Guided by Christ Alone {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the month of May, 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 women of God who passionately follow Jesus Christ, the Living God, we need to be intentional in how we live. For this, let’s look to our God-given instruction in today’s passage.

3 In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought (Phil. 2, ERV).

We have not been called to allow our flesh (that is, our sin nature) to continue reigning. Instead, we need to allow our lives to have a much different guide. His name is Jesus Christ, and He holds all things together (see Col. 1:17).

Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, is who we need to seek after, and allow Him to transform us.

New Life

In Galatians 5, we are urged to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our lives.

Jesus Christ went through unbearable pain to bring us reconciliation and our new life. Let’s not forget the moment He lit up our dark world (see Eph. 2).

We have been given new life, but often we are still living our old life versus the new one of great cost. God can radically change our lives, as we walk closely with Him.

We can lay down our selfishness and pride.

We can surrender our old way of doing things.

Our relationships can experience radically reconciliation.

As women passionately seeking Jesus, He can take us from a world of darkness and give us His amazing light – which includes an identity rooted in Him where we are made whole.

The Transformative Power

Even though our lives seem like a disaster (ohh I am sorry, maybe that’s just my life?), God is going to transform our hearts and lives – as we seek Him.

From the moment where we began to follow Jesus the Christ, we have had the Holy Spirit, the Transformer, take up residence in our lives. God is pursuing us, and loving us unconditionally. He will work in our lives, as we draw near to Him.

This same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead – is working in you and me. Our lives are not hopeless. On the contrary, our lives are exploding with hope.

When we are guided by the Holy Spirit, everything becomes much clearer. We can move into the person God is making us to be. We will no longer be empty, because we know our need for God and find our wholeness in Him (see Col. 2:10).

The entire fullness of deity dwells in Christ; therefore the experience of fullness is to be found in him, and in him alone. Christian experience is indeed filled with significance and power (Asbury Commentary).

Featured image by Rémi Walle.

Week 4: The Ultimate Goal – Part 1

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God (1 Thess. 4:3-5, NIV)

A lot of what gets us in trouble is – we go looking for that captivating love in all the wrong places. We will look for it, even in sexuality. We chase the One Thing that will make us feel loved and full, rather than rejected and unbelievably empty. But often times, we forget that… God is the One who takes away the emptiness, and causes our hearts to leap with satisfaction as we dwell in His Word and Presence.

Finding Wholeness in God and His Word

Before we can worry about anything else, we need to come to a place where we meet Jesus Christ for ourselves. He is the One who wants to make us whole and keep us satisfied.

In God’s Word, we meet boundaries, or commands, because. . . God wants to keep us safe from harm and close to Him. He is the One who has lovingly pursued us, and invites us to seek Him for ourselves.

We can find rest and satisfaction, when we stop searching elsewhere for the treasures we can find in Him.

God’s Word is Significant!

As we read these words, let us remember that God’s Word is significant.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).”

If we want to be made complete by God and equipped for whatever God is calling us toward, we have to be willing to listen to Him.

Understanding God’s Authority

Understanding God’s authority is something we have to do, before we can hear what is coming next in 1 Thessalonians –

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus (vv. 1-2, ESV).

Before we are given our command, we are reminded that God is the ultimate authority in our lives. He is more important than our parents or the president of our homeland. Now this doesn’t mean we ignore those placed in authority over us (parents, president, etc), but it does mean we need to respect and obey the Lord our great God!

Understanding God’s authority of our lives is likely a bigger issue than “hearing” what God has told us to do. If we don’t trust someone’s authority, it affects how we take their commands. Growing in submission to God, means knowing and accepting God’s authority in our lives.

If we are unable to trust who God is, how can we effectively listen for His Voice and honor what He has instructed us to do?

While I have much more to say on this passage of Scripture, I have just one last thing to say for tonight…

Feature image by Łukasz Łada.

Until next time,

Signature

Impact #1

im·pact

  1. to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging
  2. to press together

The Introduction (I Should Probably Give. . .)

I love visiting blogs, where the writer shares their lives. I have seen on, at least, one blog – where the gal will write in – with specific things in mind. So, I thought I would give it a try. I am calling it, impact. This is the name of this part of my blog, for one simple reason.

Many things impact our lives, which lead us to impact others by what we say and do.

Our goal in life, ought to be Jesus. Let’s run to Jesus and the abundant life He wants to give us, shall we?

The Questions –

Feeling – It has been a trying week, but I am seeing God’s handiwork. I am pretty joyful (overall, not without my sorrow-filled moments), considering standing brings out debilitating symptoms (and sometimes a little too close to blacking out).

…ehem…

Actually, I have even woken up many times with specific praise songs laid upon my heart. The Holy Spirit has caused my spirit to start singing the lyrics to specific songs, throughout the day (or during the night). For me, it shows I am pursuing Christ (and He is working in my heart)- even in the middle of my storm. Humming songs in silence isn’t my common practice, but it shows God’s working and causing my faith to become stronger.

Studying – I have been studying Psalms 98 and Luke 19:37-40. This is such a powerful set of Scriptures to get our hands on. God is doing incredible, out-of-this-world, things in our lives, and we need to praise Him. We need to break out our musical instruments and voices, to sing our hearts out with an abundance of joy – that God gives to us.

Reading –

Listening To – Last few weeks, I have been enjoying “Everything” by Lifehouse (Find the “Everything” skit on YouTube, if you get a chance). Then, there is the whole “Party Like a Princess” by Jamie Grace. That one I am really enjoying celebrating too.

Celebrating – Today, I am celebrating who God is. God is providing me with the encouragement, strength, and ministering that I need. Even while I face health struggles, God is my Constant and shows me that He is the One fighting for me! (Exodus 14:14; Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7; Romans 8:31).

Loving – These days, I am loving silence. While I enjoy entertainment in form of iTunes, Netflix, and movies, I love the option of shutting it off to read a book or just talk with the Lord. I am learning to be okay with silence (even crave it). Silence helps me draw nearer to the Lord and feel His presence.

Silence ushers me into God’s Presence, through the Holy Spirit.

Which reminds me that… I am whole, completely full, and lacking nothing.

So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority (Col. 2:10, NLT).

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Ps. 23:1, NIV).

Praying – Right now, I am praying for my family and our needs to be met. I am praying for God to work a miracle on our behalf.

Holding Onto – Knowing God is fighting for me (see 1 Peter 1:5).

Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you (1 Peter 1:5a; VOICE).

Other Scriptures – Psalm 23; 2 Corinthians 10-13

Restore the Broken

What is your favorite promise of God? Where is it found in the Bible? Tonight, while exercising, I was thinking and began praying for God to restore what is broken. I need my God to restore what has been broken. Maybe, you need the same. You need God to restore something important to you that was broken.

Mending the Broken

Throughout Scripture, we see God as One who is found mending what was once broken. We see God mending the broken hearted.

In Isaiah, the prophet writes –

For this is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite (Is. 57:15).”

The Psalmists wrote about brokenness, too.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed
(Ps. 34:18).”

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise
(Ps. 51:17).”

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds
(Ps. 147:3).”

In these Scriptures, we are reminded that God is not afraid of brokenness. God doesn’t shy away from those who face some sort of brokenness in their lives.

The truth is – we all are broken in some way or another. We all have relationships that seem more broken than whole. We all have our days where maybe it’s not the relationships, but it is our jobs, finances, choices we make, or sins that cause us to be broken.

The Clinging Promise

Yet, there is that promise in Joel 2:25. In this prophetical book, God shows us that He can, in fact, use the brokenness in our lives. He can restore our season of brokenness. 

God promises His chosen people, Israel, that He will do one thing that stands out from the circumstances they would undergo. He is the God who promises to restore!

In the midst of God’s pronounced judgment, there is a plea toward the end of the second chapter of Joel.

When we come back to God, truly repent of our sins, and seek after the will of God for our lives, He will do something wonderful in our midst.

While He lists all these terrible things that could happen, He tells them something that would make the hair stand up on the back of their neck.

“I will give you back what you lost
in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops.
It was I who sent this army against you.

Now you will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied.
You will praise the Lord your God,
who has done wonderful things for you.
My people will never be despised again.

Then, Israel, you will know that I am among you
and that I, the Lord, am your God
and there is no other.
My people will never be despised again (Joel 2:25-27).”

God can make up for the years lost, due to the catastrophe. Though the catastrophe was brought on by the sins of the people, God would bring them back to the land of the living. In the midst of their most difficult circumstances, God would fill them up and keep them satisfied. Though they went profoundly hungry, God would soothe their appetite. God would fill up their empty cup.

Make A Change

Let’s not forget the essential aspect of receiving healing for the broken pieces of our lives. We need to surrender to God.

We need to come before God, admitting we are sinners in need of His amazing grace through His Son Jesus Christ, and He will do wonderful things in our midst.

We need to have peace in our relationship with God first, before we can expect Him to fix what is broken.

The greatest priority is for our relationship with God to be restored. We need restoration in many areas of our lives, I am sure, but this stands out as the greatest area in which we need healing.

We need healing, and God is on standby – ready to begin to heal us in every aspect of our lives. It begins with us realizing the greatness of our God, and how much we need Him.

Our Treasure

God wants to turn our years of famine into something different – something beautiful. But, it hinges on us coming before God. In order to stand in His Presence, we need the greatest Advocate we could ever ask for – Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Advocate, and He is ready to intercede on our behalf before the Father.

I don’t know about you, but I stand in desperate need for Jesus to turn my years of famine and locust into something beautiful. I need God to take my utter foolishness moments, and turn them into something He can use. Despite the great shame of my sins, God can still restore. All I must do is come. Just come to the Heavenly Father.

How are you choosing to seek after the Lord your God today in the midst of your circumstances? How is He making Himself known in your midst right at this very moment? What are you facing that feels broken, beyond repair, that needs God’s precious touch?

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I have sinned against heaven and earth. I pray You would forgive me. Thank You that Your forgiveness is instant, without any grudges. If anyone had a right to hold a grudge against me, it would be You. Thank You for the love and grace You readily extend to me – instead. I pray You would turn the ugly into something beautiful, into something You can use. I pray You would restore the broken in my life, and use it to display Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Five Minute Friday – Alive

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Minute Friday!
This week’s theme is “alive. To learn more about Five Minute Friday,
please visit Kate’s
blog for more details… Each week, a community
of bloggers come together with the common goal is to spend
five unedited minutes to write on a topic.

Tonight is Good Friday – the day where we celebrate the truth that Jesus was crucified as our sin offering. It fits so perfectly with this week’s theme of what alive means – to me.

Sin Offering

Jesus is our sin offering! Listen to what the author of Hebrews was instructed to write by God – the Author of life itself!

“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications,with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Heb. 5:7-9).

The Truth

Through the blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, I am made alive. I have His hope and power running through my veins. Even on the days where I feel like I just can’t cope, I am reminded of the blood that was shed for me.

Made Alive

Jesus Christ went to the cross, for our sake. The more I write, for our sake, the deeper this truth begins to hit home. Jesus went to the cross for us. He has made us alive. As it says in Ephesians 2, we once were dead in our trespasses but now are made alive in Christ.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved… (vv. 1-5)”

More than anything, I wish I could put into words what this exchange has meant for my life.

Jesus Christ took my sins, burdens, suffering, and condemnation. He took it all away, so that I can find peace with God – my Creator. It is a gift that knows no words. There are not enough words in the English dictionary to describe the amazing, indescribable gift that we find in Jesus Christ – through His death and resurrection.

New Life

Because Jesus rose again on the third day, we too can rise to new life. Though our lives seem tattered and broken, we can experience wholeness and brand new life. It is in Christ that we are made complete. Whole. No longer broken. No longer chained to a spiritual death. But, we have life. We have access to the Father we cannot live without! We find wholeness and soul satisfaction!

In Christ, we are given eternal life and mercy. In Christ, we find all we need!

He carried us, and now we are made alive.

“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed (1 Pet. 2:24).”

What a tremendous, indescribable gift!