire to ignite me because on the edge of my eye is revenge, hatred, evil, and destruction. I ask God to strengthen my eyes so that I only see what He desires me to do. I ask God to strengthen my ears to hear Him over everyone else. I ask God to forgive my thoughts and keep me from the edge which will cause destruction to my soul.  

~Torrie


Journal Prompts

  1. Do I have a defined eye?
  2. Who or what lives on my eyewall? Is it ready to destroy what I’ve worked hard to build?
  3. Is God in my eye?

 

 

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ride or Die

  • ‘Ride or Die’ YouTube Video Link (Click to Listen)
  • Bible Reading: Acts 5:1-11
  • Focus Scripture: Acts 5:2 and he kept back for himself some of the proceeds, and his wife was aware of it. And he brought a certain part and placed it at the feet of the apostles.
  • Ride or Die: To stand by your partner no matter what, through the good and the bad, always taking their side even when you believe they are wrong, sticking up for them even over the most minute put-down someone flings their way, being completely protective of them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and sharing everything together as best friends with full trust and loyalty, to the death. – Urban Dictionary (Rae777Tanana)

Take a moment and think…who is your ‘ride or die’? Who, is the one person that no matter what, they will stand beside you through anything? Once you have that person in mind ask yourself, “would I be willing to do the same for them?”


Acts chapter five verse one introduces us to Ananias and Sapphira. They made a plan to keep a portion of the proceeds from selling their property but, have everyone think they had given 100% to the church. So what was the problem? What was the big deal in keeping some of the money?… THEY LIED! They pretended to be gracious philanthropists. Ananias and Sapphira did not have to give if they did not want to. (Acts 5:4) We learn as we read through this tragic story of dishonesty that Ananias falls dead after Peter, through the Holy Spirit, reveals that Ananias had lied to God. (Acts 5:4-5) 

(Acts 5:7) Three hours later Sapphira shows up, perhaps wondering what was keeping her husband away or why the transaction was taking so long. Let’s camp out here for a moment. When a lie begins we may be in on the plan but, somewhere, the execution changes. Satan…the father of lies wants to divide and conquer! Keeping the two of them separate was part of his scheme. When the apostle Peter asks Sapphira if the amount they received from the sale of the property was the amount they gave, Sapphira (thinking her husband was alive and well) continued to lie. She was her husbands ride or die because that is the story they agreed to. And the other issues are faith, trust, decency, and honor; Sapphira decided to honor the man who in this case was her husband and perhaps she feared to lose him. She stood in the temple before God and lied. Peter asked her a direct question and she chose to lie. Going with the plan. When we go with a plan that was built on dishonesty nothing good will come of it. It is the fruit of a poisonous tree. We will not be able to enjoy any of the fruit of our labor because it was ill-gotten gains. It could be our relationships, education, home, job, or our lives in general. How we get to where we are is based on a lie if we did not do it God’s way. Verses 1-10 serves as another example of: how all-knowing God is and who He uses to bring the truth to light. Peter was used in this instance to shine the light on deceit; Ananias and Sapphira were the unfortunate casualties of Satan’s plan. Their ride or die bond of deception buried both of them.


Are we loyal to God or man? God gives us opportunities to serve Him by serving others but; if we decide to fake our way through it by lying we are giving in to Satan. (Acts 5:3) Satan uses people to stack more responsibility onto our already full schedules and have us think we are not doing enough. This is not the way of our Lord, for His yoke is easy. (Matthew 11:29-30) Our God will not put more on us than we can bear. Competition, lack of focus, distorted priorities; these mindless, selfish thinkings will have us wanting to impress others, instead of obeying God. We do not please Him when we lie or take advantage of those willing to help us. No. God wants our cooperation and to be so closely knitted in a relationship with Him, that we seek His approval before anyone else’s. Christ offers us something that humans cannot, the choice to ride and live in Him.

~Torrie


Click to Listen to the Audio Recording

 

 

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com 2018-2048 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Foundation of Our Temple

Welcome Friends,

I hope you have read Cleansing Our Temple  AND  What is Building Our Temple? as they serve as limbs to this devotion and prayerfully guide our actions going forward. 

Foundation of Our Temple

REVERENCE- honor or deep respect felt or shown for someone or something.

1. Our reverence to God will be shown through how we treat ourselves and others. As we become more intentional about using reverence or love as a frame for everything we say and do we can begin the cleansing process. Matthew 21:12

2. Once we acknowledge that we are in fact selling distractions via attitudes and broken emotional states we can seek the help (prayer, meditation, or licensed therapist) we need to stop reselling our woes.

3. Our circle of confidants may change as a result of seeking to be healed. 

The blind beggar, Bartimaeus, cried out to be healed by Jesus, but he was told to be quiet: to stop yelling. Jesus had already performed many miracles; His character, mercy, love, and grace were known. The “people” standing closest to Bartimaeus told him to hush. Bartimaeus cried out even louder and Jesus the Son of God healed him because of his faith and belief. (Mark 10:46-52)

Our family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones should respect, not discourage our desire for change. This is the application of reverence; those closest to us honoring our right to be healed and renewed. People rarely notice what we do all-the-time because it’s our routine. They as well as ourselves are habitual beings. The desire for change, I believe, is born out of our mustard seed faith. It is persistent and something that we can not let go of. Faith becomes the thing we feel is missing from our lives or the basis for wanting to learn more about the Higher Being that created the universe. How ever we look at it until we fill this void or grow in faith we will always feel incomplete. This -is- brokenness. Our lives without God, ignoring the Holy Spirit within us that is craving to be nourished. We are the temple surrounding the soul that is inside us. It is the foundation we live through.

1.What do you acknowledge you’re selling? A.Vanity B. Attitude/Mindset C. Arrogant intelligence D. Other_______

2.How will you begin to change? A.Repentance B.Prayer C. Fasting D.Therapy E._____

3.What needs to be cleared out so this change can take effect? A.Circle of friends B. Social Media usage C. Entertainment D. Food/Alcohol/Medicine

*Having a plan in place will keep you accountable.

As always thank you for reading and engaging in the content God allows me to write. I pray this is a helpful beginning.

~Torrie

 

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivepurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.