Living Sacrifice

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).

In some religions, the follower is asked to die in the name of their god. This is how they live out what they believe. They are asked to sacrifice themselves (or someone else). To which, there is no words – only heartache.

It is different for those who have trusted in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, our new life begins. We are forever His! Christianity brings us into relationship with our God and Creator, through His Son Jesus Christ!


Living Sacrifice

We are asked to become a living sacrifice, in view of God’s mercies who through His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day to give us new life. The debt we owed has been paid in full!

While some may ask their members to sacrifice themselves “for the cause,” we are urged to do something very differently. We are urged to come and follow Jesus Christ, not religion. It is a relationship with the Most High God!

It Is Done!

God’s Son Jesus Christ has accomplished the work we could never complete. He is the One who has saved us. It is not about what we could do in the name of religion, but what has been done for us! “In view of God’s mercies, offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”

Highest Aim

Do you want to honestly please God? This is the KEY to doing so.

Give yourselves to God, through His Son Jesus Christ! Answer Jesus’ call to “come follow Me” and allow Him to make our burdens light (Matthew 11:28-30).”

Choose to live a holy life based on the Bible and keep following our Savior and King – even when temptation does come. It is where we find eternal life, freedom, and peace. When we choose to glorify God, we are seeking to please and obey Him (even when we do it imperfectly)

Holy (Set Apart) Living

Meeting with Jesus each day is an important of following Jesus. By doing so, I am placing myself in the right spiritual environment to worship Him and continually follow Him through the Bible, prayer, and fellowship with others who are following Jesus too.

Each day, we can choose to follow Him. His mercies are made new each morning. And He offers us His companionship, forgiveness, and amazing love.

There is no substitution for our relationship with Jesus Christ!

It is choosing to trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and King of our lives. And, this is how we will please Him.

This is the worship we can seek.

When Trials Are Difficult {Trials Tuesday}

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. – 1 Peter 1:6, NLT

Last week, I began to unwrap this idea of grieving. Some might ask, “grieving what?” It might be chronic illness, or more than a diagnosis or list of symptoms. There is a lot to process and grieve in my case.

Seven years ago, I was finishing up a bachelor’s degree and receiving an acceptance letter that would cause me to pick up my things and move to a new city. And today, I am somewhat content in my role as a “stay at home aunt and daughter”. But the reality is harsh. Chronic illness has, in fact, changed my life in a very big way.


Every so often, I am reminded that chronic illness, or trials in general, bring that luscious spiritual fruit. I love the spiritual fruit {even though I despise the trial itself}. An example of the spiritual fruit in play:

With our family, we have the opportunity to remain calm – even when our senses are overloaded with noise. A family’s house gets loud. But when we allow the Lord our God to work in our hearts, things will change.

For me: The greatest blessing is – the ability to remain loving and self-controlled when my niece comes over on the weekends. Today my house felt enormously loud, but by God’s grace I could remain calm, redirect, and begin my Bible study time. My sinful self didn’t get angry and begin yelling at these little people I am leading by example. This is a direct result of Jesus Christ!

I have days when I am “off” so to speak, and my niece will ask what happened. This is my reminder that I need to re-evaluate what’s going on in my heart and walk with Jesus. Honestly, it could be due to debilitating symptoms, not enough Jesus time, or something else. The bottom line is: Spiritual fruit is a blessing in my life, and it can be in yours too!


Fruit Means Pain –

It has taken much work to reach this place in my life. Seven years’ worth of working with the Lord has shown me that trials are painful, but God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is going to be the One to get me through it. Things won’t always go my way, but He will get me through it.

It won’t be painless. There will be many tears, but He will get us through this one baby step at a time.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” – Isaiah 55:8

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:20

This week, I desperately need to consult my Bible on a daily basis. I need to stay in step with the Spirit, so I will stay close to Jesus and not give into my sinful desires (Galatians 5:16).

Feature image by Rye Jessen.

Until next time,

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A Light in All Circumstances {POTF}

Welcome, friends! I invite you to join me, as we walk through Titus 2. Today, we will be looking at verses 1-5. I invite you to open your personal Bible and turn with me to this passage. If you don’t have yours nearby, I have included it below –

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:1-5, ESV).

Ohhh friends, the Lord loves us soo much!

The Lord wants certain things from His followers. Like most families have set standards and norms, we are part of God’s family – where He will teach us how to act. What encourages me the most is – how God expects things from us regardless of our ages. Age or circumstances don’t limit God! This section is on older men, older women, and yes the young women too!

We are given the abundant privilege to love God with all ourselves, including our character and actions. As we learn His character, He is giving us the opportunity to become more like Him as Scripture teaches us (Eph. 5:1).

In our lives, we will be given many opportunities to teach and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is not reserved strictly for the wife and mother, ladies. And this is the power of the Gospel, that we can be changed by the Lord despite our circumstances. Our ages, relationship status, finances, among other things – do not determine how much of the Gospel we can hold inside or share! Do you hear me on this? 

The power of our Mighty God declares that we can live unashamed and be His light – because we belong to Him. Having a resting identity in our Lord Jesus Christ is all that matters. Once we are His, we are in the exact place we need to be!

We can live openly, without having to hide in the shadows – because our circumstances are “less than glamorous”. I am not a mom or wife. Instead, I have chronic illness as my “vessel” of influence.

Yet, God allows me to speak His name in this place. My faith and the way I carry it out in my daily life is important. Even in the simplest actions, I am able to reveal Christ through the way I live.

Chronic illness isn’t glamorous in the least bit, yet this is the place where the Lord will use me to shine His very important light and hope for the watching world to see! This doesn’t mean I never get depressed, but it helps to remember why I am in this position. It helps me to remember that it is for the sake of the Gospel – and God can use every single “loss” in my life for a heavenly “gain” to build up His Kingdom.

You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16, CSB, emphasis mine).”

Image by Marco Trassini.

In Him,

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Transforming Truths {{POTF}}

Friends,

Welcome to Pressing On Toward Faithfulness! This is an eight week study focused on going through the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy in a slower pace, which will allow us to catch glimpses of these important truths and dwell on them.

As we dwell on these important God given truths, we are given the opportunity to see what they mean for our lives.

Memory Verse –

Each week, my hope is to give us a memory verse. Even if you are like me and aren’t sure you can memorize a Scripture, let’s jot down these verses on an index card and make them an important part of our day. As we focus on these verses and what they mean for us, God will change us through this process.

Use Your Personal Bible –

For this week, my goal is to focus on Titus 2:1. However. . . In order to grasp the depth and significance of this verse, let’s also look at verse 8. I encourage you to read, study, and focus upon this verse (or these verses) using your own personal Bible. Ideally, I will read, meditate (look upon and focus intently), and cherish these truths using the wording given through my personal Bible. But for today’s post, I am using a clearer way of wording (a different translation, but it’s still fully God’s Word).

There are many new translations being added to websites, so my goal in this study (and future) is – to not share lightly using other translations. I want to make sure what I share is biblically sound and correct.

Here we go!

Let’s jump into this week’s memory verse. It is better to start late than to call it quits. God’s Word is far too important to hold onto an “all or nothing” approach, when it comes to ingesting the Words of Life we desperately need to hear.

But you are to proclaim things consistent with sound teaching (Titus 2:1, CSB).

Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us (Titus 2:8).

Our Teachings –

Friends, we need to consider what we are teaching others. Now you might be thinking, “Me?! But, I am not a pastor or even a teacher. . .”

Each day, our lives can reveal the teachings of Christ and His transformative work in our lives. In Titus 2:1-8, we are urged to live the beauty of the Gospel each day. In our relationships, behavior, and circumstances, we can impact lives. Even if we aren’t serving outside the home, we are deeply impacting lives and sharing the Gospel.

Friends, how closely is your beliefs lining up with the teachings of the Bible?

When we live out our beliefs, it changes lives. Choosing to place our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ will radically change our lives, and one of the results is – others will see how we are being changed from the inside – out. As we are changed and practice what we “preach,” our enemies will not be able to say anything bad about us.

In this world, we will come across many people who absolutely hate us for one thing or another. Even so, I have witnessed how the Lord changes hearts. He can turn absolute enemies into the best of friends. This is referred to as the “ministry of reconciliation (see 2 Cor. 5:16-21),” and one of the most beautiful gifts we are given by our Lord. This is the beautiful of the Gospel. We can go from God’s enemies to being called His sons and daughters!

Image by Kyle Glenn.

Until next time,

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Praise Before Panic {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

We can apply today’s Scripture to any area of life. While I was contemplating on if I was well enough prepared to write on this Scripture, I now know this is an important truth for any area of life.

Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark). – Prov. 19:2, AMP

As I previously mentioned, I underwent a medical test. Any medical test can have the ability to be over-analyzed. I am thankful for the reminder to spend time considering my spiritual needs too. Before my big test, I sought out how to remain encouraged and Spirit-filled.

Typically, I prepare for specifics in regards to medical tests – by choosing a Scripture to focus on. Without this plan, I would be left in a dangerous spot. Without choosing to deliberately focus on our risen Lord, I might be unfriendly to the medical staff or inconsolable.

As I write this, I am in awe of what our God can do. Just as it is not good to act impulsively or fail to plan, we have to remember the goodness of our Lord. When I was placed into the MRI machine, I was not feeling very encouraged. To God be all glory, honor, and praise: He placed an ideal song on my heart. I didn’t belt out lyrics or move, but it encouraged my heart so much.

“Fearless” by Travis Ryan is likely one of the best songs to heart sing, in the midst of a medical test that is as tight in space as a coffin. It gets me a little bit emotional as I share this, because heart singing praise music isn’t something I would have expected. This was the best way God could have met me in the midst of my great need of remembering His presence and promise to stay with me.

Fearless, make us fearless | Give us courage for You are with us | Fearless, make us fearless | Come and mark us with Your boldness

God is in the details of our lives. While He was in total control during my medical test, I don’t want to consider my joy level had I not prepared.

Friends, let’s be lovers of Jesus who want to prepare and remember that we are forever His!

We need to seek His face and act wisely. Whenever we act impulsively, it can draw us away from our Lord and cause us to sin.

This is a testimony of how God meets us right where we are. Even in deep needs, God will meet us and act on our behalf – through His Holy Spirit.

Image by Shaun Frankland.