Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Take Time Tuesdays...

Week 2 ~ Gracious Acceptance

"It requires the greatest effort and produces the greatest humility to receive anything from God; we would much sooner earn it." Oswald Chambers

Max Lucado wrote, "You are saved, not because of what you do, but because of what Christ did. And you are special, not because of what you do, but because of whose you are. And you are His." Amen!

"Good works are part of God's plan. They are not the price of salvation, but the proof. The believer is not saved as a result of good works; good works are the result of salvation. They are the result of God's working in the believer's heart. They are the evidence that He is alive from the dead. They are the proof of the glorious togetherness that exists between the believer and the Savior." John Phillips

"My heat is not proud, O Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore." Psalm 131

"His heart is not lifted up; his eyes do not look enviously and hungrily to the heights beyond him; he does not dwell in anxious, wearisome thought on matters which are best left alone; he concentrates his sympathies and his energies on that which demands his attention, and which is productive of good to himself and those around him; he is perfectly contented to be just what God has made him, to go where his Master sends him, to do what is placed in his hands to do. He is so far from thinking of himself essential to the prosperity of the Church and the redemption of the world, that he hopefully, and even confidently, leaves that in the care of the Supreme." E.R. Conder and W. Clarkson

Welcome to week 2 of our Becoming a Woman of Simplicity study! These are a few of the quotes and scripture verses that really snagged my heart this week... The Conder and Clarkson quote blows me away. Oh, to live life in such a way... Can I actually be transformed to that level?

Was your week quieter, simpler, more focused on Christ than the week before? Oh, how I desire to answer positively ~ but our life is still chaotic... However, I continually remind myself that this is a lifelong journey and continue focusing on the little steps of progress I make.

This week was especially wonderful for me, as I went through the study, for it reminded me that I am God's daughter, because He chose me and I accepted Him! For me, that visual picture was worth much to my heart!

Now, I am so excited to share a little discovery I made this week:

"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In Love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:4-8 (my emphasis added)

Okay ~ I had an 'aha' moment when reading this and then felt overwhelmed to tears rereading this passage and realizing HOW MUCH He loves us and how AMAZING HIS GRACE is... Still trying to take it all in.

My revelation: "He chose us in Him BEFORE the creation of the world to be HOLY and BLAMELESS... Reading the Genesis account, I always thought Creation was first, but here it says that He already chose us in Him before the creation to be... Wow! We are all so important to God - so much more important than any of us truly realize. He considered us before He even created the world! Now, to me, that is very humbling and exciting ~ all at the same time!

Ephesians 2:10 was also exciting to read (again): "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." There is that message again ~ He was thinking of us even before we were born - preparing in advance the good works He wanted us to do during our lifetime... And yet, this work is not the price of our salvation, but the proof!

He is showing me the importance He places on His sons and daughters. Am I willing to place the same importance on my relationship with Him? With this new revelation, that importance level will be changing in my life. He has helped me to see a "new thing" in His Word!

Big questions this week:

  • As you study Matthew 11:28-30, how does taking Christ's yoke enable you to do good things God has planned for you?
My answer ~ He enables me to learn from Him; a humble and gentle heart (not forcing me to do the work). It's easy and not a burden; my soul will rest.

"Walk with Me and work with Me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace." Matthew 11:29 The Message

I really liked the phrase, "unforced rhythm of grace" too. It sounds so natural and easy, doesn't it?
  • If you truly respond to Christ's call and take His yoke, how will your life and service be different?I really had to think about this one a little... Hmmm....
Well, my thoughts are that it will be like breathing out and breathing in ~ a regular part of who I am. My life and service will be a natural extension of my relationship with our wonderful Heavenly Father!

I have a few more thoughts, but I'm going to end with another quote from Oswald Chambers, "Until I am wholeheartedly walking with God, He is not able to accomplish the special work He has for me. When I am abiding, then I no longer have to wonder if I am doing enough. God's plan is simple: He takes responsibility for my life and service; I take responsibility to maintain my concentration on God. And when there is nothing between Jesus and me, I can calm and quiet my soul and serve simply and purely in devotion to Christ."

Is this who I am? Is this who I truly desire to be? Am I making my devotion to Christ my main priority?

No, I'm not there yet ~ but I have a more clearly defined goal in my life now. How I pray that I spend the rest of my life pursuing it...

I'm looking forward to hearing your comments from this week's lesson. Abundant blessings upon each one of you!

And remember ~


  1. Awesome thoughts you have highlighted, Joanie. My journey TOWARD and IN simplicity took an abrupt turn this week. It reminded me of the verse that says (in effect), if we don't discipline ourselves, the Heavenly Father disciplines US for our good and His ultimate glory. Apparently I had gotten careless. But this discipline is not negative in light of the verses you quoted - He chose me before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless in sight.....

  2. I appreaciated your thoughts on the study this week Joanie. I'm reminded once agian that God's grace is a free gift and that all I have to do is accept it. I loved the images of God as a loving and devoted parent, full of love and kindness. I am blessed.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie