“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7, NKJ
It’s time to let the past be in the past and to become women of Grace. God once shared with me before a family gathering, “Tracy, a woman of Grace never brings up the past sins of another person. Just as I have forgiven and covered your sin under The Blood, you must also cover the sins of others… A woman of Grace always builds up and never tears down.”I will never forget these words because they were like water to my soul. You see, I have a shameful past, but God never reminds me of it. Sure, there are times when I reflect on what God has done in my life, but never with despair or regret, but with thanksgiving of what God’s Grace has done.
So, as you sit with your family and friends this Holiday season, I encourage you to BUILD UP and not tear down, SPEAK LIFE and not death, EXTEND MERCY and not judgment, EXPRESS LOVE and not hate, OFFER FORGIVENESS and not bitterness, SHARE of God’s goodness and no matter what happens at your Holiday gathering – be a woman of Grace.
“Just as we season our meal with salt, let us also be purposeful to “season” our fellowship around our tables this Holiday season with God’s amazing Grace – it will enhance the atmosphere and bring delight to everyone around you” -Tracy Hurst
We need to trust that when evil is spoken of us, God will take care of it. All we need to do is simply walk in God’s grace and no evil plan shall prosper. God will send His angels concerning us as we flow in His love. And it is my prayer that God will grant us all a gathering seasoned with Grace!
Prayer:“Lord, please forgive me of my sins and cover them in Your Precious Blood. I rebuke the devil and his tormenting spirits – I am forgiven and redeemed – I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. Help me Lord to be a person seasoned with Grace. I will no longer bring up the past sins of my brothers and sisters in Christ, but use my mouth to build up and edify. I ask for a Graceful Gathering this year and I realize this desire starts with me. No matter what happens Lord, I invite you to be with me this Holiday season. Guard my lips and heart as I choose to trust that You will vindicate me when needed.” Amen.
With much love,
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Quiet strength, Discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
Colossians 3: 12-14, The Message Translation
Ask any woman and she will tell you that a simple black dress will take her just about anywhere in life. For example, throw on a black dress, add a pair of high heel shoes and ‘hi-ho-hi-ho’ off to work you go. You can run errands around town by sliding into your favorite pair of flip-flops. You can enjoy a formal evening out by placing a strand of pearls around your neck. Not to mention that as you dash around town in this all-purpose black garment, you will look simply elegant! Every woman needs a go-to black dress.
However, when we enter our closets each morning, we typically select our outfit based on a mood, habit or inspiration. Psychologies Magazine states, ” Clothing choices are rarely neutral, and our inner secrets can be read in our choices.”
What many of you may not know is that God is interested in what we wear, spiritually speaking that is. He has picked out some articles of clothing that He believes are essential for every believer’s closet. So, let’s do some inventory shall we? Would I find the following items within your spiritual closet: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline, even tempered, content with second place and quick to forgive?
I will admit to having most of these, yet I seem to wear the same things over and over again! For example, I regularly wear a shirt of compassion, slacks of forgiveness and shoes of kindness, but I often pass by the jacket of discipline! If we are all honest, there are probably a few of the mentioned garments listed above that we have a hard time putting on…which one is it for you?
But, there is one all-purpose garment (like that essential black dress), which God states we are NEVER to be without:
LOVE is the one piece of clothing we need to be wearing at all times – no matter the season, predicted weather forecast or agenda of our day. The garment of love is to be extended to others, ourselves and to God. It is the garment that will bring success our way no matter what. So go ahead and wear your black dress, but don’t forget to put on some LOVE to go with it! I promise you that with that combination – you will look fan-tab-ulous!
Prayer: Lord, I want to wear what you have picked out for me today. I choose to place upon myself this day: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline, I desire to be even tempered, content with second place and quick to forgive, but importantly I choose to walk in love. By choosing to wear the articles of clothing listed above – I am dressed for success. Thank you for loving me this day. Amen
“God will show me the path of life; In His Presence is the fullness of joy; At His right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 NKJV
*Lately, I have been on a quest to add more fun into my life. I realized that I needed additional fun when my husband and I went to see a romantic comedy at the movie theater and after the movie I could not control the tears that ran down my face. My husband looked at me totally perplexed (ladies, you know the look), he assumed that after viewing a fun, romantic comedy, I would feel encouraged and uplifted, but instead a deep sense of sadness filled my heart. I felt as if I was “missing out,” that everyone else was having fun, except me (do you hear the violin playing? LOL). And so began my quest for FUN!!!
The next day my husband and I sat down and made a list of the things we considered, “fun.” Of course, our lists were completely different! My husband, who is a ex-paratrooper and Golden Knight for the Army, listed various adventures, such as: jumping from planes, mountain biking, getting his pilots license, watching Brave Heart and Blackhawk Down. My list consisted of things such as: more girlfriend time, dinner parties, buying new shoes and travel.
So my husband began watching his war movies, doing his “guy stuff” and I bought some new pair of shoes (sorry honey), met girlfriends for coffee and together we hosted a few dinner parties, but these activities DID NOT SATISFY our desire within.
Finally, one morning during my quiet time with God, I asked Him why we were having such difficultly implementing fun into our lives?
Then God led me to Psalm 16:11:
“God will show me the path of life; In His Presence is the fullness of joy; At His right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
The truth is, nothing on earth will bring us eternal joy. Don’t get me wrong, a mountain bike and new shoes are great, but both will eventually end up in the junk yard!
The truth is, we were looking for fun in all the wrong places! Only the Lord can provide the JOY that can satisfy your soul. Fun is fleeting, but JOY is eternal.
EXTREME JOY is only found in God’s Presence, JOY is seeing God bring breakthrough and healing into people’s lives, JOY is telling people about Jesus and how good HE is!!
As Psalm 16 sank into my spirit, a smile spread across my face. I found what I had been longing for in the Word of God. My quest had been fulfilled! That following weekend, my husband and I hosted a Bible study and I sensed God’s Presence in our home. As I looked around the room I thought to myself, “NOW THIS IS FUN!”
Lord, forgive me for looking to the world to bring joy and satisfaction into my life. Nothing this world offers can bring me eternal peace. It is only in Your Presence that I am filled with supernatural joy. And this joy is not dependent on my circumstances. I choose to no longer look for fun in all the wrong places, for it is only in Your Presence that I am filled to overflowing! Amen.
*A Published Article by Tracy Hurst, “Atlanta Christian Chronicle”, June, 2004
I would like to personally invite you to one of the most powerful, inspiring Conferences of our time: SHINE2014! It’s this weekend, May 2-3, Cumming Georgia.
There are 4 guest speakers (including yours truly) along with powerful worship, give-aways and down-right girlfriend fun!!! Here is a promo video – It’s almost TIME to SHINE ladies!
See you there!
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in TRIUMPH IN CHRIST, and through us manifests the fragrance of His knowledge in EVERY PLACE. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Are there days when you “feel” totally defeated? And are there times when your circumstances sometimes pile on top of you to the point that you can barely breathe? Well, no matter what you are facing – God will lead you to triumph in Christ!
Let me encourage you today:
Do not give up. Do not lose sight of who you are and to whom you belong. You are the righteousness of God. You are His beloved child. You are an over-comer in Christ Jesus. No weapon formed against you can prosper. Every idle and dishonest word that is spoken against you, God will condemn. You are the apple of God’s eye. He formed you in your mother’s womb. You are not forgotten and never forsaken. You are above and not beneath. You are the head and not the tail. The blessings of the Lord will chase you and overtake you. What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn it around and use it for your good. Our God is willing and able. He is your healer. He is your Abba Father. He is your provider. He is your vindicator. He is mercy. He is grace. He is love. He is EVERYTHING you need!
What is that “place” you need victory in today? If you allow Him, Christ will lead you to triumph in that very place. And as you walk out this victory, God’s fragrance will manifest around you. Whether you realize it or not – People watch you and they know something is different about you. They notice the smile on your face even through you are walking through the greatest trial of your life. They see a peace resting over you that no words can describe. And according to the scripture above – they will also see you TRIUMPH in EVERY PLACE!
Smith Wigglesworth (one of my faith heroes) said it well: “Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs come only out of great trials. Every stumbling block must become a stepping stone. And every opposition must become an opportunity.”
“Lord, You lead me in triumph in every place of my life. You will not leave me in the valley of the shadow of death. You send your rod and staff to comfort me and you will pull me out of the pit of destruction. Many will see my life and give praise to Your Name. You are Jesus. Your Name is above every name. This situation that I am walking through must bow its knee at your Word. I declare triumph. I declare Your fragrance be manifest in my life. Thank You for your love and mercy. I worship You Jesus. You are everything I need.” Amen.
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