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Holiness and Sin

Holiness.  What is it?  How does it happen?  Is it possible?  

We know Christ is holy.  We know we are called to be holy.  We know holiness is connected with our behavior, and behavior is connected with our hearts, and our hearts are connected with our head.

"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, [15] but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, [16] since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV)

There are two important aspects to holiness: mortification and vivification.   Mortification means killing sin in our mind, hearts, and hands.  Vivification means imitating Christ in righteous thinking, feeling, and action.

Here is a good resource for discovering the depths of our sin through God's commandments, so that we may continuously mortify (kill) the flesh through knowledge, repentance, and confession.

Here is a helpful handout on understanding the work of holiness that God desires to accomplish within us!

"People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated." - D.A. Carson

Checkout online, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on Twitter for some great daily truths, encouragement, and resources from the Bible!

Top 10 Bible Verses on Love

Love.  We all desperately desire to be loved.  Some may outwardly appear to resist, avoid, or be dispassionate about love, but inwardly everyone desires to be loved deeply, permanently, and passionately.

God is love.  His Word expresses the depths, permanency, and passion of His love for His children.   The Bible simultaneously expresses how Christians are to overflow Jesus' love into the lives of others.   Perhaps the most well-known Bible verse it centered on God's love for the world!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)

Check out these "Top 10 Bible Verses on Love"... and click the image if you want to find some more powerful, biblical references on how to love one another!

  1. 1 John 4:8-11 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
  2. Mark 12:28-31  “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"  29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’”
  3. Ephesians 5:1-2 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
  4. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  5. Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  6. John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
  7. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8Love never fails.”
  8. Galatians 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
  9. 1 John 4:10 “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
  10. Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”
Checkout online, on Facebook, or on Twitter for some great daily truths, encouragement, and resources from the Bible!

Prioritizing Family

How is your family life?  Do you ever struggle in balancing life commitments with home commitments?  Work stress ever seem to take away the joy of your home life?

Many people have never heard of Jephthah nor can remember much about him.  Although he seems buried deeply in the Bible as a seemingly obsolete and insignificant figure, there is much we can learn from him (Judges 11-12:7) about the dangers of not prioritizing our family.

Jepthah had a bad family background and made some unwise decisions growing up.  Despite these challenges, Jephthah was extremely successful in life, being described as a "mighty warrior" and a leader of Israel for 6 years.  But in Judges 11:29-40 we read how Jephthah, made a rash vow that resulted in significant loss within his family in exchange for mere military victory.

Although we may not make the same level of mistake as Jephthah did, we often make small mistakes in prioritizing work, people, possessions, and passions over and above our family.  Maybe today is a day that God is calling you to reprioritize your family in your daily commitments and decisions!

Checkout online, on Facebook, or on Twitter for some great daily truths, encouragement, and resources from the Bible!

Sneaky, Sneaky Pride

When things are going good in life, a subtle danger always seems to creep in...pride.

Pride is so dangerous.  It places the emphasis on ourselves.  When times are bad, pride helps us justify our anger or frustration, or encourages us to throw a pity party of despair or depression.

When times are good, pride again places the emphasis on ourself, patting ourselves on the back, comparing ourselves to others, boasting in our accomplishments.  Paul knew that pride is ultimately the root sin...the sin of self-worship.

We must remember that the great things we see God doing in our lives are for His credit and glory and not our own.  Especially in church or ministry life, all spiritual success is the Lord's!  Ultimately we need to humbly realize that we are but tools in the Creator's hands...but isn't it amazing when we see Him work powerfully through us!

Maybe today is a day to stop and repent of thinking of ourselves more and better than we ought to.  Maybe today is a day of redirecting all praise and glory from our name to His name.  Let's never fail to give credit where credit is due!

Check out online, on Facebook, or on Twitter for some great daily truths, encouragement, and resources from the Bible!

Regular Maintenance

So I am not the best example for regular and timely vehicle maintenance.  I usually hold off on taking my car in for service when things are terribly broken already or I am thousands of miles over my maintenance due date.  Sometimes I do the same thing with doctors and dentists...

Well the other day was different, something happened that had never happened to me before.

I didn't wait until something was broken...I didn't wait until I was thousands of miles overdue...I was intentional in being proactive and scheduled some vehicle maintenance.  On my way out of an oil change I noticed the odometer and the maintenance reminder to be exactly the same, to the mile!  Pretty cool, huh?
What would happen if we were more disciplined with our spiritual maintenance...if we didn't run to God only when things were broken?  If we didn't wait until we were thousands of miles "overdue" for maintenance?  Jesus is ready to heal, repair, grow, and fix us daily.  All we need to do is to be disciplined and proactive enough to seek His face!

When is "your next service due"?  Maybe in reading this you realize God is calling you to Himself NOW ... not later ... not tomorrow .... NOW!  So hit pause on whatever you have planned for the next few minutes and intentionally seek His face in the Word and in prayer, you won't regret it!

Let's seek Him and His kingdom as our priority each and every day.  Then we won't find ourselves so troubled about what the future holds.

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

Checkout online, on Facebook, or on Twitter for some great daily truths, encouragement, and resources from the Bible!

Having a Heart for the Lost

“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself, be sure of that.” Charles Spurgeon

This quote strikes a nerve doesn't it?  But isn't evangelism the most loving thing we can do for someone? We may seek and find excuses and justifications for not witnessing, but I know all true believers inwardly have a desire for the lost to come to salvation.  

When we are called to love God and to love others (the Greatest two commandments, Mark 12:28-34), that means talking about Him to those who do not yet know Him.  God is the definition of love (1 John 4:7-21) and must be heard of, believed in, trusted in, and shared to experience true love.  Love flows into the soul through Jesus, and out of our heart and through our lips in witnessing.

Have you witnessed to someone this year? This past month? This week? Will you pray for the opportunity to share the Gospel today? 

Evangelism is tough.  It is a spiritual battle.  But it is often more simple than we make it out to be.  Want some help with sharing Jesus with a lost friend, coworker, family member, or neighbor?  Check out for evangelism encouragement, resources and ideas!

Checkout online, on Facebook, or on Twitter for some great daily truths, encouragement, and resources from the Bible!

Continuous Prayer

I love this quote!

"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continued conversation with God." Brother Lawrence

Better than hearing or reading this quote, have you experienced it?  Have you ever had one of those days when you intentionally conversed with Jesus as if he were walking with you everywhere?

The truth is that for those who are Christians, God is with us EVERYWHERE and ALL-THE-TIME! So let's be intentional to hear His voice through His Word, to be tuned into His Spirit, and to "pray without ceasing!" (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Checkout online, on Facebook, or on Twitter for some great daily truths, encouragement, and resources from the Bible!

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