By the Grace of God

Have you ever felt repulsed by your old life? One of my favorite TV shows was Friends, a popular sitcom in the mid-1990s – 2000s. I was very engaged in the Ross and Rachel saga. Ah…the good ol’ days, or, maybe not. A couple of years after I met Jesus, I sat down to watch an episode. My anticipation turned to discomfort when the sexual innuendo spoke louder than the comedy. My eyes were open wide. The ways of the world stood out like gaping wounds. Watching Friends was like going back to an old life that didn’t fit anymore.

After I received Christ into my life, I saw my sin. I felt like God put it out in front of me like a feast that had turned sour. It made me feel great shame, therefore, I felt unworthy. Instead of experiencing promised freedom, I was in condemnation. I couldn’t see the free gift of grace that God had offered. Ephesians 2:8 (NLT) says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Living condemned was returning God’s free gift of grace.

The truth is that God doesn’t show us our sin to shame us. We see our sin because we come alive. There is supposed to be a difference between the old and the new. The good thing is that the old has passed away and the new has come. Believing we are unworthy is saying that our past is not worthy to be forgiven. In that place, we live in dead skin. God never calls us unworthy. He says something completely different, “This is how much I love you, I gave my Son, my one and only Son. So that you would not be destroyed, by believing in Him you can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16 MSG, personalized) God’s interest in salvation is not that we are worthy, it is that He loves us.

Unworthiness hinders our promised restoration. We all come to Jesus broken, it is his promise that we will be restored. That starts with the act of dying and being reborn. It continues over our lifetime. Believing the totality of God’s forgiveness can be challenging. Many of us have never experienced total and complete forgiveness from anyone. Sometimes we need help processing the past to receive the future. In my situation, I had to go into counseling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In the meantime, let the Word of God permeate your heart. 2 Corinthinans 5:14-15 says, “Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. It goes on saying, God gave us a “fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.” (v19) Salvation is your fresh start. “The old life is gone; a new life burgeons.” (v.17)

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A Free Gift


​Is it hard to believe that you are fully forgiven? It was for me. I thought the disaster of my life without God was too much to forgive. I felt unworthy of God’s free gift. But God saved me by his grace. I did nothing that said I was worthy. He said I was worthy, by the fact that He loves me. 

Unworthiness is a hindrance to our restoration. Accepting God’s gift of grace, with joy puts us on the path of new life. Receive His love and forgivness with great joy. You are forgiven! You have a new life! 

God So Loved

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. (John 3:16‭-‬18 MSG) 

Wait…don’t roll your eyes. I know you’ve seen it before. It isn’t just a book, chapter and verse. It has great meaning! Would you give me a minute to explain this scripture? 

It goes on to say… “And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. John 3:16‭-‬18 MSG

John 3:16 matters. God paid a high price. He sacrificed the only man that was truly good. He did it in exchange for us, who are less than perfect. But God forgives us, fully and completely. We get a new life because good was sacrificed for bad. Jesus died so that the bad is remembered no more. 

John 3:16 reminds me of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow…Oh praise the one who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead.” It wasn’t that we were worthy, it was that God wanted relationship with His creation…US. This is what it means when you hear the phrase, it is not about what you have done but what He has done. We have a new life so that we can have the same relationship Jesus had with God. 

Radical Love

Do you know how far the east 🌏 is from the west 🌎? I’ll give you ⏰ to think about it… 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶 Infinite. They never meet. Don’t over think it! We aren’t doing science. We are doing faith! All of your mistakes are removed from you. 

God’s forgiveness is radical! It is complete 💝 and total. Most importantly-it is for everyone👨‍👩‍👧‍👧, no matter what you have done. 

God’s interest in salvation 🙌🏼 is not that we are worthy, it is in His ❤️ for us. His ❤️ and forgiveness is radical. Radical😎 love says that even while you are hating God through your actions, He loves you. He loves you so much that He sacrificed the only P.E.R.F.E.C.T. 👌 man on earth… Jesus… so that you could know God and He could know you. 

To God, through the cross and resurrection, you are free and clear. When you make Jesus your Lord, your old👴 life is gone, your new👶 life has come. You are worthy. 🙏

Child of God

Our final destination on Romans Road. You’re now a child of God! Romans 8 is the declaration of our adoption as sons and daughters! You are a son or daughter of the most High God. We are in God’s forever family. 

Because we are sons (or daughters) we are heirs. What do we inherit? The blessings and the sufferings of Jesus. Paul says that our blessings will outweigh our sufferings. This is truth friends, we will suffer as Christ suffered. But the glory in blessing will be greater!

A song of declaration I love is “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. It is the summary of Romans 8 in song. Sing it loud, sing it proud. 

I AM A CHILD OF GOD! 

United with Christ

I don’t know about you but Romans 7 is a tough one. Writing about it seems way above my pay grade.🤷🏼I wanted to pick out the verse that summed up the chapter. I bet if you picked up your Bible and read the whole thing, this seems to be the lesser point. But I submit to you, it is the major point. We are united with Christ. 👑

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Instead of doing life by the law, we now do life in the Spirit. It is the Spirit inside of us that gives us life and the ability to serve in love. 

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Sure, there is a lot about our flesh in there. While it may seem like the point is about us fighting our sin nature, the greater message is if we are following the law, we are still in our flesh. Good fruit is only produced in the Spirit. 

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Spirit of the Living God by Meredith Andrews may not be a song about baptism but it asks the Spirit to have his way in us. “Cause when you speak, when you move, when you do what only you can do, It changes us, it changes What we see and what we seek” The Spirit changes us, what we see and seek so that we serve in Jesus name with His heart. 

Check it out! 

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Photo Props: Scotty James Kunkle via Lightstock. 

Alive to God

Do you remember the day you were baptized? Did you sense anything different? No matter what you felt, that day you were made new. Knowing we are born again and have the Spirit of God in us is the solid foundation on which we build our new life in Christ.

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I ♥️ The Message Bible. It makes scripture so plain, so clear. It packs a punch 👊.

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📖 Romans 6: 1-5  says, “…That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.”

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You get a new life in a new land. AMAZING! 🙌🏼

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I Am They sings this absolutely joyful song called From the Day about being saved. The lyrics say, From the day you saved my soul, till the very moment when I come home, I’ll sing, I’ll dance, my heart will overflow, from the day you saved my soul. 🎉💃🏼

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There is a party going on in heaven when  you give your life to Jesus. It’s your birthday! 🎂 Celebrate!

Peace with God

Happy Monday! Today, I am reminded of the importance of remembering. This week I am going back to the beginning of I’m Made New. I want you to know that YOU are made new! Making Jesus our Lord makes us born again by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

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We will be taking a walk down Romans Road (isn’t that catchy? I saw that phrase and had to use it!) This is where the Biblical truth of your changed life is found. 

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Romans 5 says: You have peace with God, therefore, you have access to Father God always. You now stand in grace. 

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The big words often used for this are justification and/or reconciliation. The meaning of those words are all summed up in Romans 5. Get out your Bible or your Bible app, remind yourself that you have peace with God and you now live under grace. Your life of sin has been exchanged for a life of grace. This is the beautiful gift of the sacrifice of Jesus! 

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There is a song that ignites this experience. Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood. It still makes me cry! In this song are words to describe what happens when you are born again. “Felt love pouring down from above, Got washed in the water, washed in the blood, And now I’m changed, And now I am stronger. There must be something in the water.”

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There is something in the water! 

NEW LIFE! 

Thank you, God

Did you know you can pray the gratitude of God’s love into your life? This is life changing! I know, it is so simple. The Gospel is simple! So let’s be simple too.

In the beginning of our journey with Jesus, establishing in our hearts that God loves us will build the confidence you need to serve in love. Receiving God’s love for you will absolutely change your life. It did for me!

How do we know God loves us?

1 John 4:7-10 says “God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him… loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” (MSG)

We know God loves us because he sent Jesus and he became the sacrifice so that we could be forgiven and live life in relationship with God. AMAZING!

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When the Enemy Comes

It was just after my husband got baptized when they asked me to do a video of my testimony. Life was going really well. I was working at the church, we had a stable small group, I was volunteering in women’s ministry; about to embark on leading my first Bible Study. Everything seemed to be in place. I felt innocent and free so I said, “Yes!” Being convinced of the power of healing and transformation through faith in Jesus Christ, I sat in front of the camera with joy. Little did I know that my pot was about to be stirred.

It started pretty small. A few offenses here and there, constant banter of gossip trying to deepen the offenses, a rift between me and my supervisor at the church. I thought I was being stalked. You read that right, someone was watching me and it scared me. A new manager was hired at my husbands job. This man was out for blood and his aim was to take out anyone who didn’t dance on his command. For months, my husband walked on eggshells. He worked long hours and weekends trying to keep the peace. Life was growing difficult with both of us working on the weekends. I resigned my position, on my last day of work, my husband called to tell me he was laid off and on his way home.

In the middle of all of this, the video was finalized. The enemy was doing everything he could to keep that video from seeing the light of day. About a month before the video was to be released, a storm sat over the foothills where we live. A torrent of water rushed down the hillsides into the cities that lay at their feet. The home where the film edit took place was flooded. Thankfully, a first draft had made it’s way electronically to the pregnancy center. Nothing is left of the video other than the few scraps that were taken out of the initial edit. After all of that, the pregnancy center was talking about not using it at all. It grieved me. It is a true miracle that this video made it to the airways.

I honestly thought I would be blessed as a result of telling my story. To have so much commotion at one time left me confused. I blamed myself, believing that I sinned and grieved God. It never occurred to me that the video would be a player in what seemed like my life being laid bare. Instead of landing on my face in prayer. I fell on my back. I was a dead bug scrambling to hold on to life.

It’s been four years. I have learned a lot. Most of it lies in how I was being raised up in Lord. It is called sin doctrine (a.k.a. religion). I was believing a lie. Religion says that you are a sinner striving to do good. When bad things happen, there is sin in your life. I’ve had to go back to the beginning of my faith cry. Jesus died for all my sin, I am forgiven past, present and future. I am forgiven. Religion and grace cannot coexist. I choose grace. There I can put the blame on the one who caused the calamity, Satan. I declare God is good and the lover of my soul. Satan is my enemy. The mistakes made during that time are covered by the grace of God. 

If there is calamity on your life, take a look at what you are doing for the Lord. You are likely stirring up the powers that aim to keep the Kingdom from growing.  The enemy is after God, not you. It isn’t personal. If you can take the blame off of yourself and God, things will start to turn around. Remember: God is for you, who can be against you? If Satan comes against you, he is already defeated. What is coming against you has to end. It is a matter of getting understanding from the situation, putting the blame on the one who caused it, and seeking God for relief and restoration. God cannot fail in this because His promises are always true. Freedom lies in understanding that we have overcome by the blood of the lamb. When the enemy comes, land on your face and pray!