Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Redemption, Forgiveness, Freedom

This past Monday, I started an online bible study through the book of Ephesians with a group of wonderful women. Wow!  When you take teeny tiny pieces of scripture, write them out, and focus on each little word and phrase, God opens up the floodgate! I am prone to bulldoze through an entire chapter or two, check it off the list, and move on with my day. Generally this results in the question, what was it I read this morning?

Today (day three) we looked at Ephesians 1:7-10.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth- in Him.

Yes, we are moving v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w, and yes, it has been like an abundance of food for my soul to glean from God’s word, His Spirit, and His people! I absolutely love what my sister’s share each day!

I want to share with you my application for today.

I am really challenged to live as one who has received COMPLETE freedom and deliverance from the penalty of my sin. We live in a world that requires you pay the price for your wrongdoing and requires you live your life bearing that wrongdoing... Once a _________ always a _________.  Rather than live the rest of my life bearing the countless horrible things I’ve done, said, or thought on my shoulders, I want to walk in COMPLETE forgiveness (letting the sin go as if it had never been committed) because this is what Christ has done for me! And this forgiveness He made to ABOUND toward me. I like what the online strong’s says about this word ABOUND- “Abounding is used of a flower going from a bud to full bloom.”

I feel like that bud, not allowing myself to fully bloom, not receiving the abundance of God’s forgiveness.  The word says He made known to me (confided in me- you only confide in those you trust) His forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. I want to walk in that. If I can only receive this forgiveness toward myself, wouldn’t I be able to freely offer it to others! Lord, help me walk in FREEDOM! I sit as if chained in shackles when those shackles have been released! I stay as a caged bird while the door is wide open and freedom one step away. Lord, help me choose to walk in freedom rather than sit in a bondage I’ve been released from.


 The idea of this study is offered by the Good Morning Girls.

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9 comments:

  1. So good... God has blessed us with this great study and I am so happy you are gleaning jewels from this scripture. Blessings to you!

    Tänia of Simply God's Girl

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    1. Yes, Tania, it has been overwhelming! I am so thankful for His word and His Spirit revealing that word to us. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. This post came at just the right time for me. I've been asked to direct a Bible study with some of the believing girls here, and I've been wondering how to go about it since I've never directed anything of the sort before and it's such a responsibility. But it seems I can glean some wisdom from you. =) small sections and have each person record their thoughts daily. Then discuss it. That doesn't sound too hard. Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie!

    And you are absolutely right that focusing on the details of the Word brings great grace and power! As the Lord has been teaching me to love His Word, He's taught me to go through several chapters a day, but slowly, spreading sections throughout the day, taking notes on all the things that strike me, and just really chewing on the manna. Like you have found with this bible study, I have found that slowing down to really meditate on the Word, and especially coming back at set times throughout the day for more, really opens us up for the Spirit to do His work of grace in us.

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    1. I'm so glad you are taking that step and leading a group, Joy! That's wonderful! I feel we always gain so much more when we teach, lead, and share with others. The format of this study is so simple: First we write out the scriptures designated for that day (usually anywhere from 1-4 verses). Then we observe what they are saying. Next we apply it to our own lives. Finally we pray, and share with each other. This is called SOAP= Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer :) We have set up a private Facebook page that we share on and it is WONDERFUL! God bless you, joy!

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  3. Thank you, Stephanie. I confess I've been a bit nervous about leading something like this, in part because I am so young and the other girls are almost all new believers so I feel it's a huge responsibility, and in part because I've just never done this before! I've never even attended a bible study led by someone else before... But I'm grateful the Lord is calling me to this and I am confident He will supply the strength and wisdom I need and these girls need as well. We're going to go through Philippians, and I've been thinking a bit about how to organize it. Thanks for sharing how you all do this. I'm sure it will be helpful to me as I think about how to do things with our group. =)

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    1. One thing I would comfort you in: It is the work of God, not you. I know you know that, but sometimes we need to be reminded that God has a plan already, He talks to these ladies and reaches out to them in the perfect way. I have not had to do anything because God has opened up His word to this group and poured Himself out on them. Just step out in obedience and He will walk you and them through it. He loves your willing heart :)

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    2. Thanks! I did need that reminder. =) it's so easy to get nervous because we forget the work is always His. We're just the means He uses to bring about His plans. That's amazing what you share about this group! Our Lord is marvelous. I will remember what you said, Stephanie.

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  4. Dear Stephanie,
    First off... I feel like it's been forever since I've been here! It's not been too long, really, but I've been busy and haven't been able to stop by and leave you some comments. So here I am! :)
    Second, thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. It is exactly what I needed. :) This is what the Lord has been teaching me lately. Some days it's difficult to believe that I'm forgiven... totally and completely, with nothing left out. Even if I believe it in my head, I have trouble living with the attitude fitting to the freedom that is now mine. So thanks for this! :)

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    1. I know how it is, Rachel. There are so many great blogs out there to read, who can keep up? I know I can't! I'm just blessed to see you once in a while :)
      Walking in forgiveness is so difficult, yet, why would we want to walk any other way? Oh, I want to soak in God, His word, His forgiveness, and walk as a child of God, NOT a child of sin!
      Thanks for visiting, Rachel!

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