Countering Selfishness

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When I am tempted to fuss and fret,

Because all my “needs” have not been met,

Or when I am prone to great despair,

Despite working hard life isn’t fair.

I realize I’ve come to believe the lie,

That the most important person in the world is, I.

My anger or my wallowing sorrow,

Results from the selfish attitude that I borrow.

When I let self my conscience cloud,

Fleshly rule has been allowed.

But to counter my naturally sinful bent,

I have a help that’s heaven-sent.

I dwell on His most precious blood,

And to my heart the joy does flood.

How can I help but praise and sing,

When dwelling on the selfless King?

 

 

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For Your Husband’s Eyes Only // Modesty Pt. III

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Am I dressing in a way that is honoring my {future} husband and Heavenly bridegroom?

Modesty.  We always hear the argument for modesty from the perspective that immodest dressing causes men to stumble. And while I do believe that is true, this week I am taking a look at why we have a biblical command to be modest aside from the fact that immodest clothing causes men to stumble. Here is a summary of what we have looked at so far:

1. God created clothes to cover nakedness – God symbolized our need for Christ to cover our sins by making clothes out of animal skin. This was the first sacrifice. Genesis 3:21

2. God created us to be worshippers – God intended that we dress in such a way that reflects that we are His worshippers and that we are not distracting others from worship. 1 Timothy 2:9

“Clothing is an outward symbol of an inward spiritual reality.” ~ Mary Kassian

And last, but not least, we will look at the final principle:

3. God created us to be temples of the Holy Spirit and we are not our own. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

As a Christian, you have heard this principle many times. You know that when you were saved that you relinquished your life to the Lord’s control and that you are to live for Him. But do you think about the fact that you are to dress for Him? I know that when you get dressed in the morning it feels like you are in control of what you do, but you are not. You are under the divine control of the Holy Spirit and you have to submit to the standards that He calls you to. To disregard God’s call for modesty is to disobey Him. You are not your own.

Think about this. When you get married, Scripture tells us that your body is now your husband’s and your husband’s body is yours. Do you want everyone seeing what should be for your husband’s eyes only? How would your husband feel about that?

“But I am not married!” You might protest. It does not matter! Proverbs 31:12 says that the wise woman does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life. All the days of your life start before you are married and before you have even met your husband. Are you doing your future husband good by saving your body for his eyes only?

Likewise, when you become a Christian you are the bride of Christ. You are to dress in a pure manner that pleases the Bridegroom. You are to dress in a way that says that you are His.

Ladies, I am so passionate about this because I want to see you live holy lives before the Lord.  Matters of straps and hemlines and cultural modesty expectations are secondary. Those things do not deal with the heart issue. Let me end with this quote from the book Disciplines of a Godly Woman; 

“So there’s the challenge – to dress in a way that is feminine, appropriate, and modest. We gospel women must begin with our hearts, allowing God’s Word to search out the thoughts and intentions that influence our wardrobe. We must also turn our attention to the beauties that God values most in us – beauties that have little to do with clothing.”

I beg you ladies to think critically today about what priorities you are screaming, what beauties you are drawing attention to, and what clothing honors your husband.

For further study, here are a few resources that you might enjoy: 

“Modesty” a sermon by Pastor Rick Holland 

God’s High Calling for Women, Part 1″ a sermon by Pastor John MacArthur

“The Naked Truth about Clothing” a video blog by Mary Kassian 

You Don’t Want to See Me Mad

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You don’t want to see me mad. No, really you don’t. I get frustrated easily, but I don’t get mad easily. But when I do get mad, I rant and wave my hands around wildly. It’s not very ladylike. Or very Christ-like. Usually. 

Last week, I got mad. But it wasn’t because things did not turn out the way I wanted, it was because of an article that I read on modesty. I was so mad at the distortion of the Gospel and the disregard for modest dressing, I couldn’t even think straight. 

Basically, the bottom line was that us women are not responsible for how men react to what we are wearing. We should be able to wear what we want and the men need to control themselves. What in the world?! How did it come to be that we are not responsible for what we wear anymore? 

She was right. Men do need to be careful and to guard their eyes and minds. But I think that this Christian blogger has forgotten why it is that we wear clothes in the first place. Without even touching the issue of causing men to stumble (which I know is a very real issue), we can make a biblical argument for dressing modestly. Here are the reasons: 

1. God created clothes to cover nakedness. 

Think about the story of Adam and Eve. What happened after they sinned in the Garden? Adam and Eve realized that they were naked. Pastor Rick Holland points out that this was their first response to having a conscience. Next we see that God “…made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21). This was the first picture of the Gospel in the Bible. The Lord sacrificed an animal and covered up their nakedness. Clothes were created to conceal nakedness and when we do not cover our bodies it is a perversion of the system that God instituted. 

I think from that point alone we can make the argument that we need to cover our bodies. But there are more reasons than just that. Join me the rest of this week as I look at why it is biblically that we should be modest.

For the Sake of Christ // I Am Content

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People seem small in comparison to the size of a mountain.

Disappointment does not have to be ungodly. We see examples in Scripture of believers who handled disappointment in a godly manner. Paul is an example of this type of attitude. Three times Paul asked the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, but the Lord would not take it away. And what was Paul’s response? He said, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul was content with what the Lord had given him – even though it was not his first choice – because he knew that his weakness displayed the Lord’s greatness.

Disappointment is held at bay by a high view of God and a low view of man. I have a high view of God. My high view of His sovereignty and complete control over everything sometimes tempts me to blame God for the ways things are in my life. Continue reading

What Are You Standing On?

Disappointment can be crippling. Often it is a pain that others cannot see and/or cannot relate to. You try to describe it to others. You try to explain why it is that it hurts so much, but there are no words for the aching in your soul.

Disappointment can be catastrophic. It can lead to bitterness or dissatisfaction. You might be upset when others get what you wanted. You might question what the Lord is doing in your life. It can hinder your prayer life. You just want to know why.

Disappointment can be conquered.  Disappointment is conquered by a grounded theology. As Christians, we spend time memorizing Scripture and learning God’s truth for moments like these. Doubts and fears are swept away by the currents of God’s love and promises that we find in His Word. When you are facing the “Why?”s of life, you can combat them with what you know to be true. Do not be driven by your feelings, fears or failures. Be driven by a grounded theology of  a great and glorious God.

What are you standing on today?