The Parable of the Father's Love week 4 day 2 of Living Loved

In my journey of learning to live securely in the Father’s love the understanding that because of Jesus my Heavenly Father will never be angry and punish me has brought such peace to my heart. When He corrects me it is always with love and compassion because I am His beloved child. I don’t really understand why people believe that God is still angry and punishing people for their sins when He made a very clear promise to us all in the book of Isaiah.

In Isaiah 54:8-10 our Heavenly Father says to me and you,   8 “…with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. 9 “Just as I swore in the time of Noah that I would never again let a flood cover the earth, so now I swear that I will never again be angry and punish you. 10 For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you. NLT

In the story of the prodigal son, Jesus gives us a wonderful example of the Father keeping His promise. Here was a son who made bad choices and his life was a mess, but when the son decides to go back to his Father, his Father showers him with love and compassion.  What a beautiful picture of our Heavenly Father’s unconditional love and compassion toward us when we have done wrong. He removes the shame of our sin by reminding us of who we are. He embraces us and kisses us with His words of love. Who wouldn’t want to run to a daddy like that? I know for me this understanding has totally changed my life and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. When I’ve done wrong, I run to Him because He is my safe refuge. He is waiting to correct my wrong opinion of myself with His love. He pours His love and compassion on me and I find myself completely loved by Him and free from the power of sin in my life. What a wonderful Daddy we all have!
Zephaniah 3:17 say, “The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.
We truly can live free in our Heavenly Father's unconditional, unchanging love because His good opinion of us never changes!


Living Securely in the Father's Love Week 4 day 1 of Living Loved

There is no one in all the world that is going to love us the way Jesus does. That’s why we can only find true security in our relationship with Him. In this world we all deal with people who disapprove of us or even reject us. I used to live with a sense of rejection. I worried about what people thought about me and their opinion affected my heart in a positive or negative way. This created insecurity in my heart.
Realizing that I am accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6) and allowing that truth to penetrate deep in my heart has brought such healing to my soul. My Heavenly Father loves me. He sent His Son to die for me to prove how valuable and important I am to Him. His thoughts about me are precious and He has a plan to prosper me and give me a hope and a future. If He is for me, who can be against me?
In today’s lesson, I love the example Jesus gave us to demonstrate how we can live free and secure in the Father’s love. Right after the Father said to Jesus, "You are My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased," the devil came immediately to question His identity. But listen to how Jesus responded, “I live by every word my Heavenly Father says about me.” (Matthew 4:3)
Jesus also faced disapproval and rejection from the people around Him. When they questioned His identity and judged Him badly, He responded in a similar way, “I do nothing without consulting My Father, and everything He says about me is true. Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me because you are not looking at me through my Father’s eyes.” (John 5:30-42)
And in John 8:14-55 Jesus said, "I say only what I have heard my Father say about me and what He says is true. If I were merely boasting about myself it wouldn’t count for anything, but it is my Father who says these glorious things about me and if I said anything about myself other than what my Father says I’d be as big a liar as you.”
This puts a whole new perspective on what it means to follow Jesus' example and be His disciple. I now know what it means to live securely in the Father's love. Just like Jesus, I do not judge myself without consulting the Father because everything He says is true. What others have to say or think about me means nothing if it isn’t in agreement with my Father. My Father says I am loved, abundantly blessed, favored, anointed, healed, accepted, approved, valuable, and complete in Christ. If I were merely boasting about myself it would mean nothing, but it is my Father who says these glorious things about me, and I assure you that everything He says about me is true.
We can live every day secure in the Father’s love by saying only what we hear our Heavenly Father say about us. What does your Heavenly Father say about you?


Established in Righteousness: Week 3 day 3 of Living Loved

You shall establish yourself in righteousness…; you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it will not come near you. Isaiah 54:13
I am continually amazed at the freedom that the gift of righteousness brings to my heart. When I live in the awareness of who I truly am in Jesus, the devil may try to throw his oppressing, negative thoughts at me, but I simply say, "No! I’m not listening to your lies. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and God’s promises are true in my life!"
Psalm 112:6-8 says, “ a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear, in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”
NO FEAR, SECURITY, and TRIUMPH are the fruit of being established in righteousness. I can live secure and confident in this world because of Jesus!
For the last 15 years, I have continually established my heart in the truth of God’s promises concerning my children. Even though the enemy has used negative circumstances to attempt to oppress me with his lies, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, Devil, I’m not listening to your lies! My Heavenly Father has spoken and what He says is true. His Spirit will not depart from my children and His Word will come forth from their lips (Isaiah 59:20,21)
Today I experienced the manifestation of that promise as I watched my children sing about what Jesus says about them in this Youtube video. Listen as 3 of my precious children sing the song, “Talk to the hand devil cuz the heart aint listening. We can all live free from the thought of oppression by being established in the truth that we are the righteouness of God in Christ Jesus and what He says about us is true!


The Righteous shall live by Faith Week 3 day 2 of living loved

One of the amazing things that has happened in my heart since I began embracing the gift of righteousness is I find it so much easier to rest in the promises of God. I no longer have to figure out how to qualify for them. What qualifies me is being righteous and my Heavenly Father declares me righteous because of Jesus. Now when I read the promises God made to the righteous in the Bible, I can rest assured that He is talking about me in those verses.

One of the verses I have been thinking upon alot lately is: 

Isaiah 32:17-18: "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be confident trust forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." 

When I embrace the gift of righteousness the fruit of my life is peace. Peace means prosperity, happiness, wholeness, health, nothing missing and nothing broken. My heart is made whole with His love.

The effect the gift of righteousness has on my heart is confident trust in the One Who loves me.

As I let this promise penetrate deep within my heart, I realize how much my Savior loves me to purchase such a powerful promise for not only my heart, but the hearts of my family as well.

In verse 18 God said, the home of the righteous would be filled with peace (happiness, health, prosperity, love) and we would enjoy undisturbed places of rest.

I want nothing more for my family than to know the love of Jesus and for their hearts to be filled with love, joy and peace: enjoying the life our Savior died to give us.

So now when I see one of my children or my husband discouraged or sad, or they are dealing with a negative attitude toward each other or someone else, when I since strife trying to enter my home, I remember what my Father, God spoke over my home because He made me righteous in Jesus, and I agree with Him.

I look to Him and say, "Thank you Father, that you have promised peace for each member of my family. You said my home would be filled with peace, our hearts would be secure in You, and we would experience undisturbed places of rest. I am trusting You to bring peace to my husband and my children's hearts because everything you say about me and my home is true. Thank you, for your gift of righteousness. I can rest in your love."

I can't even explain what peace comes to my heart when my thoughts are filled with this promise. He truly is able to bring peace and joy into the hearts of everyone I love!


The Greatest Gift of Love Week 3 Day 1 of Living Loved

I’ve been a Christian my entire life, but it took over 20 years for me to begin to truly embrace the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yes, I had asked Jesus into my heart to be my Savior, but I didn’t understand my new identity in Christ. What my heart heard all those years was what I needed “to do” to be righteous enough to earn God’s promised blessings and approval.
You know why that’s not good news? If you and I have to depend on our perfect obedience to be righteous and worthy of God’s promised blessings than we’re all disqualified. We’ve all disobeyed God. We we’re all declared sinners. That’s why we needed a Savior. We could never be righteous by our own good works, so Jesus proved His love for us by giving us His perfect righteousness as a free gift. That’s the reason He went to the cross to make it possible for us all to be made righteous in Him (Isaiah 53:3-11) 
 The Message of Good News is the Gift of Righteousness!
II Corinthians 5:19-21 says, “He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God. For God made Christ who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!
What does it mean to be given this wonderful gift of righteousness? Righteousness means to be declared innocent, free from guilt, and justified; the person justified is declared to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law. It is the crediting to the believer by God Himself the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 tells us that, “those who receive the gift of righteousness will reign in life through Jesus Christ. 
What about “it’s a gift,” did I not understand for so many years? I don’t have to work for it. I don’t have to earn it. Jesus paid for this gift for me with His blood. All I have “to do” is receive it and enjoy all the benefits of it. Jesus gave you and I His very nature and qualified us for every promised blessing of God by giving us His perfect righteousness as a free gift of His love. All the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen” in our lives because we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!
I no longer listen to those sermons that tell me there are 5 steps to prosperity, healing, answered prayer, etc. I’ve been made righteous in Jesus and I qualify because of Him.  I am abundantly blessed, healed, favored, approved, and victorious in Jesus. Righteousness is the greatest gift of love ever given and I am so thankful for what my Jesus did for me!


Agree with the One Who Loves You: Week 2 day 3 of Living Loved

Why does it seem easier sometimes to hold onto the lies of the devil, rather than to truly embrace the truth of God’s promises? I know for many years of my life the reason I held onto the lies is because I feared I’d be disappointed. And yet the reality was I lived in disappointment because I wouldn’t let go of the lies. Disappointment surrounded me. I was disappointed with myself, my marriage, my husband, with God, my finances, and I lived with a fear that my life would never change and the desires of my heart would never come to pass. Even though I heard, “All things are possible with God,” my heart believed the lie that it probably wasn’t going to happen for me.
The devil deceived me into believing that if I truly trusted God, I’d just end up disappointed, so I thought I was protecting my heart from that pain by holding onto this lie, when all along this lie was creating the pain and keeping me in bondage to disappointment.
Agreeing with the lies of the devil created so many broken places in my heart that when the truth was presented to me it just leaked out of the holes in my heart. Just like the parable of the sower, the enemy came immediately to steal the truth so that it never produced God’s promise in my life. I remember being so filled with doubt and unbelief that my heart became hard and angry. I was miserable. The lie I thought was protecting me was actually bringing death to every area of my life.
I can remember like it was yesterday the day my heart began to heal. I cried out to God from the depths of my heart. I so desperately wanted to be free. “Jesus, help me! Show me the truth that will set me free. Help me to trust You with all of my heart.” That simple prayer has totally changed my life.
Now that I know that negative emotions are symptoms of believing the devil’s lies, every day when the devil throws his lies at my heart, I have a choice to make. I now know if I hold onto the lie, it will produce death in my soul; so once again I turn to the One Who loves me and say, “Lord, show me the truth of your love. Set my heart free.” He is so faithful to whisper once again His words of love into the depths of my heart and then gives me the power to trust that what He says about me and my family is the absolute TRUTH! I am who my Father says I am because of Jesus!
My life has been totally transformed by letting go of the lies and agreeing with the One Who loves me. I no longer live in disappointment. The truth has set me free. I continue to experience the abundant life that Jesus came to give me because the truth is “those who agree with Jesus and put their trust in Him will never be disappointed” (Romans 10:33)


Breaking Free From the Enemy's Lies: Week 2 day 2 of Living Loved

Has your heart ever felt discouraged, depressed, fearful, or condemned? Have
you ever felt jealous, resentful, or judgmental toward someone? Did you know
that none of these negative emotions are your Heavenly Father's will or plan for your heart? He sent Jesus to heal your heart with the Good News of His love so that you would experience His perfect peace and joy in this world.

In II Corinthians 11:2 & 3 the Apostle Paul said that we have been presented
to Jesus as His pure and righteous bride, but he feared that just as the devil deceived Eve with his lies, our minds would also be corrupted from our pure devotion to Jesus. Every day the devil prowls around looking for one of God's beloved children to devour (I Peter 5:5,9). He throws his lies at our minds in an attempt to fill our hearts with insecurity and fear. He wants us to question God's love and faithfulness and our true identity in Jesus.

My heart experiences both positive and negative emotions. Just as pain in my body is an indicator that sickness is trying to attack my body, pain in my heart is an indicator that the devil's lies are attacking my mind. And just as Jesus is the Healer of our bodies, He is also the Healer of our hearts. He loves us so much that He came for us to experience wholeness in our spirit, soul, and body! When we become aware that negative emotions are symptoms of the devil's lies we can break free from their affect on our hearts by turning to the One Who loves us.

Every day I am very much aware of how my heart feels, I want more than anything to live in my Heavenly Father's perfect will and experience His promises in every area of my life. My heart is an indicator of whose voice I am listening to and whose plan I am experiencing in my life. So whenever my heart feels negative emotions, I turn to Jesus and say, "Lord, what lie is the devil tempting me to believe? Show me the truth that will set me free." With the lie exposed to the light of Jesus, it dissipates in the truth of His love. I find myself once again experiencing positive emotions, my heart filled with the fullness of God- living loved and living free!


The Fight for your Heart: Week 2 day 1 of Living Loved

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance to the full, until it overflows.”
As I was reading this Scripture out of today’s study, the Holy Spirit really impressed on my heart to go back and read the context of this Scripture. It became very clear to me that we experience abundant life when we listen to the Shepherd’s voice. When we listen to His voice, we come to Him and find salvation (John 10:9). Salvation literally means wholeness, peace, health, happiness, and life. The Lexical aids defines it as “inclusive of all of God’s blessings.”
The thief is anyone or any voice that tries to deceive the sheep to go through a different door (besides Jesus) to find wholeness and salvation for their soul (John 10:1, 5-8). We all know that the devil is behind every deception because he is a liar and the author of all lies (John 8:44). He comes in many forms, but always for the same purpose: to steal, kill, and destroy the people that God loves.
I am aware that there is a fight going on for my heart. I hear my Shepherd’s voice  drawing me to Himself. He knows if I’ll listen to and receive His love, I'll live free and my heart will be made whole-filled with love, joy and peace, but there is another voice of deception attempting to draw me away, tempting me to look somewhere else to meet the needs of my heart so that I remain broken-full of insecurity, fear and disappointment.
That’s why our Heavenly Father admonishes us so strongly with His words of love in Proverbs 4:20-23: “My child, Pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
The voice I choose to listen to determines the course of my life. The abundant life that Jesus came to give you and me is found in listening to the One Who loves us and letting His words of life penetrate deep into our hearts. Today He is saying, “My child, listen to me when I say, “You are approved! You are favored! You are blessed! You are qualified! I’ll take care of you! I’ll work all things together for your good! I’ll perfect that which concerns you! Trust Me, I am able to do beyond what you could hope or dream. I love you, dearly!”
What peace and wholeness fills our soul, when we listen to the One Who loves us and think deeply upon His words of love. As His word penetrates deep into our hearts, we truly experience the abundant life that our Savior came to give us.


Ask, Listen, Respond Week 1 day 3 of Living Loved

Have you ever wanted to know God’s will and plan for your life and truly experience it? As I  read Ephesians 3:16-21 today, it became very clear to me that I was reading our Heavenly Father’s perfect will for every one of His children. The Apostle Paul said in verse 14, “When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I bow my head and pray,” and then inspired by the Holy Spirit He prayed that you and I would really come to know and believe the love of Christ and be filled with the fullness of God. Besides John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20 is the only other place in the whole Bible where the Greek word that describes the abundant life that Jesus came to give us is found. It is in this passage of Scripture we discover that it is in receiving a revelation of His love that God is able to bring to pass His plan for us and do superabundantly far over and above all that we dare ask or think- infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desire, thoughts, hopes or dreams. This is the life Jesus came for us all to live. This is what our Heavenly Father dreamed for us all along.
In today’s lesson I share how when I asked the Father, “How do I receive a revelation of your love? How do I learn to live loved by you and truly experience this abundant life?” He responded with three simple words, “Ask, Listen, Respond.”
Jesus said, “Ask and keep on asking and you will receive (Luke 11:9).” Wow! My whole life began to change when I simply began to ask, “Lord, show me the truth that will set me free.” Give me a revelation of your amazing love for me.” How simple is that? Just ask!
Do you desire a deeper revelation of your Heavenly Father’s love? Do you really want to experience the superabundant life He has planned for you? Begin today asking Him to show you the truth of His great love. Listen as He begins to reveal to you who you truly are in Jesus. Respond by thanking Him for what He has done for you. Your life will never be the same!


Living Loved Week 1 Day 2

Nothing makes me feel more alive than to hear my Heavenly Father speak His words of love to my heart through His Word. His love brings me such peace. As I was reading the Scriptures out of today’s lesson, I stopped for a moment to let the truth found in Colossians 2:9 & 10 penetrate deep within my heart: “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God… So I, Connie, am complete through my union with Jesus.”
I am keenly aware that it is when I embrace this truth that I experience the love of Jesus on a deeper level and the abundant life He came to give me. In knowing this, I understand why the enemy is constantly tempting me to believe that I’m not who God says I am-that I lack in some way.
As I was reading page 21 of Living Loved, Living Free, I was reminded again that the root of every lie is “you’re not who God says you are.” As I read through the list of lies, the one that stood out to me the most was “You’re inadequate.” How many times has the devil tempted me to believe this lie? How many times has my heart been discouraged as I pondered on whether or not this was the truth about me? But as I took my eyes off the lie, and moved across the page to focus on the truth that sets me free, my heart was overwhelmed once again with my Heavenly Father’s great love for me and His opinion of me in Christ. Hebrews 13:21 says that in Jesus, God has equipped me with everything I need to successfully accomplish His will for my life.
I truly am complete in Christ. Through my union with Him, I lack nothing! I have His wisdom, guidance, strength, provision, resources, approval and favor. I have everything I need in Jesus. Ephesians 1:11 & 13 in the Message Bible says: “It’s in Christ that I find out who I am and what I am living for. It’s in Christ, that when I hear the truth, and believe it, I find myself home-free!”
I find my true identity in the One Who loved me and gave Himself for me. I don’t have to listen to the devil’s lies. When I feel a sense of lack within my heart, I turn to the One Who loves me, and remember the sacrifice He made to make my heart whole and complete. When I receive His love, I live free.
Have you ever believed the devil’s lie that you lacked in some way? Be aware that he’s just trying to deceive you into believing that “you’re not who God says you are.” When you feel a sense of lack, look to the One Who loves you and say, “Father, I know you love me,  and what you say about me is true, I am complete in Jesus! I lack nothing in You! When you hear the truth of who you are in Christ, and believe it, you’ll find yourself truly free!


Created to be loved: Week 1 day 1 of Living Loved

I'm so excited about doing Living Loved Living Free again as on online Bible study. I love being on a journey with so manymen and women who desire to know Jesus and to live free in His love. Today, as I read the first lesson, Created to be Loved," tears began to stream down my face as I was reminded once again that my Heavenly Father created you and me to be the focus of His love, to be made whole and complete by His love-to lack nothing in Him.

Why does this truth touch me so deeply? I think it's because I know what it feels like to live with a broken heart. I lived so many years of my life believing the devil's lie that I am not who God says I am. Just like Adam and Eve, I believed that I lacked in some way and so I looked outside of my relationship with Jesus to meet the needs of my heart and the result was shame and brokenness. My husband, my children, my parents, and my friends cannot satisfy the need that God has placed within me to be valued, accepted, approved and loved. Some how when I look outside of Jesus to meet my needs, I end up disappointed and discouraged.  But when I bring my heart to Jesus and believe what He says is true, every need of my heart is completely satisified in His love. When I am willing to lay down my own opinion and the opinion of others and embrace with all of my heart what my Father says about me in Christ, I experience true freedom. When I value His opinion of me more than the world's, I live loved and I live free. Ephesians 1:4 says that He loves you and me and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. He sees us as very good because we are in Jesus (II Corinthians 5:21).

One day as I was taking a walk with my granddaughter, Ryann, I began telling her how much I love her. I said, "Ryann, you are a very good girl." She responded by saying, "Yes, I am, grandma." I laughed with joy as she received my love and embraced my good opinion of her. She believed that what I said about her was true and it made me so happy.  At that moment the  Father spoke to my heart and said, "Connie, I love you, and you are very good." Just like Ryann, I confidently responded by saying, "Yes, I am, Father, because everything you say about me is true." I felt Him smile as I received His love, just as I did when Ryann received my love for her.

When we embrace the Father's love for us in Christ, our hearts are healed. We live free from all shame and brokeness and finally we are empowered to live the abundant, full life that our Heavenly Father intended for us to live all along. Today, listen with me as our Heavenly Father says to each of us, "I love you! I chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in My eyes. I approve of you completely! You are very good!

How will you respond to Him today?

We can live free in our Heavenly Father's love! WOOHOO!

Join me as we journey through Living Loved online Bible study. You can watch week one this series by attending our online study at http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=231933273504993


Living Loved Living Free

I am so excited about my new Bible study, Living Loved-Living Free. It will be back from the printer just in time for Bible study to begin Wednesday, September 15th. I have grown so much as I have studied and written this study. The revelation of God's love brings such peace to my heart. I see God working in my heart and in my life as I continue to agree with what He says about me. It is exciting to know that Jesus really did come to give us abundant life and that life is found in living loved by Him. One of my favorite passages of Scripture in the Bible is Ephesians 3:16-21. This whole study is based on these verses and the understanding that when we live in Jesus and agree with the One Who loves us, He is able to bring to pass His plan in our lives and do superabundantly far over and above our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes and dreams. I hope you will join me at Abiding Harvest in Broken Arrow as we journey together into the heights and depths of our Heavenly Father's great love for us. If you're unable to join us in person, you can join us online. I will be blogging as I teach each week. We will also be videotaping each lesson and a podcast will be available each week through my website Becauseofjesus.com. I would love to hear how God speaks to your heart as you go through the study and I will share my heart with you also. Let's grow in Jesus together!


Living Loved, Bible Study

Those of you in the Tulsa area may come to the Living Loved, Living Free Bible study—a 10 week study beginning September 15th. Location: Abiding Harvest Church in Broken Arrow. For more information please go to www.BecauseofJesus.com or call 918-994-6500.

For those who aren't able to come, please join us online for the weekly broadcast. Bible study workbooks are available at: the BOJM Bookstore. Experience the freedom of living in the Father’s love through the finished work of Jesus. True freedom is found in living loved by Him. See you soon!


Embracing the Power of Grace

by Connie Witter

“Most surely will those who receive God’s overflowing grace and His free gift of righteousness reign as a king in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:17 Amplified
What is grace?
.... Hebrews 10:29 calls the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of grace.” In James 4:6, the Amplified Bible defines grace as “the power of Holy Spirit to meet this evil tendency and all others fully.” And in II Corinthians 1:12, the Amplified Bible gives another wonderful definition of grace: “the grace of God (the unmerited favor and merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, and keeps, strengthens, and increases them in Christian virtues.)
.... The gift of grace is righteousness; and when you accepted Jesus, your Spirit became perfect in the Father’s eyes. However, you also have a soul, which is your mind, will and emotions. We have all experienced fear, worry, anger, resentment, judgemental and critical attitudes, and discouragement in our souls. When this occurs it’s because we have taken our eyes off of Jesus and are not seeing ourselves as righteous and holy in Him. Therefore, we need the power of grace to influence our souls, turn our thoughts toward Jesus and increase us in Christ-like Character. The power of grace enables us to really believe that we are righteous and empowers us to overcome every evil tendency of our flesh. Grace is not an excuse to live in sin, but rather the power to live free from sin.

Obedience is a Promise
.... In the Old Covenant, obedience was the requirement and you depended on your own ability to be righteous. But in the New Covenant, obedience is a promise. When you rely upon Jesus, the Spirit of grace brings out the fruit of righteousness in your life. James 4:6 says that God gives grace to the humble. As you turn to Jesus every time you are tempted to sin, the power of grace will help you overcome.
.... Phillipians 2:13 was a life changing Scripture for me. It says that God will create in me the desire and power to do what pleases Him. Through this verse, I realized that I didn’t have to try to change myself anymore. I began to embrace God’s grace to create in me the desire and power to bear the fruit of righteousness. Once I got my focus on Jesus, I began to see a transformation of my soul. I found myself empowered to really believe what Jesus had done for me. I began to experience love, joy and peace in my soul.
.... Have you ever felt weak in faith? Have you ever felt overcome with feelings of fear, worry, guilt, condemnation, resentment, offence or anger? The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:16 to come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace to help you believe what Jesus says about you and the ability to overcome every negative emotion.
.... So begin today to focus on Jesus; ask for His grace to help you overcome any negative emotion you may be experiencing in your soul. Ask Him to help you to really believe who Jesus has made you. II Corinthians 12:9 says that God’s grace is sufficient for all your weaknesses. In your weakness, the power of God’s grace makes you strong!

Embracing the Gift of Grace

by Connie Witter

“Most surely will those who receive God’s overflowing grace and His free gift of righteousness reign as a king in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

Romans 5:17 Amplified

What is grace and how do you embrace it?

There are two definitions of the word grace:

Grace is a gift of God. It is the undeserved, unearned favor and blessing of God...
Grace is also the power of the Holy Spirit giving us the ability to walk in righteousness. Righteousness is the gift of grace.

Old Covenant vs. New Covenant

In order to fully understand this awesome gift we must realize the difference between the Old Covenant, which is based on the law and the New Covenant, which is based on grace.

In Deuteronomy 6:24,25 and 7:11-15, we see that under the Old Covenant, God required righteousness through obedience to the law in order to be accepted by Him and worthy of His favor and blessing. However, instead of obedience, man continued to disobey God and so he fell under God’s curse instead (Deuteronomy 28:1-67). We all fell under God’s curse because of our sin. We needed a Savior.

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:4 and 5 that in order to satisfy the wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were dead because of our sins, Jesus died for us. He looked upon us with mercy and said, “Father, I will redeem them. I will make them righteous.”

So Jesus came to the earth and lived a perfect life. He kept the condition of righteousness by obeying all of God’s laws and commands. He was declared righteous in the Father’s eyes. Then He became the ultimate sacrifice. He was willing to take the punishment that we deserved in order to free us from the penalty of our sin. Galatians 3:13,14 state that Jesus purchased our freedom from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. He offered to us the gift of His righteousness as a free gift of His grace simply by trusting in the sacrifice He made for us.

When you trusted in Jesus, you became righteous in the Father’s eyes. That means that you instantly became qualified for all the promises and blessings of God. Since you couldn’t meet the conditions of righteousness on your own, Jesus did it for you. You could have never earned or deserved to be called righteous through trying to obey the law. It can only be received as a gift. A gift of love from a Savior Who was willing to sacrifice everything so you could stand before the Father completely righteous. You look just like Jesus in your Father’s eyes because of His amazing grace.

Embrace Grace

So embrace God’s gift of grace. Focus on Jesus right now with a heart filled with thanksgiving and say, “Thank you, Jesus, I receive your gift of righteousness. I am accepted, loved, holy, blessed, favored, and without fault in my Father’s eyes because of Your amazing grace. (Ephesians 1:1-14)