Complete In Christ

Complete In ChristWeek 34 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was Colossians 2-4, and 1 Thessalonians 1-2. These chapters finish Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae, and begin his letter to the church at Thessalonica.

Colossians 2:10 says that in Christ, we have been made complete.So many of us are searching for someone or something to fulfill us – to make us feel complete and whole. We look in all the wrong places. We come up empty, time and again.

Your search for completeness can come to an end, for you are already complete in Christ! In this world, you are as He is (1 John 4:17). As He is loved, cherished, valued, and treasured by the Father, so are you!

The One in whom true fulfillment is found lives inside of you. Stop trying to find something that can make you feel complete, and let this truth sink into your mind – that in Christ, you have been made complete!

Live In His Grace

Live In His GraceWeek 30 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearly finished. This week’s reading was 2 Corinthians 11-13, and Galatians 1-2. These chapters finish one of Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth, and begin his letter to the church at Galatia.

In Galatians 1:6-7, Paul expresses astonishment at the church of Galatia so quickly deserting he who called them to live in the grace of Christ, and turning to a different gospel, which was really no gospel at all.

We have been called to live in the grace of Christ, but how often do we turn from His grace, and try to become right with God through the law – by obedience to His commandments – instead of accepting righteousness as a free gift, as God intended it? No matter how hard we try, we can never be good enough to gain right standing before God through our actions. God knows that we can’t do it on our own, which is why He wants us to live under the new covenant of His grace.

In Galatians 2:21, Paul says that he will not set aside God’s grace, for if we could gain righteousness by the law, then Christ died for nothing. In other words, if we can be good enough on our own to earn right standing before God, then there was no reason for Christ to die for us. Don’t set aside the grace of God! You were saved by grace (Ephesians 2:5). Continue to live in it!

New Creation, Reconciliation, and Right Standing Before God

New Creation, Reconciliation, and Right Standing Before GodWeek 28 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearing its end. This week’s reading was 2 Corinthians 1-5. These chapters begin another of Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 contains some amazing truths! These verses tell us that:

 

 

  • We are in Christ (v. 17). As believers, our identity is found in Him!
  • If we are in Christ, we are a new creation – the old has past, and the new has come (v. 17)! We are not who we once were. We have been made new.
  • We have been reconciled to God through Christ (v. 18-19). Because of what Jesus has done for us, there’s no longer anything standing between us and God. If we have accepted God’s gift of salvation, we have become His children, and He is our Heavenly Father!
  • We have been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation (v. 18-19). This is the message that we are to share – not that God is ready and waiting to rain down judgement for every mistake we make, but that because of Christ’s finished work, He no longer holds our sins against, and we can be reconciled to Him.
  • God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God (v. 21). At the cross, He took our place of sin, that we might take His place of right standing before God!

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 is full of wonderful truths for us, as believers! May God use these verses to reveal to you who you in Christ more clearly than ever before!

True Wisdom

True WisdomWeek 25 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was
1 Corinthians 2-6. These chapters continue one of Paul’s epistles to the church at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 states that if we think we are wise by the standards of this age, we should become “fools,” in order to actually become wise. It goes on to state that the world’s wisdom is foolishness in God’s sight.

The world has many mindsets and ways of doing things that are considered wise by a majority of people, that really end in disaster and heartache. Many follow the wisdom of the world, only to end up at a destination that is not what they had in mind. They discover that the world’s wisdom truly is foolishness.

The only true wisdom is the wisdom of God, which He gives liberally and without reproach to all who ask (James 1:5). When we do things His way, we may appear foolish to others, but in reality, we are saving ourselves from the problems that arise when we follow the world’s foolishness as if it were wisdom.

Let’s resolve to seek after true wisdom – the wisdom of God, which He is more than willing to give us – rather than following the wisdom (or rather foolishness) of the world. Let’s do things His way!

Trust In What Christ Has Done

Trust In What Christ Has Done

Week 24 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was Romans 13-16, and
1 Corinthians 1. These chapters finish Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, and begin one of his epistles to the church at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 1:30 says that Christ has become for us wisdom from God – our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

We are in Christ. Our identity is found in Him. Our relationship with God, and our standing before Him, is based not off of anything that we have done. It is based off of what Christ has done for us. God doesn’t accept us because we have done enough good things, or are good enough people. He welcomes us as His children because we believe in His Son, who gave His life for us.

Our righteousness and holiness don’t come from ourselves. We haven’t done anything to earn our own redemption. Christ is our righteousness. He is our holiness. In Him is our redemption. Let’s learn to trust in what He has done for us, rather than our own efforts, in our relationship with God!

Call Out To Jesus

Call Out To JesusWeek 11 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearing its end. This week’s reading was Luke 20-24. These chapters speak mainly of some of Jesus’ encounters with the religious leaders, His words to His disciples regarding the end times, the last supper, all that He suffered on our behalf, His death, and His resurrection.

Luke 23:23 & 39-43 informs us that two criminals were crucified with Jesus, one of whom mocked and insulted Him. The other criminal rebuked the one who was making fun of Jesus, saying that while they deserved their punishment, Jesus had done nothing wrong. Then he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus’ response was to tell the criminal that he would be with Him in paradise.

How could Jesus respond to him in such a way? The criminal couldn’t make any amends for the crime for which he was being crucified. He had no time left to change his way of living, and begin living a better lifestyle. He was hanging on a cross, nearing the end of his life. All he could do was depend on Jesus, trusting that He would remember him, in accordance with his request.

That was all he needed to do. That is all any of us can do – place our trust completely in Christ, relying on Him, and Him alone, for our salvation. We can’t do anything to save ourselves. No amount of good deeds can purchase for us a relationship with God, for it is by grace, and through faith, that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8).

When the criminal asked Jesus to remember him, did Jesus turn him away? By no means! Instead, He assured the criminal that he would be with Him in paradise that very day. Though the criminal could do nothing for himself but call out to Jesus, our Savior met him where he was at. The same is true of us today, for Romans 5:6 says it was while we were still helpless that Christ died for us.

Jesus promised in John 6:37 that He will never drive away those who come to Him. No matter what point you may be at in life, call out to Jesus. Come to Him today, assured of His love and acceptance.

Be sure to join us next week as we wrap up the Names of Jesus series!

Enjoy His Presence

Enjoy His PresenceWeek 9 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was Luke 9-14. These chapters speak mainly of some of Jesus’ conversations with His disciples, as well as some of His interactions with others, some of His miracles, the transfiguration, and some of His parables and teachings.

In Luke 10:38-42, we read the story of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha invited Jesus into their home. While Mary sat at His feet, listening to all that He had to say, Martha was distracted by the preparations that needed to be made. She eventually came to Jesus, asked if He cared that Mary had left her to do the work by herself, and told Him to instruct Mary to help her. Jesus responded by telling her that though she was worried about many things, only thing one was needed, and that Mary had chosen that which was better, and it wouldn’t be taken from her.

How often are we, like Martha, so distracted by the busyness and cares of this life that we forget to simply be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)? All to often, we get so caught up in our daily schedules, and all we need to get done, that we neglect to spend time with our Savior. Though we get so worried and anxious about the many things that are going on in our lives, Jesus wants us to simply slow down for a while, and spend some time with Him.

In the midst of life’s busyness and chaos, let’s take a moment to pause, and simply enjoy the presence of Jesus. Let’s begin to make it our priority to do so. To aid in the process of doing this, check out Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan, which was designed as a readily practicable plan of action, and source of guidance for investing in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. For more info, click here.

Be sure to check back next week for more of our Names of Jesus series!

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Forgiven Much, Love Much

Forgiven Much, Love MuchWeek 7 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearly over. This week’s reading was Luke 3-8. These chapters speak mainly of Jesus’ baptism and genealogy, when He was tempted in the wilderness, Him calling His disciples, several of His encounters with the Pharisees, as well as some of His miracles, teachings, and parables.

In Luke 7, we read of a woman approaching Jesus while He was having dinner at the house of one of the Pharisees. She wet His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, kissed them, and poured perfume on them. This woman had lived a sinful lifestyle, but in Jesus, she found something different than she’d every experienced – One who was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Her many sins had been forgiven, resulting in a great love for her Savior. She had been forgiven much, so she loved much.

In the same manner, when we catch a glimpse of the fact all of our sins have been completely forgiven because of what Christ has done for us – that they have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) – our natural response will be a deep sense of love and gratitude towards our wonderful Savior. His grace will kindle within us an abiding affection for Him.

Know that all of your sins have been forgiven, and that they are remembered no more (Hebrews 8:12). Ask God to give you a fresh revelation of His amazing forgiveness and love!

The Veil Has Been Torn

The Veil Has Been TornWeek 7 Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was Mark 11-16. These chapters speak mainly of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, some of His encounters with the Pharisees, words He spoke to his disciples regarding the end times, the last supper, and His death and resurrection.

Upon Jesus breathing His last, the curtain in the temple split in two (Mark 15:38). In the Old Testament, the temple curtain separated the Holy of Holies – the innermost room, where God’s tangible presence dwelt – from the rest of the temple. Only the high priest was allowed to enter Holy of Holies, and that only once a year, with blood to offer for his sins, and for the sins of the people. The temple curtain separated sinful man from the presence of a holy God.

Because of what Christ has done for us, however, we have been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). We have been made perfect forever by His sacrifice (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus’ death at the cross paid the price for our wrongdoings in full. When He died, the temple veil, which had separated mankind from the presence of God for so many years, was torn in two. Every barrier that stood between us and Him was done away with in Christ. Our sins have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Our part is simply to receive the salvation offered to us like the free gift that God intended it.

Know that today, because of what Christ has done for you, there is no longer a wall of separation between you and God. The veil has been torn! Approach His throne of grace with the boldness and confidence (Hebrews 4:16) that comes from knowing that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39)!

“At the cross I bow my knee, where your blood was shed for me, there’s no greater love than this. You have overcome the grave, glory fills the highest place, what can separate me now . . . You tore the veil, you made a way, when you said that it is done.”

Bible Reading and Memorization Journal Pages

Bible Reading and Memorization Plan Journal PagesIncluded in the pdf file of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan are two additional journal pages, intended for use along with the plan.

BRMP weekly verse

 

 

This page is meant to go along with with the memory verse for the week. There’s a spot to record which week of the Bible Reading and Memorization Plan the sheet goes with, and to write out the week’s memory verse. There’s also room to note what the scripture means to you, and how it applies to your life.

 

 

 

BRMP weekly page
This page is intended to provide a place for you to jot down main points and key verses from each day’s reading. There’s a spot for you to write the date and passage for the day, as well as to briefly note your thoughts on the passage. This page makes it easy to record, and find again later, things you want to remember pertaining to what you have read.

(For an enlarged and clearer view of the page previews, click on the images.)

 

The pdf file of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan includes both of these journal pages, in addition to the contents of the plan itself. To download the pdf file of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan, simply click on the Bible Reading and Memorization Plan tab of the site’s navigation bar, or follow this link (http://calledandcreated.com/bible-reading-and-memorization-plan/).  Then click on the highlighted text on the page you are led to. After doing so, you will be able to view and download the pdf file for yourself. Enjoy your printable pdf download of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan! May the additional journal pages help you to remember what you have read, and apply the weekly memory verses to your daily life!