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

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).

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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.

Week 2: Wrap Up

What was special about this week’s message? I invite you to comment below, and share with me (and other readers) about how God spoke to you in this week’s Bible study on 1 Thessalonians

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:7-20

… We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did (vv. 7-8, MSG).

Jesus’ Deep Love

Jesus Christ loves all of humanity. He saw and felt the agony of our lost relationship due to our disobedience. Sin separates us from God, and Jesus went to incredible lengths to bring us back into a right standing relationship with the Father, where we can stand in His presence, enjoy sweet intimacy with God, and have our prayers heard! Jesus Christ took our sins, died on our cross, and rose again. Because of Jesus Christ, we can be restored and have our God-shaped hole in our spirits – filled! Will we accept Jesus Christ and let Him love us?

If we are following Jesus Christ, it is because someone had the courage to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with us. Praise God!! We know the mighty power and love of our Risen Lord, but need to share the Good News with others – so they can come to know the love of our Savior and how He can radically change their lives for the better.

This kind of boldness comes only from being with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

What Scripture Says:

We can show others His love, by the way we treat them. Scripture teaches us a few things, in regards to treating others as a means to share Jesus with others.

  • Love others the way you love others (Matthew 22:39).
  • Do good to all people, especially those in God’s family (Galatians 6:10).
  • Be wise in the way you interact with non-believers (Colossians 4:5-6).

Learning How to Treat Others

Relating to others has never come easily for me. Even if it is out-of-my-element, God is calling His sons and daughters to go into the world and share the Gospel and ourselves with others.

Before we can do so, we have to learn how to treat others. We need to learn how to love well, starting with how we love (and treat) ourselves.

This is where leaning into Jesus really counts, because He is the One showing me to love. While He shows us how to love, it has to begin by realizing the love He has personally for each of us. This is the most important relationship we have, with Jesus Christ. So, I need to nurture this special relationship. Christ ought to be my motivation in how I treat others, for these acts of kindness can last for eternity.

Jesus, You are our Hope! You are why we can have the strength to change the way we treat others. Thank You, Lord!

Jesus is Stronger! {Week 1}

The Scriptures – Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:42-43; Hebrews 1:14

“Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus (Mt. 4:11).”

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him (Lk. 22:42-43).

“Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14).”

The devil went away. He is seen fleeing the scene. The devil’s weaponry is no match for God’s. In Ephesians 6, we are taught how to defeat the evil one. The same armor Jesus employed, as He faced these temptations. After the temptations, Jesus is seen as victorious!

He came through the temptations, stronger. And, He will do the same for us! {Click-to-Tweet}

While the temptations were attempts to weaken Him, they didn’t work that way. The temptations just proved who Jesus is and how we can experience victory through Him! (see Heb. 4)

As Jesus is praying in the Garden, He prays for the Father’s will. Jesus knew exactly what He was about to undergo. Yet, there is power in His prayer and willingness to remain obedient to the Father. This is the same road I need to take in my Christian life.

While I may face many obstacles in my life, as a daughter of the Most High God, His power is made evident – as my faith is stretched and grows through these things. These are the moments God will use to show the world exactly who I am, as His daughter.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, my identity is made clear. I am a daughter of God. My identity is found in Him. He makes Himself known to me, through life’s obstacles. Jesus is making me stronger! While the enemy uses my troubles to destroy me, Jesus will use it for my ultimate good (Jn. 10:10; Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28).

Jesus is making me stronger! {Click-to-Tweet}

Lord Jesus, help me to remember the devil has no choice but to flee when I stand firm on your word – during these attacks. I will come forth as gold, but I must stay rooted in you and your Word. I have to remain immovable. Make the devil run away, and help me to seek you!

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Proving Identity {Week 1}}

Welcome! Welcome!

Welcome to our newest study!

I am looking forward our nine week long journey, that is ahead. We will be taking these next several weeks, to intently study what Jesus has to teach us through Matthew (chs. 4-7). This takes us through the temptations of Jesus, and the Sermon on the Mount. This will be an awesome experience. At the end of this blog post, I will be sharing where you can get your study journal. Please don’t wait for your journal to arrive, before joining in the fun!

I encourage you to break out your Bible and study journal, and join in the fun!

The Scriptures: Matthew 4:5-7 (*Ps. 91:9-11, not shown below)

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”(Mt. 4:5-7, NIV)

The Enemy’s Taunts

Jesus’ identity is questioned by the enemy, the devil. His job is to twist God’s holy Word, or at least that is what he tends to do. The enemy has rejected God’s commands and was kicked out of heaven – as a result. His name is now “deceiver,” and this is how he spends his time – deceiving all those who try and seek Jesus Christ. His goal is to just distract us enough, to forget about our relationship with Jesus and His ultimate mission!

The deceiver’s goal is to just distract us enough, to forget about our relationship with Jesus! (Click-to-Tweet)

The Identity

The devil will do anything to confuse Jesus and us, of our God-given identity! Each day, there is new opportunities to get distracted and forget that our identity is determined by God. God has called us His own, because of Jesus Christ!

Jesus is God’s beloved Son!

This is His identity!

Jesus didn’t need to jump off a high, sacred building (the temple) – to prove His identity. He didn’t need to do that, to know He’s fully protected by the Father. Jesus doesn’t need to do that, to prove who He is. Jesus’ identity is set in stone. Likewise as followers of Jesus Christ, our identity is set in stone. Our identity has been carved into the palm of all we are.

… because of Jesus Christ!

Our identity is forever in our great God.

Our identity is forever in our great God, through Jesus. (Click-to-Tweet)

The Temptation We Face

Often times, we face the same type of temptation – to step outside God’s will for our lives, and somehow expect to experience His protection. We are taught to not test God. How are we walking with God as my Dwelling place, to be protected and know my identity?

Lord God, Thank you for teaching me about your protection. Help me to remember I don’t need to prove my identity to anyone. I just need to keep living it out, for us (it’s for you and me). Help me to recognize temptations as they arise, so I can be prepared and overcome them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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