Do Not Grow Weary (December)

12-2014

by Sarah Lee Bryant

There are times in life when we grow wearied by difficulties and trials. Hardships press in against us, and we begin to feel the painful reality of our own weakness and the fleshly urge to stop climbing uphill. We subconsciously think that because of the present difficulties in our journey, we have good reasons to slack off in being faithful in our callings. We even mentally complain that God needs  to change our circumstances or lot in life, before we can really progress spiritually.

We daily deal with circumstances that we cannot change, nevertheless, circumstances we thoroughly dislike. If we didn’t have that annoying little brother who aggravates us constantly, we could be patient and kind. If we just knew what the future held, we would know what to do with our life right now to prepare. If that person would have not hatefully hurt us, we would not be so discouraged right now. If all of our friends and family were saved, then we would not face this painful mockery and persecution. If we had not met that young man—or could just marry him tomorrow—then we would be perfectly happy and content right now in singleness. If we had enough money, then we could really do something important in life. You fill in the blank for whatever your current circumstance or wish might be!

No matter what difficulties we face (some legitimate and some imagined)—we do not like trials in any form. And when pain comes, we want to find the fastest route away from it. The furnace hurts.

But you know what, sisters? We are never promised an easy life. No, not even if we are Christians, not even if we love the Lord Jesus, seek Him daily, and obey Him to the best of our ability. We find throughout the Scriptures that even “good” people face great hardships—sometimes hardships even greater than unbelievers face. In fact, we are promised tribulation and afflictions in life. “We should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know” (I Thessalonians 3:4)

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So we might wonder, why do we suffer, if we are walking with and honoring the Lord?

We find in God’s Word the amazing answer to this incredibly deep and sometimes difficult question. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 

Suffering is actually one of God’s tools of mercy and kindness toward us. It may seem like a paradox, but think about the good things the Lord does in our lives through these very trials. We are never clinging to Christ more tightly than when every earthly hope has been shattered. We are never more needy for His strength than when we are too weak to even move. We never see His glory and love toward us more sweetly than when we can just simply gaze, in our weakness, up to His loving face.

You see, in our weakness and pain, we experience His sufficiency. We do not wake up asking the Lord for strength each morning to face another day, when we are healthy, youthful, and abounding with energy! We do not cry ourselves to sleep before Jesus every night, when life is doing smoothly and there is not a trial in sight. We do not lean upon the Lord for hourly wisdom on how to respond to unkind remarks when all around us are like-minded and support our stand for Christ.

Personally, the richest times in my spiritual walk with the Lord are when I am facing difficulties or pain. During trials, I lean into my Lord and find Him, oh, so present, sufficient, and loving toward me. I meditate on Him more faithfully in these hours of need, I commune with Him, and I delight in His presence. Truly, I find Jesus to be all I need and begin to thank Him for even these trials that cause me to seek Him more earnestly!

How then do we find strength to continue on faithfully in these trials?

We are human, and we are very apt to grow discouraged as we face trials day in and day out. We want to find a way out of this particular pain right now. One day I was feeling very overcome by various trials, and cried out to the Lord in prayer, Lord, am I really doing the right thing? Why am I facing these hardships? Can You just take them away? I don’t want to keep going; I feel so weary and tired.

In my flesh, I felt like giving up. Is this what being faithful felt like? It sure didn’t seem as “heroic” and amazing as the word sounded! I decided to reach for my Bible. What does God say about faithfulness and endurance?

One of the first verses I read was Proverbs 24:10: “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Immediately, I felt humbled. Here I was, weary and wanting to give up in the midst of the fire. I continued to read…

Hebrews 12:12-13: “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”

Deuteronomy 20:3b: “Let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them.”

Luke 18:b1: “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

It became clear to me that I had only one choice—to press forward. God’s Word offers such strength and encouragement to us in each season and situation. It even gave me incredible hope as to the outcome of tribulation…

Romans 5:3: “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.”

Lastly, I came to James 1:2, which commands, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” Count it all joy? This is not a joyous situation, but I am told to account it joy (impute joy to it). Why? James continues, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

That I may be perfect and entire—lacking nothing. What incredible promises God gives us. He has not promised to take suffering or trials away from us—but He promises great hope in the midst of them and even as a result of them. He is working good in us through these painful things. He is producing patience in us through these unpleasant circumstances. And He is sanctifying us and making us more like Jesus and more ready to receive the eternal weight of glory one day that we will partake of in heaven.

Wow. I felt quite small as I read these incredible passages. These truths made my earthly trials seem so small—and even glorious in light of eternity! These very things are working for me a crown in heaven. These “10 minute afflictions” are producing a “billion year reward”—eternal crown of glory! II Corinthians 4:17: says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Our trials are not accidents and they are not bad.

Our trials today—whatever it might be that you or I face today that comes across as unpleasant to us—are not accidents. We need to stop viewing them as “bad.” Yes, we do face sin and sin’s fruit each day, and in this sense they are bad. But, according to Romans 8:28, God is able to work these “bad” things for “good” in our lives, because we love Him!

So that bad situation—you fill in the blank for what that trial is for you today—God has selected it just for you to face today. No accidents about it. And therefore, He will also grant grace for you to be able to face it with a Christ-like attitude, and to press on faithfully and obediently. Our God is incredible, and it never ceases to encourage me to press on with Him, when I stop and think about this.

He carves out our trials to suit us, to hit our specific weaknesses, and to reveal our individual sins and failures to ourselves. We see more of who we are and how we need Him. You and I are probably facing something completely different today—however, the Lord has gently selected the very specific trials you and I will face today. Think of this in the immediate sense…in the daily, small, hourly trials or emotional struggles that come.

Hurtful words (again) from someone we love. Sinful actions that inconvenience us greatly. Sickness that inhibits us from an active lifestyle. Instead of complaining about the day’s trials as if they are an accident, we can take them as straight from the Lord—realizing He is trying to work in us more patience and more endurance through these particular situations.

We are called to be faithful no matter what.

Doing what is right before the Lord and walking in His commands is not easy. It often requires going against the flow. Let’s admit it—we all enjoy being around other believers at church, conferences, or like-minded gatherings. However, in “normal daily life,” we must face the world, which opposes God and drinks iniquity like water. No matter who we are around or what opposition we face, we must be faithful and obedient to the Lord.

Our Lord is so merciful. He does not leave us alone to walk rightly. He knows it is difficult, and offers countless promises and comfort to us as we walk obediently and faithfully. We are commanded to “Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” (II Chronicles 15:7) Our God is mighty, and is not slack concerning His promises toward us. II Corinthians 4:16: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” I encourage you to do a study of the promises God has given in His Word regarding those who are afflicted. Here is a tiny list of verses to start with:

  • Deuteronomy 4:7
  • Psalm 46:1
  • Psalm 145:18
  • Isaiah 43:1-2
  • Isaiah 63:9
  • Micah 7:7,9
  • Matthew 18:20

Lest we grow weary, we have been given an Example!

It is amazing that the Lord does not simply give us commands to be faithful and endure even unto death—as if God up in Heaven does not understand what these trials feel like to us as humans.

No, His own Son came into this world and faced these trials Himself. We have a High Priest Who in ALL points was tempted and tried as we are (Hebrews 4:15). Don’t ever feel like the Lord does not understand your current pain or grief. Not for one moment. Have you ever read Isaiah 63:9: “In all their affliction he was afflicted”? He feels our afflictions with us!

The Lord Jesus, the Lord of Glory, endured all, thus we are given this most glorious command in Hebrews 12:3—“Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Sisters, the Lord knows our weaknesses. Jesus Christ Himself faced a painful, trial-filled and afflicted life. He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). And He suffered and strove even unto blood against sin (Hebrews 12:4).

So we are commanded to CONSIDER Christ, lest we grow weary. Consider Him Who faced evil, hurtful men throughout His entire earthly life, Who was mocked, persecuted even unto death, Who hung upon that Cross in agony, Who bore mankind’s sin and filth, Who was rejected by His own beloved Father, and Who went to the grave to redeem His people (Isaiah 53). Consider the blood that ran down His head and His body as He died a most horrific and painful death. Consider Him, Whose friends all fled and even denied Him. Consider Him, Who is the very Son of Glory Who holds the whole universe—stooping to such a station as that of the shameful Cross. Who arose from the grave, conqueror forevermore over sin and death! The Lamb of God – victor and conqueror forevermore!

Dear sisters, I want to encourage you to press on. Do not grow weary, for in due time, you will reap if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). Yes, these earthly trials we face are real. We do not need to try to deny this. But we also cannot deny the truth, that if we are Christ’s, nothing shall separate us from His love (Romans 8) and He is using even all these things for our good. There is SO much comfort found when we can simply rest in peace, knowing that we are not forgotten by the Lord and these very trials are not an accident, but a very sign of His tender love for us (Hebrews 12:6).

Today, let us consider Jesus, and not grow weary!

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
(Hebrews 12:2)

-Sarah Lee Bryant

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In Everything Give Thanks (November)

Julie Peterson


Give Thanks Challenge 2014Throughout November, KBR is hosting our annual GiveThanks! x7 Challenge. Join us as we thank the Lord each day, for seven things we are thankful for. You can write these things in your personal journal, or share them on our private minigroup. More info on the challenge is here. We’d love to have you join us!On the topic of thanksgiving, Christianna shares how thankfulness is so important!
In Everything Give Thanks

by Christianna Hellwig

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Have you ever thanked God for something for which you could see no purpose? It is easy enough to praise God joyfully for some great blessing which we’ve wanted or appreciated. But have you ever bowed your head and prayed, “Lord, I thank you that my brother just splashed mud all over my freshly ironed church blouse?” Have you ever softly whispered, “Father, I want to thank you that I am sick and have to sit here at home instead of going to the autumn fest?” I doubt too many of us have.

It is perfectly Biblical to ask for things; in fact Paul tells us, “let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” But have we ever spent a time in prayer simply thanking God for every single situation that is going on in our lives, whether we like them or not?

To be thankful is one of the hardest things we can do, because it requires humility and selflessness. And if you were to name the root of most of your sins what would it be? Probably, pride and self love!

We see the theme of ‘sacrifices of thanksgiving’ sprinkled liberally throughout the Scriptures, because the giving of thanks is a sacrifice. To thank God, instead of asking, is sacrifice on our part: we sacrifice our desires, our idolatrous interpretations of what life ought to be like, and, most importantly, our pride and self love!

I have read that there are four states of thankfulness:

  1. Constant complaining; grumbling constantly because there seems to be nothing good in our life.
  2. Ungrateful; not complaining, but not thanking either, as in the case of the nine lepers whom Jesus healed.
  3. Thankful for the good things; thanking God for the obvious blessings in life but not for that which is unwanted.
  4. Thankful in everything; taking the good and bad alike with a thankful heart.

Which state are you in? I fear I find myself far too often in the second and third categories, sometimes in the first, and exceedingly rarely in the fourth.

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Of course the question may be asked next, “Should we thank God for sin and evil? Should we thank Him for a killing or a stealing?” I think the key verse in this case is Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The thought here is that every circumstance will turn out well for us who are Christ’s—no matter whether it is good or evil. So if we know that every thing will turn out well for us, why shouldn’t we thank God for every situation He brings our way? In light of this, pray, “I thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have caused this situation to happen to me; help me to learn from it.” We’re thanking Him that He can use any circumstance for our good.

I want to encourage every one of you to spend this next month thanking the Lord for things that, may not necessarily be things you wanted. What often happens is, as soon as you thank the Lord for it, you begin to find joy in it. I used to be extremely ungrateful for the fact that I had four younger brothers and no little sister. I didn’t care for boys and wanted a little sister who would look up to me as I looked up to my older sisters. About five years ago, I began to thank the Lord for my brothers and now, I can truthfully say, I wouldn’t trade them for a younger sister at any time, simply because that’s not what the Lord has given me. He gave me brothers and once I began to thank Him for them He granted me contentment with them. This leads to an extremely important point: with thankfulness comes contentment.

Amanda Hage

If you ever find yourself discontented, start thanking the Lord for whatever it is you’re unthankful for that moment. Not only will you start to see all the good in the situation, but you will also begin, very soon, to feel satisfied and content.

Another benefit, is that the constant thanksgiving will be a cure for any discouragement you may have in your life. When we are discouraged, we are willing to grasp onto anything that coddles our emotions and makes us feel hopeful instead of clinging to the truth. This is why discouraging thoughts must be nipped in the bud before they blossom into something ugly; try thankfulness as the clippers. If you are discouraged about how you behaved yourself one day, for example, start thanking God for all the times that you didn’t mess up! If your heart begins to sink at the sight of a ‘C’ on a Science test thank God you didn’t get a ‘D’. When we’re thankful, the petty annoyances and upsetting experiences that happen in life shrink down to their proper size.

This doesn’t mean that we try to pretend like the frustrations and troubles don’t exist in life; they do, and they are upsetting, but they are not our masters. We have the privilege of being able to say with John Newton:

I am not the man I ought to be, I am not the man I want to be, I am not the man I hope to be; but by God’s grace, I am not the man I used to be!”

In conclusion, remember that if we were not able to give thanks in every situation, the Lord wouldn’t have commanded us to. And though we live in a fallen world, there is always something wonderful in every mishap—something we can praise God for with a joyful heart.

Thank Him, right now, for your eyes to see His many blessings!

-Christianna Hellwig {Guest Writer}

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Daily Sanctified by Grace (October)

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by Rachel Abernathy

They crawl like termites from the woodwork. How many I actually see, however, varies. Easy days exist–days when the termites seem docile and I flick the sporadic one away. Or, I cover them up with a pretty white curtain.

Some days are harder. The termites writhe from every visible, and invisible, corner. They swarm with fury. I don’t expect it, their viciousness shocks me, and I falter. Try as I might to deny them, I can’t always casually brush them away. They crowd upward for everyone to see.

Sin is like those termites. Our hearts are so sinful and yet we don’t realize the magnitude of our sin. (Jeremiah 17:9) Occasionally, one day in a million, it all breaks loose. We’re shocked at what we see. We’re disgusted at ourselves.

That’s a good sign.

God chooses the most unlikely people as His own and promises peace to the humble; peace to those who know that they’re terminally ill and completely incapable. (I Corinthians 1:26-29, Mark 2:17, Matthew 5:3-5, Ephesians 2:8-9) Christ came to heal the sick, not the healthy. (Mark 2:17)

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17)

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Without Christ, we are dirty, rotten, vile, garbage. You may describe our fallen hearts with any word that describes something evil. (Jeremiah 17:9, Isaiah 1:5-6, Ephesians 2:1-3, Mark 7:21-22) And ironically, that’s the beautiful thing. God, despite our wretchedness, chooses us for perfection. (Ephesians 1:3-8, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) We cannot fully value the sweetness of fresh fruit until after we taste a rotten apple. Likewise, we cannot fully value God’s love for us without seeing our total helplessness first. We can’t grasp the beauty, the majesty, the incomprehensibility of salvation and grace without staring into the darkness of our own depravity. (Romans 3:20)

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)

Still, through the darkness, Christ’s call holds us even tighter. When those nasty termites crawl into the line of sight, Christ is working His Salvation in us. We become more like Him with each termite that He points out and squishes. (I Corinthians 1:30, Hebrews 12:5-6,10)

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

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Sanctification is a process. Today, saved but not yet saved, we sometimes seem to drown in our imperfections. That’s when we grip His perfection even tighter. We cannot be perfect, but He already is. (Romans 7:15-25, 2 Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 2:22)

In God’s eyes, we’re already justified by the Perfect Sacrifice’s blood. (Hebrews 10:14, Romans 5:9) One day, we’ll trade our “faith in Him for the sight of Him.”  (Hebrews 11:1, I Peter 1:8, I John 3:2, Tony Buford) And in eternity, there will be no more termites ever again. (Romans 8:30, Hebrews 12:23)

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

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All my sins and slips! – James Smith

I found that sin always wounded my conscience, and caused me much trouble of soul; nor could I again obtain peace, or enjoy comfort–but as I looked afresh to the blood of Jesus, and felt its cleansing efficacy within.

Never could I, never can I, be glad that I have sinned. Yet the grace of God, taking advantage of my weakness and folly–has wrought sweetly in my soul afterwards. And blessed, forever blessed, be the name of my Lord and Savior–He has sanctified my sins to me, for my real benefit!

1. My sins have made me fly unto Him afresh, as into a strong tower, in which the righteous are safe at all times.

2. My sins have brought me to feel my own weakness, and to see the desperate wickedness of my heart–in a way and manner which otherwise I could not.

3. My sins have revealed to me the fallacy and folly of trusting in my own heart at all.

4.My sins have made me more cautious, and kept me crying to Him for strength against temptation.

5. My sins have given me an opportunity sweetly and powerfully to prove the efficacy of the blood of Christ to cleanse from all pollution.

_______________________

-Rachel Abernathy 
{Guest Writer}

Rachel (18), a homemaking trainee, practices writing and photography from Missouri.

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A Walk in Light, Joy and Obedience (September)

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By Martha Joy

In 1 John we read, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1:6,7; 2:3)

We, as Christians, desire to live in the light, to serve and love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30), and to bring glory to His name. What does this entail? What, really, does “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:31-33) mean?

My goal with this article is to study some of these ideas, through His word, and Lord willing, explore the true definition of being a Christian – living for God.

Try closing your eyes while walking. You might go along fine for awhile, in your own eyes, but to others you’ll probably appear to be stumbling, and walking in a crooked line. Now open your eyes – the glorious light! It guides our way and we can see clearly to step over things and walk in a straight manner. While light is “physical,” it’s also spiritual.

Throughout the Bible the concept of light vs. darkness is mentioned numerous times. Jesus told us in John 3:20&21 that everyone practicing evil hates the light and do not come to the light (lest their deeds should be exposed). But, he who does the truth comes to the light. The light is so desirable, as it gives us brightness, guidance and joy!

In our spiritual walk we need that guidance and help, that brightness to guide our steps, and that joy in life, to keep us pressing on. But where can we find this light, the one that gives us hope? Jesus said, in John 8:12: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

What peace and joy to know that our Savior – Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God – is a light to us! Through him we are saved from our sins – by his death on the cross – and have hope of eternal life!! What a gift!

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If our Father – by the death of His son – has given us the hope of living forever and has saved us from our terrible, fleshly sins, what ought we to do? We should worship and serve Him (Matthew 4:10b) – and obey His commandments which He has placed before us.

I hope and pray, dear friend, that you will choose the life of constant commitment and service to our YHWH and joy in serving Him and living in the light of the world: God’s son. For God saved us from our sins and it’s His desire that we serve and obey Him – what a small price for us to pay for eternal life!!

After coming to the light, confessing our sins, and being baptized, how can we continue to live out God’s will and serve Him?

What a blessing it is to have the Bible. In it we find God’s commandments, instruction, correction, and refreshment. The life of Jesus is an amazing story to study – to ponder how he came to the earth and fulfilled God’s will. He taught his disciples, giving them God’s commandments so we should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21-24). Jesus spoke in parables, yet He gave his disciples understanding (Mark 4:11).

Disciple means “taught or trained one.” Parables are also sometimes difficult for us to fathom, but coming to Jesus, adopting him as our teacher, we find understanding. For after all, he is the light of the world, as we studied earlier! With Jesus as teacher, we are seeking to be his disciples – to be taught and trained by him! How can we be that unwavering disciple of him – one who’s always sitting at his feet, as Mary, gleaning from His truths?

Jesus said, “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me” (Jn. 6:57). So, let us feed on his words – for he is the bread of life (Jn. 6:35) – which we find in the gospels, obeying God’s commandments.

Try reading through the gospels, asking for God’s insights as you read. Read carefully, pondering on each commandment and even make it a point to write down each one, to go over later and practice.

I would like to point out the importance of obeying God’s commands. This is the fundamental way by which we become disciples of Jesus: by obeying his Father’s commands. 1 John says, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (See also James 2:18:26)

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Also Jesus talked about losing our life and forsaking all to follow him. In Matthew 6 he said to “seek first the kingdom of God and all these things [food, drink, clothing] will be added unto you.”

Often life gets us busy in everyday things and we stray away from our primary focus. We might enjoy photography, reading, rubber stamping, gardening, or star gazing and while some of these can be quite exciting and if used to glorify God, wonderful, if it draws us away from our focus on YHWH, that is wrong! He wants our whole focus, He wants our full aim to be living for Him. For after all He saved us, through His Son! He deserves our ALL and that is what He requires of us – to live for Him. For Jesus said that “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:14; emphasis mine)

Will we be one of those few? Colossians 3:1-4, 5a says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth.”

We are to not value our life on this earth, except as a life that we can use for God’s glory. We are to turn our life over to Him and live holy, purely for Him. We are to be disciples of God’s son and follow under his light – abiding in the true vine and bread of life: Jesus the Christ.

He plainly stated in Luke 14:33, “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” What a powerful verse.

So then, let us turn from our self-minded focus – and walk the life of a disciple of Jesus, obeying his commands, and abiding in God’s love.

May God bless you as you seek Him and seek to be followers and walk as Jesus walked.

~Martha Joy
{Guest Writer}

Martha Joy (16) lives with her sweet family on a farm in the SE, where she enjoys goats and other animals, photography, gardening, leatherwork, playing the fiddle, writing and more. Her desire above all is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and live the humble and joy-filled life of a disciple of the son of God. Visit her monthly magazine blog.

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Scripture Memorization Testimonies! (August)

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By Allison 

[This is the fourth article in a series that we will be posting this month, focusing on the importance of Scripture memory.]

It is my desire that you have been encouraged in your memorization journey this month.  I have always found it helpful to hear from other young ladies who have walked the road before me sharing their stories.  So that is what I would like to do now.

This is the story from a young lady about how she first began memorizing: “I grew up in a Christian home, so my parents always had me memorizing Scripture from a young age.  In middle school, I started Awanas, which is a Bible program that involves much memorization.  However, the thing that prompted me to start memorizing of my own initiative — not because my parents or pastors told me to — was because of my pastor’s testimony.  He talked about how he had memorized Philippians and how now, whenever he counsels people, he always turns to Philippians because he knows it so well and it’s on the forefront of his mind.  That story made a huge impact on me — I wanted to know the Bible like that and have that help for witnessing to others or even when battling temptations personally.”

Another daughter of the King shares how she has been encouraged through Scripture memory: “For me personally, it’s encouraging to know scripture because my sister and I can talk about things in the bible and verses we’ve learned and encourage each other or help each other with questions we have.”

Emilie shares why she believes we should memorize Scripture: “Memorizing Scripture will make God’s word more available to you – you may not always have a Bible with you when you’re at that party and someone asks you about what you believe in or you just need a verse to remind you of something. Constantly reading and rereading Scripture to memorize it will make you mull over it more, and certain words and phrases you only skimmed before may pop out at you. Most importantly, it allows the Holy Spirit to constantly have “weapons” available in your mind to battle the sin inside. Books be taken away, but not your mind.”

“The more you practice memorization the easier it really does get.”

One 23-year-old shares her struggles with memorization and how God has helped her overcome them: “Sometimes I get behind on reviewing verses; they just build up until I have so many to review that it is really discouraging to think about it.  Because of this, there have been a couple times I took a really long ‘break’ from memorizing.  But God is faithful and when He sees that the time is right He encourages me through other peoples’ testimonies, through reading the Bible, through sermons, or other mediums to get back to memorizing.  Lately He’s been showing me a more practical side of memorization–being able to use promises of the Bible in praying for people–which has kept me motivated so that the review doesn’t pile up.”

The same girl tells about her discovery while memorizing God’s Word: “Well, people say that the more you memorize, the easier it becomes.  I never realized the truth in that until I had been memorizing for a while.  I was finishing up the book of James, and for about a week I was taking 50-minute long walks and memorizing as I walked.  I was memorizing 12 verses at a time that way!  That’s when it hit me–when I first started memorizing, there’s no way I would have been able to do that.  So the more you practice the easier it really does get.”

Here’s an inspiring story of how memorization impacts our every decision: “The most significant time I can think of was when I was looking for guidance in making an important decision.  I had already made a choice that I thought was in accordance with God’s will, but this particular day I just felt very unsettled in that choice and felt very strongly that I had to fast and pray all that morning until I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what God’s will was.  So I went to a nearby park and spent all morning there, praying and thinking and writing and reading the Bible.  At one point as I was writing out once again the pros and cons, a Bible verse that I had memorized a couple weeks before came to mind.  I decided that when I was finished I would look it up and read the context, as it really seemed to have nothing to do with my situation.  But when I did look it up and read in context, God was really able to speak to me through that passage, and I left the park around noon with a certainty about what choice I needed to make.  And God was able to give that to me because of that verse I had memorized.”

Allison offers these words of encouragement: “Stay strong! The benefits of memorization far outweigh those of relying on a paper Book. You will benefit immensely in your spiritual life, as well as benefitting others. Never give up on God. If you are having a difficult time, persevere. As you memorize, it becomes easier and easier as you get to know God’s Word more deeply. Be it memorizing, reciting, studying, or simply reading, you will never regret a single moment spent in His Word.”

Finally, “Do not quit! It is easy to quit, but very hard to re-start. And Ecclesiastes 12:1 tells us to “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” If we wait until we’re grown-ups, we’ll only have less time, money, etc. And always do it to Christ’s glory!! “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).”

I pray that you have been inspired and equipped this month.  I echo the words above, don’t give up!

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

~Ashley (15)
{Guest Writer}

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