Anna's posts · Christian life

Sola Scriptura…sometimes?

All denomination’s doctrinal views differ somewhat. Since most modern churches base their views on the sayings of men rather than on the commands of God, we ought to expect this. Because of this, most times, on most issues, it is easy to say we hold to this view or that view because our belief isn’t going to cost us and won’t cause us any real difficulty either in the church or out of the church.

The difficulty comes in when we say we believe what God has said, when we say we hold to Sola Scriptura, when we say we are going to apply God’s Word to the minute details of our lives, and then we seek to live it out; this will turn our lives upside down.

So it is with applying Scripture to our views of womanhood and manhood. What God says is so radically different than what our world, and most of our churches, believe that when we try to apply it and live it out we set ourselves up for attack and criticism…even among fellow believers. Sometimes even among our Reformed Brethren.

Many folks who claim that they believe in Sola Scriptura fail to give evidence of it when it comes to believing and applying truths that will radically change their lives at the personal level. This is true in a number of ways. After all, how many of our Reformed pastors hold to the inerrancy of Scripture when it comes to a literal six-day creation? Or a world wide flood? Many do, of course, but there is quite a number–even among prominent pastors–who don’t. Either God is right, or man is right. It cannot be both ways.

Or what about what God says about the home? Or biblical womanhood? Or manhood? Our God-given roles It seems it must be far easier to argue for Total Depravity than it is to argue for the headship of man, the home-centeredness of biblical womanhood, and the blessing of  God’s gift of children. It must be, because so many of the homes of our Reformed brethren look amazingly like the homes of, well, anyone.

We call ourselves Reformed, we say we abide by the Five Solas, so the question is–Do we really? Do we really believe what Scripture says when it says something we might not want to hear or believe? Or when it says something that has the power to turn our lives upside down? If we do, we of the Reformed Faith–or anyone in a Scripture based church, really–can’t cherry-pick what we believe in and be right with God.

If we believe God is really God then what God says is all that matters. God and His Word must be honored, and obeyed, in all things, in all ways, at all times. If we love Him, if we honor His Word, we must take it upon ourselves to pick through the rubble of the past 150 years or so and get back to God’s Word, God’s Truth…as God Himself would have us believe it and live it.

If we ever want to make a radical difference in our world, if we want our churches to actually make a difference in the lives of believers, then Scripture must be our first, final, and only Guideline. We must divorce our beliefs from our culture, and we must stop looking at the church and at family through the lens of modernity; after all, that’s part of the problem that got us from where we were to where we are.

Satan has used many tools in order to destroy our belief in the sufficiency of the Word of God. Higher criticism. The Origin of the Species. The Scopes Monkey Trial. Compulsory schooling. The industrial revolution. These were tools used by Satan, by the world, to attack biblical authority. That doesn’t mean that in some of these–such as schooling or the industrial revolution–there wasn’t good to be found; it means that Satan is wiser in the ways of the world than we are, and regularly uses the good that man does against him and against God’s authority.

Liberalism and legalism have both also caused their own problems.

If we ever hope to have churches that set the world on fire, we must first be set on fire through the truth of God’s Word, and be filled with a holy desire to honor and obey Him–and to believe what He says–in all ways. We must be willing to dig through the rubble of our modern lives until we discover just what God has actually said and where we got off track. We must understand this in order to understand how things we’ve considered inconsequential have been used by the Evil One to attack the authority of God’s Word.

Either we believe in the sufficiency of Scripture to teach us, guide us, direct us…or we don’t. Let’s not be guilty of the very same thing that those who have gone before us were guilty of. If we are going to embrace Sola Scriptura, let us do it whole-heartedly…no matter what the cost to us. Then, believing it, let us live it out…to God’s glory, by His grace, for the good of our churches, for the good of our families.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Christian life · Tatiana's posts · Uncategorized

FIVE THINGS NEVER TO DO IN REGARDS TO FORGIVENESS BY Tatiana Wood

Saying “I forgive you” are some of the easiest words to we can say. Sometimes we’re saying them just to get out of a difficult situation, other times we’re mad and don’t feel like talking or forgiving anyone but we feel like we have to say it because it’s expected, other times we really mean it and want to forgive them for their wrong against us. Sometimes forgiving is hard and in those cases, we can make mistakes that only prolong the situation and make everything a lot harder than it needs to be. So here you go, from my own first-hand experience, five things you should never do in regards to forgiveness. Let’s get started!

1: When you say you forgive someone, that’s where it ends. There is no need to remind the person of what they did, there’s no reason to try to make them “understand” how you felt, or what their wrongdoing caused. If you say the words “I forgive you” then you’re closing the book on the subject. Bringing it up, again and again, doesn’t do anything to help them understand, they already understand and you reminding them repeatedly only ensures that they’ll start distancing themselves from you.

2: Stand back and look at the situation long and hard: Did you do anything wrong? Try your best to do this objectively and put aside what they did. If you messed up then own up to it. Pointing out what they did, while ignoring what you did, is another great way to ensure that they’ll want to back off. No one wants to feel like they’re entirely to blame when they know that isn’t the case.

3: Hear them out. If you’ve been hurt by someone, but refuse to hear their side of the story and *actually* listen to it, that person is going to start to feel like you aren’t worth it. We all want to be heard and to feel like we’re understood and if you keep replying to everything with something along the lines of “I get what you’re saying, but (what that person did) is the reason I did (blank)” that isn’t listening and it goes along with #2. And like I said, they’ll feel like you aren’t worth the trouble.

4: This one somewhat relates to the next one: Don’t endlessly talk about what they did. I know when we’re mad or hurt we want to shout from the mountain tops what a terrible person they are (I have been majorly guilty of this myself) and we want to tell every friend who will stop to listen. And while venting can be a good thing sometimes, (I mean, all need to get things off our chests) it also leads to us holding onto the pain and truthfully, it can lead to sin. The more we talk about them and what they did to us, the more we’re tempted to slander and gossip about them. Basically, what I’m saying is, don’t let their sin cause you to sin.

5: Lastly, let it go. Replaying what happened and holding onto that hurt that you feel doesn’t lead to healing and will only make you bitter towards the one who sinned against you. And, in the end it won’t give you the peace you long for.

Mark 11:25  And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

 

Photo by Jasmine Wallace from Pexels

Jesus/Cross · quotes

Sentence Sermons: The Cross of Christ

This is no mere question of controversy; this is not one of those points on which men may agree to differ, and feel that differences will not shut them out of heaven. A man must be right on this subject, or he is lost forever. Heaven or hell, happiness or misery, life or death, blessing or cursing in the last day – all hinges on the answer to this question: “What do you think about the cross of Christ?” ~ J.C. Ryle

The cross…always has its way. It wins by defeating its opponent and imposing its will upon him. It always dominates. It never compromises, never dickers nor confers, never surrenders a point for the sake of peace. It cares not for peace; it cares only to end its opposition as fast as possible. With perfect knowledge of all this, Christ said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” So the cross not only brings Christ’s life to an end, it ends also the first life, the old life, of every one of His true followers. It destroys the old pattern, the Adam pattern, in the believer’s life, and brings it to an end. Then the God who raised Christ from the dead raises the believer and a new life begins. This, and nothing less, is true Christianity… We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do – flee it or die upon it. ~ A.W. Tozer

Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, His agonies thy repose, His conflicts thy conquests, His groans thy songs, His pains thine ease, His shame thy glory, His death thy life, His sufferings thy salvation. ~ Matthew Henry

The sweetest fragrance, the most beautiful aroma that God has ever detected emanating from this planet, was the aroma of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that was offered once and for all on the cross. ~ R.C. Sproul

No man understands the Scriptures, unless he be acquainted with the cross. ~ Martin Luther

When you look at the Cross, what do you see? You see God’s awesome faithfulness. Nothing – not even the instinct to spare His own Son – will turn him back from keeping His word. ~ Sinclair Ferguson

Age by age the Lord Christ is crucified. And we too have crowded eagerly to Calvary and nailed him to His cross, and laughed up into His face, and watched Him die, and gone our way well pleased and much relieved that we have hustled Him out of the way–yes, even we. ~ Arthur John Gossip

How does Christ’s death on the Cross demonstrate God’s wisdom? In this way: Through the Cross, our sin is judged, yet sinful men and women are forgiven precisely because God has judged that sin in Jesus Christ instead of in us. God has done what seemed morally impossible in a way that demonstrates rather than denies His holiness and justice. That is why the Cross is the “trysting place, where Heaven’s love and Heaven’s justice meet.” The Cross is the expression of God’s loving genius. ~ Sinclair Ferguson

Christ is to us just what his cross is. All that Christ was in heaven or on earth was put into what he did there…Christ, I repeat, is to us just what His cross is. You do not understand Christ till you understand His cross. ~ P. T. Forsyth

Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed; see the thorn-crown; mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills…And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

If I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity. The old cross slew men, the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. ~ A.W. Tozer

For Paul, preaching “Christ crucified” has a much broader meaning than focusing every sermon on Jesus’ suffering on the cross. The cross of Christ is indeed the focal point for Paul’s preaching, but, as Paul’s sermons and letters demonstrate, the cross of Christ reveals much more than the suffering of Jesus. It also provides a viewpoint on the perfect justice of God and the dreadful catastrophe of human sin. ~ Sindey Greidanus

All Christ’s sufferings on the cross were foreordained. They did not come on Him by chance or accident: they were all planned, counseled, and determined from all eternity. The cross was foreseen in all the provisions of the everlasting Trinity, for the salvation of sinners. In the purposes of God the cross was set up from everlasting. Not one throb of pain did Jesus feel, not one precious drop of blood did Jesus shed, which had not been appointed long ago. Infinite wisdom planned that redemption should be by the cross. Infinite wisdom brought Jesus to the cross in due time. He was crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. ~ J.C. Ryle

And as I looked upon that corpse [of Jesus], I heard a footstep, and wondered where it was. I listened, and I clearly perceived that the murderer was close at hand. It was dark, and I groped about to find him. I found that, somehow or other, wherever I put out my hand, I could not meet with him, for he was nearer to me than my hand would go. At last I put my hand upon my breast. “I have thee now,” said I; for lo! he was in my own heart! The murderer was hiding within my own bosom, dwelling in the recesses of my inmost soul. Ah! Then I wept indeed, that I, in the very presence of my murdered Master, should be harbouring the murderer, and I felt myself most guilty while I bowed over His corpse, and sang that plaintive hymn: “Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins, His chief tormentors were; each of my crimes became a nail, and unbelief the spear.” My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorns those bleeding brows. My sins cried, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” and laid the cross upon his gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity; but my having been His murderer is more, infinitely more grief, than one poor fountain of tears can express. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The cross is not a nebulous, indefinable symbol of self-giving love; on the contrary, the cross is the monumental display of how God can be just and still pardon guilty sinners. At the cross, God, having imputed the sins of His people to Christ, pronounces judgment upon His Son as the representative of His people. There on the cross God pours out the vials of His wrath unmixed with mercy until His Son cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ~ Albert N. Martin

We took our sins and drove them like nails through his hands and feet. We lifted him high up on the cross of our transgressions, and then we pierced his heart through with the spear of our unbelief. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Whenever the true message of the cross is abolished, the anger of hypocrites and heretics eases…and all things are in peace. This is a sure token that the devil is guarding the entry of that house, and that the pure doctrine of God’s Word has been taken away. The church, then, is in the BEST state when Satan assaileth it on every side…both with subtle sleights, and outright violence. And (likewise) it is in the WORST state, when it is most at peace! ~ Martin Luther

Nothing else is of equal importance. The message of the cross is the Christian’s hope, confidence, and assurance. Heaven will be spent marveling at the work of Christ, the God-Man who suffered in the place of us sinners. ~ C.J. Mahaney

So the Cross does not merely tell us that God forgives, it tells us that that is God’s way of making forgiveness possible. It is the way in which we understand how God forgives. I will go further: How can God forgive and still remain God? – That is the question. The Cross is the vindication of God. The Cross is the vindication of the character of God. The Cross not only shows the love of God more gloriously than anything else, it shows His righteousness, His justice, His holiness, and all the glory of His eternal attributes. They are all to be seen shining together there. If you do not see them all you have not seen the Cross. ~ Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones

That Christ should love man when he was most unlovely, that man’s extreme misery should but inflame Christ’s love and mercy, this melts the believing soul. That Christ should leave the eternal bosom of his Father; that he that was equal with God should come in the form of a servant; that he that was clothed with glory, and born a king, should be wrapped in rags; that he that the heaven of heavens could not contain should be cradled in a manger; that from his cradle to his cross, his whole life should be a life of sorrows and sufferings; that the Judge of all flesh should be condemned; that the Lord of life should be put to death; that he that was his Father’s joy should in anguish of spirit cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”; that that head that was crowned with honour should be crowned with thorns; that those eyes that were as a flame of fire, that were dearer than the sun, should be closed up by the darkness of death; that those ears which were wont to hear nothing but hallelujahs should hear nothing but blasphemies; that that face that was white and ruddy should be spit upon by the Jews; that that tongue that spake as never man spake, yea, as never angel spake, should be accused of blasphemy; that those hands which swayed both a golden sceptre and a iron rod, and those feet that were as fine brass should be nailed to the cross; and all this for man’s transgression, for man’s rebellion: Oh! the sight of these things, the believing of these things, the acting of faith on these things, makes a gracious soul to break and bleed, to sigh and groan, to mourn and lament. ~ Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth

He who knows not the Christ of Calvary knows not God, and he who does not thus know, knows not anything that is worth knowing. ~ R. E. March

The supreme example of controlling, directing influence which God exerts upon the wicked is the Cross of Christ with all its attendant circumstances. If ever the superintending providence of God was witnessed, it was there. From all eternity God had predestined every detail of that event of all events. Nothing was left to chance or the caprice of man. God had decreed when and where and how His blessed Son was to die… Not a thing occurred except as God had ordained, and all that He had ordained took place exactly as He purposed. ~ A.W. Pink

Here is why all the central truths of the gospel focus on the cross: It reveals how heinous our sin is. It shows the intensity of God’s wrath against sin. It reveals the great love of God in paying such a high price for redemption. But it also serves as a fitting metaphor for the cost of following Christ. Jesus himself spoke repeatedly of the cross in those terms. ~ John MacArthur

I entreat you to devote one solemn hour of thought to a crucified Savior–a Savior expiring in the bitterest agony. Think of the cross, the nails, the open wounds, the anguish of His soul. Think how the Son of God became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, that you might live forever. Think as you lie down upon your bed to rest, how your Savior was lifted up from the earth to die. Think amid your plans and anticipations of further gaiety what the redemption of your soul has cost, and how the dying Savior would wish you to act. His wounds plead that you will live for better things. ~ Albert Barnes

Biblical knowledge

Unity will lead us to the next great awakening? Really?

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, the president of the National Day of Prayer, tells Newsmax that he believes the National Observance being held Thursday evening in Statuary Hall could be the start of something truly historic — the next great spiritual revival to heal an American commonwealth torn by enmity, strife, and mistrust.

“Even though things are difficult and people are struggling,” Floyd told Newsmax on Monday in an exclusive interview, “we know that historically speaking we have the spiritual heritage we have because this country had some of those great moments with God that literally altered society and altered the future of the nation — and they were called Great Awakenings.”

Read this very carefully: “…the next great spiritual revival to heal an American commonwealth torn by enmity, strife, and mistrust…some of those great moments with God that literally altered society and altered the future of the nation…”

Where is the talk of “for the glory of God” or “so Christ might be honored” or “because we, as a nation, are mired in our own sinfulness”?

The article goes on to say…

Christians must learn to set aside their differences for the sake of a greater cause.

“A divided church cannot call a divided nation to unity,” says Floyd. “And we need desperately as the church, all followers of Jesus Christ, to come together around what really matters and come together for the good of the nation.”

For the good of the nation. NOT for the glory of Almighty God.

I’m as patriotic as can be. I love my nation. But the Great Awakening was not ever about us. It was about Jesus. About a nation humbling itself before God, admitting it’s sins, and seeking forgiveness…one person at a time. The Great Awakening didn’t start out to turn a sinful nation on its ear, it was about turning sinful people to their only hope: the hope that lies in the blood of Christ, the only Son of God, the blood that was shed on the cross. Jesus who lived a holy life, died a perfect death, and rose triumphantly is now and always our only hope. Of salvation. Of a future in heaven. Of our nation turning to Him…one person at a time. Remember: The Great Awakening was only called that in arrears, not sought out before time. We cannot seek it; we must seek Him.

Read on…

Rev. Greg Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., agrees that Christians must model unity before they can expect comity to break forth in society at large.

He tells Newsmax that today’s church “is too divided over political issues — people are angry and are taking sides. It’s okay to have different views, but what we don’t need is red evangelicals versus blue evangelicals. Believers need to set aside minor differences for the sake of the Gospel.”

There are only two ways that I know of for Christians to come together in “unity”. One is for them to lay aside all personal preferences and read God’s Word, letting Scripture interpret Scripture, so that what God means is what the reader comes away with. When Scripture reigns supreme over denominational differences, over cultural preferences, and over personal beliefs, then and only then can people be unified through their faith. At least in a way that actually honors God.

The other way that Christians (or so-called Christians, at least) can come together in unity is by doing exactly what this article suggests: model unity…by setting aside minor differences.

Uh-huh.

And who decides what “minor differences” must be laid aside? Where is the line drawn? Who, then, becomes the arbitrator of truth? Is it this Bishop, that Elder, this Pastor, that denomination, or is it God Himself…who has already laid out truth in His perfect and holy Word?

Or maybe chaos should just reign. Because that’s what will happen, folks. If we try to come together for the gospel’s sake, the gospel is going to be left behind. Chaos will reign until first this one then that one, then someone else, decides “You know what? We no longer have to label this sinful act as sin…. If we can’t agree on it, maybe we ought to just agree not to address it.”

Isn’t that what we’ve been doing already? How has that been working out for us?

Not well, I’d say.

I’m not a legalist. I’m not a pharisee. I’m simply a believer that knows that God is who He says He is and His Word is all we need. Because of that I’m also one who believes in the Five Solas, one of which is Sola Scriptura…or Scripture alone.

Scripture alone. Scripture itself and by itself is sufficient for my faith to rest on. Not my interpretation, not your interpretation, but Scripture’s interpretation of Scripture. God’s Word, written by men who were guided by the Holy Spirit, is as it was written inerrant and infallible. God was and is perfectly capable of conveying His will, His truth, to His people through His Word. He did that when He wrote it and He’s doing it still through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Too often, when we seek the Spirit, we do it wrong and end up allowing ourselves to be led astray by emotion because we are open to a new direction, a new revelation. But that’s not what God’s Word teaches. God’s Word tells us not to add to it nor subtract from it. It says that it is sufficient. If we humble ourselves and seek God’s guidance, the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Word of God, will lead us to understand the Word of God. He will never lead us astray, nor will He lead us contrary to the Scriptures that He inspired. It’s simply impossible.

If we really want another Great Awakening, we must humble ourselves in prayer, repent of our sins, and rest on God’s Holy Word. Nothing else is sufficient.

To wrap this up, there is one part of the article that I agree with. It is this:

“I do believe that America knows it’s broken,” says Floyd. “I think that people know that politics and government will not be the ultimate answers to our problems. I think they’re important, but they’re not the ultimate answer to our problems.

“So while people may not know as a whole where that answer is, that’s where the National Day of Prayer fits in: For us to call people to talk to God about where we are, and hopefully use it as an opportunity to reintroduce who God is in this generation.”

Read Newsmax: Religious Leaders Say Prayer Day Could Bring Next ‘Great Awakening’ | Newsmax.com

…an opportunity to reintroduce who God is in this generation. I’m all for that. Let’s get out our Bibles, bow our heads, and pray in repentance and seek His guidance. Then let’s lay aside, not all of our differences, but our desire to have a after life insurance plan, and let’s actually seek to live for God’s glory. It starts in repenting of seeking our own way, our own desires, and of holding onto sins. Our church leaders should know this. After all, Jesus didn’t say “Why are you holding onto your minor differences?” He said, in Luke 6: 46, ” And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Or as Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1: 16

In the meantime, if you want to make sure that you are reading the Bible to see what God says rather than reading into it what you, or the world, or your denomination, believes it says, try this:

Remember, context is everything. Yanking a scripture out of context is a sure way to misunderstand what God is saying. Or who He’s saying it to. Therefore, in order to know what is actually being said, know who the book the passage is taken from is written to and why it was written. Know what style of writing is it (historical? poetry? prophecy?). Is is Old Testament or is it from the New Testament? Remember that the O.T. points forth towards Jesus and the N.T. reveals Him. Read the verse in question but read the verses around it also. Better still, read the book it’s taken from. Even better, read the whole Bible over the course of several months or a year. Then start in on it again. The more you read the Bible, the more the Bible starts to fit together and make sense. Find a good commentary or study Bible and consult it in order to know the author, purpose, and audience better. And pray. Always pray to know God’s will as He has already revealed it in His Word.

Should we pray for a Great Awakening? Absolutely, but one that begins with repentance of one person at a time and that is grounded in a holy desire to honor Jesus in all that we are, all that we do, and all that we believe. It’s about Him first and foremost. May God be glorified by your, and my, efforts to truly know Him and His will and our desire to serve Him.

And, yes, may He bless our nation.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

faith · Personal struggles · Tatiana's posts

Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear by Tatiana Wood

John 14:27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”   
We all worry; it just seems to be apart of life that we can’t–or choose not to–do anything about. Almost as if the definition of life is “stress.”  I used to believe that living a life void of stress and worry was just a happy dream. Something I was desperate for but couldn’t have. This was all before the Lord got a hold of me and showed me what it meant to trust Him, or how much He loved me, and before I understood that I had control over my thoughts and emotions. There’s so much I want to say about this that I’ve decided to break it up into three blog posts. So stay tuned!
Today I want to share how God’s love for us plays a big part in our conquest to overcome stress.   
When worried, stressed, or upset, it’s all too easy to feel like as if God is leaving us to fight these battles of the mind and heart alone. I know–I’ve been there more times than I care to count.
I started struggling with worry in a serous way in my mid-teens. Every few days it seemed that I had something else to worry about and whether big or small, it would stick with me like a old piece of chewed up gum sticks to a shoe until I’d finally get over that one thing just in time to find something else to be worried about. It didn’t help that my father is worrier and is very open about all of his worries and fears.
Enough is enough! 
Then, about two years ago, I decided that I had dealt with this long enough and I went to a family friend and pastor about my troubles. What he said made me take another look at what the Bible says about God’s love for me and has continued to help me to this day. After listening and sharing his thoughts, he reminded me that “Perfect love casteth out all fear” quoting 1 John 4: 18. He made me realize that the key wasn’t figuring out how to remove anything and everything that might cause stress in my life, the key is realizing that God’s amazing love and Christ’s selfless sacrifice, are stronger than the fear (which is what stress is at the core).
When we look at the world through the words of the Psalms, (Psalms 86:15, 89:2, Psalms 18, Psalms 23, and I really like Psalms 1 and 8–they don’t necessarily handle stress or worry, but they remind me of God’s power and glory), we’ll see God never intended for us to be worried or stressed (I’m not saying that bad things won’t happen or that He “just wants you to be happy”). The Psalmist would pour out his pain and fears to God but then, by focusing in on God’s grace and sovereignty, he’d turn his fears to praise. Just like God did for David and other Psalms writers, God intends that our trials and difficulties would cause us to lean on Him and to grow in faith and trust in Him. And by growing and trusting, we can finally see how much He loves us.
Just look at what the Bible says about how the Lord has taken care of His people. He kept Noah and his family safe during the flood, made what Joseph’s brothers intended for evil into something good, parted the Red Sea, gave Esther the courage to tell the King what was going to happen to her people, helped Daniel in the Lion’s den, and He helped David fight off Goliath–not to mention how He saved David from certain death more than once. And, in an amazing display of love and mercy, He sent His only son to die for you and for me. You simply cannot truly comprehend the Cross, and not understand the depths of God’s love for you. It’s simply impossible. And remember–perfect love casts out fear. All fear. All the time. It’s not that it causes us to have no fears but that it causes us to cast our fears on the One who loves us most of all.
 After I thought about this awhile and took a good look at all these Bible stories I realized that there’s nothing I needed to be afraid of. We can see how He took care of, and answered every prayer of, those who loved Him. Not one thing was left untouched. Everything always worked together for good at the end. So, if this is true, and anyone who has ever read the Bible can see that it is, then why would He leave us to struggle alone? As God never changes, and since He doesn’t change that means He’s the same God who has always taken care of His people. I don’t think we have any reason to doubt that He would protect us the same way He protected His people in Bible times.  As my pastor said “In times of trouble, let God’s love fill you.” By focusing in on God’s love, whatever is bothering you won’t look quite as bleak.
“God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.” – Elisabeth Elliot 
God bless,
Tatiana
quotes · Uncategorized

Spiritual bites to nourish you

“An unholy church! It is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church.” ~Charles Spurgeon

“The gradual disappearance of the idea and feeling of majesty from the Church is a sign and a portent. Our God has now become our servant to wait on our will. “The Lord is my shepherd,” we say, instead of “The Lord is my shepherd,” and the difference is as wide as the world”. ~A. W. Tozer

“The men that have been the most heroic for God have had the greatest devotional lives.” ~Leonard Ravenhill

“The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Saviour from Hell rather than a Saviour from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.” ~A.W. Pink

“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” ~Charles Spurgeon

“An idle life and a holy heart is a contradiction.” ~Thomas Brooks

“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.” ~A. W. Tozer

“Do you realize this? That if you were to somehow purpose to, from this day on, perfectly please God and succeed in doing it, that that perfect obedience, from this moment, would not acquire in the remainder of your life, enough merit to atone for one past sin, because God exacts and God demands perfect obedience and there’s no merit for giving him the minimal requirement.” ~Paris Reidhead

“The Lord commonly gives riches to foolish people, to whom he gives nothing else.” ~Martin Luther

“I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him.” ~Charles Spurgeon

“The church is so subnormal that if it ever got back to the New Testament normal it would seem to people to be abnormal.” ~Vance Havner

“If I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity. The old cross slew men, the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it.” ~A. W. Tozer

“I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.” ~Martin Luther

“There is a necessity for true worship among us. If God is Who He says He is and if we are the believing people of God we claim to be, we must worship Him…Oh, how I wish I could adequately set forth the glory of the One who is worthy to be the object of our worship! I do believe that if our new converts–the babes in Christ–could be made to see His thousand attributes and even partially comprehend His being, they would become faint with a yearning desire to worship and honor and acknowledge Him, now and forever.” ~A. W. Tozer

“I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of, and wherever I have seen the print of His shoe in the earth, there have I coveted to put mine also.” ~John Bunyan

“I never made a sacrifice. We ought not to talk of “sacrifice” when we remember the great sacrifice which He made Who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself up for us.” ~David Livingston

“Christ is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.” ~James Hudson Taylor

“If you get excited about serving the Lord, you won’t have to practice separation–everyone else will.” ~Pete Cowling

“Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.” ~Charles Spurgeon

“God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His gospel out in the world. God is looking for broken men who have judged themselves in the light of the cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to the end of themselves, whose confidence is not in themselves, but in God.” ~H. A. Ironside

“Sanctification is that inward spiritual work which the Lord Jesus Christ works in a man by the Holy Spirit, when He calls him to be a true believer. He not only washes him from his sins in His own blood, but He also separates him from his natural love of sin and the world, puts a new principle in his heart and makes him practically godly in life. The instrument by which the Spirit effects this work is generally the Word of God, though He sometimes uses afflictions and providential visitations “without the Word” (1 Peter 3:1). The subject of this work of Christ by His Spirit is called in Scripture a “sanctified” man.” ~J. C. Ryle

 

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