I just have a heart to encourage, especially women. I go to the Bible Gateway every day and at the top (in pink, my favorite) are the words "Daily Encouragement for Women in our new Girlfriends in God newsletter - sign up now!" So, of course, I did. This is just part of the devotional/newsletter that was sent today.
Doing Life Together (1 Thessalonian 2:8)
"so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well."
I've been forgiven and transformed by the unconditional love of God. I was dead in my sins, but am now alive in Christ! I am free and it is my privilege to encourage you towards that same freedom in Christ. God longs for you to experience His perfect healing and hope too - no matter what you've done, no matter where you've been, no matter what has left you broken.
What's your story? Jesus came that we would have life abundantly (John 10:10). Not because of anything that we have done to deserve it, but because of what He has done. His grace is sufficient. The guilt, pain, and shame of our pasts tell us we are disqualified to move on, to serve God, to be free, and to know peace. But to believe this lie is to believe that your sin is outside the scope of God's grace. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have purpose in this life. And though you may have gone through a season of hurt, rejection, or pain, God can and will pick you up and place you back on track. I'm living proof.
There is no condemnation for those in Christ. While the enemy loves to cast false guilt, our Lord loves to extend grace and forgiveness, which is the remedy that restores all your broken pieces. Don't hold onto those pieces. Don't hide them behind a plastic smile. Bring them into the light, lay them at the feet of Jesus, and let go. Allow your wounds to be healed today.
Holy Father, today I come to You with the broken pieces in my life that I have been hesitant to deal with. Take my hand and lead as I walk past my fears and doubts to the refuge of Your forgiving arms. Please take what is broken and transform it into beautiful. Please free me from the lies that have me shackled in silence and that keep me from believing that Your forgiveness can be mine. Help me to trust that You can redeem and restore every area of my life.
In Jesus' Name,
Now it's your Turn
Ask yourself these questions:
What secrets or lies am I allowing to hold me captive?
How could God use my story for His glory?
Am I willing to share my experiences and failures for the transformation power of Christ to be seen by others?
Then, read Luke 7:36-50.
Written by Gwen Smith