Our Identity Changes Everything! {{Week 5}}

Hey friends,

I invite you to join me as we meditate on today’s Scripture. Break out your journal (if you have one) and Bible. We will be taking a look at Ephesians 5:8-13. Go ahead and take a few minutes to meditate on the passage, then join me right back here.

Ready?!?

Exposing Evil Deeds

Yesterday, the Lord just spoke loudly to me about how I live – as His daughter. Often, we choose things outside of our Christ-centered identity. We choose unworthy things. As a daughter of the Most High God, I should have standards.

We can have high standards, because we are a child of the Most High God (as Christ-followers).

I don’t know about you, but those “standards” can sometime lead to interesting conversations. Anybody relate? As I remember the standards God has given me through His very Word and my own convictions, I am reminded of what our loving Savior is wanting to teach us through His Word.

Living Our Identity

Two aspects of Scripture stand out to me today, so I want to briefly talk about it.

Living Like We Believe

Your behavior should show it (see Eph. 5:8).

As we live out our faith on a daily basis, there should be evidence of our faith in the way we live. How is my behavior reflecting the standards I have? Is it just some mental check-list, or something I am seriously holding onto? This is a set of questions I am asking myself today. See in Ephesians 5:8, we are reminded just who we are as followers of Jesus Christ. We have transferred over. While our hearts were once consumed with darkness, we are far from that place (remember Eph. 2:1-10).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come to redeem us – setting us free.

When we first said “yes” to our Lord Jesus Christ, He began the process of breaking the chains in our midst. We don’t have to give into the deeds of darkness. We don’t have to live the way we have always lived. We can break generational curses, even, right now – because of the blood of Jesus Christ and the redemption we find in Him.

Taking a Stand

Rebuke and expose [evil deeds] (see Eph. 5:11)

Not only are we given standards as a child of God, where we realize the things that are beneath us – as Christians (I am talking about rejecting sinning in this instance). We know what the Word of God says about sin. Sin is evil, and brings death. Sin separate us from God and the kind of relationship we could have with Him.

As we learn how to let our identity in Jesus Christ take us to new heights, we need to do something else: “rebuke and expose” the evil deeds of darkness. This is what God is teaching us to do.

Because we are a child of the King, we have the power to say “no” to ungodliness and call it for what it is! (see Titus 2:11-15)

Often times, this can be a difficult thing. It requires us to speak up, when we are taught to stay quiet. Yet, God’s way is far better. Where would we be, if no one spoke up about our godless lives – before we came to Christ? 

As we rebuke (reject) evil, we need to also expose it for what it is. Because of the blood of Jesus Christ and His redemption, we can expose the deeds of darkness. We can call sin for what it is. It is part of our authority, as children of God.

How are we walking in our identity found in Jesus Christ? How is knowing our identity, affecting the authority we have as believers?

When Honesty Hurts {{Week 5}}

I invite you all to join me, as we kick off week 5 of our Walking Into The Light study! This study is very rich of God’s goodness, grace, and power. Actually, that brings me to today’s topic. I want to discuss something that we might want to overlook in one area or another.

Honesty.

God calls us to be honesty. So, I encouraged you to join me by reading Ephesians 4:25-28; Psalm 15:1-2. You can even get out your journal, to be reminder of any truths God might be stiring in your spirit {{still available on Amazon for $8. Link is at the end of today’s post to find out more//purchase a copy}}.

Digging In!

In both of these passages, we are reminded that…

God wants us to live out our lives with sincere hearts.

… But, sometimes, honesty is hard. Maybe, we are good with being honest in all areas of our lives – but that pesky little one. Perhaps, it is in your health circumstance, financial situation that you don’t talk about, or how you are doing emotionally as you move in this “hustle and bustle” workload you are carrying.

The Choice

For each of us, we face the choice – How do we remain honest and carry ourselves with a sincere heart, when it is hard to do so? When the fear overtakes us, the temptation to hide our sincere hearts is present. God sees our hearts and will reveal those areas to us. He knows our hearts. In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves.

As I went through my time of study this afternoon, the Holy Spirit used a fumbling moment to reveal to me a truth. A truth I needed to hear.

Knowing God’s Insight

In Jeremiah 32:27, we are reminded that God “is the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world.” In this place, He not only reminds us who He is. God says something else. Something impactful. “Is anything too hard for Me?”

You know, I forget how big my God is. I forget that He is bigger than that embarassing thing I don’t want anyone to know that I face.

While I wrestle to be completely honest with God, myself, and others, this is what He is calling me toward.

God is not inviting us to continue in the way of deception, but He is inviting us toward real life. Community with God and His people is built around honesty. How are we chooing to lead with sincere hearts? 

The Altar Call

Imagine this is the point of service where the altar call is given. This is a time to go and sit before the Lord our God. To sit in stillness, and just be real with God. We need to get honest with the Lord. Push past the tendency to lie or deceive others. Remember, the Church is one. Let’s push the filth of deception away from our midst, and choose to live with pure lives.

When we are honest with God, ourselves, and others, God is glorified!

Circumstances may not turn out, as we expect, but God will be glorified through our every word!

Walking Into The Light: A Six Week Scripture Writing Experience ((Shop Now!))
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The Option God Offers Us {{Week 4}}

In Ephesians 4:20-24, we are met with the reality of our sin nature. We are reminded that, it is is gross and reeks. Yet, then, we find something in the Bible that can soothe the weariest of us.

“Instead…”

See, the God we serve. While we could continue to be entrapped and tackled on by the team of our entire old evil nature, something else happens.

Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, offers us another way!

Each day, we make choices on whom we will serve. Will we do this, or that? Will we go here, or there? Most of these choices, we don’t think about. Most of them, we go through the motions – not giving much thought as to what we are doing. We just do them.

But, what if… we took a different path today? What if, we deliberately sought after Jesus today? What if we took His path more seriously today than ever before– and intentionally lived our lives centered on pursuing Him (who first pursued us)?

“Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes… You are a new person created in God’s likeness (see Eph. 4:23-25).”

Yesterday is gone, my friends.

Today is all we have.

Today is what is sitting in front of us. We may be intensely struggling with routines, habits, addictions, and sins we have struggled to overcome, but let today be the day where you press into Jesus – letting Him hold you and direct your thoughts/attitudes.

Because Jesus is the key!

Everything we are fighting to overcome, Jesus is that key we have long time been searching for.

Jesus is offering Himself to you and me at this very moment.

Let’s not delay in turning to Him, seeking His Presence, and pouring out our hearts to the One who has made them. He knows every single thing about us (see Ps. 139). He is just waiting for us to come close, so He can whisper to us (see James 4:8).

Taste and See (A Blogging-for-Books Review)

taste and seeJohn Piper, a theologian, is a man of God who has written over fifty books. His book, Taste and See, has a reprinted edition – which is the book I am bringing before you all today. In Taste and See, Piper promises to deliver quality devotionals to his readers. Piper faithfully delivers, and leaves us with soul-stirring thoughts on the Word of God – calling us to go deeper in our Christian Life.

The Impact of Piper’s Work

I love Piper’s work. Some of the most convicting things I read, happen to be found on Desiring God (which is founded and taught by Piper). This book is no exception. The Holy Spirit will stir your heart, as you read, contemplate your love relationship with Jesus Christ, and look to savoring your Savior.

About Taste and See

Taste and See is the home of 125 daily meditations. Through them, he teaches us to savor all that our beloved Savior is. As I begin to taste and see, I see that Piper is right.

“The best writers intensify our taste for the Bible, and especially for God himself (p. 11).”

Piper explores what we can find in Taste and See.

“We taste the sweetness of God as He meets us in the Word. What I have written here is partly meditations on biblical reality and partly applications to contemporary life. I hope that what pervades all of the readings is a savoring of the supremacy of God.” 

The Questions We Ask

Piper asks the hard questions, that often we have ourselves. This book is a spiritual tool, designed to help us hunger after God’s Word. Even with our questions, we can use them to savor our Lord. Piper explores many of these questions. Questions like –

  • Do people go to the Grand Canyon to enhance their self esteem?
  • Does God have civil rights?
  • Can joy increase forever?
  • Can you be worthy of God?
  • What is the Christian Gospel?

Recommend This Book!

This is one of those books to keep on your nightstand, as you scroll through its wealth of godly wisdom. Piper can be a source of encouragement to many, as they learn to live by faith and enjoy God. God can certainly use this book, as a spiritual tool to lead us closer to our beloved Savior

Have you heard of the American theologian, John Piper? How has Piper and DesiringGod, spurred you on in your Christian faith?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life
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Holding Onto His Teachings {& Our Faith}

I am not one who typically has dreams. Or at least, not that I can remember. Yet in today’s, the heart of God is churning my spirit.

I met Jesus in my dream today. He was carrying my cross and crown of thorns pressed into His skull. Yet as He did this, life was going on all around him in a marketplace type setting.  With the image in my head, I must ask ~ How can we go on in life, without recognizing Jesus Christ, His gift of salvation, and His intense pursuit for us? Then a second time, when I woke up, I was reminded of my loving Savior, who fights for me and ushers me into His presence… and the Holy Spirit whispered “hold onto My teachings”.

Essential Truth

In the book of John, we are reminded that Jesus’ teachings are extremely important. Jesus is God in the flesh. His teachings determine the course of our lives (see Prov. 4:23, 16:9). That’s why those who obey Jesus’ teachings by faith are called His disciples.

“So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. (John 8:31, emphasis mine, AMP).”

It isn’t enough to believe Jesus once, and move on to whatever “thing” is going on in our lives. We are taught right here, that we need to keep believing. We need to keep holding onto Jesus and His perfect teachings.

His Authority

Jesus holds all authority over heaven and earth (see Mt. 28:18). He is our great Savior who came for us (see Jn. 1:14). Spending time with Jesus Christ is the most significant thing we could do.

Jesus is the One with the ability to transform us and our circumstances! But, He wants to start with our hearts.

Knowing Jesus Takes Effort

We need to keep allowing Christ to pursue us, and take Him at His Word. We have the blessing of spending time in the Word of God, His Presence, and in prayer – to cause our relationship with Him to absolutely flourish (see Ps. 1).

As we continue to trust in Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior, holding onto His teachings reveals that we are His. It is showing the world that we belong to Jesus Christ – the Eternal One. It shows the world that our faith is not in circumstances, rather it is in the Author of life itself – God, through His Son Jesus Christ!

In the midst of life and circumstances, I think it is easy to forget what is at stake.

God wants to speaks to us.

He wants us to see His Word is alive and well.

He wants us to know that He is far greater!

We cannot forget the cross that was carried on our behalf, despite its shame (see Heb. 12:2). Friends, the temptation to get caught up in today – is very present. But, let your relationship with Jesus Christ stand as the most important thing in your life!