Tag: The Gospel

The Gospel Demands Forgiveness {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!

In order to truly become transformed women, who are changed by our Lord Jesus Christ, we need to become women of humility. Humility, or its opposite – pride, shows up the moment someone has wronged us.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Col. 3:13, TLB).

How Do WE Respond… when someone has wronged us?

This is the moment where we realize a lot about ourselves and the grace that we are given through the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is impossible for us to truly forgive those who have deeply hurt us, except by the power of our risen Lord.

King Jesus is the One who is doing this beautiful work inside of us.

And you will know God’s great power. It can’t be compared with anything else. His power works for us who believe. It is the same mighty strength God showed. He showed this when he raised Christ from the dead. God seated him at his right hand in his heavenly kingdom (Eph. 1:19-20, NTE).

Reminded of the Gospel

When these deeply conflicted situations arise, we are reminded of the Gospel. The Gospel reminds us that all people need God’s forgiveness – which is found only through Jesus Christ. They need our forgiveness, too.

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. . . Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:19, 20b-21, NIV).

Because we have been changed by the reality of the Gospel, we will seek after God’s heart in our relationships. We need to be willing to pursue reconciliation with others, after being made right with God. If we want to see God bring healing, let’s choose to work toward forgiving others.

Letting Go of “The Right”

We may have “the right” to be angry with someone for the way they have hurt us, but we can willfully choose to “count it as rubbish (see Phil. 3:7-14)”.

Why would we do such a thing? Because, we have met Jesus Christ.

From the moment where we said “yes” to following Jesus, our lives have been changed – for the better. Our hearts and minds are being renewed. Now if we haven’t met Jesus Christ or been changed by Him in this dramatic way, we will try to forgive in our own efforts. We need Jesus Christ and His power to forgive. 

Forgiving others is hard, but made possible with Jesus Christ. Every hint of willingness reminds us of the Holy Spirit’s work in our midst. Through walking by the Holy Spirit’s leading, we are able to remember none compare with Him. His truth always wins.

In Christ,

Signature

 

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!

Week 2: Friday Five (1 Thess. 2:7-20)

Originally, I was turned onto this mode of carrying out the “Five Minute Friday,” by a dear friend. Marie faithfully carries out this Friday series, on her own blog. The idea is to offer five bold points, that you may read within five minutes.

Five Truths on 1 Thessalonians 2:7-20. . .

(1) Through these men’s example, we are reminded that we can share the Gospel of God and even our own lives as a means to witness to an unbelieving world (vv. 8). We see in this week’s memory verse that these men did not only share the Gospel of God. While they could have, they did some even more impactful by sharing their lives – allowing their lives to show off the power of God.

(2) We need to live out our lives in a way that pleases God (vv. 12). God will send others into our lives who will “plead… encourage… and urge…” us in our Christian walk. They will continue to lead us on in our faith journey. There is this one Proverb that says it best:

Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another (Prov. 27:17; NASB).

(3) We can follow in these men’s footsteps, by thanking God for how those in our midst have responded to the Gospel (vv. 13). These men got down on their knees and thanked God for how the Thessalonians responded to the Gospel of God. They knew who was the reason for the Thessalonians coming to Jesus Christ. It is by God’s grace, and His grace alone, that we have been saved.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy (Titus 3:3-5a, NIV).

(4) We, too, will suffer for our belief in Jesus Christ (vv. 14). The believing community of Thessalonica suffered persecution for what they believed. It is as Scripture teaches us that others will despise us, because of Jesus Christ. When the world rejects Christ, they will also reject – even injure/kill those who worship Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of their lives. But the God we serve is sooo faithful to us, even when others come against us!

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you (John 15:18-19, NCV).

(5) We can love and treat others we mentor in a likeminded way. The men of God diligently chose how they would care for the Thessalonians. They loved and treated them like treasured family. This is, in part, to why the Thessalonians were their pride and joy. The men poured much into this community of believers. They were not people they knew for only a moment, but knew well!

Week 1: Friday Five (1 Thess. 1:1-2:6)

Originally, I was turned onto this mode of carrying out the “Five Minute Friday,” by a dear friend. Marie faithfully carries out this Friday series, on her own blog. The idea is to offer five bold points, that you may read within five minutes.

Five Truths on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:6. . .

(1)  Our prayer lives are to be the strongest aspect of the Christian life (see 1:2-3). One of the more noteworthy aspects of this section of Scripture is their prayer lives. These were men who knew the significance of the need to praise and pray to the Father. If we want to grow as believers in Jesus Christ, we would be wise to take cues from their example –

We always thank God for all of you. We keep on praying for you. We remember you when we pray to our God and Father. Your work is produced by your faith. Your service is the result of your love. Your strength to continue comes from your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1:2-3, NIRV).

(2) God dearly loves us, and has chosen to call us His own (1:4). The most important form of love comes from our heavenly Father. We have been hand-picked by Him and passionately loved. Because of the way God loves us, we know that we will never have to walk alone. God, our Creator, is the One who walks with us – even carrying us, as we face difficult days in our lives. We need to keep our eyes focused on the One who loves us more than any other ever could!

(3) Our faith rests in our Lord Jesus Christ, and is transformative (see 1:6, 9-10). The Thessalonians’ lives were changed from the moment they first heard the Gospel and chose to believe. They put all their heart, soul, and mind into what they believed to be true about Jesus. They never half-heartedly believed, but the way they trusted Jesus showed up in every aspect of their lives.

. . . They tell about how you turned away from statues of gods. And you turned to serve the living and true God. They tell about how you are waiting for his Son to come from heaven. God raised him from the dead. He is Jesus. He saves us from God’s anger, and his anger is sure to come (1:9b-10).

(4) Our actions will change, in light of faith (see 1:10). As we gaze at the way the Thessalonians’ lives were changed by their beliefs in Christ, we can be encouraged that our lives can experience the same kind of transformation. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, and no other, our lives can be radically changed.

(5) While our goal is to please God, not people, our faith-filled lives causes us to become examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus Christ (see 1:7-8, 2:4-6). Before we can become examples ourselves, we must be taught. God has given us Christ-centered people in whom we can see how they lived out their faith. Paul called people to imitate him, as he imitated Christ. He taught with his words, but as well as his very life.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).

As we follow our Lord Jesus in faith, we are given many others who show us how to trust Jesus as the Lord of our lives. These people help us learn what it means to have faith in Jesus and allow it to alter the choices we make. As we grow, we are gifted the opportunity to entrust others with what we have been taught. It is a continual gift to others in the church.

 

Discovery of the Better Thing {{Week 9}}

Today (Wednesday, the 8th) is day 59 of our Bible study. We only have a few short days left. I found an error in the journal for today, so I wanted to pop in. This way, none of us miss the key to developing what is called “good fruit” in our lives. While the journal gives a non-existent Scripture reference, our accompany Scripture is actually John 15:4-5.

Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:17-20; AMPC).

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

In Matthew 7:17-20, we are reminded that our lives will either produce “bad” or “good” fruit. Every place in our lives has the potential to reveal the real outpour of our faith. In our lives, our faith in Jesus is put on display as we live out our lives.

One example of good fruit and its possibilities is in how we treat others. If we want to treat others well, we will want “good” fruit that is worthy of admiration rather than “bad” fruit that is diseased and shows we are relying on our own efforts.

In today’s Scriptures, we are taught two important truths.

  1. Our lives will either produce good or bad fruit (see Galatians 5:22-23). There is no in-between. Will we be hot or cold in our remaining (by continuing to sit with and pursue) in Jesus? How so?
  2. Jesus Christ is the ultimate key to experiencing life at its best! He is the One who can open His storehouses, and give us what we seek and could ever need. How are we allowing Jesus to be our complete hope and Source of life?

As long as we stay connected to Jesus, staying in His beautiful presence, we will see good “fruit” in our lives. This is part of finding the new life Jesus promises to give us. If we will sit with Him, if we will sit in His presence, if we will resolve to keep going to Him in prayer, He will continue to work in our hearts and lives.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is what makes the difference between living worthless lives and a new life that we can be proud of. It is about Jesus Christ. While our efforts may be a part of it, it is a small part. The more important thing, Mary discovered and we can too. The more important thing is Jesus Christ. The more important thing is to keep our focus on Jesus Christ and learning how to simply be with Him. This is the better thing.

Head over to Luke 10:38-42 to read Mary’s story!