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spiritual growth

releasing more of me to receive more of God

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I need a daily intervention for this reality: choosing Jesus means you live entirely for Someone else.

Choosing Jesus changes the game from “you’re the best, you can do this!” to “God is the best. You can’t, but He can.”

Choosing Jesus replaces self-promoting tendencies with God-exalting habits.

Choosing Jesus fills you with durable hope, compassion, and generosity that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Choosing Jesus gives a posture of upward and outward affections, in contrast to the life-imploding desires we have without His rescuing.

Choosing Jesus challenges you not to settle for immediate gratification and worldly successes, but aim for the smile of Heaven.

Choosing Jesus means that your passion, beauty, confidence, and purpose in this life is grounded in Someone else.

Have you experienced these fruits of choosing Jesus?

I certainly have, but they didn’t start blooming until I honestly found, and decided, that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are better than every single joy, ability, decision, achievement, relationship, skill, and activity.

Having an active relationship with God deepens everything, but what it has done for me most is shift my heart, soul, and mind’s energy from myself to an open-handed, joyful, adventurous journey towards Him.

And something incredible, He knew I would be terminally imperfect at living this way, but He loved so dearly He sent Jesus to die in my place, bearing all of my sin, my lack, my imperfection. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, because of Almighty God’s perfect plan, nothing separates us. Not my weak ways of loving Him, not the sinful choices I willfully and unintentionally make, not my inescapable humanness.

Choosing this Jesus in our daily life — this Creator, Sustainer, and King — is what gives eternal color to everything we do.

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a godly woman’s strength is hope in her God

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The deepest root of a Christian woman is hope in God, and it yields this strong tree of fearlessness in the face of suffering.

Do you remember my favorite verse in the Proverbs 31 woman chapter? Proverbs 31:25: Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

I love that verse. “Everything that’s coming at me, I’m laughing at you.” That’s a woman. She doesn’t cringe. She doesn’t run. She’s not naïve about what’s coming. She knows what’s coming and she laughs because holy women of old hoped in a sovereign God who promises to help women whenever she needs him.

A woman in Christ knows her Bible, knows her theology of a sovereign God who makes promises, knows his promises to be with her, no matter what. She draws strength down from this and a certain kind of tree grows up from this massive deep root of hope in God.

This hope in God yields fearlessness.

— John Piper, in a sermon on April 15, 2007

 


 

I think of the legacy of women before me, my sister, the woman I call my best friend, the sisterhood of friends in my life, and I thank God for His grace that strengthens, challenges, and inspires us.

Let’s worship God for His power, His character, for His thoughts higher than our thoughts, for the reality that we are never fully satisfied with knowledge of Him. He is our greatest, never-ending adventure. I pray this for you too.

the practice of internal wonder

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Internal stillness takes practice. It is the fruit of hiddenness — a life that’s lived looking at God, a life of wonder in Him — and it needs to be cultivated. Sara Hagerty, Unseen

Do you ever feel tempted to make your relationship with God about appearances or productivity?

It can sometimes happen unknowingly, and the mindset shift can be stealthy. It sometimes happens under the guise of church activity or mentorship, even bible study and service.

God continues to bring the story of Mary and Martha in Luke to my mind.

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Martha, perhaps busying herself with tasks she had deemed more important than gazing at Jesus. She might have even had that internal warring going on many of us can relate to: so many people in my home, it needs to be clean…. I need to appear productive and making things happen…. I wonder what that person is thinking about me… These things need to be done first, then I’ll listen to Jesus.

Can you relate?

I can.

The tendency to believe the lie that work done for God is more important than my friendship with and love for Him.

But I think a greater truth is that our unseen time with Him is what makes all the difference.

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