Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Power of Telling Yourself the Truth vs. Listening to Your Feelings ~ By Breezy

As a short seven-year-old, the edge of the pool felt very safe.   Who knew that toes could grip so   My  I knew my dad, I knew he loved me, I knew he was going to catch me, and I knew this would be fun.  But my feelings were telling me this was not a good idea – the water was deep, I was not very tall or strong, I was not a super swimmer, and there were no lifeguards close by.
dad was in the water and I was supposed to jump in and he would catch me.

This is the struggle we face every day: truth versus feeling – what we know versus what we feel. 

That day at the pool, I went with what I knew was true and I jumped in.  It was so much fun.  My dad caught me (of course!).  We laughed, we splashed, and I jumped into the pool some more.  
I see this scenario over and over in my life.  I read my Bible in the morning and my heart is encouraged and challenged with so much truth from God’s Word.  Then, as I start my day, feelings start to press in on my mind.  It is far too easy for me to forget the things I know are true (because God has said them in His Word) and instead be guided by what my feelings are telling me.

It is so important that I go prayerfully to God’s Word to look for His Truth in everything.  To begin with, it is important that I am honest with the Lord about what I am feeling so that I can address it with the Truth of Scripture.  For me, it has been so helpful to write in my journal the specific thing I am feeling and then begin searching the Bible for verses that will tell me the Truth.  

Here are two recent examples from my life…

My feeling: This circumstance in my life that I am going through is not fun and I am tired of it.  My life will probably never change.

God’s Truth:
“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenants and his testimonies.” (Psalm 25:10 ESV)  The path Jesus is asking me to walk is His way of expressing to me His steadfast love and faithfulness.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  “…What [God] desires, that he does, For he will complete what he appoints for me…” (Job 23:13-14 ESV)  “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?” (Isaiah 14:27 ESV) God has a good plan for my life and nothing can stop it.

“But [Jesus] said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid’…” (John 6:20 ESV)  When Jesus says, “It is I” it means “I AM” like God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3.  Jesus said this to his disciples when he was walking on the water across the sea to them in the middle of the storm, but for me, I can know that Jesus is the I AM – He is in control of everything, so I don’t need to fear the future.

My feeling: This person is not treating me very nicely today, so I will just avoid them today.

God’s Truth:
“Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10 ESV)  I am not supposed to be kind to someone because they deserve it.  I am supposed to be kind because it is what Jesus asks of His children.

Dear sisters, these are just two tiny example  God’s word is so full of practical Truth for every area of our lives and it is so important that we never let our feelings be in control of our thoughts and actions.  The Truth of God’s Word must control us.   This means that we must spend time in God’s Word to seek and know the Truth and we must give hard, diligent effort to letting it shape our feelings.

We can never stop ourselves from feeling certain things, but here is the key: will we choose to listen to our feelings, or will we choose to tell ourselves the Truth? 

He is a shield...

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
~Proverbs 30:5 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Transformation of Truth ~ by Amy Vest

Truth that transforms.  That is the Truth that Jesus is offering you.  In John 8:31-32, we hear it:  "So Jesus said... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Let's look at this transforming Truth together!
1. Knowing the Truth - "If you abide in my will know the truth..."
It is one thing to have a knowledge of the Truth of God's Word in your head.  It is another thing to be personally knowing the Truth, believing it, experiencing it, and owning it as yours.  This comes by you abiding and being in the Word of God - the Bible.  John 17:17 makes it clear, "...your word is truth."  This is the Word of the God who created you, has spoken the Truth to you in the Bible, and is equipping you by the power of His Spirit to know His Word for yourself.

The longer you walk with the Lord and fill your life with His Word, the more that you will see the reality that, 
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”  (Proverbs 30:5)  

As you truly know the Truth for yourself, you will be able to increasingly discern things that are not true when they come - whether in the form of information, feelings, or thoughts.  Years ago my family was in another country that was both beautiful and different from where I had grown up.  When we went to a restaurant, I decided to try to be healthy and ordered milk.  When it arrived, I took a sip and quickly realized it was NOT real milk!  It was some form of powdered milk or substitute that I couldn't bring myself to drink.  But, how did I know it wasn't real milk?  Because I had spent years drinking the real thing.  It is similar with the Truth.  When you have known the Truth and are filling your life with it, you will be more and more aware when something is not the "real thing"!
2. The Transformation of Truth - "...the truth will set you free.”  
As you know the Truth, it: reveals to you where you are in bondage, serves as a key through which the Holy Spirit brings the Truth to life, and sets you free from the bondage that once held you captive!

It is a beautiful process:

~ Us battling bondage of: fear, pride, jealousy, etc.
~ God opening our eyes in His Word to: Who He is, what He has said and promised, who we are, and the hope we have.
~ God giving us faith to believe His Word
~ Freedom results

Recently the Lord gave a beautiful opportunity to serve Him where I faced and regularly had the temptation to feel pressure and fear.  In this situation, the Lord brought His Word to my heart, "I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand a keep you." (Isaiah 42:6) This brought refocus on Him, His Truth, and freedom of rest through both His presence and Word.  He wants to bring this freedom in every area and situation of your life.

3. Truth in Every Day Life - "If you abide in my word, you are truly my 
The Word of God is meant to saturate and impact every moment of your day - leading you more and more into the freedom that comes from living in the Truth of His Word!  
Colossians 3:16 tells us, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..."  

Let's look together at some ways we can live, abide, and soak in His Truth in a daily practical way: 

~  Being in His Word - reading, studying, etc.
~  Having His Word in you - memorizing His Word, so you can think on it all of the time.
~  Being reminded of His Word through the day and week - reading, playing Bible on CD, speaking it to yourself, listening to sermons, singing songs filled with Truth.
~  Thinking intentionally about verses from the Bible and allowing the Lord to teach you from them
~  Sharing the Truth with others and allowing them to share with you - confirming it in both
of your hearts
~  Allowing the Lord to bring it to your heart through the dayand all that you face - this is possible as you are reading the Word and have memorized it
~  Receiving God's grace andwalking in the reality of His Truth - no matter how you feel - and experiencing His freedom

Right now, I am in a season where my health is struggling and I have seen the power of this so real in my daily circumstances.  If I focus on and base my attitude on how I am feeling, it results in becoming discouraged, sad, or even crabby (and who wants that?).  But, if I keep my focus on Jesus and the Word, feed my soul with Truth (verses like 
Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.")and listen for Him to speak His Truth to me, my heart is flooded with joy, hope, peace, and purpose - causing me to embrace Him, His Word, and my current circumstance for His glory, my good, and blessing of others!

Look at your life with the Lord and identify at least one area in which you need to walk in His Truth and freedom.  Find a verse to memorize on that area, pray it to the Lord - asking Him for His help to walk in it, and receive His grace to walk in it each moment!

May the Lord pour out His richest blessings to you as you go as His disciple, abide in His Word, know the Truth, and watch Him work through it by His Spirit to set you free!

Your Word is Truth...

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
~John 17:17

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Join us for Session 6 - "The Influence of Your Thoughts and Attitude" - of the Beautiful to God Online Conference!

Session 6 ~ "The Influence of Your Thoughts and Attitude" from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Truth that transforms. That is the Truth that Jesus is offering you. In John 8:31-32, we hear it: "So Jesus said... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” He has called us to live a life that is radiant in His Truth! Two of the major areas the transformation of His Truth takes place is in our thoughts and attitudes.

Join Amy as we look together at the power of Truth - the Word of God, the Bible - and allowing it to transform our thoughts and attitudes in a way that impacts our lives and the lives of those around us!

Please visit our website for handouts and study questions for this session!

The truth will set you free...

"...and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
~ John 8:32

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Question of the Month ~ We want to hear from you!

We want to hear from you!

Here's the question for the month:

What is one step you are going to take to walk in purity today? 

                                                                   {Please comment below!}


With my whole heart I seek you...

How can a young man keep his way pure?
 By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
~Psalm 119:9-10

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Blessings of Purity ~ Mandy's Testimony

"Above all else, guard your heart,  for it is the wellspring of life" ~ Proverbs 4:23

As Christian young ladies, we are called to a high moral standard. Very often, this call means choosing the Lord's standards in stark defiance of those held by the world. In particular, God has called us to be pure  for His glory (Matthew 5:8). In my own life, the Lord is graciously teaching me what it means to be pure before Him. 
Through the Lord's leading, I first made a commitment to purity at the age of 12. During this time, my father and I went through a Bible study on purity together.  One verse that particularly impacted me at this point was Song of Solomon 8:4 which says,"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,  that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases." In other words, it is crucial that Christian young ladies wait on the Lord's will and not pursue romance before His perfect timing. As a result of this study on purity, I made a commitment to wait on the Lord's timing should it be His will for me to be married someday. Also, I submitted my heart to my parents and asked them to help me guard my heart. 

The next year, at age 13, the Lord opened my eyes to make a deeper commitment to purity. At this time, the He used various books and Christian role models to teach me  the practical aspects of a pure life. For example, I was wisely advised that any romantic relationship should be marriage-minded. Also, I was counseled to wait until marriage for my first kiss and to avoid flirtation and forming crushes. The goal of these standards is not perfection, but to live with a pure heart devoted to God.

Rather than a list of legalistic rules, these standards allowed me to live my teenage years fully for the Lord without the pressure of having to attract guys. Indeed, I truly enjoyed the freedom that a single focus on the Lord provided. While other girls around me experienced pain and heartbreak, I was able to grow with less distraction in my relationship with Christ.
However, I sometimes grew discontent because of some of my standards. For example, it is difficult to guard one's heart when so many other girls seem to be throwing their hearts around. Indeed, our society seems to "glorify" the teenage dating culture. However, my parents and other godly influences guided me to maintain a commitment to waiting on the Lord with regard to relationships.
Interestingly, I found that the battle for a pure and undistracted heart grew more difficult as I grew older. For example, with each year I wondered if I would simply remain single my whole life. (It must be noted, however, that lifelong singleness is in itself a noble calling). 

At no point did I experience as much discontent in my singleness as I did during spring 2012. During this time, it seemed that so many girls I knew were caught up in talking about crushes and potential boyfriends. However, the Lord reminded me of His perfect love and I remained steadfast in my commitment to purity, even if it meant lifelong singleness. 

By early summer 2012, I was probably closer to and more content in the Lord than I had ever been in my life. Amazingly, it was at this time that He brought a wonderful young man into my life.

While I still made an effort to guard my heart, the Lord soon made it clear that it was His perfect plan for me to enter into a relationship. It is such a blessing to start a marriage-minded courtship without the pain of past regrets! However, I certainly recognize that I only made the decisions that I did through the undeserved grace of the 
I have been so blessed by what the Lord has taught me regarding purity. In fact, I encourage each girl reading this to make a God-honoring commitment to purity. If anyone has a painful past of mistakes in this area, it's not too late!! God in his marvelous grace is so willing to grant a fresh start. Purity is our calling as Christian young ladies, and it is to be taken both seriously and joyfully. 

The springs of life...

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

~Proverbs 4:23

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Call to Transforming Purity ~ by Amy Vest

Are you ready to talk about a purity that has the potential to transform your life?  
God created you to live a life of transforming purity in Jesus that results in freedom, fulfillment, and fruitfulness.  It is a purity that is beautiful, satisfying, exciting, and that impacts not only your life, but the lives and world around you.

God has called us to this purity that transforms us and allows us to fulfill and experience the purpose for which we were created.
It is crucial that you understand - Your level of purity affects your relationship with God, your life, your relationship with others, and how mightily God is able to use you for His glory.

When you hear the word purity, what do you think of?  
So that we are on the same page - when we talk about purity, we mean - “Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence; as purity of heart or life.”

Let’s look together at elements of this transforming purity:

~ Purity has a purpose. Why do you want to be pure?  Matthew 5:8 says, “"Blessed are the pure in

heart for they shall see God.”  Stop and read it again… "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."  What does it say will happen if you are pure in heart?  You will see God.  That is the purpose that we are alive – to see, know, enjoy, and glorify God!  This alone is where we will be truly satisfied.  Do you see why it is so important?  (This is why purity is under such attack today by the enemy in our culture – to try to draw us away from purity of heart and seeing God.)  You want to be pure so that you can SEE GOD - then your life will be transformed! 

This is not a pursuit of purity filled with boredom and suffocating external performance, but with a joy and purpose that flows from a deeper heart desire to know God and commitment do whatever HE says is right and pure!  As you behold God, you love Him, as you love Him, you want to follow Him, and desire to live a pure life and be pure so can know Him even more!  This will lead us into the lives of fulfillment, freedom, and fruitfulness that God intended us to live, as a result of purity and seeing Him! 

When this clicked in my mind and heart, it was transforming for me.  Before I pursued purity because I knew it was right and I wanted good and not bad consequences.  But, as I knew the Lord and then understood this verse, it gave a totally different motivation for purity - I wanted to know Jesus!  We must let our life passion be to know see and know the Lord – not wanting anything to get in the way!  This passionate purpose will cause us not to see how close to the line we can get in the area of purity, but how far away.  The more we know the Lord, the more this will cause us to see that He is far more satisfying than any impurity that could tempt us.  Our longing to know God more should drive us to pursue purity at all costs!

2 Timothy 2:22 helps us see the Lord’s call to run from impurity and run towards purity: "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." 
One summer I was canoeing through some reeds with some young women.   All of a sudden one of the young women started screaming.  A spider had gotten in the canoe.  She was deathly afraid of spiders and was doing all she could to get away from it.  We should be even more serious than this as we flee sin and pursue purity, keeping the purpose in mind and realizing the affect it has on our ability to see God and walk with Him.

~ Purity starts in your heart.“The heart of the matter, is a matter of the heart.” someone once said.  God is most concerned about our heart, as well as how we live outwardly.  It is our heart that He cares about first.  Outward conformity is not the final answer – and while they can do some good, they don’t change our heart.  God is calling us to purity of heart – and then all of our life can flow from our heart condition.  Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”  

It’s important to look at your heart and ask:  Am I wanting to know God more than I am wanting sin?  Am I believing that knowing Jesus will make me far happier than allowing impurity in my life?  Am I trusting that the God who created me, knows what is best for me, and is calling me to obey for my best and His glory?  Am I willing to receive the Lord’s grace to fight sin and pursue purity at all costs?  The answers to these questions take place in our hearts – and then show proof in our lives of our heart condition.

Something must be made very clear - We cannot make our heart pure – Jesus alone can.  He opens our eyes to our need and gives us grace to look to Him to purify our heart through:
1. Salvation – you seeing your sinful heart and desperate need for a Savior from your sins, trusting in Jesus alone and His death on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins, and inviting Him to come into your life, cleanse you from your sins, and be in charge of your life.
2. Sanctification – a lifelong process of the Lord working in us and us working with Him, by the grace that He supplies, to purify us from our sin and self and fill us with Jesus. At salvation, you were washed clean from your sins, and Jesus’ perfect record became yours.  Now, He is in the process of purifying your heart to make your more like Him – While we will never be perfectly pure in life on this earth, the more He purifies our hearts, the more clearly we can see Him!  THAT is what we want and should be our desire moment-by-moment! 

Tonight I made a smoothie.  Suppose after I had added the fresh fruit, juice, etc. I decided that I could add just a little bit of poison – would that make that much of a difference?  It is the same way when we allow even a little sin in our lives – It affects every area of our lives and damages our walk with Christ.  Do you see what is at stake?  We are not looking at little hand-slaps, when we allow sin, we are hindering our most important relationship in the world with Jesus! 

We must daily, moment-by-moment receive the Lord’s grace to “keep your heart” – to receive the Lord’s grace to watchfully pursue purity and flee from impurity in a way that enables us to see God for all that He is.  
This purity of heart will then flow out in how you live in beautiful ways!

~ Purity of heart flows out in purity of life.
What you do is an outflow of what is in your heart. How you live your life stems from your heart, what you love, and what you think will make you happy.  If we believe that God satisfies, that He created us and calls us to do what He created for our best, and that His ways work, we will obey Him and pursue purity in every area – and experience the amazing results.

This comes out in choices in what you: ~ think about ~ say  ~ wear  ~ listen to  ~ watch  ~ do with your body  ~ friends you choose  ~ and so much more!

It is also critical that we are intentionally rejecting impurity and filling our lives with things that help us in purity and loving Jesus!  Stop and evaluate what you are reading, listening to, watching, and thinking about.  Something that has been so helpful for me is to evaluate where my heart is by what I am desiring and encourage my heart in purity by evaluating things by asking myself, “Is this helping me towards purity and knowing Jesus, or encouraging me in impurity and drawing me from Jesus?” Be purposeful in filling your life with pure things and things that will encourage you in purity and loving Jesus.  These things include: - Memorizing Scripture - Listening to pure music - Reading books that will encourage you in your relationship with the Lord and purity - Spending time with friends who are seeking Jesus and purity - Listening to sermons and attending conferences - and so much more!
Psalm 119:8-10 is so helpful, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.  With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  

Making daily choices to live in purity includes what you think, what you say, how you act, your attitudes, and what you do with your body. 
Stop and ask yourself, “Is how I am living at this moment honoring the Lord through purity?”  Every action has consequences.So, today as you decide what to think about, listen to, look at, do, etc., remember Who you are living for and the results of living a life of purity.  It is a daily choice that bears incredible fruit.

Romans 6:13 gives us a great word picture, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
It is important for each of us to acknowledge that we all have failed in the area of purity – whether it is in heart, thought, word, or action.  This is why Jesus had to die in the Cross in our place for our sins, so that He could cleanse us and make us right with God – enabling us to see Him for all that He is!  When we see the promise of purity and that sin, though forgiven, still has consequences (and is not a reason to be casual about sin and impurity) – this should lead us to the Cross for cleansing and a fresh start.  1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  This is the beauty of what Jesus has done for you and Jesus is offering this to you today.

As purity flows out of our heart into the rest of our life, it will have a powerful impact.
~ Purity affects your relationships.
While purity of heart will deeply affect all of our relationships – as the Lord purifies our desires, motives, etc.  - one of the major areas that purity is manifested is our relationships with the opposite gender. (In other words, guys.)  While we could talk for hours on this subject, in a nutshell, having a pure heart and being satisfied in Jesus will enable us to relate to young men with the goal of pointing them to the Lord, seeing Him, and being satisfied in Him – instead of trying to attract them and distracting them from the Lord!
Having a pure heart, being fulfilled in Christ, and seeking to embrace His plan for His best in guy relationships will enable you to have healthy, God-honoring relationships with young men – and will lead you to desire to save yourself - heart, mind, and body - for your future husband.  When you are in this place is when you experience the freedom of seeking and serving the Lord with brothers in Christ in the way for which we were intended. (I know, this has been critical for me!)  Then everyone is challenged on in the Lord and HE is glorified, as a result!  
(The Beautiful to God Online Conference session “The Power of a Pure Heart and Single Focus”, which will be posted next week, will address this area much more.)

~ Purity bears fruit – in your life and the lives of others.
 Seeking the Lord and purity through purpose, purging, and pursuit will bring powerful results in your heart, walk with Him, and life!

This fruit includes:
- Seeing God more clearly and incredible growth in Him
- Freedom and joy you never imagined possible
- God’s blessing
- Right motivations in and relationships with people – especially the opposite gender
- God can accomplish His best in your life and use you in mighty ways for His gloryAs He grows you in purity, it transforms your life as it results in more of God, being satisfied in Him, Him shining through you, lives being impacted for Him, and Him being glorified.

~ Purity in your life – application.
Purity begins and ends with Jesus.  Come to Him asking for His grace to pursue purity and work in your heart to purify you.  He will be faithful!
Purpose - Ask yourself, “What is my motivation for purity?”  Want seeing and knowing Jesus more than anything – and let that be your motivation for purity.  Ask the Lord for a deeper desire for a pure heart, so that you can see, know, and walk with Him like you were created to!
Purge - Go before the Lord and ask Him to reveal the sins, hindrances, distractions, and idols that are blocking the way of your relationship with Him.Pray through them with Him, ask His forgiveness and cleansing, yield them to Him, and ask for His grace to fill those areas with Himself!  Reject things that are impure and pull you away from Jesus.
Pursue – Focus on things that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord and purity. Fill your heart, mind, eyes, and ears with things that encourage you in Jesus and purity.  (Devotions, Scripture memory, Bible study, prayer, journal, etc.)
As you cling to Jesus and pursue these things, the Lord will bring amazing fruit in your life!

1 Timothy 4:12 beautifully tells us, "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."

So, my friends, the question remains - “What are YOU going to do with the Lord’s call to transforming purity?”

God is calling you to this personally and you must receive His grace to respond.  There is nothing in the world like knowing and walking with God - Don’t allow anything to get in the way of it!  Embrace a life that is set apart for Christ with a total commitment to purity in every area of your life, no matter the cost, remembering the purpose and promised results.  

Let’s pursue purity – longing for more of God.  As you see Him, your life will be transformed.

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Set the believers an example...

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 

 ~ 1 Timothy 4:12

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Join us for Session 5 - "The Power of a Pure Heart" - of the Beautiful to God Online Conference!

Session 5 ~ "The Power of a Pure Heart" from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

God created you to live a life of transforming purity in Jesus that results in freedom, fulfillment, and fruitfulness. God has called us to this purity that transforms us and allows us to fulfill and experience the purpose for which we were created. Your level of purity affects your relationship with God, your life, your relationship with others, and how mightily God is able to use you for His glory... "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)... You want to be pure so that you can SEE GOD - then your life will be transformed! 

Please join us for this video as we look at the the way the Lord transforms our lives through purity! 

Please visit our website for handouts and study questions for this session!

Blessed are the pure in heart...

 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

~Matthew 5:8

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Summer Devotions Pursuit Begins Today!

Summer Devotions Pursuit from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

We would like to invite you to join us for the 2017 Summer Devotions Pursuit - a special time of seeking Jesus from June 1st - August 31st!

Here are the basic details:
WHO: You and Jesus
WHERE: Wherever you are
WHEN: June 1st - August 31st, 2017

- 15 minutes of devotions a day
- Memorizing 1 verse a week
- Choosing and contacting an accountability partner once every 2 weeks
... and an amazing summer with Jesus! 
You can print off a chart to keep track on the LTLM website -!

REWARD: When you complete the Summer Pursuit: You send in your chart by September 7th and you receive a reward in the mail - in addition to the best reward of knowing Jesus!  This year's reward will be a special surprise package!

It is not necessary to let us know that you are taking part in the Summer Devotions Pursuit - You can just send your chart in at the end of the summer when you complete the Pursuit!  (That said, you can leave a comment on this post just for fun if you want to let us know you are taking part!)
You can watch the "Summer Devotions Pursuit" video (above, or at and visit the website ( for more details.  You can contact us at with questions. 

Invite your friends to join us!!!

This is going to be an amazing summer of pursuing and growing in knowing Jesus!
  Pursue Jesus with all that you are this summer, friends. He is so amazing! He will meet with you - and you will never be the same!

Our prayer is that for each of us this summer will be a powerful time to begin, or deepen, a life pattern of seeking Jesus and growing in experiencing His goodness every day!

"He satisfies the longing soul…” Psalm 107:9

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Question of the Month ~ We want to hear from you!

We want to hear from you!

Here's the question for the month:

What is 1 aspect of your identity in Christ that means a lot to you right now? (For example, "I am redeemed, forgiven, loved...")  Why?

                                                                                                           {Please comment below!}


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Living in Your Identity as a Child of God ~ Elizabeth's testimony

I believe it was around six years ago that I knew in my heart I was not satisfied in Jesus, but I really wanted to be. Through a book I was reading about who I was in Jesus there was a list of scripture verses paraphrased that spoke of my identity in the Lord as His child. After reading the book I still did not feel satisfied in Jesus but I remember thinking to myself that the Bible is truth and that what it is communicating to me about my identity is true even though I did not feel it. I knew I needed God to do a work in my heart.

 I decided to use my exercising time on the treadmill to declare these truths from scripture of who I was in Jesus. Most often I would start my time with a simple prayer “Lord, would You place these truths in my heart.” As I spoke these paraphrased verses I would begin by saying “Thank you Lord and then continue on with the verse, “Since I am in Christ, by the grace of God… I have been justified completely forgiven and made righteous” (Rom 6:1-6) 

Thank you Lord that I am free forever from condemnation (Rom.8:1)
Thank you that I have been given the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:16)
Thank you Lord that I have been bought with a price: I am not my own; I belong to God (I Cor. 6:19, 20)
Thank you that I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life (Gal. 2:20)
Thank you that I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven (Eph.2:6)
Thank that I can come boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need (Heb.4:16)
Thank you that I have been redeemed and forgiven, and I am a recipient of His lavish grace (I John 1:9)
Thank you Lord that I have been made complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)

As I continued to speak God’s truth into my heart, He began to do a work in me. As God’s truth went deep within my soul I began to know my identity as a child of Jesus and was satisfied in Him. So many things that I had been struggling with before were diminishing in my life as the Lord was setting me free with His truth. One of the victories in my life as a result of God’s work was no longer caring what people thought of me. There was now a new freedom in living for Jesus alone. John 8:31-32 says, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’”

Since that time I have had seasons where I have struggled to live in these truths, but God has kept helping me come back to what is true. Today in my heart by God placing His truth in me, I have a settledness in my heart that I am His, I belong, and I am His child.

You are a chosen race...

 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 ~1 Peter 2:9

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Your True Identity in Christ ~ by Amy Vest

Who are you?  

If someone asked you that question, how would you answer?  Even more importantly, what would be the answer if you asked yourself, “Where do I find my sense of worth, security, and value?”

This is an issue of identity.  Identity essentially means: “who someone is” - where we find our value, or our sense of worth.  Where we find our identity is so important because we behave in line with what we believe about who we are.

We live in a culture that tells us that our worth is found in how we look, what we do, how much we have, how popular we are.  This only leads into insecurity, fear, unfulfillment, and never measuring up.

If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you have an identity and worth in Christ that will transform you the more you understand and live in its reality!

When you have come to Jesus Christ for salvation – He saves you and you become a new creation in Christ, and a child of God.  
Salvation takes place when you: 
~ Come to God realizing that you are a sinner, that your sin separates you from God, and that you deserve to spend eternity in hell apart from God.  
~ See that Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins, rose from the dead and stands ready to save you if you will confess your sins to God.
~ Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and cleanse you from your sins, and put your total trust in His work for you on the Cross. 
Then when God looks at you, He sees Jesus, His redeeming work in your life, and His righteousness.

So, when you become a Christian – you are a new creation and you have a new identity.  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 

Your worth no longer lies in what you do, how you look, or what other people say you are.
Your worth lies in Jesus Christ, what He has done, and who you are in HIM!

Galatians 2:20 tells us, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now livein the  flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Your identity is no longer YOU, but HIM!  A you-centered (or people, possession, position) identity will lead you to an identity crisis – those things will fail, disappoint you, and never fully fulfill!  A Christ-centered identity will bring you all of the security, meaning, and purpose you long for – Jesus never fails you and can totally fulfill you.

Don’t turn to someone or something else to define you or tell you who you are!  JESUS has already told you who you are – you just need to listen to Him (and not to yourself or voices of others).  Understand that whoever you allow to define you and tell you who you are and clamor for their approval, you make your god.  The only one who has the right to define you is the One who created you!  Listen to JESUS - not the world, the devil, or yourself.  Ask, “Jesus, who do You say that I am?  What do you say about me?”  He has told you amazing, life-changing things about who you are in Him!  It is so important that you know and understand your true identity of who you are in Him – and then live in the reality of it!    

Let’s look in His Word ~ Scripture ~ and see who He says you are in Him:

~ Redeemed - He has delivered us from the 
power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of 
the Son of His lovein whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”  Colossians 1:13-14

~ Accepted - “…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6 
~ Beloved – “…you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
~ Child of God – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
~ Complete in Christ – For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”  Colossians 2:9-10
~ Nothing can separate you from His love –  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
~ Chosen/“Royal Priesthood” – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 
~ God’s Workmanship –  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
~ and so many more!  I encourage you to look into the Bible more and see what the Lord says about who you are in Jesus!

Isn’t this breathtaking?
  This is who you are in Jesus!

As you see this, allow the Lord’s grace to bring these amazing truths from your head to your heart in a way that transforms the way you live your life!  Because, if you really believe and walk in the reality of who you are in Christ, it will change your life! If you believe you are:
~ Accepted – you will not look to others for affirmation and acceptance (which can lead to so much trouble).
~ Beloved – you will not desperately look for love in other places.
~ Redeemed – you will not try to gain God’s approval through works.
~ Royal Priesthood and a Daughter of the King of Kings – you will want to be set apart and live for HIS kingdom vs. this world.
…. and so much more!

See how it changes you?

It is a life-long journey of growing in walking more fully in our identity in Christ. 
 It is becoming in practice like we are already in position.  It is knowing we are unchangeably accepted, and receiving God’s grace in growing to live like it.

We need to keep these truths of our identity in front of our eyes.
  I encourage you to write some of these verses and realities of who you are in Christ on cards and put them up on your mirror, above your bed, and other places where you will see them!

As you grow in living in your true identity in Christ you will find you are able to increasingly: 

~ Live confidently in who you are in Him.
~ Not be emotionally up and down based on what people think of you – but able to rest in what HE has said about who you are.
~ Be able to focus on HIM alone and what He thinks of you – vs. always worrying what others think of you.
These things will lead you into a deeper relationship with Him and will allow Him to more freely work through you!

I have found the power of this in my own life – as you receive the Lord’s grace to walk in the reality of who you are in Jesus, you are increasingly able to live day-to-day and walk into any setting and rest in who you are in Jesus.  Whether people love you or hate you, or think you are wonderful or weird, you can be at peace knowing your position in Christ and what He thinks of you You can walk into church, a social gathering, etc. and do not need to look around at everyone and hope they accept you – you can be confident of, and secure in, who you are in Christ and be able to shine His love!  

Every day of my life, I need to walk in the reality of who I am in Jesus!  Understanding who I am because of Jesus and what He has done continues to grow my gratitude for Jesus and be life-altering for me.  When I am not living in the reality of my identity in Jesus, I find I become insecure, etc. and then the Lord faithfully directs my eyes back to my position and value because of Him and the security returns!  I want to live more fully in my identity in Christ with each breath I take. 

These beautiful truths are yours when you are in Christ:
~ You are not defined by your worst day, what you have done, or what you do – but, by what Jesus has done for you.
~ You are not defined by how you look, but by what God sees when He looks at you – JESUS!
~ You are not defined by what you have accomplished, but by what Jesus has accomplished for 
you on the Cross!
~ You are not defined by what you know, or even the fact that you know God, but the fact that God knows you because of Jesus!
~ You are not defined by what people say about you, but by what God says about you!
~ You are not defined by who you are, but by Who He is in you!

Understanding and living in your identity in Jesus is life transforming.  Jesus meant for you to know, believe, and live in this reality!  

Keep looking to Jesus and His Word for a definition of your true identity, daily remind yourself of and live in the reality of these truths, and watch Him transform your life!

Go and live in your true identity in Christ!