Hello my dear Reader and welcome back to the Sunday Series!
I'm beginning to feel the end of summer creeping in, despite the fact that we are only halfway through August. It feels that with every lowering degree of the temperature, we have taken one step closer to the inevitable onslaught of Pumpkin Spice Latte propaganda and a flurry of chunky knit sweaters inhabiting our smartphone advertisements. Sigh.
I'm just not ready for Fall. It feels like I was cuddling up close to our fireplace three weeks ago, and now I have to buckle down for another three seasons of chill. Summer didn't even arrive until the beginning of July, and I cannot help but feel that my negative attitude towards Fall would not be so intense if I had a good dose of sunshine starting in May. But boohoo, I am certainly the little complainer today aren't I?
It's good to remind myself that these things can't be helped: the season will do what it wants, and I am merely a spectator, nary the director of the entire spectacle. The only positive thing I have to say about the foreboding winds of Fall is that "they" always tell us that "time flies when you're having fun.' So, dearest reader, I can at least conclude that I must be having a great deal of fun, for it seems that I only recently began my delightful rendezvous with warm weather.
But all wistful imaginings on our current temperature aside, I do believe that it's time to dig into today's topic. Today is time for a discussion on my recent thoughts towards Scripture.
I truly hope that this will not be too boring for you, and I do promise to do my best. Unfortunately, not all subjects on the blog can be quite as invigorating or exciting as discussions of fashion, style, or the Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Home This Fall.
But faith, as they say, should be the epicenter of your life if you have any intention at calling yourself a follower of Christ, so alas, my dearest Friend, here we are; discussing faith, and by extension, God's Holy and blessed word. Let's dive in.
Now, it is my intention to include a little more about faith on my blog. This is MY blog after-all, and I'm assuming you've arrived here out of a general curiosity or base interest into the goings-on of my mind and penmanship. And lately, I have found my heart drawn heavily towards the relationship between Scripture, and our daily life.
Everyone asks me where I get my insight on femininity, and the more I ponder this question, the more I realize that it all comes from Scripture. The unique formula of how God created women, stories of incredible women from Scripture, and insight into the impact of the Holy Spirit on our femininity.
I've recently begun reading Scripture morning and night, and I have to say that the impact on my life has been astounding. My heart feels lighter and my mind feels clearer. I feel as if God is speaking directly to me, and I feel His great love and insight in my life. The sins in my life and the weight of this world have become nothing in comparison to His glory, as shown in Scripture.
I know that we all have sins and struggles to face while we are in this broken world, however the solution will not be located in a self-help book or even within the annals of this very blog! Rather, we must turn to Scripture with humble hearts, eager and willing to see God's plan for our lives.
Scripture has a reputation amongst many circles as being an outdated and stuffy book for the piously religious nuts. Many people view it as inapplicable to our modern world, or even irrelevant to our fast and furious modern lives. Even worse, many people describe Scripture as a set of rules and bossy commandments from the elusive "Sky Daddy."
However, it is my belief that Scripture is ever-illuminating and HIGHLY relevant to our modern lives. I believe that there is no problem you will ever face on earth that has not been addressed in Scripture. I believe that Scripture guides us, blesses us, and is truly a gift from our Father in Heaven.
I believe that it is out of His great love for us that He gives us guidance, not out of hatred or authoritarian control.
Because if God didn't love us, He wouldn't give us any truth, wisdom, advice, or knowledge. If He didn't love us, He would let us destroy ourselves and walk blindly through life without guidance. If He didn't love us, He would allow us to die in our sins and have no redemption, and He would not care if we entered the Kingdom of Heaven.
So many people, myself included, have turned our noses up towards the commandments in Scripture out of annoyance of being "told what to do." We often prefer to do what feels "good" instead of what God tells us to do, OR what is morally and ethically right. Living for ourselves and our own pleasures is certainly the common path in our world, and I promise that you won't be looked down upon for not living a Biblical life.
But if you desire to follow Jesus, and if you are okay with living counter-culturally, I promise you that you will find no better source of guidance or encouragement than the very Word of God.
God's Word is not a set of "right and wrong." Rather, God's truth teaches us how to live morally, but also how to consider situations from a moral and ethical perspective. As we become sanctified, we can begin to discern right and wrong, and apply Godly wisdom to a variety of situations. In short, we become more like Jesus.
God does not tell us what to do out of hatred or cruelty: no! He tells us what to do out of sheer love, protection, and grace for us. It is truly merciful to tell someone that they are about to walk off a cliff instead of watching mutely as they stumble to their death.
Scripture merely TELLS us about life, sin, and proper living; it does not FORCE us to do those things and it does not punish us. Rather, Scripture just gives us the information we need to choose wisely. The Bible is an open line of communication where we can listen intently to God's voice in our lives, while receiving encouragement, guidance, wisdom, and truth.
Scripture is foundational to my life because I would not have this life without Jesus. The source of my peace and the source of my joy is Christ. The only solution to my sin is also, of course, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserved when he died on the cross and descended to hell. But because He overcame death, sin, and the Devil himself, we now have access to forgiveness for our sins and eternal life. This is, of course, the truth that you can find in the familiar verse, John 3:16:
"For God so loved the world he gave his one and only begotten son."
And that is the truth and primary message of Scripture my friends: God so loves the world.
I think that so many of us treat the concept of "love" as a mushy gushy sweet and comforting presence. Love connotes images of Valentines' sweethearts, cutesy love notes, and cuddles from a mother. Love has become a smiling face, constantly nodding approval.
But the truth is that love is more than cuddles and it is more than smiling approval. Scripture rightly describes loves as a combination and mixture of affection, sacrifice, hard work, and even pain. Scripture says that BECAUSE God so loved the world, He GAVE His one and only Son. It was because of His great love that He died for us. Death, pain, and sacrifice were uniquely united in the display of great love that God showed the world when He sent His son to die for us.
The scripture doesn't say "For God so loved the world, he nodded approvingly at us while we did whatever we wanted until death."
No, no, no. It is precisely BECAUSE of God's love, not in spite of it, that He not only set His only Son to die, but also why He gives us rules and boundaries to live by, in the Bible.
When we lose sight of Scripture and solely rely on other people's interpretations of His word, we also lose sight of the truth of love, AND God's wisdom. It is essential to cling to and memorize God's word so that we can effectively live lives honoring to Him. To love God is to love others and to obey His word. It is to have faith in His holiness, and to trust the mystery that is the Alpha and Omega.
You cannot fully experience Jesus without holding His word close to your heart. We should not just lightly breeze through life with "Jesus first" written in our Instagram bios without ACTUALLY putting Jesus first. Faith is to be the foundation of your life, not the capstone.
So today, if you are new to faith or if you have been considering looking into it, I HIGHLY encourage you to start with Scripture. See for yourself what God tells us to do: don't listen exclusively to the accounts of other people... not even MY account! Taste and see what the Lord has to offer for yourself, for it will be through firsthand experience that you can truly make an indefinite judgement for yourself.
Take some time to read Scripture; read the gospel of Matthew or John. Read Proverbs and read Psalms. Read the book of James, and take time to explore anything else that catches your eye. You will never understand God's plan or the opportunity of eternal life unless you explore those things for yourself.
And if you are already a Christian, try to double-down on your current faith routine. Pray, read your Bible, and attend church faithfully while fully adopting Jesus as your identity. Remember that it is to be the foundation of your life, not an afterthought.
I'm sending you so much love my dear sisters! I love every member of our Feminine Family, regardless of faith, religion, or denomination. Know that you are welcome here and you will always be my sister, no matter what you believe or practice, but I cannot keep my voice quiet about my Faith, for I am commanded in Scripture to share the good news, so that is all I'm trying to do.