Tag Archives: adult Christian character study

Knowing the One Who Satisfies

I was frustrated with the way my life was going. At the time, if anyone had asked me to describe my state of mind in three words, they would have been “discontented,” “disappointed,” and “discouraged.” I felt I had done all the right stuff, but nothing was changing for the better. All I could think about was how things were not as they should be.

In the middle of that mess, the Lord revealed Himself to me as “the God Who Satisfies.” He asked me to focus more on my Promise Keeper than on the promises He had given me. And He highlighted several Bible verses to help me shift my attention off my frustrations and onto Him. One of them was Jeremiah 31:14: “… And my people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.”

All of us could come up with something we’re not happy about — some of us more than others. Many Christians are frustrated and miserable, feeling there must be more to life than they are experiencing. There is a gnawing sense inside of a greater destiny, a greater purpose, but it eludes them. Maybe for you it’s not destiny, but more down-to-earth desires:

If only I had a husband (or wife). If only my marriage were better.
If only I had the job of my dreams.
If only I were doing that ministry God showed me.
If only I had children. If only my grown children paid more attention to me.

God is eager to give us many things our hearts long for. He is extremely generous. This is why He has put thousands of promises in His Word — and He wants us to have them all! Here are a few which specifically mention satisfaction:

Psalm 91:16With long life will I satisfy him….
Psalm 103:5Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 107:9For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.

As much as the Lord wants to give us things we desire, finding satisfaction in Him needs to come first. He knows the longings of our heart. He is keenly aware of the difficult places we are in, with no relief in sight, and He is compassionate toward us concerning them. But He wants to give us light, peace, joy — even contentment — in the middle of our situation, as we learn to know Him as the God Who Satisfies.

The apostle Paul understood this truth. He told Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). In Philippians 4:11, he said, “I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know both how to be abased and how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Notice that he had to learn it. It was a process for Paul.

It was a learning process for Abraham as well. Putting our satisfaction first in God does not come naturally to us. In Genesis 15:1, God approached him with this wonderful statement: “I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward.” Abraham didn’t even respond to that. He headed immediately into, “But, what will You give me, seeing I am childless …?” (v. 2).

Abraham did not at that point value intimate relationship with the Lord as much as he would later on. Yet, God was gracious toward his mindset and entered into a marvelous covenant with him. However, He also took Abraham through years of getting to know Him before the promised son arrived. In the meantime, Abraham matured to where God honored him by calling him “the Friend of God” (James 2:23; Isaiah 41:8). Becoming the friend — learning to be satisfied in the Lord — came before the other desire was fulfilled.

One of the highest honors we could ever hold is being thought of by God as His friend. There are varying levels of this. We can be a friend among many friends, who are loved and yet not particularly close to Him. Or, we can be the type of friend Abraham became — near to God’s heart, putting Him above our wants. This is the intimate friendship reserved for those who have learned to pursue Him as our deepest, most abiding satisfaction. When we do that, peace and joy rest inside us in the greatest measure possible. “All these things shall be added unto you” becomes the by-product rather than the goal (Matthew 6:33).

If you are feeling discontented or unfulfilled in some area of your life, I encourage you to ask the Lord to reveal Himself as the God Who Satisfies. He will not disappoint you, and you may be amazed at how much rosier life looks, even in the midst of your present circumstances.

Bible study

 

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus,
by Lee Ann Rubsam
(A Bible study for adults)

 

names of God

 

 

The Names of God,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Character Building Bible Study for Adults

River Life Student EditionToday, I’d like to talk about one of the books I have written.  I’ve been authoring and publishing for thirteen years now, under the name Full Gospel Family Publications.  We started with one book, a family devotional Bible study for parents and children, called Character Building for Families, Volume 1.  The book really caught on, especially among home school families, and we published a Volume 2 as well.  The  Character Building for Families web site is still our main site today. I’ve since written eight more books and booklets, mostly on the subjects of character and prayer, with a ninth currently in production.

A few years ago, our pastor suggested that I write a character building Bible study geared toward adults.  River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus is the result of that suggestion.  It is an outline-based study covering nine main units, spread over 36 weeks:

  1. Obedience to the King
2. The Law of Kindness
3. Truthful Living
4. Unswerving Loyalty
5. The Servant Lifestyle
6. The Might of Mercy
7. The Humble Heart
8. Patience — Mark of Maturity
9. Joyful Generosity

There is a Teacher’s Guide, scripted with everything needed to teach and bring about group discussion, and also a Student Workbook, with an answer key in the back.

I like Bible studies that are simple to follow, easy for a group leader to use without gobs of prep time, that speak to where the newer believer is, and yet are meaty enough to provoke thought in the seasoned Christian.  Because that is what I want for myself, that is what I have put together in River Life.

I like to build a great deal of flexibility into how my books can be used.  River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus works well within the adult Sunday School or Christian education class, or as a home Bible study.  The student workbook is also a complete, stand-alone manual, so that those who cannot attend a group gathering can still use the book for individual study.  River Life is written with the intent to allow about one hour, once a week, for each lesson.  Besides covering nine major topics, the 36 weeks are further divided into twelve week sections (which works well for many adult education courses).

Probably the best part of the River Life study is that it hits Christians where they live.  The goal is to transform each of us into the image of Jesus.  It is not just head knowledge. It teaches solid biblical principles, but goes beyond that to bringing deep heart conviction and real-life application.  I had to live through each of the character topics personally while writing about them — either through God working on my own attitudes or through having to deal with other people’s attitude issues pastorally.  (My husband and I are elders in our local church, which amounts to being lay pastors.)  I tell people that writing this book took the “stuffin’s” out of me!

If you need a character study, whether for your personal life, your church’s Christian ed. program, or for home Bible study use, please take a look at River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus.  There are sample pages on the web site to give you a good feel for what the book is like.  There are also discounts available for multiple copy purchases.

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus