To Be a New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19

new

When you become a Christian, a new life is born in you. Literally, you accept Christ’s sacrifice in place of your sins, and God forgives and redeems you. You are a new creation. God calls you New.

What does it mean to be a new creation? First, you are different from those who are not new. You desire to please God, and you choose what He commands. You can choose selflessness instead of thinking only of yourself. You are not held in bondage to your sins because you have been forgiven by the grace of God. There is freedom in being a new person.

Second, it means that you have a new purpose. Instead of living to please yourself and your desires, you are now a bearer of what the Apostle Paul calls “this wonderful message of reconciliation.” (NLT) You are not made new simply for your own benefit, but for the responsibility you now have of sharing the Gospel. You can bring the good news of salvation to people who do not know what it is like to fully accept God’s grace and forgiveness.

Who in your life does not know the joy of the Lord? Let your identity as a new person in Christ be a ready invitation offering them the same new life. How can you be a minister of reconciliation for him or her?

Originally published in Her Binder Project, February 2017. I absolutely love the free study resources at Her Binder Project and I completely recommend them. This is my first month writing for them, and I hope to continue!

Interested in which Bible I use for my daily study?
See my review of my two favorite Bibles here!

What does it mean to be a new creation? Thoughts from Grace Upon Grace Blog at deannalexis.wordpress.com

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I. Love. Reading. Since college graduation, a real job, and a wedding, I’ve been reading less. However, like I tell my students, writers must be readers! I recently read Chronically Hopeful’s What I’m Reading Wednesday, and I was inspired to write my own. Maybe this will encourage me to finish the books I’ve begun and begin new ones! Fitting for my word for the word, reading is one of my priorities, and I hope to continue my “What I’m Reading Wednesdays” for the course of the year.

{Note: I may use affiliate links in this post. If so, I only link to products that I use and love. Thank you for supporting me.}

Personal


For my personal growth, I am reading One Flesh: The Secret to a Blessed Marriage by Roberto Hernandez. I have the honor of knowing Mr. Hernandez, and he is a wonderful man, husband, and father. As a newlywed, I find the information and encouragement in his book to be extremely helpful and God-honoring. I hope to write a full review in the future once I’m finished.

 

Professional

I am in the process of renewing my teaching certificate with a Christian organization. My state certificate does not expire for several more years, but at my school, I am required to have both. One of the books on the reading list is Teaching Redemptively by Donovan L. Graham. I have the second edition, and I am loving it so far. Graham encourages his reader to think outside of the box and to consider what may or may not be working in today’s Christian schools.

 

Faith

While I am not reading a traditional Bible study book at the moment, I am working through the materials at Her Binder Project. They release a new study for each month of the year for free! This month’s theme is “Behold.” I’m also reading Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby with my husband as our nighttime devotional. Finally, the Scriptures themselves! I recently wrote a post reviewing two journaling Bibles, and I am loving my new Bible.

What are you reading?

Two Journaling Bibles: A Review!

After six years with the same Bible, I have invested in a new one. Bibles are not cheap, so it was quite a leap to make the purchase. The binding on my old Bible completely tore, and the entire thing was falling apart. Despite having this same copy of the Word through high school graduation, all of college, two trips overseas, and dating then marrying my husband, I knew it was time to move on.

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The first thing I was looking for in a Bible was plenty of room in which to write. As you can see from my old Bible, I write it in A LOT! I take notes along the margins, underline verses, circle key words, draw lines between phrases and words that are repeated, and so forth. I love it. However, I just did not have enough room to write everything I would have liked.

I began looking for a new Bible that could accommodate my superfluous note-taking habits. I also wanted it to be cute, and I really didn’t care for extras like devotions or concordances.

{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting me. I did not receive any compensation or products in exchange for these reviews.}

two-favorite-journaling-bibles

So without further ado, here are my two favorite picks and little about them.

Single-Column Journaling ESV Bible

On the outside, this hardcover ESV journaling Bible looks like something you might find in an antique store. The pages are a slight off-white that make it easier to read. Width measured from the outside edge of each page to the text is about one centimeter shy of two inches, and the margins have very light dotted lines. It includes a ribbon bookmark, a Through-the-Year Bible Reading plan, and a table of Biblical weights and measurements. This Bible is the English Standard Version with some footnotes. It has a lovely lay-flat binding. I have noticed some bleeding through and shadowing when writing/highlighting.

Journal the Word NIV Bible

With a more vibrant color on the cover, this softcover New International Version Bible is very bright. It has a ribbon bookmark and a lay-flat binding, just like the ESV Bible above. This Bible has a preface about the translation and a page of Biblical weights and measurements. From the edge of the page to the text is about a 2 inch margin. In some sections (such as the Psalms), it is closer to 2 and a quarter inches. There are light dotted lines in the margins. I haven’t noticed any bleeding through or shadowing.

Ready for my results?

esvsinglecolumnbible

ESV Journaling Bible

Pros:

  • Beautiful hardcover
  • Lovely off-white pages
  • I use the ESV at church

Cons:

  • Small font size
  • Some bleeding through and shadows
  • More expensive than some other options

nivjournalingbible

Journal the Word NIV Bible

Pros:

  • Bright softcover
  • Lighter/Easier to carry around
  • I use the NIV at work
  • Have not noticed any bleeding through pages
  • Less expensive than some other options

Cons:

  • Binding doesn’t seem quite as sturdy as hardcover Bible
  • Small font size

As you can see in the photo below, both Bibles and roughly the same size, are both single-column, and have similarly-sized fonts.  While I love the extra large margins, my only qualm with journaling Bibles is the small font size.

I’ve found that these two Bibles are very similar, however, with the hardcover comes a price increase of roughly $15. We actually used the ESV Hardcover Bible for our wedding guestbook, and it was perfect. Personally, I think that the NIV Journal the Word Bible will be exactly what I need for my everyday devotions and Scripture-reading, primarily because of the light weight.

journalingbibles2

I hope this review helped! Do you have a favorite Bible, journaling or otherwise? I would love to read your comments and questions below.