Sharing our experiences

The Facebook group is a safe place where we can discuss the prompts, ask questions, and share our thoughts and our artwork from our study on Identity from Ephesians.
I am not a therapist or a counsellor but I hope that I can support and encourage you as we study together. If anything arises that you can't deal with, and that I feel I cannot deal with, please find someone in your church who you trust and ask them to help you.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Identity: A Work In Progress

We have come to the end of our series on Identity.  I hope you have enjoyed it and that it has given you a great deal to think about.  Thank you so much for following along.  This blog will remain live so if you haven't finished it all don't worry, it will still be here for you.

Of course there is still much to do as we are all a work in progress: "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Here I have listed a variety of resources which I hope you will find useful.

Freedom in Christ
This is a great discipleship course suitable for Christians however far into their journey of faith.  A church that we are in relationship with has given me permission to share a series of sermons based on the Freedom in Christ course.

Freedom in Christ UK    A UK course includes Steps to Freedom
Freedom in Christ USA 


Useful Books by Neil Anderson
Who I am in Christ
Victory over the Darkness
The Bondage Breaker

Other Resources
There are two additional messages that Rob brought to the church which follows on from his series on Identity.   The Anointing parts 1 & 2.  


Worship Song



You can find how I finished my journal on my blog at NewlyCreative.

Announcement
The next bible study will be in August using this same format.  It is called Honour: A study in 1 Corinthians.  Sign up for emails on the blog and you will receive a reminder nearer the start time.   I hope you will join me then.


In between times there will be an art challenge blog in May - The Art of Practising Gratitude.  This isn't a Bible Study but it does use Bible verses.   Sign up for the emails from that blog too.




Thursday, 27 February 2014

Identity: What about my limp?

Welcome to the concluding session on Identity.  These messages were brought at Jubilee Church Solihull.   There is one more blog post to come rounding up the whole project.

If you haven't already, please download the podcast and listen to it.   

2 Samuel 9:1
David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

2 Samuel 7:18-19
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?  And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant - and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!

2 Samuel 9: 2-13
Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”      “At your service,” he replied.      The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”
Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”     “Where is he?” the king asked.   Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel. When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!”   “At your service,” he replied.

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.  You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)  Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.  Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth.   And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

Luke 22:30       Psalm 23:5       James 5:16        Psalm 25:3


Worship Song




Journaling
In your journaling you may want to write your feelings and your prayers and ignore the prompts.  The prompts are to help you and you can choose those that speak to you most.  You can download these prompts as a PDF.

Is there anything that hinders you from being all that you can be in God?  Emotional? Spiritual? Psychological?

How has your understanding of your identity in Christ changed over this series?  Has your relationship with God changed?  Has the way you pray changed?

Is God shining his light on anything in your life today? 

Illustrated Letter
I have designed a letter for today's session to be used in any way you choose.  Download it by right clicking on the image and saving it to your computer.  Print it off, colour it in and glue it into your journal.  As it is a jpeg you can resize it to fit your journal.  You can see how I used it here.

Rob mentions Steve during the podcast.  Steve is the other Elder at Jubilee Church Solihull and you can download his message Being a Shameless Community if you wish to listen to it.

I hope you that you have found today's message and journal prompts useful.  Share your thoughts, questions and journaling in the Facebook group.



Monday, 24 February 2014

Identity: Ambassadors

Welcome to the sixth of six sessions on Identity.  These messages were brought at Jubilee Church Solihull.  There is one more closing session to come.

If you haven't already, please download the podcast and listen to it.   (When you click on the podcast link it will take you to iTunes where there will be a list of podcasts. However the one you need for that day will be highlighlighted. To find it you may need to scroll down the page.)

What is an Ambassador?

Ambassador - a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.


Ephesians 6:19-20
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

John 8:14-18     John 5:36     John 5:43    John 20:21    Matt. 28:18      Acts 3:6      Acts 19:13-16    John 14:2-3

2 Cor. 5:20
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.

Rom. 1:18       1 John 4:12


Worship Song



Journaling
In your journaling you may want to write your feelings and your prayers and ignore the prompts.  The prompts are to help you and you can choose those that speak to you most.  You can download these prompts as a PDF.

When things don't go your way are you still 'in Christ' or does your disillusionment take you somewhere else?

Are you functioning as the ambassador you are?  If not, what is stopping you?

Who are you praying for? What answers to prayer have you already seen for them?

What is your story with God?  Share your story in the Facebook group.

Illustrated Letter
I have designed a letter for today's session to be used in any way you choose.  Download it by right clicking on the image and saving it to your computer.  Print it off, colour it in and glue it into your journal.  As it is a jpeg you can resize it to fit your journal.  You can see how I used it here.

I hope you that you have found today's message and journal prompts useful.  Share your thoughts, questions and journaling in the Facebook group.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Identity: Heavenly Citizens

Welcome to the fifth of six sessions on Identity.  These messages were brought at Jubilee Church Solihull.

If you haven't already, please download the podcast and listen to it.

Ephesians 2:1-10 
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 1:3       Ephesians 1:20b-22       Ephesians 3:10       Matt. 9:35       Ephesians 6:10-18      Rev.12:10  

Worship Song



Journaling
In your journaling you may want to write your feelings and your prayers and ignore the prompts.  The prompts are to help you and you can choose those that speak to you most.  You can download these prompts as a PDF.

What spiritual blessings have you received?

Have you experienced problems that have 'unseated' you?  How did you or how will you deal with them?

Have you experienced fighting a problem using the word of God?

Ask God to show you where you are seated?  What does it mean for you?


Bonus Video


Illustrated Letter
I have designed a letter for today's session to be used in any way you choose.  Download it by right clicking on the image and saving it to your computer.  Print it off, colour it in and glue it into your journal.  As it is a jpeg you can resize it to fit your journal.  You can see how I used it here.

I hope you that you have found today's message and journal prompts useful.  Share your thoughts, questions and journaling in the Facebook group.



Monday, 17 February 2014

Identity: Royalty

Welcome to the fourth of six sessions on Identity.  These messages were brought at Jubilee Church Solihull.

If you haven't already, please download the podcast and listen to it.  


I couldn't find the exact clip that Rob plays in his message but some of it is in this trailer.

Rev. 5:10     Rev. 3:21     1 Cor. 1:2-3

Ephesians 2: 11-12
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) - remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

Ephesians 2: 13-18
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

1 Peter 2:9-10
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.

Ephesians 2: 19-20
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

Prince Andrew


Col. 3:12   



Worship Song

Journaling
In your journaling you may want to write your feelings and your prayers and ignore the prompts.  The prompts are to help you and you can choose those that speak to you most.  You can download these prompts as a PDF.

How do you experience the presence of God?

What do your royal robes look like?

Does your arrival somewhere change the atmosphere?  In what way?

How do you talk about yourself?  Would you say those things to other people about them?

Have you experienced disappointments in your Christian walk or prayer life?  Are you backing off because of these?  What can you do to change this?

What steps are you being called to take by God?



Bonus Video



Illustrated Letter
I have designed a letter for today's session to be used in any way you choose.  Download it by right clicking on the image and saving it to your computer.  Print it off, colour it in and glue it into your journal.  As it is a jpeg you can resize it to fit your journal.  You can see how I used it here.

I hope you that you have found today's message and journal prompts useful.  Share your thoughts, questions and journaling in the Facebook group.




Thursday, 13 February 2014

Identity: Sonship

Welcome to the third of six sessions on Identity.  These messages were brought at Jubilee Church Solihull.

If you haven't already, please download the podcast and listen to it.   

Ephesians 1:3-7
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Galatians 3:26-29
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 4:1-7
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.  But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.


Journaling
In your journaling you may want to write your feelings and your prayers and ignore the prompts.  The prompts are to help you and you can choose those that speak to you most.  You can download these prompts as a PDF.

Are you quick to defend yourself?  Are you concerned about what people think of you?

Did you know that you have the right to exercise power and authority in God's name?  If you didn't before, how will this knowledge change your prayer life?

Do you enter boldly into the presence of God?  Do you take advantage of the place of privilege you hold?

In your relationship with God, do you live like a son or  a slave?

What kind of identity issues do you have?
  • slavery is about what you do - sonship is about who you are
  • slavery is about doing right - sonship is about being right
  • slavery is about obeying (in fear) - sonship is about friendship

Illustrated Letter
I have designed a letter for today's session to be used in any way you choose.  Download it by right clicking on the image and saving it to your computer.  Print it off, colour it in and glue it into your journal.  As it is a jpeg you can resize it to fit your journal.  You can see how I used it here.

I hope you that you have found today's message and journal prompts useful.  Share your thoughts, questions and journaling in the Facebook group.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Identity: Recreated

Welcome to the second of six sessions on Identity.  These messages were brought at Jubilee Church Solihull.  There are some great discussions going on in the Facebook group and some wonderful artwork being shared.

If you haven't already, please download the podcast and listen to it.   

Ephesians 4:17-19
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

Ephesians 2:1    John 3:19    1 Cor. 3:4    Jeremiah 17:9    Ezekiel 36:26-27

Ephesians 4:20-24
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Galatians 5:24    Galatians 2:20

Ephesians 4:25-32


Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


Worship Song



Journaling
In your journaling you may want to write your feelings and your prayers and ignore the prompts.  The prompts are to help you and you can choose those that speak to you most.  You can download these prompts as a PDF.

How you feel about yourself affects how you live your life.  What does this mean for you?

What comes to mind when you read about your old attitudes and lifestyle?

How has your life changed since you were 'born again'?  Do you relate to the changes that Rob talks about?
  • our desires being different
  • we want to change
  • awakened conscience
  • attitude to church
  • hatred of injustice
  • other people notice you are different
Being recreated is an ongoing work.  What area of your life is God working on at the moment?

Are your preoccupied with your condition?   How does that manifest in your spiritual life?

What thoughts try to undermine your identity?   How can you counteract these thoughts?

How can you focus on your position instead of your condition?

Illustrated Letter
I have designed a letter for today's session to be used in any way you choose.  Download it by right clicking on the image and saving it to your computer.  Print it off, colour it in and glue it into your journal.  As it is a jpeg you can resize it to fit your journal.  You can see how I used it here.


I hope you that you have found today's message and journal prompts useful.  Share your thoughts, questions and journaling in the Facebook group.