Love = Freedom

love = freedomI have been pondering lately the great importance of love in the life of a Christian.

I find that for myself I often identify resolve, abstinence and standards, the doing or not doing, as the true test of my faith or the perceived level of spirituality in others.  While I certainly think that a true or strong believer will have standards and safeguards the Bible does not seem to paint this as being the ultimate proof of spirituality.

We see many proofs and tests of authentic faith shown in Scripture but by far the most defining quality that sets us apart from the world is our love.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  -John 13

It is easy to assume that the keeping of the law makes us look most like Christ and while the law is not bad the fulfillment of the law is summed up in this:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  -Matthew 22

It is easy to assume that despising God haters and persecutors would identify us with Christ and yet…

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”  -Matthew 5

It is easy to assume that speaking Truth loudly declares Christ more but the Bible says even Truth must be spoken in love: 

“Rather, speaking the truth in love..”  -Ephesians 4

The book of 1 John gives us tests of true salvation and over and over it tells us that a believer’s life will be one marked by the love of God and the love of others.

The first quality in the list of the fruit of the Spirt in Galatians 5 is love.

Perhaps it’s time to stop enslaving ourselves to a list of rules and start living in the freedom of Christ’s love and the fruit of the Spirit.

I am not suggesting that we discontinue the other biblical commands but maybe we would do well to realize that the entirety of God’s commands, when condensed, come down to loving Him and loving others.

If true, Christ-like love is our focus and our motivation then the rest of our doing will flow out in the spirit and freedom in which it was intended.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  -1 Corinthians 13 {ESV}

blog hedder pics 006

Which Bible Version Should I Read?

what bible version should I readThe other day a reader asked me why there are so many Bible versions and what is different about each of them.  I thought this was a really good question, one that I only came to understand a couple of years ago, so I thought I’d share with you what I found out.

What is the Bible and Where Did it Come From?

God inspired human men to write the Bible.  The Bible is God’s actual word but it was written down by men He chose and it was written in their own language.  The Bible was originally written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament).

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  -2 Timothy 3:16-17 {NASB}

Why So Many Different Versions?  

Any English versions of the Bible are translations of the original.  This is why there are so many versions.  The Greek language especially is very different from our English language.  One word in the Greek might need several words in English to convey the same meaning and at times there might be more than one English word(s) that could be used and it would still be a correct translation.

Another interesting thing is that the ancient Greek language does not change anymore however our English does.  Ancient Greek would be called a “dead language” but English is a “living language”

For example:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:…” -Genesis 1:28 KJV

“God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it;…”  -Genesis 1:28 NASB

In the old English “replenish” meant to fill for the first time (the meaning intended in the original language) however now a days when we say “replenish” we mean to fill again.  Both the KJV and NASB have translated correctly but because our English language changes over time translators have tried to update the translations so the reader understands what the original intent of the verse was even if they are not well versed in Greek, Hebrew or Old English.

Knowing the original intent of a word or passage is extremely important because if we misunderstand we can easily form incorrect thoughts and doctrine.

Genesis 1:28 has been used as a “proof” that the Bible allows for evolution all because of a misunderstanding of the word “replenish”.  Some have taken that word to mean that God called man to refill the earth as in, it used to be filled before by the evolutionary process but must be filled again after creation.  This of course is not true and was not what the original intent of the verse was but you can see how it could be easy to get confused if you aren’t digging down deeply and understanding the true meaning.  Here is a fuller explanation of this.

 

What Are the Different Types of Bible Versions? 

There are a lot of Bible versions out there.  Some are better than others, some have different purposes and others are just bad.  Here are the 4 basic categories of Bible versions:

1.  Literal Translations- these translations are the most accurate because the translators translated word for word.  These Type of Bibles include (but are not limited to):

  • King James Version (KJV)
  • New King James Version (NKJV)
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • English Standard Version (ESV)

2.  Broad Brush Translations- this type of version was translated thought for thought instead of word for word.  As a result the translation isn’t as accurate (and can sometimes be faulty) but it covers the general idea.  These type of Bibles include (but are not limited to):

  • New International Version (NIV)
  • New Living Translation (NLT)

3.  Paraphrases- these aren’t really meant to be Bibles at all though some call them that.  Their intent isn’t to be precisely accurate but rather to tell a story, perhaps for children. These types of Bibles include (but are not limited to):

  • The Message
  • Word On the Street (I have not read this one)

4.  Heretical Literature- these types of works are not Bibles at all, in fact they are in direct opposition to the Bible.  The authors have added or written things that are not true and are dangerous to the reader.  These types of books should be avoided.  This type of literature includes (but is not limited to):

 

Which Bible Version Should I Read?

On some level the Bible version you read will be about preference and conscience.  I think all of the Bibles in the first three categories can serve a purpose but when digging down deep and setting your doctrine I think it’s best to read a literal translation that is very close to the original.  If we can’t read or understand Greek and Hebrew we want to get as close to it as we can so we can understand what God was really saying.

If you are a long time reader you may have guessed that my favorite version, right now, is the NASB but when studying I often compare several literal translations to get a fuller picture.  I talk about that a little bit in a previous post 4 Valuable {easy} Bible Study Tips.  You may also enjoy, “Why I Stopped Reading My Bible… out of a book”.

What about you?  When you are studying what is your favorite literal  version to use?  Have you found some of the other types of Bibles to be helpful in other settings?  Share your experiences with us!

blog hedder pics 006

 

Is Fear Always Sinful?

Is fear always sinfulIs Fear Always Sinful?  I have been thinking a lot about fear lately, studying it, interrogating it and I’ve come to realize much of what I believed about fear is not true.

Growing up I always thought that fear was always a bad and sinful thing, a lack of trust in God.  We see many verses in Scripture telling us to “fear not” and I affirm these passages but I’ve come to understand that the fear talked about in these instances is a specific type of fear and that not all fear is bad or wrong.

In the English language one word can often hold several different meanings.  For instance: “I love chocolate”, “I love my father”, “I love my husband”.  All of these sentences use the word “love”.  I think we can all agree that though the word conveys a somewhat similar emotion in each sentence the emotion and meaning behind the word is definitely being used differently.  It’s the same way with the word “fear”.  This one word can hold many different meanings.

When you don’t identify the differences it can sometimes get a little bit confusing and even be a source of unnecessary guilt.

I’m not an expert on fear but here are some of my observations on four basic types of fear:

Sinful Fear 
A feeling that you allow to control you wrongly and cause you to take your eyes off of Christ and put them on a circumstance.  The actual feeling of this type of fear is not the problem.  The issue comes in when we let the feeling control our actions or our thought life to the point where we act or think faithlessly.  This type of fear is something we need to work on submitting to the Lord.

Fear of the Lord
A state of being in awe and reverence of God and His amazing power and authority.  This is a type of fear we want to cultivate in our lives.

Instinctual Fear
That “fight or flight” feeling or an inner (gut) perception that something is wrong.  I believe this feeling was designed by God to alert us to dangerous circumstances and prompt us to protect ourselves and others. I do not think this type of fear is sinful but it could have that potential depending on how we respond to it.

Medical Fear or Anxiety
This is an uncontrollable response our body makes after or during a physically or emotionally traumatic experience… such as panic attacks, racing heart, trouble breathing, etc.  I don’t think in it’s self this is wrong but again if not properly addressed it could turn into something sinful.  Those struggling with this type of fear should seek medical attention.

I found it very helpful to recognize the different types of fear and to identify which ones are wrong and which are either healthy or unavoidable.  I think if we don’t see the differences it can be easy to feel guilty or not fully appreciate some of the good types of fears.

What about you?  Do you have any thoughts to share about fears, either good or bad?  Did I miss any types in my list?

blog hedder pics 006

The Waiting Game

the waiting gameDo you ever feel like you have all kinds of plans for your life, plans that are good, plans that you believe the Lord has called you to fulfill but you’re in the middle of the waiting game?

You’re ready to take the next step in life but it’s not coming together in the time frame you had hoped.  You feel a shiver of fear over the uncertainty of it all.

Fix your eyes on the One who works all things out for your good, the One who holds it all together, the One who’s glory shines bright amid your darkest fears.

STRANGELY DIM
I’ve got all these plans piled up sky high
A thousand dreams on hold
And I don’t know why, 
I got a front row seat
To the longest wait
And I just can’t see
Past the things I pray
Today
 
But when I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
All my worries fade
And fall to the ground
‘Cause when I seek Your face
And don’t look around
Any place I’m in
Grows strangely dim
 
Sometimes where I stand
On this narrow road
Is in a raging storm
Or a valley low
But oh
 
When I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
All my worries fade
And fall to the ground
‘Cause when I seek Your face
And don’t look around
Any place I’m in
Grows strangely dim
 
I don’t know I don’t know
What tomorrow may hold
But I know, but I know
That You’re holding it all
So no matter what may come
 
I’m gonna fix my eyes on all that You are
‘Til every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
Let all my worries fade
And fall to the ground
I’m gonna seek Your face
And not look around
Til place I’m in
Grows strangely dim

blog hedder pics 006

Easy Ways To Boost Creative Thought

boost creative thoughtOur God is a creative God.  Just look at the unique beauty of every sunset or the similar yet very different facial features of each person.  We as humans are God’s image bearers.  We are the only part of His creation that has the unique ability to reflect His character.  Part of that character is His creativity.

Creativity comes in many forms from solving problems, designing art, inventing new useful things, writing, forming fresh ideas and finding ways to show our love.

Being creative is something I enjoy and try to work at.  I use it often for coming up with new project ideas and writing books and blog posts.  Sometimes though I feel a mental block.  I have a hard time coming up with anything new and creative.  Have you ever felt that way?

Here are a couple of tips I have found to help boost creativity when I hit a dry spot:

Spend Time With Creative People
Creativity breeds creativity.  Surround yourself with people who are creative and you will all feed off of each other.

Spend Time With Different People
Too many times we spend time with people who think exactly like we do.  Step out of the box and get to know people with a different perspective on life.  This might be people who have different philosophies or even just someone of the opposite gender.

Ask Questions
Ask yourself why you do what you do, why you believe what you believe.  Is this the only or best way of doing things?  How could I do the same thing in less time or for less money?

Read
Read. Read. Read.  Maybe this comes in the form of blog posts, news stories, ebook or traditional books.  Whatever you do you’ve got to read.  I always forget this one and rediscover it after I read a book or a thought provoking article.  Reading stimulates the brain and causes you to think new thoughts.

Practice Free Thinking
Do not be satisfied with doing what everyone else is doing or thinking exactly as everyone else thinks.  Allow yourself to form your own opinions.  Consider options that go against the grain.  Going with the flow isn’t always the better way and it certainly doesn’t lend to new, creative thought.

Look For Problems
Look for problems that need to be fixed.  When we run into a problem we can choose one of two responses, stop and give up or use it as motivation to solve the issue or find a new way around it.

Look For Holes
Look for places that are lacking and figure out a way to fill the gap.  Look for ways you can be useful in areas no one else is contributing to.

Keep Learning
We should never stop learning.  The more we learn the more tools we have in our arsenal to use creatively.

Use Mind Mapping 
A blogger friend of mine suggested this to me the other day and I decided to give it a try on a new project I am working on.  I was really amazed.  Not only did it help me see my idea visually but it allowed me to see potential problems and where new ideas could be fit into the project.  You aren’t familiar with Mind Mapping?  Click on this link for an explanation.

Have Down Time
Nothing kills creativity more than a tired or overwhelmed mind.  Schedule times of rest into your week.  Not only is this good for your health but it allows your mind to process and deal with the stressful things of life and then make room and time for creative thinking.  I find that I am at least 75% more creative if I’ve taken the necessary time to rest.

So what about you?  Where in your life do you use creativity and what do you do to stimulate creative thought processes?  Add to the list so we can all benefit from your ideas and become a more creative community.

blog hedder pics 006

How to Find Your Ministry

How to Find Your MinistryWhen you think of the word “ministry” what comes to mind?  Do you think of a pastor or missionary? While these certainly are important the word “ministry” is a much broader term.

Ministry, simple put, is the practice of serving others and furthering the Gospel.  Having a ministry is the joyful duty of every believer.  God entrusted each of us with gifts and talents for the purpose of serving others, especially those in the body of Christ.  It is our responsibility to be good stewards of those gifts and talents, to use them well for Christ.

What if you don’t have a ministry, how do you find yours?

I would recommend that you start by considering your strengths and making a list.

Spiritual Gifts
What are your spiritual gifts?  Every Christian has one or more spiritual gifts.  You can find a list of some of the gifts in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.  I’m not convinced that these are the only spiritual gifts a person could have but it’s a good starting place.   Please take note that not all of these gifts listed (such as apostleship) are still in use today.  Read through the list and ask yourself if any of these gifts characterize your strengths.  If one or more of them do write it down.

Personality 
It is said there are around 16 basic personality types. You can find various free personality tests online that you might want to consider taking. The tests I’ve taken seem very accurate and helpful. They don’t take much time to complete either. At the end, there is usually a personality description with notes about probable strengths and weaknesses. When looking for a quiz make sure the website you choose has a decent worldview.  Once you define your personality write down your strengths and take note of your weaknesses, there is always room for improvement.

Interests & Goals
Interests are things that we like to do, have a passion for or have a fascination with. Our interests will change some over the years, but a lot of the time you will be able to see some consistencies. Take a moment to consider what things you like to do in your free time, write them down.  Also, look at your goals or bucket list to help define your interests.

After you’ve made a list of your spiritual gifts, personality traits, goals and interests you should have an easier time finding a ministry.

Ministry doesn’t have to be a full time job or a big project.  Ministry can be a thousand little things you do every day to bless others.  Ministry sometimes involves sacrifice of our time and resources but that doesn’t meant it can’t be extremely enjoyable and fulfilling.

Ask yourself:  What do I love to do?  What am I good at?  How could I use these strengths to serve others?  Then ask the Lord to show you what ministry He wants you to be involved in.

Maybe your passion is music.  Could you use that talent in your church or to bless someone in a nursing home?  Do you love to cook and you have a knack for organization?  Try organizing a meal ministry for the elderly, new mothers, college students living in a dorm or those who are sick.  Perhaps you are the quiet, sensitive type.  Why not consider writing letters of encouragement to missionaries or the down hearted.  Your ministry can be to unbelievers, fellow Christians or your family.

I have a big list of ministry and job ideas in my ebook “Single Girl” but there are so many ministry opportunities out there if we just open our eyes and look for them.

God has given YOU unique gifts and talents but they are not just to keep for yourself they are meant to be used to bless others.

What ministries do you enjoy now or would like to begin in the near future?  Putting your suggestions in the comments will help stimulate each other and get our creative minds working.

blog hedder pics 006

 

 

 

I’m Linked up to Raising Homemakers

 

 

How to Pray Scripture

bible flower2Do you struggle with knowing how to pray?

My prayer life has always been my greatest struggle in terms of spending alone time with God.  For me it’s easy to read my Bible, study out a passage or meditate on a verse but praying is hard.

What do I say?  How do I say it?  Am I praying for the right things?

I have recently been learning how to improve my prayer life and make it into a more enjoyable, profitable time with the Lord.

One of the newest things I have begun to learn is how to pray through Scripture.  This has been extremely beneficial and encouraging to me and I believe it can be the same for you!

Why pray through Scripture?

1.  When you are praying Scripture you know that your prayers are in accordance to God’s will and this gives you more boldness when you approach the throne.

2.  Sometimes we don’t know what to ask or how to pray on our own but praying through a Scripture passage can encourage a good talk with God even when we aren’t sure what to say.

3.  When you pray Scripture you are learning truths about God and His Word and you will naturally begin hiding His Word in your heart.

4.  When we pray through Scripture we are acknowledging that we agree with God and His Word.  This in turn can be used to cultivate a proper perspective of God and our circumstances.  This will often lead to an encouraged and changed heart attitude.

 

How do you pray through Scripture?

I’m sure that there are different methods but for me I like to pick a particular passage to start with(the Psalms are very good for this).  You can choose an entire chapter or maybe just pick a small section of verses from the New Testament.  To start, pick something that you are familiar with and has to do with something you are going through or would like to pray about.

Then I do something like this:

Original Scripture passage from the NASB Psalm 46:1-2:

“God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change

And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though it’s waters roar and foam,

Though the mountains quake at it’s swelling pride.

Selah.”

My prayer:

“God You are my refuge and strength,

Thank You for always being a very present help in my time of trouble.

Therefore I will not fear, though the earth should change

Or even though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

and its waters roar and foam,

Nor will I fear though the mountains quake at its swelling pride

for I will put my trust in You. 

Selah.”

Helpful Tips:

It’s really pretty simple when you give it a try.  I like to insert “me” or “I” to make the passage a little more personal when I’m talking to God and I often pray “thank you for…” when I read a truth.

I’ve noticed that while I’m praying God will bring another passage into my mind that correlates with what I’ve been praying and learning.  I will flip over there and begin praying through that passage as well.  You might be surprised where it leads and how long you can go while doing this.

For whatever the reason I also find it helpful to be alone and in a place where I can whisper or mouth my prayer out loud.  There is no extra merit in this but it seems to help keep my easily distracted mind a bit more focused.

Another thing I might add is that it’s perfectly ok to write out your prayers before you pray them.  Maybe it’s easier to insert all of the personalization ahead of time so you can concentrate better when you are actually talking with God.  You can even write out your own prayers this way.  It’s ok to pray the same prayer more than once.  You don’t have to worry about being completely original every single time.  God sees your heart and already knows what is on your mind.

 

Well, I hope this has encouraged you to give Scripture praying a try!  I personally have found it super encouraging and enjoyable.

Here are four of my favorite praying passages to get you started:

  • Psalm 23
  • Psalm 119
  • Matthew 6:9-13, 25-30
  • Romans 8:26-39

What do you think?  Will you be giving this a try?

blog hedder pics 006

If God is All Knowing, Why Do We Pray?

why should we prayGod is Omniscient.  He knows everything at once, from the secrets of nature to our most inner thoughts.  Psalms 139 says:

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.”

God is also sovereign.  He is supremely in control and nothing will curb His ultimate will.  Job accurately described God’s sovereignty in Job 42 saying:

“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

Knowing both of these things I have, at times, felt discouraged in my prayer life.  I mean if God knows everything and already has a set will that He is going to accomplish why does it matter if I pray?  I can’t tell Him anything He doesn’t already know and I’m probably not going to change His mind on anything so what’s the point?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?  If you don’t have an answer it really can get discouraging.  

As I have been growing in my prayer life here are a few things I have learned.  I hope they will answer your questions and encourage your heart!

Three reasons you should pray:

1.  Prayer is About a Relationship.

Our God is a relational God.  Think about the Trinity, three persons in one, fellowshipping with each other continually.  Now remember back in the garden of Eden, before Adam sinned. We read that God talked with Adam and had personal conversations with him.

Because of sin we no longer are able to have face to face conversations with God.  Our relationship with Him was broken.  But thankfully Jesus died for our sins so that He might restore our relationship with God.  One day when we reach Heaven we will again see Him clearly, we will be able to talk with God face to face again but for now God has created another way for us to communicate with Him.  That communication is called prayer.

God speaks to us through His Word and prompts our heart through the Holy Spirit and we have the opportunity to respond to Him through prayer.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”  -1 Corinthians 13:12 {NASB}

2.  Prayer is a Means of Accomplishing God’s Will.

Yes, God is sovereign and He has the ability to work completely on His own but many times He chooses to use human vessels.  Though God can (and sometimes does) miraculously heal people more often than not He heals through the means of a doctor or medication.  God can (and sometimes does) provide for our daily needs by sending food from Heaven but most of the time He provides through the means of us working, using the money we earn to buy food and cooking it on the stove.

Prayer is very much the same way.  God doesn’t need our help but He wants to use us and many times the way He accomplishes His will is through answering the prayers of His people.

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”  -Matthew 7:7-11 {NASB}

3.  Prayer Changes You.

One day the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray and the result was what we know as “The Lord’s Prayer”.  This prayer wasn’t meant to be the only prayer we pray but rather an example.

“And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”  -Luke 11:2-4 {NASB}

 Notice how in Jesus’ prayer He acknowledges God’s authority, He prays for God’s will to be accomplished and He recognizes God as His ultimate source of daily provision.

Through this model prayer we see that when we pray we are to ask for things and at the same time we are aligning ourselves with God’s will and desires, recognizing His great power and our weakness.  Praying changes you and conforms you more into the will and image of Christ.

 So, now let your soul be free before the Lord!  Go boldly yet humbly before His thrown.  He wants to hear from you!  He wants to accomplish things through you!  He wants to give you good things!

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”  -Matthew 7:7-11 {NASB}

blog hedder pics 006

What If You Haven’t Remained Pure?

apple2I was recently asked to write a post on the topic of purity.  As I pondered a way to approach this subject my thoughts went back to a chapter in Joshua, the book my father has been leading our family through.

Most of the time when Christians address the subject of purity we discuss the importance of staying pure, the commandments to stay pure, particular ways to help us remain pure or the consequences of impurity.

While these aspects of the purity talk are extremely important what about those who have’t remained sexually pure either by their own choice or because of the choices of others?  Is all lost for them?

Joshua 2 tells the story of Rahab and the two spies.  The two spies had been sent by Joshua to scout out the land of Jericho before the Israelites went in to claim it like the Lord had commanded.

The men needed a place to lodge for the night, a place where they would not be easily noticed.  They chose to stay over night in the house of the prostitute Rahab.  This would be a discrete hiding place as she no doubt had many strange men visit on a regular basis.

The story goes on to say that despite their secrecy spies had been noticed and the king of Jerico sent his men to arrest them.  Rahab courageously hid the spies on her roof and sent the king’s men on a wild goose chase.

After the men had left, Rahab went back on the the roof and explained to the Israelite spies why she had rescued them.  She had heard of the amazing miracles displayed by their God and it caused her to fear the Lord.

Rahab then let the men out through the window of her city wall home with a scarlet rope.  The men promised that if she left the cord tied outside of her window it would be a sign and she and her family would be spared when the people of Israel came to conquer the land.

Rahab and her family were spared.  We read in Hebrew 11 that Rahab became converted.  She trusted in God and her faith was counted as righteousness.

“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.”  -Hebrews 11:31 {NASB}

And that scarlet cord of blessing that hung from her window metaphorically continued on through the generations.  We read in Matthew that Rahab is mentioned as one of the women in the lineage of Jesus.  The red cord continued through her family line all the way to Jesus and ended at the crimson blood He shed on the cross.

Many times when we talk about the subject of purity we forget to include the grace that God offers to those who have committed sexual sin or have been sexually sinned against.

I want to encourage purity but I also want to encourage those who have not always been morally pure.  If you come to God by faith, the blood He shed on the cross will cover your sin.  Just as Rabah the prostitute was mightily used by God to rescue the Israelite spies and even was granted the incredible blessing of being included in the line on Christ, so can anyone who has sinned be forgiven and also be mightily used by God.

Strive for purity.  Glory in His grace.

pure hope

Some other lovely ladies are writing on the topic of purity.  

Please take a moment to read their testimonies and words of hope here.

blog hedder pics 006

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...