Christian · Faith

Why You Should Pursue Godly Wisdom

When I found out the late Reverend Billy Graham had a habit of reading a proverb a day I thought this was a great Bible habit that I wanted to adopt.

Although my parents are not yet saved, they have their fair share of adages that I grew up with, ranging from all sorts of topics like airplane etiquette to being proactive.

I’m betting your parents also had a few phrases they repeated that have stuck with you or guided you in some way into adulthood….

I think it is safe to say that most advice is intended for our benefit, but even the most well-meaning advice could be the wrong advice for us.

Perhaps none of your family or friends have direct experience with the sin you struggle with or maybe you’re uncomfortable confessing your sin to them at first.

The Bible has answers to your questions and so does God who is living and active and informs the Christian believer through the Holy Spirit of wisdom when asked.

Because, like Solomon and all the other humans in the Bible, I am a sinner and acknowledge my brokenness has been redeemed by Jesus on the cross. Being saved is a pure gift and knowing that I tend to mess things up on my own frees me to follow God’s lead.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As humans, we have many questions about life, because there are many things we don’t see in our lifetime. Such as: when we were born, when we expire, who our parents were before we knew them, and why people behave in certain ways.

But God’s wisdom, and that contained in the Bible, is comprehensive and expansive to guide humans in all areas of life and to help us understand the weightier matters.

Not only that but God’s wisdom leads us to spiritual maturity and the joy of eternal life by knowing God and what he likes and dislikes.

The best advice a counselor gave me was this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

For she knew biblically my heart needed healing and protection from the Lord. I needed to care for it spiritually.

Before accepting Christ, I got lots of advice and because I was not yet saved, I overvalued the opinion man whether good or bad. Superficial or deep, I absorbed what people said like a sponge.

Outside voices said things like:

‘What have you contributed to society?’

‘You look crazy’

‘You should be happy to take care of your (relative)’

‘You should be getting all As in school…

I actually adopted other peoples’ advice, comments and thoughts as if they were my own because I was desperately looking for guidance.

A lot of the advice I got involved the word ‘should’, but ‘shoulds’ without real care and concern rarely motivate us to change (Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend).

Or if other peoples’ shoulds do motivate us, they can lead to resentment and an unhealthy preoccupation: (that John Piper writes about in his book Don’t Waste Your Life) to be liked above all else.

In contrast, when I was in rebellion and isolated from advice, I was relying on my ‘own understanding’ which God tells us NOT to do in Proverbs 3:5-6.

Why? It is spiritually dangerous to rely on either of these two positions: relying exclusively on others’ opinions or on one’s own.

Being unbalanced in either of these areas denies God the ability to work and move in your life. If God gave us each individual personalities, gifts and talents we owe it to ourselves and God to trust in the vastness of God’s grace (demonstrated through Jesus on the cross) to let the Holy Spirit be the helper and guide of our soul as God intends.

The Good News is that we have access to God’s wisdom through Jesus’ work on the cross and by asking God for what we need in prayer and conversation. The Bible is our guide to see what all-knowing God recommends.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

This verse shows us that God expects us to have a posture towards Him where we ask Him what’s on our minds and take proactive steps to follow what God has placed on our hearts.

God set the things he did in you for a reason and the world needs what you have.

God encourages each one of us to be discerning and prudent in our thoughts, actions and behaviors. Proverbs makes it clear that the wise embrace discipline and correction and have many counselors, only the ‘selfish‘ maintain isolation.

Proverbs indicates just how valuable wisdom is because it guards our life from unnecessary evil, sin and pain.

Since God’s wisdom is personal, proverbs makes it clear that we need to filter outside advice with a grain of salt – filtering in through our psyche and judging for ourselves what to do or where to go based on God’s will.

God wants to speak wisdom into your life regarding the dreams and questions you have, the path you take and the company you keep.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 NIV

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Christian · Faith

Feeling Discouraged?

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We can all feel discouraged from time to time, but contrary to how you may be feeling at the moment, we receive many spiritual blessings daily.

James 1:17 NIV Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

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Make a short list of what you are happy or grateful for today (it can be mundane :)). Seriously, do it now.

Below is my list,

  • The beautiful weather
  • An encouraging and insightful talk with my stepfather
  • A gentle correction from God to avoid evil thoughts
  • A photo opportunity with my best friend
  • A roommate that helps me pay the rent so I can live the way I do
  • A difficult person that God is helping refine my spiritual walk with

Do you see what happens when we take our minds off of ourselves and immediate circumstances and focus on our blessings?!

Our mindset changes to prepare our hearts to worship the Lord, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

God’s love and generosity is endless and He gives to each person as He sees fit.

Guard your heart against the temptation to envy other people’s blessings and wonder at God’s faithfulness and favor in your own life.

Maybe God is delivering you a ‘blessing in disguise’ at this very moment…

Many people pride themselves on being a great gift-giver but the truth is we can trust God to provide for us and do a better job of it than we can.

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him. Matthew 7:11 NLT

Trust God and put your faith in Him to provide for you and let His abundant blessings and love bring you joy.

Comment, like or share this with someone it may help 🙂

God bless!

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Deserving of His perfect love

“We accept the love we think we deserve” Stephen Chbosky from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

For a long time I felt undeserving of love and this quote expresses why I made poor choices in dating.

I made poor decisions on love based on my poor self-image. I was basing my flimsy self worth off of how my family and friends felt about me which fluctuated so often I was left feeling distressed.

In many ways, I can identify with the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John Chapter 4 of the Bible.

Jesus was so compassionate to a lady so lost and caught up in many affairs after being re-married time and time again -but instead of berating her, He lovingly looked upon her and offered her Himself as ‘living water’ that would truly sustain her. He promised her that she wouldn’t have to look any further than Himself for true and lasting love.

Jesus offers us this same refreshing gift today that he offered the Samaritan woman – Himself as the life-giving source of all our needs.

In Christ we are independent from worldly critiques.

I am the daughter of a King -carefully crafted in my mother’s womb and loved enough for Jesus to die for me. My worth comes from God and God only.

Jesus’ love is enough for us to be sustained by. 

As a believer Jesus’ love grows within you ( the holy spirit) as time goes on. Once you accept Jesus Christ as Savior the Holy Spirit is what compels you to act like The Lord.

I personally accept Jesus’ love for me and His personal sacrificial death and resurrection for my benefit. The benefits are a relationship with God Almighty, His Son and Holy Spirit, freedom from sin, worldliness and shame as well as eternal access to heaven!

I was fortunate to get publicly adult baptized and spoke about my acceptance of Jesus as Lord. This was a powerful moment in my walk with Jesus because I love acknowledging my relationship with Him. We all need a caring friend and Savior like Jesus.

Many people think they are unworthy of love but this is NOT true and a very hurtful and destructive lie that can affect our lives negatively.

Even if you come from a broken home, our ability to accept love does not need to be limited by what we can see or have experienced because God’s love (which is experienced on a soul level) is , contrary to any self-limiting beliefs, real and perfect.

When I struggle to see myself the way God sees me, I find reassurance from the Bible, talking/praying with God, listening to worship music, my friends and boyfriend that God loves me despite what I sometimes consider my glaring weaknesses.

I know that God loves you in this space too.

Maybe you feel like your pain is too great because you’ve come from a broken home..

Maybe someone wasn’t there for you or you lost an important relationship.

You are not alone.

God gave up His own Son Jesus to all curses and sin for a time, on the cross, for humans to be reconciled back to Himself. This pained God in the flesh which He took on as Jesus physically and I can’t imagine the anguish God felt being connected to His Son so closely as He experienced the worst tormented death on the cross experiencing all sin and wickedness poured out at one time.

However God knew that Jesus would not taste death forever as Jesus rose from the grave fully alive despite expiring on the cross days before.

 

On a more personal note, A turning point in my life was when I lost a relationship with someone I loved very much. Although this was very hard, It compelled me closer to God in looking for answers of why human love just couldn’t feel the void in my heart. I learned something very valuable. I didn’t value myself the way God sees me and therefore I could not love myself or him. Rejecting love comes at a great price to ourselves and to others.

God is always faithful to help you overcome any difficulty you may be facing. Just ask Him into your heart, life and situation.

I pray that you would accept the wild, crazy, sacrificial, satisfying , dependable and enduring love that Jesus offers us everyday and in every moment. I pray that His grace and mercy would permeate every level of your soul and that you would not accept anything less than His passionate love in Jesus name amen.

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Humble Pie

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Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

As a Christ follower I never stop learning more about how l can be more like Jesus.

Thankfully God gives us the Bible to help us uncover more about how He wants us to love Him and accept His Son. He also gives wisdom freely to those who seek and ask it of Him.

The expression “humble pie” means having to admit fault/becoming aware of doing something wrong usually involving a lesson/ learning curve. I am not in the least bit impervious to being humbled by God. After all, we are all sinners (Romans 3:23)

One of my pastors used to pray something like: “Lord use me as an example whether by me or in spite of me “… And I love that prayer because he is admitting that we don’t always display the best examples of what it means to follow Christ.

And I think that’s OK because of such a thing as grace that God gives us to admit that we are sinners and it is by Jesus’ saving grace only that we are fully forgiven, redeemed, loved and saved for eternity.

Now I am not for a moment saying that we should stay steeped in sin. But instead we should humbly confess and repent of our sins to our loving and just Father who has the power to forgive us.

Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.

Last Sunday it was hard for me to rest and unwind and my attitude frankly sucked.

I realized I was experiencing burnout from letting my to-do list run me ragged and was missing out on the true rest and joy that comes from letting Jesus lead my life.

When I reflect on God’s Sovereignty, I find great reassurance that God existed before the creation of the world (before I ever came on the scene) and that He continues to work in and through all things today.

Also, Jesus died for us and rose from the grave giving us access to heaven knowing we are still sinners (Romans 5:8).

This reminds me of the parable of the builder in Matthew 7:24-27 where Jesus says that a wise man hears and builds his house on the solid rock foundation of Jesus and His teachings, yet the foolish man listens to Jesus’ teachings and does not apply them. The foolish builder is building his house on sand which easily collapses in on itself when trouble comes.

In other words we were built to have a relationship with God – we can’t get by without Him by whiteknuckling it. And if we try life that way we will surely hit a wall. “And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”” ‭‭James‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If we are walking in selfish pride and think we know what’s best for ourselves we will be less likely to follow through in talking and drawing close to God asking and believing in faith for prayer and guidance and we will be less likely to receive from God what we need. Don’t let this be you but let us continue to encourage one another to keep the faith even when we are unsure of or impatient about what God may be doing.

Prayer: Lord help us to rest in you and your mercy today. Help us be a blessing to you, ourselves and others, and help us to put your teachings into practice with the help of the Holy Spirit and trust you so that we may live an abundant life as Jesus promises. I also give thanks for Jesus’ saving work on the cross in Jesus’ Name Amen.

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Christian · Faith

How God helped me Worship in Public

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I am a timid person.

However God has replaced my doubt with faith when I turn to Him.

Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

One of the coolest moments of breakthrough for me was participating in worship services. I was terrified of dancing and singing in public. My friend can attest that no matter how hard we tried – even though we loved every moment of the concerts we went to -we just couldn’t dance in public. Our eyes would shift awkwardly from each other, starting to blush, secretly hoping the other one would start dancing first or that everyone else in the crowd would suddenly appear blind folded so we could privately dance and belt out a tune away from disapproving eyes. What held us back was a fear of criticism and for a while I couldn’t worship in church due to the same fear.

I was able to confide this to someone close to me. She was able to speak truth into my life that I was being, as an introvert, too self focused in this area. If I was really walking in faith, worship is about my relationship with God and that’s what really matters.

God changed this CAN’T into a CAN. He changed what seemed impossible for me to do into something that is possible and brings me great joy.

I am content to sing and sway for the sake of my soul, for the sake of worshiping my God, and not being afraid to do so because it is Him I serve and my heart longs to worship. He is irresistible as He draws me closer to Himself during worship.

Although the world may seem judgmental and scary at times Scripture says:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Where is God calling you to be vulnerable so He can meet you and exceed your expectations in that place?

Jesus died and rose from the grave to prove that He can conquer all things and loves us beyond measure. Since God is all powerful he can break any addiction, lie or hindrance  that stands in the way of being close to Him.

Choose to put your faith in Him today.

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New Year, Same Jesus

Happy 2018!

Welcome to those looking beyond themselves this year for something more. I hope you will choose to learn about putting your faith and hope in Jesus and His saving work on the cross!

And a big Hello to those walking with the Lord already!

This year, as I’ve been busy making my own plans and scrolling on my phone I realized I really need to “plug” into God.

Just like plugging a cellphone into a socket (we do it because we know it will power up our phones), we can come to God the same way needing to spiritually re-charge – trusting in His power, mercy and grace to restore us.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV

If God is not your source of strength, read about how God protects King David in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel from many enemies. Additionally David’s psalms are strikingly beautiful as they show his dependence on God. He talks to God about everything, including when he is afraid and things look impossible which is why I imagine he is a man after God’s heart.  David seeks and prays and sings to God in the psalms even when he feels desperately defeated.

“My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭62:7-8‬ ‭MSG‬‬

In order to be closer to God and His plans we have to seek Him. God is readily accessible and available to us in all seasons through faith and we can go to Him in prayer being confident that He hears us. If you need help with this or are unsure of how to seek God questions/comments are welcome!

This year let’s put His kingdom first and practice trusting Him with all our hearts.

God’s plan will look different for everyone. What is it God has asked for you to Trust Him in this year?

 

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Christian · Faith

You do not have to be perfect

 “Perfect is the enemy of good” Voltaire

In a culture where people are championed for looking or being perfect (in physical fitness, outer appearance or by outperforming others in roles such as a student, mom, wife, friend or business professional) we have to fight the urge to fit in just because it’s easy.

For a long time I’ve struggled with the fear of making a mistake/saying or doing the wrong thing/displeasing people but especially God – believing the enemy’s lie that I have to be perfect.

In other words, I was afraid to stand out by being myself.

This perfection led me to procrastinate, not try, and bow out of challenges. It also led to a lot of shame and hiding from making decisions in my life.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Bible story that reminds me that God looks after all people even those who are in low social positions is God’s relationship with Hagar.

God spoke to Hagar in the Bible when she felt lonely and desperate in the forest. Hagar was a pregnant slave woman carrying Abraham’s illegitimate son. She was running away due to unfair treatment by her master’s jealous wife Sarai. When she had nowhere else to turn, alone and pregnant in the forest God showed up to meet her. “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.””Genesis‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭NIV

This encounter with God through an angel was truly life transforming for Hagar. She names the place after meeting God. He tells her gently where to go, about the birth of her son, future children and acknowledges her situation.

The bitterness in Sarai’s heart towards Hagar was due to her failure to have faith that God could produce an heir in her in her old age but God is faithful to His promises so He knew Sarai’s joy would come when God gave her a child.

We can take courage in that God sees us too and that in His eyes we can gain confidence and accept Jesus’ love and compassion enough for ourselves to step out in faith.

Another scripture that stands out to me is  “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.

We are flawed sinners yet wildly loved by Jesus.

In the spirit of new adventures: I say cheers to the blog starters and blog posters, the timid and creative, the entrepreneur and the artist and cheers to the ones who have the courage to be themselves: stumbling and bumbling forth into new waters for the glory of Jesus Christ.

How will you step out in faith?

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