Episode One | January 9, 2016 – Introductions & Who You Are In Christ
This is my inaugural podcast for this blog. I wanted to hop on and tell you a little bit about myself.
I have been working in vocational ministry for the last 12 years. I’ve served in a variety of ministry roles including women’s ministry leader, inner healing and deliverance minister and prophetic leadership. I currently serve at our local church as the membership director.
In 2012 I left my position in full time vocational ministry. I set out to explore my artwork as a business, develop my writing and I even began a weekly radio program on the FishBowl Radio Network (FBRN) which is an online radio station in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro area. Each week I jumped into the FishBowl and shared guests who had inspired me along with things God had been tugging on my heart about with thousands of listeners around the world.
The last few years have been full of ups and downs. I’ve taken on a few coaching clients. The radio shows have come and gone, but my artwork is beginning to sell and I’m looking to open a studio where we would showcase God’s gifts at work in individuals who seek to creatively express His glory and power to those around Him. Though the dream is not looking at all the way I imagined it – I haven’t given up. I press on toward the goal – the fullest expression of life that Jesus died to give me – and to declare His glory to the ends of the earth!
Through the years, I’ve worked in ministry alongside Biblical counselors and other ministry leaders and pastors learning so much about the Kingdom of God. Personally, I’ve discovered that God wants a deep and personal connection with the people who come into His Kingdom by receiving salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. He doesn’t just want to get you into Heaven, He desires to get into your heart.
My hope in doing this podcast is to help you realize a personal connection with God’s heart through creative expression. He created me to be creative. I look forward to sharing these things with you. The things we’ll cover together through the pages of Scripture are: Embracing Identity, Discovering Passion, Encouraging and Inspiring those Around You and learning to Live the Life Fully Alive that Jesus created and redeemed you to live.
I want to close this podcast today by reading one of my favorite chapters of Scripture. I encourage you to listen to what it says about WHO you are IN CHRIST.
For the next few minutes I’m going to read Ephesians Chapter One from the New King James Version. So take a moment to grab your own Bible, a pen and piece of paper or your journal and settle in to hear what the Holy Spirit would highlight for you as I read.
In Ephesians Chapter One the Apostle Paul is writing to the members of the church at Ephesus. If you’ve read through your Bible or received much teaching on the New Testament epistles – you may recall that Timothy was a leader at the church of Ephesus, that John’s Revelation of Christ revealed that this church had ultimately forsaken her first love, the Lord, in favor of the works of ministry.
Church history holds that John ended his life among the people at the church of Ephesus toward the end of the first century, AD.
We’ll begin our reading in Verse 1:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Redemption in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[b] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding[c] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Here are just a few of the things you may have jotted down in your notes as you read through Ephesians 1:
- In Christ you are BLESSED! Blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.
- In Christ you are CHOSEN! Chosen before the foundation of the world.
- In Christ you are HOLY & BLAMELESS!
- In Christ you are LOVED!
- In Christ you have always been predestined for ADOPTION as His Child!
- In Christ you are the PRAISE OF HIS GLORIOUS GRACE!
- In Christ you are ACCEPTED in the Beloved!
- In Christ you are REDEEMED from the curse!
- In Christ you are FORGIVEN all your sins!
- In Christ you KNOW of the Mystery of His Will!
- In Christ you are an HEIR of His Kingdom!
- In Christ you are PURPOSED!
- In Christ you are the PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!
- IN Christ you are one who HEARS the WORD OF TRUTH, the Gospel of our salvation!
Beloved, if you do not know Christ as your Lord and Savior, take a moment now to pray and ask Him to reveal HImself to you. To convict of your sins which put Jesus on the cross and make you a sinner in need of His grace and Salvation. Pray a simple prayer acknowledging your sinful state, your need of His grace, tell Father God you want to receive His Son as your Lord and Savior and receive the cleansing power of His grace upon your life! Salvation is a free gift given to us by God – you cannot earn it and He is ready to receive you where you are and walk you into a LIFE FULLY ALIVE!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:9-10 NKJV
WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYING TO YOU? Leave me a comment below to let me know you are tuning in and how God is ministering to you through the messages.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all written and photographic content is (c) Michelle Bentham, 2007-2016, All Rights Reserved.