Week 1 Discussion: Spam Filters, Spiritual Blessings and Who God Says You Are

This week had a few unexpected twists. I tried to be as prepared for launch day as possible. I double checked links, proofread content and had a few others do the same. Everything looked good. Little did I know an enemy lurked out in cyberspace- the spam filter!

Unbeknownst to me, this invisible force kept information from being received. Some signed up and didn’t receive confirmation emails. Others confirmed sign up but didn’t receive study materials in their inbox Monday morning. 

This was frustrating and puzzling. My report told me that 100% of the emails were delivered. Each situation was unique and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to why some were receiving and others were not.  

This week, you’ve been studying the spiritual blessings you received the moment you believed in Jesus. God is sending His Word and wants it permanently stamped on your soul.

Are you receiving it? Or are there barriers blocking your reception of His amazing truth?

Our big picture statement for this week is, “Walking in love begins with understanding who I am.” How does understanding our identity influence our ability to walk in love? The simple answer is we do what we know. We love like we think we are loved. We define others by the same things we feel defined by.

One of my favourite reads last year had this subtitle: seeing yourself and others through the eyes of Jesus. As women, it’s natural to be other’s focused. We tend to be better at taking care of others than ourselves. We can pass on spiritual truth to someone “in need” before even letting it marinate in our own minds. We can pass out bread for everyone else to eat and forget to first spiritually feed ourselves.

God the Master Artist created you, me and every person in his image. That image has been hidden under layers of false identities, encased in walls of insecurity and fear, marred and muddied and damaged by the sins of others and the sins we have done. What we often see in ourselves and in others around us is just an unimpressive block of marble with rough, jagged edges protruding. God sees a masterpiece waiting to be revealed in Christ. He sees his Spirit chipping away anxiety to reveal peace, chiseling off impatience and rage to reveal a calm kindness, stripping off empty pride and hollow self-promotion to reveal powerful other-centered love, hacking away the chains of addiction to free and release self-control, polishing off the ugliness of self-centered ways to reveal the luster of self-giving mercy and love.
— John Burke, The Mud & the Masterpiece, p.72

When our perception of ourselves is rooted in a false identity coloured by performance, insecurity, people-pleasing, fear, sin, anxiety, impatience, pride, self-promotion, addiction, and selfishness, it’s very natural to recognize the same thing in others. 

Without first believing truth for ourselves, we are merely passing along information that lacks conviction.  As we freely receive our identity in Christ, it frees us to see that same identity in others.  

When we understand that we are chosen by God and we cannot undo it, then we can believe the same for others. When we believe that He has made us holy and blameless, not that He’s waiting for us to prove ourselves holy and blameless, we can believe it for others too.

When we believe that we are redeemed and forgiven and that everything we’ve done can be used of Him, we can assure others of the same for their lives. When we believe that we are lavishly given grace, we can encourage others to believe the same.

As you begin to believe who God says you are, walking in love will be more natural, compelling and authentic because you are being transformed by Love Himself.

Praying for you this week!

Stephanie

In the comment section below, share your response to one of the questions from this week’s study.

  • What hindrances stand between you and believing and living as though you have every spiritual blessing?
  • What is God asking you to believe right now? What action would reflect that you believe His truth? What roadblocks are you facing to stepping out in faith and believing Him?