For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I walked to the mailbox and then to the recycler. Don’t need this one, or this one, or this one I whispered as I dropped the shiny flyers in the red box.
I don’t know about you, but I get tired of slick ads for things I don’t need and junk mail from services I don’t want. I especially dislike the credit card applications that say I’ve been “pre-approved” for a line of credit.
But here’s something I’ll never get tired of doing: going to the Word of God and reading His love letter to me. I’ll never stop being amazed that I’ve been pre-approved to be His child. I wonder if that’s how Jesus felt, too.
Just before He began His earthly ministry, He traveled to the Jordan River to be baptized by His cousin John. As soon as He came up out of the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and God spoke. “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
Just think about that. Before Jesus even performed the first miracle, preached the first sermon, or called the first disciple, God made sure that His identity was clear. He was accepted, approved, and completely loved. And so are you.
So many Christians are trying to earn the acceptance and approval that Jesus has already earned for them. God’s acceptance of you is not based on your performance. That doesn’t mean that we stop trying to do our best to live a God-honoring life. But it does mean that we stop trying to earn the acceptance we already have. You have nothing to prove because you have already been pre-approved through the finished work of Jesus on the cross and His presence in you.
The devil will do anything and everything he can to keep you from believing that truth. Make no mistake about it, he knows that you are a chosen, holy, dearly loved child of God who has been created to fulfill a great purpose that God has planned for you. He knows it, and he hates it. His goal is to keep you from believing it. And if he can keep you from believing the truth about your new identity, then he has won.
True confidence comes when the words God speaks about you become more real to you than the lies you’ve believed all your life.
We will always have a choice to believe the God who made us (fearfully and wonderfully, I might add) or believe the deceiver who wants to hold us hostage in the “less than” mentality. Change always begins with a choice.
The voice you believe will determine your destiny, whether you remain in the land of in-between (saved from Egypt but never quite making it to your Promised Land) or venture toward the land of milk and honey—the exciting, adventurous life in Christ that is fraught with miracles, wonders, and life to the full.
Many of us are driven by a scarcity mentality and see ourselves through the lens of our pre-Christ, spiritually dead existence rather than our born-again, spiritually alive, and empowered identity. We are held hostage to the idea that we will never be good enough when Jesus clearly tells us that through Him, we already are.
So, here’s what I want you to do today: Allow God to baptize you in the affirmation of your true identity.
Identity always comes before activity. You’ve got to know who you are in Christ before you can effectively do what God has called you to do for Christ.
We need to learn how to overpower the lies of the enemy with the promises of God, and we’re going to start right here, right now, by believing the truth about our new, born-again identity.
You are His daughter.
Whom He loves.
With you, He is well pleased.
If you believe that today, click on comment and say, “I’m pre-approved!”
Heavenly Father, I can never thank You enough for loving me. Help me to stop trying to earn what I already have. Help me to take hold of my new identity and walk in the confidence of a woman who is truly loved.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let’s Keep in Touch
June 30, 2023, Girlfriends in God is coming to a close. Thank you for linking arms with us in ministry for the past 17 years. We still want to share life with you! Click here to continue receiving devotions from Sharon Jaynes on Tuesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Mary Southerland on Wednesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Gwen Smith on Thursdays.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you ever found yourself turning your relationship with Jesus into a list of dos and don’ts, or a hectic schedule of church work? Why do you think we do that?
Read Ephesians 2:1-10 and note what Paul writes about your acceptance and salvation.
More from the Girlfriends
Let’s get unstuck from mediocre faith and take hold of all that God has done for us and put in us! No more spiritual couch potato for me. I’m ready for the mountain moving, giant slaying, bold believing faith that God intended all along! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, and Live Bold you’ll see how to ignite your faith as never before.
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© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.