Be Who You Are {Because He Loves Me Week 7}

This week we are working through Chapter 7 of Because He Loves Me. Thank you for grace as I struggled through long power outages last week. We are still in the midst of them, but God is good!
So let’s begin…..

In the chapters up till now, we’ve been reading about the wonderful truths found in the gospel, and how they can transform our thinking, hearts, and our identity. As Elyse says  at the beginning of this chapter, “We’re going to be shifting from looking primarily a how God’s love transforms us at the level of our identity to how it transforms our daily life.”

She goes on to say, “please remember that your growth in holiness is firmly bound to your appreciation of the gospel and God’s love, for it is only an appreciation of his love that can motivate genuine obedience.”
The theme of this chapter is, “Be who you are.” What does that mean? It brings to us the “beautiful balance between the indicative (who you are in Christ) and the imperative (who you’re becoming in Christ).” Meaning, what God through Christ has already proclaimed you to be, married with how you are being transformed in the things God in Christ has called you to become.
It is a “…beautiful synergy that not only tells us what to do, but also plants within our souls the only motive that will empower God-pleasing compliance: what God has already done. We’ve already been forgiven in Christ.”
Essentially, we learn how to mesh what we are in Christ with the expectations for holy living he has for us. Elsye says is this way, “The wonderful pronouncements God has made about us cannot and must not be disconnected from the wonderful expectations he has of us. In other words, gospel-declaration must not be severed from gospel-obligation.”
It is through the lens of grace and only through the lens of grace that we can and should pursue holiness and the good works that is mentioned in Titus 2:12-14
“The grace of God trains us to renounce ungodliness, live temperate, godly lives, and be zealous for good works. Yes, God rules sovereignly, and in the life of his beloved ones he rules with sovereign grace, mercy, and love. But we mustn’t assume that his grace trumps the expectation that we should be holy, for he is holy and his Holy Spirit indwells us. Yes, God is sovereign over our sanctification, but recognition of that truth doesn’t excuse us from zealously pursuing it.” see Phil 2:12-13
I learned a lot from this chapter, and as I continue to study through this book, my thinking and heart is being continually transformed.
How about you? What are you learning?
What were you challenged by in the chapter this week? How do you find your heart and mind being transformed by God’s Word?
You are welcome to join the conversation by leaving your thoughts in the comments, or if you are a blogger, you can link up a blog post below.
Join us next week at Grace Laced as Ruth takes us through Chapter 8!

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  • Kendra

    Hi Guys -

    This was a good chapter with lots of useful information, including the main theme that we are not in this alone – that we can meet our obligations to God and to Christ precisely because Jesus and the Holy Spirit are dwelling in us. That is so hopeful and amazing!

    I have to be honest with you though: I am struggling quite a bit lately and need your prayers. I can feel God’s abundant grace in every area of my life except one. I am having difficulty “waiting for the LORD” and not feeling hopelessly condemned because of my divorce a decade ago. The Bible seems very clear about divorce, and I accept my responsibility for my sins. But I need (and pray continuously for) God’s Holy Spirit to help me. My humanness has so much trouble with this area; it is a huge stumbling block for me and has kept me away from a relationship with God for many years. I am trying to change that, but it is hard not to continue to feel condemned.

    And it is difficult not to give up. I want to maintain (and build) my relationship with God but this is a major obstacle for me. I marvel at Job’s ability to handle so many things while I get bogged down by relatively minor issues. How do other folks deal with their own ‘one major stumbling block’ that threatens their relationship with God the most?

    I can see – and am so thankful for this chapter for reminding me – that we have God’s grace and that we need his spirit to help us meet our obligations. It is just sometimes easier to see that (trust in it?) for the everyday things. Too much left hemisphere brain chatter – we humans are always trying to reason and explain and what-if and what-next everything to death. Silly humans! It’s amazing God has so much patience with us!!

    • gracelaced

      Kendra, thank you for being so vulnerable here. You are so not alone as you wrestle through feelings of condemnation. I think this book so applies to all the struggles we each have in our individual walks with the Lord. We are reminded every week, including this chapter, that the only way we can experience freedom in obedience and growth in our spiritual lives is through knowing who we are first through redemption. Your identity is not what you’ve done, or how you are performing, even now. Your identity comes from what He says about you, about why and how He saved you, and WHAT redemption accomplishes. There is nothing more important about you than what you believe about God. He will carry you, Kendra. Take one day at a time, and trust Him to finish the work He’s begun in you!

      • Kendra

        You’re so sweet, Ruth! Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Lynnebee

    This book has been so encouraging to me so far and as I read Kendra’s post, I realized that I, too, had struggled with condemnation for decades. I think what helped me the most, was reading about God’s wrath poured out on His Son. There is NO more wrath to be poured out for our sins. I had a major sin, that was forgiven but still has consequences. That is where my hang-up has always been…with the consequences that will last a life time. But just as I was/and AM forgiven for the sin, I also have freedom in Christ for the consequences. They do NOT define who I am, anymore than my sin defines who I am. It is ALL under the blood. And I need to tell myself the truth, and hear the truth from Him who loves me more than I love me…not the truth put out by the evil one who would love nothing more than to see my life burdened by events from sooo long ago! Wow. Long comment just to say to Kendra~You have been forgiven and know the truthtoday! Right now! There is no more blood that needs to be shed, no more wrath that needs to be poured. You can walk with your head held high because you are His now. Live in that truth today. I will be praying for you~B

    • Kendra

      Thank you, Lynnebee! It can be so difficult sometimes separating the consequences of our poor choices from condemnation, but you are right that it is Satan who wants us to think we’re being punished or condemned. I think sometimes that Satan steps up his game when we’re feeling the most strong in Christ. That was certainly the case for me – praying more, relying on God more, studying his Word intensely, being uplifted through reading this book and the fellowship – and then wham! flat on my face for a few days. The good news is that if we continue to pray and hold firm in our faith, God does deliver us. I’m certain the issue isn’t resolved, but the black cloud is gone and through it I have felt God nudging me towards what I need to do to gain more peace about the issue long-term. And I know that I have Christ in me to help me do it. Ahhhh… God’s grace is beautiful! Thanks so much, everyone, for your prayers.

  • Anita

    Hi Joy,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post.

    I also wanted to let you know that I have added your blog to a guest post I wrote, ’50 Christian women bloggers to follow’. Thank you for for the encouragement you share.


  • sarah

    Hi Joy,
    I really really miss your blog posts. Yours is my favourite blog of all and I hope you come back and share with us again soon. This is not meant to pile pressure on you or anything as I know you are a busy lady, but you really have stuff worth sharing, even if you can only manage now and again.
    Hope you and your family are all ok.
    God bless you today
    Sarah x

  • Noell

    Thinking about you, yours and the people you are serving. Praying all is well. Your blog has been such an uplift and gift to me as a mother. You are a remarkable woman – God bless you.