Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Life Pleasing To God

John Scott says in his book, Living In The End Times, "One of the greatest weaknesses of contemporary Christianity is our comparative neglect of Christian ethics, in both our teaching and our practice. We are known as people who preach the gospel rather than as those who live it."
I'm not real sure how to even begin this blog post after that quote. I feel like it's such a big thing that is happening in today's world. It's like we know what God wants from us but we only do the easy things or we only do the things that we want to do.

He does say go out into the world and preach the gospel. But He also says to love one another and to practice the things that were talked about in Philippians 4:8-9 so we will become like Him. It is my hope that when non-believers see believers they will feel loved and known and not judged or condemned.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 tells us God's will for us, our sanctification, how we should live a life pleasing to God.

"For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you." (1 Thess 4:7-8)

This passage is talking about abstaining from sexual immorality but also to live in love. We are called to love more and more. By love we fulfill the law. We are called to live quietly and walk shamelessly before outsiders.

Verse 11-12 says, "and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."

As said in Romans 2, it's not enough to hear but doing and practicing these things will bring justification. And to reject the giver of the Holy Spirit is like cutting yourself off from the sanctifying power that enables us to be blameless in holiness at the second coming.

Are you living your life in love?

What thoughts and actions need to change in order for you to please God?

What is God's role in your sanctification?

Today I'm thankful for:
-footie pjs

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Ever been in the position where you are constantly fighting a battle? It's like you take four steps forward and five steps back. You never get anywhere and you're always struggling to catch your breath towards the end of the battle. You may have thought to yourself that there has to be an easier way to get through your struggles.

I always have a hard time letting God take over my battles for me. It's like I'm not listening to Him. He says do one thing and I tell Him that it's stupid and I don't want to do that. Not very obedient, right?

It's basically saying that I don't trust God enough to believe that He has everything under control and to trust that He makes all things work together for my good.

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete."

It's not just actions that can be disobedient. Thoughts are the first step to becoming an action so internal disobedience needs to be eliminated. We are called to obey God. Why would I want to obey anyone else? That's almost like choosing to obey a murderer. I can't trust that a murderer has my best interest at heart.

"If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land" (Isaiah 1:19)

What battles are you fighting?

Is the battle worth fighting alone?

Do you feel freedom when you obey God and allow Him to fight for you?

Today I'm thankful for:
-take home exams

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quiet Your Soul

I was reading through Psalm 131 yesterday and I thought it was really cool because it kind of relates to the passage I talked about on Friday. It talks about arrogance and pride and what we concern ourselves with.

I think it's hard to humble yourself every day and to focus on things that are actually going to matter. It's hard to know that I am loved by a God who will never love me less. It's hard to understand that I am loved by the Creator even when I choose to love the world over Him. I also find it unimaginable that God can love me even when I am poor, weak, and broken.

It's hard not to boast in things when you have completed a hard task or even when you have done something that no one thought you could do. It's hard to keep your heart and your eyes focused on what really matters. And it's hard to think of yourself more highly of others when you get in situations when you may be "better" than them.

Psalm 131 says, "O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore."

A lot of times I read passages that require me to do something afterwards and I feel like this passage requires me to just humble myself and know that God loves me for who I am and not for what I do. And know that God, the Creator, has created me for a purpose, for His perfect plan. He desires to just be with me. I feel like this passage is asking us to be content with God's presence, like a weaned child with its mother, just content with simply having their mother's presence.
We can hope in the Lord forever.

Did you know that God just wants to be with you?

How do you humble yourself in your hectic school or work schedule?

Do you find yourself with the God of peace when you humble yourself?

Today I am thankful for:

Friday, December 10, 2010


Do you ever think that being a believer is only about what you do and what you don't do? But what about how we think and how we reason with one another? And what about how we put our belief into practice?

So what is true? And what is noble and right? What is pure, lovely and admirable? Believers should be reasoning and thinking about such things instead of thinking and worrying about other things that don't matter in the end.

Philippians 4:8 says "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

When the apostle Paul was writing to the Philippians, he commanded them to think about and reason the things of God. Although Paul encourages them to think about these things, he also commanded them to put these things in practice.

4:9 says, "What you have learned and received and heard and seen in mepractice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

Faith that involves no application is really no faith at all. Paul wants us to think about what is true of God and to apply them to our lives so we can become like Jesus. Once we work toward imitating how Paul lived we will begin to see the God of peace himself who will be with us. Not simply the peace of God.

What do you think is true of God?

What do you think is honorable and just?

Do you apply these truths to your life?

How do you see these truths playing out in your life?

Today I'm thankful for:
-my memory
-sweet friends
-the God of peace

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


There are many times when I find myself doubting my salvation. It's common among believers. We ask ourselves if there is confidence in our relationship with God. It's almost like asking yourself if your spouse is still married to you or if your kids are really your kids. It'd be awful if your kid came up to you asking if you are still their parent.

So how can we have assurance that we know God saved us?

1 John 3:16 says "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." 

John writes that we know love because God sent His only Son to die for us. 

Religion says that we should love one another to earn a spot in Heaven.
Christianity, a relationship with God, says that He first loved us and enables us to love. By the love we have with one another, the sacrificial love, it's proof that we are following Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

In verse 18 it says "Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

We love sacrificially. I show love towards my family not because it will get me to Heaven and not because they did something in return. I love them out of sacrifice and because that is what I am called to do. I love them because Jesus first loved them. 

John continues to write about our confidence in verses 19-24. 
"By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us."

Although, it is impossible to love sacrificially 100% of the time, we can still be assured of our salvation through loving others because God first loved us. It's not natural to want to give to others. It's natural to be selfish and it's natural to love others because you want love in return. The Holy Spirit living inside of me is allowing me to love others sacrificially. 

So should I doubt my salvation as much as I do? No, I shouldn't. But I most likely will because my flesh will take over. It's important to know that I do have salvation though. 

Do you doubt your salvation?

Do you love sacrificially?

Or do you love to get love in return?

Or do you not love at all?

Here's a little cheesy video for you to enjoy (:

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So me and Jenna made this video over the summer on project. I'm really liking the idea about forgiveness, I don't know about you though. 

Just some ways I've experienced God's forgiveness:
  • His pursuit for me when I kept pushing him away
  • His pursuit when I totally ignored Him
  • Him transforming me from who I was (Ezekiel 36:26)
  • His steadfast love every day when I decide to put something above Him
How I've been able to forgive others by experiencing His love:
  • lost bitterness towards people who have hurt me
  • allowed Jesus to work through me. meaning He is ultimately doing the forgiving.
  • allowed me to cancel a debt. I don't expect anyone to do something for me to repay me for what they have done.

Forgiveness is hard. I don't think it's something that happens over night. It's an action and it's a process. You put forgiveness into action when you say that you forgive someone. You make forgiveness a process when you continue to forgive someone each time you remember the hurt done against you. 

A lot of people may hope for a different past. Hoping for this doesn't get you anywhere. I've been there. Once you stop punishing the ones who have hurt you, you will begin the process of forgiveness. That's where the healing will begin.

God forgave me. Why wouldn't I forgive others?
       Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Today I'm thankful for:
- my mom
- fall leaves
- God's steadfast love

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jenga Disaster

I feel like this video can illustrate my walk with God sometimes. Not such a good thing. I start going through my days in a routine. Without getting in the Word and without waking up and praying. My outside appearance to everyone around me is still the same and no one notices that I didn't start my day with God. Although I notice the changes I don't do anything about it and instead I just ignore that I am sinning against God. People can make comments about me and how I have everything together and how they wish they could have a relationship with God like I do. I start taking pride in having the appearance of this "having it all together Christian" even though I know it's far from the truth. God allows me to run from the truth and allows me to come back whenever I want. It'd be much easier if I would just surrender to Him every day. Instead I wait until something around me starts crashing down. I come to complete brokenness and I reach the point where I turn from the lies I was believing and I turn to God. 

I tell myself every time that I shouldn't wait until something around me is destroyed. Yet, I still wait for that to happen. One of these days I will learn that I can't control everything.

Today I'm thankful for:
-The season changes
-My project roommates and friends

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Everlasting Love

So I was just reading Jeremiah 31 for some reason and verse 3 really stood out to me. That's really no surprise though (:

"...I have loved you with an everlasting love;"

God is telling us what He really feels about us. His love is intimate and personal. He has always loved us and He always will. His love for us heals. His love gives us life. His love makes us grow. His love for us was there before we were born. His love for us was there before the world was made. It will never end.

God is the only one who has always loved us. There is no condition. He just loves us no matter what. His love for us is everlasting. It is beyond measure.

Sometimes I hear people say that God can't always love us because He lets bad things happen to us. God's love is a healing love. And God wants to heal us.

God never changes. "For I the Lord do not change;" (Malachi 3:6) God is totally dependable. He is love and that never changes.

"I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer." (Exodus 15:26)
"He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction." (Psalm 107:20)
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases" (Psalm 103:2-3)
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken." (Psalm 34:19-20)
"For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 30:17)
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3)
God wants to heal us. He wants what is best for us. In some of the verses above it says "none" or "all". He is giving perfect health to His people. He is looking after them and He always will because He never changes.

Jesus wants to heal us. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
"...and he healed them all" (Matthew 12:15)
"When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick." (Matthew 14:14)
"...and the power of the Lord was present to heal them." (Luke 5:17)
"When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and healed those who needed healing." (Luke 9:11)
"...and healing every disease and every affliction among the people." (Matthew 4:23)
There are so many verses in the gospels where Jesus is healing people all over. Who would heal someone if they didn't love them or care about them? Who would even think about healing someone if they didn't love them? What makes someone want to heal another person? Possibly because they want the best for that person. What really makes them want the best for them? I'd say it's love. You couldn't possibly want the best for someone if you didn't love them. Maybe people struggle with believing the truth that God can heal them. Maybe they don't know of His healing power.

"For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)
"What is impossible for men is possible for God." (Luke 18:27)
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20)

God has the power to heal. He has the biggest desire to heal us. He sent His one and only Son to heal us. He would have never done that if He didn't love us with an everlasting, steadfast love.

What greater love is there than that of God's love for us?

It's non existent.