Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Jesus did not die on the cross to improve our self-esteem. He died to atone for our sin. And yet the cross does teach us a crucial lesson about our worth: We are each worthy of the wrath of God. As a manifestation of God’s unmerited mercy, the cross reveals the depth and seriousness of our sin.

Anthony Hoekema points this out:

In today’s world there is little emphasis on the biblical doctrine of sin. But a person with a shallow sense of sin and of the wrath of God against our sin will neither feel the need for nor understand the biblical doctrine of justification. When sin is ignored, minimized or redefined we no longer live aware of our desperate need for Jesus Christ nor appreciative of what he accomplished on the cross for us.

Unless we understand the nature of sin and how offensive it is to God, we’ll never understand why the cross was necessary. We’ll never be amazed by grace.

~Robin Boisvert & C.J. Mahaney in How Can I Change?

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Do you want the world to lose its appeal? Then crowd out worldliness by filling your affections with the cross of Christ. Crucify the world as a dead and undesirable thing by meditating on the love of the Savior. Resist the bait of the world by gazing at the wondrous cross. For it is “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote Paul, “by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).

Charles Spurgeon urged us to “dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard.” If we will do this, then the things of this world will indeed “grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”…

What should consume our thoughts and affections is not resisting worldliness but the glory and grace of God revealed at the cross. We must take the sin of worldliness seriously, to be sure…but its eradication is not an end in itself. Resisting worldliness is absolutely vital but not ultimately most significant.

Jesus Christ is most important. We must fight worldliness because it dulls our affections for Christ and distracts our attention from Christ. Worldliness is so serious because Christ is so glorious.

~C.J. Mahaney in Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

Photo: OBMonkey

The Worst Sinner You Know

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,
of whom I am the foremost.”

1 Timothy 1:15

“Humility,” according to C.J. Mahaney, “is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.”

Perhaps like me, you’ve found that although you truly desire to cultivate humility, the ability to assess yourself honestly remains elusive. If we compare ourselves to God, of course, our sinfulness is painfully obvious. The problem, however, is that we rarely force ourselves to focus our attention on God’s holiness for any length of time. Somehow comparing ourselves to the tax-collecting sinner next door feels far more comfortable. And when we consider his sin, we can easily content ourselves with the thought that at least we’re not that bad. How easily we deceive ourselves.

At a conference, I once heard C.J. Mahaney give a warning about our tendency to overestimate the severity of another person’s sin, while at the same time underestimating our own. He said that any time he feels himself looking down judgmentally at other believers because of their sin, he knows that at that moment he has ceased to become the worst sinner he knows. Because of what we know about the depths of sin in our own heart, C.J. emphasized that we must never deceive ourselves into thinking we are any better than the person we feel tempted to condemn. 

In this video, C.J. discusses this concept with James MacDonald. I think we can all benefit from his thoughts…

Learn more about overcoming pride in C.J.’s excellent book Humility.

Image: Stephen Stacey

What Are You Waiting For?

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God…”

Jude 20-21

Have I ever told you how much I love the teaching of C.J. Mahaney? As I perused the list of speakers whose breakout sessions I could attend at TGC this week, I didn’t need to think twice when I saw C.J.’s name–that session was made for me! It didn’t matter that C.J. would be teaching from the book of Jude on the topic of pastoral encouragement, or that I would be one of a few wearing perfume in a room filled with cologne; I knew I’d get something beneficial out of his message, so I grabbed my spot on the front row to soak it all in.

As always, I was deeply moved and encouraged by C.J.’s exposition of the Scriptures. Teaching on Jude’s instruction to “keep yourselves in the love of God,” C.J. expounded on the phrase “waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” I thought the illustrations he shared on the issue of waiting would be helpful to each of us… 

Photo: Maria Kaloudi

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Some of you may wonder…why make such a big deal about modesty? More importantly, why does Paul? Is it because we’re conservative people? Is it because we have personal preferences about how women should dress?

No. The reason is the gospel. Modesty is important because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why Paul is concerned about it. He isn’t simply a “cultural conservative.” This isn’t Paul’s version of The Book of Virtues. For him, the issue of modesty is about the gospel.

And that’s why you should be concerned about modesty as well. For when we take a broader look at 1 Timothy 2:9, we discover that these instructions about women’s dress are set in the context of the gospel:

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Tim. 2:3–6)

The gospel message is the motivation for modest dress.

The woman who loves the Savior avoids immodesty because she doesn’t want to distract from or reflect poorly upon the gospel.

R. Kent Hughes puts it like this: “Paul’s overriding concern was that the way Christians deported themselves would not detract from but enhance their gospel mission.”

We have a gospel mission: not only to preach Christ but to live in a way consistent with our profession of faith. As women, you can detract from the gospel mission by dressing immodestly, or you can enhance the gospel mission by dressing in a way that reflects the transforming power of the gospel at work in you. The humble woman, the modest woman, is concerned about the lost. And her dress reflects that concern.    

Make this your aim: that there be no contradiction between your gospel message and the clothes you wear. May your modest dress be a humble witness to the One who gave himself as a ransom for all.

~C.J. Mahaney in “Modesty: The Modest Woman’s Allegiance (pt. 7)

Photo: OBMonkey

Words Wrapped with Love

 

“Let your speech always be with grace…”

Colossians 4:6

In a new article, C.J. Mahaney shares a great idea for a thoughtful gift we can share with all of our loved ones this Christmas. I think each of us can benefit from his wisdom…

Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity to give gifts to those I love. I enjoy doing all I can to surprise them with a particular gift. I am sure you do as well.

But here’s what I’ve come to realize: too often I can put more thought into the gifts I buy them than I do the content of my conversations with them at Christmas. In fact the content of my conversation can be a gift of greater substance and of more enduring value.

By using words that are carefully and skillfully chosen, we can give the gift of grace to others. And Christmas provides us with many opportunities for conversations with a variety of friends and family. But are you prepared?…

Continue reading C.J.’s article “A Gift Idea” HERE.

Photo: Charles Thompson

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

God is decisively drawn to humility. The person who is humble is the one who draws God’s attention, and in this sense, drawing His attention means also attracting His grace–His unmerited kindness. Think about that: There’s something you can do to attract more of God’s gracious, undeserved, supernatural strength and assistance!

What a promise! Listen to this familiar passage again for the very first time: “God…gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Contrary to popular and false belief, it’s not “those who help themselves” whom God helps; it’s those who humble themselves.

This is the promise of humility. God is personally and providentially supportive of the humble. And the grace He extends to the humble is indescribably rich.

~C.J. Mahaney in Humility: True Greatness

Photo: OBMonkey

Precious Picks

A heap ‘o good links for you to check out…

Rekindling the Gratitude
John MacArthur shares 5 things he is most thankful for this holiday season: “Let me encourage you not to allow this Thanksgiving to come and go without taking inventory. Biblical gratitude isn’t something that should pass from our minds with the passing of a season. It’s an attitude, a God-focused response to circumstances that should pervade each moment of each day of each year.”

Christmas Offerings
You can download Third Day’s album, Christmas Offerings, for $5 at Amazon. One of my favorites!

The Six-Second Kiss
Jani Ortlund shares one of her secrets for keeping romance alive in marriage: “What can six seconds do for you? Woman to woman, let me encourage you that just six seconds a day can help safeguard your marriage.”

Don’t Waste Your Sports
C.J. Mahaney has a new booklet out that is much needed among Christians involved with sports: “Don’t Waste Your Sports is for athletes, parents, and coaches. It provides a biblical worldview of sports so that we don’t waste this gift. ‘I had the opportunity to glorify God in my sports,’ C.J. writes, ‘and I fumbled it. I wasted my sports. You have the opportunity, by the grace of God, not to waste yours.’”

Pastor Mark’s Daddy Christmas Tips
Mark Driscoll shares a list of ideas that will help dads make Christmas a blessed time for their families. Pass it on to a daddy who may need it! “Dad needs a plan for the holidays to ensure his family is loved and memories are made. Dad, what’s your plan?”

Illustration: Svilen Milev

Stop! Step Away from the Send Button!

“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Proverbs 29:20

Ok, you’ve probably never done this, but I have. On the rare chance that there may be one other person out there like me reading this, I thought this video would be worth sharing.

In the following discussion, Pastors James MacDonald and C.J. Mahaney discuss why they believe we should never address areas of sin in another believer’s life through email. Although in the past, I believed that writing my thoughts was a safer way to talk to someone about a conflict between the two of us, I have in recent times begun to see the wisdom of talking face-to-face about such difficult subjects. My previous belief was that by writing a letter, I could present my thoughts without running the risk of becoming emotionally worked up and thereby complicating the situation further through my sinful responses. (Believe it or not, I have been known to raise my voice in particularly trying situations. I know, truly shocking info right there.  :)) But after reading Ken Sande’s thoughts in The Peacemaker on resolving conflict biblically, I have come to agree with the wisdom shared in this video.  

So, hold it right there, ladies! Drop the mouse, step away from the computer, and go make an appointment to lovingly speak the truth you need to share.

Photo: carl dwyer

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Gratitude subverts greed. It’s an expulsive antidote to covetousness in the heart. Gratitude is not a feeling, and it isn’t based on present circumstances. It is recognition of our dependence on God and others–an act of humility that battles pride in our possessions. Grateful speech takes the attention off ourselves and places it on another, whether that’s the God of our salvation or the spouse who washes our clothes. Gratefulness is recognition that God is always good and always right in his dealings with us…

In times of plenty or need, the covetous heart says, “I want, I need, I will have.” The grateful heart simply says, “O bless the Lord,
my soul.”

~Dave Harvey in Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

What things are you grateful for today?

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… 

Do you want the world to lose its appeal? Then crowd out worldliness by filling your affections with the cross of Christ. Crucify the world as a dead and undesirable thing by meditating on the love of the Savior. Resist the bait of the world by gazing at the wondrous cross. For it is “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote Paul, “by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).

Charles Spurgeon urged us to “dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard.” If we will do this, then the things of this world will indeed “grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”…

What should consume our thoughts and affections is not resisting worldliness but the glory and grace of God revealed at the cross. We must take the sin of worldliness seriously, to be sure…but its eradication is not an end in itself. Resisting worldliness is absolutely vital but not ultimately most significant.

Jesus Christ is most important. We must fight worldliness because it dulls our affections for Christ and distracts our attention from Christ. Worldliness is so serious because Christ is so glorious.

~C.J. Mahaney in Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

Photo: OBMonkey

Christ’s Mighty Love for Messed Up Sinners

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

Are you listening to lies? Lies that say you’ve gone too far, you’ve sinned too much, God’s grace isn’t great enough to cover what you’ve done? If your heart is burdened with the baggage of your sin and Satan’s deception, don’t despair! Confess, repent, and embrace the One who freely offers His amazing grace to only one group of people–totally messed up sinners.

Let this video encourage your heart today. (Make sure you catch Matt Chandler’s teaching at both the beginnning & the end!)

Photo: Sally Dell
Video: bball1989

Positively Criminal

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…”

1 Peter 5:5b-6

It’s 3 a.m., and I just finished up four class assignments and sent them whizzing along their way to California. Sometimes I love my biblical counseling program more than at other times. Facing four unfinished assignments at 9 p.m. at night would qualify as one of those moments when my decision to pursue further education seems slightly less charming to me than it used to. Ah, but as soon as the homework is completed, the feelings of love quickly return to my weary frame.

Before I go pillow my sleepy head, I wanted to share with you one of the convicting and challenging thoughts that the Lord has been using to counsel my own sinful heart lately. The following is taken from C.J. Mahaney’s terrific little book Humility:     

Why does God hate pride so passionately?

Here’s why: Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him.

Charles Bridges once noted how pride lifts up one’s heart against God and “contends for supremacy” with Him. That’s a keenly insightful and biblical definition of pride’s essence: contending for supremacy with God, and lifting our hearts against Him…

Pride takes innumerable forms but has only one end: self-glorification. That’s the motive and ultimate purpose of pride–to rob God of legitimate glory and to pursue self-glorification, contending for supremacy with Him. The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive.

No wonder God opposes pride. No wonder He hates pride. Let that truth sink into your thinking.

(pp. 31-32)

Photo: G & A Scholiers

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