Still to this day I remember writing verses on my arm when I first became a believer.
The Word of God jumped alive at me; I soaked them up like a sponge.
Having verses written on my arm helped me dwell in the verse all day long. It reminded me that I was a new creation, that I was showered with forgiveness, grace and love.
Day after day, the immersion of the Word renewed my mind and I walked away from my old self. It was proof to me that the Word is our sword in the armor of God. With this sword I can slay my old ways and slay the lies that Satan tried to feed me.
Have you noticed how this sword is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God? If you desire to overcome your sins, pick up this sword of truth! At times you may become weary and the sword may feel too heavy to lift, but press on, friends, and fight the good fight!
With God’s Word being so important in overcoming sin, we need to grow in our knowledge of God’s Word. Along the years, wise godly women have shared with me some Bible-reading techniques that have hugely benefited my walk with Jesus. I want to share those techniques with you so that you may also grow in your faith in God through His Word.
Bible Reading Techniques
A busy boy mom of 2, Maggie calls for Christian wives + mamas to become #IndweltWomen who dwell richly in the Word of God in the midst of life's chaos. With her bite-sized Bible Study Guides, women can leverage the little pockets of time they have to dwell in the Word one verse at a time. She also shares encouragement and practical resources on her blog. Connect with Maggie over at everleighcompany.com
Spiritual Disciplines are one of those things that you know that you should be doing but don’t actually take the time to do. They are the practices that will help you to deepen your faith experience with Jesus, and they change your heart as you practice them over time. The issue with this is that deepening your faith and changing your heart also require you to change some of the fundamental elements of your life, and that can be hard.
Paul tells Timothy in 1 TImothy 4:7 that he needs to discipline himself for the purpose of godliness. And that is where you need to start. Do you feel a calling from God to be holy? Do you desire godliness in the depths of your heart? Then you must make space in your life for Spiritual Disciplines.
These steps are not easy to find the motivation to do, but they are easy to understand. Pray diligently for wisdom, strength, and grace to implement them!
Dost thou know, O saint, how much the Holy Spirit loves thee? Canst thou measure the love of the Spirit? Dost thou know how great is the affection of his soul towards thee? Go measure heaven with thy span; go weigh the mountains in the scales; go take the ocean's water, and tell each drop; go count the sand upon the sea's wide shore; and when thou hast accomplished this, thou canst tell how much he loveth thee. He has loved thee long, he has loved thee well, he loved thee ever, and he still shall love thee; surely he is the person to comfort thee, because he loves. Admit him, then, to your heart, O Christian, that he may comfort you in your distress.
Charles Spurgeon - The Comforter
I am well acquainted with guilt. When you are living in unrepentant sin, there is always a heaviness of shame over your heart. I think the lie that we tell ourselves, or maybe that Satan tells us, is that it will get better. That eventually the situation will resolve itself without a need for us to confess and repent. That we can keep plowing forward, because our ultimate goal is good. That the ends justify the means.
A foundational practice in Christianity is to read the Bible every day. Over the years people push that habit in different ways; writing devotional thoughts to help digest scripture, reading plans to guide us through topics or books, different translations to flesh out what the original text might have been saying.
And yet, it’s common for us to struggle. I think that daily devotions are an area that it is easy to see the realities of spiritual warfare, because why on earth is it so difficult to incorporate a few minutes of prayerful reading into our day?
When you make the decision that you need accountability about an issue, one way to find that accountability is to talk to someone you trust and ask them to help you stay on track. But that can be a weird conversation, and if you aren’t clear about what you need from them you might end up with a friend who just occasionally asks you awkward questions.
Sin thrives in isolation.
For me, that simple statement is packed with meaning and memories. I’ve shared my sin story several times now, and it is getting easier to state the facts without feeling the punch. I became addicted to porn at 8 or 9 years old. I struggled with addictions to pornography, cybersex, mastrubation, and sexual fantasy for 10 years. I can say that without crying.
But when I type out that phrase: sin thrives in isolation.. my eyes fog up.
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.
From the PCUSA Book of Common Worship
Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993; p. 88
I have been going to church all my life, and very rarely have I seen an open invitation to confession. I have never seen an established avenue for confession. Maybe I’m going to the wrong churches, but it seems like confession is a concept that we talk about, we say it is important, and then we move on and don’t tell people how to actually do it.
Confession is not just important, confession is vital in the life of a believer. If you’ve gotten through years of following Christ without intentionally confessing sin, there is a huge part of being in relationship with God that you are missing.
If I were a perfectly honest person, the only accountability that I would need would be a checklist. Every day I could go to my checklist and mark down one more day of successfully kicking my bad habit or completing my good habit, and that would be that. Eventually, the behavior would be engrained in my psyche and the need for a checklist accountability partner would be gone.
Unfortunately though, that checklist would end up in a pile of junk mail on my counter while I continued on doing whatever the heck I wanted with my life. I am 100% likely to have all the good intentions and none of the follow through.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
When I was nine years old, my family started going to a new church. We were homeschooled, and so I didn’t really have a grade and I was told to choose if I wanted to be in the 2nd-3rd grade or 4th-5th grade class for Sunday School. There was a tight knit group of cool girls in the older class, and I decided that I wanted to be one of them and I joined their class hoping that I would be accepted. They weren’t mean to me, but for whatever reason I was just never integrated into their clique.
Judgment: the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought
Judgmental: tending to judge people too quickly and critically
Do you see the enormous difference of definition when you change the ending of those words?
So many people today--especially online--are judgmental. Judgmental to the point that they attack anyone who disagrees with them, dismissing the other person’s position as ridiculous. They mock and scorn whoever they are currently targeting. That is being judgmental.