Women in Christ

A Message from Scarlett:

By tradition at the beginning of a new year, many people set goals to accomplish during the next twelve months. Our goals reveal our priorities. The Holy Bible reveals God's wisdom and His priorities for living. Those remain the same year by year and day by day.

God's number one priority is love: “…God is love" (1 John 4:8).

Those who worship God are expected to make loving God, loving family, loving fellow believers, loving neighbors and even loving our enemies the priority (Matthew 22:34-40). If we love others, we avoid doing them harm (Romans 13:10) and actively do them good (James 2:14-16). We are instructed to make an effort to reconcile with those who have something against us (Matthew 5:21-26).

The big difficulty is full restitution and reconciliation is not fully possible for us to do; only God can make full restitution and restoration (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

He has made reconciliation possible through His Son, Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, those who accept and believe in Jesus can begin a life of overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:17-21). Godly love is only possible by the Holy Spirit dwelling in those who put their hope in God (Galatians 5:22-25).

To conclude our past series on fear, doubt, discouragement and disobedience, we focus on disobedience. As Scarlett noted, we often set our priorities for the coming year in January. God's number one priority is love.

There is a contemporary Christian song named, “Love God Love People.”

Part of the chorus states:

Gotta keep it real simple, keep it real simple
Bring everything right back to ground zero
'Cause it all comes down to this
Love God and love people

Simple, maybe, easy, no. We cannot love the way man loves, which may be self-serving.

Jesus showed how we are to love when he answered a question from a lawyer.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
Matthew 22:36-39 (NASB)

The LORD God tells us how we are to love him and our fellowman. It is said to love the sinner, not the sin. That is not always easy in practice. While it may be relatively easy to deny alcohol, or least not have it available in your home when you are around a person you know is struggling with alcohol. It may be harder to deny a person you love the use of your home for a same sex marriage wedding. You know you will hurt the feelings of the loved one, and family and friends will be divided on whether you are doing the right thing. Notice when answering the question of the lawyer, Jesus goes on to tell us how to love.

And He said to him, “'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:37-40 (NASB) Emphasis mine.

Jesus said to his disciples:

Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Luke 12:51-53 (NASB)

God will give us the spiritual wisdom and strength to follow his way of love.

this reason we also, since the day we heard about it, have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Colossians 1:9-12

May all of you have a new year focused on love as defined by Jesus, and filled with the hope, joy and peace which following the Way brings.

We finish our series on fear, doubt, discouragement and disobedience this month. I have found obedience is sometimes misconstrued as legalism. Many people have struggled with grace vs. law. In this month's Bible Study Guide, As Obedient Children, notice the Bible references for several of the questions include a chapter or more to read. We cannot just focus on a few verses to get a clear understanding. We need to read God's Word as a whole. Sometimes we would like to say "See Bible" for the verses to reference.

For me, obedience is a reaction, an expression of my thankfulness to God's grace. Thankfully, my salvation is based on grace, not on my ability to keep the law without fault.

It is all too easy as Christians to compare ourselves with those outside of Christianity, while overlooking what Jerry Bridges terms in Respectable Sins, as "the subtle sins" we have.

So come join us and explore what we may learn Because of Their Disobedience.


Women in Christ

Because of Their Disobedience

Throughout the Old Testament, we can read about those who rebel against (disobey) God and the consequences to themselves and the society around them.  ...more

Bible Study Guide

Bible Study Guides

As Obedient Children

How are we to respond to the grace of the Lord Jesus?   ...more

abundance of the heart

From the Abundance of the Heart

Oh, How I Love Your Law!

Oh, how I love your law! ... more



Stand Firm in the Lord

If we want to stand firm in the faith of Christ in this world, we have to be transformed rather than conform to cultural standards. ... more

Book Review

Respectable Sins, Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges

In the Preface to Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges states that the target audience of this book are “the subtle sins” of Christian believers. ...more

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

Hebrews 3:12

December 2016,
Volume 15 Issue 10

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