Fresh Start 2013: Day

Grace by faith

by

Today's Text: Joshua 2 + Hebrews 11:30-31

Text: Joshua 2 + Hebrews 11:30-31

Rahab.
A prostitute.
A pagan.
Not exactly a clean slate. 

But today we read a story of how God chose her and used her in big ways.

She is the first recorded Gentile to have a saving faith. [Joshua 2:11]

She is part of the lineage of Christ. [Matthew 1:5]

Rahab was feisty–she was smart.  But she probably wouldn’t have been a logical pick, in our human minds, for the role God gave her.
Are you starting to notice a pattern, sister?  Saul, the woman at the well, Rahab.

There is no story too messy for God.  No mistake too big. 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— [Ephesians 2:8, NIV]

It is a gift.  All grace.

But there is another important aspect of this story that we can’t ignore.

Action.

Rahab doesn’t just speak a faith in the Most High, but she acts upon it.  James 2 challenges us in this way:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. [James 2: 14-18, 25-26, NIV]

Don’t get me wrong, the gift is still a free gift.
And this gift means new life.  A fresh start.  New beginnings.  

And the fruit of the grace poured out on us are the actions–the changes in our life–that we see each day.

Will you be perfect? no.  [Romans 7:15]

But you are covered by His grace.  Forgiven.

Let your life be an outpouring of all He has poured out on you.

{If you’re unsure about what it means to be saved by grace through faith, here are some additional verses.

John 3:16
Romans 5:8
Romans 3:23
Romans 6:23
Romans 10:13
Romans 10:9

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  • utahseo.biz

    Rahab accept, however she accepted as well as followed up on what she accepted. She could have accepted what she had heard however said nothing to the spies and that might have been the end of her confidence. The spies might have finished their mission, left, and ambushed the city.

  • utahseo.biz

    reading the scriptures, learning from our spiritual mentors, attending church as much as we can, etc., but if we can't "apply" what we have learned (meaning if we don't come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior), then all we are doing is a check-off list. Rahab applied her Faith and she stepped out of the boat

  • imperfectlyimperfect

    Not just that he used the unlikely…reflecting on previous lessons…He knew these things would come to pass & HE placed her in that position for a purpose. I imagine that she had a talent for deceiving men, she was after all a prostitute. Wouldn’t part of their job description be acting? Making every client feel good, even if she didn’t like them? She had to make the men from Jericho believe her. God used the talents she had to carry out His will.

    Thank you Lord, for your mercies & divine plan. Help me to be a ready, willing, & able I instrument in your family. Help me to have the kind of strength & faith that Rahab had. Amen.

  • Joanne Sher

    Lord, thank you for the example of Rahab. Thank you for taking the messes we are and loving us, and giving us your amazing grace. Let my life be an outpouring of all You have poured into me!

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  • There is nothing too messy or mistake too big for God. Reminds me of the hymn grace grace God's grace grace that is greater than all my sin. Virtual Mobile Number

  • There is nothing too messy or mistake too big for God. Reminds me of the hymn grace grace God's grace grace that is greater than all my sin.

  • Yea for messy stories being smoothed out by our Savior!外汇期权/a>

  • David Bello

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  • Rahab believe, but she not only believed but acted on what she believed. She could have believed what she had heard but said nothing to the spies and that would have been the end of her faith. The spies would have completed their mission, left, and attacked the city.

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    I really like Rahab's tale. She considered. She served. She actually had a new beginning and new life. God is good.
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  • There is nothing too messy or mistake too big for God. Reminds me of the hymn grace grace God's grace grace that is greater than all my sin.
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  • Yea for messy stories being smoothed out by our Savior!
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  • calvin kelton

    I love Rahab's story. She believed. She acted. She truely had a fresh start and new life. God is good.
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  • I love Rahab's story. She believed. She acted. She truely had a fresh start and new life. God is good.
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    I love Rahab's story. She believed. She acted. She truely had a fresh start and new life. God is good.

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  • How do we accept grace and surrender to God over and over and over when we have no money in our pockets? I’m NOT questioning God. I firmly believe and do surrender – every single day. I’m just weary and worn. I have no Job. A child with special needs that are growing. My family has abandoned me. Friends help but I can’t go day after day to them. I am a single Mom with 2 estranged teens and a small boy who keeps me going but needs so much. I’m keeling my faith and my eyes on the Lord but it’s so hard sometimes when reality hits us in the harshest ways. I know I could have it worse and I am scared of that.

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  • Moreen G

    It’s not to God that our stories are too messy for but to ourselves. God holds us safe until we can face what we have done. It’s from ourselves we try to hide the truth from. God already knows and has forgiven us. The hard part is accepting His forgiveness, repenting, forgiving ourselves and with His grace , change. As Jesus said: “You’re sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”.

  • Today's reading was a great reminder that we can make grace a living, breathing, dynamic thing by our actions. The quote from James reminded me of how I feel when I work out. If I don't put my heart or spirit into a work out, I don't get much from it. If I were to do that all the time, I'd never get any stronger. Without any spirit, or at least will power to push through a work out, my body is pretty much lifeless. Similarly, our faith is literally lifeless without deeds. God has freely given such an amazing gift…why let it go to waste by just thinking about it occasionally and not acting on it often? I pray that I have the strength to put some action into my faith, or faith into my actions, and truly manifest His grace by acting faithfully. I pray to our Heavenly Father that we make our lives true reflections of the gift of new life He has blessed us with!

  • Love how you minister to me and each other here. We are all ministers! Some to different degrees but The Lord is using you and this forum to give hope and healing to so many. I love hearing your thoughts on the scriptures…it is ALIVE! Sueso

  • Michelle

    Thank you God for Grace. What would we do without you Jesus.

  • Faith without works is dead; if we are not working towards it then what is it? Dead! Work towards it in faith! Amen

  • aneta nina

    I read this post yesterday, but this morning I am referencing the scripture posted. I read all of Joshua 2, and love how Rahab was speaking the testimony of what the Lord did with the Red Sea. It reminds me how much we should be encouraged to speak of the great things the Lord does for us all – especially to those who don't know of His amazing GRACE!!!

  • Kylie Wong

    Lord i thank you for your grace , help me embrace it each day with gratitude and let the spirit lead me to act on the faith thru your word and bringing new changes each day..

  • mcmilljb

    This goes along with a series that my pastor is preaching right now called "The Path." We all need to stay on the path which includes prayer, reading the scriptures, learning from our spiritual mentors, attending church as much as we can, etc., but if we can't "apply" what we have learned (meaning if we don't come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior), then all we are doing is a check-off list. Rahab applied her Faith and she stepped out of the boat … she put her trust in God and she obeyed; as a result God protected her and her family.

  • I love Rahab's story. She believed. She acted. She truely had a fresh start and new life. God is good.

  • Living faith is what is required. Living faith is what produces!

    Rahab believe, but she not only believed but acted on what she believed. She could have believed what she had heard but said nothing to the spies and that would have been the end of her faith. The spies would have completed their mission, left, and attacked the city.

    She took what she believed (in her heart) and did something with her belief; she gave it life. She told the spies (confessed) and salvation came to Rahab and her household (Romans 10:9-10).

  • My first time on this site but I just got motivated.Thank you Lord that I am not alone,I took this moment and counted my blessings.I thank you Lord Jesus Christ for the holy spirit Im not alone..

  • Yes when you worship God you are telling Him He is The Lord of your life! And you Love Him above All Else! I am reading a book called The Prayer That Changes Everything by Stormie O'Martian. In her book she says the first thing you must do when the negative comes in is to stop everything and worship God. How I started doing this which was about three weeks ago was just stop what I was doing and whisper to God where ever I was , "I Worship You O Lord Most High!" Or if in public silently say those words. No room for negative! I called my best friend Erin and told her about it! She struggles too with negatives! She practices it now and she said, "Nance it works!" "I KNOW" was my reply and It's so Awesome!" Try it! And it will become a habit
    Because… Well you see! Had to repost to new comment because through this act of worship wherever I am I tell God He is The Lord of my Life! And know one has to know, and my relationship has become so intimate with My Father,His Son, and The Holy Spirit because He knows I am a very private person and get embarrassed easily and shy away from those who make fun of me. I'm just sensitive! He never judges me or laughs or makes fun! God has met me where I am at and Loves me (yeah little ole me with all my past and feeling so unlovable cause of mistakes I thought were "bad") beyond all measure! Wow, I just have to say God is My Dad, My Best Friend in Jesus, and He tells me all this through His Holy Spirit! Amen!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jesusgirl71

      Wow Nance! I hear it said to "worship god" and I think, "what do I say?" I then draw a blank. but now you've given me what I can say. thank you. I love Stormy O'Martien. will have to look for this book.

      • Nance

        You're welcome so much! And yes love her too. Have you read The Power of a Prayerful Woman (not sure if this is title) not read it yet. I'm going to purchase.

        • jesusgirl71

          NO I haven't. since I am blind, I have limited sources for books, and my source doesn't have that one. Will check audible though and nook. I can use those too. I have read "Power of a praying Wife," though.

          • Nance

            How is Power of a Praying Wife? Who wrote it? Were you born blind?

          • jesusgirl71

            Yes, I was. Stormie wrote that one too. it's really good.

  • jesusgirl71

    O Lord, I thank You for Your free gift of grace. Thank You that You use messy people like me. O Lord, I want my life to be an outpouring of Your grace. this is where i beat myself up all the time. I know I fail every day in this. Yes, in my head, I know I am covered by grace, but I have trouble getting this to my heart. Please tell me I'm not alone here.

    • Nance

      Oh you are not alone! I have come to realize that no matter what I have done I am Loved by God so deeply I cannot begin to Fathom the intensity of His Love for me! I used to beat myself up all the time, and now I praise The Lord God in every situation and He has shown me so much Love and Grace that there is no room for the negative to come in because you know the negative one cannot dwell in a Peaceful Believer of Christ! I Love My Father, His Son, and The Holy Spirit so much that my eyes fill with water for Joy so many times during the day!

      • jesusgirl71

        Thanks for this Nance! I really want to get to this point. i want to destroy all the negativity. I am not there yet, but I am trying. thing is, I am trying and yet I know really I cannot do it; god has to. Trying so hard to be thankful. sometimes, i draw a blank but I know there always are things to be thankful f;r I just have to find them. I know I can be so selfish sometimes, and I hate that about myself.

    • Alyssa

      You're definitely not alone! :) I've been struggling with anxiety and guilt lately and failing to realize that I have to actually accept God's forgiveness that he is so willingly giving me. I read a quote that said something to the effect that accepting Grace is an act of worship and guilt comes when we fail to accept that Grace. Powerful stuff… I'm so blessed and so thankful that nothing I have done or will do is bigger than God's sufficient Grace. :)

      • jesusgirl71

        Wow! Accepting grace is an act of worship1 never thought of it that way.

        • Nance

          Yes when you worship God you are telling Him He is The Lord of your life! And you Love Him above All Else! I am reading a book called The Prayer That Changes Everything by Stormie O'Martian. In her book she says the first thing you must do when the negative comes in is to stop everything and worship God. How I started doing this which was about three weeks ago was just stop what I was doing and whisper to God where ever I was , "I Worship You O Lord Most High!" Or if in public silently say those words. No room for negative! I called my best friend Erin and told her about it! She struggles too with negatives! She practices it now and she said, "Nance it works!" "I KNOW" was my reply and It's so Awesome!" Try it! And it will become a habit
          Because… Well you see!

    • Nance

      I worship God anytime a negative thought about anyone,including me, or anything comes to mind! So I would say I continually worship God throughout the day and night. Night used to be the time when the negative would scare me awake, but no more Sister, I Worship God in the midnight hours and he rocks me back to sleep! :)

  • “His love is stronger than things that make me undeserving of it.” Grace, grace, grace.

  • Thank you Lord, for your grace. Thank you that I know I can go about my day confidentially in your sweet grace. That you map out and pave the path we follow. Thank you that I know that know that no matter what struggles lie ahead, if you brought me to them YOU will bring me through them. Bless these wonderful sisters in Christ whom I have so greatly enjoyed connecting with through this site! Have a fantastic weekend sisters!

  • There's this quote I came across that I found so comforting:

    "You are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you."
    ~JJ Packer

    I've been stumbling lately and was worried about my relationship with God. I was worried my life, my actions, my thoughts were too messy for God. But I realized that's the power of God's grace! And that just by continually seeking him (faith not my works) that is was still always right there the whole time! Powerful stuff!
    And the more I seek Gods forgiveness the more i realized I need to forgive others. I'm not always perfect at it but if Jesus can forgive me then its only right I reflect his love. How can I ask God without expecting the same from myself? This is just something I'm currently working on in my spiritual journey.

    • jesusgirl71

      What a wonderful quote! yes, i am struggling with the forgiving others thing today. had a dream about an aunt that I realized through god hsowing me a grudge I have had against her that I didn't even realize I was holding. I said, "Ok, god, I forgive her; now help me to live that out."

    • Nance

      :)

    • martina

      Caitlin, thank you for your post. I love the connection you made between seeking God's forgiveness and extending that forgiveness to others . I too am working on this in my faith journey. It IS tough stuff. And then I remember-again- God's grace about all that is messy. He will work this out in my/your heart in His good time. God bless you.

  • I think Rahab is one of my favorite Old Testament redemption stories.

  • I love todays devotional! Often times people will judge Christians who have turned their lives around, who may have not been very "Christian-like" before. This passage shows how amazing and how GRACIOUS our God is! Rahab was a prostitute and she intentionally lied about the spies. Yet, God spared her and her families lives because she was faithful. He can change you! You have to let Him in your life and live his message and you will be changed. Thank you, oh gracious God for your Son and the gift of Salvation, though we are undeserving sinners!

    Have a wonderful weekend ladies!!!

    • Nance

      I am a believer cause I can testify to what you wrote! Thanks for sharing!

  • Ingrid – Amen!
    Erika – Definitely agree, it’s great!

    Faith in spite of fear, strength in weakness, grace for the sinner – Gods ways truly are not our ways!

    Praying for growth in Gods ways & strength to pour His love out to those around me.

  • TMichelle

    I cannot express enough how the past few days have been right on time! I have been fasting with my church and prayed some very pointed and specific prayers. Each day our passage confirms my prayers and each Sunday my Pastor does the same. I am so thankful for this journey and the She Reads Truth group. God uses broken vessels and the "unlikely" to proclaim His glory! So glad He trusted me enough!

  • rocknitat55

    This morning Lord as I marvel at your love and care for me I am speechless.
    My heart leaps, my eyes tear up and my hands go up!

    Ladies I am stil awe struck over yesterdays lesson, the woman at well. Jesus coming where u r.

    As a child I suffered abuse at the hands of my dad. And as a result I began to look for love n all the wrong places. But one day Jesus came and found me!
    He knew that I did not trust or understand what a fathers love looked like.
    Oh but for grace and mercy! Pulling me out of a miry pit.
    I look up, not around, not down at my mess, nor back at my pass.
    Up up to the hills from which my help comes from.

    Lord this morning I thank u for bestowing upon me the honor of ministering to your people. For choosing me. I acknowledge that I can never be smart enough, nor good enough. It is not I but you.

    Ladies may God grant your hearts desire as you meditate upon his word:)

  • lisabethjean

    Yea for messy stories being smoothed out by our Savior!

    • Dea

      Oh Absolutely! As humans, it’s in our nature to do so, but God’s grace and mercy makes it perfect. This reminds me of the scripture that asks, Is there anything to hard for me?

      Thanking my God for looking beyond my humanly mess…to bless me, little ole me!

  • LindsayMelrose

    Such a heart warming reminder that nothing is too big, too messy for the Almighty. Regardless of what my natural sees and feels regarding a situation or season, but when I turn to Him seeking Him who.is greater than that that is in front of me, gives me peace and encouragement. What a good word today sisters. She had faith as small as a mustard seed and walked her faith OUT! By Faith and Action she came to know the Savior, blessed Redeemer. Blessings Sisters in Faith let us go and serve Him alwayd givibg our best and remembering never jidge a book by its cover as Rahab reminds us today!

  • So nice to know God's got my back.. He's got me covered. Soooo grateful for a fresh start :)

  • This plan is one of the best yet! Truly blessed by it, everyday! Thankful!

  • @Ingrid – thanks for your prayer!

    @Kim – I’m a ‘starter’ too, so I can relate :o). In really enjoying this devotional and the conversation with all you ladies.

    The story of Rahab always gives me pause. She lied to protect the spies, yet God honoured her desire to be faithful to Him. I don’t understand all of God’s ways, but I ask Him to help me be blindly faithful!

    Have an excellent day, ladies!

    • Crystal

      Sorry Abi, meant to hit thumbs up and got the wrong one :(
      I too was thinking, is she not telling the truth! Its a little confusing but God works in mysterious ways! Its funny when you have one of those moments where you understand why something has happened the way HE wanted it to!
      Have a lovely day ladies! Until tomorrow…

  • There is nothing too messy or mistake too big for God. Reminds me of the hymn grace grace God’s grace grace that is greater than all my sin.

  • kim marshall

    Thank you for this excellent reading plan. I’m actually reading it daily and working to apply it. God is giving me the will to finish this (tend to start and not finish things)

  • Madeleine

    So true Janet, grace is awesome. I have made mistakes and will make them in the future, but His love covers them all. This devo reminds me that we are clay jars, always imperfect, but being perfected by the Potter. This gives me hope and gratitude as we start the weekend! Have a Saturday full of grace, ladies.

  • Nothing beats the reality of grace…amazing grace! Loved the reminder that there is no way my story is too messy for God, and no way that any mistake I have made is too big for Him to forgive! Loved being reminded of this grace 1st thing this morning! Truly, what a fresh start to the day:)

  • Lord I thank you for this new day, I thank you for this devotion, I thank you for your word I thank you for all the women reading and connecting with you today through your word I thank you for the gift of salvation. Thank you for my family and friends. Thank you LORD…. Thank you.

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