God’s Word, love, God’s love, salvation, holiness, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Foundation: Distinguishing God’s Word As the Final Authority

Giving Scripture the last word lays a solid foundation in our lives that cannot be moved. We must be alert to follow God’s Word and encourage each other in it daily so we do not become deceived (Hebrews 3:13).



One of the many conversations in our home right now is learning how to spot false gospels. In many circles today, the message of the cross has been altered to make it more polished, palatable, and attractive. But when the gospel is watered down, it is no longer the gospel. And it is alarmingly easy to veer off course. For example, take the phrase “God gives you what you need.” Think about that.

Giving Scripture the last word lays a solid, immovable foundation in our lives. We must be alert to follow God's Word so we do not become deceived. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #salvation #godslove #godsword

Pause for A Moment…

Where did your mind go when you read that? Perhaps you thought of the meme you’ve seen floating around that guarantees God will never give you more than you can handle. That is not in the Bible. I looked. The only pledge that comes close is 1 Corinthians 10:13 where we are promised not to be tempted beyond what we can bear, and that God provides a way of escape so we can endure. Or perhaps you thought of Philippians 4:19 which says God will supply all of our needs.

I don’t know about you, but I can quickly become discouraged by phrases that have been taken out of context or have had the gospel stripped from them. Without understanding who God is, and what assurances He has shown throughout Scripture, what does God gives you what you need even mean?

When I heard someone say that several years ago I smirked and thought, I know that’s what the Bible says, but it doesn’t feel true in my life. I felt forgotten, overlooked, and cast aside by God. However disappointed I was with myself, I believed I was living the life I had created. But that was a lie. I wasn’t relying on truth. My feelings were my final authority; not the sure foundation of God’s Word.

Without Love

This past weekend, my husband Sean and I were able to attend a free marriage enrichment seminar offered through his work. We had a wonderful time away together and I am very grateful! But my point in mentioning it has to do with the curriculum we went through.

I was familiar with the original material, but the version taught at the seminar had been, as the instructor called it, “de-Jesus-ed.” The only note I took the whole weekend was in response to this statement—”We all need love.” I wrote:

Why [do we need love]? How do people without the God of Creation, who is LOVE, find an answer to that question?

I know we need love because I believe what the Word of God says. Because I know Him, I believe the need for love is also satisfied in Him. Without the hope of Christ, people are left to the exhausting and futile task of manufacturing love.

I imagine many perceive the gospel to be ethereal. Spiritual but elusive; like an ungraspable vapor. Yet we have been given the Word of God to instruct, guide, and embolden us to stand firm, to live lives worthy of the gospel! But we have to open it up and read it! And as David did, we must ask for help over and over again…

Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.

Psalm 119:34, HCSB

Costly Message

In the midst of a texting conversation between me, Sean, and our two teenage daughters, Sean sent Galatians 5:13 and Psalm 5:3 as ways to pray for change in the hearts of their friends, and for God to work in their school. He challenged the girls not to pray flippantly with empty words, writing: “Don’t drop BS to the void. Speak God’s Word back to Him with hope.” Then he shared some of Jesus’s words from the gospel of Matthew.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Matthew 7:21, HCSB

I admit I have read this passage before and thought that seems harsh. Strict? Yes. Unreasonable? No. Why? Because He is God, and there is only one way to Him, and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

God is bigger than me. He is bigger than you. God is the Savior of the whole world, and salvation is freely given. But it costs everything because it cost Jesus everything. Every single day, as a follower of Jesus, I must die to what I think is best for me or fair. Daily the Father calls me to admit the ways I choose my own self-exalting, ethereal ideas above what He has clearly put forth in His Word. In His mercy, He shows me His way is best for me.

What is Needed

His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.

2 Peter 1:3-4, HCSB

God has absolutely lavished His love on us in Jesus! Through the life of Christ God has given us all that is needed for this life. In Jesus, we have what is needed to live godly lives because we have the gift of God’s Word and His indwelling Spirit for those who believe.

Final Caution

I’m going to go out on a limb and say the mass majority of you know on some level that Jesus loves you. It is a comforting and powerful statement. For years I lived off of that phrase alone. Even if [fill in the blank] doesn’t love me well, I know Jesus does. Then last summer I read how raising a foundation on this methodology can be deceptive.

This approach subtly turns Jesus into the One who meets my needs and fills my emptiness—as I define them. It turns God’s love into something that only serves me. Repentance for our rebellion and sin against God is minimized or even ignored while God’s love for us is maximized. We turn Jesus into someone whose goal in life is to make us feel good about ourselves…[Jesus] is the Holy One who comes to cleanse us, fill us, and change us…He loves us too much to merely make us happy. He comes to make us holy.

How People Change, by Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp

God’s love does fulfill every single one of our needs! The best way to fully believe that with conviction, is to read and pray His words. Then we can be confident that though sin does separate us from God, He made a way for us to become holy. Praise Jesus!

Satisfy us in the morning with Your faithful love so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14, HCSB

God's love does fulfill every single one of our needs! To fully believe that with conviction is to read and pray His words. Sin does separate us from God but He made a way for us to become holy. Praise Jesus! Click To Tweet

Giving Scripture the last word lays a solid, immovable foundation in our lives. We must be alert to follow God's Word so we do not become deceived. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #salvation #godslove #godsword

Has Fakira

Sin, sexual sin, grace, desires, holiness, temptation, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Run: Fleeing from Anything that Stimulates Youthful Lusts

Sin can be sneaky. Especially in our minds. We must run, flee from anything that tempts us into allowing sexual sin power. 



As women, we have been really sneaky about making men feel alone in their struggle against sexual sin. I don’t know how it happened, but it seems that men are just assumed to struggle with what they think and watch, but women are given a pass. This attitude has even permeated the Christian world. I’m often shocked by what friends have confessed they watch or read. They imply they’re doing it “for the story,” and lust isn’t something they struggle with.

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

2 Timothy 2:21-22, NLT

I have written before how once we are made aware of something, we tend to see that certain thing everywhere. I am especially sensitive to sexual sin because it’s one I have struggled with a lot in my mind. Sister, I’ve struggled to the point it affected my marriage. Please know my concern in addressing this topic comes from no place of judgment- I have no room to judge. It’s because of my struggle with sexual sin that I want to warn you and ask you to run! Flee!

Sin can be sneaky. Especially in our minds. We must run, flee from anything that tempts us into allowing sexual sin power. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #sin #desires #temptation #grace

Temptation

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

James 1:14, NLT

There are so many reasons we are tempted into sin, but they always come back to us. We want to do what we want to do. So we justify. “I watch Game of Thrones for the story. I read romance novels to pass the time. I listen to secular music about sex and the secular culture because I need to stay relevant with my kids.” The problem with watching, reading, and listening to what the world is, is that all too soon, we begin to resemble the world and not Christ. 

What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matthew 18:7-9, NLT

Amazing Grace

These verses are all red letters in the Bible, meaning they are straight from Jesus’ teachings. Make no mistake, Sisters, God does not think sin is funny or okay. We preach a gospel of grace. Praise God for His grace and mercy! None of us can enter into His presence without it. All of us are wretched sinners; I often feel like no sooner do I have victory in one area of my life, another surfaces that’s just as serious. My point is that we must not take advantage of this amazing grace. Repentance means hating our sin enough to turn away from it!

As I write this today, I can be honest and say this area is not completely conquered in my life…perhaps it never will be. However, the more I’m in the Word, the more I pray, the more I fill my mind with Godly music and clean TV shows, the less and less I struggle. The junk I allowed myself to look at and think about, becomes more and more distant in my mind and memory.

Run to God

The key to our struggle against sin isn’t to do it alone and in secret, but to run to our Savior for a way out! I’ve begged Him for a way and the phone has rung, or the baby woke up or my kids came inside for a snack…that is the way out, friends! Stop that thought, take it captive and hand it to God. Get busy serving your family until you are able to think clearly. We must have a practical plan to deal with our struggles, or we are absolutely planning to fail. 

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT

Holiness

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NLT

The Bible makes no joke about our walk with Christ: it’s a battle, a war, a difficult thing that will absolutely make us realize our need for Jesus and His sacrifice. We cannot save ourselves-everything in our hearts is bent toward evil. Praise the Lord for His Word to guide us, His Holy Spirit to teach us, and His body of believers to help keep us accountable on this journey called life.

If you struggle with sin-your thought life in particular-I urge you to find a Godly mentor you can trust. An older woman in the faith who won’t berate and judge you, but love you and help you! Holiness is a daily decision but also a lifelong destination. 

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor-not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, NLT

The key to our struggle against sin isn't to do it alone, but to run to our Savior for a way out! Praise the Lord for His Word to guide us, His Holy Spirit to teach us, and His body of believers to help keep us accountable. Click To Tweet

Sin can be sneaky. Especially in our minds. We must run, flee from anything that tempts us into allowing sexual sin power. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #sin #desires #temptation #grace

eberhard grossgasteiger

"but God...", holiness, perfection, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Perfection: Accepting Our Limits to Pursue Holiness

Seeking perfection becomes an obsessive way of life. Striving for our own excellence robs the Lord of what is only meant for Him…true perfection. 



Perfectionism. It’s a common lie indeed; one that plagues the lives of many women and has certainly not left my own life untouched. It’s a tricky little lie, often disguising itself as being ‘organized’ and ‘a good planner’; maybe even ‘studious’ or ‘determined’.

We convince ourselves and others that it’s a good thing, but little do we know that with each obsessive shift of the table centerpiece; each edit that we promise ourselves will be the last; each nagging remark about how messy his side of the bathroom sink is; and each overly-meticulous vacation itinerary…with each desperate attempt at perfection, this lie slowly but unabatedly tightens its grip.

And before we know it, we’re suffocating.

Seeking perfection becomes an obsessive way of life. Striving for our own excellence robs the Lord of what is only meant for Him...true perfection. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Achieving Perfection

Though there was never really a beginning to this lie, I do recall a moment when my behavior started showing a tendency towards perfectionism. As a homeschool kid, I had the time and space to make perfect every single thing I set my mind to. I completed school work with precision. My room remained spotless and my workspace clean and organized.
I just liked things this way.

Little did I know that this quirky personality trait of mine was growing; building with each moment I allowed myself to allot all my time, energy, and devotion to this pursuit of perfection. Middle school, high school, and college all went by, feeding this lie and convincing me all the more that it was possible; that I could actually achieve perfection.

It wasn’t until I was on the flipside of a destructive season in life that had completely annihilated my self-image, self-confidence, and self-worth that I saw how what was once an innocent personality trait had morphed into a relentless, obsessive lifestyle.

Obsessive Rubble

Isn’t that how God so often works though; bringing forth from the rubble of our eradicated sin-filled, corrupt lifestyles the beauty of refinement and sanctification?

And so it was; from this place of emptiness and desperation, God opened my eyes to His truth. Where perfectionism had once told me that it was possible, God reminded me that it was not, because “to all perfection, there is a limit, but [His] commands are boundless” (Psalm 119:96, NIV). 

Perfectionism had convinced me that it was necessary, God reminded me of what was truly necessary, for “it is by grace that I have been saved, through faith – and this not from myself, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV).

Perfectionism had once said that I would never be good enough. God reminded me that I didn’t have to be, because “as for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; and he shields all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30, NIV).

*insert a huge sigh of relief*

Battling Pride

If you’re anything like me though, it’s a constant battle to remind yourself of those ‘but God…’ truths, right? There is a persistence in each of us that finds tremendous pride in how meticulous and precise we can maintain the order of our lives. 

Seriously sister, let’s get real.

You find pride in it, don’t you?

You pride yourself in how organized your planner is; in how clean your house or apartment is; even in how precisely you maintain your daily schedule, down to the minute. These things by themselves aren’t inherently bad, but when we begin to take pride in getting as close to perfection as possible, even in the small things, we can begin to convince ourselves that it’s really not as bad as it may seem.

So let me tell you right now sister – it is a bad thing. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that it is sinful because there is glory in perfection. There is beauty and splendor and majesty in it.

And we know this, so we desire it. But as our dedication and devotion remain committed to achieving that which was never intended to be ours, we rob the Lord of His rightful glory. This kind of majesty and beauty is only meant for God; it is His alone and as we continually convince ourselves that it’s attainable and daily strive for it, we rob Him of that glory.

Deficiency

So as painful as it is, the first step in identifying perfectionism for what it truly is, is to recognize our utter lack of perfection in light of the all-consuming perfection of God.

I am not what I ought to be – ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be – I abhor what is evil, and I want to cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be – soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection.

John Newton, 1772

We must realize that who we are here on earth is nothing compared to God Almighty, “for who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who is like the Lord among the heavenly hosts,” much less here on earth (Psalm 89:6, NIV).

We all fall to imperfection and utter deficiency.

Therefore, we must completely annihilate any hope or desire of actually attaining perfection this side of eternity. We must pursue holiness and plant ourselves in the truth of God. Christ is the only example of complete perfection. So let me help you out with that a bit…

We must annihilate any hope or desire of actually attaining perfection this side of eternity. We must pursue holiness and plant ourselves in the truth of God. Christ is the only example of complete perfection. Click To Tweet

Pursuing Holiness

Are you an obsessive perfectionist?

“To all perfection, there is a limit,” (Psalm 119:96, NIV) so stop trying so hard.

Are you impulsively fixated on constant improvement?

“Apart from Christ you have no good thing within yourself,” (Psalm 16:2, NIV) so you alone will never be ‘good enough.’

That’s painful, isn’t it? The war between flesh and spirit always is. But there is hope sister! And this hope, found outside of ourselves and our own abilities, will never put us to shame (Romans 5:5).

Though we are not what we ought to be, nor what we wish to be, nor what we hope to be, we can truly say, we are not what we once were; slaves to sin and to Satan; and we can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge that “by the grace of God we are what we are” (John Newton, 1772).

Heirs of Promise

We are children of God; heirs to the promises given by He who is faithful.

Indeed, to all perfection, there is a limit but praise God that His perfect Word is limitless (Psalm 19:7; 119:96). It is true that without God we would have no good thing, but how joyful it is to know that we will never have to live a day apart from His goodness (Psalm 16:2; Deuteronomy 31:6).

So sister, rejoice! You will be made perfect one day.

But not yet.

Because today, you can rest in knowing that only He is.



Kristin Remm is a jeans and t-shirt wearing, passionate, jump-in-with-both-feet, entirely flawed but wholly loved by God kind of girl who is learning to embrace grace over perfection. Residing in Kearney, NE, Kristin is the grant writer and data analyst for a local nonprofit agency. Outside of her work, Kristin enjoys spending hours at the coffee shop reading and writing, competing on the community church softball league, and traveling with her family and friends.

Her passion for writing led her to create her blog, Walk on Water, where she shares her story of how God continues to invite her ‘to be eternally focused on Him rather than presently preoccupied by this world.’

You can also connect with Kristin on Facebook and Instagram.

Seeking perfection becomes an obsessive way of life. Striving for our own excellence robs the Lord of what is only meant for Him...true perfection. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional