And Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly." — Matthew 1:19
Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ and husband of Mary, is one of the tragically least talked about men in the Bible. He was a just man and did everything he could to serve God. He was not perfect, but out of all the men on earth, it is no coincidence that God chose him to raise Jesus.
If you recall, which I am sure you do, Joseph was not aware of what was happening at first when Mary was pregnant with Jesus. He did not understand that his wife was pregnant with the coming Messiah, he did not know she was still a virgin, he genuinely thought that she had been with someone else. And it is not what Joseph did in this situation that speaks volumes about his character, but what he didn't do.
Matthew 1:19 tells us Joseph was unwilling to put Mary to shame. This is something that we often overlook, but is important to notice. Joseph was still unwilling to put Mary to shame, even though she was thought to have been pregnant with another man's child! Can you even imagine how much pain in which that put him? Yet he was willing to stay quiet. He was not willing to shame her, despite the fact that she had shamed him.
We are told all the time to stand up for ourselves. People tell us that we cannot bring justice unless we use our voices and are strong, and if we stay silent, we are weak. Now, of course, there is a time to stand out and speak the truth. We are told to be bold and not to be ashamed of the Gospel (Romans 1:16) and to speak the truth (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Eph. 4:15; etc.). However, there is also a time to stay silent, and that time often gets overlooked.
I am, admittedly, someone who does not often stay silent. It is by no means my strong suit. If someone wrongs me, I am more than likely to tell someone else about it. It is what we have all been taught. If someone hurts you, you tell someone. And, of course, there is a time and place for telling others. But above all, we must never forget that it is out of love that we serve God. We must remember that love is patient and kind. We must remember that love does not insist on its own way. Love bears all things and endures all things, and if we do not love our brothers, we cannot love our God (1 John 4:20-21).
Joseph was showing true love. Yes, he was deeply hurt by the woman he was going to marry, thinking that she had been with someone else. But he had no intention of hurting her reputation. We see this also in Matthew 18:15, which says, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone." This is exactly what Joseph had done. He was settling this with his betrothed, and with her alone.
But imagine what would have happened if Joseph had not remained silent. Not a single person he had told would have believed that Jesus was the Christ. He would have been that child that Mary had with some mystery man. In the eyes of those around Him, He would have been just an earthly child born because of His mother's sin. And while some people may have thought that regardless, imagine if Joseph had told everyone that.
Could you imagine his embarrassment when he later found out that Jesus was the Messiah? Could you imagine how horrible he would have felt? How much damage he would have done? Could you imagine the shame of knowing that he may have made those people lose their souls because now they would never believe Jesus is the Messiah?
When was the last time someone did something hurtful to you and you stayed silent? How many about your last breakup? How many people did you tell about how awful your last boss was? How many people have you brought to shame because you didn't remain quiet?
I believe that this is an issue we often justify and don't like to touch. How many times do we mistake going to our brothers and sisters for help, with gossip? How often have you done this just within the past day? Week? Month? Year? While it is hard to hear, this is a huge issue, and it must stop.
What if you bring someone else to shame who’s not a Christian? What would that person then think of Christians? What if you gossiped about someone and then later found out that you were wrong? Well now you have put that person to shame, you have made yourself look like a fool, and you have made two people enemies because now the person who you gossiped to has a low opinion of the person about which you gossiped. No good can ever come from speaking poorly of others.
Today, I would like to encourage you to think before you speak. To take a second to think about any problems you have with someone, and think about what you did to make amends. Did you try? Did you pray? Did you go to them? Today, I would like to encourage you to be more like Joseph, and be silent when it's hard. You never know how your words can affect others.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." — 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Life is full of surprises. Some good, some not so good. You never know what will come next, and you never know how you will handle those things that do come. Sometimes you will go through incredibly difficult times, and sometimes you will go through incredibly wonderful times. However, no matter what lies before you, you must always remember to give thanks to Him who created you.
"Why should I be thankful when everything in my life is falling apart?" some ask. While to some this seems like a very unthoughtful and rude question to ask, to others it is a genuine, serious question. Why should you be thankful?
I am not going to say that you should be thankful because others have it worse. The tragedies of others do not lessen the sincerity of your own. However, you should be thankful because even in your hardships, you are blessed. You are incredibly blessed.
No matter what your hardship is, you have the opportunity to serve a God who is perfect and loves us all (1 John 4:19). You have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who love you and want the best for you (Galatians 6:10). And you have a Savior who loved you enough to die for you that you may spend eternity in Paradise (Romans 4:24-25).
As a Christian, you cannot allow your hardships to cloud your blessings. You cannot lose sight of your blessings. How can you be a light to all the World, how can you show others your love for God, if every time something goes wrong, no matter how painful, you forget everything He has done for you?
The moment you stop being thankful is the moment you forget everything that He has done for you. While you may be upset, you must remember that you cannot allow sadness become a loss of faith in God. Being thankful will keep that from happening.
Another frequently asked question is, "How can I stay thankful? How can I remember to be thankful when everything around me is falling apart?" This can be difficult, I admit. However, Paul gives us a fantastic example of this. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 we read of the hardships he went through. We read of all the physical torment he went through. From being shipwrecked, to being imprisoned, to be being beaten. Paul certainly went through a lot while he was here on earth.
However, if you read in Philippians 4:11, a little while later Paul wrote, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." Paul, the apostle who was always getting hurt, who was always in trouble, who was always in prison, had learned to be content? How? Because in verse 13, he simply says, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."
What encouraging words these are! We hear them all the time, and yet when we hear them from a man who was fleeing for his life, a beaten, shipwrecked, hungry, and thirsty man, it makes the message that much more powerful. He was able to be content because he knew that God was and is always in control.
How much more does that mean knowing that it came from such a man as Paul? To remain thankful, you must remember that you can always persevere through Christ, and without Him, you could do nothing.
This world tells us that we should always be getting more. If our lives are not ideal, then it must mean that God is dead. However, just because your life is not perfect, just because you may be having a difficult time, God is still there. If you hold fast your faith, if you continue to serve God, your trials may not end until death, but life on earth is a mere breath compared to eternity.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). If we have faith, no matter how hard our lives are, we can know that we will have eternal life.
"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." — Matthew 23:12 (ESV)
I am sure that the people reading this article are mostly Christians. Most of the people reading this article probably believe in the Bible and believe that Christ is the Son of God, who came to earth to die for our sins. However, there is a problem that I am seeing over and over again that is becoming worse and worse throughout time. An issue that we seem to ignore and never quite bring to light. This is a problem that you may have, and one which I personally struggle with from time to time.
We are told all throughout the Bible to go out into all the world and preach to everyone (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; James 5:19-20; Acts 14:47, etc.). We must always strive to save the souls of the lost, guiding them to the narrow road. We must also encourage our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to keep and grow in the faith (1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 10:24-25, etc.).
I am not speaking about any one individual, but I do want to address a very prevalent problem: Taking studies and posting them to social media as a way of saying, "Look how spiritual I am!" Or marking in your Bible more just so that when you flip through it during the sermon, people see how much you study. Or getting tattoos with Bible verses or symbols to show people how devoted you are to God. Or parading in the streets and shouting, "I AM A GOOD CHRISTIAN!"
Before I continue, I am in no way saying that there is anything wrong with studying God's Word with whatever method you choose. There is nothing wrong with writing in the margins; there is nothing wrong with highlighting, color coding, Bible journaling, or any of that. I actually just bought a journaling Bible because I have learned that there is no such thing as too much margin space. In fact, I encourage you to find whatever study method works best for you, and use it! The more motivation you have to study, the more eager you will be.
Having said that, in no way should Christianity be used to glorify ourselves. In Luke 18, we are given the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. We often look to the tax collector here as an example, and we rarely even consider that we could be that Pharisee. However, countless people may not realize it, but they are just like the Pharisee here. People who devote themselves to God. This Pharisee was very devoted! In verse 12 he says that he fasts twice a week and gives tithes of all that he gets. This man was devoted. This man was putting his life in God's hands, and he was striving to be acceptable to Him. But even those who are incredibly faithful can get caught up in sin without realizing. Even those that have given up their lives for Christ can forget that they are serving Him, and not men (Galatians 1:10).
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own Christianity that we forget that we are imperfect. However, we must never allow our glorification of God to blind us to our flaws. We must never allow ourselves to focus so much on the good that we neglect to fix the bad. What I am talking about is not the method with which one studies. What I am talking about is not about encouraging others to study God's word. What I am speaking of is where your heart is. Whenever we only study God's Word to glorify ourselves, whenever we post onto whatever social media we can, pictures of verses over beautiful backdrops, "stylish" sermon notes, and the most marked pages of our Bible, what is the intention? Where is our heart? Whom are we glorifying?
I am not saying that these things are wrong. However, whenever we do them just to lift up ourselves, who are we really glorifying? Is it God, or ourselves? Whenever we stand up and say, "I AM GOD'S!" rather than allowing our actions to prove that, who are we glorifying?
Again, I want to stress that I am not speaking about any one person. I am not saying that these by themselves are wrong. I think it is good when we encourage others to study and when we are not afraid to show others that we are faithful. Once again, what I am speaking about is intent. Is it your intention to glorify God? Is it your intention to inspire others? Or is it your intention to look good? Is it your intention to get more likes? Is it your intention to have others look at you and think, "Wow, they are so spiritual!" Is this your intention?
God never intended for us to use His Word to make ourselves look better. In John 8:54, Jesus says, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say 'He is our God.'" Jesus Himself says that even He cannot obtain His own glory. Jesus, who aided in the creation of all things (1 John 1:3). Jesus, who came to save men from their sins (John 11:25). Jesus, who was perfect, though underwent all kinds of temptations (Hebrews 4:15). Even He could not glorify Himself. How can we, then, glorify ourselves (Matthew 23:12)?
I do not want to discourage anyone from spreading the Word of God. I do not intend to hinder anyone from being confident in their faith. However, sometimes it is important to take a step back and ask yourself what your intentions are. Ask yourself if you are the tax collector or the Pharisee. Ask yourself what it is that you are trying to do. Are you glorifying God in all things? Are you focusing on Him more than yourself? Are you the tax collector? Or are you the Pharisee?
"But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." — Hebrews 5:14
Our entire lives, we are always moving toward the next big thing. After we are born, we say our first word, then take our first step, then go to school for the first time, then our first day of high school comes, after that our first day of college, then our first day at our first real job, then our wedding day, then the day that we have our first child, then the day they say their first word, and so on, and so on. As humans, we are created to always want to move forward. But what is the next thing in Christianity? Are we done as soon as we're baptized? Is that our peak?
We always are pushing for the net big thing. Always improving ourselves, and structuring our lives to make everything better. Better for ourselves, better for our families, better for our communities—just better for everyone around us. But when it comes to Christianity, some people get discouraged. It seems as if once we are baptized, we're good. We're saved, and then we just kind of go into autopilot. Especially if we grow up in the church, this can be very true. We forget that we still have steps to go after that. Being baptized is the equivalent of taking our first steps when we are a child. Of course it is crucial to taking more steps, so to speak, but it's certainly not when we stop trying to improve.
Hebrews 5:12-14 sheds some light on this when it says, "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
How does this verse shed light on what I was just saying? Well, it clearly says that there are some Christians that are more mature in their Christianity than others. Does this mean that newer Christians are less of Christians? Certainly not! However, if you are diligently studying God's Word every day, are you not going to be much wiser after ten years, than after five? Or after two?
1 Timothy 3:6 is discussing qualifications for elders, and pretty far down the list it states, "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil." Does this mean that just because a man is not, in this manner, qualified to be an elder, he is not a true Christian? Not at all. This just means that clearly, there are different struggles for new converts. This also implies, then, that as you grow in your Christianity, you will achieve more steps, and you will be going on further and further in your walk with Christ.
So what is the next step? This is different for every person. I wish I could say that it's to work on being so good that the things that used to tempt you don't even bother you at all anymore. However, that is not going to happen. I know of one man that has not smoked a cigarette in decades, and yet he still has the urge to smoke sometimes. Some people will try to tell you that you are sinning just by having temptations, because that is “attachment to things of the world,” and use verses such as James 1:14-15 to give evidence for this. However, Christ Himself was tempted as we see mainly in Matthew 4. Temptation itself is not equal to sin, it is simply a gateway to sin.
Our next step as Christians is not to get to a point in which we are no longer tempted, but it is to get to a point in which we no longer give into temptation. Of course, we will never reach perfection, but that does not mean that we will not be closer to it than when we had started. The things we strive for in life will ultimately be what we obtain in eternity. If you are constantly perfecting yourself, and constantly striving to be like Christ, then you will spend an eternity being perfect with Him.
Whether it's no longer gossiping, no longer giving into the temptation of being rude, or making sure that you only put things into your mind that are pure and good, there are always things with which we struggle. But I have good news for you: The more we struggle with, the more in our lives we get to fix. And don't think that just because you grew up in the Church, that just because your parents are Christians, just because being a Christian isn't hard for you that you get a free pass. Because that is very likely the most common mindset of many Christians. It's easy to want to go into autopilot, and it's easy to say, "I'm a Christian. I'm good,” and give into temptation, and be completely absent on Sunday morning, and to not try to improve.
No matter where you are, there is always room to improve. There are always steps to take, and there is always something to refine. The point at which we decide that we do not need to improve is the time in which we need to take a step back and realize that we have so much to improve on.
Today, I would like to encourage you to take a step back, and observe your life. What is the next step you can take? What is the next thing you can improve on? Take a day, a week, a month, or however long it takes, and focus on that. Set up goals and achievements for yourself. Baptism isn't a point where we stop, but our first step in our walk toward heaven. So what's your next step?
"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." — Deuteronomy 11:18 (ESV)
When you reach a certain age, you and everyone else around you start getting busy with college, work, friends, and just life in general. I have heard several different statistics, but in my personal experience, about 1/3 people will fall away from Christ before they graduate college. If you do not believe me, look at the number of high schoolers in the average congregation, and then look at the average number of college-age people. I can guarantee you that no one who was once actively seeking Christ knew that they would fall away before it happened.
We tend to believe that we are invincible at times. "Oh, but I will never fall away!” we all tell ourselves. However, we can see very clearly that that statement is not necessarily true. We know that those who enter heaven are few (Matthew 7:14). How can we be sure, absolutely sure, that this doesn't happen to us? How can we be sure that we will not fall away in the future?
Study is crucial to reminding yourself of the importance of Christianity and the Law. Deuteronomy 11:16-21 focuses on this. Starting in verse 16, it says, "Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.“ True, this was God speaking to the Israelites, but it still applies to us today. God was giving them instructions on staying faithful to Him.
In order to serve Christ, we must first know what His commandments are, but we must also remind ourselves of them. I have been a Christian for quite some time and have grown up hearing His Word my entire life. However, I can guarantee that whenever I do not constantly study, whenever I do not put effort into learning more about God, I lose interest. And I can promise you that if you do not make sure and write His words upon your heart and learn of them and bind them on a sign on your hand (Deuteronomy 11:18) then you will soon forget them, and you will fall away.
"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorsteps of your house and on your gates, that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth." (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 gives very clear instructions on how we should view God's commandments. We ought to constantly remind ourselves of them and constantly follow them. The moment we start making exceptions and stop reminding ourselves of these laws is the moment that we begin falling away.
We can show up every Sunday, we can pray every evening, we can even read our Bibles every day. But if we do not listen to the words we are reading and do not see the words for what they are and do not act upon them and share them, then are we really better off than those who have never known the name of Jesus (Matthew 10:33)?
The thing about Christianity is that it is not an idea that we choose to accept. It is not a pew on Sundays. It is not a list of songs that we sing every week or a certain amount of “Amen’s” that we say during each sermon. Christianity is not a mask that hides our true selves.
Christianity is a decision to serve God. It is a decision to bring souls to Him. The reason so many fall away from Christ is because they do not see Christianity for what it is: A life. A life that begins with baptism and continues until death.
If you are not living God's Word, then I’m begging you to change something now. If you are not studying regularly and making it a point to know and do God's Will, then I implore that you change that. Start now. The deadline is the end of your earthly life, and you can always start now. Just please do not wait to do so. You never know when it is too late, and you will be past the point of no return.
"When they came to the place where God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood." — Genesis 22:9
We often read Genesis 22 and think about Abraham's great willingness to give God everything for which He asked. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his first and only son to God without hesitation. However, we rarely look at things from Isaac's point of view. Isaac clearly was aware of the process of offering sacrifices, as we see in Genesis 22:7. However, Isaac was 100% submissive to both his earthly father and Heavenly Father in all things.
In this world, the word "submission" is a dirty word. It's become such a dirty word that it makes the average person's skin crawl in disgust just at the mere thought of it. But as Christians, we cannot have this attitude towards it. How can we fully devote ourselves to God, giving Him all things, without submitting to His every word?
The reason that the world sees "submission" as such a dirty word is because it essentially means to remove all will from one's self and take on the will of someone else. We want freedom. We want to be our own people. But in all reality, no matter what we believe, we are never ours. We either belong to God, or we belong to the devil. There is no middle-man. There is no other option. There is heaven, and there is hell. We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), meaning that to serve Christ, we must begin by submitting ourselves wholly to Him. We need to make His will our will.
As we have previously established, Isaac was old enough to understand sacrifices. He understood their importance and obviously had witnessed them before, meaning he was more than likely over the age of 12. Now, keep in mind that Abraham had Isaac at a very old age, so he was over 100 at this time. Isaac could have easily escaped from Abraham.
Isaac could have easily taken down his father. Isaac was placed on top of the wood, even though he knew what was going to happen. He was willing to give up his own life for God. He understood that the very last thing he would ever see was his father's eyes, as he was killing his own son. And yet, Isaac did not run. Isaac did not attempt to escape. Isaac stayed.
God was not going to make Abraham give his Son. However, God sent His Son to be a sacrifice. God allowed Jesus to be put up on the cross, and Jesus never opened up His mouth against those who were accusing Him (Isaiah 53:7).
If Jesus was submissive to those murdering Him so He could offer salvation to the whole world, why not submit ourselves to Him? We need to learn from Isaac and be obedient even in death just as Christ was (Philippians 2:8), and be focused so much on Him, that we no longer have to worry about the things of this world.
Our lives are constantly filled with things to keep us busy and happy with where we are until the next big thing comes out. Not that I'm condemning technology, or the use of it, but this is the mindset that we are brought up with. We are constantly given what we want, when we want it. Want to talk to a friend that lives 500 miles away? You can do it now! Want a cup of coffee? Walk 5 feet to your closest coffee shop (because let's face it, they're everywhere, and that is honestly great) and pick one up.
There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the blessings around us. However, it can be easy to let that give us a mindset of having to be constantly stimulated. And I'll admit, I get this way, too. But how does this affect our spiritual lives?
When we grow accustomed to this constant stimulation, it causes us to grow discontent very easily. In verses 14-16 of the book of Jude, Jude is talking to Christians about the people that will be judged harshly, and in this is listed “grumblers and malcontents” who “follow their own sinful desires” (v. 16). Whenever we become discontent with what we are doing, or where we are in life, we stop focusing on what God wants from us, and we start focusing on what we want from God. We start asking Him for things that we want, not need, and then get angry whenever we do not receive them.
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your own passions” (James 4:3). Not only do we not receive because of our poor intentions, but this establishes a friendship with the world, as we see in the next verse: “You adulterous people! Do you now know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Whenever we become discontent with what God has given us, we become friends with the world. Whenever we get angry because we didn't get into that college or we didn't get that job or we didn't graduate top of our class or we didn't get that scholarship, we become discontent. We become obsessed with things of this world, and we forget what our goal actually is.
“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment’” (Matthew 22:37-38).
As Christians, we cannot afford to become friends with the world. In fact, no one can. Have you ever been truly, permanently happy because of something from this world? Or did the newness wear off after a while? Maybe you still use and enjoy it, but is it still the best thing in the world? The thing is, no matter how much or how long you serve God and keep His commandments, your happiness will not deplete. Your joy in serving Him will never end, not even in death.
Are you becoming a friend of the world? Are you allowing the charms of this world to sweep you off your feet and make you to forget about what your ultimate goal is? If so, I would like to encourage you to have a Bible study, by yourself or with a friend. Go and teach a Bible class or visit that elderly lady that you see every Sunday. Because I can guarantee that that will never get old.
"These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." — Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV)
As we get older and older, our lives become busier and busier. We get into high school, get a job, go to college, get a much better job, get married, start a family, then our children will get into high school, get jobs, and so on and so on until we die. But have you ever thought about the point of it all? What is the point? Life seems to be just a continual cycle of ongoing stress and things to keep us busy.
I know that this sounds depressing, but there is none. There is no point in any of this. "Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever," (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2).
However, if we have Christ, and if we follow Him, then our life is full of meaning. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). Paul stated this in reference to him living his life in a way that would reflect Christ, just like how we should live our lives. Christ should be our all, and we should focus our lives around Him, rather than Him around our lives. Yes, we can get so busy that it gets harder and harder to keep up with studying daily, but that doesn't make it any less important (for a further look at this subject, I encourage you to read Ecclesiastes, as it has a lot to say on this matter).
We need to not only find time in the day for Christ, but also to envelope our lives in Him. Our school work, our jobs, our extracurriculars, our friends, our everything.
Here I would like to encourage you to stop and read Deuteronomy 6:4-15, as I cannot put it here for space.
Notice in verse five of Deuteronomy 6. Here, we are commanded to love God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our might. Not with some. Not with most. With all. We should be willing to turn all things to Him, and give up everything for Him. "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ." We need to not be so worried about the things of this life that we forget Whom we are serving.
Continuing on to verses 6-9, we read that these words "shall be on your heart" (verse 6) and that we should fill our lives with His Words, His commandments, and His promises. We are to fill our lives with His love, and reflect it in our actions. We should put reminders of His love everywhere. This is the unpopular part of Christianity. Why should we have to put so much effort into this? Why should we have to do all of these things? What is the purpose?
We find the answer in verse twelve, where it says, "take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." God, of course, was talking to the Israelites here, but that doesn't mean that this does not also apply to us. As Christians, we are like the Israelites in that we are God's chosen people (1 Peter 2:9-10) and we have likewise been brought out of slavery, the slavery of sin (Romans 6:18), and are now freed from it, just as the Israelites were freed from the Egyptians.
We cannot forget our Lord. We cannot forget what He has done for us. We cannot forget all that it takes to reach heaven. Why should we study daily? Why should we fill our lives with His words? Why should we count all things as loss? Because if we don't, then we will forget Him. And even if we continue to go to worship, and we continue to do the actions of service, without faith, and without love, none of these things matter (James 2:14-26; 1 Corinthians 13).
Today, I would like to encourage you to study these matters for yourself, and to study daily, that you may grow closer to God, and become stronger in Him, that you may serve Him better. Not only that, but also so that you can teach others His words (Matthew 28:18-20) and that you may help others get to heaven as well.
The Virtuous Woman is the TCT version of Jayla Sparks' blog, "Marvelously Modest". Its goal is to show that although the world teaches women that to be beautiful is to be of the world, to be steeped in sin, true beauty is being godly.
Hi! My name's Jayla Sparks and I'm 16 years old. I have been a Christian for about 3 years now. I enjoy activities such as reading, writing, playing piano, and baking. My goal in life is to aid as many people as I can to reach the heavenly goal.