"When a man will say he hath faith, and in the mean time can be content to be idle and unfruitful in the work of the Lord, can be content to be a dead Christian, let him know that his case is marvelously fearful;
For if faith were in him indeed, it would appear, ye cannot keep your good hearts to yourselves, wherever fire is, it will burn, and wherever faith is, it cannot be kept secret: The heart will be enlarged, the soul quickened, and there will be a change in the whole life and conversation, if ever faith take place in a man.”
-Thomas Hooker, The Saints Dignitie and Dutie
"The godly young men I’ve spoken with believe that if young women started keeping their standards high rather than settling for mediocre men, guys would be forced to make serious changes to their masculinity.
And even if you are mocked, ridiculed, or ignored because of your stand, you can be sure that God will honor your decision.
He paid for the treasure of your heart with His own blood.
You disregard His amazing sacrifice for you when you allow your femininity to be trampled in the mud.
YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF THE KING, SO HOLD OUT FOR A MAN WHO HAS ROYAL BLOOD COURSING THROUGH HIS VEINS.”
-Leslie Ludy, Answering the Guy Questions
Writing a love song for my future spouse.
Preparing myself to selflessly love him even now.
Choosing to love Christ.
Choosing to honor him.
The greek word ἅγιος (pronounced hάgios) means: different, other, holy, sacred.
As a believer it means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world”.
ἅγιος is all about being distinct and set apart.
We are called to carry God’s glory, but we must set ourselves apart from the rest of the world.
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2 NLT)
God is so righteous and divine that He requires us to live apart from the patterns of this world.
Does your life scream SET APART or does it scream CONFORMITY?
Father, make me sacred.
Set me apart for the will of Your Kingdom.
Equip me with a heart to do so.
Great question. And to be honest, I cannot give you an answer.
I do not know the mind of God.
I’ve struggled with this question a lot. If God is so good, then why is there suffering? Why are there children dying from starvation or women being sold into sex trafficking? Why do people kill each other? Why are there natural disasters that take millions of innocent lives? Why is there war? Poverty? Injustice?
I do not doubt God’s power to completely obliterate this suffering. He can. AND HE WILL.
We live in a fallen world.
Once Eve and Adam ate of the fruit, sin came into God’s creation. And until Christ came as the ultimate sacrifice, Satan ruled over this world. But he does not have dominion any longer!
In his book When Heaven Invades Earth, Bill Johnson writes:
"Jesus came ‘to seek and to save that which was lost.’ Not only was mankind lost to sin, His dominion over planet earth was also lost. Jesus came to recapture both."
Jesus defeated Satan and his dominion over earth.
Satan no longer has authority, but that does not mean he has no influence.
God’s coming kingdom has only been inaugurated, it has not fully been revealed. Someday, Christ will return and His kingdom in full glory will come with Him.
"Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
But that day has not come. That is why suffering is still present.
The good news.
God has equipped and called His followers to do something about it. That is why I have this incredible opportunity to go to Poland! Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God is able to relieve suffering through the hands of His followers.
And that is why I am going.
To seek and save the lost. To invite them into the kingdom. To bring the power and influence of Christ into their lives so suffering and darkness will have no dominion over them any longer.
You guys, God is so good.
Today, He opened the door for me to go to Poland this summer for Bethel’s Jazz Band mission trip!
Jazz music, Jesus, sharing the gospel, cross-cultural missions, and some of my closest friends.
I am literally so excited.
Thank You Jesus for this incredible opportunity.
I grew up evangelical, but ever since I left for college I’ve been trying to decide for myself what I belief.
I am a Christ follower. I am the church.
Sure there are certain denominations I agree more with dogmatically, but in the end we are all the beloved of Christ. I get so flustered when denominations blindly hate against other ones, “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). NO.
So all this to say, I am Papa’s daughter.
I don’t think it’s fair to Him to section the church off and label us as “this” or “that”.
WE ALL ARE HIS BRIDE!
There will be no denominations in Heaven, so why live on earth like there are?
"One loss that results from the absence of lament is the loss of genuine covenant interaction, since the second part to the covenant…has become voiceless or has a voice that is permitted to speak into being only praise and doxology. Where lament is absent, covenant comes into being only as a celebration of joy and well-being…Since such a celebrative, consenting silence does not square with reality, covenant minus lament is finally a practice of denial, cover-up, and pretense, which sanctions social control.”
-Walter Brueggemann, The Costly Loss of Lament