Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today's Scripture

“Jesus replied, 'All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.'" (John 14:23 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

This week's devotions are written from the perspective of Tammy Webb Witholt, author of Living Free curriculum Lessons Learned: Moving from Homosexuality to Holiness. Daughter of missionary parents, Tammy was called into ministry when she was eighteen but rebelled and spent the next eleven years as a prodigal and in her rebellion entered the subculture of drugs and homosexuality. In 1990, she discovered the redeeming power of God's love. Since then Tammy has graduated from college and studied at Asbury Seminary. Now married to longtime friend Wolter Witholt, Tammy is following God and engaged in a powerful ministry.

Although much of what we will say this week is directed to individuals who have been struggling with homosexuality, the lessons will speak to any of us who desire a closer walk with God.

From Tammy: "I saw the movie Rebel without a Cause when I was in my mid-twenties. As I watched the story of a young man who defied anyone in a position of authority, I found I closely identified with him. I too hated authority; within my culture (Same Sex Attraction), rebellion was glamorized and the word authority was offensive. After all, what is authority if it is not something to question or challenge?"

Tammy goes on to explain the difference between the movie character and those who have struggled with Same Sex Attraction (SSA): Unlike the movie character, they do have a cause. They are defying society and the church and all who make them feel like second-class citizens. They rebel against the culture of Christians who reject them and fail to make the church a safe place for their confessions.

Consider this …

As Tammy drifted in and out of relationships, her needs seemed to be met occasionally, but then the emptiness returned. Her eventual encounter with Christ's love changed everything as she placed her faith in him and invited him into her life. She realized her rebellion needed to be replaced by obedience.

Is there rebellion in your life? Against authority? Against God's plan for your life? Some of us have been people pleasers all our life; even so, in our heart we are rebels. Others of us are openly rebellious and defiant. And some have had a change of heart and sincerely want to obey God.

Where are you? Are you willing to honestly evaluate yourself?

Prayer

Father, help me to stop rationalizing and justifying the sin in my life by twisting the truth of your Word. Help me identify any rebellious attitudes within me and turn from them. Help me walk in obedience to your Word. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Lessons Learned: Moving from Homosexuality to Holiness by Tammy Webb-Witholt. This group study offers biblical tools, along with an abundance of hope, to anyone struggling with homosexuality. It is also a great group for anyone desiring a deeper walk with God. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Today's Scripture

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him." (Luke 15:20 NLT; suggested reading Luke 15:11-32)

Thoughts for Today

Tammy continues her story of moving from homosexuality to holiness: "I distinctly remember the prayer I prayed the day I decided to leave everything that made me feel secure and follow Jesus. I looked up into the brilliant blue sky, and though confusion still clouded my mind, I made a commitment to follow Christ—totally.

"My 'gayness' had defined me for over eight years. When I first entered the 'gay world,' I was ecstatically happy. I felt as though I had finally come home. I found a deep sense of belonging and a family of friends who embraced me and my homosexuality." Tammy goes on to explain she had several fulfilling relationships and eventually found the one she thought was the love of her life. But all the relationships ended—some sooner and some later—and she would find herself alone again. When the depression subsided, she resumed the familiar cycle of parties and dating and began looking for someone new.

"Early one morning after I left a bar, I was confronted with the irony of my life and the life of a friend who was dying of AIDS. In different ways, both of us were in a struggle to stay alive and both of us were looking for the 'love of our life.' I called out to God on his behalf and then I called out for myself. As I began to pray, it was as if a dam broke in my heart. I confessed my sins but told God I could not change who I was so he should not get his hopes up. I needed him, but I was not going to pretend to be something I was not. I promised to do two things: read the Bible and attend church once a week.

Though it was a small step toward God, he—like the father in the story of the prodigal in Luke 15:11-32—ran toward me.

Consider this …

Have you been looking in the wrong places for love and security? Like Tammy, it may be a same-sex relationship. But it could be something else. An adulterous relationship. A power job. Money. Popularity. Approval of others. The list is endless. And if you are trusting in anything or anyone other than Jesus for complete and lasting love and security . . . in the end you will be disappointed.

No matter what you've done . . . no matter how far you are from God . . . if you will turn to him with an open heart, he will run toward you.

Prayer

Father, please forgive my sins. I'm ready to trust you. I'm willing to change but I need your help. Help me become all you want me to be. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Lessons Learned: Moving from Homosexuality to Holiness by Tammy Webb-Witholt. This group study offers biblical tools, along with an abundance of hope, to anyone struggling with homosexuality. It is also a great group for anyone desiring a deeper walk with God. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today's Scripture

"Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant." (Galatians 1:10 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

We all face decisions daily. Some are small and some are life changing.

How do you make decisions? Who or what do you listen to when making choices? What influences you the most? There are many options—what other people think . . . society's politically correct menu . . . what fits in your comfort zone . . . and more.

Are you more interested in man's approval . . . or God's?

In the decision making process, we should all examine ourselves to identify anyone or anything influencing us more than God and his Word. Counsel from others can help—but only if it lines up with his Word. We must stay in the Bible to know God better and allow him to transform us and help us become all he has designed us to be.
 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.(Romans 12:2 NLT)

Consider this …

We should seek to win God's approval above all else. First, because that's what he calls us to do. But also because that's the only thing that makes sense. God loves us unconditionally. He is all knowing and all powerful. Only he knows what the future holds. Only he knows what is truly best for us.

Consider the following scriptures. Be encouraged to trust Jesus above all else. To believe he has a good plan for you. To trust and obey.
 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. (Isaiah 58:11 NLT)

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8 NLT)

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT)

Prayer

Father, forgive me for the times I fail to trust you for guidance. Even fail to ask for it. Help me to identify any influences that don't line up with your Word. Help me to seek you first. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Lessons Learned: Moving from Homosexuality to Holiness by Tammy Webb-Witholt. This group study offers biblical tools, along with an abundance of hope, to anyone struggling with homosexuality. It is also a great group for anyone desiring a deeper walk with God. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today's Scripture

"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Tammy continues. "When I came to Christ, will and came face-to-face. My will encountered his grace. My will stood obstinate and resistant; his grace stood patiently, hands extended in mercy and arms open wide in love.

"Many Bible verses speak of obedience. Our ultimate response to these verses is embedded in our view of God. That is why the prayer from Ephesians 3:16-19 (today's scripture) is such an important one to pray. I have prayed it for myself repeatedly over the years. Once we understand how deep God's love is, then we will no longer see his law as a list of endless, unattainable rules. We will understand that he has a plan that exceeds our own and we can trust him because his love is limitless."

Consider this …

God is all knowing. He has a plan for each of us. He has a plan for you. As we begin to comprehend how deep his love is, we will begin to trust his plan. To desire his plan above all else. And for this kind of growth, we must obey him. Because we love him. Because he loves us unconditionally and extends his mercy and grace to us. Because he is God.

Are you trusting him in every area of your life? Is that trust reflected in your obedience?

Prayer

Lord, I do believe but help me trust you more. Help me better understand your love and grace. Help me to respond in love and obedience. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Lessons Learned: Moving from Homosexuality to Holiness by Tammy Webb-Witholt. This group study offers biblical tools, along with an abundance of hope, to anyone struggling with homosexuality. It is also a great group for anyone desiring a deeper walk with God. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Friday, July 31, 2015

Today's Scripture

"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

The Word of God is clear about obedience and how it relates to the Christian walk. Obedience is not optional. In a world that offers no authoritative truth, we must resolve to accept the Word of God as the authority in our life and determine to submit and obey even in the areas that make no sense. We must determine not to dance around the truth even though we may feel powerless in our ability to obey.

No matter what our sin struggles may be, we all have stumbling blocks. We need to identify those hurdles and remain alert to our personal danger zones. If we continually place ourselves in the way of temptation, we will find it difficult to walk in obedience.

Temptations may be triggered by particular people, places, activities, and more. Determine to avoid anything that can be a stumbling block.

Consider this …

The good news is that God not only calls us to obey—he also gives us the tools that will help us succeed.
 

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT)


Don't try to overcome struggles and walk in obedience on your own. Depend on Jesus. Trust in God's love, wisdom, and power. Keep your eyes on him. Desire above all else to please him . . . and he will make it possible.
 

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

Prayer

Father, thank you for being my loving Father. I want to love you through my obedience. Forgive my defiance and help me see things as they really are so I may walk in total obedience. You are holy, Lord. I ask for wisdom and power so I can become the person you created me to be. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Lessons Learned: Moving from Homosexuality to Holiness by Tammy Webb-Witholt. This group study offers biblical tools, along with an abundance of hope, to anyone struggling with homosexuality. It is also a great group for anyone desiring a deeper walk with God. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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