Friday, February 8, 2013

Faithful Friday {The Source of Temptation}

Each and every one of us face temptation in our daily lives:

tempted to be lazy
tempted to get angry
tempted to lust after someone
tempted to lie
tempted to be selfish
tempted to put life before God
tempted to judge
tempted not to take care of yourself

Feeling convicted yet? I know I am!

Sometimes I get irritated with God when I'm having trouble with a particular temptation. The conversation goes something like this:

God, why are You putting me through this?! I'm trying to grow as a Christian and now You throw THIS in front of me? I'm not strong enough to resist it! YOU KNOW I'M NOT! Can't You just make it stop?

...and when, predictably, I give into the temptation:

I'm sorry God, I really am. I didn't MEAN to do/think/feel/act ___, but I told You! I can't handle it! I asked You to take it away and You didn't. What else did You expect?

I fall into a cycle, alternating between begging God to shield me from temptation and justifying it when I don't resist. However, when I complain to God this way I'm making a fundamental error: HE is not the one who tempts me! Satan is!

James writes,

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed."
{James 1:12-14 NKJV}

God doesn't tempt us - He just allows us to be tempted. That's part of the whole "free will" thing He gave us! He knows that we ALL have a human desire to sin, and He knows that we will fall sometimes!

God does not expect for us to be perfect. All He truly wants is for us to seek Him in the face of temptation, try our best to resist it - with His help! - to truthfully confess our sins when we give into temptation, and to ask for His mercy and forgiveness - which He freely offers to all who believe in Him.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bloggers Building for God

In 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, Paul wrote,

"For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Paul's words remind me of the experience that I've had with blogging thus far. I have been so encouraged and built up by the community of Christian women blogging about Christ! What an amazing work is being done from right here from behind our computers!

Here's the dynamic I've observed: one woman will write a post about something (for example, Marquis from Simply Clarke's post on discipleship, or Emily from Newlywed Moments' post on trusting God) and it will inspire other bloggers - myself included! - to write their own posts that build on the topic. Sometimes we continue the conversation via comments or e-mail; other times we participate in a link-up like Faithful Friday or Into the Word Wednesdays. I find it so fascinating to read other believers' views on so many topics that are salient to our lives! What's more is, though our readers may vary from 100-1000, each and every one of us are making an impact for our Lord - blogging is our ministry! I can say this with certainty, because I know personally I have matured tremendously in my spiritual walk since creating this blog and interacting with all of you.


Paul also warns us to "take heed" how we build on the foundation, so as not to undermine Christ. Each of us that minister through our blog must be careful about how we come across! We must think about things like:

  • Who our posts glorify. It should be Jesus, but sometimes we inadvertently glorify ourselves!
  • Using Scripture in context. (self explanatory!)
  • Writing non-judgmentally. Only our Lord can judge! (P.S. - this is something I myself struggle with when writing.)
  • Bringing others to Christ, rather than turning them away. We need to show our readers how joyful and fulfilling life as a Christian can be! I don't mean we shouldn't write about our trials and tribulations - that can be the best testimony! However, I do think we should try to keep Christ as the center, and show how He is helping us through the tough times!
So thankful today for you special bloggers who help me grow in the Lord! I pray that together, we can show God's love to the online community :)

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Faithful Friday - A Role Model for Trusting God

On its face, Psalm 31 looks like a desperate prayer. David is in a state of distress as he begs the Lord to deliver him from the trials he faces!

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my body!
For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
I am a reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel against me,
They scheme to take away my life.
-- Psalm 31:9-13 (NKJV) --

David feels alone, and his loneliness is taking a toll on his physical and mental health. I can relate to his pleas!  However, rather than allowing loneliness to turn into hopelessness, David remembers the times when God saw him through other trials. He recalls:

"You have known my soul in adversities
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy" (vv. 7-8)


"For I said in my haste,
'I am cut off from before Your eyes';
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You." (v. 22)

David realizes from past experiences that God is on his side! Instead of blaming God or becoming angry, David resolves to put his trust in God:

"But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD;
I say, 'You are my God."
My times are in Your hand" (vv. 14-15)

Furthermore, he instructs us all to do the same:

"Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints!
For the LORD preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the LORD." (vv. 23-24)

What an amazing role model David is for all of us!

Side note: I also use Psalm 31 as a model for prayer. It's hanging up on the wall of our office at home. Sometimes I read through it, and use Post-Its to write mini-prayer reminders that relate to a particular verse. Then I pray through them all! 

xo Christina