Verses For When Trials Come

I have been sharing some Scriptures that I turn to on hard days. Today I am sharing ones more specific to trials, though they all go together somewhat. You can check out the first post in the series, Renewing Your Mind, and the second, Verses for Overwhelmed and Weary Moms. I am writing from a mom’s point of view, but they are really good even if you are not a mom.
Verses for When Trials Come #biblestudy #jesus #christian #trials #bible @godschicki
Sometimes as a mom, and especially lately, it seems like it is just one thing after another, after another. These verses have encouraged me to press on during the trials.

Scripture Verses For When Trials Come

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:15-16

Our high priest is not unsympathetic. He knows what it is like to be tempted. To go through hard times. We can go with confidence to the throne of grace for mercy and grace to help in time of need.

 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

James 1:12

Persevere means to “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” When we have renewed our minds, and are focused on the end result, it makes it much more bearable when we are going through trials.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us…

Romans 8:18

Again, mindset is huge.

 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:12

Fighting is active. It often requires being prepared to put up a good fight.

 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

Remembering the power within us is important. Discipline is never easy.

 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:1

It is in His grace that we can be strong.
 

 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,  so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:10-12

God will remember your work for Him, as well as the love you have shown for Him by ministering to the saints. We need to be diligent in our service for the Lord.

 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 1:2-5

God allows trials to refine us. To make us more like Him. Remembering that there is a purpose behind the struggle is important:

 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1 Peter 1:6-7

 

 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.  As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

James 5:7-11

 

 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;  so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,  holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Philippians 2:14-17

 

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9

 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. …

2 Thessalonians 3:13

Even in hard times, we need to remember that we should not let ourselves grow weary.
I hope these help you when you are going through trials.

The Quiet Homemaker

The Titus Two Woman

The Titus 2 Woman (1)

The Titus 2 Woman

We hear a lot about the Proverbs 31 woman, and rightly so. She is an example of excellence in managing a household.
We hear less about the Titus 2 woman though. While “she” is just instructions for women, they are instructions for women. I decided to write this series a while back, but with so little extra time it has just been on the back burner.
I recently did a short study on Titus with some ladies from church and it really got me digging deep into the word. Studying the words. Now I am just going to try to get all of my Bible study notes into something readable.
Please grab your tea (or coffee if you drink it) and get comfy. This will be more than one post, and part of it will be guest posted.

Read Titus

Before we jump in, please take a few minutes to pray and read over Titus. At 3 short chapters, it is not too hard to do.

Background

Qualifications for elders, instructions for the young and old, and instructions for godly living make up the bulk of Titus.
Titus has traveled with Paul, and delivered other letters. He was a gentile believe, and even went to Jerusalem with Paul as an example of the non-Jewish Christians (Galatians 2:1-4). Titus is in Crete, helping set up the new church.

Laying the Groundwork

I am not doing too much of the word-study stuff with the text preceding Titus 2:3-5, but I do want to go back to before the “but” and “likewise” (which means that what comes before it related).
Paul give instructions for the qualification of elders. He goes on to Titus 1:15-16, which is where we will pickup.

To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

Titus 1:15-16 NASB

Over and over in Scripture makes it clear that our actions speak louder than words (Matthew 5:16; 7:21-23, 1 John 3:18, James 1:22; 2:17; 3:13 to name a few). Here it makes it pretty clear.

I found this challenging to me. Have I let my mind become defiled? Do my deeds line up with what I say?

But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

Titus 2:1-2

The word used for older here translates to:

  1. an old man, an aged man

  2. ambassador

As Christians, we are all ambassadors of Christ. I need to be more mindful of that fact.
The word used for sensible is sōphrōn, which translates to:

  1. of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses

  2. curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate

Am I self-controlled?
The word used for sound translates:

  1. to be sound, to be well, to be in good health

  2. metaph.

    1. of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error

    2. of one who keeps the graces and is strong

Do I allow anything other than God to mix into my walk? I have shared that What You Eat Matters, am I letting in things that are contrary to God’s word?

The Titus 2 Woman

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Titus 2:3-5

Women are to likewise be reverent in their behavior.
What does that even mean?
The word used for reverent is hieroprepēs, which translates  “as becoming or befitting for one of God”.

Is my demeanor, deportment, bearing (behavior) befitting one of God?

Gossip

That word alone could have its own post. Some women in the church do outright gossip, which is wrong, but how many times have we shared ‘prayer requests’ and gone into gory details?

Enslaved to Much Wine

Enslaved is literally to make one a slave, to reduce to bondage. When it feels like you need a glass, that you cannot get through the night/day without one, it is time to step back and think about that. (I do not believe it is necessarily sinful to partake of wine, but excess, or even if it is coming before God-saying we need a glass of wine instead of we need Jesus-is that because He is not enough? I guess the wine topic could use its own post as well, but let us get back to the text at hand!).

Teaching What is Good

Teaching is an intentional act most of the time. We cannot just expect our kids to see us reading a book and figure out reading that way. We must show them, purpose to teach them. Often, more is caught than taught. Which means we must be intentional about our time together. Purposing to pass on these things to other women. We must live our lives to be models of the Gospel, and all good things.

Encourage

Encourage is something that gets thrown around a lot these days. Usually we expect a warm, fuzzy feeling when we are ‘encouraged’.
Here is the word sōphronizō, which means:

  1. restore one to his senses

  2. to moderate, control, curb, disciple

  3. to hold one to his duty

  4. to admonish, to exhort earnestly

Sounds pretty different. Today we love the ‘judge not’ philosophy, do we not? Again this could be another post, but Scripture does say that we need to hold brothers and sisters in Christ accountable (Galatians 6:1, Titus 3:10, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Our hearts and motives need to be in the right place.
The flip side to that is that those who are being encouraged need to be teachable and willing to learn.
I wrote about Finding a Mentor last year.

Younger Women

Younger in age, or even spiritually. And just because we are the younger woman, does not mean that we cannot pour into others (1 Timothy 4:12).
Have you ever seen pictures of a tower of champagne glasses at a fancy party? The champagne is poured in the top glass and over flows into countless ones beneath it? That’s what I picture when I think of how we are supposed to be poured into and, in turn, pour into others.

Love Their Husbands

One day I will have a boat load of posts inspired by this one!
In this day and age, marriage is sadly often seen as disposable. People “fall out of love” and forget the “till death do us part”. We think love should be the romantic, warm fuzzies.
I actually was just going to breeze by this one because it seems pretty straight forward, right?
The word used for love here is philandros, which is literally “loving her husband”, but the root of that is philos, which means:

I. Friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well

  1. a friend

  2. an associate

  3. he who associates familiarly with one, a companion

This is talking about being a friend and companion to your husband. It is not about warm fuzzies. It is not about romance. (I am not saying that these are bad things, but not what marriage should be based one. Such love is fleeting, not love like the Bible talks about. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Love Their Children

Philotekos– loving one’s offspring, being fond of one’s children. Are we fond of our children in today’s culture?
Quite a lot to chew on today.
Part two is now live over at  Woman of Noble Character.
Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

The Olympics

The Olympics @godschicki
I once shared on my old blog about my love for the Olympic games. I might bring that post over later, but for now…
I have always loved them. I got to stay up late and watch the events. I remember some amazing Olympic moments.
The dad who ran onto the track to help his son cross the finish line. Gymnasts and divers competing on injured legs and feet to win gold. Micheal Phelp’s swims.
These athletes that do such amazing things do not just decide willy nilly to enter the events. They go through years of intense training to build their strength. To condition their bodies to perform.
It brings 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 to mind.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.  Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;  but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

As followers of Christ we should have the same drive and focus. The passion and discipline.

My favorite moment of Rio 2016 (so far, but I doubt it will be topped), is when Simone Manuel tied for gold in the women’s 100-meter freestyle. Her post meet interview was my favorite part. The first words out of her mouth were giving “all the glory to God”.  I want to be like that!

Our race is not a sprint, but a marathon. Running it is hard. If we start looking around instead of at the finish line, we will go off course and stumble.

 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Let us press on for the prize. Focusing on Him. Counting all else as loss.

Do you watch the Olympics? Do you have a favorite moment? Have you ever considered the lessons we can learn from the games and athletes?

I’ve linked this post up at:
Grace & Truth

Getting Drunk

Getting Drunk @godschicki

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-20 (Emphasis mine)

Let’s think about this picture Paul gives us for a minute.
Getting drunk affects many aspects of one’s life.
It affects the way you see things, your vision.
It affects how you feel.
It affects your speech, how you talk.
It affects the way you walk.
It affects the way you think.
Here Paul tells us not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
The word used for fill here is plēroō, which means “to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim”.
We, as followers of Christ, should be so full of the Spirit that it affects every part of our life. How we walk, talk, think and see things.
Over and over in Scripture we are told that our lives should be different if we are following Christ. On our own this is impossible. We need to be filled with the Spirit who enables us.
Unless we are spending time with Him, in His Word, in prayer, allowing Him to point out the weeds of sin in our lives and changing what He calls us to, we will be no different.
Let me ask you this. Without anything that you say (because talk is cheap, and your walk is what speaks volumes to the world), would people see that your life is different? How?  What is different about your life? How does your faith affect those around you on a daily basis?
In other places Scripture talks about Gracefilled Speech, Being Peculiar, and Dressing for the Day.
 
Tweet: As followers of Christ should be so full of the Spirit that it affects every part of our life. How we walk, talk, think, how we see things.
I’ve linked this post up at:
Grace & Truth | The Loft

Aprons & Pearls Link~up

Little by little things are getting done. Painfully slow process, mainly because the kids are so young and need mama a lot, and mama is tired.
I wish things were like in the movies…mostly the Disney ones where all of the nice little animals come and help you clean or you can clean with a snap of your fingers. We have a family of bunnies and some ducks and cats in the neighborhood that could lend a hand! I suppose that would cause it’s own problems, but one can day dream, eh?
Things have been further complicated this week by Bobby figuring out our baby gates….thankfully he’s pretty good at listening and going back in the living room when told…most of the time.
I feel like I am making progress. I can see the changes in the house, little by little it is getting better.
I need to be more intentional with teaching the kids to clean up after themselves this week.
Anywho…enough real life! On to the link-up
 

Aprons & Pearls Link~up #

What are your biggest struggles in homemaking? Was it something you learned growing up?
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.

About the Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave up to three links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, Oil Selling or the like).
  • Life happens and we all get behind sometimes, but for each link you leave, please comment on at least two posts (1 link=2 comments, 2 links=4 comments, 3 links=6 comments).
  • Comments should be meaningful (at least 10 words and relevant to the post) and use keywords from the post title.
  • Add the Aprons & Pearls Button below to either your post or your sidebar so others can join in.
  • Use the hashtag #aprons&pearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
 
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I have had some issues with the image not showing up, so please let me know if this fixed it or if it is still buggy. Thank you for your patience as I figure this out!
Now, to the link-up!



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Still

Still @godschicki
A recent prompt at the Loft was ‘Still’. I was hoping to get to work on this and be able to link it up, but it was an interesting prompt, so I figured I would still do it.
The first thing that came to mind was Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10 ESV

Honestly, I hate being still. Even when watching a movie, I like to have crochet or a pen and paper in hand.
Digging deeper into this verse, I learned that the word used for ‘know’ is yada` (yes, yada).
Some of the characteristics of the Biblical usage for this word are:

  • to perceive and see, find out and discern

  • to discriminate, distinguish

  • to know by experience

  • to recognise, admit, acknowledge, confess

  • to consider

How often do we take the time to distinguish that God is God? To experience it? To acknowledge it, recognise it, admit it, confess it? To consider it?
 
In today’s world, we do not get much stillness or quietness. We always have to be going or doing something. Our minds have to be occupied.
I think that this is a huge way satan is distracting us. Keeping us busy.
It has been said that being BUSY stands for Being Under Satan’s Yoke. I plan to write a post on this in more depth, but today I want to focus on these points
It is pretty true in my mind.

He wants us too busy to get quiet and be still before the Lord.

We are so uncomfortable with quiet in our world today. I am very guilty of this. It is hard for me to not have something going on in the background, tv, music, podcast. I feel odd if it’s just quiet. But, what if I am missing out on hearing from the Lord in those quiet moments?

He wants us too busy to dig into the Word.

As I mentioned in my post on Bible Study, the Word is our defensive weapon, it is how we grow close to the Lord, it is how we learn to live the way He wants us to. Why would Satan want us to learn how to use that weapon better?
If you are too busy for spending time in the Word, you are too busy.
The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, I have tried to be more intentional about getting quiet. I have not always succeeded, but it is a work in progress.
Do you take time to be still? What can you do this week to get better at it?
I have linked this post up at:

Grace Filled Speech

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Colossians 4:6 NASB

Grace Filled Speech @godschicki

I love word studies, digging into the meanings, which is done a lot in this post. Just a warning, but I think it’s well worth it.

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘grace’? The word used for ‘grace’ in the above verse is Charis,  which is translated:

    1. grace

      1. that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

    2. good will, loving-kindness, favour

      1. of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

    3. what is due to grace

      1. the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

      2. the token or proof of grace, benefit

        1. a gift of grace

        2. benefit, bounty

    4. thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

 

If  anyone thinks  himself to be religious,  and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives  his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.                       James 1:26

We are going to break this down a bit.
The word for ‘religious’ used here means to fear or worship God.
Let’s talk about that bridle for a minute. That word, chalinagōgeō, means :

  1. to lead by a bridle, to guide

  2. to bridle, hold in check, restrain

A bridle is not something that magically appears on a horse. It has to be put on.
This man’s religious worship is…
Mataios, which is: devoid of force, truth, success, result.
If we are not intentionally guiding or holding our tongue in check, our worship is devoid of truth.
Ouch.
What we say if we call ourselves Christ followers matters. Why?
The Bible commands it.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

Sapros, the word used here for unwholesome means:

  1. rotten, putrefied

  2. corrupted by one and no longer fit for use, worn out

  3. of poor quality, bad, unfit for use, worthless

And that word for grace? Yup, charis. In this case, benefit.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Ephesians 5:1-4 (italics mine)

Aischrotēs, the word for filthiness, is translated obscenity, filthiness.
Mōrologia, silly, is translated foolish talking.
Coarse jesting is the word eutrapelia, which  translates to scurrility (making offensively rude or abusive remarks), ribaldry (ribald meaning obscene, vulgar, coarse) and low jesting.
These things are not fitting for Christ followers who are admonished to be imitators of God, offering our lives as a fragrant sacrifice to God.
Our speech is a telling reflection of our what is in our hearts. The soil of our hearts bears fruit into our lives.

“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Luke 6:44-45

Is you speech full of that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness? Does it benefit those who listen? Would someone listening to you talk know that you are different?
Related Post:
Overflowing With Thankfulness
Imitating
With Every Breath
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Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Our Home of Many Blessings
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
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Woman to Woman Ministries
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Introducing The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

I have been thinking about setting up a link up for quite some time, and I finally made a graphic that, while not quite what I envisioned, will work until I find that perfect image.

About the Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This will be a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave up to three links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, Oil Selling or the like).
  •  Life happens and we all get behind sometimes, but for each link you leave, please comment on at least two posts (1 link=2 comments, 2 links=4 comments, 3 links=6 comments).
  • Comments should be meaningful (at least 10 words and relevant to the post) and use keywords from the post title.
  • Add the Aprons & Pearls Button below to either your post or your sidebar so others can join in.
  • Use the hashtag #aprons&pearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!

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Now, to the link-up!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth:THe Art of Homemaking Monday

Our Home of Many Blessings
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

What You Eat Matters

What You Eat Matters @godschicki
What do you eat daily? We are trying to eat healthier, to be better stewards of our bodies.
Out has gone a lot of junk and in it’s place you will now find healthier options.
If it is not in the house, it is less likely to be eaten. Eating healthier nourishes your body. Helps it to function as it should.
The typical American diet is chock full of processed junk with additives that hardly resembles real food anymore. Do not get me started on the pesticide residue on non organic food. Getting back to a healthier idea of food is not easy. That junk tastes good and it is easy.
It takes making up your mind to do what is right instead of what feels good.
Recently, a local church’s sign board had a great quote on it.
“You cultivate your appetite by what you eat”
I do not know where it came from other than that, I have search, but cannot find where it came from (if you know, please let me know!).
That is so true though.
When hubby and I first got married, we ate white bread. Butter bread to be exact. Neither of us had ever cared for wheat or whole grain breads, but when I became pregnant for the first time, we made the switch to whole grain. Now, we do not eat a lot of bread at all since it is essentially a filler, but it is strange to eat white bread. We miss the lack of texture, substance.
Some additives actually block nutrients from being properly used by your body. Pesticides and genetically modified foods have been linked to a multitude of health issues, hindering our bodies from working the way that God made them to.
While we are still working on it, our diets are around 90% real food and do what organics we can.
I have a few posts on some specific why and how we are changing what we eat, but I was thinking about how all of this can be applied to our spiritual lives.
When I was in high school, a popular phrase was “Garbage in, garbage out.” What we fill our bodies, hearts and minds with has a massive impact on our health, physically, spiritually and mentally.
If you put blueberries into your tea bag, you will get blueberry tea.
In her book, No Other Gods, Kelly Minter says:

“To think that we are unaffected by what we watch, read or listen to is deceptive thinking.”

I could not agree more.
Media is not lacking in the US. We have access to just about anything on our phones. There are hundreds of tv and radio stations. Too many books to count. We are bombarded with messages that are contrary to the Word all of the time.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23

When we hear things, over and over, we become desensitized to it. It becomes no big deal. When we are constantly faced with the world’s view of things instead of God’s, sin becomes no big deal. We get used to it.

When we do not guard, actively watch over what is put into, our hearts and minds against these messages, they become no big deal, normal.

We must actively guard our hearts and minds.

God’s Word clearly lays out how Christ followers should conduct themselves, not as citizens of this world, but as a people set apart. (Ephesians 4:17-5:21, Colossians 3:1-4:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, 1 Peter 1:13-2:12, to name a few references)

Is there a song that you have not heard in years, but you still remember the lyrics to? I know there are a few for me. Music is a powerful media. Set something to a tune and we are more likely to remember it.

What about Scripture? Can you pull the truths of the Word from your mind as easily as those lyrics? How you considered a Christian media fast? Listening only to Christian music for 40 days? TV? Books?

When we take time to nourish our souls, to cut out those additives and junk, they begin to grow and function the way they were meant to.

The junk of this world tastes good for a time and is easier to access, but what spiritual impact or consequences does it have?

They may not even be inherently bad, but if they are replacing God, if we make time for them, but not for Him in our lives, we must reexamine our hearts.

I have found that, like with the bread, when I am cultivating the appetite for the things of God, when I get a taste of worldly things, they lack substance and texture.

Philippians 4 gives us a good spring board for what we allow our hearts and minds to consume:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Are you working on cultivating an appetite for the Word of God? For His ways?

What additives are blocking us from absorbing and using the Word? From functioning properly?

Are you nourishing your soul?

Do you measure the media you consume by the Word of God-regularly?

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When People Let You Down

Set Your Mind on Things Above
People, will let you down. No matter who it is, at sometime or another, they will let you down in some way. It is especially disheartening when it is a person who claims the name of Christ. Family, friends, celebrities you admire for their stance in today’s media, even church leaders. They will let you down.
Remember, when that actress you admire so much for her values takes a gig on a show that is the complete opposite of what she preaches, or that church leader does not practice what they preach, that they are human. They have free will and make mistakes.
The most important thing to remember though, is that we are to focus on God.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4 NASB

Since everyone is human, even leaders and teacher, what do we do when they let us down?
Remember these verses:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9 NASB

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 NASB

We can take the good traits and lessons we have learned-following them in how they follow Christ.

It is hard, to get over the let-down. When you cannot believe that they would act in such a way, while proclaiming the name of Christ, but the important thing is to refocus on Christ.

People can put a bad taste in our mouths, but we must not let that affect our relationship with Christ or the church (as a whole). We need community. We are meant to function as the body of Christ. By letting other’s trip us up, we are letting Satan tear down the church even more than when the other person gave into sinful human nature.

What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, “You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.”

Romans 3:3-4 NASB

The Scriptures make it clear that God is faithful (Numbers 23:9, Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 36:5, 86:15, 119:90; Lamentations 3:22-23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 10:23; Titus 1:2; to name a few).

Even though Christ followers stumble and fall, we must remember that God will not let us down. His will and timing may look different than ours. He ways are so much higher than our ways, because He sees the big picture, but we must trust that He has our best interest at heart.

At what point do you shake the proverbial dust off your sandals in a church situation?
Always follow the prompting of the Spirit, but it is a matter for serious prayer. If a leader repeatedly goes against Scripture, and it is handled Biblically (Matthew 18:15-17), but there is no change, I would very prayerfully consider finding a new church home. Sitting under false teaching (by word or deed) is not something to mess around with.
Satan wants nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy members of the body. The question is, are you going to let him?
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