Blogs

Regaining Trust in…Trust
Janelle Alberts
Feeling Blocked?
Courtnaye Richard
To Grow as a Writer
Christina Fox

About Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.

Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson
RSS this blog Archives Contributors

Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.

Why God's Grace is Greater Than Your Works

In Galatians 3 we learn that if we are saved by faith, then we also walk with Christ by faith. Our faith is not only for the prayer we say when we ask Christ into our lives, and then it’s up to us to figure it out from there. The faith that saved us is the same faith that will keep us.

“I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” – Galatians 3:2-3‬ (NIV‬‬‬‬)

Paul is pretty much telling us: don’t fix what’s not broken. If you were saved by faith, then you also walk with Christ by faith. Our faith is not only for the prayer we say when we ask Christ into our lives, as though it’s then up to us to figure it out from there. The faith that saved us is the same faith that will keep us. It is your faith in God’s grace that leads to righteousness, not works, or striving, or hustling. We are saved by faith, so we live by faith.

The Galatians knew that their salvation was only because God’s grace through faith. But now they were tempted to think that this same grace and faith was not enough to help them maintain their walk with God. So Paul has to remind them to get the equation right:

Faith = righteousness
Works = death, because your work can neither save you nor keep you.

When we don’t understand this, this is when we see a lot of self-righteousness. It’s that feeling like, “OK, Jesus saved me, but now I feel like I need to work to deserve that salvation.” It’s like we’re trying to work off a debt because we feel we owe God, but the debt has already been paid by Jesus on the cross. So when we work with the mindset of, “Oh, I need to pay Jesus back,” we’re not operating in the grace that keeps us. We need to work with the mindset of, “I want to do right because of what Jesus has already done.” We need to work and live from a stance of gratitude and not a mindset of debt and feeling like we owe God. 

In Galatians 3 Paul gives us the example of Abraham, who is known as the father of faith. In verse 6 he says:

“So also Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” – Galatians 3:6 (NIV)

When we believe in Jesus Christ, He takes on our sin and grants us His righteousness. This means that because of our faith, now when He looks at us, God does not see our sin. He sees His Son. Paul continues:

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
Galatians‬ 3:13-14‬ (NIV‬‬)

Jesus took on the curse of our sin, and give us His righteousness. Paul reminds the Galatians that this happens not because of their heritage or background, but because of their faith in Christ.

Even Abraham, who was a Jew, was not saved for being Jewish. He was saved because of His faith. So Paul explains that although the Galatians are not Jews, they still can receive the salvation of God that comes through faith and believing in God. And so can we. The moment we turn from faith to works and try to live life independent of God, we’ve already turned away from the faith that saves and keeps us, and the righteousness that follows.

Practical ways to avoid sin are good. Set your boundaries, make your lists, by all means get some accountability partners. But do not place your faith in those means. Put your faith in the grace of God, because the grace that saved you is the same grace that will keep you until the end. Humble yourself and know there is no amount of works that we can do to empower us to live the righteous life that God desires.

I know this is scary because we don’t want to sin. I know you have a heart for God. I know you want to do what’s right. But listen carefully to me when I say this: God does not want us to live in fear of sinning. He wants us to live in love with him. So instead of striving to not sin, we strive to see God. We strive to get as close to Him as we can because that is what leads to righteousness—being in His presence and humbling ourselves before Him, and saying, “Lord, I ask for the grace not to sleep with my boyfriend before we get married, grace not to lie to my boss, grace not to become angry and impatient with my kids, grace not to look at pornography, grace not to become resentful toward my husband, grace not to gossip, grace for all sin that wants to destroy the life You have given me.”

At the core of our walk with God, it’s not about rules; it’s about surrendering our lives to Him and desperately relying on His grace. It’s giving our weakness to God and saying, “God, I can’t do it. Will You?” This is where grace works. The Bible tells us God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. God can handle your weakness, so He does not want your rules, He wants your faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

So when you are tempted to trust in your works over God’s grace, I want you to remember that your works did not save you and they will not keep you. Only God’s grace can do that. And His grace is enough. His grace always does what your works can never do. And that stands true today, tomorrow, and forever.

Now I want to hear from you, Beloved. Do you ever get tempted to rely on your works? When you do, how does God help you to get back on track? I can’t wait to chat with you in the comments!

If you enjoyed today’s message please be sure to share it with a friend because you never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. I post new encouragement every week so be sure to join Beloved to have my weekly devotion “Hello Beloved!” delivered directly to your inbox. For more encouragement let’s connect on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube. As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time be beautiful, be blessed and beloved.

 


Do Not Set Aside the Grace of God

Galatians 2:19-21 reminds us not to “set aside the Grace of God.” Why? Because God’s grace is the only thing that can truly bring healing, satisfaction, and salvation in our lives. And this grace is serious business. It is by grace that the God of the universe sent His only Son to die that we may be forgiven of our sin and receive power to live for Him. So today I want us to learn what it really means to not set aside the grace of God so we may experience the free life Jesus died for us to live.

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:21 NIV

The Christian Galatians have been tempted to think that in order to receive salvation from God they must partake in Jewish traditions. So the writer of the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul, has fervently been advocating against this false belief using argument after argument to support the true Gospel that says there is nothing we can do to be saved. We are only saved by grace through faith. And in doing so he reminds the Galatians that the law, or the rules given to the Israelites by God through Moses, only show us our sin but cannot save us from it. We are only saved by the grace of God. So I love that Paul says: I do not set aside the grace of God. Because this is essentially what the Galatians were doing. This is what we do every time we think we can earn our salvation, we reject God’s grace and the work Jesus has already done on the cross.

When my son is finished eating he always does the same thing to let us know he is finished. He pushes his plate away from him, setting it aside as a message that he no longer has need for it anymore. When I’m cooking I set aside the ingredients that I don’t need yet, ingredients that will be of no use to me in the current moment. When it comes to finances, my husband and I set aside money that we do not want to use. When you set something aside it’s because you don’t need it, it’s in your way, you don’t want to use it, or it’s not important. There are times and reasons we need to set certain things aside but God’s grace is never one of them.

Maybe you’ve set aside the grace of God because you feel you need to work for His love and approval. Maybe you’ve set aside the grace of God because you feel like your sin is just too much, you are in the pits of sin and you think not even God’s grace can pull you out of this one. Maybe you know that God is powerful, and a healer, and deliverer, and can do anything, but you’ve set aside the grace of God because you don’t trust that He will do it for you. Despite our feelings, fears, and how great our sin may be the Word of God tells us not to set aside the grace of God.

No matter how hard we try, we cannot receive salvation without grace. Grace is the unearned favor of God. The Bible tells us it is a gift and you don’t earn gifts, you can only receive them.  So do not set it aside for any reason.

If you are tempted to think otherwise, let’ go there and see what happens. Let’s just go down this path of thinking we can earn our own salvation. Let’s say there is some level of work we can actually achieve that will grant us salvation, right relationship with God, and forgiveness of our sin through our own work and effort.

Then what?

Paul pleads and reasons that if this is the case, then Christ died for nothing. He explains that if righteousness could be gained through our effort, work, and our trying to be good then Christ died in vain.

Let’s think this through Beloved. If there was another way for us to be saved, if we could somehow work for it, if we could somehow be good enough for it, do you honestly believe God would have sent His only Son to die in our place?

If there was another way for us to have our sins forgiven that we may be in right relationship and right standing before God do you think that God would have allowed His Son to suffer even one minute? Would He have allowed His Son to carry such a lonely, bloody, and gruesome burden if there was another way?

I cannot logically believe that if there was another way for God to bring salvation into this world He would still have allowed His son to be crucified. His only Son, with whom He was well pleased to take on such a punishment if it were not necessary.

God allowed it because it was the only way for us to receive forgiveness of our sins and salvation. It was the only act of God that would reconcile us to God and prevent our eternal separation from Him. It shows how much He desperately wants us and to be in relationship with us so every time we set aside God’s grace, it’s like telling Jesus he really didn’t have to die. It’s like saying it wasn’t that serious.

But because Jesus did die, because He freely gave His life, reason tells us it was not for fun or sport but because it had to be done. If Jesus did not die, there would be no salvation for anyone.

So the next time you are tempted to think you are not good enough for God, that your sin is too much to forgive, that your past is bigger than His love for you I urge you to resist putting aside the grace of God. Because Christ did not die for nothing. He died for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for your grace. Not only for it’s salvation but also for it’s power. I pray for the strength to be lead by your grace in all that I do. I love You. In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen.

Now I want to hear from you Beloved! This week I simply want you to write “I do not set aside the grace of God!” in the comments then I want you to go out and live like it!

If you enjoyed today’s message please be sure to share it with a friend because you never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. I post new encouragement every week so be sure to join Beloved to have my weekly devotion “Hello Beloved!” delivered directly to your inbox. For more encouragement let’s connect on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube. As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time be beautiful, be blessed and beloved.


How to Speak the Truth in Love

Today I want to discuss one of the most challenging things we will have to do in life and that is correct or confront someone in the wrong. Maybe it is a friend, a church member, a child, or a family member. If you’ve lived long enough you know there are a million ways we can get this wrong but I’ve learned there is one way we can get this right. The Bible instructs us to speak the truth in love. So how do actually speak the truth in love? What does that mean and how can we practically do that in our relationships and conversations? We’ll be answering all these questions and more in today’s video. Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the relationships and influence you have entrusted me with. I pray I serve You and others well with my words. May my speech build others up for your glory and not tear them down. I love You. In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen. Thanks for watching Beloved and if this week’s video blessed you please share it with a friend. You never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. I also want to invite you to visit www.belovedwomen.org to sign up to have my weekly devotion called "Hello Beloved!" delivered directly to your inbox every Monday morning. And for more encouraging videos be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/BelovedWomenTV. you are loved, Christina