A silent denial

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A thought hit me as I prayed this morning: “have I also denied my Lord?”

In my mind’s eye I saw a dark, cold dungeon. The air was filled with the putrid stench of rotting flesh and rats. In the corner of one cell sat a large figure hunched over, eyes closed and lips moving in prayer. His body bore wounds that told of many beatings, some fresh and some reopened.

He sat there and prayed for his persecutors, his family, his church, and begging God for strength to endure to the end. His persecutors had beaten him time and again telling him that he had but only renounce his faith and he could be set free. They told him he could even continue to worship his God if he only said the words of denial and would no more preach. To merely let him go would mean he would be free to share his faith and many would believe as before. And whenever they killed the “Christ followers” twenty more would spring up in his place because of his martyrdom. But if he relented, if he gave in and denied his faith then no one would believe or respect him after that.

However this man was unwavering in his devotion to God. He would not be silent. He would not be ashamed or afraid of what man would do to him. He would continue to share the Gospel with all those he came in contact with. He would never deny his Lord.

But it got me thinking… I wonder… Have we done that which we would never dream? Have we–have I denied my Lord?

I imagine often of persecution, imprisonment, and even death for the sake of Christ. Something much like someone holding a gun to my head and asking “Will you say you deny Christ and never evangelize again?” I look them in the eye and say with a resolute passion, “no, I could never and will never deny my Lord.” (and then they pull the trigger…? I just hope that if persecution does break out here in America that I will be seen as a threat).

But perhaps our culture has already played the part of the persecutor and has beaten and threatened us until we no more share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re scared. We’re ashamed. It’s uncomfortable. I myself succumb to those lies and fears.

We’ve never verbally denied our Lord, but just the same we’ve kept our faith secret and silent, content to just blend into this world. Silently we have called the things of this world our lord and forsaken our First Love. If the world or the culture can get us to be silent and blend in then they’ve won – to them it is better then just killing us off because we will only seem weak and ineffective. And the truth is, that if we Christians are living according to God’s Word then either the culture will change or crosses will be erected.

I guess what I’m trying to communicate here is that our silence is denial. Denial of our Lord, denial of the Great Commission He has given us to fulfill.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.      Matthew 28:18-20

My heart aches to know that within the past few weeks I’ve been in conversations where it led to planting seeds about the Lord, but I chose not to because I simply wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t looking for ways that I could plant Gospel seeds, and when the situation arose I found it more convenient to remain silent on the topic. I don’t want to live as one that has denied the Lord. I want to live boldly and to lovingly proclaim the Gospel to others. I will not hide my light under a bushel, but put it on a candlestick.

Come Christian, you are called to be a light to the world – not to imitate the darkness. To shine forth with the radiant Gospel of Jesus Christ. Oh let us not deny Him in spirit! Let us call Jesus Lord and let our walk be self-evident to that fact.

~Grace Elizabeth

To do him good…

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It was after church services a few weeks ago and I found myself holding a precious little treasure in my arms. This treasure was about 4 months old and he owned a pair of blue eyes that I’m sure could steal anyone’s heart. In my conversation with one of the moms, I mentioned just how much I desired to be a mother of my own precious little treasures one day.

She began to reply, and I was sure she was going to give me the “contentment speech.” You know, “be happy and serve God where He has placed you and in His time He will bring along ‘Mr. Right’.” Thing is, I am truly happy with my life; I feel full. I only want the next phase when God says it’s time. Overall, I am content. But she surprised me–she didn’t discredit that desire, instead she encouraged me. She told me that those were God given desires and she truly believed He would fulfill them. It was neat to hear that. It was so different for that desire to be affirmed.

Like any girl, I’ve carried big dreams about my knight in shining armor. I’ve known some girls to write very extensive lists on what they want their husbands to be. Oh sure, it’d be nice if he could sing and play instruments well, if he were a good writer, spoke several languages, was romantic, and was really athletic–the list could go on and on. But what my heart has craved and my prayers have echoed is that he would be a passionate lover of God; that he would have a dynamic relationship with the Lord.

For if a man loves God–truly loves and follows after Him and has a humble and teachable spirit, then everything else will fall into place. No, he won’t be perfect, he will fail just as much as I do. We won’t be perfect, but we will grow and learn together. That’s part of the beauty of it.

Occasionally I put myself in the place of the kind of man I would like to marry and make a list of the kind of woman he would want to marry and then I work on those things. Do you desire a man of prayer? Become a woman of prayer. Do you desire a man that meditates on God’s Word? Start meditating! What about a man that is involved in ministry? Become a woman that serves and ministers to those around her. (I’m writing as a girl to girls, but it works the same way reversed).

We can daydream, we can wish about our Knight in Shining Armor. But would we be the kind of woman he is looking for?

And this doesn’t only apply to our “spiritual side.” Wouldn’t the man of your dreams appreciate an organized house and a well-cooked meal?

It really boils down to this: become the kind of person you’d like to marry.

No, we won’t be perfect–we’ll fail. I can promise you that. But this season of singleness is so precious. We are given such a precious gift from God. We have time to prepare, time to develop our walk with the Lord, time to reach out to others… If you’d like somewhere to get started, Proverbs 31:10-31 has some great pointers. *smile

Verses 10-12 says:

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Will we do our husbands good all the days of our lives? Even before we know his name? Are we preparing for him, being faithful to him, and building a foundation of trust now?

That’s where I’m at right now. That’s a little of what I’ve been learning this year–to become the woman my Knight would be seeking for. Time is so short, and I’ve already wasted so much of it. And truly, if we are living fully for Jesus now, obeying Him, seeking His face, loving Him and allowing Him to change us, then we will become the person our spouse needs. As we focus on Christ and lose ourselves in Him, I believe everything else will fall into place.

Today I purpose to do my husband good as I follow after Christ.

 

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Romans Challenge~

Last month I had the opportunity to help out at the Mally’s Bright Light’s conferences for girls. (If you want to know more about their ministry you can go to their website– http://www.tomorrowsforefathers.com/).

The long and short of it is that it was an amazing time. Lives were truly changed. The first part of the week was a conference geared towards younger girls. The biggest thing that impacted the sweet gals on my team was to make a commitment to read their Bibles daily.

I had never been good about making God’s Word a priority in my life until the beginning of 2011. My new year’s resolution was a vow to God to spend at least 5 minutes in His Word everyday that year. Since then, by God’s grace I have not missed a single day. It has impacted my life so much, and always reminds me where my focus ought to be and Who’s life this is.

That being said, Grace Mally is starting a “Romans Challenge” next month. I love a good challenge and thought I’d share this one with you. Basically, during the month of September you read Romans 1-8 everyday (you can head over to her blog to find out more about it). . Eight chapters is a good amount of reading. As a slow reader that could easily take me 30 minutes to an hour each day.

Romans 1-8 hold some passages that are very close to my heart. How wonderful would it be to daily reading and meditating on these rich passages? We sit down to watch a movie or TV show–why not use that time to immerse ourselves instead in the Word of God? What do we have to lose?

So who wants to join me? Saturate yourself in the Word of God!

I’d love to know if you do this too (comment and let me know!). And if you don’t do Romans challenge, I do encourage you to be faithful in the Word and press on to know the Lord. In the end, He is all that matters.

Love and blessings,

Grace

A walk, and thoughts on eternity

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day, perfect for a walk. So I did, I went on a walk with my Savior, Jesus Christ.

The perfect bench for just the two of us to sit and talk.

Everything, no matter how small sang the praises of their Creator. I love that you can see His beauty in everything.

I long for a closer relationship with God. 

I long to love Him more.

When I go outside and take a look at God’s creation, it reminds me just how big He is, and how small I am…

…and my heart floods with love for Him.

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being…Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever.” Psalm 146:1-2,6

(Mr. Squirrel seemed to be enjoying the afternoon, too.)

Fall is a beautiful season, but soon all the leaves will fall off the trees and be gone. After that, the leaves will crumble into dust and be replaced with new leaves in the Spring. It makes me remember the words of James 4:14:

 “…For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

Is my vapor of a life counting for eternity? Am I making the best use of my time? Oh! How much precious time have I wasted on frivolous pursuits that won’t matter a week from now, much less eternity.

“Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4

This is my prayer, that I would live in constant awareness of how fleeting life is, and that I all I do would bring honor and glory to God.

Time is short. Life is fleeting. Live for Christ.

All for Christ’s glory,

Grace