New Beginnings

by Susan Sampson

After having been somewhat home bound the last couple of weeks, it was such a blessing to begin a new study and see all of you!  As I was praying the Lord blessed me with such a sweet picture of the body of Christ.  We are a family, sisters in Christ.  All the sisters gathering together each week to sit at their Father’s feet looking expectantly to hear from Him!

Maybe this is your first Thistlebend discipleship study, maybe your 10th!  Regardless, each of us is here by God’s grace for such a time as this.  Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:4 that the Lord “chose us in him before the foundation of the world.”  In chapter 2 verse 13 he instructs us that we once were far off, but now have been “brought near by the blood of Christ.”  In the beginning of chapter 2 he explains the truth that we used to be “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).

BUT God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved…” (Eph. 2:4-5).  

In Colossians the Word powerfully says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). 

The Lord saved us from the pit of destruction.  We were running our hell bound race and He reached out and rescued us!  “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:5).

We are now His people, His daughters, His ambassadors, His disciples.

We have been given such a gift in this study.  A new beginning.  A time to become “conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29).  What are we going to do with this gift?  This gift of love?  What will we do in response to the Lord drawing us closer to Himself?  The flesh is going to want to resist!  Father, please give us ears to hear your voice and hearts to know your love and submit to your Word and put our flesh to death!

Lord, may your words during this study be as “frontlets between [our] eyes” (Deut 6:8) every day.  Enable us to take your truth to our hearts and humbly follow our great Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ!

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zeph. 3:17).  Father God, would you please quiet us by your love.  Enable us to turn from leaning on our own understanding and following our own desires and opinions and feelings and quietly follow you, our loving Father.

“Jesus paid it all.  All to Him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain.  He washed it white as snow.”

May we join together as sisters in Christ and humbly ask the Lord to do a mighty work this semester in our hearts that only He can do.  And may we humbly trust Him by grace through faith, looking to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2, NIV) for He alone has loved us with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3).


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