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A Confident Heart Devotional

When Grace Kneels Before You

Welcome Encouragement for Today friends! I’m so glad you hopped over after reading my devotion!  I’ll explain in just a minute how to enter today’s giveaway. But first I want to share 3 ways we can replace our guilt-induced doubt with grace-infused confidence pulled from Day 12 of  my “60-Days to Stop Doubting Yourself Confident Heart Devotional“:

“She never thought anyone would find out about their affair, but now her secret and her sin would be public.

Just as the people gathered in the temple, surrounding Jesus as he sat down to teach them, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had be caught in the act of adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus,

“Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.” (John 8:2–6)

They hoped Jesus would condemn her, but the opposite happened.

Instead of lording over her, Jesus lowered Himself before her. Grace knelt down to write on the ground. {tweet this?}

“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. (vv. 6–8)

The Bible doesn’t tell us what Jesus wrote but I’ve always wondered if it was the Ten Commandments, since her accusers said Moses’s law commanded them to stone her. Plus, after writing, Jesus challenged them to examine their own sins and see if any of them were without fault.

When Jesus stooped down to write a second time, perhaps He wrote over the law with redemption. Could it be that He covered the commandments with words like grace, forgiveness, and mercy. Scripture doesn’t say. But we do  know that something radical happened. Everyone dropped their stones and walked away.

“At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (vv. 9–11)

In my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion today, I shared about a time when I really blew it and guilt convinced me I was no longer qualified for my calling. But God used my friend and spiritual mentor/mom, MaryAnn Ruff, to show me what the redemption of God’s grace looks like. And ever since that day, Jesus has been teaching me how to replace my guilt-induced doubt with His grace-infused confidence.

3 Ways to Replace Guilt-Induced Doubt with God’s Grace-Infused Confidence


Remember: Remember sin is not who you are; sin is what you do. 
Although Jesus knew this woman had sinned, He made sure she and the crowd knew her sin was not who she was. It was what she had done.

Her sin didn’t get the final say. Jesus did.

Refuse: Refuse condemnation, but lean into loving conviction.
They hoped Jesus would condemn the woman, but the opposite happened. Instead of lording over her, Jesus lowered Himself before her.

When you fall into a trap of the Accuser (Rev. 12:10), close your eyes and picture Jesus – the person of Grace – kneeling down before you, looking into your eyes and loving you out of your sin.

Ask Jesus to help you recognize condemnation’s accusing statements like “You’re a failure” or “You can never be counted on.”Refuse to listen to his lies. Instead lean into God’s loving conviction that is specific. Instead of a broad, sweeping you-are-a-loser label, Jesus will point out our sin and show us what to do to right the wrong.

Instead of “You’re such a failure,” God might say: You were critical in the way you talked to _________ . You need to say you’re sorry and ask forgiveness. Then tell _____ something to build them up.

Replace:  Replace the guilt of sin with God’s redemptive grace.
In the presence of Jesus, the woman’s accusers walked away. He dismissed them one by one, until He was the only one left standing. He replaced their position of authority. He was the only One left speaking into her life.


Jesus help me replace my guilt-induced doubt with God’s grace-infused confidence. @ReneeSwope {click to TWEET}

God’s grace lures us out of darkness; His kindness leads our hearts to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

He wants to draw us away from destructive behaviors that hinder our relationship with Him and others, so we can live in the freedom of His forgiveness and the security of His love.

Lord, You say there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and my life is hidden in You. Thank You that because of Your love and grace, my sin never gets the final say about me—You do! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Set Apart


“What are you good at? Is there something you would love to do?”

When Miriam, the facilitator of our team-building exercise asked these questions, I didn’t have an answer. Here I was, thirty-two years old and I didn’t know what I was good at or enjoyed.

I’d never had the courage or time to think about what I loved to do. Instead, up until that point, I had tried to do what others wanted, expected, or needed me to do. And I was pretty good atthat.

But I was fairly miserable, too.

After I fumbled for an answer and recovered from the embarrassment of my lack, we took a break for lunch. Sliding up beside me, Miriam encouraged me to ask God what He created me to do and what would give me joy, if I did it.

I wasn’t designed to be who others expect me to be or want me to be. I was created to be all God planned and purposed for me to be. {tweet this}

This is one of the truths Miriam shared with me that day, and then she suggested I take time to discover my passions, abilities and spiritual gifts. In the weeks that followed, I took her advice and completed a spiritual gifts assessment.{PDF Download}

Immediately, I recognized strengths and abilities that came naturally to me and sensed there was a reason God made me who I am, with my mixed bag of passions and preferences. It was the first step toward getting to know the woman God created me to be.

Looking back 15 years later, I wish I had known then what I know now. I wish I had known the promise of Jeremiah 1:5, where God says:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart” {NLT}.

Just like God called and equipped the prophet Jeremiah to be His mouthpiece to the Israelites, He has a specific call and gifting for each of us. And He establishes both before we are even born.

Isn’t it easy to neglect ourselves to meet the needs of everyone around us, and call it self-sacrifice? It sounds godly. But in doing so we risk shutting down a place in our soul where God has gifted us and set us apart — to serve and thrive.

Do you know what God has wired you to be good at and what you to love to do?

I’m sharing more of what I’m learning over on (in)courage today. Click here to keep reading and join me.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!