September 18, 2018

What it Means to Be a Child of God

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!

What a precious gift to be called a child of God.

A blood bought daughter.

Fully seen. Fully known. Fully loved by the One True God.

With that title comes amazing promises, one being found in 1 John.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NIV)

For those who call themselves children of God (those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior), Jesus promises:

We are overcomers … overcoming the false teachings and teachers in our culture. Overcoming the trials, struggles and hardships we encounter in this world. Overcoming the schemes, trials, temptations, and lies of the evil one.

What it Means to Be a Child of God by Wendy Blight. #1John #IAmLoved

Greater is the One who lives in us than the one who lives in the world … we overcome because God’s very presence … His Holy Spirit … lives, breathes and is at work in us.

But, none of this would be possible without the Lamb of God shedding His blood for us.

John’s promises in 1 John are made possible because Jesus POURED OUT HIS BLOOD FOR US.

Take a few minutes, sweet friend, to sit and soak in these truths. These promises. These gifts from our Abba Father.

Through the blood of Jesus, you are redeemed out of the hand of the devil.

Through the blood of Jesus, your sins are forgiven, washed white as snow.

Through the blood of Jesus, you are justified, made righteous, just-as-if-you never sinned.

Through the blood of Jesus, you are made holy in God’s sight, set apart for His purposes.

Through the blood of Jesus, you receive the gift of and are sealed by the Holy Spirit, making your body a living, breathing temple of God’s Holy Spirit.

Through the blood of Jesus and the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit, you are an overcomer. Satan has NO hold on you. He has NO power over you. He MUST FLEE at the name of Jesus.

These are God’s truths.

KNOW THEM! BELIEVE THEM! LIVE THEM!

They will change everything.

If you have a moment, please leave a comment today sharing what God spoke to YOUR heart as ponder the wonder of what it means to be called a child of God and the promises and gifts that are ours simply because we carry that beautiful name.

My study on 1 John, I Am Loved, is for every woman who craves to truly understand, walk confidently in, and live out God’s unconditional, extravagant, lavish love because His love truly changes everything!

August 30, 2018

Time to Cultivate {guest post & giveaway}

Happy Thursday! I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Jill Beran. She has poured many prayers and words of encouragement into my life through the years, for which I’m so grateful. Jill is a mom and wife and lives on a farm in Iowa. One of my favorite things about Jill are the Bible teachings she shares from life on their farm. Her stories bring God’s Word alive for me in fresh ways.

It’s been a joy to watch Jill grow and develop her gift as a Bible teacher. Today, I’m delighted to share one of her lessons from the farm and share her new Bible study, ReNEWal Road – The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus.

Jill is giving away a copy of her study so be sure to enter to win below!

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ReNEWal Road – The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus. A Bible study by Jill Beran.

It’s cultivating time here on the farm. If you were to stop by, you’d find my husband busily cultivating the beans we’ve planted in the field. It’s a task I associate with Iowa soil, and one I know involves work and takes time. Though you may not live on a farm, cultivating is something we all should do! Yours just might not be in a field in Iowa!

Because of the easy access to chemicals and fertilizers, many farmers find they don’t need to cultivate their fields. They take the easier and faster route. But, since we’re raising organic crops, chemicals aren’t an option. My husband must engage in the tedious task of cultivating 12 rows at a time, using equipment that churns up the dirt and removes the weeds, so the crop can grow.

While I watch my husband cultivate our crops, I picture God doing the same with my heart. Cultivating my heart takes time. It involves work and requires effort on my part. It isn’t something that happens with the flip of a switch; it’s hard work, but it brings results!

Cultivating the soil removes weeds from our fields just as cultivating our hearts removes lies, bad attitudes and wrong thoughts from our minds.

Cultivating also tills up the soil, so new growth can occur. Just as at times it would be easier for my husband to use chemicals and raise our crops conventionally, it’s tempting for us to pursue an easier way to connect with God. But, God desires a personal relationship with us. A deep and abiding relationship. There’s no quick way to make that happen, and no one else can do it for us.

In order to do his cultivating, my husband needs a tractor and a cultivator. We need two things as well … quiet time and God’s Word. Our Bible is the main piece of equipment we need – it’s our most powerful tool. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word can do more work than my husband’s John Deere will ever do, but we have to open it and be receptive to what He has to say!!

Finally, God also brought to mind that my husband cultivated the same field last year, and his dad did the same many years ago. Each new year, the work had to be done again. Cultivating isn’t a task we do once and consider it done, and the same is true for our hearts. Each season, actually every day of every season, we need to cultivate the soil of our hearts. Only then will new growth take place.

Every year my husband’s goal is to produce a better yield than he did the year before. Shouldn’t we do the same as disciples of Christ? If we want to grow closer to Christ and do more to glorify our Abba Father, our hearts must grow closer to His, and that won’t happen unless we get the cultivating done!

The Giveaway

Giveaway now closed. Jill was so blessed by all of your comments that she is giving away two copies of her book! Congrats Vonnie Kronk and Heidi (hamoth). Please check your email for more information from my assistant, Kim Stewart.

Are you looking for a study that will get you into God’s Word and allow Him to do some cultivating? We’re giving away a copy of Jill’s study, ReNEWal Road – The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus. Leave a comment with a verse that God has used to change your heart or simply say, “I’m in!” and we’ll enter you in the drawing! U.S. Addresses only please. Winner will be announced here on Friday, September 7.

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Jill Beran is a farmer’s wife, homeschooling mom to 5, and Bible teacher. When she’s not picking rocks or pulling weeds, she enjoys coaching basketball, serving in women’s ministry and writing. You can connect with Jill at Titus24U.

August 23, 2018

Back to School Thoughts and a Prayer

Are you like me as the first day of school draws near? A myriad of emotions overwhelm me each and every time. First it was elementary school. Then middle school. Then high school. Now it’s college.

Part of me is ready for my kids to head back to school … to have a routine again … to have time to myself again. But, the other part of me misses the lazy days, trips to the beach, movies in the middle of the day, lounging by the pool, staying up late playing games, and just plain being together.

Yesterday, my youngest, Bo (almost 21), started his junior in college. My oldest, Lauren (almost 25), works full time in Atlanta and just got engaged! I can’t believe I’m the mother of a bride, ya’ll. Really, girls, I don’t feel that old!!

Time has gone by so quickly. It seems only yesterday, I was pushing them around Target in the shopping cart … Lauren in her princess gown and sparkly shoes and Bo donning his Bob the Builder tools.

As September presses in, my heart finds itself divided again. Joy filling one half for the good things that lie ahead for both my babies this year. The other half aching for that which will never be again.

But, over the years, I’ve learned to trust God’s ways. Mama’s sending their babies off  is the way it’s supposed to be. God loans them to us for a time, and then they’re His.

It’s a never-ending cycle for us mamas. Whether it’s kindergarten, middle school, high school, college, weddings or grandbabies.

What brings me peace is knowing our children will never be alone. Our heavenly Father promises He will never leave them or forsake them. He promises He will be with them every minute of every day…

He knows when they sit and when they rise
He perceives their thoughts from afar 
He discerns their going out and their lying down
He is familiar with all their ways.
Before a word is on their tongue He knows it completely…

Where can they go from His Spirit
Where can they flee from His Presence? (Psalm 139)

He is with them.

I read further…

All the days ordained for them were written in His book before one of them came to be!

God is in control. Our God, the Author of Life, the Blessed Controller of All Things, the Sovereign God of the Universe, is in complete control of our babies. Hallelujah!

Below, please find a prayer I wrote and shared on my blog many years ago. I thought I’d share it again. Please personalize it for you and your family and make it your own.

Heavenly Father, I praise You as the Creator of every good and perfect gift … the greatest of those gifts is my children. Thank You for Your promises in Psalm 139. Will You keep my mind fixed on those promises as I send my precious ones, Lauren and Bo, to school tomorrow. Father, please hide Your Word in their hearts so that when they need to recall a Truth, it will be there. Will You make it their greatest desire to please and obey you in all they say and do? Father, will You teach them in the midst of pressures at school and with peers to trust in You with all their hearts and lean NOT on their own understanding and to acknowledge You in all their ways. Keep Lauren and Bo pure by leading them to live according to Your Word. Give them thankful hearts. Clothe them in humility and teach them to put others first. Father, will You grow them in wisdom, and stature, and favor with You and with man? Teach them to say, “This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it,” no matter what their days may hold. I ask this all in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

I pray this prayer for all of our children!

As tears fall from my cheeks, I’m so thankful for you, my friend! I know that I’m not alone. If you have kids going back to school, I’d love to hear your thoughts and prayers. Leave a verse that brings you comfort or a prayer you pray.