May 29, 2017

Are You Good?

Are human beings basically good at heart? Many believe this today.

For me the Scriptures are clear, not because I just believe the words I've read, but because God has revealed my sin against His holiness and justice, and because of this revelation I am forever grateful for His loving grace and righteousness that He has imparted to me.


How often do we do things to make ourselves look good? When in truth we aren't good at all.

No one is good except God.

"No one is good but One, that is, God." Luke 18:19

"For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin." Ecc. 7:20

I think the issue here is the definition of good.

If God is good how can I, a sinful human being, be good as well?

If we compare ourselves to God, who is truly good, we can only then see that we are not.

This is not to discourage us, but to encourage us to come to Him. He knows what we need.

We need Him.

Christ gives the believer His righteousness, because we don't have righteousness on our own.

Doing good does not make us righteous, only Christ can do that.


"...and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith." Phil. 3:9

It's a gift that we often dismiss, trying to make ourselves the author of goodness. I tithe. I go to church regularly. I give to the poor. I read my Bible. I... I... I...

These are all commendable and should be done, but they don't make us good.

Christ makes us good when He imparts his righteousness to us.

"For if by the one man’s (Adam) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17

It's Christ who restores us to life.

Much more abundant is God's grace towards us through His son Jesus Christ!

"And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Romans 8:10

There is freedom in this truth. We can rest in this truth.

And when we realize this truth, we are free to admit our brokenness, our shame and our weaknesses. It's not about us anymore, but about the One who loves us unconditionally.

There is nothing we can say or do that will make God love us more or less. He is love.

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
 

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Trust in Him.

We will never be able to be good enough on our own. Never.

Don't worry about being good enough, rather rest in His goodness.

Rest in Him.

Christ has paid the price and it is finished.

"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:8





I thought I'd leave you with this short 5 minute clip from Francis Chan talking about this subject...




May 23, 2017

5 books on my future reading list

Glory in the Ordinary 

Though I don't have small children anymore, I think this book will be encouraging as a stay at home wife and mom of 3 grown children. 

I still do the dishes, the laundry, clean the toilets and sinks and showers, paint the walls when needed, wash the windows, dust the baseboards and so on. You get the idea. : )

These are all mundane things that often go unnoticed, but I do them in love and I hope they make my house a comfortable and inviting home.

I'm looking forward to a little bit of encouragement through this book.

Goodreads says of it here:

"For stay-at-home moms, it's easy to view other people's work as more valuable to God, dismissing the significance of seemingly mind-numbing, everyday tasks. 

In this life-giving book, Courtney Reissig encourages moms with the truth about God's perspective on their work: what the world sees as mundane, he sees as magnificent. 

Discussing the changing nature of stay-at-home work and the ultimate meaning of our identity as image bearers, Reissig combats common misunderstandings about the significance of at-home work—helping us see how Christ infuses purpose into every facet of the ordinary."



Maud

This is a novel based on the early life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the beloved 'Anne of Green Gables' series.

I recently listened to 'Anne of Green Gables' on audio book and absolutely fell in love with it! So beautifully written and heartfelt.

Amazon describes this book here:

"Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery -- Maud to her friends -- has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. 

Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman's place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister's stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren't a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn't sure she wants to settle down with a boy -- her dreams of being a writer are much more important.

     But life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother's plans for her, which threaten Maud's future -- and her happiness forever."




North and South

This is the next classic on my list. I've heard only good things about it. I do remember watching the BBC mini-series years ago, but can't remember much of the story.

Goodreads says here:

"When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. 

Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. 

This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction."



 Reading the Bible Supernaturally

I've been thinking a lot about this subject and was excited to see this new book by John Piper. The Bible today is often left on the shelf in exchange for social justice or spiritual experiences.

But the truth is, the power of Scripture in what we need in our lives. It's God's gift to us to live and breath and walk with Him through His Word, by His Holy Spirit.

This book is described this way:

"God wrote a book, and its pages are full of his glory. But we cannot see his beauty on our own, with mere human eyes.

In Reading the Bible Supernaturally, John Piper aims to show us how God works through his written Word when we pursue the natural act of reading the Bible, so that we experience his sight-giving power—a power that extends beyond the words on the page.

Ultimately, Piper helps us experience the transformative power of Scripture as it informs our minds, illuminates our souls, and leads us to encounter God through the ordinary act of reading."



The Curiosity Keeper

This is a Christian fiction novel and the first book in the 'The Treasures of Surrey' series. I really enjoyed Sarah E. Ladd's 'Whispers on the Moors' series and I'm looking forward to reading these new ones.

Amazon says here:

"Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She’s done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille must allow a mysterious stranger to come to her aid.

Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content to work as the village apothecary. But when his brother’s death made him heir just as his father’s foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may be the answer to his many questions.

Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, these two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear."


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