Pleasing Him, Bearing Fruit, and
Growing in Knowledge
Throughout the New Testament, we read of Jesus’s disciples “preaching the gospel” throughout the land. They shared the truth about Jesus and what he accomplished through his life, death, and resurrection with anyone and everyone who would listen. The message and proclamation of the gospel are just as important and powerful today as it was then.
For those of us who had the privilege of growing up in a Bible-believing church, we may have heard “the gospel” spoken of hundreds of times. Many of us have shared our testimonies of how God rescued us from sin and set us on a new path – His path - but have we chosen to remind ourselves daily of the significant price Jesus paid for our sins? Do we look at our responses to feeling hurt, rejected, disrespected, unloved (etc.) through the lens of what Jesus endured on the cross? Do we remember and believe that how being “in him” means we are loved, accepted, chosen, redeemed, justified, a saint, and a child of God? Because of Jesus, we have a new identity! We are no longer slaves of sin but have been set free by his perfect sacrifice.
Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of being in the company of women who gracefully, but with biblical truth, speak into areas of my life where I am elevating my rights, feelings, or choices to the point where they become “a stuck spot.” I get stuck when I focus on myself or how someone has hurt me and didn’t bring those to Jesus and lay them at the foot of the cross.
A stuck spot revealed itself to me when my daughter didn’t appear excited to see me after being gone for several days. I expected a little enthusiasm and cheering. What I got was one-word answers to my questions and the brush off because she was feeling “angsty.” As I felt my disappointment move toward frustration and anger, I stopped my thinking and started to pray. I confessed to Jesus my hurt and unmet expectations. I acknowledged I wanted my daughter to meet the need I had to feel loved. The truth is as much as I love my daughter and I know (deep down) she loves me, it’s not her job to meet my felt needs. Only Jesus can meet all my needs and do it perfectly. He is the better Lover of my Soul and Provider. He also understands what it feels like to be rejected by those he loved and were closest to him. He experienced that with his disciples and, specifically, with Peter when he denied him three times. We have a Savior who understands our hurts and wants to heal them.
So as I continue to practice preaching the gospel to myself, I remember:
If this is not part of your daily life, let me encourage you to listen closely for the Spirit’s prompting and lean into where he is pointing out a “stuck spot” in your life. He wants you to be free from those things that are keeping you from growing and walking closer to Jesus. Surround yourself with people who are willing to point you to Jesus, speak truth to you when you believe a lie, and BE the type of woman who will do that for someone else.
Kristin served as Teen Mother Choices first Program Director in the 1990’s. In 2012, Kristin joined TMCI as our first Training Coach. In 2016, Kristin became TMCI’s Training Director.