Monday, August 20, 2012

Bible Verse of the Week

Another week, another verse! Actually...I have a couple verses, but that means all the more fun!

Titus 3:3-7

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Verse 3 gives us a list of the many sins we have done against God. In all honesty, I have done all of these. I embraced sin. But, that was the old me. Before I gave my life to Christ, my mind was changed about sin; I had grown to learn that sin is deadly-physically and spiritually, sin separates man and God, and sin was SERIOUS. At first, I tried to stop sinning thinking that somehow me stopping would gain me peace with God and as a result eternal life. But that didn't cut and it never will. Like I said in my last post: Bible Verse of the Week, we are not saved by works through willpower.

Verse 4 introduces God's love and kindness. What is God's love and kindness? He sent His only Son to be our permanent sacrifice, to forgive us of our sins, to give us His righteousness, to give us eternal life, to provide peace with God. Jesus is love! God is love!

Verse 5 continues this concept more in-depth. We have no righteousness before God until we place our faith in God's grace and mercy, trusting in Christ' work on the cross. Our faith is the means by which Christ' righteousness is imputed on us as He took on our sin. After this, aka Salvation/Being Saved, come the 'washing of regeneration'-a short term for being born again. To be born again as a Christian means that we now live by the Spirit/by Christ and not of or after the flesh-we repent (turn) from sin and turn towards/ embrace God, we take sin seriously, we trust in Christ and not of ourselves... Along with being born again is the 'renewing of the Holy Ghost'. To my understanding, The Holy Ghost renews us by our obedience towards the things of God and the putting away of what isn't very becoming for a Christian (of course replacing it with Christian attributes). Does the phrase 'putting away of' sound familiar to you? It should because it is a phrase used in the Bible (and in my post: No Makeup?).  The verse is 1 Peter 3:21. I'll reinforce the point, you are not saved by trying to do away with sin. Everyone knows Eph. 2:8. We are saved by grace through faith! My explanation on the 'renewing of the Holy Spirit' is for those who are already saved; God's Holy Spirit comes in and perfects you because you still can't do it on your own. 

Verse 6 Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are fully God as much as God is God. God dwells COMPLETELY in the believer-so don't grieve Him with sin! Deal with sin before you harden your heart, in one of the earlier stages if you can (James 1:14-15).

Verse 7 by God's gracious gift, we are justified. Jesus is our mediator-He's the only way towards forgiveness of sins, righteousness, eternal life, peace with God... Romans 8:15, 17 agree that we are made children of God which makes us heirs to eternal life. Though we Christians believe strongly that our eternal life through Christ is a promise, it is still a hope because we do not physically see the spiritual (Romans 8:24). BUT! Christians, through faith, feel and know God's presence in everything-we can still have confidence! I, for one, am confident in the work God has done in my life-He led me to Him, led me to repentance, saved me, perfects me, comforts me, etc. God is alive.
Your Sister in Christ,

P.S. A more in-depth explanation of these verses can be found @

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bible Verse of the Week

I used to write a Bible verse or passage into my assignment notebook each week starting Junior year. By doing this, I got the chance to study my Bible versus putting it off until church on Sundays and Wednesdays (very common during the school year). And during the day, my weekly Bible verse would remind me of who I am and it would encourage me to be confident in Christ in a place where it isn't always easy to proclaim His name. starts next Wednesday (eek!) but I thought I'd start early on my Weekly Bible Verse/Passage. 

This week is Philippians 3:8-11.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

I know I'm obsessed with the book of Philippians, but I have reason! My freshman or sophomore year after marching band season ended, I attended the last sessions of a Bible study with my dad. And guess what that bible study was on? Philippians! It's only got 4 chapters but those 4 chapters are so beautiful! I'm not trying to put down other books of the Bible, it's just that I've only studied a few books in depth. Maybe one day I will get to see the beauty of the Bible in its entirety, but for now my vision is narrowed down to Philippians. 
Anyways, during the study someone pointed out this passage. She was in awe of these verses and so was everyone else. She recommended we memorize the verses and I think the next time we saw her in church, she handed out a copy of the verses on a 3x5? glossy sheet. To this day it's taped on my closet door. The next study we had, she asked if anyone memorized the Phil. 3:8-11. The only ones to have memorized it were a young lady and I because, quite frankly, most of the people in the group were a bit aged. She memorized the verses in a Bible version different from the KJV so I was the only one to recite the verses. The group probably said more of the verses to help me than I had recited, but I did have it memorized. 
I was not saved then so the words didn't really have meaning to me. But, now I am saved and I understand why those verses had everyone in awe; those verses are a descriptor of every believer. We have nothing compared to the righteousness of Christ. Though to man and religion we may seem like we got it going on, as Paul puts it, it's dung! Isaiah 64:6 calls our righteousness filthy rags! With this in mind, us believers see our need for Christ and we look to the cross in faith that He has taken on our sin and imputed HIS righteousness onto us. This faith does count as righteousness, but even our faith comes from God (Phil. 1:6). We know Christ as our Savior, we died to our old self and were resurrected into a new life in Him, we know His sufferings because we are not of this world. Now we hope to be risen again. It's the whole package, our life story in a nutshell!
Another verse that ties in with all of this would be Eph. 2:8-9. We are saved BY grace through faith, not by works through willpower. We are sinners and, most likely, always will be, which is why we need grace and why we need to trust in the redemptive work Christ fulfilled through His death and resurrection. Besides, I prefer God's grace. I used to strive for forgiveness through empty promises and works~which always failed. I really wouldn't have God's plan of salvation any other way.

Your Sister in Christ,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Girls for God Shine

I recently found this adorable website of fellow sisters in Christ and I would love to encourage anyone and everyone to become a member =) Support these girls and get this Christian community going!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Romans Road?

I've started going to church for 4 years now and have had Christ as my Savior for the past year. I think I heard of Romans Road this past year or so being mentioned for Scripture memory and I was clueless. I turned to the girl next to me in the Bible Class and asked, "What is Romans Road?" She told me how it was like the Gospel described by a couple verses from the book of Romans. I never actually looked it up until now and I will have to say, these are some powerful verses! This would be a great way to share Gospel to the lost. I almost wish I had known Romans Road earlier in my life so I wouldn't have had to struggle so much with trying to be righteous! But, through that struggle God has shown me  how merciful He is and I can really appreciate His grace. I wouldn't have the path I was on be any other way, despite the hurt, because I see where I am now and I'm so thankful to God for bringing me to this place. I might explain my testimony later on, but for now here's Romans Road!

Romans 3:23
Romans 3:10-18
Romans 6:23
Romans 5:8
Romans 10:9
Romans 10:13
Romans 5:1
Romans 8:1
Romans 8:38-39

Your Sister in Christ,

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Makeup?

There was a time when I was completely obsessed with makeup. My room was filled with it because of how pleasing it was to my eyes and just the thought of having it there made me feel content..until I wanted more. I spent most of my money buying more makeup (if not sweets!) and I'd watch endless YouTube videos of makeup gurus and try out multiple 'faces' each day (though no one knew of this). I'd also take pictures of myself and look back at my 'portfolio' of makeup looks with pride. Makeup was an addiction!

When I became a true Christian, I made the choice to spiritually fast from that aspect in my life because of the sins in my heart associated with it~pride/vanity, lust, covetousness, idolatry, deceit (1 John 2:16, Colossians 3:5, Mark 7:22-23, 2 Peter 2:18)... After a year or so of being makeup free, I found that going natural has liberated me from those sins. Instead of desiring to please myself and others, my heart was more God-focused. After that experience, I decided to go make-up free. I still want to look good so I go for what I call a 'polished' look~clear nail polish, curled lashes, chapstick/clear lip gloss. I prefer to 'polish' rather than 'paint' the beauty and image God has given me.

*Everyone is different, but those of you who struggle with a desperately wicked heart (Mark 7:21) such as myself, then consider fasting from this aspect in your life. Pray that God will purify your heart and pray for a desire to seek God alone. 

*Putting something away that helps you from sinning against God is NOT what saves you (1 Peter 3:21). Our 'righteousness' is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)! We can't gain salvation through any other way than Christ Jesus. He never transgressed God's law, whereas we have. His blood was shed and His life was given freely out of a sacrificial love and then He rose again to say, "Hey, my blood/grace is sufficient for you!" (2 Corinthians 12:9). All we have to do is believe and to TRUST that His grace can cover us. He will then wash you from your sins and give you HIS righteousness (Isaiah 61:10)! From then on, obeying God is out of the love we have for Him because of His salvation (1 John 5:3) and it is through the SPIRIT ALONE that we can be sanctified (look at my post: Like Christ?). After Salvation, we still rely on Christ. I still rely on Christ, but my heart for God moves me to abstain from sin and to cling to Him. I don't doubt that the Holy Spirit moved me and changed me from this experience. I pray the Holy Spirit will show you the sin in your life and move you to holiness~not for salvation, but for sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Your Sister in Christ,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Like Christ?

Instead of asking God to be like His Son, Jesus Christ, the real prayer is for Christ to live THROUGH us. Sure we can do the works and check off each item on the Fruit of the Spirit verses (Galatians 5:22-23), but that is us versus the Spirit working THROUGH our lives. You maybe have a specific sin that you want to work on such as patience, but do not say, "I'm going to try to be more patient today". Instead, ask God to give you patience by letting the Spirit work in you and then through you. He will change your heart to give in to Him just as you humbled yourself to the cross and He can be more apparent (doing good works through you) if you are humbled! You must also ask in full faith if you want God to do all of this (James 1:5-7)! And besides, who is better at being Christ than Christ Himself? If Christ lives in you, He will continually perfect and sanctify you until that glorious day (Philippians 1:6)!

Your Sister in Christ,