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,

Signature

Advertisements

Love Based Law – Part 1 {POTF}

Hello friends –

I invite you to join me in a two part blog post, where we will be looking at 1 Timothy 1:8-11 –

But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately. We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for slave traders,liars,perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me (1 Timothy 1:8-11, CSB).

We know the law is good if we use it properly.

The law is holy. . . just, and good. . . [If we] use it for the purpose for which God has given it [then it becomes] a schoolmaster to lead us unto Christ, and Christ is the end of that law for justification to every one that believes (Clarke Commentary).

The Truth About God’s Law

This sacred law of God teaches us about our broken relationship with God. As hard as it is to talk about, this is the truth. This is why the law of God has been given to us.

Admittedly we may think the law of our great God is something horrible, but honestly it isn’t. God has given us His law – His rules to meet and teach us. God teaches us we are sinners. We are not holy, righteous, or close to perfection, but our great God definitely is and has chosen us to be His own people!

Came For the Broken

Just as the law is given to sinners, I am reminded this is why our Lord Jesus came. He came for us, to redeem us!

I am reminded by the Holy Spirit of what it says in the book of Luke.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (5:32).
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost (19:10).

Our blessed Savior has come for you and me personally. He didn’t come to call the righteous, but He did call the broken, the lost, people like us who just don’t “have it all together”.

With God’s grace, we don’t have to be perfect people. We just really need our Lord Jesus and to keep drawing near – so we aren’t going through life alone.

Instead of shrinking back, God has wholeheartedly continued pursuing and loving us – and is inviting us to become His own people.

God’s Love

In John 3:16-17, we see the absolute depth of our Creator’s amazing love for us. God wants to be heavily involved in our lives. He loves us and longs to be with us!

16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Friends, our great God’s love for us goes above and beyond anything we could ever imagine! While the law shows we have sinned against God, every one of us, our story doesn’t have to stop there.

Our great God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world! He went on a rescue mission – for you! Will you choose to accept what Jesus has done on your behalf through His suffering, death, and resurrection?

I invite you to join me tomorrow, as we talk specifically about God’s love and role as our Eternal Father.

In Him,

Signature

 

Memorable Posts of 2017

As we prepare the new year and the many possibilities awaiting us, I invite us to reexplore five handpicked articles from Gracefully Overcoming. 

  1. The Most Humbling Worship Offering {Romans 12:1}
  2. The Shepherd Who Protects {From “Summer Psalms ’17” series}
  3. Finding Captivating Love
  4. Alone with God {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}
  5. Learning About His Love {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}

While I excluded the “Inspiring Women” post, every one of those posts seemed memorable or life impacting (at the very least). Each delivered some home hitting message, that influenced me as I poured out my soul in words. Here are just three from that meaningful series.

  1. Praise Before Panic
  2. Strength in the Fight {My Testimony}
  3. That One Compliment

There are soo many things that we can learn from. In 2018, my hope is for us to become more of a heartfelt community of Jesus followers and lovers.

My hope is. . .

to share more genuine words – helping us to draw near to the Lord and keep picking up our Bibles, but to weigh my words (Prov. 15:28) as well.

Don’t forget to pick up your eight week journal for our newest study! {It’s only $6.25 on Amazon} Starting January 15th, we will be studying the Timothys and Titus – using a brand new journal for our time together. Every ounce of support we receive, helps keep this blog running. And, we are so thankful for you all!

In Christ,

Signature

Kids’ Visual Study Bible (BookLook)

Visual BibleMy friends, the greatest gift we can give to our kids is – the Word of God.

As we sit and share our hearts for Jesus, we are giving them a special gift. Let’s present Jesus to them through our words and a Bible of their very own. Something that will help them learn about our great God and His love for them.

The Treasure –

The NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible: Explore the Story of the Bible—People, Places, and History is an amazing Bible. One of my favorite aspect of this Bible is – the fact that it is a study Bible. In the margins, we can find insight we might otherwise miss. Plus: This Bible is colorful; this is where we find beautiful photographs woven into the Bible – which reminds us of God’s handiwork. There are over 700 photographs in this special Bible!

This is a special gift, which will allow our children to open the wonder of God’s Word – and discover who He is – for themselves. The goal of this Bible is to present our Lord Jesus Christ and His truths to the children in our lives.

My Concluding Thoughts –

I absolutely love this Bible. I am looking forward to reading it with my niece, but also to have for myself. The study notes, in particular, are a needed thing, because sometimes we just need a little (or a lot) of help learning to understand what God is teaching us through His Word – the Bible. God will definitely use this Bible to encourage many, to keep drawing near to Him.

Friends, I am excited about the possibilities. This Bible with added features can help our children become closer to the Lord. I am thankful for this Bible and the opportunity to review it. I am so excited to see how the NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible will encourage my niece in her own relationship with the Lord.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest 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.

No Perfect Relationship {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.

Following Jesus Christ and receiving His love should change our interactions with others, but especially with fellow believers. As a part of God’s Church, let’s consider how we respond to one another.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends (Phil. 2:1-2, MSG).

This Scripture reminds us that we are being changed. God reminds us that a heart transformation is the result of our meeting and walking with Jesus Christ. We are entering our new life, and these are key things to expect in our relationships with other Jesus-lovers-and-followers.

  • Agreeing with other believers.
  • Loving one another.
  • Becoming knee deep in our friendships with others who are following Jesus Christ with all we have to give.

If we have been changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is absolutely impossible to stay the same. We have been invited to follow Jesus Christ and enter His life-transforming new life. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent in our relationships anymore. Let’s start striving for God’s best!

Note: The deeper we get in our friendships, the more likely conflict will arise. But let’s try to strive for God’s best in our responses.

While our friend may act one way, we can pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. The difference between our old life and new is – the Holy Spirit. We are giving God full authority to work in our lives, and seeking to remain obedient.

Our hearts and lives are being changed. In Romans 12, we are reminded of the truth that we are being transformed and renewed by our great God. He has poured out His mercy onto our lives, and His Voice is ultimately the only One that matters. This is why our “in Christ” relationships differ, from those in our “before-meeting-Jesus” life.

My church relationships are far from perfect. I am sure yours are as well. Thankfully, our great God is perfect and able to work in them through His Awesome power!

We have been birthed into new life, because of Jesus Christ who has loved us with an everlasting love and continues to save us on a daily basis. Let’s see how to apply this Scripture in our lives.

Let’s seek to honor Jesus Christ through the gift of these relationships. The Bible teaches us how to do this. I know our relationships will not be perfect, but let us aim for progress. We need to be able to see Jesus working in our Christian friendships. Choose to surrender, and give the Holy Spirit the authority in these friendships.

In Christ,

Signature