How to Have Life-changing Faith

Very few of us will have a book written or a movie made about our lives. Most of us will go from day to day living out a normal (whatever that means) life with its undulating highs and lows. The vast majority of us will never have even as much as a one-column newspaper article written about the space between our birth and our death.

So, why should we be too jacked up over our legacy?

I believe the answer lies between Hebrews 10 and Hebrews 12. In Hebrews chapter 11 we find what most Christians know as God’s Hall of Faith. A beautiful recounting of the lives of God’s servants beginning with Abel and ending with nameless individuals whose acts of faith were worthy of mention in Scripture.

Check out a few:

Abel offered a sacrifice that pleased God’s heart. (11:4)

Enoch pleased God and was raptured. (11:5)

Noah acted in faith when God told him about the coming flood. (11:7)

Abraham, whew, Abraham just flat out left home and family and set out to only-God-knew-where on faith. Abe also set the bar high for obedience when he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, just because God said so. (Try that one on for size!) (11:8-12, 17-19)

Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Israelites, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, David and so many others acted in faith and believed that God was who He said He was and that He was able to do what He said He would do.

Heart-pounding, life-changing faith.

Legacy-building, life-changing faith isn't just for the biblical heroes of old, it's for us today, too! Find out how everyday, ordinary faith leaves a godly legacy that lasts!  christian faith, godly legacy, leaving a legacy. faith legacy

 

The thing about all of the folks named in Hebrews 11 is that they were just ordinary people going about their ordinary lives doing ordinary things when God said, “Hey you!”

These people were not stained-glass saints when God called them. For heaven’s sake, Rahab was a prostitute, Moses was a murderer, and Gideon was a wimp. These were people, exactly like you and me, who had a heart set on obedience to God. They were willing to trust that God knew what He was doing and had a plan that was for their good, even when it was crazy-scary.

Heart-pounding, life-changing faith.

It is what God calls us to when we decide to set Jesus up as Lord and Savior over our lives. Jesus said that all we need is faith as tiny as a mustard seed in order to do the impossible (Matthew 17:20). Do you know how small a mustard seed is? It is teeny tiny, yet that is all the faith we need….just enough to say ‘yes’ to whatever God is calling us to, then He will add to our faith so we can do the thing in obedience.

Heart-pounding, life-changing, legacy-building FAITH.

Faith that just might one day have our portrait hanging on the walls of heaven.

Faith that might encourage someone else to use their mustard seed.

Faith that pleases the God of heaven immensely.

Faith that leaves a legacy for those who come behind us.

Where is God asking you to use your mustard seed of faith today? Share about it in the comments. I would love to pray for you.

Speaker, Author, Mentor. Bible teacher. Jesus-follower. Wife. Mom. Friend. Daughter of the King.  Leah Adams writes at leahadams.org to point others to Jesus. You can also connect with her on social media: Facebook (Leah Adams), Twitter (LeahCAdams), Instagram (leahadams64), and Pinterest (leahcadams).

*Being Confident of This makes use of affiliate links. For more information, please see the about page. Thank you for helping to support the ministry of this site!

Enter below for a chance to win a free copy of Legacy!

Leah is generously offering the readers of Being Confident of This a chance to win a free copy of her newly released Bible study, Legacy: It’s What You Leave Behind. Woohoo!

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Let me tell you why I’m excited about this study. First, I have known Leah for several years now and have witnessed her passion for reaching women for Jesus, particularly through sound teaching and lots of grace! Second, I worked closely with Leah on the design of Legacy, so I’m very familiar with the material contained within these pages – it’s meaty, grounded in scripture, and exactly the message we need to be spreading in the world today!

Leah’s book uses scripture to teach you how life-changing faith leaves a lasting legacy.

So, who wants to win a free copy?? :)

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5 Methods for Setting Goals Rooted in Faith

Perhaps you found your way here after evaluating last year’s successes and failures. Perhaps setting goals is new to you, and you’d like a little help. Or perhaps, like me, you hesitate to set real goals in the first place because you’re desperate to avoid any kind of failure.

If you consistently make and break New Year’s resolutions, or if you often find your enthusiasm waning halfway through the year, then these methods for setting goals will help!

5 Methods for Setting Goals

1. Before you make an attempt at setting goals, spend time in prayer.

First, if you have an area of your life that needs improvement, God is probably already nudging you.  The best goals are those the Father wills for us, and to remain aligned with His will requires a little soul-searching and time spent praying. If you already have some ideas about goals you should set, ask Him for confirmation!

Second, after you finish setting goals, continue to pray over your God-dependent efforts.

For example, when working on getting healthier last year, I often asked the Lord for strong lungs and strong knees so that I could continue working out.  I asked Him to give me the desire to eat right and the desire to exercise. I even asked Him for strength to continue in the middle of some of those workouts.

When I quit praying for those things for a time, I struggled and wasted several months going nowhere.

Because New Year's is right around the corner and resolutions so often fail to stick. Why not try a biblical approach to setting goals instead?  These 5 methods will set you on the path to success that lasts!

 

2. Support your goals with scripture memorization.

Often the Holy Spirit reminds me of verses I have memorized at key moments, such as when I’m tempted, struggling to trust, or avoiding obedience.  He even brings to mind verses to encourage me in my efforts.

The more we memorize, the more weapons in our arsenal!

When working on a goal pertaining to a weakness in your life or a desire to achieve something new, find and memorize a few key verses to motivate and encourage you.

And on the heels of scripture memorization…

3. Expect and prepare for opposition.

I’ve mentioned before that as soon as we aim to make positive changes  in our lives, Satan is sure to try us.  When we finish setting goals, we instantly become walking targets!  Doubt easily sets in when we fail to prepare for spiritual warfare.

Even friends or family may unintentionally discourage us because they fail to understand our goals, or perhaps they just don’t agree with them!  Either way, if we expect and prepare for rough seas at first, we won’t be easily deterred when storms blow our way.

4. Start with small steps.

Change isn’t easy, especially if you are trying to undo a life-long habit! Even if you’re simply adding a new habit, real change takes weeks – some experts advise 30-40 days or longer.

Don’t be ashamed of your baby steps!

Use the small start to build to bigger changes.

Starting small after setting goals allows you to focus on one thing at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, start by exchanging an unhealthy afternoon snack for a serving of vegetables.  Once you’ve mastered that step you can move on to a bigger step.

The verse below comes from the days of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. God’s faithful were few in number and faced discouragement at every turn. Theses were His words:

 “Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying,  “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small things?” (Zech. 4:8-10a, NASB, emphasis mine)

Don’t despise the day of small things. Instead, celebrate every small victory!

Goal-setting is no easy task, especially if you don't know how or where to begin.  To plan for success, follow these 5 methods for setting goals that are rooted in faith.  Bonus - one important resource to help you plan goals with grace! 5 Methods for Setting Goals Rooted in Faith

5. Break loose from perfectionism by embracing grace.

I’ve written before about disliking the process of setting goals (and being afraid to get too specific) because I’m afraid to fail. I hate failing! As a perfectionist, I must recognize how this all or nothing mindset limits me.

The only way to break loose from perfectionism’s chains is to view myself as a work-in-progress woman.

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6, NASB)

Rather than avoiding the process of setting goals altogether, I purpose to show myself grace!

I know some current goals are going to be long hauls, especially this weight loss journey.  Whereas a setback might have caused me to give up for good previously, with grace in mind I can see the work in progress rather than individual or isolated failures.

One important tool to help you embrace grace in setting goals:

Grace Goals Course for setting goals biblically
Do you really want lasting, godly change?  If so, I highly recommend  Grace Goals, a new scripture-based goal-setting workshop developed by my friend Arabah Joy (affiliate link).

Grace Goals contains 5 Workshops to help you identify your greatest desires and develop a plan for pursuing them. Grace Goals also targets the tools you need to succeed and (the most important part, in my opinion) helps you understand how faith plays the greatest role in achieving real change!

Here’s what Grace Goals includes:

  • a printable workbook
  • 5 mini workshops
  • practical assignments for each workshop
  • printable pages to help organize your thought
  • access to the Grace Goals facebook support group (so helpful for that accountability and encouragement you need to succeed!)

In addition to Arabah Joy’s lovely writing style, you will also enjoy the thought-provoking questions she asks. These questions get to the root of why setting goals is important and how we can best go about setting goals rooted in faith.

The best part?  It’s completely based on Scripture!

Grace Goals Course

LIMITED TIME OFFER

I hope you take advantage of this special offer, friends, because the content here is extraordinary!

Wishing you a fruitful New Year!

Jen :)

* This post makes use of affiliate links. Jen is an affiliate for Grace Goals and will receive compensation for any purchase made through the affiliate links on this blog.  Thank you for supporting the ministry of Being Confident of This!

Christians and Sin ~ Grace and Truth Week 43

It’s Friday, and I’m just thankful to have made it through this week with a smile still on my face (well, mostly, haha). You?

I’m thankful for the Lord’s goodness in giving me the energy I need to get through each day lately.  I’ve started asking Him ahead of time when I know our day is going to be particularly long or potentially stressful to give me His strength and peace and patience. He always does. :)

But some days I don’t choose the opportunity for demonstrating patience or joy or strength. Some days I fail.

Some days I willingly sin.

I read a meme earlier this week on facebook that said something along the lines of: The mark of Christians is that they keep on fighting against sin. It doesn’t matter how many times they fall as long as they get back up and resume the fight.

How true.  We cannot expect perfection on this side of Heaven, but neither should we give up!  We choose to persevere, having faith in the results to follow.

This week my friend Dawn shared an excellent post on the mistakes we make.  She wrote of how they can lead to shame, but also to redemption. That’s the amazing Grace we experience as children of God!

Friends, this is one of those posts that bring a smile to your face and gratefulness to your heart – and maybe even a loud, “Amen!” to your lips.  So be sure to stop by and be encouraged. It’s well worth the time!

As we finish off this week, let’s remember how great a God we serve.

We may feel weak, but He is strong.

We may feel inadequate, but He is sufficient.

We may be weary, but He promises rest.

Let’s do it all for His glory!

Jen :)

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It’s the Great Halloween Debate, Charlie Brown

It happens every year around this time, when nature eases the northern hemisphere into the Fall season with ever-cooling evenings and misty mornings.

When pumpkin-spiced everything invades North America, we can be sure the season is well underway, and along with pumpkin-spice, we’re sure to read an opinion or two about Halloween and Christianity.

It’s the Great Halloween Debate, Charlie Brown.

I’m not sure about you, but the Halloween issue is something I’ve struggled with as a Christ-follower (it’s right up there with what to do with Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc.).

What to do with Halloween is one of those be-in-the-world-but-not-of-the-world gray areas that so often divides Christians.

Yes, I’ve researched the history of Halloween and Christianity –  both the pagan roots of the holiday and it’s Catholic counterpart, All Saint’s Day. I’ve even read a few articles lately about what Christians should or should not do in regards to this day.  I’m just not sure I agree that there is one “right” way anymore.

The problem with the Great Halloween Debate is that scripture remains unclear on what to do with such holidays. How to celebrate (or not) is of the those “gray areas” where the Christian response is not dictated by scripture alone.

Unlike other potential sin issues on which scripture is clear, such as sexual immorality, dishonesty, theft, murder, and so forth, we read very little about what to do with man-made holidays.

For this reason, much of what we read on Halloween and Christianity tends to be human opinion rather than scripture-based mandates.

We’ll find similar opinionated arguments about whether or not we should celebrate Easter and Christmas, yet somehow Christians have managed to bring Christ to the center in many ways for those holidays in spite of their pagan roots.

During the Fall season, The Great Halloween Debate takes center stage in many Christian circles. Is there a "right" way to decide what to do about Christianity and Halloween?  And if so, who decides?  We might just be missing the most important thing in all of our Halloween discussions?

Is it possible then, that Halloween might be redeemed in the same way? Or are Halloween and Christianity simply incompatible?

Halloween and Christianity

Although we don’t find the word “Halloween” in scripture, we do find examples of debates over other worldly issues dividing the early church.

The Corinthian Church debated over meat that had been sacrificed to idols (see chapter 8 of 1 Corinthians), which some considered to be tainted, evil meat and as thus, inedible. Here’s what Paul had to say on the issue:

But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.” 1 Cor. 8:8

According to this passage of scripture, those who ate meat that had been sacrificed to idols were neither right nor wrong.  It wasn’t better to do one OR the other. How can this be?

The morality of the meat debate depended not on the issue itself, but on their own personal convictions.  What is sin for some may not be sin for others in such scriptural gray areas.

Another example of debate over meat can be found in Romans 14.

Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”Rom. 14:3-4

Once again Paul reminds these early Christians that the matter of whether or not one should eat meat sacrificed to idols is one of personal conviction.

Neither the partaker nor the abstainer should despise the other!

Then, in verse 5 of Romans 14, we find this interesting advice:

“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

At first glance, this verse may be taken to speak to the Sabbath and on which day Christians should celebrate it.  But according to various Bible commentaries (Matthew Henry, Warren Wiersbe, etc.), it was more likely a reference to traditional Old Testament celebrations – whether or not to continue celebrating them.

According to Paul, “each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” It’s up to us as individuals, gifted with the power of the Holy Spirit, to decide about Halloween and Christianity, for ourselves.

We so often look to other Christians for opinions on such gray areas, or we judge fellow believers as right or wrong based not on scripture, but on our own personal convictions. We are guilty of looking to others for how to walk out our faith here on Earth when we should be looking to the Lord alone.

Let the Lord tell you what to do!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t tell you what to do about The Great Halloween Debate.  When it comes to Halloween and Christianity, each person must come to on his or her own personal conviction.

If your personal convictions allow you the freedom to celebrate it as “unto the Lord,” then by all means, do so! If your personal convictions require you to abstain from the “holiday,” then by all means, do so!

 And if you, like me, lie somewhere in between on the Great Halloween Debate, then let it be “as unto the Lord,” as well.

Maybe, just maybe, making the right choice for Halloween is not so much about the details of how we celebrate (or don’t celebrate) but the why behind it.

And any day with Jesus as the focus is a good day, in my opinion, whether we partake or abstain.

Romans 12:21

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Perhaps the best way to overcome evil, to be a light in the darkness, is to quit biting and devouring one another and focus on loving each other instead.

Let’s not be like Sally in It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. She worried over whom to believe – Linus or her other friends.  Rather than forming her own convictions, Sally allowed herself to be swayed by others throughout the night, leading to a lot of unnecessary worry and eventual frustration.

Let’s drop the Great Halloween Debate, shall we?

Instead, let’s just follow hard after Christ and quit worrying about what others are doing (or not doing).

For His glory!

Jen :)

Sharing with : Grace and Truth

Whatever You Do ~ Grace and Truth Week 36

We’ve all heard the verse before, the one that tells us “…whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord” (1 Cor. 10:31), but do we really have that mindset day by day? Are we intentionally choosing an attitude of serving the Lord in the midst of both the important moments and the incredibly mundane?

I so often fail to remember that even my most despised house chores are opportunities to worship the one true God and to practice thankfulness for the many blessings He has bestowed.

In fact, if you were at my house, you might find me grumbling about all that needs to be done, about how the four kiddos in the house leave their mess out for me to pick up, how my husband leaves his shoes for me to trip over, how the laundry never, ever, ever gets all the way done.

You may be laughing, but I’m not kidding – these are the complaints that at least register in my head even if I don’t always verbalize them (unfortunately, plenty of them do get verbalized). That’s just the honest, messy truth about me.

I can be a critical complainer.

But it ought not be so, friends.

I’m feeling more than a little convicted about this tendency to downplay the gift of life.

Every moment is a gift, even the ones that try us to the core of our beings.

I’m learning this difficult lesson – to give praise in the everyday and even in the painful moments, too.

Because I want to leave a legacy of putting God first in all things, not just in ministry or in writing, but in ordinary moments of parenting, and housekeeping, and marriage, and friendship, and… the list goes on.

Don’t you want it, too? The kind of legacy that leads others toward Christ rather than away from Him? The legacy that brings glory to a Father who deserves infinitely more glory than we can bring in a lifetime?

Lori of Searching for Moments reminds us of how easily we can get distracted from our legacies by busyness in our lives.  She reminds us of how mundane moments can add up to something extraordinary in the life of another. Stop by and give it a read – it’s worth the time!

Yes, we can leave a legacy of faith even while tackling that dreaded laundry mountain!

I’m not advocating a return to perfectionism, no sir.

I’m advocating a graceful approach to a spirit of worship in all that we do.

Let’s live out our faith even in the small moments.

In whatever we do.

Even laundry.

Jen :)

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When Life Gets Busy ~ Grace and Truth Week 33

I’m so happy it’s Friday already, friends! We’ve had one of those weeks when you just fall into bed exhausted every night. :)  Has it been unbelievably busy at your house lately, too?

Today we lay a friend to rest, and yesterday we visited a friend in in the hospital who is hopefully waiting for word on whether or not she qualifies for a heart transplant. And as I type these words, an MK acquaintance of mine sits in intensive care with her baby, waiting for healing to take place.

I know we hear it all of the time, but that doesn’t make it any less true: life is short.  We’re not even guaranteed another day with our loved ones.

So as you finish out this week and all of its busyness, don’t forget to take time for one another as a husband and wife, and as a family (yes, I’m telling myself this, too!).  Keeping those bonds strong is more important now than ever before!

This week’s featured post is from Gwen at An Island Family by Grace. Gwen shares about a difficult time in their marriage, as well as 7 strategies for coping.  I especially like suggestions #2 and #7!  Be sure to stop by and visit her this week. :)

Find more encouraging words in the link-up below!

Hold fast,

Jen :)

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4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

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Listening for His Voice ~ Grace and Truth Week 31

Hello faithful readers and friends!  It’s our favorite part of the week when we share and find all sorts of encouragement in the Grace and Truth Christian Living link-up. :)

Since I missed sharing a feature last week due to our lovely and relaxing family time away, I thought I’d share two features this week!  (Okay, truthfully I just really liked more than one, haha.)

I found encouraging words that really spoke to our current in-between status as we wait for approval to begin church-planting from Christi over at The Cheerio Trail.  Have you ever thought about learning to recognize the enemy’s pattern of attack in your life so that you can more easily head it off? Love these tips – especially number 2!

You can also follow Christi on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as hear her voice via podcast.

I also really enjoyed this week’s post from Sarah at Abiding in Grace.  Sarah reminded me that the key to waiting is really rather simple. If you want to know, you’ll have to read it yourself. :)

You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thanks to all of you for continuing to share quality Christian Living content with us each week. We appreciate you!

Listen for His voice this week, friends.
Jen :)

Thanks for linking up with us last week. If you were featured, feel free to grab a featured button below!

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Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
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Kaylene Yoder
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The Brown Tribe
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Arabah Joy
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A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
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Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
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Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

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The Truth About Freedom in Christ

You may have heard of the “license to sin” as some call it – that tendency to swing the pendulum so far to the side of grace that sin holds little weight. I think a more apt description of this problem is this: the desire to be your own boss.

In mankind the desire to be the boss revealed itself at the very beginning of time. I can just hear Adam and Eve’s thoughts now…It’s my choice. It’s not going to hurt anything to take just one bite. Besides, it looks really good, and why would God want to keep us from something that is soooo gooooood if He really loves us?

Here’s the problem as we see it in our culture today.

We have elevated grace to the false position of self-rule and thus minimized sin.

We believe we can make our own choices because Jesus already paid the price, right? We’re already forgiven.  Besides, there’s that verse in Galatians 5 that says “it is for freedom that Christ came to set us free…” (Gal. 5:1)

We use the word “freedom” to justify our own sin.

How sad that we allow the Enemy to use a beautiful thing like freedom to turn us away from Christ and toward our own fleshly desires!  Such a move is reminiscent of the Screwtape Letters.

The problem with such thinking lies in the meaning we assign to the word freedom. We like to think that freedom means self-autonomy – nobody can tell me what to do!  That’s what the world teaches us to believe.

Yes, it certainly is for freedom that Christ came, but not just any freedom and certainly not the type of self-serving freedom that the world teaches.

Often Christians use freedom in Christ as permission to be their own boss, make their own choices. But the truth about freedom in Christ is the great paradox of grace.

 

Christ came not for the freedom to do whatever we want but for freedom from the slavery of sin itself. That’s the part that we so often get wrong, friends, and I’m just as guilty.

We make believe we have no master but ourselves when we choose our way over God’s way. Ironically, when we do so we open the door to the master of sin, Satan himself. We return to slavery of our own free will.

Romans 6:15-16

 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (emphasis mine)

If we persist in sin by denying its power over us or downplaying its effects, then we deceive ourselves.

We willingly choose to let the enemy have his way with us.

And that, my friends, is a dangerous choice.  Sure, we know our eternal destination is secure if we’ve truly accepted Christ as our Savior, but that does not make us exempt from the present reality of worldly consequences.

In the same chapter of Galatians where we read about freedom in Christ, we find this admonition:

Galatians 5:13

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

And in the next chapter of Galatians we find this verse about reaping what we sow:

Galatians 6:7-8

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

A quick examination of sin in the early church demonstrates deadly consequences of sin here on Earth:

  • When the Corinthian church misused the Lord’s Supper, Paul claimed that sin was the reason for illness and even death among them. (I Cor. 11:30)
  • When Ananias and Sapphira acted hypocritically by lying about a field they sold and holding back a portion of the money that they claimed to give to the church, they were struck dead on the spot, one right after the other. (Acts 5:1-11)
  • In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul cautions that Old Testament stories of God’s wrath against sin serve as warnings to us now.
  • Even certain New Testament men were mentioned by name and “given over to Satan” so that they might learn their wrong and be restored. (1 Cor. 5:5, 1 Tim. 1:20)

Can you imagine any worse consequence than being given over to Satan for a lesson?

We may believe that our sin isn’t hurting anyone else but ourselves, but we would be wrong on that count, too. We can bet that the enemy will seize any chance to lead us back into bondage… and drag a few others along with us.

Consider the generations upon generations upon generations of mankind separated from Life itself by a  single choice? What an accomplishment that was for the snake.

And won’t the enemy be giddy with delight when sin does come to light?  Relentless guilt. Reputations ruined. The lost turned away from truth, stumbling over our hypocrisy. People disillusioned, maybe even wounded.

Sometimes whole churches and ministries, yes even nations and civilizations, fall simply because of our desire to rule ourselves, be our own bosses.

Thus, we fall prey to Satan’s great deception.

The truth is that the often misquoted and misused “freedom in Christ” found in Galatians is about so much more than freedom from rules and freedom from sin; it is freedom to relationship with the God of the universe.

The veil has been torn!

We no longer require a priest to help us with our sin-debt, to mediate between us and God. We are no longer separated by sin! Because of Christ, we come to the Lord directly, and in return, He gives us life.  We are part of His family.

Even more, our Father gives us every good thing we need to avoid sin and do right! (I Cor. 10:13, Heb.13:20-21)

According to the Word, real freedom is found by letting Christ be our master and making ourselves slaves to righteousness.

It’s the great paradox of grace. 

Only by choosing the Living God as our boss can we be released from the bonds of self and sin which ultimately lead to death.

True freedom in Christ, then, is a direct result of the grace that rescues us from death and plunges us into new life.

Romans 6:1-2

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

How?

How can we live in it any longer?

This is grace, friends, that the Creator of the Universe would choose a lowly sinner and mold him into the image of His most precious and perfect Son.

Anything less and we limit the power of grace – we miss out on the best aspect of the gift of Salvation!

Do you long for true freedom, friend?

Quit deceiving yourself.

Heed the Word

and make Christ the boss of you.

Jen :)

Sharing with: Grace and Truth, Missional Women, The Weekend Brew

A Little About Fambaca ~ Grace and Truth Week 22

Hello, reader and blogger friends! :)  It’s that time of week again when we come together as a community and encourage one another at the Grace and Truth Christian living link-up.

We have family in from out of state this week, so we are busy building memories and enjoying lots of quality time together.

We call it FAMBACA – it’s a long story really, but the short version is that once upon a time, someone who shall remain nameless tried to abbreviate Family (FAM) and Vacation (VACA) and misspelled it on facebook. We all had a good laugh and the “name” of our family vacation just kinda stuck. Even the littlest ones call it Fambaca now.

That’s one of the things that makes family enjoyable, though, isn’t it? Knowing the words and phrases that will make your sister snort pop out of her nose or annoy your sister-in-law (“ro-aaaaddd”). Sorry, Christa! ;)

When we make memories together, we weave connections that last a lifetime; thus the phrase “Remember when?”

I’m hoping to have more on that aspect of healthy families later this summer, but for now, we’re busy weaving.

Take time to enjoy your family this week!

Jen :)
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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

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Praying Parents ~ Grace and Truth Week 21

Yesterday our oldest son, fifteen now, showed some remarkable maturity for his age. We asked him to follow our lead in a sticky situation, one that would make him stand out and likely feel socially awkward.  We did so without giving him any specific details or reasons why, and then we gave him the choice whether to follow our lead or take a different option.

His response was, “I trust you.”  So simple.

He didn’t ask for details. He didn’t badger us for a “why.” He simply said, “I trust you.”

Of course, my mama heart nearly exploded with love in that moment and thankfulness for such faith at such a young age.  But I can’t take credit, friends, and neither can my husband. We are just two imperfect people trying our best to parent and trusting the Lord for the rest. 

I know it’s because he gave his heart to Christ so long ago and has steadily grown in his faith over the years. And at the tender age of 15, when I would have likely been demanding explanations or grumbling about not being able to do what my peers were doing, he chose trust and obedience.

I tell you, there are times as a parent when your children teach you more than you teach them!  Am I so quick to obey my Heavenly Father?  Am I so quick to trust?

The one thing I can say for certain that we have done “right” as parents is to pray for our children. And even that we certainly don’t do perfectly. :)  But the power of prayer is immense in the lives of our little (and not so little) ones!

So, I really appreciate the perspective of Frances from the GREENhouse on how to pray for our children who are away from home on some sort of summer adventure (whether it be near or far, short or long).  Obviously, our first instinct as mamas is to pray for safetly, but Frances highlights some deeper issues to pray about. Please stop by her blog and say hello! :)

As we end this week and begin a new one, let’s not forget the power of prayer to effect change.

What prayer does your child (or children) need this week?

Jen :)

 

 

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

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