S – “So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.” Galatians 4:31
O – Paul is explaining to those who were telling believers they had to keep the Jewish law that Christ has set us free from the law. Just as Ishmael had to be sent away so that Isaac the son of promise could receive his inheritance so we must realize that we are now free from the law and have received our inheritance in Jesus. All who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus are His children and are free from the burden of the law which is impossible for us to keep. Jesus kept it for us!
A – Are we living as children of the free woman? Am I? That doesn’t mean living wantonly. It means living free from guilt, fear, and doubt. I’m a daughter of the King and nothing can change that. Nothing can take it away. I’m free to be who He created me to be. Free to live in joy and praise. No matter how many times I stumble and fall, He will always pick me up. I’m not working to earn the right to stay with Him, I am His for eternity. That’s my permanent condition and the condition of any believer in Christ Jesus. We need to send the slave mentality away, get rid of it and live with the freedom of beloved children.
P – Praise you Jesus! Praise your holy name! Thank you for redeeming me and making me your child. Thank you that I’m yours forever. Thank you I’m no longer a slave but a beloved daughter.
SOAP Bible Study method
S – “On that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:16
O – There is coming a day when all the secrets of our hearts will be judged by God. On that day there will be no pretending, no masking, no hiding…the sins of our hearts will be revealed and we will be exposed. On that day, I will be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. On that day, He will judge and only those who have trusted in His death for us will escape judgement.
From John Piper:
“Note this very carefully in verse 16: it is the gospel that speaks of judgment here. This means that you can’t feel the glorious seriousness of the gospel of Jesus Christ unless you know that it is a gospel about future judgment. The gospel is glorious not to the extent that it solves our problems with depression and cancer, but to the extent that it removes the wrath of Almighty God against us at the last judgment, and brings us to everlasting joy. “
“Being justified by God, being given a positive sentence at the last judgment is greater than all our mental well-being and all our physical health in this whole life on earth. “ John Piper
A – Praise God! My sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Praise His holy name! On that day when I face judgement, He will say “Paid in full.”
P – Dear Jesus, thank you, I love you. Please glorify your name in and through my life. Thank you that I am yours forever.
SOAP Bible Study Method
I knew this incredible young woman when she was a teenager. I was aware she was suffering and seeking help but I never knew the full extent of her suffering. What a joy to see her come to a place of healing. Please read this e-book she wrote sharing some of the steps in her journey to find peace.
Also check out Emily’s blog.
Jennifer Slattery writes fiction that’s entertaining and keeps me turning the pages but at the same time manages to teach me about God’s grace and challenges me to reach out to those around me who are hurting.
Restoring Love is a follow-up to Jennifer’s first novel, Beyond I Do. Restoring Love shows us what happens to Ainsley’s mom, Angela several years after the events in the first book. Angela is a woman who has made lots of mistakes in her life and had stopped believing her own life could be redeemed until she sees the grace and forgiveness her daughter shows her. As Angela moves on to find a new start, God opens doors for her to show that same grace to Bianca, a struggling mom who lives across the street. With her husband in jail, a rebellious teenage daughter and two challenging young sons, her life is in crisis.
Will Angela be able to give Bianca the same kind of help she herself once desperately needed? And what about Mitch? Why has God allowed this man into her life? Why would any decent man be interested in her ever again? With her history of promiscuity, abortion and manipulation of others, she feels unworthy of love. This story makes me wonder how many people around me are hurting in ways I can’t imagine and who around me needs a word of encouragement or for someone to be willing to give sacrificially. Restoring Love is a love story, a redemption story, a story of hope, a challenge to forgive and a picture of what Jesus meant when He said others would know His followers by their love.
If you want a book that goes beyond being escapist fiction and has the potential to change lives, I highly recommend Restoring Love.
And don’t forget to read Ainsley’s story in Beyond I Do!
Find more about Jennifer Slattery and her other books here:
Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud
Jennifer on Amazon
Often I forget life is not about me.
I’m not the source of strength or truth in my life. I can’t produce one good thing in my own strength. My breath is a gift of grace from God. I can’t hold on to it or guarantee I will take another one.
As I take a deep breath…that act is grace.
Do I have hope? That is a gift.
Do I have a moment of peace? Also a gift.
Every second I spend with a loved one and look into their precious face is a gift. ALL good things come from our Creator Father. The ability to enjoy His gifts comes from Him. Life and death are gifts from Him. Life because it allows us to know Him. Death because it allows us to be with Him forever. I need reminders of who I am.
I’m a receiver of His good gifts.
A branch not the vine.
A creation not the Creator.
A pencil not the source of truth
A reflection not the light.
A servant not the master.
A voice not the message.
One part not the body.
Gifted not the gift.
A messenger not the message.
A channel not the source.
Forgiven not sinless.
In process not perfect.
En route not at my destination.
A singer not the song.
Forgiven, loved, trusting.
The Giver of every good gift.
He alone is worthy of praise, honor and glory.
All that I am, I owe to Him.
That this Great God would choose to love me and use me is overwhelming GRACE!
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (ESV)
“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 Corinthians 4:7 (ESV)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 (ESV)
Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions
Filed under Bible, Christianity, Faith, God, God's character, Grace, Holy Spirit, hope, Jesus, personal, spiritual growth
Before you created the world, you knew I would exist and you loved me!
When you knit me together in my mother’s womb you knew I would choose sin yet you loved me.
Thank you Jesus that you died for me knowing someday I would be selfish, unkind, unloving, willful and stubborn. You knew I would have a prideful, self-focused heart yet you chose to die for me so that I could live. You chose to take my sin and give me your righteousness.
What an astounding gift!
I could meditate on your grace forever and never fully grasp its wonder. Thank you that this incredible gift is there for anyone who will believe Jesus died for him or her.
The guilty forgiven.
Ransom paid freely.
A gift impossible to earn or deserve.
I am guilty.
I deserve death. I don’t deserve to spend eternity with you. Yet, that is what you offered me. I believed. I do believe and you will never leave me or forsake me.
Anyone who believes can have this gift of grace. Just as they are.
Praise your holy name!
Jesus, open our eyes to see your hand reaching out. Help us to believe.
What does grace mean to you?
Filed under Bible, Christianity, Eternity, Faith, forgiveness, God, God's character, God's love, Grace, hope, Jesus, salvation