Embracing "Embraced by God" by Donna Douglas Walchle.
I have taken many Bible studies in my time, but none that compare to the personal depth, richness and life-changing insights of Embraced by God, written by my longtime friend, sista and co-writer in song, Babbie Mason.
The entire study is based on John 17:23 where Jesus is praying to His Father and says, “I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.” WOW! God loves us as much as he loves Jesus! Now there’s a game changer!
All who know Jesus as Savior acknowledge that God loves us. He loves us so much that he bought and paid for us. But, to really get our heart and mind around the truth that God loves us as much as He loves His one and only Son is a stunning, profound and tsunami-sized revelation!
I remember in the first week of our study, Babbie had us insert our name in place of “the world” and “whosoever” and peeled back the meaning of the word, “so” from John 3:16. “For God so (with result or purpose in mind; intentional, to a great degree; very or extremely; without any doubt) loved (Donna D) that He gave His only son, that (if Donna D) believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life.” That little word “so” had me crying my eyes out at my usual table at Starbucks where most days I write, or in this case was doing my Embraced by God homework.
Embraced by God covers seven promises that come with this favored relationship: 1) You are loved unconditionally; 2) You are beautiful; 3) You are never alone; 4) You have everything you need in God; 5) You have a God-given purpose; 6) You can accomplish great things in God’s name; 7) You are equipped with unique gifts and talents. And in conclusion, you can live loved!
The format of each day's homework was succinctly broken down categorically into four sections as it pertained to the subject matter/issue being discussed: Think About His Love, Read About His Love, Pray About His Love and Be About His Love. This enabled me to slowly and methodically chew on and digest every component and reflect on the practical application for my own journey.
I already have recommended this study to a number of churches, ministries and women’s groups, and I will continue to do so. Because, when we really embrace God’s love for us, and the fact that all that belongs to Him belongs to us, we can truly begin to learn what it means to walk, live and breath in the fullness of our salvation. We can move in power, favor and wholeness. We can speak to mountains and they move. We can call by faith what is not as though it is. We can run and not grow weary. As we become saturated with His love for us, we can pour out and serve others with the overflow of that richness, and reflect Christ.
We find that we live in this land of Favor, where we experience peace that passes all understanding, joy beyond measure, contentment in all things, compassion that is new every morning, grace that is sufficient, love that never changes and never fails, and goodness and mercy that will follow all the days of our lives.
As Babbie says, “If you live in Canaan, you are a Canaanite; if you live in Israel, you are an Israelite; and if you live in the land of favor, you are a Favor-ite.” Yes, I really am God’s favorite! And engaging in the Embraced by God Bible study is what God used to help me comprehend this astounding truth. God loves me as much as He loves Jesus and along with that comes a big plan and a big purpose designed only for me by the One and Only True and Living God! Hallelujah!
Donna Douglas Walchle is a producer/writer/speaker and the author of There’s an Owl in the Closet, Make Lemonade, and God Stories: They’re So Amazing Only God Could Make Them Happen. Visit Donna's website at www.donnadhere.com.