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Free In His Grace

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And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

Exodus 34:6-7


There are terrible consequences when God’s people abandon him for our own ways, an idol we can control. After the shocking incident at the bottom of Mount Sinai, Moses now stands in the gap between God and the people who have turned away, and pleads for mercy, a moving picture of our place in prayer. God continues speak to His people through Moses as the mediator and calls them to repent. Moses does not give up and continues to meet with God, begging Him to go with them for the honor of His name. God promises not to withdraw His presence from the people. He reveals his name as he tenderly shows himself to Moses in all his glory.

But what about the Ark of his presence and the Tabernacle? Some of the gold that should have been for worship has been used as an idol. How would they carry God’s presence now?

And what if we have held on to the gold, held something back, have let our past and our experiences become our identity or allowed it to become first in our hearts? Is it too late? Exodus gives us a vivid picture in response. God graciously gives the law again, the sign that they are still his beloved covenant people. Then he instructs Moses to ask for a free will offering from the people

Exodus 35:21 says” All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the LORD. They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle. 22 Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. They brought to the LORD their offerings of gold—brooches, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind as a special offering to the LORD.

Our God is a God of second chances whose name is love and grace and compassion.

So much was given; Moses has to tell the whole camp

“Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.” )Ex. 36:6-7)

God’s presence and glory would go with them and make them his own worshipping people. This is the God of more than enough grace to give you all of his presence and love, extravagantly. It is never too late to come to the cross of his mercy and offer all of yourself to Jesus. So let’s come.


Weekly Prayer Focus

Pray: Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy

and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Pray that you and those you are praying for will know the God of second chances and know it is never to offer all of yourself to him. Pray that you and they will be confident to approach the throne of grace and receive the mercy and grace of Jesus. Pray that the Holy Spirit will fill you so that you know his presence with you and in you.


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Free to Worship Him

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But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.

Hebrews 12:22-23


While God was communicating every detail of the ark and the tabernacle, the way of being his own worshipping people, at the top of the mountain, the people were fed up with waiting 40 long days at the bottom of the mountain. They couldn’t see a future, and began to give up on God. We gasp with horror as God’s own dearly loved people take their gold, what was meant to be offered for his worship, and mould it into a copy of the gods of other nations. They look at the idol and say in Exodus 32:4, “These are the gods who brought you out of Egypt.” After the Lord has intimately revealed himself to them, saved them, provided for them and committed to them in his covenant of perfect love, how could they?

How many times have we felt like living for Jesus is too hard, we have waited too long, he does not seem to be leading, we cannot see what he is doing, or we just want to fit in with everyone else? Like the Israelites at the mountain, we are prone to give up, look for an easier, more enjoyable way, a faster solution in our struggles, a more visible hope and a way of being in control ourselves. We quickly lose sight of who God is and who we are to him and we set our heart on other things or put our trust in ourselves. We take what was designed to be freely given to the Lord and we hold it back. Then slowly but surely we set up our past experiences, wounds, thoughts, desires, spiritual ideas, abilities and say, “This is who I am now; this is what makes me.” Our enemy whispers the echo “ Yes that is all you are and all you will ever be”. And God’s heart breaks, as he looks on the scene of us giving our hearts away, bowing down to something that is not him, and changing our identity. It can happen gradually, without us noticing, but it happens. Jesus asks us to give all of ourselves to him, holding nothing back.

When we do that he says that you are not what your past, your skills and your experiences or your wounds have made you. Your real name is written in Heaven and that is who you are for eternity. You are His own, saved, cleansed and set apart in his love.


Weekly Prayer Focus
Pray: Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Pray that you, and those you are praying for, will come to the Kingdom that cannot be shaken and see yourself as his own beloved, not putting your hope or identity in anything temporary. Pray that Jesus will give you and them patience and determination when it seems hard to wait and worship only him. Pray that you and they will know what it means to be thankful and lay all of yourself down in reverent worship, refusing to bow down to or trust in anything else.


Summer Resource Links


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Free to Worship

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journal lableThe Lord said to Moses, “….You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give…gold, silver and bronze… blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen… “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.

Exodus 25, verses 1, 2 & 8


In the ultimate working out of the covenant (Exodus 24), the people are set apart as the Lord’s own in worship. There is a sacrifice, shed blood, and a meal in the presence of the Holy One. These images cast a very Jesus-shaped shadow. Then, on the mountain covered by his glory, God gives Moses the detailed design for the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle; a way of carrying his own glorious presence for them to worship and for the nations to see.

In the New Covenant, Jesus has brought through his blood, God’s promises to bring us right into his presence and give us the Holy Spirit to live in us. Like the beautiful, costly, detailed, royal ark of his presence; we are remade, recreated and carefully crafted by his own hands to become a place where he dwells.

So what did God ask his people to freely offer as materials for the ark and the tabernacle? The gold, silver, bronze and valuables God plundered from their enemies the night they left Egypt, the treasures of their past from their terrible years of oppression. He wants us to lay down all our past, all that we are for Jesus. He does not throw it away, he takes it, melts it down in the fire of the Spirit, and uses it as part of the glorious design to give his presence to us and through us to others. Whatever we carry from the past, whatever the enemy thought was his, Jesus can make us beautiful in him if we are willing to offer our all: our experiences, training, mistakes, personality, weaknesses, sufferings, disappointments, emotions, and unfulfilled desires. So often we think these things cannot be part of who God wants us to be now, but he asks us to bring it, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to him at the cross. There, Jesus does not just free us from the past – he redeems the past.

Real transformation comes when we choose to place it all in Jesus’ nail-scarred hands, so he can come in, heal, restore, and remake us as his home. He will redeem and use our past to give his beautiful presence to us and to those we meet. It takes time, but you can trust Jesus as the skillful healer and craftsman. So come to him, willing to give him your past.


Weekly Prayer Focus
Pray Exodus 25: 1, 2 & 8 and John 14:17
v. 1-2: The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering….
v. 8:   “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them
John 14:17 But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Pray that you, and those you are praying for, will offer all of themselves to the Lord, your past and all that belonged to the enemy, and allow Jesus to craft you by the fire of the Holy Spirit into a beautiful place of his of his presence, for you and for others to see him. Pray that you and they would welcome the Holy Spirit and not be too afraid or too proud for him to have your whole heart as his home.

Free to See His Holiness

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But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God;
once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10


However unfamiliar we find the images of thunder and smoke at the mountain in Exodus 19, this is the truth of God’s greatness, holiness, and glory – that in our own weakness we are utterly unworthy and unable to come near. It is only by receiving his mercy we can come close to Him. Look at the precious words God speaks to his people at Mt. Sinai: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession” (Exodus 19:4-5). The passage in 2 Peter says that if you have given yourself to Jesus, God speaks the same words of love-binding covenant and calling over you.  He does not just tolerate you; he treasures you, delights in you and calls you chosen, his possession. He does not ask you to be dull, lonely, religious, judgmental or silent, as some misunderstandings of holiness would make you think. Instead, he has given you the Holy Spirit to put his own character in you, a new, clean heart to love him extravagantly and imitate him. To be set apart as holy does not mean we should hide away together in a religious ghetto. Instead, we are to love the world and the people around us selflessly, with God’s passionate love.  As a royal priesthood, you are called to stand between Jesus and those who don’t know him; to carry his presence to others, and to carry them to him in prayer.

So then, as God’s beloved people, chosen to receive life from the holy God, rather than being controlled by our own desires and the patterns of living of everyone else around us, what does his holiness look like? We have been saved from the condemnation of being unable to live the Ten Commandments in our own strength. By the forgiveness of the cross and the Holy Spirit in us, we are freed to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. The Ten Commandments are not the way to earn his love, but rather, because he has first loved us, we get to love him by walking in his life-giving ways and reflecting his holy heart to the world.


Weekly Prayer Focus
Pray 1 Peter 9-10
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,
that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God;
once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Pray that you, and those you are praying for, would know hear God’s loving words over you and that these words would define you and lead you. Pray that this will be your new identity and you and they will give praises to Jesus who has called you out of darkness and intolight. Pray that you and they will live out a life in the Holy Spirit as God’s chosen, holy possession reflecting his character and that you will stand as a priesthood before God, pleading for those who don’t know Jesus and representing him to them.


Summer Resource Links

You still have the opportunity to hear Linda Boyette speak to the women of Hartsville, Ohio at their summer retreat. Follow the link to hear Linda’s messages. This link is still available for a limited time. Click here for Linda’s messages


 Scripture Reading Guide         Journal Label             Summer Songs for Worship 
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Free to Trust for Today

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journal lableAnd do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink;
do not worry about it.
For the pagan world runs after all such things,
and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Luke 12:29-31


The people of God were desperate in the desert after three days and they didn’t understand how God could provide for their thirst. After transforming the bitter water to sweet drinking water, Yahweh leads his people to an abundant oasis of seventy palm trees and twelve springs. If we are His own, we can do more than survive. Jesus promises, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this, he meant the Spirit… (John 7:37-38)

Every other thirst or desire that would overwhelm us and control us needs to be put into His loving hands. This promise of abundant, living water is for anyone who will come to Jesus. We need to be careful that we are coming to Him first, not relying on others, ourselves, or our comforts.  No career, possession, relationship, romance, book, food, entertainment, alcohol, or experience can take the place of the Holy Spirit to satisfy your thirst and give you overflowing, eternal water from the life-giver Himself.

The hungry people did not know that God would go on providing manna and quail every day, for 40 years, they only had the evidence of today. God’s desire is that we trust Him one day at a time, believing He is with us, He is good and He is Lord over today. We do not need to live bound by worry for tomorrow as though we have no one who sees our needs, no one who can fight for us, no one who can meet us in the deepest concerns of our hearts. Jesus says we have a loving Father who knows our needs, our battles and our hearts. We are free to seek His kingdom, to set our hearts first on His ways and His rule. We are free to look outward towards the needs of others, free to live for what lasts forever, into eternity instead of being controlled by every need we have today. Jesus says He can free from worry, not because there is nothing to worry about tomorrow, but because our loving Father has our tomorrows in His mighty and careful hands. Whatever your circumstances, Jesus wants us to pray “give us today our daily bread”; God wants us to trust Him one day at a time.


Weekly Prayer Focus
Pray Luke 12:29-31
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Pray that you and those you are praying for will receive the Father’s love so that you can believe he sees your needs. Pray that you and they will come to the caring Father to provide all that is needed practically, spiritually and emotionally one day at a time and trust him with tomorrow. Pray that you and they will not be led by fear or the need to control every need but you will be freed to set your mind and heart on the eternal kingdom.


You still have the opportunity to hear Linda Boyette speak to the women of Hartsville, Ohio at their summer retreat. Follow the link to hear Linda’s messages. This link is still available for a limited time. Click here for Linda’s messages


 Scripture Reading Guide         Journal Label             Summer Songs for Worship 
Titus Women’s Blog          Weekly eNews signup

The God Who Stands Between

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God’s people are led by his own presence. He will not leave them alone, but the pressure is on. God carefully tells Moses of the terrifying threat coming behind them and shows him what to do. They are free from their oppression, but now the past seems to be coming after them as their enemy chases them into the desert.

Jesus, our Passover lamb, has done everything needed to save us. Yet sometimes Satan, our enemy comes after us with our past, often in our own thoughts and whispers: “ God couldn’t really forgive someone with a heart like yours?” Or “You think God really wants someone like you to be his child?” Or “You are not free. Jesus can’t change you.” Or “You were so broken and wounded you’ll never really be free.” or “God loves other people and fills them with His Spirit, but not someone with a past like you.” Or “Jesus is not with you.” Some of us even hear the lie, “You were doing better back then, you don’t need Jesus to forgive you or free you.” When these lies come at us from behind, we often don’t notice who is speaking. The enemy is terrified that you will live freed by Jesus and desperate to keep you from the power of the cross and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in your life. When the enemy of their past comes into view, watch how God’s people react. They panic, complaining bitterly, certain they will be destroyed. They forget God’s power over creation, over the gods of the Egyptians, over life and death itself, and they even say it would have been better to stay in the place of bondage. The Lord gives Moses clear words to remind them that they do not need to fight for themselves. Then the Lord puts the angel of his presence behind them to stand between them and their enemies all through the night until they have crossed the Red Sea. God fights for them.

We need to recognize the enemy coming after us, but we must not try to stand against him ourselves, or believe we can somehow think ourselves into real freedom. It’s not about you fighting for yourself; it’s all about Jesus. He stands between you and your past and between you and the enemy. Nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. You can trust him to lead you out of the past and fight for you always.


Pray: Romans 8:37-39: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Pray that you and those you are praying for will know you cannot conquer on your own, but only through Christ who loves you. Pray that you and they will know with all your hearts that nothing, no spiritual power, not life nor death, present or future or anything else can separate you from the love of God in Christ. Pray that you and they will allow Jesus to stand between you and the enemy of your souls, between you and the past, you and the future, between you and any opposition or distraction to your faith and trust him to fight for you.


Summer Resource Links
A Special Opportunity THIS WEEK-
This week we have the opportunity to hear Linda Boyette speak to the women of Hartsville, Ohio at their summer retreat. Follow the link to hear Linda’s messages. This link is available for a limited time. Click here for Linda’s messages


   Scripture Reading Guide         Journal Label             Summer Songs for Worship 
Titus Women’s Blog          Weekly eNews signup


The Cost of Freedom

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journal lable“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 Peter 1:18-19


The freedom God won to bring his people out of slavery in Egypt came at a huge price. Pharaoh did not give up despite the terrible plagues and the loss of precious firstborns who were spiritually sacred in that culture. It was a terrible cost. The Lord carefully instructed his people to put the blood of a lamb over their houses so that they would be saved as death passed through the land. He prepared them with food for the journey and enabled them to take the treasures of Egypt from their oppressors. They would celebrate the “Passover” for generations. The truth we read in the New Testament is about what God did for us to save us out of slavery. The ransom for our freedom has been paid, and we are no longer chained. Just as life for the Israelites came out of the death of the firstborns, so our freedom was bought when God gave His first and only son. It was a terrible cost. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the grave, he defeated our slave masters of sin, death, and Satan himself. Jesus is the perfect lamb, sacrificed on the cross at the same time as the festival of Passover. God promises us that if we live under the blood of Jesus, accepting that we need him to cover us and trusting that He can wash our hearts clean, he can lead us out of death and into eternal life with him.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) What does the freedom Jesus gives look like in your life? We get confused, thinking it is the right to do what I want when I want, a temporary feeling which changes from day to day. The costly freedom God offers you through the sacrifice of Jesus, our Passover lamb, is far more than any of that. Just as the people of God were freed to be set apart for him, so you are freed by the blood of Jesus to belong to God. We are freed from self, our own thoughts, sinful desires, the need to conform to the world and freed from captivity to the enemy that comes through all of these. You can thank him today that because of his love you are free to be his own beloved, forever.


Prayer Focus

Pray1 Peter 1:18-19: For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Pray that you and those you are praying for will know that truth that you have been redeemed, bought out of slavery through the blood of Jesus, a perfect Passover lamb. Pray that you and they will choose to live under his blood and give all of yourselves to him so you will receive the freedom he can give from the past, your desires, addictions, from living for self, fears, conforming to worldly ideas and anything that keeps you captive or prevents you from being completely his own.


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