In the story of the prodigal son, the older son was jealous and angry when he saw his father bless his younger brother. He was so focused on "his good works" and "his brother's sins," that he was unable to enjoy the benefits of being a son. He slaved for years trying to be "good enough" to earn his Father's approval and blessing when he already had it all along.
Can you relate to how the elder son felt? Have you ever felt jealous when someone else got blessed, or angry because you felt God was blessing someone who was less deserving than you? I love how the Father corrects these negative feelings in his eldest son's heart. He doesn't reprimand him for his anger, jealousy, judgement, or self-righteousness. In response to his anger, His Father simply reminds him of who he is. He says, "My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. So you can be happy for your younger brother and come celebrate his return with us."
He was inviting His son to live in His love by realizing that everything He had was already his to enjoy simply because he was his son.
Galatians 4:4-7 says, "But when the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves of the law, so that he could adopt us as His very own children. And because you have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son in your hearts, and you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are his child everything He has belongs to you. NLT
Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that I am your beloved child and everything You have belongs to me. I no longer have to live as a slave trying to earn your approval and blessing. I can live in Your love and enjoy the benefits of simply being your child because of Jesus!
You can watch the video teaching of week 4, "Living Securely in the Father's Love," at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 8:59 AM
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 opinon of us never changes!
You can watch the video teaching of Week 4, "Living Securely in the Father's Love," at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 6:56 AM
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?
You can watch the video teaching of Week 4 of Living Loved at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 9:31 PM
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 19 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 You tube video. Listen as 3 of my precious children and two of their friends sing the song, "Talk to the hand devil, cuz this heart ain't listenen." 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!
Watch the video teaching of Living Loved, "An Oak of Righteousness," Week 3 at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 7:56 AM
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!
You can watch the video teaching of week 3 of Living Loved at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 1:23 PM
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!
You can watch the video teaching of week 3 of Living Loved at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 2:07 PM
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)
Be encouraged by viewing the video teaching of week 2 of Living Loved at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 9:15 AM
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!
Be encouraged by this week's video teaching of Living Loved Living Free at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 9:20 PM
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, “In Christ, 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 we agree with the One Who loves us, we truly experience the abundant life that our Savior came to give us.
Watch the video teaching of week 2 of Living Loved Living Free, "The Fight for your Heart," at: http://www.becauseofjesus.com/video-broadcast
Posted by Connie at 3:41 PM
Have you ever wanted to know God’s 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 plan 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 "17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"
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 deeper 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 that your joy may be full. (Luke 11:9).” 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 in Christ? 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 believing His good opinion of you and thank Him for His amazing grace. Your life will never be the same!
To join us in this online study go to: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=231933273504993
Posted by Connie at 5:06 PM
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!
Watch the video teaching of week 1 of Living Loved Living Free and join us in this online Bible study at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=231933273504993
Posted by Connie at 1:52 PM
|Living Loved online study|
I'm so excited about doing Living Loved Living Free again as an online Bible study. I love being on a journey with so many men and women who desire to know Jesus and to live free in His love. Every time I read through the first lesson of this study, I am overwelmed once again with the revelation 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.
So how do we truly receive God's love and live loved and live free? Simply by embracing His good opinion of you in Christ. When we agree with His view of us, our hearts are healed and made whole by His love. 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 speaks to our hearts through His Word:
"My beloved child, You are excellent in every way! You are good, so very good, and I approve of you completely! You are without fault in my eyes because of your faith in my Son, Jesus, and there is nothing you could ever do to change my good opinion of you!- Your Heavenly Father
How will you respond to Him today?
Join me as we journey through Living Loved Living Free online Bible study. You can watch week one of this series by attending our online study at http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=231933273504993
Posted by Connie at 10:11 AM
|21 Days to Discover Who you are in Jesus|
I Am Valuable
Ephesians 2:10 nlt
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus.
A masterpiece is a valuable work of art created by an artist. The word valuable means expensive, precious, priceless, and important. You’re valuable, precious, and important because God created you as a new person in Jesus. You’re His masterpiece.
Yet, there are many people who don’t believe they are valuable because they seek their worth from something other than their relationship with Jesus. When a person bases their value on the world’s system, it often leads to a low self-esteem and self-worth.
Have you ever compared yourself to others and based your value on...
· ...how you look?
· ...how many friends you have?
· ...what others think of you?
· ...how much you do to help someone?
· ...your social status?
· ...how well you do something?
· ...your job or position?
· ...how much you’re needed?
When we base our value on these things, we fall into the trap of the enemy. We begin to believe these lies: you’re not needed; you’re not important or valuable.
I used to base my value on how I compared to others. I thought, She’s better then me. She has a better personality than I do. They like her more than me. She’s prettier, smarter, and more gifted then I am. All of these comparisons made me think less of myself. They made me feel less valuable and important. Sometimes I would focus on something that I was better at just to make myself feel better, but deep down I didn’t believe I measured up. Have you ever compared yourself to others and felt this way?
The value of something is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it. Let’s look at how much Jesus was willing to pay for you and me.
You know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless, Lamb of God.
1 Peter 1:18,19 nlt
When I realized that Jesus proved His love for me by purchasing me with His precious blood, I began to see myself as valuable. I don’t have to compare myself to others anymore or look to them to find my value. I can believe the truth that I am valuable and important not based on what I do or how well I perform or how I compare to others. I am valuable because Jesus paid a great price for me. I don’t have to base my value on the world’s system. I can live in God’s kingdom and allow the truth of what Jesus did for me to define how valuable and important I am.
I have two daughters that are still at home, and I have two grown sons. The Lord has also blessed me with a beautiful daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. They have all been such a joy in my life.
All I have ever wanted to be is a wife and mother. To this day when someone asks me what I do, my first response is, “I’m a mom.” Not too long ago, my heart was feeling sad because my boys had grown up, and I didn’t feel like they needed me anymore. I remember taking my heart to Jesus and talking to Him about how I was feeling. He began to show me that I was looking to my boys needing me to find value and worth in this world. He reminded me that I am valuable because of the price He paid for me. My value is found in who I am in Jesus.
Have you found yourself looking to something else besides Jesus to determine your value? I encourage you today to let Jesus define how valuable you are. Your value is not found in how you compare to others, how well you do something or a position that you hold, it is found in who you are in Jesus. So believe who you are in Him and speak the truth out loud:
· I am a masterpiece because the Master created me.
· I am precious and important in Jesus.
· I am valuable because of the great price Jesus paid for me.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me how valuable, precious, and important I am to You. Jesus paid a great price for me. I don’t have to look anywhere else to find my value. I can be happy and secure in the truth that I am valuable because I am Your masterpiece. Thank You for loving me so much.
Posted by Connie at 1:18 PM
|21 Days to Discover Who you are in Jesus|
I Am Free From Sin
Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
Romans 6:6,7,14 nlt
Your old sinful nature died on the cross with Jesus. You have a new nature of righteousness. Sin no longer has a hold on you. Jesus set you free from the Old Covenant, which was based on the law, and He brought you into the New Covenant of grace. The law simply reminds you of how guilty you are, but grace empowers you with God’s ability to live free from all sin.
Have you ever had an area of your life you felt like you couldn’t get victory over? I used to relate to the apostle Paul when he wrote in Romans 7:18,19,24,25 nlt:
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
The devil would like you to believe the lie that you have to try harder, discipline yourself, or he may have even convinced you that you’ll never change.
I remember as a young wife feeling so defeated. I seemed to always get into strife with my husband. Even though the Bible taught me to respect and honor him, instead I found myself being resentful and angry toward him. The law constantly condemned me.
One day I cried out to the Lord to show me the truth that would set me free. When I understood that Jesus had made me a righteous and godly wife, I began to see myself differently. When I was tempted to get angry or upset, I would run to Jesus and receive His grace to overcome.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:15,16 niv
I didn’t have to depend on my own strength anymore. I could look to Jesus and trust Him to do the work in me.
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
Philippians 2:13 amp
I began to pray, “Lord create in me the desire and power to love my husband with your love.” I want to act like You, Jesus, but I know I can’t do it in my own strength.”
His promise became the anchor of my soul as I looked to Jesus continually to transform me into His image. The more I saw myself as already righteous in Jesus and looked to Him daily for the grace I needed, the more I saw the fruit of righteousness come out in my life.
For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 nlt
I have a friend who struggled with her weight her entire life. She was more than 100 pounds overweight and felt very condemned by it. She had tried for years to lose weight in her own strength. She would lose weight for a time but would simply gain it all back. She saw herself as a failure in this area of her life.
Then she began to believe who she was in Jesus. She began to see herself as a healthy righteous woman in Christ. She asked Jesus daily to create in her the desire and power to exercise and eat healthy. We all watched as she was transformed from the inside out. Sin no longer had dominion over her. She triumphed over sin and death by receiving the gift of righteousness and His overflowing grace.
When you try to live by the law, it will only condemn you and keep you in the vicious cycle of sin, but when you truly begin to walk free from condemnation by seeing yourself as already righteous, already free in Jesus, sin will no longer have dominion over you. As you depend on Jesus to strengthen you, you’ll live free from all sin.
So believe who you are in Jesus. Speak the truth out loud:
· I am free from the power of sin because of Jesus.
· I am the righteousness of God in Christ.
· God’s grace empowers me to live free from sin.
Heavenly Father, thank You for setting me free from the power of sin. When I am tempted, help me to remember who I am in You. I can run to Your throne of grace to receive the strength I need to overcome. Create in me the desire and power to bear the fruit of righteousness. I want my life to glorify You.
Posted by Connie at 8:57 AM
|21 Days to Discover Who you are in Jesus|
I Am Free From Condemnation
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 amp
Jesus has given us the gift of no condemnation, yet many Christians still live under condemnation because they view themselves outside of Christ. They are still trying to be righteous through their human efforts instead of resting in the truth that Jesus has already made them righteous in Him.
Condemnation is feeling bad about yourself. It’s a feeling of guilt for not quite measuring up. Anytime you have a negative view of yourself or you think God has a negative view of you, you’re living in condemnation. Condemnation is a deception of the devil. He tries to make you feel guilty for everything. As a spouse, parent, friend, employee, or Christian, he’s always trying to speak this lie to your heart, “You don’t measure up.”
In John 8:1-11 niv, Jesus shows us His heart toward those who have sinned in the story of the Pharisees bringing an adulterous woman before Jesus to be judged.
“’Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’” (v. 4,5).
Jesus answered, “’If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her’” (v. 7).
After everyone had dropped their stones and walked away, Jesus looked at the woman with love in His eyes and said to her, “‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’” (v. 10).
She answered, “’No one, sir’” (v. 11).
And Jesus said, “Then neither do I condemn you…. Go now and leave your life of sin’” (v. 11).
The law made it clear that this woman deserved punishment. She was judged guilty in the court of law, but Jesus in His great love set the woman free. He told her that He didn’t judge her guilty of wrong.
Have we fully comprehended the amazing love our Savior has toward us? We all know in the Old Covenant that there were many instances where people were condemned and punished for their sins. We often hold on to that view of ourselves and God, but the truth is that our heavenly Father had a plan to release us from all guilt and condemnation by sending His Son, Jesus, to set us free.
Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared righteous—something the Law of Moses could never do.
One time right before I was getting ready to teach a Bible study, I got very upset because of a disagreement I had with my husband. I remember as soon I as walked out of the room, the devil came immediately to condemn me. He held the law over my head and began accusing me with it. “You don’t deserve to teach Bible study. Look at you, you just sinned.” I wanted to crawl in a hole and cry as condemnation began to envelop me. But instead I turned my thoughts toward Jesus and asked Him to help me. My Savior reminded me of a very powerful truth in the Bible.
God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ. So don’t let anyone condemn you.
Colossians 2:13-16 nlt
Jesus reminded me that He cancelled the charges against me by nailing them to the cross. The devil couldn’t use the law to accuse me anymore. His weapon had been disarmed. The devil was the one who was shamed when Jesus won the victory for me. I didn’t have to feel condemned anymore. I could receive His forgiveness and walk free. I remember how empowered I felt that day after the Holy Spirit had reminded me that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. I went to that Bible study and shared my recent revelation with every lady who was there, and they were also set free by the truth.
Jesus has forgiven all our sins. When He died on the cross, He paid the price for all of them to be cleared from our record. In Hebrews 8:12 nlt our heavenly Father says,
“I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”
When the Father looks at us, He declares us innocent, perfect, and faultless because of Jesus.
The next time the devil tries to accuse and condemn you with the law, remember that Jesus looks at you with love in His eyes and says, “I do not condemn you, go and sin no more.”
So agree with the One who loves you. Speak the truth out loud:
· The charges that the devil uses to accuse me have been nailed to the cross.
· I am forgiven. I am free from all guilt and declared righteous.
· I am free from condemnation because of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that I am free from condemnation because I am in Christ. I don’t have to feel guilty or condemned. You have forgiven me for all my wrongs, and You don’t even remember one sin I’ve ever done.
I am truly free from all guilt because of Jesus.
Posted by Connie at 11:47 AM
I Am Justified
Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. Acts 13:38,39 niv
Not long ago I was thinking about the word justified. I had read it many times in my Bible and realized that in Christ, I am justified; but what does it really mean?
I wanted a deeper understanding of who I am in Jesus and what He has provided for me on the cross. I looked up the word justified in a Bible dictionary, and this is what I discovered:
Justification: “the judicial act of God by which He pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and He accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the law. In addition to the pardon of sin, justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied. The law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law (Rom. 5:1-10).
Justification proceeds on the crediting to the believer by God himself of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. (
10:3-9.) Justification is not the forgiveness of a man without righteousness but a declaration that he possesses a righteousness that perfectly and forever satisfies the law, namely, Christ's righteousness. (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 4:6-8.)” Rom.
The sole condition on which this righteousness is credited to the believer is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is called a "condition," not because it possesses any merit but because it is the only instrument by which the soul apprehends Christ and His righteousness. (Rom. 1:17; 3:25,26; 4:20,22; Phil. 3:8-11; Gal. 2:16.)”
When I read the definition of justification, I was amazed at what Jesus had really accomplished for you and me. When we put our faith in Jesus, the Father justified us. Even though we are guilty of many sins, He judged us as perfectly obedient to the law.
He gave us the perfect righteousness of Jesus. He declared us to be entitled to all the rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law even though we didn’t deserve it. Justified means it is just as if we’ve done everything right in the sight of God. Jesus took the judgment we deserved, and we got the judgment that Jesus deserves. That’s amazing love!
When I was a teenager, I got pregnant before I was married. I was a Christian girl, and I knew it was wrong. The devil began to speak his lies to my heart
“Your marriage will never be blessed because of your sin.”
“You have to pay for your sin for the rest of your life.”
“God is disappointed in you.”
Because I believed the devil’s lies, I lived condemned by my sin. I had a difficult marriage and felt like it was the punishment that I deserved.
Yet, in my journey to discovering who I am in Jesus, one day the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I am justified. When I sat in the courtroom and was being accused by the devil for my great sin, Jesus was my defense attorney (1 John 2:1,2.) He said, “Father, I took the punishment for all her sins. I gave her My perfect righteousness. She is free to be blessed as though she obeyed the law perfectly.”
My heavenly Father who sat in the Judge’s seat slammed his gavel on the desk and said, “I don’t remember a sin she has ever committed. She’s entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law. She is justified because of her faith in My Son, Jesus.”
I was free from the curse based on the law that was due to me. Jesus had set me free. I was justified. It was just as if I had never sinned. The question was who was I going to agree with: the prosecuting attorney (the devil) or my defense attorney, Jesus Christ, who already paid for my freedom? I chose to believe Jesus. When I began to see myself as righteous and justified, I asked for God’s grace in my marriage. The power of the Holy Spirit healed my heart and God’s blessing began to come on our relationship. Today, my husband and I love each other very much, and our marriage is blessed because I am justified in Jesus.
Is there a sin in your past that you feel you have to pay for? Has the devil been speaking his lies to your heart? You can be free by receiving the gift of justification today.
Agree with what Jesus did for you and live free from all guilt and shame. Speak the truth out loud:
· Jesus took the punishment for all my sins. He freed me from all guilt and shame.
· My heavenly Father judges me perfectly righteous in Jesus.
· He declared me entitled to all the blessings arising from perfect obedience to the law because I am justified in Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank you for justifying me in the court of law. I know I don’t deserve the blessing for perfect obedience, but Jesus paid the price for me to be declared perfect in Your sight. Thank You for setting me free from all my past mistakes and giving me a new life. I am justified because of Jesus.
Posted by Connie at 6:55 AM