COME As You Are, Friend!

Friends,

Welcome to Gracefully Overcoming! This blog started out, mainly just as an outlet to the things I was going through in my life. However, it has turned into much more. This has become a beautiful place to seek the Lord with friends – near and far. While this blog begun out of chronic illness, it is wholly about seeking the Lord Jesus with whatever we have to offer.

. . . Even our messes is absolutely acceptable offering to our great God!

Just Come, Friend!

“Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:19-20, NCV).”

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18, NASB).”

“The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit–O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject (Psalm 51:17, NET).”

In the Scriptures, we are reminded that we can just come. We don’t have to wait until our lives are picture perfect and oh-so-neat to meet (or even better experience) our gracious God. He is yearning to be with us, and allow us to see this new and abundant life He has created for us. While sin has messed up things, they are not beyond repair – because we have our amazing Savior Jesus Christ who has come to repair everything. All we have to do is come.

Maybe, you aren’t uber excited about doing a Bible study right now. I wasn’t either, but the Lord awoke that spiritual desire today when I began my time reading through Titus. So just know, the Lord will meet you. Wherever you are, the Lord will meet you.

Let’s just come and realize our deep need for our Savior Jesus Christ!
Let’s invite Him into our broken (and often messy) lives, and wait to see how the Lord will transform us, our circumstances, and entire lives.

 

The biggest thing we need, as believers, is to get closer to the Lord Jesus. Whether it is through this study or another one, the ultimate goal has to be just that – to get as close as you can to the Lord.

This weekend, I want for us to begin praying about possible goals. Rather, goal.

What is one goal you can set, to help you get closer to Jesus these next eight weeks?

Because God has wired us differently (personality, interests, etc), that goal is going to look differently for each of us. Now I am setting aside a separate post specifically to talk about goals, but I am not talking about a year long goal. You may have one. You may have five. If you do, I think that is fantastic! My goals never seem to stick, so my one goal I am fixed on – is to sit quietly before the Lord.

Just think about these next eight weeks. What is ONE goal you can set that will draw you nearer to the Lord?

There are a variety of ways to get involved in our Bible study. You can find an eight week journal on Amazon to use for this (or another) study. Also: You can follow my Facebook page. Or even join the women’s small group to dig deeper into this Bible study!

In Him,

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A Struggling Woman’s Great Faith

Today has been a “roughed up” health day, but I am finding much comfort through one woman’s story. She was a woman who didn’t grow up exposed to God’s law (but likely worshiped many other gods),  but she was coming to know Him – in faith. Her daughter’s suffering would be the one thing leading her to Jesus and His beloved Kingdom. She would experience God’s power in her life.


Read Matthew 15:21-28

The Canaanite woman is an pioneer and example for us all. In the book of Matthew, we find her heart stirring story. We might even find parts of ourselves there, too.

In specific times of our lives, we face devastating circumstances. And, we need to instruct ourselves to run into the arms of Jesus. It doesn’t matter what others say/do or how we have responded to circumstances in the past.

We have Jesus, who stands by our side and waits for us to invite Him to become our ever-present help. He is our Hope and possesses every ounce of strength we need to overcome whatever it is that we are facing!

All that matters is running to Jesus and being wrapped up in trusting Him and knowing He is capable of handling all of the messy circumstances of our lives.

This woman, she kept asking.

Her background didn’t matter, but her persistent faith is her legacy. She was a woman (and mom) who went to Jesus and resolved to not stop trusting Him. She knew beyond a shadow of doubt, that God (through His Son Jesus) was able to heal her daughter once and for all. While doctors couldn’t help her or solve this big circumstance in her family’s life, she knew God definitely was up to the challenge.

I read this passage of Scripture, while I was waiting in a doctor’s office. Her story can be described as “beyond encouraging”. I mean, her heart is shattered. This hard circumstance is like a punch in the gut, yet she chose to keep trusting.

… And, He healed her daughter!

It didn’t matter that the disciples wanted to shoo her away (which is enough to cause me personally to step back, but she didn’t… she stood strong in her faith!). In the light of eternity, all that will be remembered about this encounter with Jesus is – He listened, she trusted Him and kept asking, her focus was on God’s power, and that He would work in her life.

Jesus would touch her life in such a way that she would realize just how loved she was by her heavenly Father. She was blessed beyond measure as she knew Jesus’ power and ran after her opportunity to have her daughter healed.

What would happen if we would have this kind of persistent faith that caused us to continually ask Jesus and go to Him? What if we reached out for the healings no one else is willingly asking for?

He is willing, able, and has the power to heal many things in our lives. We have to reach a place of asking, like she did. I know, I need to grow in my own asking. I love the companionship I can have with my Savior Jesus, and our relationship can be defined by honesty and His grace.

I want to have this kind of faith like this gentile mother did. She crossed over cultural barriers, and displayed bravery in her faith toward Jesus Christ. She knew who He was, and she didn’t miss a beat. God is able to help us become more bold in our asking and seeking out His abundant life!

See Hebrews 4:16; John 10:10; Matthew 7:7

Look Up! {{Week 3}}

We are at the end of our third week, for our current study. We have spent the past few weeks, studying Isaiah 40. Amazing journey, right?!? I am loving it! If you are new, it’s not too late to join in. We have one more week, before journeying through Matthew 4-7 (see end of post, for details). For Isaiah 40, you can pick up a free journal and schedule – to join in the fun!

The Scriptures – Isaiah 40:26; Psalm 89:11, 147:4

“Look up to the skies. Who created all these stars? He leads out the army of heaven one by one and calls all the stars by name. Because he is strong and powerful, not one of them is missing (Is. 40:26).”

The skies and the earth belong to you. You made the world and everything in it… He counts the stars and names each one (Ps. 89:11, 147:4).

God is calling us to “look up”. Look up, He says to us. Look up and see. God is the great Creator of the universe. He has uniquely made each star, but He doesn’t stop there.

  • God created them.
  • God has brought them out, so we can see His handiwork. We get the shear joy of witnessing His handiwork.
  • God has called each one, by its God-given name.
  • God counts them, to make sure none are missing.
  • While God counts each one, they are given a specific name. Our God is specific and deliberate in every action He makes.

To me, this shows just how involved God is in each one of our lives – as well. In John 10, we see most of these themes play out again. Only this time, they relate to us!

Just as the heavens and eath are His, we are definitely His too! God saw fit to create us and call us His own. God created us from nothing and has the authority to call us as His own.

God is weaving us into His grand plan for the universe, as we come to Him. (Click to Tweet)

God calls us, by name. It doesn’t matter what we answered to, before we began walking with Jesus. All that matters is the moment we are standing in. All that matters is the new name we have been given, at this very moment. God wants to call us His sons and daughters. This happens, as we come to His Son – Jesus Christ, the Messiah!

Jesus has chosen you (me too), and gives you a new name. Just like He did for Jerusalem, He is rebuilding us. He is bringing us back. He is healing us. He is shwoing Himself as our Awesome Creator. His understanding, in Psalm 147:5, is even described as “beyond comprehension.” He is that good!

Jesus has picked you! And, He has a new name for you too. (Click to Tweet)

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I invite you to join us for our next study. For nine weeks, beginning on September 11, we will be enjoying bite-size portions of Matthew 4-7. This amazing section of Scripture, we will finally get to sit down and study at our own level. You can pick up your journal, over on Amazon. (Please Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a small earning from any purchases made using the link at no expense to you.)

God’s Incomparable {{Week 3}}

Friends, we have covered a lot of ground this week. We have plunged into the depths of Isaiah 40. In our week’s study, we have looked at verses 9 through 17.

There is No Substitute for God

 

“All the people of the earth are nothing when compared to him; he does whatever he thinks best among the angels of heaven, as well as here on earth. No one can stop him or challenge him, saying, ‘What do you mean by doing these things? (Daniel 4:35, TLB)’”

This week, we learned that God is incomparable. We have many one-of-a-kind things in this world. I am reminded of a friend with a banana allergy. Bananas are one of a kind. You can’t substitute bananas, for something else. It doesn’t give the same kind of taste. If we think things of this world are unique and unable to find a suitable substitute, what does that say about their Creator?

God is the One who has uniquely designed everything we have! He is incomparable. (Click to Tweet)

Spiritually speaking, God is unique. God is incomparable. We cannot substitute anything else, to avoid having a relationship with God. Only God can fill us up. Only God can provide the necessary strength and steps we need to walk in this life. There is no substitute for God. None. This is the most important truth we could ever learn.

You’re Invited!

I hope you all are enjoying this study. I invite you all to join me, as we continue our Isaiah 40 study. We have a set of resources available to all (journal and schedule). We are half way through our study, but there is so much more for us to learn from this passage of Scripture.

The Schedule {{Week 3}}

Monday
Isaiah 40:18-20

Tuesday
Isaiah 40:21-22

Wednesday
Isaiah 40:23-24

Thursday
Isaiah 40:25

Friday
Isaiah 40:26

Don’t forget our blog posts, for this study, will go out on… Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

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I want to invite you to join us, on our next Bible study adventure. Starting on September 11, we will begin studying Matthew 4 through 7. In this particular study, we will be digging deep into two sections of Scripture: Jesus’ temptations and the greatest sermon we could ever hear. So, be sure to head over to Amazon and pick up your journal! (Please Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a small earning when you use this link to make any purchase)

Remain Where You Are

“Just remain where you are.”

I am convinced that is a truth God wants to etch in our hearts, today. See, we become so convinced that we are not enough.

We are unmarried.

We are childless.

We are not dating anyone. 

By definition, we are as single as possible!

Culture can tear us down, in the midst of our singleness – which should be a gift. Yes, that is right. Singleness should be seen as a beautiful gift. But, often, it doesn’t. It can feel like a dreaded task to endure.

Singleness.

It is more than a season of life. It is a place, where God is stirring our hearts and preparing us for what’s next. That “next” might include a bae, in your future. It might mean… a new last name. A change of address. A new, life-long, roommate. But, it is much more than that. We hold up marriage as this sacred gift – which, it is.

Just Remain –

Yet when we put marriage on a pedestal, we view our singleness as the rejected gift. We deem it as, less than God’s best. We begin to allow culture to inflitrate our perspective. As a result, for some, singleness becomes our mark of shame. With this, enters in a myriad of thoughts to the single’s brain. Most of which – can lead us away from God and serve as billboard size distractions in our lives.

Oh, friends, if we could just remain where we are. If we could allow ourselves to be taken by Jesus’ hand and led through the gifts He is lovingly giving us, life would be far better.

There is a much better way, when we choose to center ourselves on the Lord our God and His divine will. We don’t know what God has planned for us, but He does have a plan!

In the world we live in, with social media, we are constantly trying to hold up to the standards of others.

… But, your life is not intended to look like theirs!

But, God!

God has uniquely made you – and for a divine purpose. That may include a spouse. Marriage is a ministry, just like any other. It is an important ministry. But, singleness is a ministry as well. God is going to use our time unattached from another soul, to draw us near to Him.

How are we allowing God to use our singleness, to draw us nearer to Him?

The first step of any good life – is Jesus Christ! Whatever season we find ourselves in, we can experience out-of-this-world intimacy – starting right now. Jesus Christ is the Creator of intimacy and companionship. Let Him soothe your soul, as He soothes my own.

Read Psalm 139; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20; James 4:8

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Our blog is currently studying the book of Ephesians. Won’t you consider supporting the blog and join us? We want you to join us, whether you purchase a journal or not.

Walking Into The Light: A Six Week Scripture Writing Experience (Please note: The blog receives a special earning when you use this link for any Amazon purchase)