Sanctified? Called? What about you?

As a church we have completed reading Deuteronomy and are beginning 1 Corinthians. I am looking forward to our selections as we wade into the streams God has for us in His Word.

1 Corinthians begins with a typical greeting from the writer, the Apostle Paul, to the believers in Corinth. This was a busy city that bustled with commerce of goods, services and ideas. Many of ideas were in direct conflict with the new doctrines presented in the gospel and Paul uses this letter format to instruct, lead and encourage this early church.

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul begins by reminding them of his commission and call to preach the truth about Jesus. He reminds the believers that they are all sanctified in Jesus and also have a calling. As I meditated upon these facts this week, I thought about my own sanctification and call to faith in Jesus. Do I feel sanctified? The dictionary defines sanctification as being made holy, consecrated and set apart by God. That means that God has set me apart and made me holy through the blood of Jesus. Am I acting like one that is set apart in holiness? Do I take time to realize that God has a plan and a purpose for me as a believer? Through my faith in Jesus, I am to be a light for Him in this world, just as the Corinthians were to be lights of hope and truth in their pagan society. Do I feel called? By virtue of the fact that I profess belief in Jesus, I have made the decision to follow Him- that is my calling. Following Jesus can lead in many different ways and each is unique to us. I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God knows just how He will use each one of us. We just need to be open and willing to follow Him wherever and whenever He leads. Are you willing?

Lastly, Paul sincerely wanted the believers to know that he wanted them blessed with grace and peace from God. Do we seek the grace and peace of Jesus towards our fellow believers? Unity of believers was important in Paul’s day and is as essentially important today. We need to stand together for truth, showing grace and peace towards others.

Blessings as we delve into Corinthians together. I have attached some photos of ancient Corinth which was an amazing site to visit.


Strategic Living has ARRIVED!

Strategic Living FRCov (1)For such a time as this, my new book Strategic Living is perfect.  We all wonder, while we’re at home sheltering in place because of the Covid-19,  what we can do to reach others and survive ourselves.  In my new book, Strategic Living I take a biblical look at godly character and seek to challenge the reader to reflect and take action.   Becoming more and more like Jesus is a process called sanctification and takes deliberate effort and intentionality.  This new devotional gives concrete examples and direction on how God can and does shape our lives and explores perhaps new and different ways God desires that we act.  The book can be used for individual devotions or for group study.  Questions for group discussion are included along with key memory verses.

Take up the challenge and get your copy today.   It is available in paperback or eBook formats.

My book is available at Certa Publishing   

And on Amazon

thank you,   Linda

Strategic Living BKCovAfter reading my book, I would appreciate you taking the time to review the book.  As reviews help to spread the word.

Free to be me in Christ!

romans 6 22Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have been made free from sin.  By nature of birth, I am a sinner and will always be a sinner until I go to heaven.  Knowing Jesus as my Savior allows me to be free from the power of sin over my life.  When I go to heaven, I will be freed from the power and presence of sin, but until then I need to walk humbly with God and keep short accounts, meaning repent of my sins and not allow Satan a foot hold into my life.

There are many verses that assure us that we are freed from sin’s power through faith in Christ.  Here are a few:

Romans 6:6-7 “We know that our old self  was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free  from sin.”  Through faith our old nature, the person within that desires to do sinful things, is dead and made powerless so that we are free in Jesus.

Romans 6: 17-18 “Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.” (NLT)   Since we are free in Christ, we can live for Him doing and thinking right things.

Romans 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”   Freedom in Christ allows the Holy Spirit to grow us up in Christ making us more and more like Jesus.

romans 6 17Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”  We are free in Jesus no longer condemned to eternal death by sin!

Revelation 1:5b “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”   John opens his revelation about end times with this prayer.  He knew that Jesus was the one responsible for our freedom from sin and our status in God’s eyes.  Thank you Jesus.

freedom in christEnjoy your freedom in Christ today!


Suggestion: reflect on your life-  How are you thinking, talking or doing things differently since having Jesus in your life?  Thank Jesus for that change.  What are you still doing, thinking or saying that you want to stop so you can be more like Jesus?  Ask Jesus to change that within you and free you from that sin.  He will!

I am firmly rooted and built up in Christ.

rootedBecause I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am firmly rooted and built up in Christ.  What does it mean to be rooted and built up in Christ?  Colossians 2:6-7 uses these terms, So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”   Being rooted in Christ means your faith is firm and will hold you in the storms of life, you are being continually fed by Christ through your faith in Him, and that you desire your roots of faith to grow you into a mighty tree for Christ that is visible to the world.   Paul adds to this idea in Ephesians 3:17, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love”.  Being rooted in Christ connects and established you in His love and gives you a testimony for the world to hear and see.   The second phrase in the Colossians verse talks about being built up in Christ.  The Amplified Bible adds this “now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith”.  The building up is what we refer to as the process of sanctification– growing more and more like Jesus through His indwelling Holy Spirit.  The result of being rooted and built up is a heart that is filled to overflowing with thankfulness.  

rooted in ChristSo does that describe you?  Are you rooted and built up in Christ?  Does your heart overflow with thankfulness?  Since Lent is a time of prayer and reflection, think about your roots.  Do you need to seek a Bible study, attend an adult Sunday School class, or link into some podcasts  that will help build your faith?  Also does your faith in Christ make your life overflow with thankfulness?  If not, seek guidance in prayer from the Holy Spirit to refine and re-tune your faith.  God wants us to grow more and more like Jesus so we can witness to a lost world and glorify Him in our lives.  Take steps to be closer to Jesus today.

Rooted and built up is a good place to be,


I am sanctified.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am sanctified.  The dictionary defines sanctification as the process of making one holy so as to be a conduit of spiritual blessing, free from sin and set apart as sacred.  Hebrews 2:11 “So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.”   Our sanctification is made possible because of Jesus.  He is the one who makes us holy.  Paul clarifies this thought in Philippians 2: 12b-work out salvation13  Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”    Jesus made us holy when he died for our sins, then the Holy Spirit of God works in us to grow us more and more like Him.  We live in a sin filled world and still sin.  Someday we will be freed from the presence of sin in heaven, but until then we need to constantly seek His forgiveness and grow in Him.  The growing is what Paul called putting on the ‘new self’ and putting off the ‘old self’ in Ephesians 4:22-24. “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians-4_23Since sanctification is a growing process and the Holy Spirit within does the work in our hearts and minds, what is my part in this sanctification process?  I need to be willing to listen and respond to the desire God has put in my heart when I accepted Jesus as my savior to be more and more like Jesus, to please Him in all I say and do.  I need to desire to renewed  mind and put off old habits that are not pleasing to God.  I need to pray, study, fellowship with other believers, worship and apply myself to being one who Jesus will not be ashamed to call His brother or sister.  Only though the Spirit can we achieve this, so that is why it is God working in us that makes this possible.  I am finding the process of growing in the Lord to be a huge adventure.  The more I learn about God the more I want to learn.  The more I obey His commandments and follow His ways the more contented I am and feel loved and held by Him.  It is a life-long process to walking with Jesus day by day.

Loving my walk with Him,