This post comes to you from the pages of PROVEN, a study by Jennie Allen. It is our women’s bible study focus this fall, and a GREAT introduction to our Spring Women’s Conference KEYNOTE speaker Jennie Allen:)
I can never share enough about the life that is extended through the Body of Christ. If you are not in a Christian Women’s study group I urge you to look for one! If we do not operate and function the way God designed, we will fall away. He created us to FIRST need (love) HIM, and second…to need (love) one another. Women’s Bible study is my lifeline.
The Chapter in our workbook this past week was GRACE: THE END OF SHAME.
I know ALL about shame. I lived with so many lies that I believed defined me, and in the midst of those beliefs made so many bad decisions. Then, coming to the end of my rope, I fell into a great pit. But the Lord was with me all along, and provided a way out. I just had to look up.
He extended the hands of Sisters like you, that led me to the light. The light of His Word, of truth, of love, of restoration and new life.
The Scripture for this week is John 13. I encourage you to read it!
In John 13, starting with verse 6 it says this:
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
We are ALL Dirty. Yep…even the “BEST” person you can think of.
The great news is…Jesus came to tell us we CANNOT clean ourselves up, and we shouldn’t try.
IF WE TRY, WE ARE GOING TO BE SMELLY.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Grace is undeserved, unmerited favor from God. There is nothing we can do to EARN grace.
GRACE IS LOVE THAT STOOPS TO RESCUE.
Jesus is clear, if we do not let HIM wash us clean, we DO NOT belong to Him. No soap, no Jesus.
Why is it so hard for us to admit that we need washed? We try to fool God, others and even ourselves into believing we are good and “right.” If I get enough “likes” I’m in…”accepted” …loved?
The longer we stay in the dark hiding, the bigger the lies get that we believe about ourselves!
When we bring the lies we believe and our sin out into the light, God reveals to us what they really are…He forgives us, shows us a new way, and makes us “right” with Him. (Forgiven, accepted, redeemed, healed, loved, and Holy)
This process of “washing” must happen every day, all day long. I don’t know about you, but as soon as I admit one sin and ask for forgiveness, I’m doing the next.
I dear friend of mine has recently written a book entitled “New Reality (Extraordinary Living In Ordinary Life)” (by Lisa Young)
In it she says this:
”The Spirit’s testimony within our spirit will tell us when we have transgressed. (Sinned) We must step quickly into repentance (with our confession to the Lord-bringing it to THE light) when the Holy Spirit convicts, lest our flesh and the enemy rise to condemn.”
When we go unchecked, the enemy slips in and the lies we believe fester and grow leaving us feeling “dirty” and shameful.
Lisa goes on to say:
“When God is able to interact with us on a personal level, we are consumed by love and forgiveness, so that when our flesh rises (our human mind and tendencies)or the enemy attacks, we (can) dismiss the lies and remain unharmed in our soul. Our heart remains free.”
IF WE DON’T EXPERIENCE HIS FORGIVENESS AND HIS GRACE ON A REGULAR BASIS, THEN HOW COULD WE GIVE THIS AWAY TO ANYONE ELSE?
Not only will we suffer in the dark, but we will bring others with us. If we remain in this place of shame, we reject what Christ has done on our behalf. When you come out into the light, sharing your struggles, your disbelief, your sin with God and in part, with others, you will find that
YOUR GOD SAYS YOU ARE GOOD AND YOU ARE WORTH DYING FOR.
That old DIRT can be used for something good…something NEW!
NEW LIFE CAN SPRING UP FROM YOUR DIRT IF YOU LET THE GARDNER TEND TO YOU.
Get in community. Share your heart in transparency with at least one person who is faithful and seeking God. Talk with one another, encourage one another, pray for one another and be in communication with your FATHER every day…all day:)
Bring your DIRT to the MASTER GARDNER and see what amazing beauty He grow in YOU!
Instead of trying to get the “DIRT” on someone else, lets change our focus to using our OWN DIRT to grow something new, through the love and the power of the Cross!
Love to you,