Monthly Bible Reading Plan ~ July
The gift of grace seems so obscure. How do we define grace? How do we receive grace? How do we live covered in grace?
If you are anything like me, you too have pondered these questions. This month, we will attempt to answer some of these questions and more.
I hope you find as much comfort in these verses as I have. May God speak to you and bring you hope. We appreciate you joining us o our journey with Jesus. We know you don't need this blog to gain a closer relationship with Christ, but we do appreciate having a part of the body here to encourage us and walk this path with us. Thank you again for sharing in the story God is writing of our life.
Daily Reading: So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:22-25 MSG
Insight: This is one verse that keeps me going. On days that I feel like, 'am I doing enough?' I refer back to this verse, particularly. I try to think of ways I can be inventive in encouraging. Truth be told, it's what inspires much of my art and crafting.
So, how inventive can we be in encouraging one another? Let's get some ideas going and spur each other on, just like the verse says.
I'll be the first to share here: take a moment to compliment someone today. Try focusing on their personality rather than their looks. Think of a time they helped you or encouraged you, then thank them for it! People love compliments, and compliments pertaining to our efforts rather than looks, go a LONG way! 🥰💜
Daily Reading: We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. ~ Galatians 5:26 MSG
Insight: I've fallen in love with this book, Galatians, all over again this past month. God has breathed new life into me and he used this book to do it!
Some of you may notice that I haven't been on IG since week 2 of June and that I haven't posted much on my personal page. That's because I've been seeking after God. I have felt called to the cave, not for isolation, but rather, one on one time with The Holy One.
I truly believe that sometimes in life we are called to the cave. Granted, some of us are running for our lives into said cave, and others, like me, feel an intense drive to explore the caverns. I have, however, been running for my life into a cave before. For instance, when I was battling my drug addiction...I ran with everything I had into that cave, and when I saw the light of day again, I was free.
Sometimes, I believe, we are called to that place of quiet solitude; where it's just us and God, so that He can begin something new in us. And I also believe that we can be called to that cave without the need to have anything negative broken off of us. Maybe God just has a gift he wants to help us hone in on, or wisdom to share for the upcoming season, etc.
My point is this: don't run from the cave. It's the place where God does his most amazing work...in the dark, when He has us all to Himself, just us and God.
So, with all that being said, I wish to tell you, dear one, that we are so amazingly unique and I'm always blown away at the beauty God has given each of us. Don't compare your walk with someone else's. And don't compare your sin either! Just because your struggle can be hidden behind closed doors, doesn't make you any better than someone whose sin struggle is visibly present upon meeting them. Sin is sin. We all struggle. We all fall short. Thank God for grace. Speaking if which, thank you God, for your precious gift of grace!🙌🙌🙌💖
Daily Reading: But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. ~ 2 Samuel 22:7 NLT
Insight: I don't know about you, but I am thankful today for a God that hears me. He could easily give the duty of listening to our prayers to someone else, but rather, He desires to listen. How amazing is that-that the God of all Creation DESIRES to hear from you?!
I've spent the last couple of weeks crying out to God, but more importantly, sitting and listening to His responses.
Can I be honest? ½ the time I'm crying out to God, His response is not what I expect. I expect condemnation or disappointment, yet, time and time again, He shows me nothing but love and compassion.
I don't know who needs to hear this today, but God hears you. And not only does He hear you, He is working for you! 🙌🙌❤
Daily Reading: When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them. ~ Proverbs 16:7 NLT
Insight: I believe that God works to bring peace to all aspects of our lives. You know, those areas that usually leave us sighing in frustration, those are the areas that God wants to usher peace into. Just look at the life of David. If you’ve read through the Psalms, you can easily understand that he had some issues and enemies at some point or another in life.
Yet, every time, God worked to bring peace. Remember, David was a man after God’s heart. If you and I find ourselves at odds with others, we simply need to seek after the only one who can do anything about it, God. In trying to obey Him, we find that peace comes during that process. ❤💛
Daily Reading: You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~ Psalms 16:11 NKJV
Insight: The beauty of God’s Word is so evident in this verse to me. I must have read it in 15 different translations and as I did, I just fell more and more in love with it.
I pray it brings as much joy and beauty into your life today as it has mine. ❤🙏❤
Daily Reading: For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” ~ Romans 8:15 NKJV
Insight: We have been given an extraordinary gift, friends. I don’t know if you’ve torn open into your package yet, but I have and let me tell you...it’s breathtaking!
Unsure of what I am talking about? I’m referring to the gift of grace that each of us receive the moment we begin to look to Christ as our Savior. See, none of us deserve it. Each of us are sinners. But God...He loves us so much, He is not alright with allowing us to spend our lives as slaves to the enemy. He wants to see us FREE. That’s what the gift of grace does...it gives us freedom.
Before you take this inch and run with it for a mile, please understand, this is not an invitation to keep sinning. This is a covering that allows you to still have a relationship with God while He works through the Holy Spirit to sanctify each and every one of us as He sees fit.
See, for the first time ever, we are given the gift of grace, a covering of righteousness on behalf of Christ himself. Sure, we fall short, but as long as we keep trying, keep knocking, keep searching, keep seeking, we will be able to stand in His glorious presence for all eternity. 🙌💃❤
Daily Reading: My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. ~ Psalms 73:26 NLT
Insight: I’m just sitting here singing, “He is mine forever. He is mine forever...”
Have you ever thought that perhaps God, thinks this of us as well? Imagine how hurt He must be for all those He has created that never even reach out to Him.
Imagine having a child and trying to talk to that child, but that child ignores you. Imagine yearning to hear the voice of a child who cannot speak.
When my son was younger, I remember wishing for the moment he spoke his first words. I was so eager to hear him speak to me. I think it’s the same way with God. I think He spends His days dreaming of the moment we come to sit a spell with Him.
Not to ask for things, not to find solutions to problems, but just to sit and bond and love on one another. Sometimes, I even imagine that He is in a giant rocking chair and I’m like a little girl, crawling into His lap, I whisper I love you as He holds me close and whispers “it’s ok my child, I’m here. I’ve got everything under control.”
I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but God’s got you. He’s got everything under control and He is more than able to bring about a resolution to the problem you are currently facing. Go ahead and thank Him now for working it out, in Jesus name. 🙌💜
Daily Reading: He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. ~ John 3:29-30 NKJV
Daily Reading: So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. ~ Hebrews 4:16 NLT
Insight: As children of the Most High, we need not run and hide when we fall down, but rather, just as a child with their parent, run and ask for Him to help! It’s what He wants. In fact, sometimes He will allow certain situations to arise in order to get us to depend on that gift of grace.
This is usually the case when we begin to look at the gift of grace through self righteous eyes, speaking of our works rather than the fact that it is a free gift for everyone and isn’t based on our works at all. Our works are a sign of the fact that we are transforming our lives and being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, not the other way around.
No matter what you do in life, if you don’t believe in Christ, you cannot be saved. And if you’re thinking that grace is unfair, it always looks like that until you need some for yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up when you fall (and you may, I know I still do)! Rather, step boldly toward the throne of our gracious God! Tell Him what’s hurting you, tell Him what’s got you down, tell Him about your finances and allow him to pour out grace, love and mercy on your situation.😊💕🙌
Daily Reading: Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. ~ Romans 6:14 NLT
Insight: This gift of grace is so hard for me to fathom, let alone explain. How do you describe the greatest gift the entire universe ever received?
It’s like trying to put yourself in a box. Do they even make a box big enough? Well, in the case of grace, no, they don’t This gift is as boundless as our universe itself.
His gift of grace is amazing because it allows us to walk, clothed in righteousness, even though we do absolutely nothing to deserve it. This is especially important while we are being sanctified. It allows us to make a mistake, but get back up, brush ourselves up, ask the Lord for help and keep on trying.
I want to say this to the person who is ready to give up...KEEP ON GOING! GET BACK UP! GOD’S NOT DONE WITH YOU YET! YOUR TIME IS COMING! So often we give up right before our breakthrough...don’t allow the enemy to use the law to keep you down. You may have made a mistake, but that does not define you. You are a child of the Most High.
Before you run with this one, grace does not mean you keep living however you want and still get to go to heaven. Remember, God knows the difference between true repentance and us putting on a show, we will stand before Him at some point and we will answer for what we decided to do in and with our life.
Grace covers you when you fall. It allows you to keep back up and keep moving forward with Christ. It removes the condemnation and allows mercy and love to rule above all.
That is the gift of God’s grace! What a precious gift it is! 🙌🙌🙌💗💗
Daily Reading: For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. ~ Titus 2:11 NLT
Insight: I touched on this yesterday and I felt compelled to talk about this for more than one day. Probably because, as I said yesterday, this gift of grace is boundless and deserves more than just one day of consideration.
Have you ever felt like God was punishing you for something you have done? If you’re anything like me (imperfect human), you have. 🤦♀️
While I believe God will allow certain events, I do not believe it is will to punish any of us. I actually don’t believe He does, but rather He simply doesn’t act on our behalf. That, in and of itself, as God, is punishment enough.
Trust me, you don’t want to be ignored by The Creator and sole planner for your life. I’m sure you can think of things He’s saved you from. Now, I’m sure you can think of things He chose not to save you from. Aren’t you as appreciative in both instances? Sure, you are! But it’s easier when we have God on our side, right? THAT’S GRACE!
Grace gives us relationship with Christ and there is no condemnation in Christ. It gives us freedom from the Law, which subsequently removes shame and guilt from the equation, allowing us to be who God formed us to be while He deals with our flesh nature and sanctifies us. Grace covers us as we mature in Christ and guess what else...we get to actually grow in grace! (more on that tomorrow)
Take a moment with me to thank God today for his beautiful gift of grace! Thank you, Abba, for this most precious gift. May you work in all our hearts to reveal the beauty of grace to each and every one of us so that we may continue to grow in grace and gain a closer relationship with you! In Jesus name we pray, Amen! 🙏🙏💖
Daily Reading: May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. ~ Numbers 6:25 NLT
Insight: Remember how I mentioned we get to grow into grace. Well, that’s just a fancy way of saying that no matter what we face on our journey, we can access the grace of God. While we may need God’s grace in the beginning of our walk to deal with shame and guilt when we mess up, that same grace will cover our mistakes later in life. However, we get to better understand this gift as we grow in it. Since I am just beginning my journey, I’m probably not the best painter or this portrait, but I just think it’s so beautiful, I am attempting to share.
Follow me for a minute...Peter urges us to grow in grace in 2 Peter 3:18, it is this growing that helps us better understand the gift we have received and I believe as we grow, it affords us the opportunity to share grace with others.
After all, the greatest way to learn something is by teaching it or modeling it, correct? Then think of how much more we can share grace as we grow in the knowledge of it. So how do we grow?
We begin to grow when we take an active role. This means, the more we are willing to do to be obedient, pray and grow in our relationship, the more we grow in grace. It is truly amazing how much Our Father loves us and blesses us with this extraordinary gift!
We will continue to touch on this amazing gift throughout this month and it is my hope that we all come to better understand this amazing gift from God we have been given.
This scripture is my prayer for each of us today! Will you join me in praying this scripture over our lives today? Thanks, dear friend! 🙏🙏💛❤
Daily Reading: Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. ~ Psalms 73:25 NLT
Insight: This is the cry of my heart, every...single...day. Before we get too involved with our routine for today, let's take an honest look at our desires; what do they entail? Is God at the center?
Can I whisper something to you, dear friend? God looks forward to embracing us just as much as we look forward to embracing Him.🙌❤💗
Daily Reading: Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. ~ Acts 10:34-35 NLT
Insight: There's no favoritism with God. He can use ANYONE! Rahab, Paul [Saul], Peter [Simon], David...all sinners, yet, all used greatly by God. The greatest part about this is that He doesn't need any of us, but He sure does want to be close to us.
You...yes dear friend, you...God is writing a story with your life right now and it will be known for generations to all those who know you and love you! You, dear one ARE being used and you will celebrate the victories of your lineage with heavenly angels when your loved ones win their spiritual battles. We're all leaving a legacy...what do you want yours to say? Let’s, put one foot in front of the other and run our race. 🙌🦶🦵🙌❤
Daily Reading: But my horn (emblem of excessive strength and stately grace) You have exalted like that of a wild ox; I am anointed with fresh oil. ~ Psalm 92:10 AMPC
Insight: Our strength comes from God. He provides our anointing, not the world. He decides who is exalted and who isn't. He controls the oceans, the sun, the stars, the tides and everything else in between.
I don't know who needs to hear this today, but God is in control. Let go of worry and just sit and talk to Jesus today. He's got fresh oil! 🙌❤
Daily Reading: Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! ~ Proverbs 31:30 AMPC
Insight: In the end, when you stand before God, what do you want Him to say to you? He holds the whole world in His hands. Will you serve Him with everything?
I am praying for every one of us today; that we will run after Jesus with everything we have and begin to align our hearts to The Father.🙏🙏❤❤
Daily Reading: But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10 KJV
Insight: I am nothing. I only have what I have and can testify to what I can testify to because of God. Had He not saved me, I don't know where I'd be. I'm sure that I am not the only one.
Join me in thanking God for all He has done. Father, I am so glad that I can call you Abba. Your love for me is so amazing. Thank you for saving me. I don't know what I would do without you. Lord, help me to let you have total control. Please, Holy Spirit direct my steps, light up my path, Father. My only desire is to serve you God. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to do what you call me to. Thank you for trusting me, Abba. I love you..🙏🙏💗💖🙌
Daily Reading: She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” ~ Proverbs 4:9 NKJV
Insight: Every single time we decide to walk in grace rather than allow anger or discontent or unforgiveness or revenge or fear or whatever; every time we walk in grace, we glorify God and you do so in a way the Christ himself epitomized on the cross of Calvary! ✝️
Daily Reading: Get up, for it is your duty to deal with this matter; we will support you. Be strong and act." ~ Ezra 10:4 CEB
Insight: I had to step away from the topic of grace to encourage you, dear friend. I don't know who needs to hear this, but it's time to step out in faith. It is time to be strong and act! You've been waiting for confirmation, well...go where His light leads you! After all, He'll never steer us wrong.❤🙌
Daily Reading: Because of all these things I’m crying. My eyes, my own eyes pour water because a comforter who might encourage me is nowhere near. My children are destroyed because the enemy was so strong. ~ Lamentations 1:16 CEB
Insight: I remember feeling like this. God brought me to this verse some time ago. To be honest, at first, I didn’t understand why. Certainly, He wasn’t trying to tell me how strong the enemy is...because his power doesn’t even come close to the power and glory of Christ. So, I asked.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me, “there is One stronger, more powerful, more influential than the enemy. He is the ultimate encourager and He will never leave you nor forsake you. Get up, don’t you let the devil win. Get up, get ready to fight again. Get up, keeping pushing on, through the tears, the hurt, the anger, the bitterness, the pain. Whatever you do...keep going and I will keep you and your children safe. I will fight for you. You need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)”
I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but you don’t need to worry about the enemy because God is fighting for you! 🙌🙌🙌❤✝️
Daily Reading: Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. ~ Colossians 4:6 KJV
Insight: Seasoned with salt….I love how that is included in this verse. I’m sure you’re wondering why, so I’ll share.😜
Salt is a seasoning that we add to food to specifically make the natural flavor of what we are eating taste better. On its own, salt is no good, but sprinkled in with other food, it can be used to actually accentuate the flavors and makes those flavors taste even better, even sweeter.
For example, many people add salt to watermelon because it actually makes the watermelon taste SWEETER.
The same is so for our words...we should be choosy about what we say and how we say it (and God knows this is a struggle for me because I’m not the most tactful). They have the ability to make a situation better, or worse yet, make a situation worse.
If that wasn’t enough to get us to think about how we speak and respond to others, we also know from The Word of God that we are seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). Every utterance from our mouth is heard throughout all of heaven.
Follow me down this rabbit hole...I love to sing and worship God. I imagine that as I do, angels begin to worship and others throughout the heavenly realm begin to praise and join in as well. What I can’t imagine, is what happens when we speak death over our situation or allow doubt and worry to roll off the tongue without even thinking about it.
Our words have POWER. While our body and our soul are still here on earth, our spirit resides in Heaven with Christ - and all of heaven hears the words we speak...Christ himself hears.
What are you speaking over yourself, your family, your situation? If it doesn’t align with The Word of God, there is no condemnation in Christ, repent...ask forgiveness...pray for help, then do your best to keep your tongue in check. Maybe you’re like me and need to take every thought captive, evaluate it, then speak according to The Word. Maybe, like me, that means you speak less and listen more.
Believe me, I am with those who are thinking ‘easier said than done,’ but I know that I can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens me and I’m not giving up on trying to align myself and my life to The Word of God. Sure, I may fail and I may fall, I am not perfect, not by any means, but if we give Jesus our best, He takes care of the rest! ✝️🙌💖
Daily Reading: Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. ~ Job 10:12 KJV
Insight: Job’s story is one of great suffering and pain. Yet, it is also a story of incredible grace.
If you’re scratching your head right now, you’re asking yourself, ‘Grace? Um, more like provision, suffering, sovereignty, but grace? I don’t see God’s grace in Job’s story.’ What about the fact that Job, near the end of the book, is complaining on and on about God, how he has always kept his commandments and lived a blameless life, how he doesn’t deserve all that God has done, how he can take no more, etc?
God could have easily put him out of his misery. In fact, God corrects Job in his thought process. However, God not only saved Job from death, He restored him. While he had abundance before, He ended up with much more than he had when the story begins. And we're not just talking tangible items, we're talking about an incredible amount of faith!
See, grace will change the entire story. In fact, not only does it change the resolution of our story, grace changes the climax, it changes the importance of events and it even changes what we hang on to and what we let go of.
From Job we learn so many lessons, but the one I want us to focus on today while we read this verse is how grace can literally turn everything around! 💕🙌
Daily Reading: But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. ~ James 3:17-18 NLT
Insight: God’s wisdom is pure!
I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful that when I need advice and wisdom from God, that He isn’t like, “Well, umm, you know, I gave you some wisdom last time, but you didn’t use it.” or “Sure, I’ll help you out if you’re willing to do this for me.”
See dear friend, there are no ulterior motives with God. He gives wisdom freely (James 1:5). He wants us to be equipped. He doesn’t want us to fall victim to the enemy! Most of all, He wants to make us peacemakers who love and provide wisdom like He does.
Thank you, Lord for your wisdom and for your unending mercy. Guide us Lord and help us to see the world through your eyes! In Jesus name, amen!🙏🙏❤❤🙌
Daily Reading: But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. ~ Jude 1:20-23 NKJV
Insight: We are called to maintain our life with God. This is why it is so important for us to be connected to a church home and have friends who are saved and are living for the Lord, even some friends who are more mature than us that can help us navigate during our journey.
We all have different sin struggles; though sin is sin and there is no sin less than or greater than another - under the law, the punishment was the same for sinners, all sinners, no matter the type of sin...death (Romans 6:23).
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all one body. We are supposed to be looking out for one another.
What are you doing to maintain your relationship with Christ? What about the brother or sister you used to see at church all the time, but rarely see anymore...have you checked in with them lately? We all need each other, after all (Hebrews 10:25), so let's be committed to see everyone finish their race! 🙌❤
Daily Reading: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
Insight: How does the peace of God guard our hearts and mind? Does it just do so automatically? No, this scripture clearly states that we receive that peace when we guard our hearts minds through Christ Jesus.
This means, dear one, we can’t do it without Him. We need His insight, His wisdom, His strength, His comfort, His relationship. It isn’t an option, it is a necessity!
I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for my relationship with Christ and for the peace my thanksgiving brings me. Join me in praising him today!🙌
Thank you, Jesus for being my friend, my counselor, my redeemer, my strength. Lord, I don't know where I'd be without you. You are my everything. Help me to share your truth with others. Help me to testify of your goodness. Thank you for never leaving my side...🙏✝️🙌❤
Daily Reading: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. ~ Colossians 3:15 NKJV
Insight: It's all up to you! You can choose to let peace rule or you can focus on all the worry, the dread, the doubt, the insecurity, the unforgiveness, etc.
Today, no matter what you face, be thankful. God's got you! You have nothing to fear! 🙌🙌💕
Daily Reading: Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ~ James 3:18 NKJV
Insight: I'm learning in this season that peace is not something we receive, it's something we make.
Sometimes, it takes more effort and sacrifice than at other times, but it's always worth it! 🙌❤
Daily Reading: For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. ~ Romans 8:6 NKJV
Insight: I don't know about you, but I can say with all certainty that even though my problems did not magically disappear when I accepted Christ, I do, overall, have more peace in my life than before I was walking in relationship with Him.
Fix your eyes on things above today. Remember God's grace and mercy. Walk in the ways of the Lord and God will give you life and peace!🙌🙌💕
Daily Reading: And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. ~ Genesis 15:6 NLT
Insight: How does grace work??? Above is our first example of grace in the Old Testament!💗🙌💖