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Encouragement for Your Soul with Ashley Wiggers
In Christ

n the previous issue we completed our theme of breaking free. We devoted each issue last year to breaking free from the most common homeschool mindsets that hold us back. Now, we’re ready to step in. What are we stepping into exactly? More of who we truly are. This year, each issue will focus on a different aspect of the most important homeschooling priorities so we can step into them in a greater way.

This issue is all about stepping into faith, the most important priority of all. We’re going to look at how it affects our homeschooling life and how we can encourage our children to grow in it. The place we must begin when stepping into a deeper understanding of our identity has to be at the feet of Jesus. The beautiful feet of Jesus that hung for us in the most excruciating method of execution that has ever or will ever exist. The Bible says that was the appointed time for Him to come to earth.

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

— Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV
The appointed time was when the most horrific method of death would be the one He endured. My Jesus gave it all for me, and I will give my all embracing His sacrifice. I cannot hold back my celebration or thanksgiving! He did it for me! For you! He did it so we could be brought close again. He removed the thing that separated us, our sins, and He clothed us in His marvelous light.
white daisies in grass field
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”

— 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
I love this Scripture that shows how He chose this back before we were even here:
“… He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…”

— Ephesians 1:4-5 NKJV
Now in myself, I am not holy and without blame. So how is it we can call ourselves what Scripture says we are? When I explain this to my kids, I tell them, it’s like we’re wearing a Jesus suit. When the Father looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus.
“And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”

— 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 ESV
My husband and I have started doing something new this year. The Lord put it on our hearts at the beginning of the year, and while we thought it would just be a short-term thing, it has become something so significant to the way we start our day, we don’t ever want to stop.

We take communion together. We each pray over the elements and remind ourselves of the sacrifice of Jesus and what His sacrifice means for us today. He paid it all. I regularly thank Him that He took the full measure of the suffering required to pay the price for my forgiveness and acceptance.

We tend to put a lot of focus on the old version of us, the one that’s not in Christ. When I think of the cross and everything Jesus went through, I have to lay aside this feeling that makes me want to shy away from seeing myself as scripture says. But I’m not worthy! I think. The thing is, we don’t have a choice in the matter, if we truly want to honor the sacrifice of Jesus. This was a decision God the Father made. He sent His only Son to give everything for me so that I could wear a Jesus suit!

“… and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

— Ephesians 4:24 ESV
We often have this false idea about sanctification, that if we beat ourselves up enough over our shortcomings it will create change and bring honor to Jesus. We try to berate ourselves into betterment. The Scripture below says as you received Jesus, so walk in Him.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”

— Colossians 2:6-10 NKJV
close up short of daisy with background out of focus
How did you receive Him? Salvation was a gift received by faith. That’s how the Kingdom operates. We don’t give ourselves the gift of sanctification through our own efforts. We receive the gift of righteousness given to us in Christ and allow His fruit to grow in us.

It’s easy to see ourselves outside of Christ. There’s all of our faults and brokenness on display. And it somehow feels right to point to our areas of weakness and punish ourselves for where we failed. But think about it for a minute, didn’t Jesus take on our punishment? So if that’s true, in a way we’re dishonoring His sacrifice by punishing ourselves aren’t we? As if we’re trying to pay for it too? He already did. He paid the price for us to see ourselves in a new light.

So what if we switched our focus? What if we put our focus on the new self in Christ and embraced these scriptures as if they were really true?

Yes, we still have the old self to deal with. But what if we dealt with it in the light of focusing on the new? We’d be living from our true self in Christ instead of always seeing ourselves as the old me trying to become new. We would live as those who have been set free from sin instead of trying to set ourselves free.

“…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

— 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

— Romans 6:4 ESV
No, we’re not perfect. But in Christ, my Spirit was born again and brought into His perfection. So if I live from there and see myself that way, my focus is where it should be, on what Jesus did, not on me. And from my focus being set on Him, His life can do its work in me and produce change in any areas of weakness.
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”

— 1 John 4:17 NKJV
flower bush in a grass field
It takes faith to see ourselves as new creations in Christ. If we walk through this life constantly pointing to who we’re not, we’ll never be able to step into who we really are and all that Jesus paid the highest price to give us. When we focus on what’s negative about us, we’re focusing on the old. When we see ourselves in Christ, we’re focusing on the new. It’s not that we ignore sin, it’s that we realize the way to defeat sin in our lives is by setting our minds on the fact that we’re wearing a Jesus suit and have access to the fruit of His Spirit dwelling in us.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

— Colossians 3:1-3 ESV
I encourage you to search the Scriptures and see how God talks about those of us who believe in His son. Look up the amount of times the term “in Christ” is used. You might just find yourself amazed at all that Jesus did when He gave Himself up for us as a ransom.
Let’s step into more of who we are in Christ this year and surrender ourselves to the Father’s perspective!
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Publisher & Co-Executive Editor
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