Have you ever felt so controlled by a behavior that you felt enslaved to it? You may be experiencing the results of habitual sins.
Habitual sins are destructive. These are sins that feel addictive, controlling, and always present. Most of the time the sin remains in the dark and consequently the person experiences tremendous shame and guilt. Sometimes the sin even begins to define a person and becomes the main issue in their life.
Habitual sins destroy you emotionally and spiritually. Here are a few examples: over eating, lust, alcohol and drug abuse, fits of rage, dependency on a person, constant gossiping, pre-marital sex, watching porn, and masturbation. Regardless of the form of sin, there are many common characteristics one experiences when struggling with it.
Jesus came to heal the sick and the broken. He came to save the sinner. In one of my classes, this thought came to mind as I heard sad story after sad story from my classmates. (Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?) This does not mean that he supports their actions, but his love for them will never change. Why is this? Because Jesus came to save the broken.
Jesus came to save my classmates, but they lack the realization that they need him. Maybe they think their lives are fine without him. Maybe they think they’re spiritually healthy.
While on earth, Jesus spent most of his time with the lost and broken. In Matthew 9:12-13 (NIV) Jesus states, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Healthy people don’t understand that they are sick, sinful, and in need of a savior. But the sick, they line up outside of the doctor’s office hoping for something to heal the pain. Do you realize that you are sick and in need of a savior? Maybe you are immune to the hurting in your heart. Maybe like my classmates, you think these feelings are a normal part of life. Or maybe you actually think you are healthy. (more…)
I walk out of class in a daze. So much sadness. So much pain. Jesus, will these people ever come to know you? Will they ever experience your life change? When will they experience your healing, forgiveness, redemption, grace and love?
This is my last semester of undergrad at the University of South Florida. I’m taking a class called Storytelling, and each week we share personal stories from our lives. During class last week, students shared one sad story after the next. Topics included: abortion, death, getting kicked out of the church, loss of friends, moving, getting arrested, abuse, and more. I was left questioning, God, when will you change their hearts?
In class, I looked around at my classmates and thought how beautiful each person was because God created them in his image. God, shouldn’t that mean you care about them? Yet, they don’t know you at all. Do they want to know you? Do they even have the information that you exist to be able to make this decision?
So many thoughts. So many questions.
Then, I think about how God saved me. What makes me different? Why did God choose me? I’m just like them. I have similar stories of pain and brokenness. I have screwed up just like them. What makes me different than them? (more…)
Pain is running rampant on college campuses across the globe. Still in college, I have seen and experienced the pain. Some women lack an understanding that they have a God in heaven who loves them and created them with a plan and a purpose. Not knowing about God, they turn to the things the world tells them will provide pleasure and satisfaction. For a college freshman, those things include: boys, sex, drinks, a perfect body, and cool friends.
Maybe you live in a bubble and don’t realize this is happening on our college campuses. Please, open your eyes and realize that pain is spreading like a disease. Women are hurting themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and Jesus is the only one who can provide healing.
I’m sorry for the language, but I want you to read the honesty and pain in her words. This is a poem written by a freshman who is living in the pain:
I am so excited today because I get to be the first ever blogger to share her story on the Set Apart Spotlight!
She is Set Apart is a Christian ministry with this vision: to see women of all ages un-ashamed of what makes them different, to be bold and embrace what sets them apart and not conform to worldly standards. (Romans 12:2) This ministry was founded by a wonderful new friend of mine, Tierraney Richardson. Later in the week, her story will be featured on my blog, so make sure to check it out!
I love talking about how powerful our stories are, because when I realized this my life changed. I began to understand why I needed to share my story with other women. Through this, I experienced so much growth in my walk with God!
In the past two weeks I’ve blogged about how powerful our stories are. Here is why:
Finally, the third reason why our stories are powerful is because vulnerability leads to growth.
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
When we admit our weaknesses to others, God has an opportunity to be glorified. We are powerless. God is powerful.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Have you ever gone through a difficult time, reached the other end, and thought, “How in the world did I get through this?”
My freshman year of college I was in a ditch of loneliness, sadness, and anger. At that time, I never thought I could be where I am now. Now, every time I am vulnerable and I share my story with someone of how God healed me, I let my weaknesses show God’s strength. I get to give God all the glory.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” 2 Tim 1: 8
When Jesus was dying on the cross, everyone thought he was a complete failure, except God. They believed that all he had done was a lie and was now dying a useless death. They didn’t know God’s plan or look at the bigger picture because they focused on the now.
Three days later they saw things differently. God’s plan became clear.
Friends, we are just like this! In the midst of pain and struggling we question God. Then when we see the other side, we see how God used that situation to glorify himself. We begin to think differently.
I love journaling. When I go back and re-read old journals I can truly see that God has used my story to bring him glory. Here is one prayer I wrote in November of my freshman year of college, “God, I know someday I will see how you’ve made a beautiful thing out of this.”
God has answered my prayers. He has fixed my broken heart. And he can fix yours too. He can and will make a beautiful thing out of all your pain and suffering.
Ladies, be vulnerable with the other women in your life. You don’t know what they are going through. Maybe you have similar stories, and God wants to use you both to help each other.
Friends, I am so excited! Today I get to share my story on a wonderful blog called Revolutionaries! I hope you check it out!
Click here to read my story of how prince charming wasn’t enough for me.
If you are a Christian, Bonnie @ Revolutionaries would love to post your story! Just contact her on her blog. Let her know that you have a story you want to share. Remember, that your story is powerful and can impact someone’s eternity!
I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!
The world defines blessed as having bliss, happiness, laughter, pleasure, earthly prosperity, possessions, or contentment. God defines blessed as the experience of hope and joy, independent of our outward circumstances. From this definition, a person can be blessed if they lack happiness, earthly prosperity, and pleasure. To some people – this would not be considered a blessed life.
This is what the Bible says:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”- Matthew 5:3-10
I don’t know about you, but when I am mourning or hungry I don’t feel blessed. In these moments it is so easy to focus on the problem. Maybe we have the wrong mindset.
God’s way of living contradicts the world’s way of living. The world might tell us one thing, but God tells us another. If we want to live for God we must be ready to do and say what the world views as strange. Think about how different your life would be if you realized that being blessed does not depend on your circumstances.
Look back at the verses in Matthew. When we give up our own rights and comforts, then we can receive everything that God has in store for us. God desires for us to receive the kingdom of heaven, to be comforted, to inherit the earth, to be satisfied, to receive mercy, to see God, to be called God’s sons and daughters.
“Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!” -Psalm 144:15
Is Jesus Christ the LORD of your life? Have you made the decision to give your life to him? Blessed are the people who have given their lives to Jesus. You can make that decision today and receive all that God has for you!
I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!
At church I heard a metaphor that I really loved, so I thought I would share.
Picture your life to be a house.
You are a house. And to have a relationship with Jesus, Jesus has to be living in the house. He doesn’t just keep his stuff in one room, no he has it spread out all over the house.
But some of our houses don’t contain Jesus.
Some people think there houses (lives) are too messy to invite Jesus in. They say they can’t invite him in until they clean up there house. Little do they know that Jesus is the only one capable of cleaning the house. He is standing outside knocking on the door holding a bucket and a broom ready to clean. If this is you, open the door and invite him in.
Other people might have let Jesus into the house, but have kept him only in one room of the house. This means they have only let Jesus clean up one part of there life. If this is you, let him have free reign to your whole house.
Surrender your life to Jesus. let him into every single room, every single part of your life. I know this is challenging. In fact I’m preaching to myself as I type this, but I know it is worth it. When you let Jesus have control over every aspect of your life you will feel freedom.
I hope this was encouraging. Subscribe below to keep up with me and say hello! You can also subscribe via e-mail or wordpress on the right side of the blog page.