Noticing the Change {{POTF}}

I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 1:12-14, CSB).

I needed this truth: our Lord Jesus is the One strengthening us!

While I am a person who struggles with sin, I am absolutely saved by His grace alone. God has shown me His mercy. He has purposely loved me, despite the person I used to be. When my sin nature is in charge, I have the ability to crave being unkind. Yet, the Lord, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, is showing me how I can live a brand new way of life! He continues to deliver me from my old self on a daily, even hourly, basis.

My sin shows me my desperate need for our Lord Jesus who rose from the grave! In Scripture we are given the opportunity to see the difference between drawing nearer to Christ and living for ourselves. Galatians 5 is the number one Scripture that comes to mind on this subject. It shows us the absolute different in our lives when we focus on this relationship with God through our Savior.

For myself, I know our Lord Jesus is the One making the difference! He is doing the work that only He can. Routines, diets, and other things cannot ever change the “inside me.” This is something only our Lord Jesus can do.

The grace of our Lord has been abundantly poured out on me, along with faith and love found in Jesus Christ. The change I need in my personal life is something only Jesus can do. I need the Lord to take my life fully. I need to keep my words and attitude in check, because honestly it is easy to slip up. When life happens, it is easy to fall into the hard place of old ways. Take a look at this encouragement.

take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth (Eph. 4:22-24).”

Friends, let us keep daily putting on Christ.
Let us choose the things of God over this world.
We are given the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey.

How are you making sure you don’t “sober up” from the Holy Spirit? (Just that statement alone, takes a bit to digest – Reading our Bible’s, prayer, and Christian fellowship are all ways to get “drunk on the Spirit”.) Friend, keep drinking in the Lord through coming nearer. We need our Living Water, and drawing nearer is the best way to govern our lives. The Holy Spirit is our tool for every day living, so let us allow Him to strengthen our lives!

Seeking Him,

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UPDATE + He’s All In!! {Trial Truths}

If there was anything I could say to those who feel lost, broken, or whose hearts feel like they might burst from all the stuff coming at them..,

it would be a simple yet significant reminder of our Risen LORD and the peace that comes from knowing and having a relationship with our Lord Jesus.

While I have endured things in my life, I know the one key difference maker in my life – has a name. His name is Jesus Christ. I have endured difficult things. Some of which I have kept hidden in the depth of my soul. But my Savior and my God knows those deep things. I don’t have to speak of them, in order for Him to see those things.

Eternal Gifts –

He is the One who makes circumstances feel and turn out differently. I can walk through the fiery road of chronic illness, and yet Christ gives me absolute peace and joy in the midst of these almost unbearable things. He offers His peace and presence to us – in the midst of what we are going through. We just have to keep holding on!

Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me [Jesus Christ]. . . I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:1, 27, TLB).”

A question I have the privilege of asking is – “Do you have peace about the circumstances of your lives?” We need to dig our heels in, and seek the Lord’s peace and presence in our circumstances. This is an important question, because the Lord promises us His peace and presence. When we seek Him and surrender, the Lord makes Himself available and will speak through the silence or harsh season.

By inviting Jesus into our situations, we are actually ushering in His incomparable peace that begins to heal our shattered hearts.

The Lord meets us in our difficult situations and cloudy days – and presents good, eternal gifts to us. 

He just knows exactly how to meet us where we are. In the midst of our brokenness.

Where Our Savior Meet Us –

Instead of staying away, that’s the place where He meets us the most. As Scripture says, He came for the lost (see Luke 19:10). He came for those whose hearts are breaking. He has come for us!

The Lord is our loving eternal Father who wants to carry us through the good and bad. He wants to absolutely love us through it, and remain faithful!

If you hear nothing else, hear this. The Lord, our great God, is all in and ready to dive into life with us!

Don’t forget to purchase your eight week study journal! Our Titus and 1-2 Timothy study BEGINS on January 15th. All proceeds go toward helping this ministry.

Also: Find out what Gracefully Overcoming is up to – on Facebook! Several good things going on: Our women’s small group is studying Mark before our new study begins, while the Facebook page is diving into a chronological reading plan!

In Christ,

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Leaving an Intentional Legacy {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

Whatever we do, we are urged to do it well. No half-hearted efforts. We are given the opportunity to leave a legacy, while we live as foreigners on this earth.

Whatever you do, do well, for in death, where you are going, there is no working or planning, or knowing, or understanding (Ecc. 9:10; TLB).

This Scripture is one I have never noticed before, but I have seen it in multiple places – as I have initiated my writing break. We are urged to give God our best, and to do our best while we can. All God wants to see is – our best.

What Kind of Legacy?

The legacy I want to leave behind is – a Christ-centered one. I want to make God well pleased with me, which I am given through Christ and His work on the cross. The other goal is to leave behind a life that leaves a pleasing aroma and screams –

“I live for Jesus Christ, because He is worthy.”

Such a legacy is one that will most assuredly lead others to Him with each word {spoken and written} and performed action.

The Life of Joseph

So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt (Gen. 37:28, NLT)

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did (Gen. 39:2-3, NIV).

I am reminded of Joseph. A man with difficult circumstances, but continued to succeed in everything he did. Why did he continually succeed? He was one who sought God’s favor.

When we make our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our top priority, we will want to live a well-intentional life where we do our best. A well-intentioned life means more than half-heartedly pursuing multiple opportunities.

Doing Our Best

We are urged to do well in what we do. It doesn’t mean seizing every opportunity we are offered. There will be times, where we have to decline our opportunities – in order to give our best in what we do say “yes” to (see The Best Yes).

As women, who have been changed by Jesus Christ, we need to be intentional in how we say “yes” to opportunities. In doing so, we can be at our best. This is how we inspire others and maintain a “blessed not stressed” attitude.

Let’s become women of prayer and intentionality, because this is where God wants us to be. After all, every word and action is part of our worship!

What kind of legacy are you leaving behind?

In Christ,

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Working for Jesus {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the month of May, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

As daughters of God who follow Him faithfully, God wants to empower us in our acts of service. He wants to turn the simplest acts, into meaningful worship. Because we have the Holy Spirit, this is made possible.

Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men (Col. 3:23, AMP).

Whatever task we find ourselves doing, it needs to be for the glory of God. While we may be tackling a typical “to do list,” we can live our lives in such a way – that people are drawn to Jesus Christ because we chose to live for Him (see Phil. 1:21). Even if we are simply washing a dish, we can allow God to be the One we are doing it for, focusing solely on Him.

A few days ago, we talked about being guided by the Holy Spirit. When we are walking by the Spirit, everything else fades into the background. We are consumed by our Maker, and living only for Him! As we enter this new life, the Holy Spirit will cause on-lookers to take notice and glorify our great God!

God is the One who will reward us. When we make God our focus, we are –

  • Creating investing in our relationship with Jesus.
  • Freeing up our minds to focus solely on Him.
  • Pointing others to Him.

Best Efforts

We can easily become consumed in the act of doing. We are modern-day Martha’s (see Luke 10:38-42), where it is easier to perform tasks versus sit at Jesus’ feet. This is why we check our hearts, because we all have tasks to do.

While we may not love our jobs (or lack of) and daily tasks, we will have a different attitude when we realize we can worship God through it.

As someone with sickness, I can honestly say I want to have the opportunity to complete tasks. While circumstances often limit how I can serve, I am not given a pass on this verse. I have a passion to serve, and have small efforts to give.

The beauty in this arrangement of working for God is – we are still God’s daughter, even on the days when our best efforts are small.

We have a relationship with the King of Kings, and His love is unconditional. This drives us to serve God, rather than man. In Romans 12:1-2, we are reminded of the concept that our best efforts are a living sacrifice – a worship offering to our great God!

When we allow our Lord, our King, to be the object of our tasks, something happens! We need to remember that our God is –

  • the Source of our strength.
  • more than enough.
  • our Hope, Inheritance, and the One holding us together (see Col. 1:17).
  • the One equipping us to live out our faith in our tasks.

Choosing New Clothes {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the month of May, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

We all know we can influence others with the clothes we wear, but how are we willing to make a bigger impact? Take a moment and read our verse for today – 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

Assuming you have read today’s verse (1 Tim. 2:9-10), let’s proceed to why what we wear matters. He has set us apart, which means our dress should also be set apart. Following Jesus has made us daughters of the Most High God. We have been called His own and bought with a precious price (Jesus Christ – see 1 Cor. 6:19-20).

But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself—you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own—all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9, TLB).

We have been set apart by God. That is how valuable we are – as a human being and daughter of the Most High God. God is to be our treasure, rather than our clothes. A lot of times, we can fall into the trap of letting our physical clothes matter more than our spiritual clothes.

Point #1: We need to be concerned about how we dress, and make sure it reflects who we are as a daughter of God. We can allow what we wear, reflect the change Jesus is doing in our hearts.

If we want to be able to follow Jesus and minister to others, we need to come into realization that others will look at our clothes – before they get close enough to look at our hearts.

Point #2: We need to ask Jesus for the spiritual clothes He says we need. When we look at the Word of God, especially Galatians 5 and Colossians 3, we are given a picture of how our lives can change.

We can become a woman of God, who fully knows her identity rests in being a daughter of God, and live changed lives.

Point #3: We can allow seeking Jesus to become bigger than fascination with clothes that fade or get ruined by that cup of coffee. Let Jesus show us His Designer spiritual clothes. Become consumed with the clothes your soul wears.

We have been made new, and can become anyone we want – far better than we could ever imagine. This is the hope we have found in Jesus Christ. We can be someone who has a heart that is passionately for Him, His Church, Salvation, and even loves our enemies!

Point #4: We are given a vision of how we can be changed by the power of our great God. Take a look at these bullet points on Col. 3:12-15.

  • Know your value in God! He loves and chose you as His own daughter.
  • Clothe yourself in the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23).
  • Forgive others, as Christ forgave you.
  • Love others, and seek His peace to guide your decision making.
  • Choose thankfulness.