Gracefully Truthful

Faith,Fellowship,Forgiven,Freedom,Grace

Rest your soul through reflective journaling,
praying Scripture,
and worshiping the Creator who
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This Week's Journeys

1 Peter 1:3-7

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

5 You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Journal Entry

Lord, what a great encouragement Your Word is to me! At every moment, day or night, You are ready to feed, comfort, teach, sustain, counsel, restore, and satisfy my soul with Your Word by Your Spirit! These Sketched stories remind me to praise You for the lavish gift of redemption You have extended to me and all people. Daily, Your mercy and grace are for me and are offered to all who call on Your Name.

I praise You for giving all who trust You for salvation a place with You in Eternity where Sin and Death will have lost forever!

While we live out our redemption stories in the sin-wrecked earthly kingdom of this world, You remain our ever-present Living Hope. (1 Peter 1:3) You have not given us a dead faith based on wishful thinking or upon a little “g” god whose bones decay in the ground.

You are the Holy One, the great I AM, Ruler of our surrendered hearts and lives in this world and the one to come. We may feel left out, exiled here, but we can look forward to one day gathering around your throne in Eternal Victory. An exile no more.

Worship Through Song

Journal Prompts

JOURNAL ONE

Have you ever felt excluded? Perhaps even exiled? With care and skill, Rebekah brings the Ethiopian eunuch’s story to life with deep connections to our own lives. Especially if we can say “I’ve been there” to being the outcast.

While Rebekah captured the eunuch’s cry to belong and understand, Debbie pointed to his relentless pursuit for truth as he asked good questions. The Ethiopian modeled for us what it looks like to grow deeper in faith, whether it’s our first time exploring Jesus or the thousandth.

For me, I’ve never been exiled from a country, but I have felt left out many times. Sometimes because of my beliefs, sometimes I’ve been overlooked or misunderstood. Regardless of the reason, you’ve probably experienced something similar, perhaps even in church among fellow believers.

The eunuch’s story brings encouragement! As lonely as the sense of exclusion can feel, the one truth Christ-followers can cling to is that we are Home with the Lord. We are daughters (and sons) of the King!

After the Ethiopian was baptized and forgiven, he still returned home and still remained an exile, but his purpose had changed because his worship was on the risen Jesus! How can you practically adopt the Ethiopian’s model when you feel excluded?
JOURNAL TWO

Slow to think, quick to speak, and full of zealous love for the ones he loved most, Peter epitomized going “all in”. If you have one of these zealous people in your life, you are blessed! They are eager to see needs and fill them, they make plans and “go for it”, bringing you along for the ride, and, when it gets risky, they sacrifice themselves to save you. If you are this kind of person, I want to say thank you for bringing fun and spontaneity to the world!

With a strong sense of justice, Peter was also the one who fought hard to protect what he believed was right. The problem was that his view of “right” didn’t always align with Jesus’ definition.

The Lord used Cornelius’ faith the challenge Peter’s and help Peter think beyond his pre-conceived box of “right”. Jesus planted Peter as the Rock on which He would build His church (Matthew 16:18) because Jesus knew that, while Peter was zealous, he’d also learned humility in his time with Jesus.

As you consider where you zealously love people and fight for justice, ask the Spirit to confront you as He did with Peter. Where might our own definitions and values need to be broadened, or tightened, to better align with truth as God defines it?
*Written by Rebecca Adams
JOURNAL THREE

I’ve always loved the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. What would everyone have wondered as they watched the scene unfold? A high priest who lost his ability to speak for his unbelief, and his elderly wife who cannot bear children, suddenly pregnant. The shock that surely rippled in their community!

Perhaps some had wondered, before the miraculous pregnancy, “What sin have they committed to bring on the disgrace of not having a son?”  Ugh. Casting judgment is ugly and harsh, and brought shame and a sense of worthlessness upon the couple who were shouldering their own grief.

With engaging narrative, Katelyn shows how Zechariah and Elizabeth clung to Jehovah and His promises. How do you sustain your faith when it hits a rocky patch? Practice turning to Scripture to be reminded of God’s faithful character!

Being reminded to return to God and anchor our hearts with Him instead of our anxieties or circumstance is exactly where Melodye led us in her Digging Deeper Study. She even included some worship songs to guide our hearts!

As I read this study, the Spirit brought two Scriptures to mind. “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) “He is before all things and by Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Which one resonates with you more? How do these passages challenge and encourage you?!
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April 15 - May 3, 2024 - Journey Theme #131

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