No Condemnation – Romans 8:1

Romans 8:1. Visit DoNotDepart.com for more shareable scripture graphics! #SpreadTheWord

 

Romans 8:1. Visit DoNotDepart.com for more shareable scripture graphics! #SpreadTheWord

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

- Romans 8:1-11 (ESV)

Every day this month the Do Not Depart team will be posting a scripture graphic that you can use to spread the Word of God. Share it on social media, print it out and write someone a letter, email it to someone who needs encouragement.

You are free to share our image with Romans 8:1 above. If you have questions about how to download images, just ask in the comments (be sure to tell us what type of computer/device you are using.)

Visit DoNotDepart.com for more shareable scripture graphics! #SpreadTheWord

WRAP UP of Purity for Today’s Christian Woman

Wrap Up Purity for Today's Christian Woman

Does purity really matter? That’s the question we considered this month. As we said when August was just getting started, “If we’re going to talk about God’s truth, we have to talk about Purity for Today’s Christian Woman.”Wrap Up Purity for Today's Christian Woman

We hope the Bible study tools this month have challenged and helped you as they have us. Before the month slips away and we turn the page on the calendar, let’s wrap up with a look back at resources to help us apply truth to our need for living pure, holy lives.

Purity for Today’s Christian Woman WRAP UP

We hope this month helped you know what God has to say about our purity. Our team loves to share tools and resources for personal growth and for use with others in your circle of influence.

May God be glorified as we live more holy lives to reflect Him to the watching world in our homes, places of work, neighborhoods, and communities!

Holy habits for everyday life

Holy habits everyday life

We’re already practicing holiness, to one degree or another. People might say you’re “all in” when it comes to letting God’s holiness drive your habits.  Others might say you’re one of those who keeps God’s holiness and your habits in separate categories.

But what does God say? Does He leave it up to us to decide how holy we want to be, practically speaking? Or does He gives us any kind of a picture to show us how holiness looks in the everyday life of His followers?

The first part of Ephesians spells out our identity in Christ; the second illustrates how that identity matters. As we change who we were, contrast who we are, and imitate who the Father will always be, our new holiness in Jesus changes everything.

Holy habits everyday life

Holy habits due to change

Do you describe your dietary choices with words like “vegan, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, or sugar free?” A lifestyle change impacts how we spend, what we talk about, what decisions we make, and how we think. A lifestyle change is no small choice … if it’s authentic.

True followers seek “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

No one follows Christ without making a genuine change. Ephesians 4:22-32 shows us how a life of loving the Holy One requires putting off our old self and putting on the new. Old habits like lying, sinful anger, stealing, corrupt talk, and unforgiveness have to be put away. Like cleaning out Twinkies when we choose to go sugar free, past routines fall away as we take on holy habits in their place. True followers of Christ Jesus change.

Holy habits due to contrast

Sports seasons inspire fans to bring out team flags, wear jerseys, do cheers, and follow players. Devotees don’t follow every team; just their own. They may be aware of others, but they don’t buy into others. Real followers want their loyalty to be known. It’s the same for real Christ followers, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8)

Instead of continuing to let darkness reign in our practical life, new life in Christ means the light of the Lord shines into every area of our personal everyday. The fruit of the Spirit within us comes out in how we talk to customers, discipline of our children, respond to hardships, solve financial problems, react to our mate, view our computer screen, deal with family relationships, see our culture, choose reading material, conduct our sexual life, participate in our local church, and get dressed daily. God’s light where darkness once reigned shines into every crack of our lifestyles.

The contrast brought by Christ can’t help but create holy habits where darkness once reigned.

Holy habits due to imitation

Reflection reveals the authenticity of our admiration. After all, isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery? A child’s mimicry on Fathers Day shows how much they watch, idolize, and strive to follow dad … or not. God’s unchanging holiness only requires a change in those who call Him “Abba,” Father. Our imitation brings Him praise.

For the children of God, holiness in practical living is the only believable response to the Father. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” (Ephesians 5:1-2).  Our growth in practicing holy living reveals the genuine nature of our adoption as sons of God.

Before we joined God’s family through Christ’s holy sacrifice, we were “sons of disobedience.  When our father was the Devil, we imitated him. Once we’re adopted into God’s holy family, covered in a righteousness not our own, our Father is God, and we imitate Him through obedience. Like a child who grows older, revealing more and more of their father’s nature in the way they look, talk, walk, smile, laugh, and do life, so a child of God imitates the heavenly Father in holiness more and more.

A child of God has changed, lives in contrast to the world, and imitates the Father through holy habits in practical ways in everyday life.

Would you be willing to pray this prayer?

Father, You are my Father. I want to imitate You, like a genuine child who reflects Your nature. Would you make me alert to practical areas of my life where I need to mimic You more? Help me see where I’m acting more like the old me than the new me. Show me how to apply holiness in all of my life habits.

New beginnings start with history

new beginnings start with history

Based on reliable information, I was destined to be a real hell-raiser. But before I could grow up to write a long, empty, broken history, God spared me and drew me to Himself. Like many others who began a relationship with Jesus as a child, I don’t have many sordid tales to convince you I was on the path of destruction. Maybe you have a testimony of early salvation and you’ve struggled with how to tell a story of life change and new beginnings that seems rather dull compared to those of dramatic transformation.

Look no further than your own family history for the answer to your dull dilemma.new beginnings start with history

With the ease of accessing information, there has been a resurgence of interest in genealogy and family history. God can use this to reach people! Online sources like Ancestry.com have taken away the barriers of discovering our ancestors. Author George Orwell spoke truth when he said,  “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”  Without looking at our history, both recent and far, we fail to shape a solid case for sin. As we uncover our lineage, we trace the pathway of the footsteps we were destined to follow.

Who were you on track to become before you began a new life in Christ?

Out of a love for history and a longing to connect with family, I began a search for my history, hoping to find something noble and redeeming.  What I found was evidence left to me by generations back to the late 1500′s. Instead of a long line of saints, I found a yearbook of lost, empty, broken, lives. I needed a new beginning.

I was not only born to “look” like them, but to LIVE like them.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, emphasis mine)

I know we’re all born as sinners and destined to die because of it, but my family history proves I was born onto a trajectory that set me on a course for vices like alcohol, anger, and abuse. I had no hope of being a fine, upstanding citizen on my own. You?
When God intervened in the life of my parents and then in my life, He saved me from a future that was as sure as my history. He washed me, changed me, and declared me righteous because of what Jesus did. He is the God of new beginnings. Only Jesus can change the course of a life.

Praise God He can and does change the course of lives every day!

So, what’s in your story? Who were you destined to become?

New Beginnings Series - donotdepart.com

Bondage broken after 18 crippled years

crippled woman set free

If you’re bent over, all you can see is the dirty ground, the earth from which we came. It would be hard to lift your eyes and look up with hope if your view excludes the faces of people, the landscape, or the horizon. Even work would be mostly out of reach, not to mention community life and relationships, without the ability to look into the eyes of another person or reach forward with purpose.crippled woman set free That’s how we meet one unnamed woman in the Gospels.

Bent over for eighteen years, the crippled woman of Luke 13:10-17 had been “kept bound” by Satan himself. Unable to even straighten up, she waited at a house of worship, a synagogue. When Jesus came to her synagogue on a Sabbath day and saw the woman’s condition, he set her on a path to change the course of her life.

Freedom from bondage

On that day, the woman long bound by Satan was unbound.

The Devil is a supplier of sickness, a developer of diseases, and an ambassador of affliction. He loved taking a woman made in the image of God and twisting her with an infirmity as a trophy of his bondage. But then Jesus saw her, called her forward, and said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Jesus laid his hands on her and right away her gnarled spirit-bound body straightened up. Right away, she praised God, because that’s what a genuinely unbound woman does.

Staying in bondage

On that day, a religious ruler long bound by tradition stayed bound.

The Devil has planted the sickness of legalism in the hearts of the religious ruler and his friends. Though not visibly bent in body, their hearts were gnarled by their regard for rules. As quickly as the freed woman stood to her full height in praise, the synagogue ruler was overcome with indignation, blurting out rebuke to the Healer for healing on the Sabbath day. Instead of a declaration of worship, he responded by defending the same hollow tradition that was unable to free the woman during any of her bent up, eyes down, infirmity ridden eighteen years. Jesus rebuked him in return, allowing the crowd to hear His heart for setting captives free. Instead of lifting up His opponents as He had the crippled woman, “all his opponents were humiliated” (v.17b).

The Devil despises the image bearers of God, but Jesus came to “free captives”(Isaiah 42:6-7) from the bondage of the Enemy. Has the supplier of sickness, the developer of disease, the ambassador of affliction bent you down physically, spiritually, or emotionally? Do you feel like all you can see is the dirt of the road you walk? Are you finding it hard to lift up your eyes and see a hope-filled future?

Jesus sees you, calls you, and wants to free you from what the Enemy is using to bind you. What do your shackles look like? He is the true Bondage Breaker who can take a gnarled heart or twisted relationships or a downcast life and raise them up for His glory. Ask God to unbind you and help you walk in newness of life. Let yours be the next voice to praise Him, because that’s what a genuinely unbound woman does.

Has God given you freedom from bondage in your life? Leave a comment and share a praise.

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