Toward Triumph Over Sin

Understand the Gift That You Have Been Given

“The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.”

The Voice Translation

“For sin’s meager wages is death, but God’s lavish gift is life eternal, found in your union with our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.” – The Passion Translation

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Amplified Bible Translation

“For sin’s payment is death, but God’s gracious gift is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” –Tree of Life Version

“Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.”

The Message Bible Translation

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – King James Version

This Week’s Challenge:

1) Read Romans 6.

2) Revisit this chapter every day this week. First, read the chapter to yourself silently. After you have completed that task, then read it aloud.

3) Use BIBLEGATEWAY.COM as a resource tool for quick access to the Bible. Challenge yourself to read at least 2 different Bible translations this week.

4) Memorize Romans 6:23.

5) Journal your thoughts on this. Feel free to email a response with your personal takeaway to The Phone Tree Bible Study Group at edifier1@hotmail.com.

Photo courtesy of Dianna Mae Diaz via Pinterest

Toward Salvation and Deliverance

Know That You Have Been Redeemed Through Jesus Christ

Ephesians 1:3-14 (emphasis on V. 7)

“3 Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, 4 just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will— 6 to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ]. 7 In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and understanding [with practical insight] 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 with regard to the fulfillment of the times [that is, the end of history, the climax of the ages]—to bring all things together in Christ, [both] things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11 In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. 14 The Spirit is the guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory.” (Amplified Bible Translation)

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

New Living Translation

This Week’s Challenge:

1) Read Ephesians 1:3-14.

2) Commit to reading this section of Scriptures twice a day during this Holy Week.

3) Make an effort to meditate and reflect on verse 7, as part of a daily practice.

4) Journal about your thoughts and feelings, regarding what it means to be redeemed, what it means to be saved, and what it means to be delivered.

Photo courtesy of thekingjamesversionbible.com

Do You Know About March of Dimes?

About:

“March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We’re advocating for policies to protect them. We’re working to radically improve the health care they receive. We’re pioneering research to find solutions. We’re empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we’re building a brighter future for us all.”

“MARCH OF DIMES HAS A VARIETY OF PROGRAMS TO SERVE THE SPECIFIC MATERNAL AND INFANT HEALTH NEEDS OF A COMMUNITY.”

Programs:

Prenatal Education, Support, and Care

“Ensuring the best possible start for parents-to-be and their babies by providing access to care, in-person and online education and support.”

NICU Initiatives

Educating NICU staff and supporting families through a variety of online and in-person resources.”

Professional Education

“Offering clinically relevant, peer-reviewed education and training for health care professionals online and in-person.”

Health Equity Initiatives

“Convening with communities to implement evidence-based strategies that address the social determinants of health to end the healthy equity gap.”

Research

“Supporting investments in medical, scientific and social science research that are vital to fight for the health of all moms and babies.”

WHY WE ARE FIGHTING FOR HEALTHY FAMILIES

Baby

About half a million babies are born premature or with birth defects in the U.S. each year.

Building

Without ACA protection, maternal care would be unaffordable for most families.

Heart

Vital services for moms and babies, especially babies born sick or too soon, are at risk.

Learn more about this incredible organization and about how you can help at MarchofDimes.org.

Full credit disclosure: All photos and content are provided via March of Dimes. Please find out what YOU can do to help.

Toward Godly Strength

Draw Your Strength from the LORD

Ephesians 6:10-11

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” – New King James Version Translation

“And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no weekend war that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”

– The Message Translation

“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.” – Amplified Bible Translation

“Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies.”

– God’s Word Translation

“Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser!” – The Passion Translation

10 Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan.”

– Living Bible Translation

This Week’s Challenge:

1) Read Ephesians 6:10-11.

2) Write one Bible translation per day, from those listed above.

3) As you physically and literally write the words, also begin allowing the LORD to write these words on your heart.

4) Do all that you can to work toward memorization.

5) Finally, journal about the following: Who or what have YOU been drawing your strength from in this season? God? Self? Others?

Photo courtesy of thekingjamesversionbible.com

Toward Spiritual Growth & Maturity…

Building on Your Faith

2 Peter 1:5-9

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither [b]barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (New King James Version Translation)

“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.”

The Message Translation

“For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. 8 For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind—shortsighted [closing his spiritual eyes to the truth], having become oblivious to the fact that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (Amplified Bible Translation)

5 Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; 6 to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; 7 to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love. 8 If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive. 9 If these qualities aren’t present in your life, you’re shortsighted and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins.”

God’s Word Translation

This Week’s Challenge: Read 2 Peter 1:5-9. Dissect it, going section by section. Write down your initial thoughts. Go back and ask yourself questions, regarding each section. (Example 1: Do I make every effort to live with integrity?; Example 2: What are the telltale signs of me adding to or exercising my faith?)

Photo courtesy of thekingjamesversionbible.com

Do You Know About Women for Women International?

“Every woman has the power to transform her world. When women work together, we have the power to create a better world for all of us.”

About:

Since 1993, Women for Women International has invested in the power of over 500,000 women who are forgotten — the women survivors of war and conflict — to learn the skills they need to rebuild their families and communities.

Our vision

“is to create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential.”

Who We Help:

Together with you, our supporters, we invest in women in 8 conflict-affected countries around the world to help rebuild their lives from the ground up.

“There are many ways to ensure that women in our programs have stability and foundational support for years to come. We can do so much more together — join us!”

SPONSORSHIP

TAKE ACTION

WAYS TO GIVE

Learn more at Women for Women International .

Additional updates can be found on the official blog and on YouTube.

Full credit disclosure: All photos and content are provided by Women for Women International. Please find out what YOU can do to help.

A Movement. A Mission. A Calling. A Prayer.

Let us bow our heads and pray. “Our Father…”

Let us lift up our voices and say… “Our Father…”

Let us be a part of a movement that is set on a mission to shout out… “Our Father…”

Let us answer the calling of… “Our Father…”

Let us actively spread the message of the LORD. “Our Father…”

Let us be the hands, the feet, and the voice of the Savior. “Our Father…”

Let us not grow weary in well doing. “Our Father…”

Let us treat others the way we want to be treated. “Our Father…”

Let us love the LORD our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. “Our Father…”

Let us put no other gods before the Most High God. “Our Father…”

Let us serve without complaining. “Our Father…”

Let us pray for our enemies. “Our Father…”

Let is esteem others higher than self. “Our Father…”

Let us care for those who are in need, not just with our words but also with our actions. “Our Father…”

Let us praise you in all things. “Our Father…”

Let us persevere in the face of challenges and injustices. “Our Father…”

Let us be not overcome when faced with diverse temptations. “Our Father…”

Let us never forget to remember. “Our Father…”