16 February 2019

Equipping Eve: The Promises of God: God's Promised Grip

God has set forth for His children a myriad of promises. Perhaps one of the sweetest promises of God to us is found in John 10, where we learn that those who have been saved are safely cupped in the hand of Christ, our Savior, and He is never letting go.

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

15 February 2019

This 'n' That

My daily Bible reading has led me to Leviticus. As I opened my Bible to Leviticus 1 this morning I thought, "You know, no one gets excited about reading Leviticus." And let's be honest, we might be a little disturbed if someone eagerly anticipated reading about wringing the necks of turtledoves and pigeons, killing goats and lambs, and carving off the "long lobe of the liver."

Leviticus is not a pretty book, particularly at the start. Yet, the mere fact that it is so detailed is positively fascinating. If you work in the corporate world, you might be familiar with the acronym "SOP," or "standard operating procedure." Or perhaps your job requires you to read, understand, and follow technical manuals. If we're familiar with this, we understand the necessity for details and the potential consequences of not following those manuals. So as I read Leviticus, I couldn't help but think of Moses as he strove to write these detailed instructions. Surely he understood the importance of following the Lord's commands to the utmost, but surely it must also have been overwhelming for Aaron as the priest to receive such an instruction manual!

So, why the details? Why the step-by-step instructions? We see the same pattern previously in the late chapters of Exodus, as God clearly lays out precise directions and measurements for the tabernacle and all of its components. What is God doing?

We often hear it said that "God is a God of details," and His Word is clear evidence of that. Further, Leviticus emphasizes to us with distinct clarity that God's holiness, and His desire for the holiness of His people, matters. Why is God so concerned with the holiness of Israel, and why should the people be striving toward holiness? The answer is stated over and over in this book: "I am the Lord" and "I am holy." God is holy, holy, holy. In response His people must be holy. Yet, what fallen flesh can do this?
For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

With that, I hope you have a lovely start to your weekend as you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

14 February 2019

Throwback Thursday: To Those Who Crave Controversy

Lately, I've been remembering a few posts that seem like they might have renewed relevance, so I'm temporarily engaging in a few "Throwback Thursday" posts. Enjoy.

Every Christian needs to read the following letter written by John Newton. The backstory is that a minister intended to write an article about a fellow minister "for his lack of orthodoxy." Before doing so, he wrote to Newton to inform him of his intentions. What follows is Newton's response:
Dear Sir, 
As you are likely to be engaged in controversy, and your love of truth is joined with a natural warmth of temper, my friendship makes me solicitous on your behalf. You are of the strongest side; for truth is great, and must prevail; so that a person of abilities inferior to yours might take the field with a confidence of victory. I am not therefore anxious for the event of the battle; but I would have you more than a conqueror, and to triumph, not only over your adversary, but over yourself. If you cannot be vanquished, you may be wounded. To preserve you from such wounds as might give you cause of weeping over your conquests, I would present you with some considerations, which, if duly attended to, will do you the service of a great coat of mail; such armor, that you need not complain, as David did of Saul’s, that it will be more cumbersome than useful; for you will easily perceive it is taken from that great magazine provided for the Christian soldier, the Word of God. I take it for granted that you will not expect any apology for my freedom, and therefore I shall not offer one. For method’s sake, I may reduce my advice to three heads, respecting your opponent, the public, and yourself.

08 February 2019

This 'n' That

It's been one of those weeks where every day felt like Friday because I desperately wanted Friday to come. Now Friday has arrived and I find myself thinking, "What? It's Friday already?" Oh well, such is life and the fickleness of man (and woman)!

As a chronic worrywart, I find myself frequently reflecting on and reminding myself of Jesus' admonition in Matthew:
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)
How true this is, for, as I quickly discovered, each day this week brought its own cares, both troublesome and victorious. There was no need to long for Friday, for each day kept me sufficiently occupied.

I absolutely love the practicality of the Word of God. In this portion of His Sermon on the Mount, Christ is graciously teaching about the Lord's provision and care for His own. Matthew 6:25-34 has long been a favorite passage of mine for this very reason. If God dares to take time to clothe the flowers of the field so magnificently—flowers that quickly wither and die—why would He not take greater care to clothe those whom He has saved? If He bothers to feed the fleeting sparrow, will He not take care to feed His child? And indeed, has He not provided for us even more abundantly by granting us an eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:11-14)? These verses in Matthew's gospel are truly beautiful, which is why I cannot refrain from returning to them time and again. They remind me of my Father's sovereign care for me, thus causing all worries, both small and large, to fade appropriately into the background.

With that, let me help you avoid worrying about your weekend to-do list by encouraging you to first take some time to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

04 February 2019

Zeal ≠ Discernment

I owe some people an apology. Unfortunately, I am fairly certain that none, or at least very few, of those people will ever see this post and there is no way for me to reach out to them personally. Nevertheless, in the hope that one day they might read this, and in the further hope that this post might convict and encourage someone else, I am compelled to write and share it.

There was a time many, many years ago when God graciously opened my eyes to an abundance of truths. I suddenly came to discover that books I had read and praised, teachers I had promoted, and ministries I had endorsed, particularly while I was still living as a deceived false convert, were in fact enemies to the truth. These teachers and ministries were twisting God's Word for their own agenda and I had blindly been duped by their lies. Many others have a similar story, I think, and praise God for His patience and forgiveness as we grow and mature in our faith! Still, there are consequences to our sin.

When I discovered these truths, and my errors, I was simultaneously horrified and grateful. Grateful that the Lord had revealed His Word to me in a more sound and comprehensive way, but horrified that I had been fooled for so long! Again, praise God for His goodness! I quickly became a caged discernment hound, zealous to point people away from these false teachers and toward the truth of Christ. Of course, this was a good thing; however, the way in which I executed my newfound passion for truth was not always so favorable.

03 February 2019

Equipping Eve: Biblical Womanhood

Erin tends to cringe when she hears the phrase “biblical womanhood.” That’s because so many of the sermons, studies, and books with this theme seem to lead to checklists and a works-based mentality. When talking about biblical womanhood—or manhood, for that matter—we must start with a proper a foundation. Otherwise, our concept of biblical womanhood will be dangerously skewed.

Further Listening

Sunday Morning Praise

How Firm a Foundation

01 February 2019

This 'n' That

Before I crawl into bed at night—and definitely before I turn out the light—I look at my pillow. Both sides. Yes, maybe it's a bit OCD of me, but it's a habit that started more than 15 years ago, and it is one that I will never abandon.

On that fateful night all those years ago, something awakened me in the middle of the darkness. I don't remember the details but, as I nestled back under my comfy covers I flipped my pillow over so that I could relax into the cooler side of it. But as I laid back down in the dark I noticed something different. Is that—? I turned on the light, screamed, and jumped out of bed. Yes, it was a spider. A very large, very black, very terrifying spider. On my pillow. ON. MY. PILLOW.

That, dear friends, is why I always check my pillow before I darken the bedroom each night. Both sides. Always check both sides.

It's curious how danger can sometimes lurk in the most comfortable places, isn't it? Perhaps that's why it often feels as though we're always on our toes, always on the lookout, and never quite settled here on this fallen earth. Sin and temptations to sin abound, and if it can cloak itself in comfort, it's all the more enticing. This is why we must be in constant communion with our Savior through prayer and study of Scripture. How sweet and gracious of our Father to provide us with such protection from  danger!

Okay, raise your hand if you'll be double checking both sides of your pillow tonight. I know I will! But before that time comes, why not relax and enjoy your week in review (kind of):