I recently began a book study of When Only Faith Remains with a group of local women. It was both humbling and exciting to see women from all walks of life attend, eager to dive into the truths of God’s word through my book.
The next several summer blogs will focus on one or two questions from the study that invite honest reflection and an opportunity to ponder and treasure the love, mercy and grace of God.
“God’s greatest desire is for us to know Him, and, while the teaching is the same, the journeys to knowledge and understanding are different. Even Mary needed to learn about unconditional love and unwavering hope, so God took her on a journey to the cross.”
~What has God taught you about unconditional love and unwavering hope?
We love because He first loved us which makes God the greatest Teacher about unconditional, expect-nothing-in-return love. His love is limitless in both quantity and the quality to change a heart of stone into a heart of flesh that beats for the sole purpose of His glory.
As you encounter God’s love along your journey of faith, it fortifies the hope of your salvation and provides an anchor for your soul in the midst of life’s storms (Hebrews 6:19). Unwavering hope can only be found in the One who never wavers and loves without question.
~What have been some of the costs for you of following Jesus?
Saying yes to Jesus is the most important and cause-for-celebration decision you will ever make. But following Jesus comes with a cost (Luke 14:33). Jesus doesn’t want part of you, He wants all of you.
Perhaps you’ve lost friendships or grown distant from family members who don’t understand your commitment to Christ, yet Jesus was clear in His invitation to His followers, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16:24 NIV)
The cost of following Jesus can be summed up in one word. Surrender. Surrender to the death of your flesh as Jesus gives new life to your spirit. It’s worth the cost.
As you ponder and treasure these questions coupled with the promises of God, I pray He broadens and deepens your walk of faith.
“God, broaden and deepen our walk of faith as we embark on this journey with Mary. By the power of the Holy Spirit, open our hearts and minds to Your will and Your way. Help us to identify with, relate to, endear, embrace, and fall in love with Mary, the mother of Jesus, as we grow closer in faith and love to the Father and the Son. In Jesus’s name. Amen.”
-Excerpt From When Only Faith Remains, Amy O’Reilly, This material may be protected by copyright.