Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

SOAP Quiet Time

Spending alone time with God is one of my favorite parts of my day. It’s my time to sit and give my undivided attention to him. If you have trouble…

Spending alone time with God is one of my favorite parts of my day. It’s my time to sit and give my undivided attention to him.

If you have trouble figuring out where to start during your quiet times, you can follow this easy template that breaks up the passages into four different parts: scripture, observation, application, and prayer.

Scripture:

First, start by figuring out what chapter of the Bible you want to begin with. Ephesians or Philippians is a great place to start since they’re smaller chapters and are easier to get through! Write out the verses in your journal and meditate on them. Read over them several times if you have to. We are more likely to remember things when we write them down, so do this as many times as you need/want to!

Observation:

Review the chapter or passages that you read over, and write down everything that you observe or realize. When we write things out and put things onto paper, it’s easier to explore our thoughts and remember them, too. We want to get as deep as we can with the verses we mediate on, so observe everything you can, even if you didn’t notice it the first time through!

Application:

One of the most important parts of your life walking alongside God is how you take what you learn and apply it to your life. When you read a passage from the Bible, you should always be thinking about how you can incorporate that into your daily life.

For example, let’s look at Joshua 1:8-9: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

What can you take away from this to apply to your life? Meditate on his word, be strong and courageous, do not be afraid… Write down every possible thing you can do to improve your life.

Prayer:

Lastly, take what you wrote down and make it into a prayer. Ask God for help with applying these things to your life. Praise him for what he’s teaching you and for what he’s going to do within you. Just talk to him! Reflect with him, thank him, and ask him for the things you need.

These personal prayers are good to keep in a prayer journal to look back and reflect on. Whenever you may be going through something that one of these verses talks about, you could go back to your prayer pertaining to it and talk to God!

At the end of the day, God loves spending time with us whether you’re reading a devotional, listening to worship music, or making use of this quiet time template. I encourage you to start somewhere by trying this out for yourself!

– Chelsea

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“Wear Love”

“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love.” – Colossians 3:14 What does it mean to “wear love”? To me, it says that no matter what, you should…

“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love.” – Colossians 3:14

What does it mean to “wear love”? To me, it says that no matter what, you should show love. Love is what holds everyone and everything together and is one way to display life’s goodness. In a world where it feels like, at any moment, any and everything could be going wrong, God’s word tells us that love has the power to make all things good and new.

The deeper I seek the Lord and the more often I pray that He makes less of me and more of Himself, the more He opens my eyes to the brokenness and hurt in this world. People’s hearts are breaking all around us. Sometimes you can just see it on their faces without even knowing the person. That is why we should wear love everywhere we go. 1 John 4:7-12 is a great scripture to drive this point home. It says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

To truly wear love means that we surrender our lives to the Lord because He is love. When we wear love people around us will be able to see His heart and His love displayed through us. Love is not just an emotion. It is a verb. It is an action. I want to love others and let my words reflect His goodness. If you have a friend who is going through a tough time, let them know that you love them. There is power in the words that we speak – and the more you see the hurt or brokenness in their hearts, the more we should tell them that we love them.

The world is hurting. Wear love, whether it be with your words, actions, or deeds. Love is the best accessory – it goes with everything!

 

Chels

 

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Stressed? Have some Scripture.

In times of transition and change, you can be sure that stress will show its ugly head. With it being back to school season, lots of changes are probably happening…

In times of transition and change, you can be sure that stress will show its ugly head. With it being back to school season, lots of changes are probably happening in your world. You may be moving away, changing schools, changing majors, changing roomates, changing jobs, or small changes may be adding up to one big ball of stress. When I feel like my world has gotten chaotic, I turn to the Bible to help me deal with it. Here are a few of my favorite stress-releiving scriptures.

  • James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
  • John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Romans 16:20 – The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
  • Colossians 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
  • Proverbs 12:25: Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
  • Psalm 23:4:  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  • Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
  • Psalm 94:19: When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
  • Luke 21:19: Stand firm, and you will win life.
  • Psalm 118:5-6 When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; He brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Hopefully these scriptures breathe relief, confidence, strength, and hopefulness into your heart as much as they do mine!

Chels

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For When You’re Feeling Low…

Whether you’re feeling lonely, anxious, depressed, or anything below average, you know that common feeling of a pit in your stomach and a head filled of wandering thoughts. These emotions…

Whether you’re feeling lonely, anxious, depressed, or anything below average, you know that common feeling of a pit in your stomach and a head filled of wandering thoughts. These emotions chip away at your happiness and make you start to believe the “what ifs” you’ve been telling yourself all along.

God never intended for us to feel sadness, anger, heartbreak, or any other negative emotion. But because we’re human, we feel all of these, sometimes separately and sometimes all at once. Although it may be rare to audibly hear the voice of God, we have the Bible which is the closest thing to it.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

It’s easy to let your mind take control. What’s harder is replacing those thoughts with those of which that are truly lovely and praiseworthy. There is so much power in positivity and thanksgiving, so make a conscious effort to trade your bad thoughts for happy thoughts like the Bible says to!

Psalm 34:17-18 says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Whether you have to read this every night or even make it your phone background, do it! Knowing that the Lord is close to us in our brokenness is something that’s so comforting and reassuring. He loves us in our sad times, in our dark times, and even in our rebellious times.

For the times you feel worthless, know that God thinks just the opposite. He sees you as his perfect child that he loves and cares for more than we can even comprehend. 2 Corinthians 6:18 says, “’And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

When God calls us his children, we need to fully understand what this means. God calls us his own, and he protects us, loves us, and extends his grace and mercy to us. What more could we possibly ask for?

Once again, we are human. It’s common to experience the feeling of sadness and loneliness more often than not.

Lean on HIM! Read deep into his word and feel the presence of God all around you. It’s okay to feel low and it’s okay to feel abandoned, but it’s not okay to let those thoughts take over.

Here’s a simple prayer you can pray to God when these feelings start to resurface. Say “Dear Lord, when feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and self-doubt creep into my heart, help me to see myself the way you do. Help me to recognize that I am your child, loved by you and perfect in your image.  Amen.”

Use this prayer when you need it and even when you don’t. It’s a perfect reminder of how God sees us through his eyes: his perfect, beautiful, wonderful creation.

– Chelsea

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The Burden of FOMO

FOMO… It’s an ever-so-real phrase that our generation made up that means the “fear of missing out.” Every heard of it? It’s something that’s so real that we’ve all experienced…

FOMO… It’s an ever-so-real phrase that our generation made up that means the “fear of missing out.” Every heard of it?

It’s something that’s so real that we’ve all experienced from time and time again. Especially being young in a culture that is all about FOMO, we want to take every opportunity to travel, hang out with friends, go on dates, etc., which is not always a bad thing. FOMO becomes a problem when it starts taking away the joy of the present.

Let’s look at a situation for example. Your friends are all hanging out and, because you don’t want to miss out, you drop what you’re doing to go join them. Even though you may not have the time or money to do so, you’re so worried about missing out that you forget to stop and actually think about it.

Obviously, that’s a milder example, but I’m sure you’ve been there multiple times! You probably experience FOMO on a harsher scale, which can be both exhausting and draining. You may even overthink and overanalyze the situation so much that FOMO isn’t your only problem anymore.

I read a quote that describes it perfectly: “Do not fear missing out at the expense of missing now. There is magic all around and joy inside. Do not be mindlessly chasing all shiny new things and miss what matters most – the appreciation, gratitude, and generosity in this very moment.”

We get so caught up in what we may be missing out that we forget to enjoy the moment we’re in now. It’s a cycle that never ends and it takes away the joy of the present.

What does the Bible say about enjoying the present? In the MSG version of Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, it says, “We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now…”  You can’t receive joy when your mind is so consumed with worry and thoughts of the “what ifs.”

God also commands us to rest. You don’t always need to be doing things that fill up your time 24/7. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

When we live our life waiting for tomorrow or worrying about missing out, we don’t get to experience this rest that God wants for our lives. Our bodies need rest! We need to take a day off every once in a while, even if that means potentially missing out in the end.

Although it’s good to be busy and to make time for things that are important, it’s also good to take time for yourself and for God. FOMO can take you away from the present, but we only have so much of it!

– Chelsea

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Those to Keep Around & Those to Let Go

Each year, people come and go within our lives. Some can be there to stay while others are temporary. Sometimes it’s hard to know who of which God placed in…

Each year, people come and go within our lives. Some can be there to stay while others are temporary. Sometimes it’s hard to know who of which God placed in our lives to be a friend or a lesson.

Oftentimes, we keep people around who hinder us from being the best versions of ourselves. They bring us down, pull us away from God, and make us question who we are and what we believe. We need to know the difference between these people and those of which that encourage, love, and support us. Here’s how you can use the Bible to you help tell the difference between the two!

Those to Keep Around:

When it comes to those you want and need in your life, God gives you hints throughout the Bible of who is best to surround yourselves with! In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, it says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are in the habit of doing.” Who in your life helps you be a better you? Who makes you feel confident, loved, and happy?

A lot of the time, we’re just as happy and joyful as the people we surround ourselves with. That’s why we should make a conscious effort to be around those that make us feel refreshed, instead of drained.

We also need to acknowledge who in our lives is a source of wisdom and sound advice for us to go to. Maybe that’s a parent for you or a best friend you’ve had for years. Maybe it’s a friend from church or an older relative. Whoever it may be, we need people to listen and give advice for the harder times in life. Sometimes it’s okay to admit we can’t do it alone.

Those to Let Go:

Whether we like to admit it or not, life is short. It’s too short to keep people in your life when they constantly bring you down or pull you away from God. God also touches on this in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” When you walk alongside people that you shouldn’t, you start to be affected whether you realize it or not.

This verse is similar to Proverbs 13:20. It says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” The Bible stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with wise, godly people. Why live your life alongside people who are constantly tearing you down and making you stumble in your walk with the Lord?

I know that it’s harder in different situations, but I also know that there’s nothing wrong with distancing yourself from the people that negatively affect you. Always extend forgiveness and show love, but also look out for yourself when you need to!

So, think about your life. How can you start surrounding yourself with people that love and encourage you? Don’t be afraid to take that step. Help shape a better you while helping those around you in the process!

– Chelsea

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5 Ways You Can Hear God’s Voice

God’s voice is hard to hear. It’s not a clear, loud voice that tells you exactly what you need to hear exactly when you need to hear it. It can…

God’s voice is hard to hear. It’s not a clear, loud voice that tells you exactly what you need to hear exactly when you need to hear it. It can be both frustrating and disappointing when you expect to hear from God and can’t seem to find him in the midst of your circumstances.

I realized I get let down when I put high expectations on God to give me answers as soon as I ask for them. I forget that God is always in perfect timing and it’s not my place to tell him when and when not to act in my life.

After diving deeper into God’s word, I realized there are so many ways you can hear God’s voice. Instead of sitting around waiting for God to speak to you, look closely at what the Bible says about hearing God’s voice, even if you’re not really hearing it at all.

God’s Word

Have you ever read a verse that described your exact situation or circumstance at the exact time you needed to hear it? These are some of the sweetest moments because we can see, on paper, God speaking to us through his word.  If you think it’s coincidental when you read something spot-on, it’s usually God’s doing. 🙂

His Still Small Voice

I’ve always heard of people hearing God’s still small voice but I never really knew how to listen for it. Have you ever taken the time to simply sit and dwell in the presence of God? Maybe you need to pray for open ears and an open heart to hear him speaking to you. Sometimes we have random thoughts and think, “what did that mean?” or “why would I even think that in the first place?” This is God speaking to you! Don’t overlook it.

Friends and Family

The good thing about having relationships with godly, wise people is that they can give you direction and guidance when you can’t seem to find it yourself. God uses people here on earth to be his messenger even when they don’t know he’s using them. Go to these people for wisdom and advice when you’re lacking guidance. 

His Creation

Have you ever looked around and been amazed by God’s creations all around you? Sometimes God sends us subtle messages in the sky, in the trees, through the birds. Sometimes something will remind you that everything’s going to be okay, even if that’s as simple as a sunny day or a bird flying above you.

Peace

Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In those moments when you’re stressed, anxious, or afraid, pray to God for his overwhelming peace. In the chaos of it all, God will give you a peace that calms you and fills you with comfort and security. It’s a peace that surrounds you so strongly that you can know whole-heartedly it’s from the Lord.

At the end of the day, don’t feel discouraged when you can’t hear God’s voice when you’ve been praying for it for so long. He could already be speaking to you, you just have to look for it in the not-so-obvious places!

– Chelsea

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Laziness: It’s a Spiritual Problem

Laziness is no stranger to most of us. Even the most productive people have little ways that they let themselves be lazy. I sometimes give myself little excuses to be…

Laziness is no stranger to most of us. Even the most productive people have little ways that they let themselves be lazy. I sometimes give myself little excuses to be lazy or procrastinate and justify it as ok. But, as I am learning, laziness is actually a spiritual problem. We don’t consciously decide to set aside the things we are responsible for or not use the gifts God has given us. We don’t decide to be lazy out of nowhere. So, why IS being lazy a spiritual problem?

Laziness offends God. Yes, offends him. Diligence is a spiritual discipline, and when we refuse to honor our responsibilities and chose our own pleasures over honoring God, we cannot expect the other areas of our lives to flourish. This isn’t God punishing us, it is our own fault. If we direct our spiritual focus towards our goals, that will positively affect our time management which will affect our attitude and accomplishments. When you align your goals with God, laziness has no room.

Also, we were made to work. Not to be workaholics, but to do good work for the glory of God.  When God says that we need a day of rest, don’t mistake rest for laziness. Rest rejuvenates us and revives us. Laziness, and avoiding our responsibilities and goals, does not bring us anywhere closer to the Lord. God is always working on our behalf, so we should also be working on His.

Are you lacking motivation or feeling restless or useless? Don’t just wait around for those feelings to flee, do something about it. Start doing a daily Bible study focusing on your areas of weakness. Pray that the Lord will use this time to reveal in you the things that need improvement. He will lead you through it. Consciously chose to do things that motivate you to avoid laziness like volunteering or becoming a mentor. Don’t give up when things get hard, because it is inevitable that we will all face tough times. As we are diligent in our obedience to work towards our goals and be more disciplined, our lives become so much more fulfilling. Remember this – “…let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9). Your season is coming! Or, you may be in it right now. Don’t give up and let laziness rule your life! You’re stronger than that.

Chels

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Without Rain, Nothing Grows.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be…

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

Have you ever heard the phrase “Without rain, nothing grows. Learn to embrace the storms in life.”? I don’t know about you, but when I am experiencing one of life’s storms, one of the last things I want to hear is “embrace it.” But, truthfully, that is what I should be doing. Why? Because the Bible clearly tells us that we will go through trials and suffer in this life. Every one of us. We have the choice to either be joyous or miserable during those times. I think I’ll take joy, please.

Trials will meet us at every stage of life, but they don’t last forever. God did not promise that this life will be easy, but He did promise to use the storms for good. He also promises to be our strength and our shield as we board up our windows and fight the monsoon. Just as Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore, my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.”

Your storm is not the end of the world. When you learn to accept the life that God has given you, your whole outlook transforms. Your life is unique, and it is beautiful. Having strength through the storms comes from accepting the life God has handed you and rooting your Faith in His plan. His plan for your life is better than the plan you have dreamed of. Once you accept that, you will find strength in it.

There will be days when you think that there is no way you can get up and face another day of rain. The storm is beating you down. But, you get up, and you live to fight another day. Do not give yourself a choice during your storm, just accept that it is happening and do what needs to be done. Consciously make an effort to choose joy instead of giving into misery. Because without rain, nothing grows.

Chels

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Pray and Then Prepare

Prayer is easy. Anyone can sit down, talk to God, and present all their requests to him. I know for me, it’s like he’s my friend that I get to…

Prayer is easy. Anyone can sit down, talk to God, and present all their requests to him. I know for me, it’s like he’s my friend that I get to talk to whenever I want, every single day.

Prayer is not the hard part. Praying with faith and then preparing for God’s answer is the part that we could all use a little bit of work on. (I know I could at least!)

There are several passages in the Bible that talk about how we should respond to prayer. I’ve taken notes on these verses and it’s filled my heart with contentment and peace!

1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

When we have confidence that God will deliver what we ask for, preparing for it is so much easier. It’s easy to spend your days with uncertainty and “what ifs,” but when you grasp the true confidence God wants for you, everything else falls into place.

When you ask your mom to do something, don’t you assume that she’s going to follow through with it? Why don’t you act the same way toward God? The Bible says over and over again that God is faithful and will always follow through with his promises.

Take a look at Mark 11:24. It says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” There’s not much we can do besides prepare our hearts and minds for whatever God is going to do in our lives. As long as we have a faith-filled mindset, God will move in the midst of it.

There’s something beautiful in knowing that God always fulfills his promises. When he says he tends to the requests of those who have confidence in him, he always has and he always will.

One of my favorite things to do is keep a prayer journal so I can reflect back on what I asked God for and see how faithful he has been both now and in the past.

Whatever you ask God for, you need to prepare for accordingly. If you ask for God to reveal something to you, expect him to do just that! Don’t be surprised when God answers your prayers, even when it’s different from what you were wanting or expecting.

Prepare for adaptability. Know that how God responds to your prayers is what’s best for you and your life. His answer may be confusing and leave you questioning what he is doing, but never lose sight of who God is and never underestimate his power.

How will you start preparing today? Take the first step by writing down the things you need to pray for. Then wait with patience and confidence, and get ready for the great things God is going to do in your life!

– Chelsea

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Trade Worry for Worship

I’ve said time and time again how worry and anxiety can take such a hold on your life. One second your filled with joy and peace and the next you…

I’ve said time and time again how worry and anxiety can take such a hold on your life. One second your filled with joy and peace and the next you feel a wave of worry rush over you.

Unfortunately, it’s something that really never goes away. The only way to stop it is to change your attitude and mindset toward it. I saw a quote on Pinterest that talked about trading worry for worship, and how big of a difference this small step can make in your life.

For example, if you can’t sleep at night because you’re anxious about tomorrow, change your thoughts to those of worship and praise. Thank God for the blessings in your life instead of questioning him for the things that are making you worrisome.

One of my favorite verses ever comes from the MSG version of the Bible. I think it’s so beautifully put and can be something we all forget so often in this world.

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 

When we keep company with the Lord, life gets a whole lot better. It may not necessarily get easier, but we learn how to deal with situations more freely and lightly like the verse says above.

If you let it, worry can fill every area of your mind. It can make you be anxious over things you’ve never even thought of or considered. I’ve dealt with this time and time again, and it can truly take you over if you let it. Although it doesn’t go away at the snap of a finger, there are ways to retrain your mind to think of praise and blessings instead of worries and worst-case scenarios.

Some of the biggest areas of my life where I find my thoughts wandering are school, relationships, the future, etc. Sound familiar?

When it comes to school, I try to revert my thoughts to praising God for my education and the friends I’ve met through it. When it comes to relationships, I trade my worry in for thankfulness for that person in my life. When it comes to the future, I thank God for the present and praise him for the people and situations I’ve been blessed with.

You will never truly silence worry until you replace it with something better. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Even the Bible says countless times to talk to God with thanksgiving. Praise him for all the goodness in your life. There is nothing too big or too small to lift up to him. Start today by changing your worry to worship!

– Chelsea

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My Sin Is Great, Your Love is Greater

We live in such a sinful world that we don’t even think about the sin surrounding us daily. Sin is such a part of our lives that half the time…

We live in such a sinful world that we don’t even think about the sin surrounding us daily. Sin is such a part of our lives that half the time we don’t even realize we’re doing anything wrong in the first place.

Think of the last time you gossiped or got angry with someone. You probably didn’t even consciously think about the fact that you could be sinning by doing so.

Although we’re not perfect, Jesus has given us the free, undeserving gift of forgiveness and mercy. We are sinful people living in a sinful world, yet there is so much love and grace in store for us.

There’s a song called What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship and there’s a line that I fell in love with the first time I heard it. The lyric says, “my sin was great, your love was greater,” and that has always stuck with me since I heard it. We often get so wrapped up in our own sin that we forget how powerful the love of God is.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Once you’ve been redeemed by Christ, you are no longer drowning in sin. You’re a new creation, made pure and perfect in his sight. We oftentimes beat ourselves up for the sins we’ve committed. I know I do at least! But knowing that I am forgiven and made blameless in his sight gives me the hope I need for the days to come.

Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Think about the significance of this verse. The east to the west is never ending. It goes on and on and never stops. God removes our sins from us and never thinks of them again. In Micah 7:19, it says, “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” To think our Heavenly Father forgets the wrongs we’ve done against him is amazing and something we are so undeserving of.

It’s natural to feel regret and pain for the things we’ve done in our life, but we can’t forget who our creator is. His love is so big and so wide, and he wants us to know the depth of his mercy and forgiveness.

If we don’t think God truly forgives us for what we’ve done in the past, then we don’t know who God is at all. Have faith and dive deeper into what is character really is. He is merciful, loving, caring, and perfect in all that he is.

I’ll leave you with a quote I found that gave me a peace over my heart. It says, “God is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Write this on your mirror, make this your phone background, put it on a sticky note on your dashboard. Read it and believe it. God’s love overcomes all sin, today and every day!

– Chelsea

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Sometimes It’s Not About the Answer, It’s About the Journey

I saw this quote the other day and it really resonated with me. It said “Sometimes it isn’t about the answer to prayer, sometimes it is more about what you…

I saw this quote the other day and it really resonated with me. It said “Sometimes it isn’t about the answer to prayer, sometimes it is more about what you learn while you are waiting for the answer.” I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, we focus so much on wanting an answer to our prayers that we miss what God is trying to teach us in the waiting.

Many times, he makes us wait years for answers. He makes us wait for healing that we have been about for years. He makes us wait to give us what our hearts desire, whether it be a spouse, a new job, a baby, a house, anything. He could answer our prayers that we have been praing for years in one tiny second. The longer they go unanswered, the more we question whether he even hears us. Maybe He is keeping you at the point you are at for a reason: to build your faith. God is not deaf to you prayers or blind to your needs. If he is making you wait, there is a good reason for it. So, what can we learn while we wait?

The first lesson is a lesson in humility. When I find myself being impatient, I remind myself that the Lord put me in this place. My life does not belong to myself, and God does not owe me anything. I am not the only person on the planet, and the earth does not revolve around me and my wants.

The second lesson is trust. You need to trust that God is 2 things: loving and powerful. The Lord is loving. He pours care and purpose into all He does. He is faithful to us now and will bring us blessings later. His timing is perfect. He owes us nothing, but has promised to give us all that we need. He is powerful. This means that nothing that is happening right now is a surprise to God. He is in charge and has everything under control. When we get anxious in our waiting, we must remember that.

In my life I have struggled with listening to God say “wait” and then going ahead and trying to find ways to accomplish my goals myself. This creates distance in our relationship with the Lord. He wants us to learn to put our demands to the side and wait. Some of the Bible’s greatest figures had to wait many many years for God’s promises to come to pass. Everything that happened in the waiting was used to prepare them for the blessings God had in store. We need to trust in His goodness today and His faithfulness tomorrow. Giving Him control brings our hearts closer to his.

Don’t give up just because you don’t see anything happening. “Wait on the Lord. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

Chels

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How to Pray for Those Who Have Hurt You

Why in the world would you want to pray for someone who has hurt you? When someone hurts me, that is definitely not my first reaction. We have all been…

Why in the world would you want to pray for someone who has hurt you? When someone hurts me, that is definitely not my first reaction. We have all been hurt, disrespected, shamed, disregarded, and taken advantage of. How does Jesus expect us to pray for the people who treat us this way?

We first need to realize that Jesus knows that it is difficult because He knows everything about us. You do not need to hide how you feel from Him. You can share everything with Him – your joys, concerns, disappointments, weaknesses, challenges, all of it. Think about all of the times you have hurt someone – both intentionally and unintentionally. Did you feel bad once you realized that you hurt them? Would it have comforted you to know that they were praying for you? Praying that Jesus forgives you and shows you the error of your ways? Pray that He grants you patience while he works in the heart of the other person. Pray that He gives you the grace to accept what has happened, and the perspective you need to move on. Pray that the other person is led to Him.

Praying for the person that hurt you allows you to see things through God’s eyes. You will be able to see them as a person who is much like you. You will also be able to see your own wrongdoing – whether it be not showing the other person grace, talking about them behind their back, or not forgiving them.

I am not saying any of this is easy. We can be so paralyzed by our feelings of hurt and frustration towards the other person that we cannot even think straight. In these situations, we should go to the Lord in prayer and ask for His comfort and thank him for his unconditional love. We should ask for His guidance through this incredibly tough time, and the strength to come out of it stronger.

We are all works in progress. The Lord does not expect us to easily forgive those who mistreat us – but He does expect us to forgive them in the end. The next time someone wrongs you, turn to Jesus first. He is there with comfort, healing, and understanding. All you have to do is ask for it. He knows a thing or two because He has seen a thing or two.

Chels

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The Importance of Knowing Scripture

Scripture is the closest thing we have to discovering God’s true identity and experiencing the story of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we forget how truly amazing the Bible actually is. Memorizing…

Scripture is the closest thing we have to discovering God’s true identity and experiencing the story of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we forget how truly amazing the Bible actually is.

Memorizing scripture was always something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do. I never understood the point of it and viewed it as a chore instead of a privilege. Knowing and memorizing scripture can benefit us in so many different ways! I’m learning little by little the importance of having verses memorized in my head to refer to whenever I need them.

Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

When we meditate on the Word, we learn more about who God is and how we can live a life holy and pleasing to Him. It’s good to know scripture that we can remember in time of temptation or in time of praise.

Another verse that talks about the benefits of knowing scripture is 2 Timothy 3:16. It says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”

A lot of times throughout life, we have to be ready to defend our faith and explain why we believe in what we do. Knowing scripture by heart is the perfect way of doing so. We can express the love of God through his Word to people who may not know it!  

Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

When I read the first part of this verse, the word “dwell” sticks out to me. Dwell means “to live or continue in a given condition or state.” If we want the message of Christ to continue to live in us, we have to meditate on it and make it a part of our lives! Then we can speak God’s word into the lives of those who need to hear it.

For example, if someone doesn’t know much about God or the Bible, we can have all of these amazing, God-breathed verses right at the tip of our tongue. Our words have so much more weight behind them when we are able to back them up.

It just takes a start of 5-10 minutes a day to meditate on the scriptures you want to learn. Try even writing them on notecards or in the notes app on your phone! All you have to do is start somewhere and get in the routine of doing so. I promise you, it will pay off! 🙂

– Chelsea

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When to Bite Your Tongue

How do you know when it’s time to keep your mouth shut and when it’s time to speak your mind? We walk such a fine line of wanting to say…

How do you know when it’s time to keep your mouth shut and when it’s time to speak your mind? We walk such a fine line of wanting to say what we truly want to say while still adhering to scripture and what God would want at the same time. There are five situations in which I find myself wanting to say what’s on my mind but knowing it’s best to bite my tongue!

When you are angry:

Being angry is the #1 reason that hurtful words are oftentimes said. The emotional buildup that comes from anger can lead to saying things you don’t even mean.

James 1:19-20 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” 

Slow to speak and slow to become angry. These are the two parts of the verse that we really need to pay attention to. We grew up with the phrase: “think before you speak,” and I think that’s still applicable to life today! Don’t let anger be a gateway to regret!

When you’re tempted to gossip: 

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Gossip is one of the easiest sins to fall into. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it! If you find yourself in a situation where you’re tempted to gossip, either remove yourself or think of a new topic to talk about. Let your conversations be full of encouragement and positivity!

When it’s time to listen:

Sometimes all a friend needs is for someone to listen to them instead of overbearing them with advice or trying to tell them what they’re doing is wrong. When was the last time someone sat and simply listened to you? We all need these moments, and it’s important to recognize when the people close to us need them, as well.

If your words will be hurtful:

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

If you know what you’re about to say may be hurtful, then stop and think: is this benefiting anyone? Sometimes it’s necessary to be honest and straightforward, but there can be a fine line between hurtful and truthful.

If your words don’t reflect the Lord:

As followers of Christ, people watch what we say and do whether we know they are or not. Our words and actions should reflect who Jesus is as our Lord and Savior.

Psalm 19:14 says, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

If you’re wondering if you should bite your tongue, think if Jesus would approve of what you’re about to say. Although we’ll never be perfect, we can take steps to ensure that our words are pleasing to the Lord!

Start today by creating positivity and encouragement around you by what you say. Use your words to lift people up instead of tear them down. It starts with one person to make a difference in the conversations you’re having daily! Stop tearing people down and start lifting people up, even if that means staying silent! 🙂

– Chelsea

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