Love, commandment, The Ten Commandments, Christian living, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Love: Living Out The Ten Commandments the Way God Designed

The Ten Commandments are a set of commands from God we have all heard before, but what do they mean and how do they direct us to live in love?



We all know about the Ten Commandments. We grew up learning about them and knowing that they were important. I honestly never gave them much thought growing up. Yeah, don’t murder, don’t lie, only have one God. It all made sense, but I never truly thought about what they mean to us in light of the New Testament and the fulfillment of the Law. However, my church is going through a study of the 10 Commandments which has caused me to look at them differently.

The Ten Commandments are a set of commands from God we have all heard before, but what do they mean and how do they direct us to live in love? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #ChristianLiving #command #commandments #love

What is the Greatest Command?

He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.’

Matthew 22:37-39

Love God, love others. Those are the two greatest commands. Jesus is very clear about this. If those are the greatest, where do the Ten Commandments fit in?

All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.

Matthew 22:40

All the Law. This includes the Ten Commandments. All of the Ten Commandments fall into these 2 categories.

The 2 Categories

Love God, Love Others. Those are the 2 categories.

If you break down the Ten Commandments you will find that the first four deal with our relationship with God and the last six refer to our relationship with others.

All of the first four commands talk about how we relate to God and how we are to show our love and honor to Him. If we keep these first four commands we are loving the Lord our God: the greatest commandment.

The final six commandments reference our relationships with others. They deal with basic things like not murdering. To things that are a little more difficult like not coveting what your neighbor has. These commands all lead us to love our neighbors as ourselves the second greatest commandment.

The Law Vs Love

Don’t even begin to think that I have come to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I haven’t come to do away with them but to fulfill them.

Matthew 5:17

The way the Ten Commandments can be compared to the two commands Jesus gave is a perfect example of Jesus’ goal. He came to fulfill the Law not wanting to destroy it, do away with it, or disregard its importance. He fulfilled it so we would not be bound by it. The Law is still important and should be a part of our lives but Jesus fulfilled it and made it possible for us to not have to be bound by it.

Jesus taught us that love is the greatest of all commands. That’s it. Love. When we show love to God and others everything else follows suit…

  • You must have no other gods before me.
  • Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.
  • Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy.
  • Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you. 
  • Do not kill.
  • Do not commit adultery.
  • Do not steal.
  • Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
  • Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s house.
  • Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
The way the Ten Commandments can be compared to the two commands Jesus gave is a perfect example of His goal. He came to fulfill the Law not wanting to destroy it, or disregard its importance. Click To Tweet

The Ten Commandments are a set of commands from God we have all heard before, but what do they mean and how do they direct us to live in love? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #ChristianLiving #command #commandments #love

All Bible references are using the Common English Bible translation.
unsplash-logoPaweł Czerwiński
even if, prayer, healing, Holy Spirit, capable, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Even If: Remembering that God is Always Faithful, Able, and Mighty

Sometimes it seems that the answer to our long awaited prayer is no. It is important to remember in these times that even if it is no, God is still good.



Last night I was driving home from one of many meetings of the day. As I was driving I was listening to a local Christian station. This is something I rarely do because I generally use my phone for music. This night, though, I somehow forgot, or didn’t care enough. Looking back this was a God-ordained moment to remind me even if… He is good.

You see, while I was driving the song “Even If” by MercyMe came on. I have heard this song before, but never truly listened to it. The song is about how God is still faithful, even if –insert prayer request here– doesn’t come. I sat and listened to this song and concentrated on every word.

As I sat in the car crying my eyes out (and driving like a crazy person I’m sure), I realized how much I needed to hear it. I have been in a season of looking for healing and actively praying long and hard for it to come. This song showed me that even if the answer is no or not yet, God is still good.

Sometimes it seems that the answer to our long awaited prayer is no. It is important to remember in these times that even if it is no, God is still good. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #prayer #HolySpirit #EvenIf #capable

The Holy Spirit

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Romans 8:26, NLT

The Holy Spirit is our connection with God. That is where the source of our prayers should come from. I believe that sometimes the answer we are looking for doesn’t come because we are not praying through the Holy Spirit. We, when using our human power, do not know what to pray. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to be a part of our prayer life.

What we can be sure of is even when we don’t know what to pray, or are praying the wrong thing, the Holy Spirit prays for us. Wow, how amazing is that? The Holy Spirit prays for us.

I read this verse, which I never read in this way before, and was overwhelmed by the love of God for us. He loves us so much that He gave us the Holy Spirit to not only guide us but to intercede for us. When we don’t know what to say the Holy Spirit prays with a prayer that is beyond words.

Even If: No

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

1 John 5:14-15, NLT

I know this verse says, “he will give us what we ask for.” That makes it sound as though we will get whatever we want. However, this verse is often misunderstood. You see, people tend to leave the prior verse out where it says “anything that pleases Him.”

Like I said before, many times we are not asking with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. This is likely the most common reason we do not get what we ask for every time.

Another reason this could be the case is that we misinterpret the response. Maybe God said yes, but it wasn’t in the way you expected. For me, this happened when my grandmother passed away. We prayed and prayed for her to be healed, but she passed away. It wasn’t that God said no. He healed her, but he did this by bringing her home. This was not what we wanted but it was a yes. A yes that pleased God.

Even If: Not Yet

‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’

Isaiah 55:8-9, NLT

Lastly, the reason we may think that God has told us no is because His answer is not yet. We have to be patient and remember that God’s timing is not our timing. His ways are far better, His thoughts are far better, and His timing is far better than our own.

Even If

So, even if healing doesn’t come, even if our relationships are crumbling, even if we don’t know what will happen next… God is faithful. He is able. And He is mighty.

So whatever your even if is, keep in mind that thought and remember the role the Holy Spirit is playing.

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

MercyMe, “Even If”
Even if healing doesn't come, even if our relationships are crumbling, even if we don't know what will happen next… God is faithful. He is able. And He is mighty. Click To Tweet

Sometimes it seems that the answer to our long awaited prayer is no. It is important to remember in these times that even if it is no, God is still good. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #prayer #HolySpirit #EvenIf #capable

unsplash-logoOhTilly
alone, loneliness, friendship, relationship, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Alone: Learning How to Combat Loneliness in a Godly Way

We can go through seasons of loneliness. It is important to surround ourselves with trusted people when we feel alone and remember God is always with us.



Loneliness is something that many of us deal with at one point or another. I know I have. Being single often leaves me feeling alone. While others my age are getting married or having children, I can feel at times like maybe I am doing something wrong. This leaves me to feel incredibly alone.

There are many reasons we may feel alone, for me it comes out in my singleness but for others it could be lack of friendships, living away from family, or not having a good support system. Through all of these situations, there is one thing that remains true…We are never truly alone. We are constantly in the presence of our truest friend and savior, Jesus.

We can go through seasons of loneliness. It is important to surround ourselves with trusted people when we feel alone and remember God is always with us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #alone #friendship #loneliness #relationship

Living Life Alone

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, ESV

We are not meant to do life alone. A lot of times loneliness can be felt because we don’t have people doing life with us. We don’t have a “tribe”, as many like to call it. While it is true that we always have Jesus, we still need other brothers and sisters around us.

It can be incredibly difficult to put yourself out there and find your people. Trust me, I know. I have just recently found people outside my family that feel safe and that I can genuinely do life with. Let me tell you, the awkwardness is worth it.

God created us as social beings and as such it is important we find people to go through the ups and downs of life with. When you have people to do life with, the feeling of loneliness happens less and less.

Never Separated

No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:39, NLT

There have been many times throughout my life that I have felt separated from the Lord. This left me feeling completely and utterly alone.

Whether it is a difficult season of life, a sin struggle, or just a normal day, there are many ways we can feel separated from God and lonely. The truth is in the above verse. There is absolutely nothing we can do to separate ourselves from God. Nothing. And if we are not separated from God that means we are never alone. Sometimes we may feel distant or disconnected, but we are never separate.

Even in times of distance, He is there. Even when we can not feel Him, He is there. I am learning, daily, how true this is. He is constant. Look at the trees, the sky, birds, He is there. His creation is proof that He exists and insurance that He is here for us in all circumstances.

Even in times of distance, God is there. Even when we can not feel Him, He is there. His creation is proof that He exists and insurance that He is here for us in all circumstances! Click To Tweet

We can go through seasons of loneliness. It is important to surround ourselves with trusted people when we feel alone and remember God is always with us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #alone #friendship #loneliness #relationship

unsplash-logoDominik Scythe
Empowerment, empower, inspire, strengthen, encourage, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Empowered: Modeling Jesus’ Example to Strengthen Others

Jesus not only empowered His disciples but He empowers us! He is who we are to model when it comes to strengthening one another.



Jesus’ ministry was to empower others. He empowered His disciples, was empowered by God, and finally, He empowers us. Jesus’ example of empowerment is one to live by and never be forgotten.

Empowered

We all have people in our lives whom God has chosen for us to empower. There are also people called to strengthen us. Whether it be our children, our employees, our volunteers, or even our friends we are all called to strengthen and encourage one another.

I am not the best empowerer. I am great at allowing people to run with their ideas, but I am not great at identifying strengths and encouraging people in them. Through interactions with His disciples, Jesus gives us the greatest example of what empowerment looks like…

Jesus not only empowered His disciples but He empowers us! He is who we are to model when it comes to strengthening one another. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #empower #empowerment #inspire #strength

John

Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. ‘I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,’ he said, ‘so why are you coming to me?’

But Jesus said, ‘It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.’ So John agreed to baptize him.

Matthew 3:13-15, NLT

John the Baptist was one of Jesus’ closest friend. He was also one of the first people Jesus empowered. Jesus sought out and told John to baptize Him. John’s response was valid, “you should be baptizing me”…

But Jesus empowered John in the cause God had given and reminded John that God requires this action. He readied John to do something that Jesus very well could have done Himself. Jesus did not make it all about Himself but empowered another in to do the God-ordained task at hand.

Peter

Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

Matthew 16:18-19, NLT

Jesus equipped Peter to build His church. Take a moment. Let that set in. Peter, who denied Jesus, would be the one to build the church. This is an amazing form of empowerment. Jesus chose Peter knowing that he would fail Him.

I think sometimes we are afraid of being let down or of people failing so we choose to do things on our own. This is the opposite of empowerment. People will let us down constantly. Even so, we need to continue to support and encourage. Jesus did and still does.

Jesus

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17, NLT

God gave us the greatest example of empowerment when He sent Jesus to Earth. God instilled Jesus with His power to not only perform miracles but to save all of creation. Because Jesus was empowered, He was able to empower those around Him in miraculous ways.

Us

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Hebrews 12:1-2, NLT

God set us on a path and Jesus perfected it. We are empowered to run our race. We are empowered to do so in the presence of many. Jesus was empowered to sit on the right hand of God. This happened through pain and suffering. What would happen if we looked at our pain and suffering as part of our empowerment in ministry? We are empowered by God and in turn, we must empower others. Because there is joy awaiting us, just like there was joy awaiting Jesus.

God set us on a path and Jesus perfected it. What would happen if we looked at our pain and suffering as part of our empowerment in ministry? We are empowered by God and in turn, we must empower others. Click To Tweet

Jesus not only empowered His disciples but He empowers us! He is who we are to model when it comes to strengthening one another. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #empower #empowerment #inspire #strength

Stanislav Kondratiev

care, Holy Spirit, prayer, renew, silence, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Care: Caring for Our Whole Selves in a Godly Way

Self-care is a hot topic these days. It is difficult to assess what it looks like to take care of ourselves in a Godly way, but when we practice self-care we honor God and His incredible blessings. 



There are days when I do not feel like taking care of myself. Taking a shower doesn’t seem important, eating is not a priority, and even getting things done that will help relieve stress don’t happen. A lot of times I know that I need to be doing more to take care of myself, but I still choose to prioritize other things.

We hear so much every day about “self-care”, but what does that actually mean and what does that look like for a believer?

It is difficult to assess what taking care of ourselves in a Godly way is, but when we practice self-care we honor God and His incredible blessings. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #care #prayer #self-care #renew #scripture #devotional

Physical Care

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own

1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV

When we make the decision to be a Christian, we sacrifice our bodies. Our bodies become a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. When we look at our bodies as a temple, our perspective should change. We should crave to take care of our bodies. When we live in the mindset that our body is essentially the house of God we are forced to take care of it.

Caring for our temple comes by eating well, exercising, and having good hygiene. I am not saying that we all need to start dieting and going to the gym every single day. Trust me, I am the first to admit that I have terrible habits I need to work on. This message is as much for me as it is for you. What I am saying is that we need to all take steps to ensure that we are caring for the body that God gave and that the Holy Spirit dwells in.

Spiritual Care

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Mark 1:35, NIV

After a long day of preaching, healing, and casting out demons, Christ knew he needed to take care of himself spiritually. In that moment He practiced solitude and went to a place to pray. Jesus needed to be filled spiritually so that He could continue preaching and feeding into others the next day.

We must do the same. Part of everyday life is pouring into others. While that takes root in many ways, there is one thing that remains the same… We can not give from an empty cup. If we are not filled spiritually, we cannot lead spiritually. We have to take time to be alone with God. We need to hear from God on a regular basis. This not only gives us the ability to fill others, but it also helps us learn to hear the voice of God.

If we do not practice solitude and take care of ourselves spiritually, we can’t hear God’s voice. Listening requires attention and quiet. When we talk to a friend we don’t constantly look at our phone or interrupt the conversation to do something else, so why do we do this when spending time with God? We have to spend time with Him in order to be healthy and care for ourselves.

Mental Care

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test what God’s will is: his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2, NIV

Our mind should not be like that of the world’s we have to renew our minds. This leads to transformation, which leads to being able to know what God’s will is. Every minute of every day our mind has the opportunity to be distracted by something of the world. Whether it be a negative thought about ourselves, an advertisement, or something on social media, there is always a distraction available.

We need to practice mental self-care by freeing our mind from those distractions. When a lie pops into our head, we can replace it with God’s truth. As we watch TV and see an advertisement with a beautiful model, we can remember that we are uniquely created. When we see people’s picture perfect life on social media, we can remember that nobody is perfect and everyone has struggles. Our minds need to be focused on things of God that we may have a healthy mind.

Godly Self-Care

Caring for ourselves is crucial. There are many things out there that teach a skewed version of self-care. We need to focus on Godly self-care. When we take care of ourselves, we take care of the gift God gave us. Not caring for ourselves is a disservice to our Creator. How can you take care of yourself today?

There's a lot of confusion and skewed versions of self-care. We need to focus on Godly self-care and nurture the gift God gave us. Not caring for ourselves is a disservice to our Creator. Click To Tweet

It is difficult to assess what taking care of ourselves in a Godly way is, but when we practice self-care we honor God and His incredible blessings. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #care #prayer #self-care #renew #scripture #devotional
Evie Shaffer

Anxious, anxiety, stress, joy, kindness, hope, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Anxious: Casting Our Worries on God to Allow His Kind Consolation

Anxiety is something many people deal with. When we are anxious it is important to bring it to God, and when those around us are struggling we need to come alongside them with kindness. 



I have dealt with anxiety for much of my life. It has been one of those issues that seems to ebb and flow. The past several months have been among the most anxiety-ridden of my life. I have been allowing the weight of stress, busyness, and fear to take over. It’s made me forget who I am and Whose I am. However, I am finally learning that I need to get in front of my anxiety and not allow it to rule over my life.

Many people deal with anxiety. When we are anxious it is important to allow God and others to come along side us in kindness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #anxiety #joy #stress #kindness #hope

Cast It Away

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7, NIV

I heard a small portion of a talk that Christine Caine did on Anxiety. She spoke of this verse in 1 Peter and the meaning of the word cast. I looked it up for myself and this is what I found…

To throw something forcefully in a specific direction.

To cast means to not only throw but to throw forcefully. This is what scripture tells us to do. To throw our anxiety forcefully in the specific direction that is Jesus. Throw it on Him. Why should we do this? BECAUSE HE CARES FOR US.

This struck a chord in me. Jesus cares so much about us that He is not only willing to take on our anxiety, He is commanding us to cast it on Him.

Consolation from the Lord

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 94:19, NIV

When we are anxious we can expect the Lord to console us to the point of overwhelming joy. In order to receive this joy and consolation, we have to surrender our anxiety and rest in Him. This is not in part but in whole.

We can’t just give God pieces of our anxiety that are convenient to part with. We have to give Him all of it. When we do this He WILL console us so that we can have joy. We were not meant to deal with our anxiety within our own power but within God’s.

When we are anxious we can expect the Lord to console us. We were not meant to deal with our anxiety within our own power but within God's. Click To Tweet

Helping Our Anxious Loved Ones

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Proverbs 12:25, NIV

When someone we know is going through a time of trial and anxiety is present in their life, we need to step up. We need to be there to offer a kind word. Whether this is encouragement, advice, or simple validation of their feelings. Our kindness can make a huge impact on their lives. During times of personal anxiety, I had people speaking truth and kindness to me. Anxiety weighs us down, but kindness has the opportunity to lift us up.

So I challenge you, don’t be complacent. Check on people. Especially if you know they struggle with anxiety. I know first hand that sometimes I am so anxious and worn down that I don’t have the capacity to grocery shop, or even pour myself a bowl of cereal. We are so quick to offer meals, words, and kindness when people have physical ailments. Imagine what would happen if we did it for the people who deal with mental health issues.

Simple acts of kindness can go a long way. So check on people, offer them a kind word, maybe even meet a need in their life. You have no idea what a difference you can make when you offer kindness to cheer up the anxiety in someone’s heart.

Many people deal with anxiety. When we are anxious it is important to allow God and others to come along side us in kindness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #anxiety #joy #stress #kindness #hope

Tina Dawson

advocate, trauma, hope, darkness, dirty, encouragement, hope, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Dirty: Bringing the Darkness of Trauma into the Light of Hope

The feeling of being dirty can cause us to feel like we are in a sea of darkness. When we are in these times it is important to remember that light is never gone and hope can always be found. We must stand with women who have been through trauma and we must speak out when we have experienced it. This is when we find hope. 



In November of 2017, I was raped. Since then I have felt a pull in my heart towards the traumatized woman. I have also felt a strong conviction to publicly share what I went through. I have let fear and shame and the feeling of being dirty rule my story. No longer.

Dirty

While I have struggled with self-worth and feelings of inadequacy most of my life, since that day I have truly felt dirty. Dirty, unlovable, broken, and surrounded by darkness. While in many ways I have healed, there are still days that I am not okay. I revert back to allowing anxiety to rule and to question all of my experiences. That is not truth. That is not God’s powerful redeeming love.

I know that I am not the only woman who has felt dirty. I know I am not the only woman who has felt ashamed or broken. Who has allowed her experiences and sins to cause her to question her purpose and God’s powerful love in her life. Oh Lord Help Us is for that woman. I am for that woman. Do not allow yourself to live in shame. You have a redeeming Savior who loves you. You are not defined by your past.

Feeling dirty can cause us to feel like we are in a sea of darkness. It is important to remember that light is never gone and hope can always be found. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #hope #trauma #healing #encouragement

Redemption

We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace

Ephesians 1:7, CEB

While rape is never the victim’s fault, my actions played into what happened to me that evening. I made a choice to be alone with him. I do not know what would be different if I had not allowed that to happen but I have had to overcome my part in it.

We have been ransomed. We have been forgiven. Our failures, our mistakes, and our sins make us feel dirty. But there is redemption; Redemption through His overflowing grace. So much grace. He turns our dirt into beauty. He transforms and renews us. His sacrifice makes us clean. We do not need to dwell on our past but can look into our redemption.

We have been ransomed. We have been forgiven. Our failures, our mistakes, and our sins make us feel dirty. But there is redemption; Redemption through His overflowing grace. Click To Tweet

Hope

The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.

John 1:5, GW

In the midst of pain, there is always hope. In the darkness, the light always shines. The time after my rape was the darkest time of my life. Hope seemed far off. The light was too dim to see. But it was there.

Darkness can never extinguish the light. Even in times when the light seems impossible to see it is still there. It will never go away. That light is hope. Hope that is among the trauma. Hope that only comes from Jesus. We can not fight the darkness on our own. We need His light. The light that extinguishes the darkness.

In this dark time, the light and the hope came through my story impacting others. When I thought I was alone Jesus brought people into my past that have walked similar paths. He brought people that needed to hear they were not alone. If I had not walked in the darkness in this way then other peoples lives would have not been impacted. That is the hope we can see in our pain. That one day our story can touch lives, one day we can show a woman in darkness the light that never fades.

Stand

We need to wake up. Do you hear me, sisters? We need to wake up and stand with these people battling the darkness. Not condemning them, and not sweeping their pain under the rug, but acting in love. These women that feel dirty: we need stand and with them and fight. We must speak out, and we must have a voice. Stop telling people to keep it to themselves and stop denying the facts. Darkness can come when you least expect it and we must bring this darkness to light.

I know that I have a nasty habit of judging others. I would venture to say that we all have that sin struggle in us, but we need to stop. We need to allow women that have been through trauma and struggle to find a safe place. We need to give them a safe place. If we respond with love and understanding instead of judgment imagine the difference that would make. Allow the person in darkness to see what light looks like. Show her that she can feel clean again. Share your experience with her so she doesn’t feel so alone. Inspire hope.

If you are in a place of feeling dirty and stuck in the darkness do not allow yourself to walk through it alone. There are people who have walked through the darkness and come out on the other side. We are all a little dirty. Remember that the light is never gone. Hope can always be found. As Albus Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Fight. Encourage. Love. Support. Speak. Heal.

Feeling dirty can cause us to feel like we are in a sea of darkness. It is important to remember that light is never gone and hope can always be found. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #hope #trauma #healing #encouragement

camilo jimenez

Comparison: Finding Validation in Christ and Not Others

Comparison is something that we all battle. It is crucial that we focus on what God has given us so we can break loose from the bondage comparison brings.



“Why did they get that and I didn’t?” “What do they have what I don’t?” “Must be nice.” “I wish I looked like that.” How many times a day do we allow ourselves to think and even speak these things?

Comparison has reared it’s ugly head many times in my life. It is a constant battle to not compare myself to those around me. I often find myself focusing on what others have that I don’t, instead of focusing on the blessings in my life.

Comparison is something that we all battle. It is crucial that we focus on what God has given us so we can break loose from the bondage comparison brings. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #focus #comparison #beauty #unique #freedom

Comparing Accomplishments

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Galatians 6:4-5, NLT

I am one that tends to focus on what those around me are doing. I focus on the things they are accomplishing and wonder why I am not able to do what they are doing… then I wallow.

We are called to focus on our own work. We need to pay attention to what we are doing and make sure we are doing our work admirably and with good conduct. This results in a job well done. When we turn our attention to what we are doing it allows us to grow and will help us overcome the trend of comparison in our lives.

Comparing Possessions

Then Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out! Guard yourself against all kinds of greed. After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.’

Luke 12:15, CEB

One of the biggest ways comparison takes root is when we look at what others have. I constantly have the thought that “it must be nice” when I look at what those around me have. We can be so quick to focus on what we are lacking that we forget about the many blessings we have. Our life is not determined by our possessions but by our actions.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

1 Timothy 6:7, ESV

No possession we have on this world will be taken out. It is futile to be jealous of what others have. At the end of the day, Jesus has to be enough for us. Therefore, it has nothing to do with how much money we have or how nice our car is. It is all about how we live out our faith.

Comparing Stages of Life

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV

It seems like no matter where we are in life, we are always ready for the next stage. Because of this, we compare ourselves to others in the stage of life we desire. When we are single we want to be in a relationship. When we are in a relationship we want to be married. And when we are married we want kids… so on and so on. We are in a constant state of discontent…

This goes against what the Lord wants for us. He tells us to give thanks in all circumstances because this is God’s will. Our stage of life in God’s will. This is the point He has taken us. Each person is where God wants them to be, so instead of comparing where we are in life with everyone else, we should celebrate with one another; Content and thankful for where we are.

Comparing Looks

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it.

Psalm 139:14, NLT

At least ten times a day I am bombarded with thoughts of how my looks don’t measure up with those around me. There are so many voices out there telling us how we are supposed to look. And advertisements trying to sell us on how to look better. We are constantly comparing our looks with those around us.

When we do this we are telling God he made a mistake and that he should have done a better job creating us. We are wonderfully made. God’s workmanship is marvelous! God beautifully, uniquely, and perfectly created us.

We all look different from one another but that doesn’t mean we should compare ourselves with one another. While it is true that we need to take care of God’s creation, that does not come through comparison it comes through paying attention to and being grateful for the body God has given us.

Ending the Comparison

Comparison is something we will constantly have to battle in our lives. Recognizing when it happens, allows God’s truth to replace the lies. The lies telling us we aren’t good enough. God has blessed us abundantly and individually. Comparison is a disservice to ourselves, our neighbors, and most importantly, our God.

God has blessed us abundantly and individually. Comparison is a disservice to ourselves, our neighbors, and most importantly, our God. Click To Tweet

Comparison is something that we all battle. It is crucial that we focus on what God has given us so we can break loose from the bondage comparison brings. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #focus #comparison #beauty #unique #freedom
Tom Morel

community, help, serving, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Helping: Sharing God’s Love Through Actions and Generosity

God calls all of us to provide helping hands whether it be in our schools, churches, or neighborhoods. We must all take part in providing for the needs of those around us.



A couple of weeks ago, two members of my church family, my community, helped me in a time of need. I previously wrote all about how 3 trees made their way on top of my house during a snow storm.

One person in my community of people graciously got them off my roof. And this week, 2 more dear friends helped me get them chopped up and cleared away. They were living, breathing examples of helping our siblings in Christ when they need it.God calls us to provide helping hands in our spheres of influence. We must all take part in providing for the needs of those around us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #community #love #help #serve #encouragement

Acting in Freedom

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

Galatians 5:13, NLT

We have freedom from sin through Christ’s death and resurrection. We are called to use that freedom to serve one another. That doesn’t mean when it is convenient or easy, it means helping where there is a need.

We must be self-sacrificing like our Savior. He surrendered Himself for us. We cannot satisfy ourselves and be susceptible to our sinful nature, but use our time, freedom, and resources to love each other.

Share What You Have

Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.

Hebrews 13:16, CEB

This verse does not say to share when you are in a time of abundance. It did not say to only share certain things. It clearly states to share what you have. Whatever that may be.

Some people only have time and energy. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have, we have been implored to share. The act of helping is what is important. And why? Because it pleases God.

We are not just to share during times of abundance or only certain things. God's word tells us to share what we have. It doesn't matter how much or how little, the act of helping is what is important because it pleases God. Click To Tweet

Faith Without Action

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:14-17, NIV

When we claim to have faith, our faith must be backed by our actions. If we ignore the needs of those around us and refuse to offer help, we are not acting in acceptance of our Savior. Scripture says that when our actions don’t support our faith, then our faith is dead (James 2).

It is not enough to wish someone well, tell them that you are thinking of them, or even that you are praying for them. We do need to pray for each other, of course. But if we have the means to help someone and turn our back, only providing words of comfort, our actions are not reflecting what we believe.

Jesus did not simply wish us well when He came to Earth. He saw our need and He acted taking our place on the cross and dying for us. He acted in obedience to the Father. We have to follow His example.

Abide in Love

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

1 John 3:17, ESV

If we want to abide in God’s love, we need to help each other in times of need. This proves God’s love and sets an example for those who witness our actions. Let’s take time out of our schedules to bring a meal, help with yard work, donate unwanted items… Let’s abide in love.

How can you lend a helping hand today?

God calls us to provide helping hands in our spheres of influence. We must all take part in providing for the needs of those around us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #community #help #serve # love #encouragement

future, hope, plans, surrender, trust, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Uncertain: Allowing God to Guide Through the Unknowns

We all have the desire to know our future is secure. We fear the uncertain. When we surrender our plans to God, we have an assurance that He works for us and puts things together for our good. 



Life is full of uncertainties. I fight against this fact, tooth and nail. I am a planner. Knowing what to expect in situations is important to me. I love predictability. I don’t care for the uncertain and unknown. This may make me boring in some ways. But if you take me on a road trip, you can be sure I will find all of the awesome attractions along the way.

While I may have a desire to know the future and to have confidence in my stability, I am slowly learning this is not how life works. When we over plan and anticipate every aspect of our lives, we steal away God’s opportunity to show up for us. When we are laser-focused on making the uncertain certain, we fail to ask God for help. We fail to fully put our trust in Him.

We often fear the uncertain future. When we surrender to God we have an assurance that He puts all things together for our good. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #encouragement #plans #surrender #focus

God’s Certainty

For I know the plans I have for, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11, ESV

We see and hear this verse so much that we may have become desensitized to its truth. God knows the plan for us. He is certain. Nothing is unknown to Him. More than that, the plan God has for us is for our good. It gives us hope and a future.

When we take the time to read this verse and let it resonate in our hearts, we come to realize that the unknown doesn’t have to be scary. This is where faith requires us to take action. We have to offer our future and our uncertainty into His hands. We will never have complete knowledge of what tomorrow brings, but we can be sure it is good and full of hope.

Uncertain Direction

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 32:8, NIV

One aspect of uncertainty is not knowing the right decisions to make. There are infinite amounts of outcomes to any one decision. We want to know that the choices we make are the right ones.

In attempting to make the right choices, a lot of times, we forget to seek counsel from our greatest teacher. The Lord promises He will instruct us and teach us the way to go. He does this because He loves us. We are required to trust in Him and learn to listen to His voice.

When we try to figure things out on our own and ignore God’s teaching and instruction we will make the wrong choices. We know that God will use all things. Nothing we do can change His ultimate plan for us, but if we don’t trust His counsel, our free will can cause it to take longer to get to what God has for us.

God’s Plan

God’s plan is always greater than our own. There are things that are in play that we can not imagine or prepare for. While planning and preparing are good, when we try to over plan and take control of our own lives we miss out on God’s blessings along the way.

‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’

Isaiah 55:8-9, NLT

God’s way is always greater than our own. We can plan and prepare all we want but our best will never measure up to God’s ways. We must surrender our plans and our desires for certainty to Him. For when we do this we have confidence that our future will be bright, hopeful, and beyond anything, we could ever imagine.

God's way is always greater than our own. We can plan and prepare all we want, but our best will never measure up to God's ways. We must surrender our plans and our desires for certainty in the Lord. Click To Tweet

We often fear the uncertain future. When we surrender to God we have an assurance that He puts all things together for our good. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #encouragement #plans #surrender #focus #scripture
Annie Spratt