“God allows the awareness of…distance [from Him] at times; it’s a wake-up call for the ones who care. It drives us back to Him.” Jessie North – Cultivating Holy Beauty Book 3: Walking in the New
Some friends and I recently finished Cultivating Holy Beauty Book 3: Walking in the New by Jessie North. It was part of a 3-book Bible study series that we started a year or so ago. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a group Bible study. North offers so many useful tools to help you gain intimacy with God; she teaches you a quiet time method as well as how to write Hurt Letters to God and how to hear Love Letters from Him.
Before we completed the last lesson in Book 3, my friends and I had already started to talk about what we would do after this book. Officially, our church’s women’s ministry, which heads our group Bible study, won’t start another study until the fall, but my friends and I wanted to keep something going. Many expressed worry over maintaining the closeness to God they felt while doing the group study once we were finished and headed into summer with nothing formal planned.
And God is so good! The last lesson in the book was titled “Sustaining Through Seasons”, and North addressed maintaining closeness with God during dry seasons, “off” seasons, dark seasons, etc. It was an answer to prayer.
We started with a 4-day bible study plan through Bible App/YouVersion called God’s Peace. Several of the ladies in our group had done individual studies through this app and suggested with try it as a group. There is a feature where you can post comments about what you’re learning during the study. We discovered once we started that our plan was from Focus on the Family and was meant to be completed with your children. However, we continued it together this past week focusing on the assigned Bible readings for each day. Some of us even used techniques we learned from the quiet time method Jessie North taught in Cultivating Holy Beauty Book 1: Intimacy with Jesus as we did the Bible readings each day.
My main takeaways from the 4-day plan were as follows:
- Peace comes when you realize you are safe with God.
- Peace comes “through following God’s rules.”
- Peace comes when there is well being at home (when family members reflect the character of God).
- Peace comes through a strong faith.
Here are some of the verses that stood out to me from the readings this week as well as some songs that came to mind when I meditated on the verses.
Isaiah 32:17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
Romans 12:18 – Do all you can to live in peace with everyone.
Col 3:15 – and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Psalm 4:3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.