About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

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  1. As someone who has spent her whole life trying to measure up and listening to the lies of the Accuser of the Brethren of just how unworthy she is, this chapter only cemented what the Lord has been doing in the past year in my life. It really brought to life, for me, in a real way that I AM holy and blameless before Him! I already am. It is funny, I have always given lip service to this, yet gone and lived my Christian life trying so hard to be holy.

    I became exhausted (literally) with trying to be holy. Oh, to have understood this concept years ago. I already am! The accuser accuses us day and night, pointing out all the weaknesses, all the sins, all unworthiness and we listen! We believe it. I hear it all over with the women that I minister too. (as well as out of my own mouth up until the last year 😉 When the enemy and his lies are exposed and we recognize the truth, we have a choice. It really is a simple concept, yet one that is a challenge everyday to live out.

    Who am I going to believe today? Do I believe my FAther who says that I am holy and blameless before Him??? Or do I believe the accuser who screams ‘unworthy’ to me all day long. Who also sneers, when I do fall, ‘see, I told you, you loser’. Who am I going to believe.

    I have lived with a spirit of accusation my whole life, but not any more! I cannot tell you how freeing this past year has been! Relentlessly pursue the freedom that is yours! When you hear those thoughts in your head, ask yourself, ‘who said that?’ Was it your FAther or the your accuser?

    Choosing Truth,

    Michelle

    • This: Do I believe my FAther who says that I am holy and blameless before Him??? Or do I believe the accuser who screams ‘unworthy’ to me all day long. Who also sneers, when I do fall, ‘see, I told you, you loser’. Who am I going to believe.

      Yes. This is what brought me to tears when reading this chapter. Kindred spirits. 🙂 Praise His name for the truth!

  2. What has struck me so far in reading these first 3 chapters is yes, I too have had it backwards (i.e. trying to “get to” the Holy), but also, now knowing that holiness is a gift, and that I am Chosen & loved, well, how can I disappoint God after receiving these gifts? He has given me such a precious gift, I feel that the virtues are my gifts back to Him…to wear the clothing of Christ, to do His will, live His way. Does that make sense?

    The insight this week was just fabulous! Loved the video!

    Thanks, Ladies, keep up the amazing work!

  3. Wow! This chapter really challenges me to think and live differently in light of who I am in Christ.

    Seed: I love the part on page 43 and 44 where Kelly asks us to think about whether or not we can live in light of the truth of Eph 2:8-9 in the “here and now,” rather than in our mental picture of heaven. Sometimes it’s like we say, “Wow, what a great promise,” but then we don’t live in light it — we think it’s “pretty” but not necessarily “practical.”

    Water: I need to put into practice “reckoning myself dead to sin” (Rom 6; see page 46). — I loved it where she said, “You can’t mess this up” (page 45). So liberating!!!

    Grow: May the Moody quote on page 48 be my prayer — Lord, help me to be a lighthouse, not a megaphone. I loved how Jessica pointed this out in the video where she said, “In Christian love…” Ouch! Help me to not be that person.

    • Loved that… how judgmental I can be… even with people I love, like my husband. I’m trying to get my heart around the concept that God is about personal relationships with them… and it isn’t my place to judge that. I have enough improvements of my own needed =)

  4. First off, let me say I am LOVING this book!!! So much is reallly hitting home…
    Seed: I am justified. Christ did the work. It’s not up to me to work it out. I don’t have to keep acting or striving or struggling.
    Water: I must accept this justification and realize I am CHOSEN and loved.
    Bloom: I am seeing a feeling of self-acceptance and a decrease in insecurity.

  5. How much do I love the way y’all are sitting in this video – it’s like you’re framing Kelly. 😉 Okay. Back to listening about holiness…

  6. I have only started on my journey in my heart. I didn’t go to church, pray or read the bible for the longest time, I was too cool for school. Then my husband died and my whole world was different. I started going to church once in awhile, God was so patient with me because now I am a member of a church, took a bible study I loved with a great group of gals and look forward to Sunday morning services. I look forward to the emails (in)courage sends me and I have started a collage prayer journal I try to work on every day or every other day. Reading the bible has become part of my day so I am transforming like a caterpillar into a butterfly. Even as things are so difficult sometimes in my life I find solace and joy sharing this Good News that was right in front of me all the time. I am so glad God waited, the artwork and poetry that I have been able to create has made my life better. Some day maybe I will share it. I am so glad I found this website to further my journey with God. Thanks !

  7. Loving this book also!!!
    But…it needs a catch phrase!
    How/What word can I remind myself often of who I am in Christ?
    Any great suggestions? =)

  8. Seed: This rocked and wrecked me. “It’s not always easy to believe that God sees me as perfectly righteous in Christ, especially since I know my own downfalls, my past and myself. I happen to have been around for my whole life, so I know the underbelly of me.” The realization that I say I believe He made me holy, and I DO believe it with my head, but in my heart, I compartmentalize certain areas of my life, as if those parts didn’t get washed in the precious blood of Jesus too. Like they’re some sort of spiritual “off-limits” place where only I can go, and that cause me guilt and grief even though I’ve repented and confessed, and like the hem of God’s robe of righteousness stops just short of covering those. It’s a “I believe; help me in my unbelief” moment. This brought me to tears, because I never realized that I saw myself this way. Thank you, Lord, and thank you, girls, for bringing this corner of my life to light.

    Water: Create a new script. When I feel the guilt and shame creep back in every time something arises that causes me to doubt that I am a child of the Most High and washed clean, remember this: For by GRACE are ye saved; It is a gift of God.” Present tense. “Not by works.” You can’t earn it, but also nothing you can do (short of unbelief) can take it away. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, HOLY and DEEPLY loved,….” I was chosen JUST AS I AM, sinful past and all, and am still justified and being sanctified…. still DEEPLY loved, despite those things.

    Grow/Bloom: FREEDOM to put on the character of Christ. Less striving, more hoping and joyfully letting those character attributes manifest myself and developing them. Less feeling like if I can do them, I can make up for the past.

    Woah. Glory be to God. 🙂

  9. I think this concept is one that is EXTREMELY hard for me to accept and take in, especially because (as someone who was not raised in a religious household) I can relate a lot to what Angie spoke about wanting a complete understanding of everything in the Bible and expecting one’s understanding to be the transformation.

    That being said, I really appreciated this chapter and this video. I need to be reminded regularly that my actions, failures, understandings…none of that is what makes me holy. Ultimately, God has given this gift of holiness to me and I need to learn to accept that with gratitude and without negotiations.

  10. Is it possible for us to download and burn the videos? Or just download it to my computer? We are doing this study at church and sometimes not good reception for internet and our schedule is a little different than the book club so we’re combining a few of the videos. Any suggestions would be great.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU for this study!!!!

  11. As I hear Kelly’s stories from growing up, I have to keep asking if we went to the same school! I can relate so much to her background and LOVED the comment about how “there was grace for eternal salvation with not a whole lot leftover for life on earth.” (p. 41) I was a good girl who hated to get in trouble (although, at my HS, I did get a dress code because I did not have my uniform knee-highs pulled up to my knees – yes, these were the battles waged! Not for being kind or helpful or even respectful… but over pulling up socks). Because I had those legalistic, judgmental influences, I thought a person’s behavior brought about either favor or lack of favor with God. Those who do the right thing are blessed and those who don’t aren’t. So, when I lived my life doing all those things I thought were right and experienced hard hard times, I found myself questioning God and His love for me (but since I still fear judgment, I’d never openly admit such a thing).

    Over the past several months, God has been showing me how He can use events and experiences that the world and even a lot of Christians would deem awful as gifts (Ann’s book was huge!)… as exactly what I need to be conformed to the image of Christ, and I am so grateful that He desires to change and grow me. He is taking away that judgmental attitude toward others AND He’s making me more grateful for even the difficult things. Instead of acting loving and kind because that’s how I’m supposed to act, I have these moments of true love and kindness in situations where they would not be my natural response. I love how this book is coming at just the right time in this process for me!

    SEED: I am holy because of Christ, not because of anything I do
    WATER: Believe God about the way He sees me (and live like I believe)
    GROW: Pray God will continue to change me so that I’m not acting virtuous because I know it’s the right thing to do, but because He has transformed my nature and my heart

  12. I loved this chapter. It answered some questions I have had much of my life about justification and holiness. Thank you Kelly for the simple and clear way you laid this out. It’s not new info for me, but the way you presented it brought new clarity to my heart!

    SEED: Pg 50 where Kelly talks about living differently: “… in a world where we are governed by selfish ambition and impatience and “don’t tell me what to do” and anger that flares up like an infection, how I yearn to live altogether differently, not simply because I’ve learned how to manage my behaviour but because God has changed me from the inside.” I am still struggling to believe that is true. I am HOLY because I was fearfully and beautifully made by the God of all gods. I am deeply loved. I need to let that little kernel burrow deep into my soul and start to believe it…
    WATER: Walk in faith that the above is true… It’s no life at all that is lived without the knowledge that I am holy in God’s eyes. I am tired of standing in the muck of shame and self deprecation. That is not putting on the clothes I am rightfully given in Grace to wear.
    GROW: Pray for eternal patience with myself. God isn’t rushing this process, He just wants His princess to know His love.

  13. I know these things. I teach these things. But yet, life as thrown so many ‘curve balls’ over the years that i have become mad at God, to the point of not knowing who i really am and what is, His place in my life. But also not wanting to let go of what i know in my heart to be right which leaves me somewhat confused at times. The closer i become to God the more i feel at odds with the world and its teachings and i find no peace there. I feel i need to be a light unto myself, then i know that light will shine into a darkened world.

    seed: that no matter what i do i am chosen and holy before God

    water: it’s time to lay those past mistakes and abuses at His feet and walk away ‘Our past sins, choices, even abuses perpetrated upon us, are good at puncuating our belief that God has made us holy in His sight’ – thay for me is just so so true.

    grow; letting go of my anger towards God, this will take time, some of the wounds are old and deep.

    Thank you all for your beautiful words.

  14. I am new to this blog/book club and the Lord no doubt brought me here just for this book. Chapter 3 can be summed up for me in this… “how I yearn to live altogether differently , not simply because I’ve learned how to manage my behavior but because God has changed me from the inside.” I can so identify with the idea of managing behaviors. That’s been my life up to this point… trying, struggling and then failing to get it all right. And becoming so weary at the fact that I have no idea how to “keep these clothes on!” My prayer is that I can finally begin to enjoy my own justification and revel in being a saint! Please, Lord, may this truth finally sink into my heart and change it for good.

  15. I’m so happy to hear you in the video and read the comments from the ladies studying along in their homes & churches. So often the comments & insights echo the very thoughts that I too have marked as I’ve been reading. These “intersections” serve to affirm my understanding & unite us as we grasp the beautiful truths that are being taught in this book. Thank you all for sharing so honestly. I really feel that many are struggling in their relationship with God simply because they don’t realize that God is the sovereign one who has given us these gifts and we simply need to recognize, revel, and rejoice in Him. Looking forward to the next portion of the study.

  16. So many times we read important truths in the bible, but then can’t seem to figure out how to “live” them, as Kelly stated in Chapter 1. I can relate! What an important truth to allow to sink to the depths of my soul-chosen and dearly loved by my Creator. Can’t wait to read more.

  17. I just want to say that I’m loving this book. I haven’t taken part in the discussion yet as I’m in a patchy wifi area right now while I visit friends.

    I need to live in the truth of here and now and where the clothes God has for me. Will participate more next week 🙂

  18. I am only on Chapter 2–still a little behind, but I want to share a little “kiss” from God today. I was meeting with a church group today and when it came my time to read the devotional, guess what Scripture I got? Colossians 3:12! Amazing! I shared with them how I am reading a book based on this Scripture. The Holy Spirit is working.

  19. Just a few things I highlighted in the chapter…..

    Page 44 – To be declared righteous and no longer guilty is the starting point, not just for a relationship with Jesus Christ, but also for the power to live like Him.

    Page 45 – Godliness does not begin with our righteousness, but with Jesus’.

    Page 50 – ….our being chosen, set apart as a saint and loved, is the sole work of God.

    Page 51 – And if being chosen, holy and loved is about anything, it is about our hearts.

    I know in my head that my righteousness, my adoption, even my being here on earth is all God’s doing, not my own, but being raised in a legalistic church and school, it is hard at times to not try to measure my holiness by my works and deeds. I have felt for most of my 25 years as a Christian that I just have not measured up to this standard that I have put in place, not God.

    God has chosen me to be holy because He loves me and through His choosing and His holiness, I am given the gift of adoption and holiness, by and through Him.

    Praying that my heart clings to these truths and does not try to weigh or measure my holiness against anything, but what God has intended for me to know and learn from Him.

  20. 2 Timothy 1:9 says that Christ “saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace”. Too often I sit in my lonely pit of despair feeling like a failure who can never measure up…when, the truth is that I WILL never measure up. He has made me holy, righteous, justified, not because of anything I have done, but because of GRACE. Oh, how I love that word.

  21. This chapter has been very healing–and spoken straight to my heart. The past several months I have longed to not just change my behavior…impatience, irritability, judgmental attitude, etc. I long to have my heart changed—from the inside out–the behavior will follow.