Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Farewell, Vain World!

Farewell, vain world; my soul bids you adieu.
My Savior taught me to abandon you.
Your charms may gratify a sensual mind,
but cannot please a soul for God designed.
          ~David Brainerd

The more I know God and the longer I walk with Him, the less worldly things entice me. We, Christ's followers, must examine ourselves. We cannot serve two masters. God or materialism? God or egotism? God or sensuality? Wealth, fame, power, pleasure, and other temptations in this world can never satisfy our soul. Only Christ, our Lord and Savior, can! Don't waste your life chasing after these temporary things! Live for God and give Him your undivided loyalty! Don't let the world and its pursuits come between your soul and Him.

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26a

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:15-17

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

We're a new creation. We no longer think the way the world thinks; we embrace the mind and the attitudes of Christ. Our old way of thinking and living has gone, being replaced with the new way of thinking and living according to God's Word.

"When they see a follower of Jesus who is sold out for Christ, living free of legalism and bondage to the world, they are drawn to Jesus. When they see a follower of Jesus living for 'self' and the world, they have no problem rejecting Jesus because it allows them to play the hypocrite card. The world needs us to be an example of living the Bible so that they too are drawn to Christ. They need answers, and for us to say we are "Christians" and live our life in pursuit of personal gain would only be a contradiction to who we say we follow. " ~David McGee

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14


You're invited to share your thoughts about the quote above (by David Brainerd) on your blog and then link up your post here. To learn more about "In Other Words"(what it's about, how it works, and how it originated), visit here.
This post is also linked up with Faith-filled Friday @Beholding Glory, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, and "Hear It, Use It" @Graceful.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday's Fave Five #69

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-

1. I had a wonderful time at the Spring Tea with 2 friends last Saturday. The menu was outstanding :). The table settings were so beautiful, creative, and unique. The message was encouraging. You can see the photos here.

2.
God is beyond awesome! I've seen His fingerprints in my daily life all the time. Way cool! He is a very personal God. He cares about even minor details of my life. I'm speechless...just so overwhelmed with thankfulness in my heart.

3. French wild blueberry preserves on French vanilla ice cream...Delicieux :)!

4. This article (and video): Why We Got Married by Larissa Murphy. Truly beautiful and inspiring! I cried, of course :). You can also visit here to download a free copy of This Momentary Marriage by John Piper.
"The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His Church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain." ~John Piper
5. I've been participating in the "A Photo a Day in MAY" challenge on my photo blog at http://wondersbeyondwords.blogspot.com/ . Fun and challenging :)!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Under Scrutiny

“You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read,
and your life is under scrutiny every day.
What do others learn from you?
Do they see an accurate picture of your God?”
by John MacArthur
Whether we like it or not...realize it or not, people read us and notice how we act and how we react. Are we living our lives according to God's Word? Are we extending to others grace and mercy lavishly bestowed upon us by God? Do others see the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) displayed in our lives? I hope and pray that others will see Christ in me. Of course, I am far from perfect. I often fail and struggle. However, I hope that my words and actions, including my failures, will point to the fact that we all are sinners in need of a Savior and that He is my Hope, Joy, Strength, Lord, and Life. Christians either attract unbelievers to Jesus or turn them away from wanting to know more about Jesus by the way they live their lives. Are you passionate about Jesus and the Gospel? People can tell. Your joy and enthusiasm speak volumes. Do you share the Good News with others? Can people see that you're different from the world...that Christ reigns in your life? How do you react to trials and troubles? People are watching. Your response reflects what you believe. Do you walk the talk? If not, hypocrisy will quickly turn people off.

We are Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)! Do we accurately represent Him?
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Do our lives glorify Him? What do others learn from us? Faith in the Almighty God or doubt and fear? Eternal hope in Christ or hopelessness and despair? Unconditional and selfless love for all or conditional and selfish "love" for some and hatred/prejudice for others? Are we being light to this dark world?

My personal experience attests the real-life application of the quote. Our family has been hosting a weekly dinner/Bible study for international students who attend a local university. Most of these students had never read the Bible. However, they become interested in learning about God and the Bible because they like what they see in our fellowship. They are attracted to the love, joy, contentment, caring, kindness, passion, hospitality, smiles, and laughter that they witness. We continue to pray for them that they will choose to surrender their lives to Christ.

The quote above reminds me of several similar quotes:
"I am my neighbor's Bible. He reads me when we meet. He may not even know my name, yet he is reading me." ~Unknown

"We are His word to the world. Are we clearly heard?" ~Unknown

"Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian." ~Dwight L. Moody

"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." ~Oliver Goldsmith

"So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine." ~Watts


~This post is linked up with In 'Other' Words @SunflowerFaith , Faith-Filled Friday @Beholding Glory, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, and "Hear It, Use It" @Graceful.

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