Chapter 1 – CLOTHED IN CHRIST

I think the best way to organize this study is by giving a whole chapter overview at one time. If you are working at a slower pace, you can just refer to the day you’re on. If you’re doing multiple days altogether, everything will be organized for you under whichever chapter you’re focusing on.

So, chapter 1 is titled Clothed in Christ and what I love most about this chapter is the way Carrie makes it all relevant and relatable. Let’s get started…

Day 1: I love the idea of wearing Jesus like your comfort wear. For a long time, I only “studied” God in church… on Sunday… in a dress. Gah! Little did I know that some of the most life-changing moments would come from snuggling into my couch with a cup of coffee, pajama pants and Jesus. He doesn’t care how you come to him, you guys. He just wants you to come! Taking it a step further, he wants you to come and STAY! John 15:4 says, “Abide in me and I will abide in you.” Guys, he wants you to just surrender and give it all up to him. Let him take all of your worry and trust that he’s provided you with what you need for the rest of your life. I’ll admit, it’s hard! There are certainly days where I just want to know the answers and understand, but you have to just surrender and trust.

Day 2: LORD JESUS CHRIST. Boom. So powerful that he has three names. Let’s talk about each one.

Lord – His Position
When we put on the Lord, we are completely surrendering and letting him take complete control and ownership of our lives trusting that he will never forsake us.

Jesus – His Purpose
We are all given a name, but what’s in a name? Meaning. Jesus came with one specific purpose: to save. The name means that he will save the people from their sins and he sure did deliver. When we put on Jesus, we are admitting that we need some saving and I don’t know about you all, but I have been saved by grace lots of times. Can you think of a time you got to experience God’s grace? Write it down. Rarely do we deserve it, but often do we receive it. #blessed

Christ – His Promise
When we put on Christ, we are trusting him to be the deliverer of promises. In Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus questioned his disciples. I think about Jesus coming back to Earth all the time. How about you? If he came back today and asked you who he was, would you be able to answer him without question or uncertainty?

Day 3: “Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” PRAISE! When you think back to Genesis and the garden, Adam and Eve had it made. But dang… as soon as they ate that forbidden fruit, they were immediately taking the walk of shame. Can you relate? The guilt? The embarrassment? Yikes. This is reality, guys. You always want what you can’t have. Bring the rebellion. Think of a time you’ve lived against the law. Did it serve you?

Day 4: We read Romans 7:22-23 and think about the battle for our thought life. I ask you to do the same. Are your feelings based on truth? Have you let evil get into your mind and manipulate you? Are you living your best life? The study gives some examples of situations to read and think about. Each one is relevant and relatable to the every day woman. I encourage you to take some time and think about ways that evil has come into your thoughts and altered your mindset.

So, we know it’s happening, but aren’t sure what to do about it. Can you really learn the art of discernment that easily? The answer is yes. In reading John 17:17, you’ll learn that “Your WORD is TRUTH.” In knowing and trusting the Word of God with your whole heart, you will have the ability to discern the truth. Has anyone ever told you to “follow your heart and do what feels right?” I am guilty of using that line. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I am saying to tread lightly and be careful. Evil thoughts have a crafty way of sneaking into our subconscious and it can be hard to differentiate. Putting your trust in God is a step in the right direction.

Day 5: Miss Independent. Are you guilty of thinking that depending on God for everything is greedy and selfish? Do you ever assume that he wants us to be able to fend for ourselves and that eventually we need to take off the training wheels and ride without him holding onto the seat? If so, welcome to the club. I still struggle. When you think of a life totally dependent on someone else, does it make you cringe? We know so much about codependency and how to avoid it in earthly relationships, but God wants nothing more than for us to lean in and give it all up to him. No joke. He WANTS it. When I think about the idea of putting all of my problems in a balloon and releasing it up to God, it’s the absolute most calming feeling ever. BUT— I’m human. Obviously, I regress and I try to handle things myself. We all do. The growth comes when you commit to being a work in progress. Sure, you might crush it for a week and then fall backwards. HE STILL LOVES YOU! There are so many benefits of trusting Him with everything you have and pg. 14 gives some great verses to reiterate this. Read those and reflect a little bit on how you can lean in a little more and be a little bit better each day.

To wrap up day 5 and chapter 1, I leave you with this…
God’s approval cannot be earned. Let me say it louder for the people in the back: GOD’S APPROVAL CANNOT BE EARNED! Do you think Adam and Eve lived out their days wondering how they could get back into God’s graces? Sure they did! We all do. Think about a time you really blew it. I’m sure you thought if you prayed more, went to church more, begged for forgiveness and did some community service that maybe he’d have mercy on you. Can you relate? For me, it was always “how many Our Father’s can I say to clear my guilty conscience?” I know you have felt the same. I know you are sitting there shaking your head because that’s what we do! Now, I challenge you to think about this exact situation with the other relationships in your life. Have you ever lived through performance-oriented acceptance with a significant other? A parent? A boss? Yeah, I figured. I have, too.

I leave you with this: God does not require pre approval. He loves us where we are and for who we are. You don’t need to do anything to win him over. Stop feeling guilt and shame and instead, wrap yourself up in the security blanket that is Him. You will never be disappointed and He will always guide you in the right direction!

How fitting that we just celebrated Independence Day yesterday. Take this opportunity to be grateful for your freedom and get your faith on!

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