The Sanctification Process

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Ohhh my friends, I have missed you all so much!!! While I am still on my break, or Sabbath if you will, I wanted to just take a few moments to write you all.

This time away is needed, yet difficult. While difficult, this is the season of life where I will reap the greatest of spiritual blessings.

It is a time of deepening the relationship I have with my heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ – my Savior – the One who rescues me and keeps me safe regardless of my outward circumstances.

My Own Testimony

Today, I have been thinking on a transformative piece of Scripture from the book of Titus. I wanted to share just a bit of that with you all.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient; we were misled by others and became slaves to many evil pleasures and wicked desires. Our lives were full of resentment and envy. We hated others and they hated us.

But when the time came for the kindness and love of God our Savior to appear, then he saved us—not because we were good enough to be saved but because of his kindness and pity—by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit. . .

In this passage, I am reminded of the amazing change I am given through our Rescuer Jesus the Christ. The Lord has taken me so far from the person I used to be. It has been a long journey. But, it is one declaring His glory, goodness, and power.

As I think back over my life, I can honestly say I was the “Poster Girl” for Titus 3:3b – where it says:

“We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”

I don’t know the specifics of how the Lord did it, but I do know He absolutely did a mighty work – taking me from this person with much hate and anger

. . . to someone who is learning she has been handpicked and profoundly loved by the God of the universe. Which changes everything for my life.

Solely God’s Work

As I continue to walk with my Jesus – with our Savior Jesus, I am able to surrender more and more of me to my gracious Father so my soul has room for the eternally good gifts of God!

This is God’s work, and nothing we can claim as our own. He is working out everything for His ultimate good – and showing me the abundant life He wants to give His people. And it all starts with drawing near to our King Jesus Christ!

He is very generous and able to transform our entire lives – as we make the choice to follow Jesus for ourselves and see what He has in store for our lives. He has a beautiful life in store for us, but the key is willfully seeking to know Jesus Christ for ourselves.

Blog Sabbath-ing

Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me (John 15:4).

And as I think on these truths, this time of Sabbath makes the most sense. This is a season of deepening the relationship I have with God through His Son Jesus Christ. This is a season of meeting and walking with Jesus for myself. This is a season of being sanctified and even “pruned” for His glory.

God is doing so much in this season of my life. While the time away is difficult, it has eternal purposes. I just need to keep remembering the undeniable sacredness of this time with Jesus.

If lacking in the blogging department means a more intimate relationship with Jesus without distractions, then, it is forever worth it. As I focus on intimacy with Christ, I am being amazingly changed!

The difficulties of taking this time away, are eased by knowing the good eternal work our Lord Jesus is doing inside of me. As I learn to enjoy this time, He is preparing me for whatever the future has in store.

Forever His,

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Praise Before Panic {Inspiring Women}

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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.

We can apply today’s Scripture to any area of life. While I was contemplating on if I was well enough prepared to write on this Scripture, I now know this is an important truth for any area of life.

Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark). – Prov. 19:2, AMP

As I previously mentioned, I underwent a medical test. Any medical test can have the ability to be over-analyzed. I am thankful for the reminder to spend time considering my spiritual needs too. Before my big test, I sought out how to remain encouraged and Spirit-filled.

Typically, I prepare for specifics in regards to medical tests – by choosing a Scripture to focus on. Without this plan, I would be left in a dangerous spot. Without choosing to deliberately focus on our risen Lord, I might be unfriendly to the medical staff or inconsolable.

As I write this, I am in awe of what our God can do. Just as it is not good to act impulsively or fail to plan, we have to remember the goodness of our Lord. When I was placed into the MRI machine, I was not feeling very encouraged. To God be all glory, honor, and praise: He placed an ideal song on my heart. I didn’t belt out lyrics or move, but it encouraged my heart so much.

“Fearless” by Travis Ryan is likely one of the best songs to heart sing, in the midst of a medical test that is as tight in space as a coffin. It gets me a little bit emotional as I share this, because heart singing praise music isn’t something I would have expected. This was the best way God could have met me in the midst of my great need of remembering His presence and promise to stay with me.

Fearless, make us fearless | Give us courage for You are with us | Fearless, make us fearless | Come and mark us with Your boldness

God is in the details of our lives. While He was in total control during my medical test, I don’t want to consider my joy level had I not prepared.

Friends, let’s be lovers of Jesus who want to prepare and remember that we are forever His!

We need to seek His face and act wisely. Whenever we act impulsively, it can draw us away from our Lord and cause us to sin.

This is a testimony of how God meets us right where we are. Even in deep needs, God will meet us and act on our behalf – through His Holy Spirit.

The Ring I Wear {On This Mother’s Day}

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I began this Mother’s Day, with a choice. And, I have thought about it – as I continue to walk through this day.

I wear a ring. It is a special kind of ring. I don’t wear it for fashion or accessory purposes, but as a specific reminder. It is a reminder that I allow my faith to be of greater importance than anything else.

Just as people of other faiths allow their appearance to alert others that they are of this or that religion, this is my reminder that God is greater than my desire for other things.

While I may not be a mother at this specific point in my life, I am someone who is choosing to put God above her own human nature. I am choosing Jesus and allowing my faith to impact the kind of friends I pick, whom (or if) I date, and how I allow my body to be used.

I wear a “True Love Waits” ring on my left hand, as a reminder that I am pursuing something and it is for God. I am reminded that I am choosing to walk faithfully with my God (which is something Enoch did). I am choosing to walk closely with my God – instead of the world.

On Mother’s Day, it is easy to feel like I don’t measure up. On Mother’s Day, there are a lot of greetings geared toward women that come with an expectation. An expectation that every woman is a mother. In those moments, it is rather easy to feel defective. It’s then that we are reminded of what we are not.

. . . But, that is not my story today.

I am more rooted in Jesus Christ, as my Anchor and Hope. I spend more moments engaging in the struggle, versus trying to “size up”. In the past, I struggled immensely with this day – because of such expectations.

Today, I am a different person than I was – last year.

A year can change a person in a lot of ways.

I firmly believe God can do a great transformative work, which isn’t limited by any time frame.

This time last year, I was without a couple diagnoses. The biggest one is PCOS, which is the number one cause of infertility. Last year, I wasn’t aware I had it. While there has been a great amount of wrestling with it, I am becoming more secure in who God has made me to be.

Yes my ovaries (and various other parts of my body) don’t work as though they should, but I am still wholeheartedly approved and loved by God. I am growing secure in my identity as a woman who is intensely loved by God.

This awareness and growing process is aided particularly through our “Inspiring Women” Bible study (which I need to try and be more faithful to, which will become easier after Wednesday)

Let’s celebrate who we are as women dearly loved and celebrated by our great God. We are dearly loved so fiercely, and our womb doesn’t have any effect on who we are as women or how loved we are by God!

The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17; AMPC).

We know that God has chosen you, dear brothers, much beloved of God. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not just meaningless chatter to you; no, you listened with great interest. What we told you produced a powerful effect upon you, for the Holy Spirit gave you great and full assurance that what we said was true. And you know how our very lives were further proof to you of the truth of our message (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, TLB).

Deuteronomy 3-4

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The Lord said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands. . . I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land. [Go] and after [winning the battle], each of you may go back to the possession I have given you. . . [Just] as the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you (see 3:2, 18-22).”

God is going to give His people the victory He promised. While He will give them what He promised, they have to be willing to follow Him. God is sovereign and does not owe humanity anything, yet He has willfully come and saved us through our Savior Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins and raised from the dead to give us new life!

We cannot allow fear to stop us from seeking out the promises of God and abundant life. We need to seek the Lord and give Him our best by becoming “doers of the Word” like James teaches.

We need to not just hear God’s Word, but internalize, learn from, and apply it to our daily lives.

Take to Heart –

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them (4:9)

We are taught the importance of watching ourselves closely. Today, we need a passion for God and His Word. We need to passionately tell of God’s goodness, mercy, justice, and eternal Good News.

Seek –

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath (4:29-31).

Even when we fall away and turn our backs on God, there is still an opportunity to return to Him – as long as there is breath in our lungs, we have that choice. Don’t delay, let’s resolve to choose and turn to Jesus Christ – today! Let’s seek after Him right now at this very moment, as we pray and turn to Him with the Holy Spirit’s marvelous help.

God doesn’t want us to half-heartedly seek Him, but to wholly seek after Him. And He gives us the ability to seek Him, so we can pray for His help. As we seek Him, He will continue to show Himself to us. Remember and take to heart: God will never abandon you, so keep following our Lord Jesus Christ.

Week 7: 2 Thessalonians 1:11

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With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith (2 Thess. 1:11, NIV).

It always stops me in my tracks, when I read “By His power, He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” Many of us have unmet desires we are waiting on. God can give us these desires, but it is up to God if they are fulfilled and when that fulfillment happens.

Let’s focus on the Lord, and give Him our heart’s desires!

Truth be told, it is about surrendering our desires to God and keeping our focus on Him. Our focus needs to be on drawing nearer to our King Jesus, not the dreams.

In the waiting and wondering period, we are learning to trust that God is working on our behalf. As we draw nearer, God is changing us from the inside – out. Look at what Philippians 2:13 teaches us – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him (NLT).

The right kind of desires are given to us by God, and fulfilled by God in His timing!

Keep coming back to Jesus – our Redeemer. When we keep coming back to Jesus as our Redeemer, we will not be disappointed. We will be reminded of the abundant hope we have been given. Jesus Christ came for you and me.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim. 1:15).

Called by God

While the God of the Universe gives us other desires, He gave us the ultimate desire for Him. God is the One who calls; what we are called to is God’s own kingdom and glory (Reformation Study Bible). We have been moved from a place of condemnation because of our sins (see John 3:16-17) and ushered into the presence of God (see Hebrews 4:14-16). It is a complete change in our destination.

Not only has He chosen to save us, we can enjoy His sweet presence – today!

Cleansed by Jesus

Through Jesus Christ, we have been saved and made new. His love for us is what made the difference in our lives. Jesus Christ is what matters in our lives, which is why we celebrate our Redeemer. He came for us, and is away. He is worthy of our praise and the One who makes us worthy.

Because of Jesus Christ, we can stand in His presence and enjoy our heavenly Father. We have been reconciled to God and He will make us worthy and cause us to grow in all areas of our lives. Now, that’s worthy celebrating!

Both past election and present growth are crucial. They are already children of God; they are to live lives governed by this reality. Thereby, Jesus’ name will be glorified and they in turn will be glorified in him. All of this is accomplished through grace (Asbury Commentary).