Welcome to Grace to Joy

Having celebrated the resurrection of Christ, who died for us, we have to begin thinking about, how then shall we live?

A friend and I were discussing the Christian life, and when speaking about what others see in us, the question was asked, "Why do you care what other's think about how you live?"  My simple and quick answer was because I represent Christ to the world, so I try to be more careful in what they see me do and say. 


I think the question was asked because we are taught not to care what other's think, their thoughts shouldn't shape us, and that is all very true. We are not to live to please mankind, we are to please our Heavenly Father. But, on the other hand, how we live as a believer and follower is being watched by the unsaved world. They want to know (some want to prove) just how hypocritical we are in our walk. Do we say one thing and do another? Do we preach at them, all the while we are living in sin ourselves? 


Personally, I'm not too concerned with how others perceive ME, but I am very aware that how I live causes them to perceive Christ in a certain way. 


The Bible describes followers of Christ as His ambassadors to a foreign world. Our character, our choices are to reveal the King we serve, God, to the world as we walk by His Spirit. Once we belong to Him, we are not our own. He is with us constantly, always, even when we walk in sin, He's there. Thankfully, in His grace He calls us back into a sweet fellowship with Him time and time again. 


There is great freedom in living only for God, not trying to live up to the world's ideal, or caring what they think. But there is also great responsibility when we claim the name, Christian. The word means, little christ. It's a title that claims to belong to Him, to be like Him. But are we?


Philippians 1:27 reads, "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel..." 


The word for "Only" is "monon" it establishes an exclusive position, meaning, there is only one kind of conduct that a believer should have. Spoiler alert: it won't look like the world. Our conduct: the things we see, the things we do, the way we speak, should all be the conduct that pleases the Lord God. 


So, in light of the resurrection of Christ, and the fact that He has raised us out of the pit to walk in the Light, let's walk in that newness of life, careful to exhibit His character. The only way to make sure that happens is to walk by His Spirit minute by minute, in constant communion with Him, "trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:10)


Lord God, it seems such a large responsibility to represent You to the world, we fail You so often. But Your word teaches that our only responsibility in that regard is to submit to the control of Your Spirit in our choices. You take care of the rest. Thank You for such blessings. Thank You for this one who is reading this. Help each of us to walk in this new life given through Christ's resurrection. Thank You that we can come to you, sinful and fallen, and be made new in Him. It's in His name we can pray, and I thank You. Amen. 

Philippians Bible Study

This 290 pg. workbook provides an in-depth Bible study of the book of Philippians.  Consisting of personal study time, five days a week for ten weeks, the workbook makes it possible to work at your own pace, or grab a girlfriend or two to work through it together.  Perhaps your church's ladies ministry would even choose to use this study, and meet weekly for discussion time. 

In the letter to the Philippian believers we find the Apostle Paul saying, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!"  This study will show how it's possible to have joy even when we don't understand the what, when, why, or how of a situation (and isn't life always full of situations?)  See how the Apostle Paul unlocks the secret of living in contentment and joy.  It's our prayer that it won't be long before you, too, are Finding His Joy.  


Workbook study is available through Amazon. $17.99     

Kindle Edition  Amazon Kindle $10.99

Or, add the Kindle addition for only $2.99 when you purchase the  workbook from Amazon.

Devotionals

One of the greatest blessings we've been given is God's word, but like  many things that are "good for us" we find ourselves not making the time to read it.  I hope these short devotionals will keep you inspired to be in the Word, and to live wholeheartedly for God.