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Devotions Diving Into Corinthians

Get Cozy with God {Part 2 // Diving Into Corinthians}

Welcome to part two of our “Get Cozy with God” message, my dear friends! ♥

In part 1, I bravely shown you what the inside of my Bible journal and notebook looked like from my other morning’s quiet time. I hope you were able to gain some encouragement from that.

Today, I want to focus on some of these key things that stood out to me – as I spent time with 1 Corinthians 1:1-3. Before we dive in, let’s just pray and read through the passage today.

Lord, fill this place. Meet each person where they are at, and let their confidence remain in You and the incredible work You alone do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (NKJV).

Called. . .  by the will of God: We have been invited by God, to His banquet. He has chosen us! We have been handpicked by our great God. How often do we realize the gift we have been given? It is an absolute gift we have received. It is worthy of celebration, that we have been gifted this opportunity to be with our risen Lord forever.

Kletos {Called} is defined as: Being invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ.

We have been called by the Lord, and now are able to rest in Him. It is God who has called us to be His followers and people. As we live out our faith in Christ, let us remember this gift of completely depending upon the Lord. It is a complete gift to be led by God.

“The apostle. . . was called . . . by the will of God; he did not thrust himself into that high and honourable employment, but was chosen, called and sent by God. . . (William Burkitt).”

Sanctified in Christ Jesus: We have been called by God, and this changes everything. In this process of becoming His, we are thoroughly changed. We are no longer defeated by our sinful nature, but we now experience victory because of our Lord Jesus Christ and what has been done on our behalf through the cross and His resurrection.

“The word “saints” does not differ materially from the word “sanctified” in the former part of the verse. It means those who are separated from the world, and set apart to God as holy. The idea which Paul introduces here is, that they became such because they were called to be such. The idea in the former part of the verse is, that this was done “by Christ Jesus;” here he says that it was because they were called to this privilege (Albert Barnes).”

In Every Place, Both Theirs and Ours: This letter is to be used for all of Christ’s beautiful bride. “All who profess Christianity, both in Corinth, Ephesus, and other parts (Adam Clarke).”

“Jesus Christ is the common Lord and Savior of all. He is the exclusive property of no one Church, or people, or nation. Calling on or invoking the name of the Lord Jesus, was the proper distinguishing mark of a Christian. In those times of apostolic light and purity no man attempted to invoke God but in the name of Jesus Christ; this is what genuine Christians still mean when they ask any thing from God for Christ’s Sake.”

Featured image by William Montout.

Until next time,

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Devotion Testimony

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.

Image by Roger Burkhard.

Forever His,

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Categories
Characteristics of God Godly Living

Finding Captivating Love {Devotion}

While this post is over a year old, it is worth making sure its contents are shared with all of you – my lovely readers who are dearly loved by our heavenly Father. Allow it to soak into your spirit, help you draw nearer to Jesus Christ, our King, and ponder the truths of our great God and His Word!


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1-2).

In 1 Peter 1:2, we learn a few interesting things.

  • God has a purpose regarding us.
  • We are chosen.
  • We have been made holy.
  • We have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (that is, Jesus Christ).
  • Grace and peace are ours in full measure.

The question I want us to answer today is….

How are you at living out these basic precepts that make up the Christian faith? It can take some of us many years to finally grasp the fact that we are –

  • on God’s mind (that He has a purpose for us!)
  • chosen by God alone (and it has nothing to do with our works)
  • cleansed (really cleansed) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus, the Messiah!)
  • God’s grace and peace are completely poured onto every aspect of our lives, if we will allow God to do it!

What would our lives look like if we really grasped these truths? What would my life look like, if I really knew that I was loved by my Savior? Not a conditional kind of love that is based on what I do or don’t do, what expectations I completely miss by a long-shot, and any other human measure I can concoct in my mind.

Jesus loves, really loves, me and you. To such an extent that He came to earth.

Think about what kind of longing that would take.

“I am going to earth, to redeem them.”

“I will be forsaken, unloved, hated in fact, punished for what THEY did (for our sin, and He did it with such amazing love), and I am going to BRING them back. I am going to FIX our broken relationship, because I dearly love them and created them.”

This is true, friends.
Our reality.

God’s love is passionate. He is absolutely for us! And, this is the kind of love that God has for each one of us.

There is this song I reheard at a conference, but it took on a whole new meaning while there. “Live Like You’re Loved (Hawk Nelson)”. What would it take for me to live like God loves me? Not on some mini-level. We are talking about a football stadium, out of this world, full blown confidence, kind of love that God has for each of us.

The love of God is beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

We could take all of the oceans of the world, line them up next to each other, and it still wouldn’t even come close to the greatness of God’s love for us. All He wants is to be with us. To spend time with us. It’s a relationship!

Feature image by Max Felner.

Categories
Thessalonians

Week 4: 1 Thessalonians 4:3

This week’s memory verse is 1 Thessalonians 4:3. This is a precious piece of Scripture. While all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), this one is quite meaningful for the lives of many believers in Jesus Christ.

For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice… (AMP-C)

Friends, we have been set apart for God and His purposes. This is the tremendous joy of the Christian life we live. God has many amazing things in store for us, as His people who have been redeemed (rescued) by His Son Jesus Christ, and choose to continue seeking after God’s will.

For the Christian, one of the greatest temptations is sexuality. It is a hot area where the Devil knows just what crafty word or action to use, as he stands in the way between us and God. We all know someone who have fallen prey to the Devil’s lures with sexual temptation, and left their faith and lives in ruins.

While God has given us the ability to desire sex or things of that nature, it is a gift human beings have completely misused and reaped the consequences. This command is given for our benefit, for sexual sin destroys.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other… (Matthew 6:24, NIV)

Our sexuality is going to influence the sanctification process. Sexual sins promise little, deliver none, cost us much, and cause us to flee from God and His presence. And since many face this temptation and give into it, the Devil doesn’t have to try too hard – in order for us to give in. This is why we need to be aware of how we struggle with temptation, so we might stand firm and protect our relationship with our heavenly Father.

In Asbury’s Commentary, we are reminded of the remedy for temptations: run to God and stay in His presence!

Few things have contributed more to the downfall of believers than sexuality. However mature one might be, the constant bombardment from a society that does not know God (v. 5), coupled with the nature of sexual desires, provide ready ammunition for the Tempter (see 3:5). Paul’s implied remedy is the continuing presence of the Spirit in the believer’s life.

Our faith is heavily involved in this choice – whether we obey or reject this command given to us by God to abstain from sexual sins.

Faith is the belief in the Father’s love for you, the Son (Jesus Christ) who willfully went to all costs to redeem and reconcile you to the Father, and the truth that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your life. The Holy Spirit will not sit around and do nothing. God has set you apart and equipped you to live a godly life. Keep drawing near, and watch Him work!

How are you focusing on His Presence, as you face temptations?

Feature image by Carly Rae Hobbins.

Categories
Thessalonians

Week 4: Prepare For An Energetic Week!

Few things get to me like this topic, as far the church life goes. Welcome, I am your “equally messed up” tour guide. I cannot help but read 1 Thessalonians 4, and be reminded of the ways the Church is… far from where we could be. I love the global church; we are the beloved body of Christ. His bride. His treasure.

Yet we settle for so little, when God wants to lead us to much more – even in this life before we reach Heaven and all its glory.

My Honest Heart Struggle

I made it my mission to go through “Meeting the Thessalonians” before this course was set to begin, which I mostly was able to. I can honestly say, week 4 was without any doubt one of the most difficult weeks. While I had weeks of surprising affliction that made it hard to reach for my Bible and notebook, this week has challenged me greatly based on the content in 1 Thessalonians 4.

It touched me at my core, as a single woman. Some excitement. Erm, much frustration. Plenty of moments, where I was reminded of where I want to be as part of the Church.

Join Me!

I invite you in joining me for the reading of God’s Word, where we will hear God speak in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.

As a single woman, I am bombarded with temptation – often. I am not alone in this struggle, though. I know, many readers are right there with me.

This passage of Scripture is important for all believers, regardless of our relationship status.

As we take the time to focus our attention on our Lord Jesus Christ, He will work in our midst. While we may face many temptations and struggles in this area, we are not alone. Girls and Guys, you are not alone. I am looking forward to the chance of going through this passage of Scripture together.

This week’s blogging might look drastically differently than the past three weeks have been. Because this passage of Scripture is of such great importance to me, I want to try and pop in whenever I can – to share my thoughts on a particular verse or share a quote from a Bible commentary. This week, in terms of blog posts, might look crazy different than this past week. Or, it might look exactly the same. Only the Good Lord knows!

We simply have to wait and see what God decides to do, because this is His blog.

I may have many passionate things to say, and He may have to offer a strong, yet gentile, reminder of “No Stacey, you cannot write that. It is not useful to build up others in the Church.” (I actually have a good set of moments like this. I, too, am a work in process. . .)

Whatever happens on the blog or your personal study this week, keep digging into God’s Word! I am excited to see what God shows us. Here is the reading plan for this week.

Feature image by Sweet Ice Cream Photography.

Until next time,

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