Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
~2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
“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.“
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Thank God! Call out his Name! Tell the whole world who he is and what he’s done! Sing to him! Play songs for him! Broadcast all his wonders! Revel in his holy Name, God-seekers, be jubilant! Study God and his strength, seek his presence day and night; Remember all the wonders he performed, the miracles and judgments that came out of his mouth. Seed of Israel his servant! Children of Jacob, his first choice! He is God, our God; wherever you go you come on his judgments and decisions. He keeps his commitments across thousands of generations, the covenant he commanded, The same one he made with Abraham, the very one he swore to Isaac; He posted it in big block letters to Jacob, this eternal covenant with Israel: “I give you the land of Canaan, this is your inheritance; Even though you’re not much to look at, a few straggling strangers.”
~1 Chronicles 16:8-19 (The Message)
Are you Faithful, Available, and Teachable, AKA FAT? Would you say that you are roaring down the highway toward the Cross or are you stuck in the sand of this world with your tires spinning wildly trying to gain traction? I have good news for you. God has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11). In Him, there is hope for a “new you.” This is not a makeover courtesy of Joanna Gaines, and you don’t have to go to the spa, although that is a very happy place. This is a totally new person…a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is the best version of you as determined by one who knew you when you were in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Certainly He loves you right where you are, but honestly, He doesn’t want you to stay where you are. He wants you to grow, sister! He wants to pour the Gospel version of Miracle-Gro on you and watch you thrive. At this point, maybe you are saying to yourself, “Cindy! I’d love to thrive, but I don’t know how! I don’t know what steps to take and I don’t know who to turn to!” Here’s my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me sister, and we will get you set up, hooked up, and suited up. I am serious. Beth Moore says, “When I see a woman walking down the side of the road I want to put on my brakes and ask her if she is in Bible study. I want every woman to be in Bible study.” I’m like Beth Moore in that way—I want every woman to be in Bible study. If you are not in God’s word, beloved sister, you are not going to grow. Now let me say to you that I clearly hear you, just as if I were sitting across the table from you with a mocha Frappuccino in front of me. You’re saying, “I’ve tried reading the Bible and it’s too much. I don’t know where to start and I get discouraged and then I stop.” At this point I lean across the table, look you straight in the eye and say, with urgency, “Let me help you!”
Meet my new friend Danielle (Not her real name, so do not stop reading and go to Facebook to try to figure out which Danielle I’m talking about). I called her this morning and invited her to be in Bible study with me. Why was I so bold? Because I am in a book group with her on Tuesday nights. It is a great book about life, but we are not studying the Book. So, last Tuesday night when she introduced herself by saying, “I want to find someone to study God’s Word one-on-one with me,” I knew! Bam. There she was! My F.AT. woman! What had she done? She sought. She was that seeker from Luke 11:5-13 Our first meeting is Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
So how about you? You MUST find a woman who is ahead of you on this journey or The Quest. (Yes, there is a Beth Moore study about this topic and my friend Diane and I are going through it together this summer. It’s phe-nom-men-al.)
What’s stopping you? If you are stuck, if you are afraid, if you are not moving forward and seeking out a woman to disciple you even though you clearly hear God nudging you to do so, then let me pause right here, right now and say clearly, this is not God’s growth plan for you. He has only good things for you and it is not fear so you can guess of whom I speak. Uh-huh, you get it! Pray first, asking God to send you that woman who has a deep thirst for truth and has her Tervis topped off with Living Water. God has placed her in proximity to you. Just look around. Then ask her to help you! As Paul said, “Be bold with God’s gifts” (2 Timothy 1:1-10).
Which brings me to my next point—If you are learning and growing in Christ, are you taking someone along with you on the journey? I would be the first to admit that I do not know it all. I didn’t go to Bible college. I am not an expert on anything unless you’re talking about getting fifth graders to do their homework and often I fall down on that score too. But I can always invite someone to walk with me on the journey. And here’s the thing—I’m always prospecting. There’s no such thing as a “cold call” in women’s ministry. We must always stay in tune with the Holy Spirit. When you hear that still small voice saying, “Go over there and talk to that woman,” you just do it! I’m as serious as a heart attack. You just walk your cute little self across that room with a spirit of boldness knowing that you are acting in obedience to the Holy Spirit. You strike up a conversation. “Hello! My name is Cindy! I love that blouse!” (or purse or lipstick). You know how this goes! Why is it that we are more apt to ask a woman about where she has her hair done than ask about her current Bible study situation? Sisters, we are bold because we have such a hope! (2 Corinthians 3:12)
In a recent Bible study I heard this analogy and I thought it made this spiritual truth all so clear: Think of our Christian life—both yours and mine—as a vertical climb. We are all climbing the same tree…the one that leads to Jesus. Some of us are lower in the branches and some of us are in the upper branches. Instead of getting stuck in the comparison game (that is a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day) we need to be working together. If you are below me, I will reach down and I will pull you up! If you are above me, you reach down and give me a hand and pull me up! We need to help each other grow. Why? Because we are Christ’s ambassadors as if he were making his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because to choose to become an ambassador is God-honoring and Holy Spirit inspired. Because it is to be our passion to lead others closer to Jesus (1 Chronicles 16:8-19). You know this, now act on it—Jesus is the answer to every problem that exists in this broken world we live in. You can’t fix people, but you can lead them closer to Jesus. Listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading and choose someone to either disciple or be discipled by today. It’s urgent. It’s important. Please, just do it.
Heavenly Father, I love you and I want to serve you, but sometimes it all just feels too complicated. Perhaps I’m just making it complicated. Often I’m so confused about what steps to take! If you have someone that you want me to help, please put her name in my head now. If you want me to reach out to someone because I need help, then please her name in my head now. I trust you, Jesus. I need your presence, Holy Spirit. Please come and show me the first step in taking a closer walk with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Do It Again and Yes and Amen…what great songs to take you to the throne of Jesus. Be sure you take the time to listen all the way to the end of this long worship video. When you are confused, frustrated, empty…that is the time to worship.
Please know that I was dead serious with my invitation to email me. It would make my day if you’d actually do that. I hope to hear from you, sister. email@example.com. Even better…come to see me at Real Life | Mount Dora at 9:30 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. any Sunday. I know Michele Barnes feels the same. You can see her at the Clermont Campus of Real Life or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amanda Sanders is all in at Kaley Campus. You can reach her at email@example.com. Please don’t try to go it alone. That is a lie and scheme of Satan to keep you in isolation. Reach out today. Let’s all grow in Christ together.
I’ll leave you with another one of my favorite worship songs: Fullness. Enjoy.
Today’s post was written by Cindy Koopmans.
Cindy is married to her college sweetheart, Brian, for 38 years. She has three grown boys, two sweet daughters-in-law and a gorgeous little grand-man named Oliver Brian. Cindy teaches fifth grade at Sorrento Elementary and serves at the Mount Dora campus as their Worship Coordinator. Cindy’s passion is music, so her happy place is at the keyboard. She also enjoys reading (so many books, so little time), thrifting, and hanging out with Kramer the wonder Bichon. You can find her on Sunday mornings worshiping at our Real Life Mount Dora campus.
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