Thursday, September 4, 2014

Are We Holy?

We've come to our last post about our worth in Christ and what that really means. The last letter is H and must stand for holy.

Holy can be defined as worthy of absolute devotion; having a divine quality; devoted to the deity or the work of the deity; sacred; godlike; untouchable; devout, faithful, godly. You might also hear holy meaning set apart, other, and like God.

God says to be holy as He is holy. A lofty goal? Yes! But, as Christians we are called to be holy by God Himself.

So, let's break down the definition above and see how we are doing with this goal of becoming holy.

Worthy of absolute devotion - because God is holy, He is worthy of your absolute devotion. This means there is not a person or a thing to whom or to which you are more faithful or loyal. Is God number one on your priority list? Don't speak too soon. Look at what your schedule and finances prove about your devotion.

Having a divine quality - Christians are called to be imitators of Christ. This would mean that we would have divine or godlike qualities. This doesn't mean we become a god or take on supernatural characteristics. We behave following the example of Jesus. Do lost people notice something different about you?

Devoted to the deity or the work of the deity - Christians are to be busy about the Father's business. We should pray that God would put on our hearts what is on His heart. We should follow His guidance in the plan He has for our lives. Are you busy with your own business or God's?

Sacred - This means set apart for the service or worship of the deity. Christians have been specifically called out to be different from the world in serving and worshiping God. The world encourages serving and worshiping self. Is your service and worship focused upon God or yourself?

Godlike - See the above, having a divine quality.

Untouchable, devout, faithful - These three words suggest being serious and earnest in our goal to become holy. Do you truly want to become holy?

Godly, set apart, other, and like God - Again, these words hint at the fact that being holy means we are nothing like the world. Do you look too much like the world?

Our worth on this earth is so often measured by the money we have, the things we possess, and the status we have achieved.

Remember, worth is defined as the value of something measured by its qualities. Christians' have worth through Christ. Do you have the qualities of Jesus?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Don't just get 'em saved; Teach them!

On with our study of Titus Two using the word worth. We look at the very important letter, T. This letter stands for teach.

In the Titus Two passage, Christians are instructed to teach, specifically the older are to teach the younger. This teaching position means that the teacher or mentor must make sure he or she is in right standing and continuing to learn from God's Word first. You can't impart what you don't have, right?

We are told to teach what is good. This always makes me think of Philippians 4:8-9. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Paul clearly encourages Christians to keep their minds focused upon what is good. We are not to focus upon opinion but be grounded in the teaching from God's Word. Because Paul tried his best to follow in God's way, he says that others could take whatever they learned from him and put it into practice. He was an example of what he taught.

Can that be said of us? Have we learned and followed God's Word to the point that others could copy us? Do we make a point of teaching others about what it means to be a Christian and live for God?

I'm afraid we often fail in this area. We get 'em saved and then we leave them to flounder on their own. Jesus didn't say, "Get 'em saved." He said, "Go and make disciples." That command carries with it a responsibility to teach and mentor others.

We should prefer to teach and impart a Christian foundation as opposed to allowing someone else to teach a philosophy that doesn't measure up to God's standards. We shouldn't shirk the responsibility to teach and mentor those younger people in the faith.

I have said before and will reiterate now. If Christians don't teach their own about God and what He expects, there are those in the world that will gladly lead our loved ones astray. There are college professors out there who want nothing more than to have your precious student come into their classes so they can pull those kids from their Christian upbringing.

Let's not shirk this important responsibility of teaching and mentoring new Christians and those around us who need guidance. Study God's Word and think on those good things then don't keep it to yourself. Teach it and model it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Do not be addicted to much wine

That title will catch your attention, right?

We're back to our Worth study and we've made it to the letter R in the word which stands for restraint. The Titus Two passage talks about not being addicted to much wine.

Now, for many people, myself included, I might quickly skip over this point because I don't indulge in any alcoholic beverage. But, when I read this statement, I tend to see it in a broader sense. To not be addicted to much wine to me means to not allow something to control you or steal your testimony.

Drinking alcohol is a touchy subject. Some people use the argument that in the time of the Bible the people drank wine. And, even this statement from Titus Two says not to be addicted to much wine. As a Christian I have personally decided to abstain. My first reason is because it is such a touchy subject. Christians have very strong and differing opinions on the matter. Thus, for fear of causing another to stumble or to think ill of me, I choose just to not drink at all. Secondly, I don't care to use a substance that could alter my control. Since I am to practice self-control as a Christian, I will refrain from consuming alcohol since it can dull reaction times and impair my abilities.

As those out in the world look at us who profess to be Christians, we must be careful how we represent Christ. We must be leery of anything that could cause us to lose control or might steal our testimony.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blogs by Christian Women

We pause for a word from our sponsor. Just kidding. I wanted to share a post that I wrote for Blogs by Christian Women.

I'm talking about specific ways to leave an intentional Christian legacy.

Ladies, you might want to put this blog on your Favorites list.

blogsbychristianwomen.blogspot.com

Friday, August 1, 2014

RESTRAINT

Wow, I've been MIA! Actually, I've been bailing. Bailing water from the basement after the bad storms that blew through last Sunday evening. We've been keeping the fans on it and almost have it dried up and readied to spray for mold. So, now you know.

Now it's time to return to our Worth study. We get to move along to the R which stands for restraint - things we are warned to stay away from or not to do.

The first warning we are given in Titus 2 is not to be slanderers. Slander is a false report maliciously uttered and tending to injure the reputation of a person.

We can see this in different ways. One form of slander is gossip. People want to say that they are just telling facts and not spreading gossip, but the gossiper has some information they just must share. This information isn't about herself or himself but about someone else. Most of the time it is an interesting tidbit and the gossiper has the upper hand when getting the opportunity to share it first.

Here's a good test: Would I still share this information if the person I was speaking of was standing here beside me? If the answer is no, it might just be gossip. Because if you wouldn't share in front of the subject of your gossip then there must be some reason your news would hurt them or embarrass you. Thus, "tending to injure the reputation of a person" from our definition.

Of course, we often just boldly speak to others in rude and degrading ways. As Christians we are to use our words to build others up, not tear them down. How often in the Word are we told to love one another? Jesus Himself in John 15 gives the command: "Love each other as I have loved you."

Jesus set the example of how to love others. He said loving and encouraging words and showed love through His actions. He went as far as to give His very life out of love for us. We are to love in this same manner.

We must show restraint over the words we utter about others. I can remember growing up and hearing my mother say, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." This usually came when my brother and I were in a yelling spree. But, isn't there truth there that we could heed?

If what you're going to say isn't loving or doesn't build up the other person, just bite your tongue. We could all use a little more tongue-biting and a lot less back-biting!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Subject to their Husbands

Well, we're back to our study of worth in God's eyes. We still haven't made it past the letter O in worth, but this post is the last obey directive.

Titus Two may lose quite a few popularity points when it speaks of women being subject to their husbands. In fact, in our day and time, women roll their eyes and declare the Bible old-fashioned and out of date on this issue.

But, my dear fellow sisters in Christ, the Bible is still relevant and never does a message within it expire. Even though the words submit or subject may hit us the wrong way, we are still called to obey in this area.

Can I admit to you that I am happy and willing to submit because my husband follows the directives for the husband here? Yes, I don't mind being subject to my husband when he loves me like Christ loves the church. I trust his spiritual leadership in my home because he adheres to the very hard standards set forth in the Bible for a Christian husband.

Ephesians 5:22 also tells wives to submit but then it goes into a lengthy discussion of how that man is to deserve that submission because of the way he conducts himself.

Do not misunderstand me here. Submission does not mean become a doormat. You are God's creation endowed with unique gifts to use in His service.

I've seen this truth about the husband being the spiritual leader not work in many homes. Why? I think men have fallen down on their responsibility to teach those younger than themselves what it means to follow God and what that looks like. There are many women who have had to become the spiritual leaders of their homes, taking the children to church and leading them to Christ. The roles have become blurred.

However old-fashioned the world may find it, we must return to the teachings of the Bible on the roles God established. We wonder why things just don't work in our families. We aren't following the directives of Titus Two which includes instructing those younger than us in what it means to be a wife and a husband.

God created marriage and He knows how He created it to work.

Monday, June 30, 2014

WORLD BLOG TOUR

We're taking a little break from our study of Worth to accept an invitation from Delia Latham to be included in the World Blog Tour. You can find Delia at Hearts Haven Books Blog. Delia is a fellow author at Pelican Book Group and a sweet sister in Christ I've had the pleasure of getting know.


Naturally, if you are new here, you can read my entire bio to the right below. But just a short description of me: I write Christian fiction with four books published, and I am an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Recently, I've been involved in several collaborative devotional projects, which I have fully enjoyed and will be sharing with you soon.

Now, on to the questions I am to answer.

1. What am I working on?
Currently, I am finishing the writing of another Christian romance I am tentatively calling Lamp Unto Her Feet. As soon as that manuscript is complete, I will begin writing a Christian romantic suspense which has already been fully outlined. I'm also waiting to hear about two nonfiction projects that I submitted.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?  
For one, God has given me very specific messages that I am passionate about to show through my work. The theme of leaving a Godly legacy seems to always shine through as well as realizing that God has a specific plan for each person's life. I've always been told that my writing contains deep emotions that have the potential to touch the reader deeply.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Not everyone has felt called to write but I do. Through much prayer, I have realized that God has called me to write Christian literature to promote Christ as Savior and Lord and to encourage and challenge Christians to live for Christ. In our world today, Jesus and Christianity is squelched at every turn. I feel the need to urge fellow Christians to stand up and assure that their loved ones know the message of the gospel and the importance of a God-centered legacy.

4. How does my writing process work?
Many of my readers have discovered how old school I really am. I actually still write out my first drafts in a spiral notebook with a pencil. Those drafts usually come from an idea that I have doodled a few notes or a sketchy outline for. I then have a wonderful woman who takes pity on my dislike of typing by transferring those penciled words into a computer document. I print out that document and place it into a three-ring notebook where I proceed to revise and edit. I then sit down at the computer with my notebook and transfer all of the changes until I'm satisfied.

Thank you, Delia, for inviting me to share in this World Blog Tour.

To learn about some other writers and their answers to the above questions, visit these links on July 8th:

Julie Cosgrove



Rachel James

Author Rachel A. James

Suzanne Purvis

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