"So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, 'If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.' But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, 'Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.' And the woman was made well from that hour."
Have you ever felt like God was not listening to your prayers?
Have you ever wondered why you must suffer something, and pray for healing...only to keep suffering?
I have. I have felt this way physically and emotionally.
Last week I began a small "series" of posts on chronic illness and have a few more weeks of scheduled posts coming up. And so when I think about these questions, I had to share them with you.
Because for the one battling chronic illness, I know that you can relate.
It can be so hard to pray for a healing that doesn't come. Or to keep praying and keep suffering.
I wonder if this woman in Matthew 9 felt the same.
Her name isn't even listed and so I don't even know what to call her. But I can understand her suffering.
For twelve years, this woman has suffered from a bleeding disorder. If you know anything about the culture of that day as well, a bleeding disorder would have made this woman "unclean," therefore she would have been an outcast in her society. Alone. Suffering. For twelve years. Can you imagine?
In Mark 5, we're given even more information about her background and told that she had gone to many physicians, she had spent all the money she had trying to figure out the cause of her problem, and she did not get better. Mark 5:26 tells us that she was, in fact, getting worse.
Surely she would've been praying. Surely she would've cried out to God for an answer. For some sort of relief. I imagine that every time she went to a new doctor, she prayed a prayer that sounded a little bit like, "Please, let me find answers here."
But she didn't. Not for twelve years. Not one doctor made her better. Her suffering only grew worse.
I understand. I have battled chronic migraines for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we tried everything to bring relief. My mom would spend hours in the grocery store finding foods that did not contain any "trigger" ingredients. She would spend hours researching vitamins or foods that should help with the headaches.
I have spent so many hours praying for relief. Praying for a healing.
And yet, at twenty-years-old, I still suffer. I still battle intense pain that leaves me exhausted and unable to do even simple tasks like laundry.
That kind of thing can be just downright discouraging.
I bet this woman had to be pretty discouraged. All those doctor visits? All those attempts at healing? Surely she must have felt like giving up.
Yet Jesus was in town.
I wonder if she left her house that day intending to find Jesus. Or if she just stumbled upon Him and the crowd. I wonder what miracles she had heard He had performed. I wonder what must have went through her mind and heart.
Yet she pushed through the crowd to get to Jesus. And when she reaches for the corner of His robe, she is convinced that if she simply touches it, she will be healed. Her faith astounds me.
After so much disappointment. After so many seemingly unanswered prayers. And she still had the courage to hope. To believe that Jesus still carried the answers she was looking for.
Be of good cheer. Your faith has made you well.
And just like that, she is healed. All of the searching. All of the waiting. After twelve years, the battle is over and she is healed.
I don't know what your battle looks like.
I don't know how long you have been fighting. I don't know how hard the fight has been.
Maybe your health feels like an every day battle. Maybe a chronic illness has got you fighting for years and looking for so many answers, but you just can't seem to get better.
Or maybe it's an emotional battle. Every day you fight for a healing of the heart and spirit. And yet the emotional pain you've been walking through is still there.
Whatever your battle looks like, keep fighting.
Don't give up hope in the darkest of places. Don't let the discouragement get the best of you. Keep hoping. Even when it hurts.
Jesus is still the answer. Even if His healing doesn't come how you imagined. Even if His healing seems to take longer than twelve years. Keep hoping in Him.
Never lose your faith.
"Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come before Me.' But Jonah arise to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.'"
Have you ever been asked to do something that you really didn't want to do?
Well, I have.
Take for example (a petty example, I know) the dishes. I enjoy doing laundry. But dishes? Nope. Not my favorite task in the world. I would prefer to have a dance party around the kitchen, instead of focusing on actually getting dishes washed.
But, you know, there are things much bigger than dishes that I have been asked to do even when I didn't want to.
Well, great. Now we can all relate to Jonah just a little bit better.
One last question: Have you ever had someone that you really strongly disliked?
You know, that person that totally just gets on your nerves and irritates you. Or that person that makes it really hard to be nice to. Or maybe even that person that wounded your soul deeply and you really, really dislike them.
If your answer is yes, then I'd say you relate to Jonah a lot more than you may have first assumed.
I remember thinking of Jonah as that prophet who got swallowed by the whale. The classic children's Bible story, right? How could I possibly relate to Jonah? I mean, I don't plan on getting swallowed by a whale anytime soon.
It's easy to do that with the Bible stories that we have heard over and over again since we were kids. We think of these men and women as Bible characters who are "super spiritual" or "extraordinary." And we don't relate to them on a real level. We forget that they were human...just like us.
And here's the thing about Jonah:
He did not want to go anywhere near those people of Nineveh.
Want to know how I know this? Because (spoiler alert) when God spares the people of Nineveh in chapter 4, Jonah throws a tantrum. He actually asks God to kill him. Like whoa, he must have really had some problems with those Ninevehites.
So a little backstory for you, Nineveh was actually like the capital city of Assyria. It was like the Washington D.C. of the United States. And Assyria was really mean. Especially to Jonah's people, the Israelites.
So if Jonah had a slightly strong dislike for these people, we can totally understand why. Think of a bully you know who has continually hurt you or your friends/family. You think pretty low of that kind of person, right? Yeah, well, Jonah thought pretty low of the Assyrians.
When God asked Jonah to rise up and go to Nineveh and cry out against them, he turns and runs in the opposite direction. I get it. I probably would have to.
Because I do. I do run in the opposite direction when God calls me to Nineveh.
And I would go as far as to say that you probably have to.
You see, Nineveh...Nineveh isn't always a geographic location. Sometimes going to Nineveh means crossing spiritual territory.
There are many reasons I think God chose Jonah for this specific task. But I think mostly, God chose Jonah because He wanted to work in Jonah's heart. It's clear Jonah hated this people quite a bit. I mean, considering he wanted to die when God spared them and all.
God could've chosen anyone He wanted. But He chose Jonah. I think because Nineveh was more about a spiritual battle for him than it was a geographic one.
And, oh, yes. That's where I relate the most. That's where I throw my hands up and go, "Yes, Jonah, I know exactly how you must have felt."
Growing up, I hated my biological father. I hated him for what he'd done.
He was my Nineveh. And God was asking me to forgive him. To let go of the bitterness in my heart and give it over to Him to handle.
And I was not ready to "go to Nineveh." So I fled to Tarshish.
I sat inside my prison cell of bitterness as far away from God's call as I could and I stayed stuck there. I was being called to cross into spiritual territory that I did not want to cross into.
But the truth? When I finally crossed that territory, I was set free.
Friend, I don't know what your particular Nineveh looks like. Maybe it looks like mine, or maybe it looks completely different.
Maybe you're being called to extend forgiveness that feels too hard for you. Maybe you're being called to start a ministry that terrifies you because you don't feel qualified. Maybe you're being called to befriend someone who is different than you and you aren't sure what to say. Maybe you're being called to a dream opposite the one you had for your life and it hurts. Maybe you're being called into a season of loneliness so that you can understand Christ's embrace better.
I don't know what your "maybe" is, but I do know this: If you hear the voice of God today urging you to, "Arise and go to Nineveh," please don't ignore it. (I really do think you'd rather avoid the whale if possible.)
It won't be easy and it may hurt. But it's worth it.
Take a lesson from Jonah, our friend who lived so many years ago.
Following Christ the first time--no matter where He is asking you to go--is always the best choice you could ever make.
"Following Jesus wherever He leads you doesn't always mean geographically. Sometimes it means spiritually."
(from "I Dare You")
What did you learn in this chapter? What might be your Nineveh? What are some of your favorite verses from Jonah chapter 1? Join the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments!
"I've never had a headache."
I raised my eyebrows and stared at my friend. "Like ever?"
I couldn't imagine someone never having a headache or migraine because for me...it was an almost daily battle.
You see, I have chronic migraines.
I've grown up with them for just about as long as I can remember. I know the debilitating pain that throbs and aches for hours, maybe even days. I know the light and noise sensitivities. I know the way a radio playing can make you feel like a thousand hammers are pounding on your skull or the way the simple scent of a vanilla candle can make your stomach turn over.
I know the way you have to call out of work because the pain is so intense you can't even stand up. I know the way it feels to cancel lunch with a friend because you can't walk without the throbbing pain. I know the way you feel lonely when your group of friends are hanging out but you stayed behind because you were just too sick to go.
I know all of this because I have lived with a chronic illness.
And if this feels just a little bit like you too, then there are just a few things I wish I could tell you. I wish I could cup your chin in my hands and smile into your beautiful eyes and tell you that you really are going to be okay.
But for now let me share with you just a few things that I have learned on my journey with chronic pain.
A few things that I want you to always remember.
1) It's okay if all you did today was wake up. This world is so good at trying to convince us that our worth is hidden in all of our successes and achievements, isn't it? In a world that is obsessed with their definition of success, the one living with chronic illness can feel a little bit left behind. So here's the thing, friend: your worth does not come from your success. Your worth does not come from all the things you checked off your to-do list for the day.
Your worth is found in Christ. Your identity is found in Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 says that you are chosen and you are God's special treasure. It doesn't say that based on what you've done or not done. It says that because of what Christ has done for you.
So it really is okay if all you had the energy for today was waking up and breathing. It really is okay if you didn't feel well enough to get out of your pajamas. Because your worth is not in what you accomplish, but in Whose you are.
2) The little things are actually the big things. Sometimes we think changing the world looks a whole lot like ending world hunger, or putting a stop to abortion, or bringing the gospel to the jungles of India. And for the one fighting chronic illness, this can make us feel a little bit insignificant. After all, when fighting chronic pain you don't always have the energy to go out and change the world in all these big ways the media shouts out.
But the truth?
Changing the world actually looks a whole lot like smiling at every person you come in contact with, or looking on the bright side even when it's hard, or making cookies to enjoy with your siblings.
You know, God's kingdom is so opposite the world. And in God's kingdom, the little things really are the big things.
3) You are a warrior. You may not be out there fighting a war or a battle that people can see. You may not be in the media or the news as a hero.
But that's the thing about chronic illness. You're fighting a battle that no one can see and it's hard. Trust me, I know it's hard.
Friend, you are not a victim to this illness. You are a warrior over this illness.
Because every day that you wake up and pray for the strength to fight again, you are gaining a victory over your pain. I know some days it may feel like you don't have any energy left to fight but take heart, friend. His strength lives in you.
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Keep on fighting this battle. You are God's brave warrior.
4) He knows the plans that He has for you. You may think it cliche to say, but it's the truth. He really does know the plans that He has for you. And here's the thing:
He's crazy about you.
He loves you more than you could imagine.
He's not ignoring your pain and suffering. He's not failing to listen to your prayers. He's not forgetting about you.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31)
He hears you. He sees you. He cares for you so deeply. But He also knows what is best for you--even when you don't understand.
So trust Him and keep believing in His perfect plan for your life.
Living with chronic illness isn't easy, but you really will make it through this.
Keep on fighting, friend.
Don't give up.
Happy Friday, friends! So sorry for the delay in posting this. I'm so excited that you're joining me for another Bible study series. This time we will be studying the small, but powerful book of Jonah...
I know you've heard the story.
The story of the disobedient prophet of God and the big fish that swallowed him to teach him a lesson about obedience.
You've heard the story growing up in Sunday School and maybe even heard songs written about this Jonah fellow. And come on, who hasn't seen the Veggie Tales Jonah?
But somewhere in all of this, I think we can make the mistake that the book of Jonah is just that: a story about a prophet who ran away from God and learned a big lesson.
However, if this is your assumption, you would be wrong.
I remember my own journey when I embarked on studying the book of Jonah for the first time. I studied this book like never before and what I learned was pretty magnificent.
But since you're just starting your journey with me, I won't spoil all the details for you just yet. ;) You'll have to tag along for the ride as we study this book of the Bible in more detail over the next four weeks.
This week, I just wanted to give you a brief overview of the book and the history surrounding it. Next week we'll dive into chapter one. Ready?
Author of this book: Jonah
What I think is the key verse: Jonah 4:2
This story's Main Character: God
You may be surprised that I didn't list Jonah as the main character of his own story. Don't worry, you'll understand more in the weeks to come.
Jonah is the story of disobedience, redemption, and God's mercy. It's the story of a people repentant for their sins and the God who mercifully relented from the disaster He called upon them.
I can't wait to study more with you next week. <3
"The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works."
Today, we have blogger Grace M. joining us! In her guest post, she shares about the importance of prayer and why prayer should always be our first resort. Would love for you to drop a comment and let her know your thoughts!
In an instant, she was gone. One of the sweetest girls I’d met at college had suddenly vanished.
I had no idea what happened to her. She didn’t respond to my texts. She didn’t let me know that she’d gotten my package in the mail. She didn’t even tell me that she wasn’t coming back to college for the spring semester.
Something didn’t feel right about the situation. As far as I knew, she had intended to return to college after break. It seemed like she had dropped off the face of the earth. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and wondering where she was.
What if something awful had happened to her? What if someone in her family had died? What if she been in a car accident or gotten sick? What if she had moved away? Where was she, and why didn’t she tell me where she was?
I felt helpless, unsure about what I could do. I wondered if my friend was okay, but I had no way to find her or help her.
In these kinds of circumstances, we usually feel completely powerless. There is nothing we can do to fix the situation or even attempt to make it better. All we can do is pray.
But that’s a lot.
Unfortunately, we often treat prayer like it’s a last resort. If we can’t do anything to fix the problems in our lives, we give up and start praying.
But we should treat prayer like it’s the most important thing we can do—because it is! It should always be our first resort.
I’ll admit that I usually push prayer off until after I’ve spent plenty of time worrying. When an issue arises, I ruminate on it and hope that God will fix it. But I forget to ask Him to resolve the issue—or to work in me through the issue.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV)
Think about all the people you’re concerned about. Maybe you worry about your brother, who has turned to alcohol. Maybe you’re scared that your mom has a serious illness. Maybe you think that your classmate is battling depression. Maybe you’re worried about your best friend because her parents are getting divorced.
Sometimes, we must intervene in the difficult situations in our lives. Other times, we simply need to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,” as Ephesians 6:18 commands.
The key thing to remember is this: When we feel helpless, the Lord is our Helper. When we feel lost, God is our Guide. When we feel worried, Christ is unmoved.
He knows where my friend is, and He knows how to help her better than I do. He also knows how to help your struggling brother, your ill mother, your depressed classmate, or your heartbroken best friend. It’s easy to forget that God is in control of situations that seem out-of-control. We tend to bottle up our fears, our worries, and our questions deep inside. But our Helper, our Guide, and our immovable Savior knows every tiny detail about us and the people we love.
We can (and should!) direct our worries to Him because He knows the ones we love better than we ever could.
Grace M. is a lover of sunsets, mint green, and sour gummy worms. She enjoys spending time with her family, chatting with friends, and baking sweet treats. She blogs about the Christian life at Tizzie's Tidbits.
I know that I typically don't post on Sundays, but this week I had something super exciting to share with you all!
Many of you who receive my magazine know Olivia Bell, our wonderful and faithful magazine columnist. Well did you know Olivia has her own magazine too?
Yes, my amazing and lovely friend publishes a bi-monthly magazine called Christ's Light Magazine! If you're a young lady looking for godly encouragement and inspiration, this is the place you'll want to go.
And the exciting part?
Olivia just set up a brand new website for the magazine! I would absolutely LOVE for you to visit it, take a look around, and let her know how excited you are for her too. :) And maybe especially subscribe? Because you'll be so blessed by subscribing, it'll totally be worth it.
I'm so proud of you, Olivia! <3
Click the link below to visit the website and subscribe:
Friends! Can you believe that we're at the last week of our study in Ephesians already? It's been so much fun studying this with you the past six weeks. <3 Starting next Thursday we're going to begin a four week study on JONAH!! So stay tuned for that. You won't want to miss it!
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."
Sometimes I think we can forget that we are in the middle of a war.
Of course it's not a war that we fight with flesh and blood or anything physical, so maybe that's why it's so easy to forget at times.
But this is a spiritual war and as children of God, every day we are asked to stand up and fight. We're called to stand against the attacks the devil throws at us.
What does that look like though?
Putting on the whole armor of God.
We can't expect to fight a battle without the proper armor. As Christians we have God's armor ready and available to us at all times. But how do we use it and what does it look like? Well let's look at each piece of the armor in more detail:
Belt of truth.
What do you do when your pants don't fit right and they keep falling down? You get a belt. The belt keeps them tight and helps them fit better.
What do you do when you start to believe lies about yourself like "I'm not good enough," or "I'm not loved"? What do you do when these lies cause you to begin doubting God's words to you and you feel like you're slipping out of control?
You put on truth.
God's truth is like the belt for your mind to keep you from slipping into believing lies that will destroy you if you let them. The next time a lie comes to your mind, stop and meditate on the truth. Tighten your belt.
Breastplate of righteousness.
A breastplate was a piece of armor that soldiers used to protect their most vital organs (like the heart) from being injured in battle. It was meant for protection.
Righteousness is something that can only come from God. Humans in themselves cannot be righteous, because they cannot keep God's right laws at all times. We sin. We're not perfect.
So if righteousness--God's perfection--is what protects us in battle, how can we ever achieve it?
When Jesus died for our sins, He exchanged our sinfulness for His righteousness. Now when God sees us, He sees the righteousness of Jesus because we belong to Him.
The only way to protect yourself in this battle against the devil is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Without Him, you can do nothing.
Shoes of peace.
We have all experienced times of intense worry or anxiety. We have all let our fears take over and take us down roads we regret. Because sometimes uncertain futures can overwhelm us just a little bit too much.
Worry, fear, and anxiety cause us to doubt in God. Sometimes they even cause us to seek our own answers to our problems. They cause us to drift away from our goal and get caught up in all the "not knowing."
God's peace is like shoes for our soul to keep us grounded in His truth when worry and anxiety lies to us. These shoes keep us moving forward towards God's plan for us, even when we don't understand the whole picture.
Next time you're feeling worried or stressed out, allow God's peace to fill you. And then keep walking forward.
Shield of faith.
A shield protects you from getting injured by the warfare around you. A shield is something you hide behind for protection or security.
Faith is our shield because without faith it is impossible to please God or keep fighting this battle. Without faith, we are open to all of the enemy's attacks and we will be defeated. Faith is what protects us from the enemy's lies, oppression, and tactics.
When doubts creep in or disbelief shakes you, hold onto your shield of faith and raise it up high.
Helmet of salvation.
The helmet protects your mind. Your salvation in Christ is like the helmet protecting your mind from the lies the enemy wants you to believe about God.
There are so many different "religions" in the world today and so many different beliefs shouted out on social media and in the news. It can be so easy to be led astray or start believing lies about God.
Your salvation and core belief in how you are saved and who God is, shields you from all these wrong ways of thinking and keeps your mind secure in Christ.
Sword of the Spirit.
This Sword is the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. A sword is the weapon used to defeat the enemy you are fighting.
The only way to defeat our enemy is by believing and living out the Word of God in our lives. So how do you do that? You must spend time in God's Word. Without doing this, you cannot fight.
I also firmly believe we should be memorizing Scripture. To use our weapon to it's full potential against the enemy, we need it to be in our minds and hearts. So memorize Scripture, meditate on Scripture.
Let it change your life.
Paul ends his description of our armor by encouraging us to pray always, without ceasing. To pray for anything and everything. To pray with perseverance. To pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Prayer is a battle weapon that we so easily forget about or take for granted. Prayer is our direct access to God!
Keep fighting the good fight, friends.
Hello, friends! Today I am joining the blog tour for Shelley Black's new book, Savoring Single! I'm super excited to share my review of the book and let you know just a little bit more about it.
First of all, let's get started with the cover (isn't it beautiful?!) and description:
Why savoring single? Because you were meant to enjoy it!
Finding purpose, knowing love, and experiencing adventure aren’t reserved solely for the married girls! You can enjoy a full and vibrant life even while being single. It’s also a perfect time to partner with what God wants to develop in you through this once-in-a-lifetime part of your journey! Girl, being single is okay. There is a purpose for it, and it won’t last forever. So savor it!
I loved the way Shelley connects with her readers throughout the entirety of her book. She is engaging, funny, and relatable. She has one of those writing styles that makes you smile and want to keep reading until you finish.
Shelley shares about the importance of savoring and enjoying your single years from a single girl's perspective. Because she's single writing to single ladies, readers can connect with her so much better.
Throughout the book, Shelley shares with readers why singleness is a good thing and why savoring it is necessary. She also encourages readers in purity and why it is important.
But Shelley doesn't just leave readers with the knowledge of why singleness is a good thing and why it is important. She provides you with advice on how to savor your single years and how to make them count. In the book there is encouragement on how to get a mentor and how to be a mentor, how to use your spiritual gifts, how to keep track of your finances, how to grow in your relationship with the Lord and others, and so much more.
One of my favorite parts is how Shelley ends each chapter with a Bible verse and prayer.
Definitely a book that I would encourage to single ladies.
(I recommend this book for ages 14+)
About the Author:
Shelley Black has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart. Shelley is a loving momma to her pup Lucy, is one proud “T” to six nieces and nephews and serves her local church in North Mississippi as the worship leader. Find her at SavoringSingle.com and across social media at SavoringSingle.
Hosted by Livy Lynn Blog Tours! Are you a Christian author? Let Livy plan your next blog tour!
"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
There are three main things that we are instructed to walk in according to Ephesians chapter 5. Love, light, and wisdom.
Instead of picking just one of the above verses and discussing it, I decided to talk about all three. Let's go:
Walk in love.
Paul opens chapter five of his letter to Ephesus by encouraging the readers to be imitators of God like dear children.
If you've ever been around kids for very long, you know how quickly they can start imitating what they see or hear. Or maybe you remember this from when you were a little kid.
I can still remember how easily I was influenced by everything I read as a child.
If I read a book about horses, I would imitate the story by taking my trusted stick horse and "galloping" around the house in an exciting "race."
Kids imitate what they see.
When Paul says to be imitators of God and walk in love, he's encouraging us to imitate the character of God.
God is love. (1 John 4:8) So everything He does is out of love and in love. Love is His character--it's who He is.
So let's live more like Him.
Let's imitate that love. Let's love unconditionally. Let's love sacrificially. Let's make love a habit. Because walking is a habit isn't it? It's something we've learned to do and we can do it without even thinking. Let love flow out of you in that way too.
Walk in light.
Before Christ, the world was in darkness. We were in darkness.
Chapter 5 verse 8 says that we were once darkness but now we are light in the Lord. In John 8:12 we're told, "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
When Jesus came He rescued us from the darkness. He set us free and gave us light.
Now it's our responsibility to walk in that light.
Why experience freedom from the darkness, simply to go back and keep on walking in the darkness? When we walk in the light, we're living as His precious children and we're walking more like Him.
Stay in the Word of God. By staying in the Word you're keeping your mind in the light (Psalm 119:105) and learning how to walk according to God's plan for your life.
Walk in wisdom.
When instructed here to walk in wisdom, the main way we are encouraged to do that is by redeeming our time.
Time goes so fast. Don't you agree?
I mean, I'm looking at the February calendar and I am still wondering where January went.
These minutes and days and months...they go by so fast. But they are what make up our lives.
And if we're not using our time--those minutes, days, and months--wisely, then we are wasting our lives.
It is true that these days are evil. And it is true that we never know when our last day on earth will be.
Make them count.
Walk with eternity in mind, using your time for the Kingdom of God. Live for God's glory.
Don't waste these days.
What are your thoughts on walking in love, walking in light, and walking in wisdom? What are some ways that you can use your time wisely?
What are some things that you learned from this chapter?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!