Inseparable Journey: Failure Commissioned and a GIVEAWAY!

“None of us has messed up so badly or gone so far off the path that Jesus can’t restore us, revive us, and commission us. In Christ, our legacy is entirely wrapped up in His glory.”

Inseparable, p. 62

 

In Chapter 4: Failure Commissioned we boil down God’s will to be: loving Him, loving others, and being and making disciples. These callings sound simple and they can be, but often in the reality of our daily lives they prove difficult. Loving God and loving others requires self-sacrifice. Discipleship and mentoring often require that we completely rearrange our lives. In light of the challenges love and discipleship present, it can be easy to either ignore these callings, or to put so much pressure on ourselves that we end up buckling beneath the weight of responsibility. 

Read Romans 10:14-17, and this selection from Chapter 4:

The more you seek to love God and love others, the more “evangelizing” will come naturally to you. I used to think evangelizing meant I had to knock on strangers’ doors and immediately tell them they were going to hell and needed to get saved. But the more I started allowing God to shape me, the more I stopped worry­ing about “saving people” and started to focus more on obeying God. Now, I’m definitely not saying that we should just let everyone go on their merry way and never care about their standing with Jesus. What I am saying is that as we continue to allow God to rearrange our lives after His heart, we will (a) realize that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convince people they need Him, and (b) cause some kind of reaction in people whether we want to or not. Sometimes that reaction is going to be negative. I really want people to like me. But the Spirit of God within me is going to rub some folks the wrong way. This isn’t license for me to go around being a jerk. We’re lov­ing others, not out on a crusade, right? Will I at some points have to be painfully honest with the people I love? Yeah, I should hope so—I hope I love people enough to be honest with them. But I have to remember that it isn’t my job to save people. That’s God’s job. It isn’t my job to fight with people until they finally agree with me or write them off if they don’t. It’s my job to love them with words and actions, to pray that their response to the Holy Spirit within me is one of curiosity rather than repulsion, to pray that God would till the soil of their souls to be tender toward His truth and love, and to pray that I get to be a part of God’s work in their lives.

I hope that as we seek to glorify God by loving Him and loving others, that we will grow in our understanding of what it means to succeed at life. I hope that as we focus on God’s leadership in our lives, we get a clearer picture of who He wants us to be. I pray that as we continually seek His face, His love will pour naturally from our lives into the lives of others.

AshleyLinne_Obedient

This week’s assignment is to read Chapter 5: Saint. In this chapter we will explore what it means to be holy and the continual struggle we have with temptation and sin.

This week’s discussion question:
Recall a time recently when you had an opportunity to “share Jesus” with someone. Was it a simple action, an involved conversation? Was it with a stranger, a loved one? Share your experience.

We’re about halfway through our time together, so I figured it was time for a giveaway!! Comment on this post to be entered to win a custom InScribed necklace made by Lisa Leonard! These are limited edition and are extremely hard to find! Everyone who participates in the discussion here on the blog this week will be entered. (Comments posted by Sunday, February 15 at midnight PST will be entered to win.) I’ll announce the winner next week!

UPDATE: Elizabeth Houk, you’re our winner! I’ll get in touch with you to get your  mailing address! 🙂

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כיסוי לרכב נגד גשםдля теле-мото диски купить

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33 thoughts on “Inseparable Journey: Failure Commissioned and a GIVEAWAY!

  1. I have the opportunity to “share Jesus” with many people through the week. I try to ask God to allow me to share what He wants me to share. this past week there has not been any one person but I have asked God to let others see the Holy Spirit in me.

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    1. That’s what it is all about–bringing the invisible to light. It always amazes me that God can be seen through (and sometimes in spite of) us.

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  2. I am sharing Jesus with my daughter in law by being available. Her family doesn’t seem to care about her and she has been wounded many times. I had a week off work last week and took her and my grandsons to doctor appointments 2 days, picked up medication, babysat so she and my son could go out to dinner, cooked a meal, went to a school event, etc. You get the picture.I pick up her and the boys for church when my son is working. I keep praying that by showing Jesus love to her she will want to know Him too!

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  3. Hi Ashley
    Have I had an oppurtunity to share JESUS with someone lately
    I work in a dining room at work , and work also with a lot of young ones way way younger than me
    Recently I had a couple never station with the young girl who bakes at work her name is Deliah
    It was a very involved conversation
    She started the conversation with me she asked me Carol do you believe in magic that’s the only way I can say instead of saying the other word , I told her I do not believe in Magic , I believe in the One who stills the storms in our life’s I believe in Jesus ,
    So we continued the conversation she had told me she was watching the videos about the stuff that Isis does , I asked her why are you torching your mind to watch stuff like that , that stuff is not good to have your young eyes focused on that stuff .
    She told me she went to church , and I asked her which one and she told me her boyfriends uncle is the pastor and it’s called crossword and only family members can go , so that gave me a red flag about why only family espically since our conversation center around magic .
    So anyway we continue on and I told her I do not watch stuff like that , and I did mention Romans 8 :38′
    About nothing can seperate us from the love of God neither death nor life nor Angels nor demons
    I also said to her , I said God formed you in your mothers womb , and He knew everything about you and He knows every move you make , I said to her He knew you before your mom was pregnant with you , He knitted you together m He has hemmed you in .i said to her I do not know how people make it with out Him JESUS we need Him ,you can’t make it without Him., I also mention to her that in the heavenly realms there is a battle going on for our souls because the enemy does not want us to belong to Jesus , so Jesus is battling for us .
    I told her about my mom and told her the only way I am making thru this tragic loss is God I told her I have to turn to each minute of the day and night to get me thru the days .
    So we will see what happens
    But one thing I can say is the enemy has been full force attacking my work place , and has been attacking me , my experience I just realized today that I having been sharing Jesus and the enemy is not liking that .
    I pray over that workplace everyday before I get there I pray for the customers that come thru the door I pray over the managers and the employees

    Thank you Ashley for keeping us grounded in Gods word
    Blessing Carol

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  4. Everyday as we are preparing food for the middle school kids at my job in the caferteria. We look for wisdom and strength for our Lord Jesus. We always pray for strength to finish the day and feed all of those kids. We also pray for all the kids and families at our school.

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    1. Thank you for all you do for the children, Mitzi, and your dedication to nourishing the souls of your community. You might be the only ones who ever pray for them.

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      1. Thank you Ashley. I just started my new job on Monday. I’m at the same school and I’m a ParaProfessionals, working with EDEn students. The prays from the group were answered. Thanks group. These kids needed me and I need them…

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  5. I have several instances where I share about The Lord. However the one that is most significant to me is on that occurred with my cousin. My cousin D & I have been fairly close. However, this past May, I had an opportunity to shar with her about what God has been doing in my life. I began telling her about one of my morning devotional I absolutely love, Jesus Calling. D seemed to be curious & said she would look For the book. I felt lead to send her my copy & there began my cousin’s spiritual journey with The Lord. I have to say D is loving it. God has helped her to grow in leaps & bounds. My heart is so happy. She is the only one in my family I can share with on a spiritual level. (Who doesn’t think I am crazy.)

    What I love also is that because of this we have grown so close. I feel we are closer than sisters. We are honest & open with each other & encourage & lift each other up. I am so excited about what God is doing in my cousin’s life and honored He chose to use me to bring her to that relationship with Him.

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  6. I have not had the opportunity to share Jesus recently with anyone. I look for opportunities everyday and I try to witness through my actions at work and whenever I am out anywhere. There are a lot of people that need Jesus at my work and my office mate and I talk a lot about God and I am not quiet about it. I pray that those who are listening are having seeds planted that will bloom one day. I can say that anytime anyone has a prayer request they come straight to our office!

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    1. Elizabeth – you may not be evangelizing verbally but actions speak louder than words and your actions have them coming to you for prayer so those seeds are being sown. You are evangelizing. Most of Jesus’ ministry was action. He was kind, forgiving & healing.
      People hear us more by our actions than by our words.

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  7. I was at a coffee shop this past week and was reading a book about grace. A group of people were leaving their table and we had a quick conversation and then one of them asked what I was reading. I was able to share a a few words about God’s grace. After they all left I wished I was bolder and said more but perhaps I said all that I was suppose to. Years ago I would have had my nose buried in a book and not even noticed much of what we going on around me. I have grown in my relationship with God and have become more attuned to opportunities to witness.

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    1. I love these sorts of opportunities. They’re perfect examples of being a chain in the link!! We never know what impact these seemingly small conversations have eternally.

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  8. This past Christmas my church connected with this family that was really in need and so we had gotten so much gifts donated and I had such a blessed experience of dropping them off personally to this family and to “share Jesus”. It was an experience I’ll never forget 🙂

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  9. About a year ago I was standing out in front of big opened garage door of our mechanics shop and a woman very distraught came walking up the long driveway. She’d had a fight with her boyfriend and he kicked her out of the car. She asked to use the phone and I handed it to her… while she talked on the phone, the boyfriend kept driving back and forth past our driveway… After she hung up… we stood out front together and I listened to her story… after we finished talking about a half hour later… I asked her if I could pray for her. She filled with tears and said yes… We stood right there and held hands while I prayed out loud… especially for her safety. Afterwards she hugged me so tight … then she walked down the driveway and got back in the boyfriends car. I wasn’t sure she should go get back in the car but it’s what she wanted to do. I’d never seen her before… and have never seen her again.

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    1. These “chance” encounters are really something, aren’t they? It’s awesome that you were able to tend to her soul in this way.

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  10. I’ve had many moments of sharing Jesus with family and friends…actually aren’t there ALWAYS opportunities??? For me, the question should be “did you step boldly into the opportunity God gave you to share his love?”

    I have shared Jesus in various ways…verbal conversations of things I learned at IF:Gathering this weekend, online conversations to encourage a couple of friends who are going through a rough patch, and HUGE for me is showing Jesus’ love to my husband through forgiveness.

    It can be so easy to clam up and not be bold about my faith, but I think that is exactly what Satan wants…for me to keep my mouth shut! So, I pray for boldness and courage to share what God has done in my life or things I’ve learned through reading the Bible with others.

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  11. I have been witnessing to some kids (20 year old twins). One is gay the other one is not and he has gone to church most of his life. He supports gay marriage and his brother’s relationship. So I’ve been having conversations on Facebook. One time his dad dragged me into the argument. I always share what the bible says and I have always showed Jesus’ love to them. I actually led the “gay” twin to the Lord and he was baptized. We will refer to him as “J.” He was attending my church at the time and he had a girlfriend. About 6 months after that they broke up. He was kissed one night by a boy and he came home and announced he was gay. So, for the past several years I have been sharing love and truth with them. He came to my Sunday school class one morning because I taught Young Adult. He had many questions and so we dug in and I answered them best i could.

    So this past Friday night at 1 o’clock in the morning I get a private message on Facebook just as I laid down to go to sleep. I checked it and it was the straight twin. We will refer to him as “C.” He said he watched something about the Anti Christ and the end times. He said he didn’t know who else to talk to. He needed answers to his questions because he was scared. So, he began asking me his questions. (We talked until 3 am.) As we were talking God told me to ask “C” if he ever asked Jesus to come into his life and forgive his sins (sinners prayer). He said no! Oh. My. Gosh! I assumed he was saved because he went to church and he knew scripture and boy was I wrong to assume! My mouth dropped!

    I talked to him further to make sure he understood! So, needless to say, I am so glad I listened to the Lord when He wanted me to ask him that simple question! I walked him through the steps/prayer and he gave his life to the Lord through Facebook messenger! I know, I can barely believe it myself. Praise God!

    The week before in our connect group I told the class I was thinking about deleting FB all together. That night on the way home the FB posts started with “C.” Like I said, I shared love and truth. Then on Wednesday night his dad dragged me into another conversation. Again, I shared love and truth. Then came Friday night!!! I went to church Saturday night with a different feeling inside my heart. I obeyed God! After worship we went to connect group, I shared with some of the ladies that he gave his life to Christ and he wants to save “J.” They were thrilled! I said, see, every time I think I’m going to delete FB, God shows me why I need to keep it.

    I told “C” that “J” would have to answer to God for his life one day. I made sure “C” knew that he couldn’t “save” “J” per say. He called him up and was talking to him telling him how he gave his life to Christ. Of course, he didn’t want to hear any of it. “J” cussed “C” out. I told him to hang up, and not let “J” talk to him like that. I also told him that it would take time showing him love and truth. Ultimately in the end WE can’t save anyone. I wish we could. They have to chose the path they take!

    God is good all the time!

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  12. I was doing some volunteer work at a homeless shelter and there was a speaker that night from one of the local churches. I expected these people to just ignore or even ridicule him, but they actually sat listening with rapt interest. Afterwards, I asked a couple of the men who seemed to be especially interested how they felt about the sermon. I listened to their stores, shared mine, and we spent half an hour talking about Jesus and his impact on our lives. These two men were doing everything they could to get out of this situation and we prayed together to help them along the path.

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    1. It’s pretty amazing how God shows us how much we have in common with people who seem so different at first, isn’t it? We just have to be watching for those opportunities!

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  13. Hi Ashley, I do have someone that I believe God has put into my life specifically to befriend and help share the gospel. They know I’m a believer from the things they see posted on my Facebook page and from things I have used to decorate my cubicle. I am not really sure how to break in to spiritual matters during our conversations. I am hoping God will out the right words into my mouth like He has done for others in the Bible. Well that is Chapter 4 Failur Commissioned. The other part of your post was to read Chapter 5 Saint. I have been looking forward to this chapter with great anticipation. I am still stuck with the question that I had from Chapter 1 In Christ. Pg 7 -8 was very black and white about who will not receive condemnation and those living in the flesh and those living in the spirit….”a mind focused on the flesh is declaring war against God”. I believe making unhealthy choices like overeating and not exercising on my part would qualify as this. So I was left wondering about my status with God and whether I will face condemnation. I saw in chapter 2 Made Right that we are made right throough faith and that when God sees us He only sees us as rightoleous. Then in chapter 3 Corpse Alive pg 36 a dependancy on if the Spirit dwells in me is identified as to whether I will be given new life. I don’t know how to know beyond a doubt if the Spirit is in me. I had taken for granted that if I believe in my heart and confess that Jesus is my savior and provides salvation to me that I am saved and the Holy Spirit automatically comes to dwell in me. I know the choices I make in life are different then before I accepted Christ, but I still sin in some areas. In fact, you identified some of them in Chapter 5 Saint on pages 73 – 75. On page 77 it says “But if you are not experiencing the correctiin that all true children receive, then it may be that you are not His children after all. I don’t believe I am experiencing correction for all my sins. I am really needing help here. I keep reading and more doubts about my relationship with Jesus, whether the Holy Spirit is actually in me are swirling in my thoughts. I see through our Romans readings at the end of chpt 7 that Paul is acknowledging that his mind serves the law of God while his flesh the law of sin. Then at the beginning of chpt 8 Paul identifies who will have no condemnation. I need help in knowing for sure the Holy Spirit lives in me, if I am God’s child, and if I am going to be condemned. I know my life as changed since I accepted Christ and formed a relationship with Him. I have doubts in thise 3 areas though. If you can please point me to scripture where I can find answers. Blessings Sherry

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    1. Sherry, thank you for your continued honesty and vulnerability on these issues. I am 100% certain there are others reading this that have the same questions. My aim is to help guide you all through this process but not to contribute to any confusion. Having doubts and questions is healthy and, when we take those doubts and questions to Him, helps us grow in Christ and help others along the way, too. I really appreciate that you’ve been hanging in there with me through the book thus far and hope you’ll continue to.

      You asked for Scripture to find answers. I would suggest taking about a 2-3 hour time frame and reading all of Romans in one sitting, in a translation that is easily readable for you. That’s the only way that I myself was able to set all these fears to rest, really. Taking the whole book in at once helped me reconcile some of the seemingly contradictory things Paul was saying in the book, because in the big picture context he was unfolding a somewhat complex argument, and sometimes that takes a few times through to really get a handle on. I’d recommend reading Colossians through in one sitting as well; it’s a bit shorter. And I’d also recommend spending some time face to face with someone you trust to talk through these books.

      Additionally, I’d like to try to summarize the salvation process here, and I pray it doesn’t add to the confusion!

      First of all, I recognize that sometimes it can be difficult to take the “whole counsel of Scripture” into our understanding all at once. But I don’t think Scripture is misleading or unclear about what it means to be saved. God saves us by His grace through Jesus Christ, and our faith is all that is required. There are a few different things that happen immediately when we believe and confess Jesus as our Savior, as you have done. First of all, we are freed from the penalty of sin. We’re free from the death sentence of being separated from God. I believe that this also means the Spirit of God takes up residence within us. (We’ll explore more of that in a later chapter of the book.) Another term for what has happened when we first become saved/born again is called “justification.” It has to do with our position before God, and that’s why I chose to discuss that standing in Corpse Alive and Made Right. Once we’ve been declared right with God, we know we are saved and have His Spirit within us.

      Another thing that begins when we believe and confess Jesus as our Savior is the process of being freed from the power of sin. Notice I call this a process. It doesn’t always happen overnight. This is where that struggle with our flesh comes in. It just comes with the territory of still living on this earth, where the presence of sin still exists. We have to choose to listen to the Spirit instead of our flesh. Another term for this process is “sanctification.” Basically, we know we are saved and have His Spirit within us because God continually works in our lives to make us more like Jesus. It sounds like you might be concerned that God isn’t correcting you for ALL your sins. I think this is ok, because a) God knows we are human, and b) it means He IS correcting you, just not on every single thing all at once. Isn’t that just like a loving Father? To meet us where we are and not expect perfection from us, because He knows we are incapable of it? Grace is so freeing.

      Finally, when we believe and confess Jesus as our Savior, we can look forward to one day being free from the presence of sin. This happens once we cross over from this life into eternity. Another word for what happens once we’re set free from our flesh is “glorification.” This is all that we have to look forward to in heaven, in the life beyond this shadowland.

      I hope all this is helpful, and you might notice that I wrote the book around these three concepts. Part One: New Creation focuses on our being saved from the penalty of sin. Part Two: As We Go focuses on our being saved from the power of sin. Part Three: Now But Not Yet focuses on our being saved from the presence of sin. There are dozens and dozens of people who have written on these topics and done such a better job than I have, and I hope that you’ve got some of their books on your shelf. More than that, I hope you have a trusted friend, pastor, or mentor that is going through your questions and struggles with you.

      If you have indeed believed and confessed Jesus as your Savior, please rest tonight knowing you are not condemned and never will be. You are God’s child. He is working within you. You are safe in His arms.

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      1. Thank you Ashley for responding. I will take your advice and read Romans and Colossians straight through to get the big picture. This Sunday I did ask a similar question in Bible class. I think I also need like you mentioned to get connected to a mentor on this particular topic. Blessings Sherry

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