Impact #2

My last impact entry was about 2 months ago. A lot has happened in that time. Health scare, which was relieved by a less serious health problem. Good news! (Bad news is: POTS is the reason for worsening symptoms. All before Spring.)

Feeling – Lately, I have felt a myraid of things. Home Sick. Loneliness. Frustration. (Dis)Contentment. Peace. Joy. Laughter. Mmmm, variety of emotions. Good, Bad, and in between. POTS has been rough, but I am still here. So, that is good news. I am not hooked up to a hospital bed with monitors. I am finding joy in unlikely places of chronic illness.

While all days aren’t joy-infused, I have the hope of my Savior Jesus Christ to remind me who I am. . . in spite of illness. Looking forward to Heaven, but trying to make the most of my time on earth to do something worthwhile.

Studying – Since my last impact, I have nearly finished studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Last week, I began the book of James. I am really enjoying it. One of today’s verse hit home for me, and is found at the end of this blog post. I have been reading and studying using The Living Bible found on Bible Gateway, which is a paraphrase like the Message. I am absolutely loving it! It is soo nice to have the privilege to open up the Bible in a new translation, using different wording, but having the same meaning. The Word of God is coming alive!

Reading – I am not quite sure that I am reading anything right now, since I have gotten out of the habit of reading actual books. Desiring God and reading the Bible in chronological order (that things happened) is what I am reading. Our church is reading the Bible together in a specific schedule. We have gone through Job, Genesis, Exodus, and are in Leviticus. Even with the audio Bible, my reading track record isn’t perfection but who says it has to be?

Listening To –

Celebrating – Many things.

  • Jesus is the top celebration. He loves me, and stays with me no matter what!
  • Doctors who care about their patients.
  • Good music that speaks God’s truths
  • Seeing how God can revive my broken spirit.

Loving – the gift of streaming biblical teachings, for anyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the biblical truths we need to know.

Praying – for my health, family, and a new blog series idea.

Holding Onto – Jesus! I am holding onto Jesus. Jesus is the One who is holding me, through all of life’s storms.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God… (Ps. 56:3-4)

Other Scriptures – James 1:9 (found below)

A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight (James 1:9).

Loving Like Jesus {{Week 6}}

Short note: There is an error in this week’s journal. The Scripture reference for our memory verse is actually… Matthew 5:46.

Welcome to today’s blog, where we will be digging into day 36 of our study! To me, it is mind-boggling to see how far I have come. In the beginning of the study, I struggled to get to each day’s reading plan. Have you all faced the same sort of problem? Maybe not this time, but another time? But the last few weeks, I have absolutely fell in love with the way Jesus is teaching and revealing Himself to us – through the book of Matthew. It’s like I can’t get enough. And, I don’t want my study time to end when this study concludes in a few weeks. I want to keep going, keep seeking, keep growing through what I read here in Matthew.

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:43-44; Proverbs 25:21-22

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:18) Hate your enemy.’ But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you (Matthew 5:43-44, NIRV).

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat. If he is thirsty, give him water to drink. By doing these things, you will pile up burning coals on his head. And the Lord will reward you (Proverbs 25:21-22).

Devotion

This passage shows us how much different God’s ways are. He does things much differently than you and I would, in any given situation. The situations with our enemies, are no exception. Jesus instructs us to love, not hate, our enemies!

While the world teaches us to conspire and get revenge, Jesus is the One urging us to take a different approach. Instead of hurting them, we need to love them. This is where God is glorified in our situation.

When tempted to show less love, remember the depths of your Savior’s love.

For each of us, the temptation to show less love is very real. It could be easy to limit the amount of love we are willing to show them, but no argument is good enough to justify disobeying God.

The Scriptures give us a brightly shining example of this kind of love. It is found in Jesus Christ. It is found in the love of our Father. While we were still enemies of God, He came and redeemed us. He redeemed us, even when there wasn’t anything “right” or “good” about us. This reveals how deep the love of God goes. We caused Him tremendous pain and heartache. We even did more than that, but we have experienced the tender hearted mercy of God. While it is difficult to fathom, God came to earth, carried our sins, and paid the ultimate price we couldn’t ever pay. This is the God we serve. He laid everything down, so we might enjoy a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ!

Jesus is why we can love our enemies.

This is the hope we hold onto, as believers in Jesus. This is why we can love those who seem impossible to love. While it is difficult to love those who do us harm, it is made possible because of Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus, Help us to remember our need to love others – even when they try to hurt us. Keep pointing us back to the wonderful work of the cross and Your powerful resurrection. You are the One who pours out new life and reconciliation into our lives! Amen.

Accepting God’s Word {{Week 4}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:19-20; Proverbs 30:12; Luke 18:11

So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven! (Matthew 5:19-20, NLT)

They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed (Proverbs 30:12).

 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! (Luke 18:11)

Devotion

To ignore God’s commands, is a deliberate act. When we ignore something, we overlook it and there is thought that goes into it. In today’s Scriptures, we learn that it is a holy offense to our holy God – to ignore His written word. We can’t ignore part of God’s Word. We need to accept all of it, for it is food for our soul and pivotal for our relationship with our God through Jesus Christ.

God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. By using Scripture, the servant of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing (NIRV).

Like we are taught in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, all scripture is God breathed and has an important purpose.  We may struggle to read and certain books of the Bible like Leviticus and Revelation, but we absolutely cannot discount these parts of God’s Word.

God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us in reading the Bible and learning how His truths apply to our lives.

It’s in God’s full written word that we learn our righteousness isn’t righteousness at all. When we study and teach the Bible in its entirety, we learn how much we don’t have it all together and need Jesus Christ to enter our lives, displaying His power.

Our righteousness isn’t enough; it’s like filthy rags. The righteousness of Christ far exceeds our own, and His righteousness and grace is what we desperately need and seek for.

The Bible teaches us about Jesus and why we need a Savior. Our righteousness is not righteousness at all.

Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your beautiful Word and grace. Teach me Your Word. Help me to not ignore any of Your commands, designed with my blessings in mind. I pray You would give me the understanding I seek. Amen.

Worship God with Salt {{Week 4}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:13 and Leviticus 2:13

Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage (Matthew 5:13; MSG).

You must also put salt on all your grain offerings. Salt stands for your agreement with God that will last forever; do not leave it out of your grain offering. You must add salt to all your offerings (Leviticus 2:13, NCV).

Our job is simple – to tell others about Jesus. We can get caught up in so much doing, but this is where life is found. This is what we need to be about, as Christians who have chosen to follow Jesus.

The most important task we have, as believers, is to tell others about Jesus. Whenever we can, share how God is working in your life.

We can’t allow the lines to get blurred. Others see godliness through us. Every time we offer up the courage to tell someone about Christ, respond gently to another, or choose Jesus’ self control over your ability to hurt another with your words, you are worshiping God and God flavors enter the world. The world will illuminate, because others will get another glimpse of God. And when we do these things, this is offering ourselves to the King of Kings!

The tender mercies of God is the only reason why we can have such an important part in His Kingdom. The mercy of God has not only transferred us from death to life, but that is such a vital part. It is just the beginning, though. God has so much more in store for us, as His people loved by God, as we seek His face. We do this, through reading our Bibles, praying, and spending time in community with other Christ followers.

God has much in store for us, as His people loved by Himself. Reading our Bibles, praying, and spending time in community with other believers, is what gets us into the storehouse.

The mercies of God has also declared we can change the entire world, through the passion of Christ, His Gospel, and His power.

Lord, I love the truth of today’s message. Your mercy is so great, thank You! It is, in the light of Your mercies that I can join Your good work and offer myself – so others might see You and come to know You for themselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Schedule for Remaining Blog Study

Hi friends!

For the last few weeks, we have been going through the Sermon of the Mount. But before we reached Jesus’ awesomely convicting sermon, we were met with the temptations Jesus Himself faced.

The Father sent Him out into the wilderness, too. In the wilderness, where it was just the Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the tempter Satan. In the wilderness, is a sacred but difficult place. Sacred, because of commune with the Father. Difficult, because of the heaviness of the temptations He would endure.

Jesus shows us how to walk through our own wildernesses.

And sometimes, it means getting away from everything we once knew. To be given our Father’s perspective on our life’s difficulties.

My Own Wilderness

Lately, I have been feeling like I need to take a step back in my online presence. This will only affect social media, not my blog itself. With that said, I have made a schedule to keep everyone in tuned with where we are in our study.

While the journal is available on Amazon (and your support is soo needed and appreciated, it’s what keeps this blog running), I have been posting the main scriptures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Although Facebook had a glitch this week when I made my new Instagram for my new blog, Chronically Overcoming.

Disconnecting…

Just like my Instagram account was disconnected from its purposeful source (Facebook is honestly the primary reason I began using Instagram in the first place, but anyway). A lot of times, we mean well… but in the process, we become disconnected from the important things (see Col. 3:1-2).

We need to take reflective rest breaks, and just take time out to allow our perspective to be renewed and to take inventory of our spiritual lives. There is absolutely no shame in this. It is actually really good to plug in and just take inventory of our spiritual lives. Where are we? And, where are we trying to go? Has God been the One leading us?

This is what I need to begin exploring.

As we continue our study, let’s expect God to move things around in our lives. Let’s expect God to show us what we need to surrender to Him. I don’t know where you are in your life, but I can guarantee you – He is asking you to surrender something. Take time to disconnect and check your connection with Him. Make sure you know what He is willing you to do. Make sure you can clearly hear His voice. Just disconnect for a bit, in whatever way God leads you.

Again, this choice will not affect the blog posts you all have grown accustom to seeing here on Gracefully Overcoming.


* Please note: The link for the journal (through Amazon) is an affiliate link.
* You can find all of the posts for our Gleaning study here.