A Light in All Circumstances {POTF}

Welcome, friends! I invite you to join me, as we walk through Titus 2. Today, we will be looking at verses 1-5. I invite you to open your personal Bible and turn with me to this passage. If you don’t have yours nearby, I have included it below –

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:1-5, ESV).

Ohhh friends, the Lord loves us soo much!

The Lord wants certain things from His followers. Like most families have set standards and norms, we are part of God’s family – where He will teach us how to act. What encourages me the most is – how God expects things from us regardless of our ages. Age or circumstances don’t limit God! This section is on older men, older women, and yes the young women too!

We are given the abundant privilege to love God with all ourselves, including our character and actions. As we learn His character, He is giving us the opportunity to become more like Him as Scripture teaches us (Eph. 5:1).

In our lives, we will be given many opportunities to teach and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is not reserved strictly for the wife and mother, ladies. And this is the power of the Gospel, that we can be changed by the Lord despite our circumstances. Our ages, relationship status, finances, among other things – do not determine how much of the Gospel we can hold inside or share! Do you hear me on this? 

The power of our Mighty God declares that we can live unashamed and be His light – because we belong to Him. Having a resting identity in our Lord Jesus Christ is all that matters. Once we are His, we are in the exact place we need to be!

We can live openly, without having to hide in the shadows – because our circumstances are “less than glamorous”. I am not a mom or wife. Instead, I have chronic illness as my “vessel” of influence.

Yet, God allows me to speak His name in this place. My faith and the way I carry it out in my daily life is important. Even in the simplest actions, I am able to reveal Christ through the way I live.

Chronic illness isn’t glamorous in the least bit, yet this is the place where the Lord will use me to shine His very important light and hope for the watching world to see! This doesn’t mean I never get depressed, but it helps to remember why I am in this position. It helps me to remember that it is for the sake of the Gospel – and God can use every single “loss” in my life for a heavenly “gain” to build up His Kingdom.

You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16, CSB, emphasis mine).”

In Him,

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Transforming Truths {{POTF}}

Friends,

Welcome to Pressing On Toward Faithfulness! This is an eight week study focused on going through the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy in a slower pace, which will allow us to catch glimpses of these important truths and dwell on them.

As we dwell on these important God given truths, we are given the opportunity to see what they mean for our lives.

Memory Verse –

Each week, my hope is to give us a memory verse. Even if you are like me and aren’t sure you can memorize a Scripture, let’s jot down these verses on an index card and make them an important part of our day. As we focus on these verses and what they mean for us, God will change us through this process.

Use Your Personal Bible –

For this week, my goal is to focus on Titus 2:1. However. . . In order to grasp the depth and significance of this verse, let’s also look at verse 8. I encourage you to read, study, and focus upon this verse (or these verses) using your own personal Bible. Ideally, I will read, meditate (look upon and focus intently), and cherish these truths using the wording given through my personal Bible. But for today’s post, I am using a clearer way of wording (a different translation, but it’s still fully God’s Word).

There are many new translations being added to websites, so my goal in this study (and future) is – to not share lightly using other translations. I want to make sure what I share is biblically sound and correct.

Here we go!

Let’s jump into this week’s memory verse. It is better to start late than to call it quits. God’s Word is far too important to hold onto an “all or nothing” approach, when it comes to ingesting the Words of Life we desperately need to hear.

But you are to proclaim things consistent with sound teaching (Titus 2:1, CSB).

Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us (Titus 2:8).

Our Teachings –

Friends, we need to consider what we are teaching others. Now you might be thinking, “Me?! But, I am not a pastor or even a teacher. . .”

Each day, our lives can reveal the teachings of Christ and His transformative work in our lives. In Titus 2:1-8, we are urged to live the beauty of the Gospel each day. In our relationships, behavior, and circumstances, we can impact lives. Even if we aren’t serving outside the home, we are deeply impacting lives and sharing the Gospel.

Friends, how closely is your beliefs lining up with the teachings of the Bible?

When we live out our beliefs, it changes lives. Choosing to place our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ will radically change our lives, and one of the results is – others will see how we are being changed from the inside – out. As we are changed and practice what we “preach,” our enemies will not be able to say anything bad about us.

In this world, we will come across many people who absolutely hate us for one thing or another. Even so, I have witnessed how the Lord changes hearts. He can turn absolute enemies into the best of friends. This is referred to as the “ministry of reconciliation (see 2 Cor. 5:16-21),” and one of the most beautiful gifts we are given by our Lord. This is the beautiful of the Gospel. We can go from God’s enemies to being called His sons and daughters!

Until next time,

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Praise Before Panic {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

We can apply today’s Scripture to any area of life. While I was contemplating on if I was well enough prepared to write on this Scripture, I now know this is an important truth for any area of life.

Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark). – Prov. 19:2, AMP

As I previously mentioned, I underwent a medical test. Any medical test can have the ability to be over-analyzed. I am thankful for the reminder to spend time considering my spiritual needs too. Before my big test, I sought out how to remain encouraged and Spirit-filled.

Typically, I prepare for specifics in regards to medical tests – by choosing a Scripture to focus on. Without this plan, I would be left in a dangerous spot. Without choosing to deliberately focus on our risen Lord, I might be unfriendly to the medical staff or inconsolable.

As I write this, I am in awe of what our God can do. Just as it is not good to act impulsively or fail to plan, we have to remember the goodness of our Lord. When I was placed into the MRI machine, I was not feeling very encouraged. To God be all glory, honor, and praise: He placed an ideal song on my heart. I didn’t belt out lyrics or move, but it encouraged my heart so much.

“Fearless” by Travis Ryan is likely one of the best songs to heart sing, in the midst of a medical test that is as tight in space as a coffin. It gets me a little bit emotional as I share this, because heart singing praise music isn’t something I would have expected. This was the best way God could have met me in the midst of my great need of remembering His presence and promise to stay with me.

Fearless, make us fearless | Give us courage for You are with us | Fearless, make us fearless | Come and mark us with Your boldness

God is in the details of our lives. While He was in total control during my medical test, I don’t want to consider my joy level had I not prepared.

Friends, let’s be lovers of Jesus who want to prepare and remember that we are forever His!

We need to seek His face and act wisely. Whenever we act impulsively, it can draw us away from our Lord and cause us to sin.

This is a testimony of how God meets us right where we are. Even in deep needs, God will meet us and act on our behalf – through His Holy Spirit.

Seeking God in Difficulties {Summer ’17}

In Psalm 70, we are reminded of our need to seek God – especially in the midst of the most difficult things.

God, hurry to rescue me. Lord, hurry to help me! (Ps. 70:1, CSB)

Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Heb. 4:16).

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been gifted with this incredible relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Where we can boldly come to His throne, and receive all the help we could ever need.

Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, “God is great!” I am oppressed and needy; hurry to me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay (Ps. 70:4-5).

The outcome of seeking our Lord Jesus in the midst of hard times is – life changing. God can give us a joy like nothing we could ever experience. The secret to joy isn’t necessarily in the removal of bad circumstances. It is found in spending time in God’s presence and trusting Him no matter the outcome. Now God could change our situations, but He might choose to change our hearts and walk us through the difficulties of life.

Friends, let’s bring our needs before our gracious God. We boldly come and share with God all we are going through.

This is a message I need for myself, because life can get hard. While I might force myself to carry the full weight of the burden, I will progress at a much slower pace than if I had accepted King Jesus’ help.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).

God wants to be involved in our lives. He doesn’t want to be merely an observer, but He wants to be actively involved in our lives. While it can seem like our “normal” to go at it alone, it is not part of the way we have been called toward.

Some believe we have to make our own prayers come true. Basically we need to lean not on God, but ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us of our need to allow God to be the sufficiency we need. God is God for a very good reason. Our strength cannot begin to compare with our great God’s!

As we walk with Jesus, we are invited to lay down our old ways and allow our great God to show us His love, grace, and power!

Friend, I have absolutely no idea what you are personally going through. What I do know is – the God I serve. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the debt for our sin. He came and endured the most unimaginable pain, so we can have a relationship with our heavenly Father. A relationship, where we are His friend versus His enemy.

 

My Pursuit of Forgiveness {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

In Colossians 3, we are reminded of the glorious hope found in Jesus Christ. We are made spiritually alive, through our Risen Savior. There is excitement in our new life, but we can become hesitant on topics like “forgiving others”. We are kind of like the Israelites in that sense, learning we can’t take our old life habits with us.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (vv. 13, TLB).

Why We Forgive

This isn’t something we can dance around. Forgiving others is an important struggle to endure, especially as we look to Christ who is our Source of hope. God has forgiven us of so much. He has gone through unimaginable pain to fix the relationship we have with Him. This is such a gift, friends.

We are given the opportunity to experience God’s power as we trust and obey Him in forgiving others.

While the world teaches us to hold a grudge, God has a very different take on forgiveness. We are commanded to forgive others, even when they have badly hurt us. God’s way is much different than how we likely used to think. God urges us to forgive and even tells us that “our heavenly Father won’t forgive us, if we don’t forgive others.”

The forgiveness we have received through Christ, should prompt us to forgive others. How can we experience the tender mercy of God, but not share it with others? A changed heart is what happens, as we experience the Gospel.

Friends: Keep fighting to honor God in your relationships. As we obey God by forgiving those who hurt us, we are choosing to put our faith in Jesus Christ before our pride (or emotions). In the Bible, God teaches us how to handle difficult relationships – which brings many blessings with it.

My Story

As I look back at relational conflicts, I am reminded of the heartache and pressing need to obey God by choosing forgiveness.

If we want God’s blessing and protection over our relationships, we have to be willing to obey His Word.

Partnership with God is what made the difference in my life. Things can get so messed up, but God is the One who restores as we continue following Jesus in the hard things. Forgiving others isn’t something I can do, but is made possible with Jesus Christ. He is the One who forgives and shows us how to really love others – with His strength.

God has responded to me in forgiveness – at the moment when I needed it the most. God’s grace isn’t based on our actions, but the heart of God that lovingly pursues us no matter how far we run. This is why we can forgive, with the help of the Holy Spirit.