The Sanctification Process

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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Soul Tied {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.

Yesterday I underwent a medical test, and my body shared its unwellness with me and others. While the outcome of my test is unknown, I am reminded of the eternal hope found in our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” (John 4:28-29, NLT)

The hope of Jesus Christ remains strong, despite our earthly circumstances. Friends, we can become women who are made complete in Jesus Christ.

This Woman

Jesus spoke with a woman, known only by her past sins. Jesus offered her the same gift He offers to us – eternal hope, forgiveness of our sins, and an identity of being His!

We know. . . God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people (1 Thess. 1:4).

Jesus met her in the unlikely place. As she searched for drinking water, her soul finally found what it was searching for: Jesus Christ, the One who cleanses us and redefines our identity – based on who He is.

She didn’t know what {or who} was waiting for her, as she went to the well. This heavy hearted woman went to the well at noon time, which was an ideal time to gather water without the presence and chatter of other women. She knew the glances well, because everyone knew she was a woman with a scandalous past.

This precious woman left behind her past, as her satisfied soul lept for joy and entered an exclusive relationship with Jesus.

From this moment on, she would stop running from others. She would quit forcing her eyes to look no further than the sandals on her feet. Instead of hiding away like an embarrassment to God and others, she did something quite different:

She became a woman whose heart was found in Jesus, her Savior, and told others about the God they had to come and see for themselves.

We have our own past, but remember Jesus can use these moments and bring glory to the Father. While I don’t know your story, I know our Lord. He can bring a testimony out of our mess, and fill it with His eternal hope.

During my test, all I could do is pray in the presence of distractions and remember “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. . . to Him we belong. . . They are weak, but He is strong.”.

Remember, friends. Souls tied to King Jesus can leap for joy and have a desire to tell others about Him. How can we tie our souls to His?

Let us spend time in prayer and worship.

In Christ,

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The Shepherd Who Protects {Summer Psalms ’17}

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep  (John 10:14-15)

We are reminded in Psalm 23, that the Lord is our Shepherd. More than told, we are given specific ways God reveals Himself as our very good Shepherd.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Ps. 84:11).

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we are protected and have every need met. He is the One who faithfully cares for us no matter what is going on in our lives.

He gives us everything we need (vv. 1). I heart the “God verbs” as I call them, where we are able to see how God, our Shepherd, moves for our benefit.

He gives us rest (vv. 2). Not only does He provide physical rest for us, He gives us all the rest we need. He rejuvenates and offers peaceful rest we need to thrive. He is our God and makes sure we lack no good thing (see Ps. 84:11).

He leads us (vv. 2). God makes sure we get to the right place. He is the One who goes before us. He isn’t going to abandon us, half way through His leading us. Our great God leads us the whole way!

He gives us new strength (vv. 3). God is faithful to supply us with strength. Remember Isaiah 40:30-31, where we are taught that God renews our strength. Let’s pray for God to do this for us.

He guides us along the right path (vv. 3). He will lead us on the right path, where we are exactly where we need to be. One way He guides us, is through the Bible. As we seek Him, He will show us which way to go.

He is with us (vv. 4). Take heart in this promise that we find throughout the Bible. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ and diligently seek to obey His commands, He promises to be with us (see Mt. 28:18-20).

He prepares a feast for us in front of our enemies (vv. 5). We aren’t given mere leftovers, but God has thoroughly prepared a table for us. Knowing God’s protection and provision, we can sit down and enjoy our great God – even in the midst of the battle.

He pours oil on our head, giving us an abundance – which includes His favor and rejoicing (vv. 5). We see this lived throughout the New Testament. Despite all we have done, Jesus Christ came, has saved us and restored our relationship with God. In this new life, we are given much favor poured into our lives.

His goodness and love follow us (vv. 6). In whatever we are facing, God’s goodness and love is following those who are genuinely seeking Jesus Christ. Let’s put away the sin, seek His forgiveness, and allow Him to be the One whose love and goodness we are chasing.

Psalms #5

Psalm 108 –

(1) Have a ready heart. While we make sure to get dressed physically before leaving for church each Sunday morning, we need to become a people who get their hearts ready to enter into the Lord’s presence! It isn’t just a Sunday morning thing, either.

O God, my heart is ready to praise you! I will sing and rejoice before you (vv. 1, TLB).

(2) God’s Character. We see the reality of who the Lord really is. He is so great that the heavens cannot contain Him. His love and faithfulness is at such a high capacity, that it cannot be measured. This is how much God loves us, and the level of His pursuit for us.

For your loving-kindness is great beyond measure, high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches the skies (vv. 4).

Psalm 109 – 

Each of us need God’s help. We need God to meet us in our current circumstances, that are too much to bear. Let’s go back to remembering whose child we are. For the follower of Jesus Christ, we are His sons and daughters. He is going to share His resources with us, because He is so kind, and faithful.

But as for me, O Lord, deal with me as your child, as one who bears your name! Because you are so kind, O Lord, deliver me. . . Do it publicly, so all will see that you yourself have done it (vv. 21, 27).

But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone. For he stands beside the poor and hungry to save them from their enemies (vv. 30-31).

Psalm 110 –

The Lord said to my Lord, Sit by me at my right side until I put your enemies under your control.” The Lord will enlarge your kingdom beyond Jerusalem, and you will rule over your enemies (vv. 1-2, NCV).

This Scripture points to Jesus. This was a prophesy , that Jesus would reign as King forever – and He will! Not only will He reign as King, He is going to defeat our enemies. Having enemies is soo difficult, but God is going to give us the victory! He will be our help!

May our response to Jesus be to worship Him, and continually seek His help.

The Jesus-Girl Who Confesses

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!

As daughters of God who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ, we need to willfully enter our prayer closet and bring before God our desperate need for His forgiveness and deliverance.

The most sacred thing in our lives, is our relationship with God. No act of human influence can compare to Jesus Christ who has touched our souls, for He has chosen to rescue us!

Lord, I told you about the evil I have done. I am sorry for my sin (Psalm 38:18; ERV).

This is what we need to do, because we are accountable to God for what we have done. While we may avoid this truth, if we could, the reality is – we can’t hide from our sin. No one has been able to successfully hide from their sin. Adam and Eve tried to, but they ended up only hiding from God. Walk out of the darkness, by entering Jesus’ well-lit presence!

Before we can become a woman of influence, we have to be a woman with a humble heart who acknowledges her sin before a most holy God. We must allow Jesus Christ into our lives.

Here are some truths we must grasp –

(1) God is set apart, and cannot even look upon sin.

O Lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal. . . But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil (Hab. 1:12a, 13a, NLT).

(2) Even though it is uncomfortable to think about our sin, let’s find comfort in our Christian community where we all must confess our sins and turn from them. Also, let’s confess to one another, so we may be prayed for and healed.

But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed! We—every one of us—have strayed away like sheep! We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us! (Isaiah 53:5-6, TLB)

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16, ESV).

(3) Most importantly: As we repent of sin, let’s celebrate Jesus Christ as our Redeemer. He has paid the ultimate price, and loved us with an eternal love.

. . . Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice (Psalm 51:7b-8, NKJV).

I invite you to enter a quiet place, where you can talk to God about the struggles with sin and seek His forgiveness.

Want to learn more about confession, sin, what God says, and having a relationship with Jesus Christ? I am hosting a daily devotional on 1 John over at Indoor Outreach. Join us, as we dive into God’s Word!

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