Jesus Cleanses Us {{Week 6}}

Hi Friends!

Today, I want to talk with you about Ephesians 5:25-28. Open up your Bible and journal – if you are opting for the journaling thing. If not, just take a few moments to read the selected passage (along with John 15:3). Then, meet me back here.

The Ephesians study journal is still available on Amazon. So is our next study – Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus (on Matthew 4-7). (Please note: When you use this link for any Amazon purchase, I receive a small earning from your purchases. Thank you for your support of Gracefully Overcoming and helping it reach others for the Kingdom.)

I am working on the assumption that you have taken time to sit with our Scriptures, given thought to them, and began praying that God will give you His understanding and wisdom. God has a specific message for each of us, concerning today’s Bible study!

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Jesus is lovingly, willingly choosing to clean us up – as we draw near to Him (James 4:8; John 15:3). He is cleaning up you and me. He is doing it right now, as we get to know Him through His Word and talking with Him.

Now, Jesus doesn’t have to clean us up. He could leave us in the mess we are in – filled with sin, idols, and distractions. But, He doesn’t. God is filled with love and compassion for us, as we draw near to His Son Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus came. To pour out His love on us.

Jesus delights in being with us. He delights in spending time with you. He delights in spending time with me, too. All can come before the throne of grace – as we come to Jesus. When Jesus came to bring salvation to mankind, He made it available to all of us. We need to realize the love God has for us.

He has made us clean and holy, through our baptism with Christ. With Himself. He is making us clean. He is making us new. It is just so exciting to know what He is choosing to do on my behalf. I hope, it is for you too.

He knows our individual needs and He is putting all of Himself into His relationship with us. No area will be left untouched, by Jesus – as long as I keep drawing near and surrendering.

I can clean and precious in His sight. And, it is nothing I could ever produce on my own. Jesus Christ, my Living God, is the One who is making me clean. By His grace!

Week 6 is foundational. While I have been quite ill these past few weeks, chapter 6 is absolute preparation for this “pruning season” of my life. This is so good. You won’t want to miss any of it, so stay tuned!

Identity Meets Living His Truth {{Week 5}}

Please note, friends: I have been dealing with some knocked-down health days. So, this is the last of my scheduled posts. I hope to get back on track asap, but bear with me. We are on week 5. So thankful for our Ephesians journey, to keep our spirits encouraged this Summer!

~ Stacey

Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus: A Nine Week Scripture Writing Experience (This is the link for the new study (on Mt. 4-7) – which will begin in Sept/Oct. As an Amazon affiliate, Gracefully Overcoming receives a small earning when you use this link for any Amazon purchase.)

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This week, God has really been stirring my heart about my identity. In Ephesians 2:1-10, we learn about our change in identity. I encourage you to read along and join me, as I discuss things God is teaching me through Walking Into The Light Bible study on the book of Ephesians.

We are on the last few days of the fifth week. It is crazy to think that the study is, almost over!

The Truth of Our Identity

There is something our hearts and minds need to realize –

Our identity in Jesus is a precious thing.

Our identity is far more than just our name. Our identity determines the path we will take in life. What we believe about ourselves, determines the path we take. This makes our identity in Jesus Christ, one of the most important things we could ever grasp. While life situations will always try to dominate our identity, there is a better identity God is just begging us to grab ahold of.

The God of the Universe has chosen you!

While so many things try to be our identity, there is only one place to find our real identity.

And, His name is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ wants us to realize why He came.

Jesus wants us to realize that – while others have rejected us, He has chosen us. While others have let us down, He never will. While others have intentionally tried to hurt us, He is the One who is forever working on our behalf and showing that He has good favor on us.

Realizing Our Identity

If our identity is firmly rooted in Jesus Christ, we will delight in Him, His Word, and enjoy all the best benefits of being a child of the Most High God!

As I study today’s lesson (see Eph. 5:16-18), I am reminded just how important it is – to know my identity in Christ. See, when our identity rests in Christ. Something wonderful happens. It makes it easy (or easier) to follow the standards God has set for us. Realizing our identity changes our perspective and everything else that goes along with it.

When we grasp our identity is in Christ, we will stop trying to earn others’ approval or letting other things hold us back in our Christian life. This is why it is such a struggle to proclaim our identity is in Him.

If we could grasp our identity is in Christ, it would literally change everything!

Ephesians 5:16-18 is Significant

Our days do matter. 

But, somehow, I think – we all have a bit of trouble with this one.

How about you – do you find yourself struggling to make the most of the opportunities given to you each day? Do you struggle with acting thoughtlessly? If so, this passage is for you too.

There is something miraculous about our identity in Jesus Christ. There has been a complete shift in our identity. But, until we grasp this identity, we will come to our wit-ends when we read passages like this one.

Ladies and Gents, we have to begin the process of bringing ourselves face-to-face with our holy God, acknowledging our sin, come to know the salvation provided for us by Jesus Christ’s love sacrifice, and realize how He has forever changed our identity – for the better!

How can we step into God’s Word, soaking up His truths as His sons and daughters?

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).