Girls Moving Mountains: Addie

Hey friends! Meet the lovely Ms. Addie! I barely knew Addie during the one semester of college we shared, but even then I knew that she was someone special! After she wasn’t on campus anymore, I realized more and more how true that was because her influence continued even without her presence! Addie is super sweet, full of life, and has a big ole heart that she puts into everything she does! This is a crazy time of transition in Addie’s life but I think that has only brought out her honesty and sincerity even more. Here’s what Addie has to share with you about her faith:

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Her faith story: “My story? Wow. Okay. So I grew up in a strong Christian household. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…most all Christians. I’ve been at Wood Avenue Church of Christ in Florence, Al for almost 20 years. My parents met in the college group here, and this is where they moved back to raise us. My dad is now an elder of the church. I attended Mars Hill Bible School from 2-17 years old. I was baptized by Larry Davenport in 2004.  I was super active in the Youth Group up until I graduated in 2013. I spent 1 week every summer at Maywood Christian Camp since 2nd grade. I just finished my 4 years at Freed-Hardeman University in May with a Special Education degree, incredible memories, lifelong friends, a loving husband, and all of his (our) debt. But, really. I’ve been what I call “spiritually pampered”. I wasn’t very popular in high school among my classmates, but I was seen as a Christian leader I guess. My grandfather, Dad, and brother were Mr. Mars Hill, and everyone said I was definitely going to get Miss Mars Hill. I did. I was honored. But I went into college parading behind that “good girl banner”. It didn’t hold up through much. (The devil does not care how long your list of honors and accomplishments are. He is not intimidated by your banner flying high. He sees your pride as weakness and he will attack those areas now, not your past!) I learned that lesson the hard way. 

I struggled in college. I couldn’t find my jive with Bible Study. I couldn’t find my heart with worship. I was experiencing the temptations of dating someone you really, really like. It was some tough years, even being at a Christian college. The best things in college for me were conversations with my roommates, ball field devotionals (when I could stay up late enough), Henderson College Girls class on Wednesday Nights, and any class I took with Matt Cook. Really I loved all my Bible classes, I think. But I saw the most growth when I was connected with Stantonville Church of Christ and when I could get in a good routine with my Bible study. My college years contained my highest and lowest times spiritually. 

One of the most obvious ways I have seen God is in my relationship with my husband, Tyler. I had never dated before I met Tyler. I maybe went out a time or two with a few friends I was talking to, but never kissed a guy ’til Tyler. (Kissing a guy unleashes a whole new level of feelings. It’s like trying to compare Gano to your momma’s cooking…totally different.) We reflect by thinking back to the first few months of dating and just sit in awe of how God brought us together, and now we  know how we have both benefitted from marriage so much. 

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I met Tyler a week before my freshman year. We were set up by my brother and Tyler’s cousin Jennah (who my brother is marrying this week!! We are a crazy Alabama family.) But it’s so obvious God’s hand is in all of it. In the beginning of our relationship I was so conflicted, because I am a talker and Tyler is a man of few words. I struggled with confidence in our relationship and struggled seeing where God was taking us. I remember one night of Chi Beta fall retreat we snuck off to the dock and sat and talked about the lessons we had been hearing. We talked about our biggest fears and our weakest parts. We talked about our vulnerabilities and where we saw ourselves with God. For the first time I knew that I had to stick with the boy beside me, because I could never talk like that to anyone else besides God. We needed to be in each other’s life. 

There were so many times that we had to go to God separately and together and ask for forgiveness for the temptations we were playing around with. We struggled and fought for our purity all through college. It was a long battle to get to where we are. And I say that because I see where God strengthened us through these temptations we faced. We had to depend and trust on one another to look out for the best for one another. People don’t usually talk openly about struggling to stay pure in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Especially when they are both Christians. It’s just awkward or uncomfortable. But if you have ever dated someone for really any period of time, you’re most likely going to be tempted to go farther physically and mentally than “just a boyfriend” should go. My almost sister-in-law has this on her car dash: “Boyfriends do not get the same privileges as husbands.” (Or something to that affect.) And I know I would’ve benefitted from that being on my car dash. (Vice-versa about women.)”

Her favorite passage of Scripture: “My favorite verse changes with each season. I am in a time of anxiety right now. We are going through a big transition. We are 8 months into marriage and about to move to our 3rd location in a year. Tyler will be going to grad school and I will be teaching full-time. I’ve never done anything full-time. So I am clinging to Matthew 6’s cure for anxiety passage. Verse 25 says “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Okay, so if God is telling me I shouldn’t worry about what I see as necessities in life: food and clothing, then I shouldn’t worry about anything. Especially things that my life doesn’t depend on. I’m one of those who gets “Hangry” without food. We haven’t had to worry about not having food on the table. When I burn a meal or put too many cups of water in the rice, there is always another option of food. We have never had to miss a meal. If God tells me not to worry about important things like food, then why am I wasting thought and breath over if the apartment we want will open up? Or if we will be able to pay off loans in a certain amount of time? Those do not even determine my survival. I say this to myself a lot. “God has not brought me this far just to see me fail.” The Lord is not going to put so much work into me and into our life just to watch us crash and burn. He will take care of our needs. Read the rest of the verses to finish up the thought.”

Her practical tips for studying the Bible: “Do a verse trail. Ty and I did this in college. We would pick a topic or word and research verses that mentioned the word or idea. Then we would choose the verse we thought we should start with. Read it several times in different versions and talk about it. We wrote the first verse reference by the word that we are studying in the front opening of our Bible. Then we picked the next verse. We referenced it by the first verse we chose. And so if we picked “worry” we would go to Matthew 6 :25 and out beside it put an arrow and reference Proverbs 3:5. Then we would turn to Proverbs 3:5 and out beside it write  Romans 8:38.. and so on. Then when you finish pray about specific ideas brought up in your study.”

Her prayer relationship with God: “Prayer is extremely important, and when I am in a habit of praying I rely on it to have peace. And when I am not, I rely on myself and have no peace.” (I couldn’t agree more!)

How Addie defines “delighting in the Lord”: “I think delighting in the Lord is taking time to think about, talk about, and praise God. See and be excited about what he is doing in your life and in others. And it’s hard for me to delight, because I don’t take time to think. I busy my life to where I don’t end up with the time to reflect. I think it’s a little of being an over worker type, and also that I am afraid to be alone with my own thoughts at times. Afraid I might discover all my ugly.”

Her message to other girls trying to increase their faith: “My advice is to not be like me in the way where you collect too many things to get done on your agenda and not start with enough time to recharge each day with the Lord. I read one time that if it takes you going and treating yourself to your favorite sonic drink or coffee in order to dedicate time sitting at the feet of Jesus, then do it. I find it helpful to plan a special sit down with God around a iced coffee or in a sonic drive-in spot. I’m always on the go, so the hardest part for me is to take time to slow down.”

On the “desires of her heart”: “A desire of my heart would be being able to reach souls in my school community that I will be teaching in and then and to be able to work with a congregation in Birmingham. I’m kinda in that weird stage where I am still a very young adult, married, but no kids in sight (hopefully on that.) I want to be able to use this time in my life (where I probably will have the most available time until we retire at the age of like 73 at this rate) to do good in creative ways within the church. Also, I love to make and create jewelry. And I use this hobby and passion to help others in what I think is a creative way. (Check out Addie’s beautiful jewelry here!) I think it would be incredible to have my own “company” online store type thing where my jewelry is tied into a devotional that comes along with the piece. Something that could be beneficial to not just the physical appearance but to the soul. I think it would also be a great way for people to encourage their friends in a special way. “

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One of my favorite things about Addie is the way she incorporates her faith into the everyday parts of her life. I hope that you have been encouraged by Addie’s words here and that her story will inspire you as you continue to grow in your faith!

Until next time!

Amelia

Monday Minute: Insurmountable Foes

Joshua 11:1-5 tells about a formidable group of kings that banded together to face God’s people in battle. The impressive list of these nations and their armies ends with this description: “as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude…” Whoa. That’s a lot of people. Like, enough people that maybe the little army of Israel was thinking about letting that northern region just keep their land.

But what did God say? The very first words from God to Joshua in verse 6: “Do not be afraid.” He promised to deliver them, and He did. In facing an insurmountable foe, God simply looked at His people and told them not to fear. And then they watched as God used their trust and obedience to do great things.

What is your insurmountable foe? What are you facing that you think you can’t overcome, that feels bigger than all the sand on the shore?

Fear? “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1

Temptation? “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

Grief? Jesus has been there. He knows how it feels to be hurting. “Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how He loved him!'” John 11:35-36

Insecurity? For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14

Loneliness? “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Weakness? “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

With God, no foe is insurmountable. There is nothing that He can’t overcome for you. Trust in His power. Do not fear. Obey Him— and then watch how quickly He will win the battle for you.

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Amelia

Girls Moving Mountains: Jennah

Hey friends! It’s been a little while, but it’s time to meet another amazing girl who is doing awesome things with her faith! Say hi to my sweet friend Jennah! Jennah and I met this past year at Freed and she has had such an impact on me with her genuine and sincere faith. With her gentle spirit and beautiful servant’s heart, I knew I had to get her on here for GMM! Jennah is 19 and she wants to teach elementary school. She has a huge heart for mission work and this past semester she served as the Women’s Chaplain for our social club. This summer she gets to start a brand new adventure— marriage! Here’s what she has to share with you about her faith:

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Her faith journey: “I’ve known about Jesus for a long time. From a very early age, my parents taught me many things about God and the Bible. I remember doing Bible skits with my brothers at home and knowing that repentance was when you were walking one way then did a 180 (not sure how much I understood of that haha). But I guess it really became real to me when I was around 4th and 5th grade. I went on my first really involved mission trip to Ukraine in the summer before 5th grade and was baptized not long after returning. I came to my dad one night after worship and stood in my kitchen talking to him about it. The next day he baptized me. I remember the joy I had as a young Christian. My friend and I would sing so loud. But I still had a lot to learn about life and a lot of growing to do (still do). My baptism was a starting point, not a finish line.

“Many influences and opportunities have helped guide me in my growth as a Christian. I was blessed to attend Mars Hill Bible School, and I feel confident that through Life Days/Retreats, daily chapel sessions, and daily Bible classes that my faith grew stronger. Besides Mars Hill, I have had the absolute privilege to be involved in working with the wonderful people of Ukraine, especially in the city of Kramatorsk, people who have helped me become more outgoing, more loving, more capable in teaching and working in the church. And how can I mention my spiritual growth without mentioning Lads to Leaders? This wonderful program also helped boost my abilities within the church. I discovered that I liked speaking, leading singing, etc. But most of all, I think my faith ought to be heavily credited to my faithful parents. They have instilled in me the ways of the Lord— Knowledge of Him. Kindness. Compassion. Generosity. Mercy. Sacrifice. Forgiveness. The list goes on. There have not been many days when they have not prayed with me at night while I’ve lived in their home.

“But what is faith without any testing? As I have grown, I have noticed a greater ownership of my faith. From around 10th grade to now, I believe that I have done the most growing as a Christian. While there is a good bit I could say in that 4 year span (like how important it is to date a Christian that you can talk to about God with and pray with!!!!!!!), I want to especially talk about my first year of college. When you embark on the journey that is college, you learn so much about yourself. About what you stand for. Who you are going to be. No one can make you read your Bible. No one can make sure you’re not on your phone in worship, let alone go to worship. No one can make you say your prayers. This is you. Your faith. Your time to step up. And what else can you do? Build new relationships! Find new strengtheners while you are away from what you’ve always known. The Christian walk is not one meant to be walked alone. I know a lot of times a big help for me was to have my roommate as someone to hold me accountable, someone to encourage me, someone to talk to about my struggles. People need people. I needed her.

In July, I will be starting a new journey with my soon-to-be husband (!!!). I’m sure my challenges there will be different than they are now. My faith will be tested in different ways than it has been before. In a lot of change, one thing always remains. My God. I am so far from perfect. So far from having it all figured out but I know that as long as I’m not done with Him, He’s not done with me. He’ll mold me until my last breath. And then I’ll see Him, and I’ll be with Him. And it will be the greatest day.”

Her favorite passage of Scripture: “I love Ephesians 4:32 which says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” It is a good reminder of how we are supposed to act towards other people. Also, my favorite book of the Bible is James. It is so practical and easy to study (which I need to do more of…). If you want to get into reading the Bible and find it difficult, I think James is a good place to start.”

Her practical tips for studying and being in the Word: “Set a reminder(s) on your phone to go off at a certain time of the day! Talk to someone about what you read! This will help you apply it! Try to be consistent. Try not to just flip here and there. Be intentional.”

How important is your prayer relationship with God? “So important. A lot of times I don’t want to come to Him when I feel guilty, but I always feel better when I do. Talking to God brings peace for me. How can I be friends with God if we never talk? Also, think about this. Even Jesus took time to pray. If we want to walk how Jesus walked, we are going to take time to talk to the Father. (Just like reading the word, it is also a good idea to set a reminder if you have trouble remembering to talk to Him!)”

What “delighting in the Lord” means to her: “I would define it as walking in His ways and finding joy in every day and circumstance. Why is it difficult to do this? I think it’s easy to get bogged down by all the negativity in the world. Easy to become hard-hearted. Calloused. Tired. Forgetful and numb to all that has been done for us. I think if we slowed down our busy schedules and focused on the simple things, we would realize what a beautiful life we have been given by God. What a beautiful story He wrote in redeeming us.”

On the “desires of her heart”: “Oh, I am a dreamer. I like ideas, but I have a hard time putting them into action. Mission work has been a significant part of my life, and so I would love to continue to do that. My soon-to-be husband is a youth minister, and I would love to be able to grow close to especially the girls of the youth group. Remind them of their worth. Help them through things I have already been through.”

Her message to other girls striving to increase their faith: “DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!!! One time I had a wise teacher talk to my class about a spiritual continuum (basically a plot line of your spiritual growth). He said something like this. “It doesn’t matter where you are on the continuum. It only matters what direction you are facing.” You may be low, but if you’re headed up, keep it up. Galatians 6:9 says this: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

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The way Jennah talks about her faith is so beautiful to me and I know you can see it too! I’m so thankful for her example. I hope her words here are an inspiration to you as you grow in your faith and learn to delight in the Lord, trusting that He can and will move mountains. Check out Jennah’s blog for more of her wise and inspiring words at jennahalyse.wordpress.com

Until next time!

Amelia

 

 

 

Monday Minute: I Don’t Understand

Sometimes, it feels like God’s directions just don’t make much sense.

In Joshua 6, God’s people were getting ready to finally take the land He had promised them. They were armed, they were ready, and then God threw them for a loop. His instructions? March around the city of Jericho one time each day for six days, and then on the seventh day march around the city seven times and at the end the priests should blow their trumpets and everyone shout as loud as they can and the walls of the city will just fall down.

I’m sorry, what?

Joshua and his men who were ready to fight had to be confused by these directions. This was not the way you took a city. This was crazy. It would have been easy for them to turn to Joshua and say, “I just don’t understand.”

But they didn’t. Because just a few chapters before, these men had promised to do all that Joshua, as their leader chosen by God, asked them to do (Joshua 1:16). And in that same chapter God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Those instructions alone—without God in the picture—make no sense. But with God, they make all kinds of sense. This was their first battle in the land that God had given them. It was a reminder that through their own power alone, they could do nothing. But if they trusted in God and obeyed Him—even when it didn’t make sense—He would deliver on His promises. And He did.

Are you confused about what God is doing right now? Sometimes, God’s commands just don’t make sense to us. I’m supposed to be joyful even when life makes me sad? I’m supposed to love people who don’t love me back? I’m supposed to save myself for marriage when all of my friends aren’t? I’m supposed to tell people about Jesus even though they may reject me? I don’t understand.

But just like Joshua and his men, we must trust in God. We must obey His commands— even when they make no sense to us. Because just like at Jericho, instructions that make no sense to us make all kinds of sense with God. They remind us that He knows best. They remind us to trust in His power. And they show us that He always delivers on His promises.

Be strong and of good courage today. God is with you wherever you go. Trust Him and choose Him, even if you don’t quite understand. Because someday, when your walls fall down, everything will make sense.

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Amelia

Monday Minute: Partly Sunny

Have you ever felt partly cloudy?

I checked out the weather for the week last night and the forecast for every day was partly cloudy. Bleh.

That’s how I might describe my days lately– not terrible, but not super great, just partly cloudy. And after a while, partly cloudy days start to get a little old.

But why do we call those days partly cloudy? After all, the clouds are only part. And what’s the other part? Sunshine! So why don’t we call those days partly sunny?

Maybe on this Monday morning, we could all use a little change in perspective.

Jesus is ALIVE this morning! He offers us salvation, peace, hope, and JOY! Joy that goes way beyond the circumstances of our life and pervades everyday with a different kind of attitude and perspective— a perspective that calls partly cloudy days partly SUNNY instead.

Habakuk 3:17-19:

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer’s;
    he makes me tread on my high places.

It doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life, what my days look like, what the weather is like, it doesn’t matter! I will rejoice in the Lord, I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Choose JOY this morning.

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Happy Monday!

Amelia

Monday Minute: Superwoman

(It’s a new series on SfL, the Monday Minute! A quick little thought to get you ready for the week. Enjoy!)

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Our culture is so focused on the superficial and that translates into us trying to do it all and to do it all better than everyone else. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others.

Have you ever read about the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 and just felt exhausted? She works with her hands, she makes clothing for her family, she brings food from far away for her large household, she gets up early and stays up late working, she manages business matters, she provides for the poor, all while managing to be cheerful, joyful, strong, and kind! I mean, wow, right?

But the truth is, God never asked us to be superwoman. He is the perfect one, and He wants us to rely on Him to be the superhero.

1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

And if we examine the superheroes of the Bible, we can see that their great accomplishments took many days, years, and sometimes entire lives! The Proverbs 31 woman did not magically become the model godly woman overnight. Instead, it was years of practice and experience that allowed her to handle her busy days so well. All of the biblical superheroes we admire took their time and relied on God even when they were extremely busy. If we will also rely on God instead of trying to be a perfect superwoman, we will accomplish much more than when we try to take care of everything ourselves.

Amelia

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Donut Worry

Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

One of my favorite t-shirts has a doughnut on it and it says, “Donut Worry—Be Happy.” One day I was wearing it when I was about to leave school for the six hour drive home and I thought to myself, “I’m not worried about anything right now, because I’m going home!” Even though there were lots of things that could have happened along the way, the expectation of being home overrode any of that fear and anxiety.

If we’re Christians, we’re all going home. That means we don’t have to worry! Even though so many things can happen in this life, we’re either working here or going home. It’s that simple.

Thinking about life in that context changes the way we see everything. No fear, nothing to worry about. I don’t have to worry about what I want to major in, what I’m going to do after I graduate, if I’m going to find the right person to marry—it doesn’t matter. As long as I am focused on the point of destination, everything else fades away in comparison.

Focusing on Heaven puts everything in perspective. It’s when we focus on all of the little things in this life that we get distracted and start to worry. But if we will focus instead on going home—the one big thing that really matters—it becomes easy to let go because the promise of Heaven is so great, and it reminds us that God is in control.

Philippians 1:21-23 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”

Paul’s mindset was Heaven-focused. His reasoning should be ours too: if I’m living here, I’m just working for God, and if I die, I’m going home to God and I know that’s even better. There is no losing situation here, it’s a win-win.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We have to fix our eyes on Jesus and be looking ahead to finish line, to going home. We already have the victory! Jesus has already won! So we need to live like we’re going home. We need to live like we’ve already won. If we do that, it will be easier every day to let go of our worries and fears, and to live joyfully and gratefully— exactly how God wants us to.

John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Do not worry. Easy to say, harder to do. But is it so hard, really? What if we just focused on going home? Even though lots of things will happen along the way, the expectation of being in Heaven should erase all of our fears and worries. We’re going to see Jesus! We’re going to be safe forever! Focus on that destination over everything else, because Heaven is wonderful—even better than doughnuts.

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Amelia

Studying Your Bible = Victory

Why is it so hard to consistently study God’s word?

I guess we could blame it on a lot of things. We’re busy. We have to get our homework done first. We’re tired. When we sit down to read, we fall asleep. We’re lazy. It’s easier to open up Facebook or watch TV— that’s mindless. We have other things to do. We have to make time for friends and family.

All of those things may be true, but really, they’re just excuses. They’re lies. And where do those lies come from?

John 8:44 “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Every time we have the thought, “I can’t study God’s Word right now because I have to __________,” we are believing a lie that Satan is feeding us. We do have the time. We don’t have to do other things first. In fact, if we would make the time to read God’s Word, everything else would start falling into place. But we believe his lies, and we let him win. Every day that you leave your Bible closed, Satan wins.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. It’s easy. Just open up the Word. Open up your Bible. The moment you open it, you push Satan aside. When you read it, you crush him. When those words start to take root in your life and when you understand what they mean for you, his plans are ruined. Because now you have the truth, and the lies don’t work on you anymore.

Studying your Bible is a victory over Satan because you’re aligning yourself with the side that’s already won.  You’re building your defense against him. You’re replacing his lies with truth. You’re remembering the One who is really in control. You’re winning a battle in the war that keeps on raging.

The Bible is a precious gift. It’s God’s story and it’s your story. He has so much to say to you. So just read it. Just open it up and read the words of life.

John 8:31 So Jesus said…, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”

Study your Bible. Stay in His word. Know the truth. Be free. Win.

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God loves you! Open up His word and read all about it.

Amelia

 

Goodness and Severity

Yesterday, I read the story of Jesus cleansing the temple from John 2. This is a passage I’ve always struggled with. I don’t think anyone, if asked to name their favorite Bible story, would say, “Oh yes, I really love the one where Jesus takes a whip and flips over tables and drives all of those merchants out of the temple.”

I love to focus on Jesus’ love and compassion. I love the stories of His healing and of His welcoming the children. They just make you feel good. And even His hard teachings like “Love your enemies,” still give you this sense of feel-good-ness, you know, rainbows and rightness and all of that stuff.

But not Jesus cleansing the temple. In contrast, that story scares me. I don’t really like to think about it, to be honest. But it’s there. It happened. And Jesus doesn’t make mistakes. So what are we meant to learn from it?

As I was considering this passage, I remembered this phrase from Romans 11:22, “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God…”

God is good, and He loves us and shows kindness and mercy to us. That’s the happy part. That’s what we like to focus on. But God is also equally severe. He must be just and He cannot associate with sin, it is who He is. Because of His nature, there must be punishment for sin. That’s the part we don’t like so much.

As Jesus cleansed the temple, He demonstrated the severity of God, a God who is perfectly holy and righteous and must uphold justice. That’s a reality of God, and it’s just as much a lesson for us as it was for those whose money tables were turned.

God is perfectly good, always. But He also maintains the right to judge those who have turned away from Him. Goodness and severity, equally present and equally important parts of who God is.

If we must be fearful of Jesus’ righteous anger in the temple, let it make us fearful of God’s severity, of His right to judge harshly when we disobey Him. And let it remind us to rejoice and be so thankful that God’s goodness has given us a way to be saved from His severity through His Son.

I love you and God loves you more!

Amelia

Also, check out my new blog post today on God’s Power in YOUth, a new ministry working to inspire young people to use their faith and their talents NOW for God!: How to Keep Growing in Your Faith During College