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,

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Living As God Intended {Trial Truths}

Late last year, I set up some boundaries. Social media boundaries. These boundaries were put in place to protect me. To protect my heart. The hard thing about social media is – the reminder of how different our lives can look like from everyone else’s.

My life looks vastly different from everyone else’s. I could sit here and literally count the ways. But, it doesn’t really benefit my soul to do that. Instead of doing this profitless thing, I need to keep my focus on the Lord and His Word.

Looking to the Word –

But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into. This is my rule for all the churches (1 Cor. 7:17, TLB).

In Scripture, we are reminded that – we can be placed in very different circumstances from others. There is a bigger picture than our circumstances (even the devastating ones), and that is the quality of relationship we have with God through His Son Jesus Christ! Will we allow the Lord to be of greater importance than our painful circumstances?

Some things in my life can make me feel so ashamed, and yet I have to remember it is a “drawing near” tool. While my identity isn’t in my circumstances, these things can help me connect with Christ – who is the Source of my identity.

Whatever your circumstance, I welcome you to my blog. You are welcome here. None of us fit into this perfect box of unbrokenness, for we all face hard things. Let’s just keep coming to our Lord Jesus honestly, and learning how to live for Him.

The circumstances we face can be very tough at times. I love this verse found in 1 Cor. 7, because it honestly shares the truth we need to recite in our daily lives. We need to consider how to live a life for our Lord Jesus, even now. We need to live out the call God has placed on our lives today, rather than waiting for better circumstances.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling inadequate and broken right now. Friend, this is where the Lord will meet you and share with you His presence as you draw nearer to Him.

While I cannot fix your circumstances or even my own, I am here to offer you comfort. The truth is – you are not alone, neither am I. We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ meets us here. In this place. And out of all other places, this is the one where He chooses to reveal Himself the most. . . as we come broken before Him and desperately seeking Him.

Well, that is all I have to share today. But, I will be back soon. Don’t forget to order your journal and prepare your heart – because Monday we begin our newest online Bible study (Press On Toward Faithfulness)!

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31 Proverbs to Light Your Path {Blogging-For-Books}

31 ProverbsIt’s no secret that Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my favorite Bible study teachers. I have reviewed several of her books, including her last devotional – which is much like this one.

Today, I am here today to joyfully share with you her new book. 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path is a devotional that meets us where we are, and walks us through specific proverbs found in the Bible.. The Lord has much to share with us, as we draw near.

We are invited into beautiful conversations about God’s life altering truths and their power. While we are met with God’s truth and learn what it looks like to apply them in our lives, we are given a special section at the end of each devotion – that might make the most difference in applying the devotional truths immediately.

In “One Minute, One Step,” we are urged to take the time to remember these special God-given truths and consider what it means for our own lives. It is by God’s absolute grace that we can hear His truths and allow the Lord to change our lives through them.

There are 31 Proverbs placed in this book that can radically change our lives. And, friend? It is simply the beginning. Jesus has so much He wants to share us, as we sit here in community with Him and each other. Let’s seek out our sweet Lord and take this gift we have been given.

My Story –

One night a few weeks ago, I found myself awake in an insomnia moment. After realizing “Okay, I am not getting to sleep,” I finally got up and grabbed my reviewer’s copy of this God initiated book and just kept reading.

I couldn’t stop, and truthfully I didn’t want to. The more I read, the more the Lord spoke to me – filling my soul with His truth!

As I continued to read, the sweetness of the Lord and His comfort washed over me. I just sat and continued reading as one day turned into seven days, and so on. That night, I made many notes, highlights, and even followed up on a specific urging the Lord placed on my spirit.

Friends, the Lord can use this book to speak to us. As we are being changed by the truths and our relationship with our great God through His Son Jesus Christ, He will change others. Our job is simply to be obedient.

For a long time, it was hard for me to read the Proverbs – because there are many transformative truths (“How do I remember them all?”). All we have to do is begin with one proverb, and start there.

Let’s allow Liz Curtis Higgs, to be our friend who shows us how the Lord is helping her apply His truths.

God can definitely use this devotional to speak to His people. Friends, let’s meet up, share our brokenness, and open up our hearts to His truth. The Lord will meet us wherever we are.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive 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.

Keeping Promises {Inspiring Women}

Starting Monday, July 24, the Facebook page for Gracefully Overcoming will begin reading and studying Psalm 119.

(Psst: This blog post is part of our series – Inspiring Women using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries.)

Psalm 119:1 reminds us of the truth that God’s people are called blessed (happy, fortunate, favored) when we enter a relationship with our risen Lord Jesus Christ and follow in His ways.

How happy (or blessed) are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the Lord’s instruction! (CSB)

The Blameless

The blameless walk with personal integrity. As we consider and walk in an exclusive relationship with our heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ, let us continue to think about how we live. Let us remember Ephesians 5, where we are reminded to follow the example of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Exemplary

In Psalm 15, we are given specific examples of living in a blameless way.

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does. . . (Ps. 15:1-2a, ESV).

It is within this specific Psalm, where we find out what one who wholeheartedly follows the Lord does. For the “Inspiring Women” series, we are pointed to verse 4.

Let’s create our working definition for the “blameless” believer. It is a person who clings to and follows Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord over their life, and strives to allow God to be proclaimed in the private and public aspect of their life.

in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change (ESV).

Friends, sisters, the life of inspiring others is seen as we hold to what we know about our risen Lord Jesus Christ and the life – to which we have been called.

The Transformation Life

While we are a work in progress until Christ’s return (see Phil. 1:6), let us strive to allow God to define what is right and wrong. Our moral compass isn’t determined by society or how likable the girl down the street is. Even when we are pressured to compromise, we need to hold onto what God says is right and wrong.

May we “keep [our] promises even when it hurts (NLT).”

Let’s choose today to remain faithful to our risen Lord, and remember His Word stands as absolute truth. Even if everyone is against the Bible and God’s truth, it has not changed. It will still be true and be our instructions for how to live.

Friends, our best way to inspire – comes from honoring what is right in God’s own eyes and exposing the lies we are confronted with.

Our risen Lord Jesus Christ – is what matters. It is the Bible and our own faith in Christ, that determines how we live. Let’s be Jesus girls who choose to trust and diligently obey Him, because we know He is worthy!

In Christ,

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Clothed in Love {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.

Our faith and hope rest in Jesus Christ alone. God chose Jesus Christ to be our Savior and purposely sent Him into the world for our sake.

Reborn

Jesus Christ has brought us into a new place with God our Creator. We have been forgiven of our sin and reconciled with God. Because of Jesus Christ, we can trust God and find rest for our souls.

Now your faith and hope can rest in him alone. Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred when you trusted Christ to save you; so see to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts (1 Peter 1:21b, 22; TLB).

Friends: From the moment where we first said “yes” to Jesus, we have been reborn. We have a brand new life, which “comes from Christ, God’s ever-living Message to men (vv. 23).” Let’s bask in our new life. While I know we are often reminded of our past, our slate is wiped clean by the work of Jesus Christ.

Church, we have been given such a precious gift through Jesus Christ and the amazing love He has demonstrated toward us. It’s time to celebrate.

The Selfless Surrender

Look at what God has done on our behalf:

He forgives all my sins. He heals all my sicknesses. He saves my life from going down into the grave. His faithful and tender love makes me feel like a king. He satisfies me with the good things I desire. . . (Ps. 103:3-5, NIRV).

As we walk in our new lives, we can have genuine love for others. This is made possible, because of the transformation Jesus Christ is doing in our lives. As we surrender our selfishness and hatred, it makes room for the good work God wants to do in our lives.

The Changed Life

He is our beloved Savior, and has chosen to redeem us. He has taken us out of our pit of selfishness and hopeless despair, and given us new life. As we walk in our new life, we are given the opportunity to take off our old “clothes” and put on the new. God wants to radically transform our lives, including the way we treat others. He is heaping gift upon gift over our lives, as we surrender control to Him.

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. (Col. 3:12-14, NCV) 

In Christ,

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