Living Sacrifice

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).

In some religions, the follower is asked to die in the name of their god. This is how they live out what they believe. They are asked to sacrifice themselves (or someone else). To which, there is no words – only heartache.

It is different for those who have trusted in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, our new life begins. We are forever His! Christianity brings us into relationship with our God and Creator, through His Son Jesus Christ!


Living Sacrifice

We are asked to become a living sacrifice, in view of God’s mercies who through His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day to give us new life. The debt we owed has been paid in full!

While some may ask their members to sacrifice themselves “for the cause,” we are urged to do something very differently. We are urged to come and follow Jesus Christ, not religion. It is a relationship with the Most High God!

It Is Done!

God’s Son Jesus Christ has accomplished the work we could never complete. He is the One who has saved us. It is not about what we could do in the name of religion, but what has been done for us! “In view of God’s mercies, offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”

Highest Aim

Do you want to honestly please God? This is the KEY to doing so.

Give yourselves to God, through His Son Jesus Christ! Answer Jesus’ call to “come follow Me” and allow Him to make our burdens light (Matthew 11:28-30).”

Choose to live a holy life based on the Bible and keep following our Savior and King – even when temptation does come. It is where we find eternal life, freedom, and peace. When we choose to glorify God, we are seeking to please and obey Him (even when we do it imperfectly)

Holy (Set Apart) Living

Meeting with Jesus each day is an important of following Jesus. By doing so, I am placing myself in the right spiritual environment to worship Him and continually follow Him through the Bible, prayer, and fellowship with others who are following Jesus too.

Each day, we can choose to follow Him. His mercies are made new each morning. And He offers us His companionship, forgiveness, and amazing love.

There is no substitution for our relationship with Jesus Christ!

It is choosing to trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and King of our lives. And, this is how we will please Him.

This is the worship we can seek.

Devotion: Did I Cause That?

Whenever something goes wrong and suffering comes, do you ever wonder what you are doing wrong? Or, am I the only one that falls into this trap?

Last few days I find myself asking, “What am I doing wrong, Lord?”

Then if I am blessed enough, the Holy Spirit will stop me in my tracks. I think, it is an easy trap to fall into. But just because we find ourselves in a bad situation, it doesn’t mean we have somehow failed.

I wonder what would happen if I could stop and ask: “What does God want to teach me through this?” Rather than “How is this evidence that I have somehow failed?”


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10, English Standard Version

Based on the Bible’s truth, I can state clearly that this is faulty thinking. And I, as a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, need to speak His truths into my life. I need to replace the lies, with His divine truth.

Today, I watched Priscilla Shirer and her sister Chrystal Evans Hurst talk about identity. As they were talking, they brought up the power of reading Ephesians 1-2 and listening to who God says we are.

When we allow God to define who we are, we will have an unshakable identity.

An identity that will never depend on someone else or our abilities. Our identity will firmly rest on who God is and what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ!

In Christ Jesus, we are so loved. We cannot make honest mistakes [keyword focusing on honestly, not deliberate sins], and walk around as though we will be punished or the world will fall apart for our lack of perfection. We are human beings. Human beings who are passionately loved by their Creator, God, and Savior!

In love He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:4b-6

So, what can we learn from Ephesians 1-2?

In a brief statement:

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is everything I am not. He has covered me, so I don’t have to worry about not being enough!

Maybe, you are feeling as though you aren’t quite enough today. Oh friends, if we could only replace this faulty thinking with the glorious truth that we are His! We are Christ’s. We are loved. We are accepted. We are forgiven. We have been completely redeemed. We are no longer broken and incapable of receiving our Creator’s love.

May we run and enjoy tonight’s chapters that remind us of our Forever Identity!

Disclaimer: You can now support Gracefully Overcoming through your Amazon purchases. At no cost to you (and effortlessly), Amazon will allow you to shop and Gracefully Overcoming get a bit of a benefit from your shopping. It can be any purchase you make. But, I am still enjoying this title by Charles Swindoll.

Trust Habit #6

Welcome, my friends, to our sixth installment for our “Trust Habits” series!

A trust habit is anything that will build up my trust and intimacy in my relationship with my heavenly Father.


Be still, and know that I am God!

Psalm 46:10a, New Living Translation

Lately, I have been finding myself positioning toward a “meditation pose”. I have been enjoying it for a few weeks now. It is becoming a more habitual practice in my life, as I walk through difficult things in my family life.

Envision this: legs crossed. palms open and stretched out. Focusing on God and His Biblical truth.


Admittedly

I realize meditation doesn’t have a great reputation in the Christian community. While this is true, it reminds me to pause my life, breathe in and out, and direct my attention to the Lord.

Meditation for me means focusing on my relationship with God and His Biblical truths.

Isn’t that what truth habits are all about?

Gaining intimacy with our sweet Savior Jesus Christ and learning to trust Him right where we are.


Process, Over Product

In Child Development classes, we quickly learned that the process of learning and growing was far more important than a replica of a teacher’s painting. Likewise, our time and relationship with our Savior Jesus is what this time is about.

As long as our time is focused on God and His Biblical truth, that’s all that matters. It isn’t about a perfect twenty minutes of focused meditation, regardless of how much of an achievement that might be.

This idea into meditation helps me to meet with the Lord one-on-one, in the middle of my messy circumstances. It is about bringing my mess into His light – as I choose to focus on Him quietly and remember who the Bible teaches me that God is.

Biblical truths like:

  • God is holy.
  • God is full of love, justice, and power.
  • God is faithful, even when we are not.
  • God invites us into His presence.
  • Sin separates us from God.
  • God sent His Son Jesus Christ to bring salvation to all mankind.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

During my time, I am learning to put on worship music.

I have too many things going on in my brain. So the worship music does help me to give my mountain of circumstances to the Lord.

Life is hard. And the Lord God is the only Way that I will make it through this really-really-hard-stuff.

If I can just give my soul a moment to pause, to breathe, and to remember to “Be still and know [He] is God” – then I will be far better off.

Unsplash Photo by Lua Valentia.

In Christ,
Stacey

The Good Shepherd’s Love {{Devotion}}

I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep (Jn. 10:14-15, NLT).

My favorite passages are those who acknowledge God as my Shepherd. I am someone who has both been led astray by other humans and one who has heard my Shepherd’s Voice and still ran away.

Maybe, you can relate? It’s easy to find ourselves in either position, isn’t it? Our great God is the Perfect Shepherd. He knows how to lead us and is the Shepherd with the strongest ability to lead us in the way we ought to go.

Our Lord Jesus is declared as our Good Shepherd in John 10. As our Good Shepherd, He shows us the way to eternal life. He lives out what we are taught in Isaiah 30:21 – which says:

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has passionately, loving – laid down His life for His sheep – who are actually those who believe and follow Him. As we follow the Lord, we are loudly declared as His very own. And over time, He even gives us ways to impact the Kingdom of God. We are given ways to passionately love, in a similar way to how Christ Jesus has loved us. While we will never be able to show the exact love He has shown, we can passionately love just as He has loved us.

Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God (1 Peter 5:2, NLT).

We are invited to feed the Kingdom of God. God has assigned to each of us a particular place of ministry. Maybe it is in our homes, through our blogs, or on the soccer field (or in the stands). Wherever you are: If you are a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, then, this verse is for you.

You may not feel important “enough”, or equipped. But the truth of the matter is: God has a purpose for  your life. Before you were born or became engulfed in your trial, God set you aside with a specific purpose in mind. That purpose still stands.

We are invited to join our great Lord at work, and share the Good News with others. While every day isn’t our best day, we have been given many new opportunities to share with others that our God is the absolute best God and Savior! He is far greater than we could ever imagine, and He is working all things together for His good (and ours).

And the really good news is: we don’t have to actually see God’s hands moving – to know He is most definitely working. When things get tough and we begin to doubt He is working, may we remember faith is choosing to trust what we know about our great God – through His written word, the Bible!

Unsplash Photo: Scott Webb

In Him,
Stacey

Treasure Hunt {Diving Into The Corinthians}

One day at a time, we are given the joy to treasure hunt in God’s Word. In today’s blog, I want us to go on a “treasure hunt” – together. Are you ready?! I invite you to join me, as I grab for my Corinthians Bible study journal and we get started! All you need is a Bible and something to take notes with.

Today’s Treasure –

I want for us to look at 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, but particularly 2:2 (which is bold below).

And this was the way it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I didn’t come with fancy words or human wisdom. I preached to you the truth about God’s love. My goal while I was with you was to talk about only one thing. And that was Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. When I came to you, I was weak and very afraid and trembling all over. I didn’t preach my message with clever and compelling words. Instead, my preaching showed the Holy Spirit’s power. This was so that your faith would be based on God’s power. Your faith would not be based on human wisdom (NIRV).

Do you remember Moses’ speech in Exodus 4?

“Moses said to the Lord: Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue (4:10, NIV).”

Our brother, Moses, was not a speaker by any means. Maybe, you can relate. I know, I can. I get too scared or tongue tied to even try, sometimes. And, this is not God’s will for me. In speaking and writing, I can find myself in that same spot Moses was in. Where I crumble in fear, despite the Message I have to give!

Paul wasn’t much different than Moses, except he wasn’t seen begging God to choose someone else, anyone else.

Paul knew it was God who spoke to them. It was something only God could do. God is greater than the weakness, fear, and trembling that we struggle with.

We can learn from these men and grow in our confidence in how God uses us to speak His truths. We, who are in Christ Jesus, are made complete. God has willfully chosen to be our Father, making us His children. He is the One who makes us complete, and lacking nothing!

Will we choose to follow our Father through our Blessed Savior?
Choosing to listen to our Father’s voice?

As long as we have our Lord Jesus Christ, we have everything we could ever need. Let us run to our great and risen King today, and pray He will help us to carry out our mission faithfully.

Father, Help me to be faithful to You. Help me to keep speaking Your name and truths – even when fear arises. We need to remember Your power and peace is greater than our fears. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Featured image by Lukas BornHauser from Unsplash.

Until next time,

Signature