8 “Easy” Ways to Be a Light

Light

Light stands in stark contrast to darkness. You do not have to be a scientist to realize this. You may not understand the science behind it, but it is obvious that light is different than darkness.

Christians know that they are called to be lights in a dark world. They are told this so often that it has become rather cliché. We know we must live in contrast to the world, but how do we do that?

In Philippians 2, Paul gives believers 8 “easy” ways to be a light. Why do I say “easy” in quotations? I say it that way because most of these principles will be obvious to the seasoned believer. Yet sometimes those simple truths are the most difficult to live out consistently. Even Paul in Philippians chapter three gently points out that it is a safeguard for us to be reminded of the fundamental truths. Without further ado, 8 “easy” ways to live as a light.

  1. Unity – In a world that is constantly divided by politics, socioeconomics, and ethics, let us stand in bright contrast with our unity. Paul urges us to be of the same mind, the same love, united in spirit, and intent on one purpose. Our love for Christ and His Word should bond us together as believers.
  2. Regard One Another as More Important – Again, this may seem basic. But in a society where everything is catered to self, we can stand out by deeming others as more important. Our time, resources, and energy should be given to serving one another.
  3. Look Out for the Interests of Others – I was thinking a lot about this principle this week. I love how Paul puts this. We are to actively be looking for ways to serve others. It is not a passive principle. Let us stand apart by the way that we actively pursue the interests of others. We don’t just serve when we are asked, but we look for ways to help others.
  4. Work Out Your Salvation – We know that we are not saved by our works. But our works are a testimony of who our Savior is. Let us be known for our obedience and diligence in a culture with no regard for authority and little esteem for hard work.
  5. Do All Things Without Grumbling – The simplest yet hardest truth. I pray our joyful attitudes would set us apart. We all could probably think of someone who just shines with the love of Christ. It stands out. You notice it.
  6. Above Reproach – May we avoid even the appearance of evil. May our speech, our interactions with others, our movie choices, our clothing choices, and even our Facebook posts be undeniably Christ-honoring.
  7. Holding Fast the Word of Life – Pastor John MacArthur points out that this phrase actually means that we are “holding forth” the Word of Life. We should be always ready to share the Good News with others.
  8. Rejoicing – Lastly, let our joy (despite circumstances and struggles) shine brightly as a testimony to the One who saved us.

Light symbolizes purity, joy, and truth. I pray that our light would reflect the purity of Christ, the joy of knowing Him, and the truth of the Gospel.

 


What I’ve Learned from My Husband About Being a Wife

New bride

Dear New Bride,

Everything is new and exciting! You have a new husband, a new little home to decorate, and cupboards full of new dishes and gifts. Even normal tasks like grocery shopping are fun as you pick out food to cook for just the two of you.

You are brimming full of expectations of the kind of wife that you will be. Your home will always be ready for company and you will have your husband’s dress shirts ironed and ready to go. You will have a nutritious meal prepared every night and you and your hubby will enjoy fun evenings together full of stimulating conversation and quality time.

Fast forward a few weeks or months. The newness has not worn off, but you are a bit overwhelmed by life. You work full-time, so your home and meals are not as prepared as you would like them to be. Your evenings are filled with conversations about finances, insurance issues, and car trouble. Forget having your husband’s dress shirts ready to go, you are lucky if you have something clean to wear.

You are tired and frustrated. This is not what you thought it would be like.

But my dear, I would love to share some encouragement with you. After a whopping two and a half years ;-), I have come to realize a thing or two. And believe it or not, most of them I have learned from my husband.

Don’t Compare 

A couple months into marriage, after stressing myself out about not getting enough done that day, my husband gently pointed out that I was comparing myself to wives that had been wives and homemakers for 20+ years. Of course, I couldn’t do all that they did. I was just learning how to be a wife and homemaker. Additionally, I worked full-time. I needed to stop comparing myself to people who were in a different stage of life than I was. I needed to give myself some grace as I learned how to be a wife.

Do Understand Your Husband

I realized after being married a while that I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what kind of helper my husband needed. I was determining how he wanted to help rather than asking him. One day I actually asked him how he wanted to be helped. And his answers surprised me! Seek to understand your husband and what his specific needs are.

Don’t Find Your Identity in What You Do

I wrote about this before when I was working through it. But about eight months into marriage, I realized how much my identity was wrapped up in what I was doing. I was an intern or college student or employee. When all of that changed and my focus became different as a wife and helpmate, I felt a bit lost. Normally driven and ambitious, I felt a bit like I was drifting. But I came to realize that I need to find my identity in Christ. My husband has graciously helped me to still figure out how to pursue my passions, but to keep the perspective that I am a child of God first.

Do Understand that Seasons Change

I am currently learning this lesson as my season is changing from working outside the home to being a full-time mom and homemaker. I am learning that my husband and I need to have an ongoing conversation about how I can help him best as the seasons ebb and flow. How I helped him pre-kids is going to look a lot different from the ways that I will help him once our son is born in September.

I am so thankful for the things that I have learned from my husband. He has helped me learn not to compare, to be his specific helpmate, to find my identity in Christ, and to grow with the seasons. New bride, listen to your husband. God has given him to you as a partner to help you grow to be a wonderful wife and child of God.

 


Giveaway!

Giveaway

You may recall about a year ago I had the opportunity to review some glasses. I had never ordered anything like that online and it was a really fun experience! You can upload your picture to the site and virtually try on the glasses! I ended up with a pair I probably would never have picked out on my own, but that I really like.

Today I am teaming up with that company, Firmoo, again and giving away a free pair of glasses of your choice! You can choose any of the glasses from this collection: http://www.firmoo.com/collection-for-bloggers.html

Please note you must actually “like” the Facebook pages to be entered. Giveaway ends on Thursday. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


God is Not Fair

God is not fair

God is not fair. He is good.

… and I am so thankful that is the case.

I am so thankful that God is not fair because if He did what was fair we would all have been dead a long time ago. He would have… should have struck us down for the sins that we have committed. Sin deserves punishment and the punishment for sin according to Scripture is death. If God was fair, He would have given us the punishment that we deserve. Death.

And I am thankful that God is not fair in the way that we think fair should be. Because if He did what was fair in our eyes all gifts, blessings, and abilities would be evenly distributed. But what lessons would we have to learn then? If everything was even, we would have no need to learn contentment, no necessity to trust in God, and no push toward humble dependence. We wouldn’t see the blackness of our own selfish sin and the generosity of His goodness.

He is good. Not only does He not give us the punishment that we deserve, but He graciously gives us what we need. God does not give us what we want (necessarily) or what is “fair,” but what we need to grow to be more like Him and to bring glory to Him.

When you are in a trial and you think, “this isn’t fair,” you are right. It probably isn’t fair. But God has designed that unique set of circumstances as an opportunity for you to see His goodness. You have the privilege of seeing Him work in your life and how He will use that situation to bring glory to His name. If you got what was fair, you either wouldn’t live to see those lessons or would have no need to learn those lessons.

Let us continually remind ourselves, like the psalmist does in Psalm 119:68, that the Lord is good and does good.

If you need a more theological explanation of this concept, I highly recommend this article from someone much more intelligent and wiser than me. 


Setting Aside Our Expectations & Being Faithful

Ezekiel

As I decided what to study in Scripture next, I thought to myself, “Well, I haven’t spent much time in the major/minor prophets.” So I opened my Bible to Ezekiel and began reading this book about God’s holiness and sovereignty.

This morning in Ezekiel chapter 2 verses 5-7 boldly marched across the page:

Thus says the Lord God, ‘As for them,  whether they listen or not – for they are a rebellious house – they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words  nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.’

The Lord called Ezekiel to faithfully carry out his calling no matter how the people he was ministering to responded.

This was a compelling reminder to me this morning to be faithful. The Lord calls us to be faithful always.

Faithful to love our children even when they are rebellious.

Faithful to lead our small groups even when they seem unresponsive.

Faithful to honor our husbands even when they do not deserve it. 

Faithful to reach out to friends even if no one reaches out to us. 

Faithful to fulfill our job responsibilities even if we are mistreated.

Faithful to complete our school work even when everyone else cuts corners.

Faithful to forgive even when the other party doesn’t. 

Faithful to be kind even when kindness is not returned.

Faithful to preach the Gospel even if it falls on deaf ears. 

The Lord is faithful to us even though we do not deserve it. How much more should we be faithful even when those around us are unresponsive or do not deserve it?

Acts 20:24 may be my favorite verse in the Bible. Maybe. It is hard to pick a favorite isn’t it? The verse says:

But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

Today let us set aside our expectations of others and focus on faithfully carrying out the ministry that the Lord has given us.