Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

The current popular notion that judging others is in itself a sin leads to such inappropriate maxims as ”I’m O.K. and you’re O.K.”…”Judge not that ye be not judged” has come to mean that if you never call anything sin nobody can ever call you a sinner. You do your thing and let me do mine and let’s accept everybody and never mind what they’re up to.

There is a serious misunderstanding here. The Bible is plain that we have no business trying to straighten out those who are not yet Christians. That’s God’s business…

”But surely it is your business to judge those who are inside the church,” [Paul] wrote to the Christians at Corinth, and commanded them to expel a certain immoral individual from the church:

Clear out every bit of the old yeast….But in this letter I tell you not to associate with any professing Christian who is known to be an impure man or a swindler, an idolater, a man with a foul tongue, a drunkard, or a thief. My instruction is: Don’t even eat with such a man…

The key to the matter of judgment is meekness…Meekness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. No one who does not humble himself and become like a little child is going to get into the Kingdom.

We can never set ourselves up as judges, for we ourselves are sinners and inclined to be tempted exactly as those we judge are tempted. But if we are truly meek (caring not at all for self-image or reputation) we shall speak the truth as we see it (how else can a human being speak it?). We shall speak it in love, recognizing our own sinful capabilities and never-ending need for grace, as well as the limitations of our understanding…

I said we cannot set ourselves up as judges. It is God who sets us this task, who commands us Christians to judge other Christians. It is not pride that causes us to judge. It is pride that causes us to judge as though we ourselves are not bound by the same standards or tempted by the same sins. 

~Elisabeth Elliot in “To Judge or Not to Judge” February 19 Daily Devotional

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

How can I tell if my trust in the Lord is wholehearted? One way is this. Do I let the Bible overrule my own thinking? It says, “Do not lean on your own understanding.” So, do I agree with the Bible, or do I obey the Bible? 

If I merely agree with the Bible, then my positive response is not obedience but coincidence. The Bible just happens to line up with the prejudices I’ve soaked up from my background. But what do I do when the Bible contradicts what I want to be true—especially when, on top of that, it seems culturally remote and perplexing? 

If I’m reading the Bible for excuses for what I want anyway, my heart has already drifted from the Lord. But if I trust him wholeheartedly, I will let the Bible challenge my most cherished thoughts and feelings.

~Ray Ortlund in “Wholehearted trust accepts authority

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

My father, the quintessential athlete, was a platform-diving champion. He taught me for years always to check the depth of the water, and never to dive into cloudy or murky areas. But I didn’t listen, and I paid the price with a broken neck. Life’s like that, isn’t it? We sidestep the counsel of older, wiser people that know better and, sadly, we end up paying the consequences.

I’m sure that’s why the Bible makes such a big deal about it. Joshua 1 says: “Be careful to obey all the law…do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go.” There’s something to be said for doing things God’s way.

What’s God been telling you lately? Don’t shrug your shoulders or turn away from His advice; don’t sidestep His counsel; He knows better. He’s the expert, a champion, at living life the way it ought to be lived.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Take Your Father’s Advice

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

At one point in my life, I found myself coming home every night after work, turning on the TV, and using it as a companion.

God began to show me that the television was becoming a barrier in my relationship with Him. I’m ashamed to say that I resisted God’s conviction for months.

The real issue was whether I would obey in humility and brokenness or whether I would resist God in pride. You’re faced with the same decision every time God’s Spirit convicts you of something.

TV may not be a problem for you. There may be some other issue where God is calling you to surrender. But I’ll tell you that when I finally said, “Yes, Lord,” and made the changes I knew I needed to make, it led to incredible new freedom and fruitfulness in my life. I don’t know what you may be struggling with, but whatever it is, let me just encourage you: Don’t delay obedience.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Changing Habits

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Every word of God is pure. “The words of the LORD are pure words,” Psalm 12:6 tells us, “like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” So what does it mean for us that the Word of God is inspired, that it is inerrant? It means, “When the Bible speaks,” as Augustine said, “God speaks.” When I pick up this Book and I read what it says, this is God speaking

The apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 that one of the things he appreciated about the Thessalonians was that, verse 13, “When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (NKJV). Paul said,  “When we came and brought the gospel to you, you listened to that Word and you didn’t take it as just, ‘Oh, Paul’s saying this.’ You said, ‘Oh, God is saying this.’ You received it with an attitude of reverence and submission.”

That should be our heart attitude toward the Word of God…For me to affirm doctrinally that I believe this is the Bible, I believe this is the Word of God, I believe this is inspired and inerrant and infallible, do you know what I’m really saying? When I read this Book, I’m going to trust it. I’m going to believe it. I’m going to act on it whether I like it or not, whether it makes sense or not. I’m going to let this Book act on me. I’m going to bow the knee to it rather than expecting it to conform to the way that I live. I want to actively seek to live my life according to this Book.

Is that your heart attitude toward the Word of God? Let’s ask God to give us that kind of reverence and esteem for His Word. Not only to say that we believe it’s infallible and inerrant, but to live as if we do.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Outlasting the Critics

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, NKJV). Use God’s Word in application. Don’t just get it into your head. Don’t just get facts and figures and dates and outlines and notes and quotes from the Word of God.

Listen, you can memorize the whole Word of God and never have it change your life. Now I think that would be hard to do because the Word of God is so powerful. It will change your life. But it has to change your life. It’s meant to transform us.

God didn’t just intend that we should get into the Word. He intended that the Word get into us.

One of the biggest burdens I have for women today is that as we have the advantage of so many Bible study groups and classes and methods and courses that we can take. We can take them on the Internet. We can take them by video and audio tape. We can take them in our churches. We have lots of opportunities to study the Word of God.

But there are far more women studying the Word of God today in our churches than there are keeping the Word of God. And there is a world of difference.

Now we’ve got to study. We should study. And I hope that you’re involved in some sort of study group. I hope that you listen to Revive Our Hearts and that it’s helping you to study the Word of God.

But after you study it, after you read it, after you meditate on it, after you memorize it, you’ve got to do it.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Hear and Act

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Jesus understood something that His disciples would not grasp until after His death, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven—something the Bible calls a “mystery.” This mystery is that death brings life, and that there can be no real life apart from our willingness to die. To help explain this principle, Jesus used an illustration from the world of farming: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (verse 24, italics added)…

What was Jesus saying? The only way to gain your life is to give it up. The only way to win it is to lose it. We think we are giving up so much by dying. But in reality, it is those who refuse to die who are giving up everything. When we choose the pathway of brokenness and humility we are choosing to receive new life—His supernatural, abundant life—flowing in us and through us.

Because Jesus understood the ways of God, He did not resent or resist His death. He reminded His disciples that no man took His life from Him, but that He laid it down willingly (John 10:18). When the time came, in obedience to the will of His Father, He turned His face toward Calvary and went as a lamb to the slaughter. He knew that beyond the Cross there was life everlasting. For this reason, the Cross became the site of His true glorification—the place where He conquered death and gave birth to eternal life.

So, too, when you and I are willing to be broken in union with Him, His abundant life is released to flow through us to others. Brokenness is the entrance into life. Not until we are broken can we begin to experience the free flow of the power of His Spirit in and through our lives.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Brokenness: The Heart God Revives

Photo: OBMonkey

The Heart of a Hoarder

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9

I really need to clean out my closet. The task is one I’ve intended to deal with for some time now, but this week I discovered the motivation necessary to get the job done. I watched Hoarders.

In case you’ve never watched the program, let me explain. Hoarders gives you an up close and personal look at the living conditions of, yes, you guessed it, hoarders. All you need to do is watch this show one time, and you’ll be cured of the desire to keep anything in your home that isn’t essential to your daily survival. Refrigerators and freezers bulging with expired food, layers of dirty laundry serving as wall-to-wall carpeting, and piles of garbage littering floors, countertops, and furniture—these are just a few of the horrors hidden within the walls of a hoarder’s home.

While some hoarders recognize they have a problem, others believe their behavior is entirely reasonable. After all, there may be a day when they need that rusted-out toaster with the missing cord. Their stuff provides them with security. If everyone he knows abandons him, at least the hoarder won’t be alone–his stuff will always be with him. Oftentimes a hoarder’s bizarre behavior forces him to a crossroads—he can have relationships with people or he can keep his stuff. Relationships rarely win out.

I watch each episode in a state of perpetual astonishment. How could anyone live like this? Don’t they realize how messed up this is? Why in the world would someone feel so attached to things that are entirely worthless? Although I can’t imagine living with such an unhealthy attachment to material possessions, I’ve recently realized that I have a tendency to do a little hoarding of my own. I’m not talking about the clutter in my closet this time; I’m talking about the clutter that often crowds my soul. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

There’s a tendency within many of us to hoard the hurts we’ve experienced in life just like a hoarder piles up his treasured possessions. Imagine that your heart is a home. Is it clean and organized or cluttered and crowded with unresolved conflict, bitterness, and unforgiveness? Perhaps in one room you keep stacks of boxes stuffed with memories of wrongs done to you by your parents, in another, towers of old catalogs, each one filled with records of the sins your husband has committed against you. Other rooms are nearly uninhabitable due to the piles of unkind words, demeaning looks, forgotten birthdays, unnoticed efforts, and unspoken encouragement that have caused you pain and now remain forever preserved as a part of who you are.

If you’re like me, you probably know how destructive this practice is, this storing up of every hurt and wrong ever committed against you, yet somehow, all of this stuff gives you a sense of security. There may come a day when someone hurts you again, and you’ll need access to that list of offenses you’ve kept track of through the years to show them how great their sins are and why they’re unworthy of your forgiveness. You simply can’t bring yourself to throw it away.

Just like a hoarder’s experience, when we hold on to bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness, we’ll soon find our hearts too crowded to maintain relationships. Although they may begin by occupying only a small corner of our souls, sinful attitudes quickly multiply, attracting more and more garbage until eventually we have no space for fellowship with God or anyone else. Our Lord stands outside and knocks, but our worthless collection of bitter memories will prevent us from budging the door from its place.

How are we ever to clean a mess this big? Such a job is too great for us to handle on our own; we need the Holy Spirit’s help to empty our hearts of the trash we’ve been packing away over the years. Confession, repentance, and forgiveness–this is the Christian’s cleaning cycle, the process that frees our hearts to love God and others as we should. It’s not easy to let go of hurts we’ve held on to for so long, but our Savior lovingly guides us to see how damaging our bitterness is. He reminds us, “Because I’ve forgiven you, you have the power to forgive others. Because I’ve cleansed you of your sins, you can wipe away the record of offenses committed against you. Your security is not in your memories; it’s in Me. Let go of those things; you don’t need them. All you need is Me.”

Do you have the heart of a hoarder? It’s time to clean house. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24)

 

Going for the Gold Medal of God’s Favor

“…each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it,
because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test
what sort of work each one has done”

1 Corinthians 3:13

William Carey, the father of modern missions, is often remembered for saying, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” While I admire the strength of faith reflected in Carey’s statement, I can’t honestly say that I’ve lived according to such a motto. All too often, my lifestyle could be more accurately described as expecting little from God and attempting even less for Him. Can you relate?

Francis Chan has some challenging words for those of us who’ve been content with “playing it safe” in the Christian life…  

Illustration: Moi Cody

Taking the Guesswork out of God’s Will

“For this is the will of God…”

1 Thessalonians 4:3a

Do you ever wonder what God’s will is for your life? Wonder no more!

Never one to shy away from the tough questions, Pastor John MacArthur is going to explain God’s will for your life in 3 clear and simple points. Share them with your friends–these points will work for them too! 

Photo: rore_d

He’s Walking!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

3 John 1:4

One more terrific illustration from Matt Chandler’s message at the 9Marks at Southeastern conference…

Teaching on the importance of creating a grace-filled atmosphere in the church, Matt uses a humorous example to illustrate the Father’s joy over seeing His children walk in obedience.

 

You can watch the entire sermon HERE.

Related Posts:

Betraying Christ for New Floors

Matt Chandler Wrestles with the Text

Photo: Simona Balint