Jesus Over Everything Week 1 — Putting God First

[She] who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  — Psalm 91:1

Hi there, friends! We are so excited that you are here with us for the Jesus Over Everything Online Bible Study with Lisa Whittle.

Lisa has been writing and teaching for years, but she’s a new girlfriend to our community! In case you haven’t met her yet, Lisa is a pastor’s kid (like me) and she’s a hard hitter for Jesus (which I love)… she’s the real deal. Really real. Being authentic and honest about herself and her faith is important for Lisa so we can be exactly who we are without apology too… and yet still be growing in the Lord and our Jesus-likeness. I love that. Follow her on Instagram and you’ll have made a friend.

And, if you’re new too, my name is Laurie McClure and I’m the editor at FaithGateway and one of your Online Bible Study (OBS) leaders. I’m a Bible study nerd born into a family full of preachers and Bible-y people, a Jesus follower, a single mama of five (three grown and two teenagers). I grew up in sunny Southern California and this year moved coast-to-coast to beautiful North Carolina. I love sand between my toes, ice-cold Perrier, and my favorite comfort foods are movie theatre popcorn and pizza with sausage, artichokes, fresh tomatoes, and tons of garlic. (Also, I miss In-n-Out Burger like mad!)

This week we’re launching into our new study. I always love week one; it’s a fresh start, a new beginning, an unmarked study guide ready for us to scribble in and mark up with our thoughts, verses, doodles, and colorful highlighting.

The timing of this study couldn’t be more perfect for me. You’re probably in my shoes right now, putting away Thanksgiving decorations, eating the last of the scrumptious leftovers (I’m looking at you, stuffing and cranberry-pecan-bacon Brussel sprouts! Get in mah belly!), and roaring into the Advent season with a little whiplash from this cuckoo year.

Maybe like me you’re also tired of this long, unruly season — the pandemic, politics, social unrest, injustice. I realize that I have been giving Jesus the side-eye in some ways… and I’ve been kind of zoning out into compassion fatigue, isolation fatigue, and well, all kinds of fatigue.

You know how sometimes the Lord sneaks up on you and pokes on an area of life (or maybe all of life) that you know you need more of Him? Don’t you hate that moment? My prayer life has lagged. My Bible sometimes sits for too long without being opened for real time with Jesus. My heart is bruised and “over it”.

What we want is peace. What we want is freedom. What we want is to have the simpler life we crave that has thus far eluded us and not from lack of effort. ~ Lisa

What happened? 2020! My defenses have gone up, and my zeal and focus on Jesus has… taken a beating. And, I don’t like it.

The Holy Spirit through Lisa spanked me with His flip flop this week.

Do I truly believe God is enough? ~ Lisa

All that to say, I don’t care that this isn’t a traditional, Christmassy, crèche-oriented Advent study. It’s about the Jesus-ward life and I need it, right? Jesus belongs in the #1 spot. Everything else, I’m tossing backward, including myself.

Putting Jesus first is choosing better… handing us back our sanity. ~ Lisa

This is our chance to realign our hearts with Him and I’m in. We need to rest in His love. His big, enormous, overwhelming, firehose love. We need to drink deep.

Most of us don’t need a brand new life; we just need God to run [the one we have]. ~ Lisa

The complications I face, the frustrations you deal with, they need to come under His rule, His direction, His guidance.

It’s Advent. The sparkle and candlelight are wonderful and magical, but it’s the meaning behind it all that I long for. Advent is the season of remembering Christ’s arrival, His miraculous, holy, messy, unpredictable incarnation in a time of great civil unrest. He came as the Light of the world. Hope in the form of a tiny child. He’s not the author of chaos, He’s the answer to it.

Were we to put Jesus over everything a myriad of problems would all fall away because a priority of Jesus brings order to the chaos of our lives. ~ Lisa

Jesus over everything is Jesus covering us. Jesus over our hurts. Jesus over our needs. Jesus over our hard daily realities and complications. ~ Lisa

I need Jesus. Full stop. How about you?

Jesus being first is the only way our lives will work because it’s the way He set it up to be. Everything else we try will be a square peg in a round hole. Period. ~ Lisa

We have a Jesus-shaped holy hole within us that is God-ordained to draw us unto Him.

He’s the center. We need to remember that. Our hearts need Jesus. Over everything.

This week in your study:

  1. Watch the video for session one of Jesus Over Everything on our study home page and take notes in your study guide on pages 9-16 but DON’T GO AWAY just yet! Hang out for the conversation with our OBS community afterward!
  2. Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 17-29.
  3. Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.

Scriptures this Week

John 5:1-15
Colossians 1:15-23
Psalm 91:1
John 1:1-3

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, we love You. We need You. We long for more of You. Above all. We are over it. Tired. Needy. Mistake-prone. But You are actually over it all. Help us put You in the #1 place in our hearts, minds, and lives where You belong. We worship You, our Baby King Jesus. Amen.

 

Laurie McClure

Laurie is a Jesus apprentice, a single mama of five (three homegrown, one Kentuckian, and one Ethiopian), a writer, a beach lover, and she is addicted to radical grace, Perrier, and yoga pants. Here at FaithGateway she is the editor, the curator, and the leader of Faith.Full, our women's community.

Follow Laurie McClure on:   Twitter   Google+

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