Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Tag: faith

In Christ Alone…

In Christ alone… These three simple words hold more weight than I realize. These words are the power behind my strength, trust, faith, and so much more. There’s a song…

In Christ alone… These three simple words hold more weight than I realize. These words are the power behind my strength, trust, faith, and so much more.

There’s a song entitled “In Christ Alone” and it’s one of my all-time favorite worship songs to this day. It holds so much truth within it and is the perfect reminder of who God is for all of us. Here are a couple verses of the song:

In Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.”

Sometimes when I’m feeling scared, lonely, anxious, or discouraged, I repeat this verse in my head. The last verse, “Firm through the fiercest drought and storm,” is the sweetest reminder of how steadfast the Lord really is.

When we build our foundation on the Lord, it is firm, strong, and unchanging. He is our solid ground that gives us the foundation we need to make it through both the trails and triumphs that life brings us. When our foundation is weak and wavering, our thoughts, emotions, and actions follow suit.

Think of a house. If you build it on weak soil, it may last for a short amount of time. But after a while, the house will fall due to its dependency on what it’s build on. A strong foundation predicts firmness for the future no matter how strong the winds become. The same goes for our foundation. If we do not build ourselves on the Lord, our house will tumble!

In Christ alone, he willingly takes our fears, worries, sins, and anxieties and wipes them clean. He is the sole source of joy, peace, comfort, and so much more.

Ask yourself what other worldly things you seek to fill certain voids in your life. It’s easy to seek other things apart from the Lord when we’re surrounded by attractive, immediate satisfactory alternatives.

Pinpoint what those areas of your life are for you. Is it your relationship? Is it a busy schedule? Is it your social life? Take those areas of your life and ask God to help you navigate what to do next. You may realize that in school alone… your family alone… your friends alone… that is where you’re finding validation, satisfaction, and other things you should be seeking from God.

This week, journal about what the words “In Christ alone” mean to you. Do you find your worth in Christ alone? Do your worries and anxieties about the future disappear solely because of Christ? Then, journal what areas of your life you could give more willingly to the Lord. We’re all reluctant to give up control, but when we do, the outcome is always better.

In Christ and in Christ alone, what are you going to give God control of? Make a conscious effort to release the control you have on a situation so God can finish the job he started!

– Chelsea

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Our Lord Calms the Storm

God has a funny way of doing things. He has us walk through some of the hardest parts of our lives, only to become stronger and more dependent on him….

God has a funny way of doing things. He has us walk through some of the hardest parts of our lives, only to become stronger and more dependent on him.

I used to never understand why God would take us through these storms that leave us feeling defeated or discouraged, but God has a reason for everything. Have you ever heard of the phrase “you grow through what you go through?”

You grow through the challenges and hardships that shape the way you think, act, and even interact with others. I stand by the fact that God places us in and carries us through these situations that are uncomfortable and oftentimes even defeating.

John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

As we go through trials, it’s easy for them to consume us. We forget who has the situation in full control, guiding us through every step. In the verse above, it intentionally tells us that God has already overcome the world. Although we’ll have troubles and go through trials, God gives us peace. He gives us security, comfort, rest, and so much more.

If you think about the story of Jesus calming the storm, he asked Peter to put his faith in him and come out on the water. It wasn’t until he did so that the water was calm and still. Peter climbed out of the boat, took Jesus’s hand, and walked gracefully alongside him. The other people in the boat couldn’t believe their eyes. They even ridiculed Peter for the strength of his trust and faith in the Lord.

If you put yourself in Peter’s position, would you believe Jesus could really calm the storm?

I like to apply stories from the Bible to stories in my life today. When the waters are raging and the clouds are rolling in, do you put your full faith and trust in God or do you run the opposite direction? God blesses those that persevere through trials, just read the verse below. Things may not go as planned, but it’s how we react to those speed bumps that determine the strength of our faith.

James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

God not only blesses us when we depend on him through trials, he equipsus for them. He gives us the strength, perseverance, and guidance, we just have to be willing to listen to him and surrender control for Him to calm the storm.

Let our heavenly Father calm your storms, all it takes is a little faith. Once you put all your trust in the Lord, he gives you what you ask of him, whether that be peace, guidance, or for his will to be revealed to you. Be like Peter and step out of the boat, holding God’s hand every step of the way.

– Chelsea

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Getting What We Don’t Deserve

Have you ever taken a second to look back at the story of Jesus and really think about what that meant for our lives? Like really… I mean really… thought about…

Have you ever taken a second to look back at the story of Jesus and really think about what that meant for our lives? Like really… I mean really… thought about the impact of what Jesus did on the cross so many centuries ago?

That action on the cross meant so many things for us: forgiveness, grace, eternity, mercy, love, and so much more. In just one action, we got what we could never deserve: God’s endless grace for the things we’ve done and the sins we still have yet to commit.

Growing up in church, I heard the story of Jesus over and over again. Although I never forgot how amazing that story is, I started to forget to really process and meditate on that sacrifice God made. It’s not “just another story.” It’s a true story of God’s grace, love, and mercy. Three things that we receive but could never deserve!

I encourage you to sit down and re-read the story of Jesus’s life again, or read it for the first time if you haven’t. It’s good to remind yourself of what Jesus lost in order for us to gain eternal life and endless grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

This verse always brings me back down to earth. Nothing that we do will change God’s opinion of us. Like I mentioned above, his grace is endless. No matter how many times we sin or turn away from God, he loves us just the same.

Have you ever experienced grace like that? I try to wrap my head around it, but it’s hard to fathom how wide God’s love truly is.

I always put it into perspective from the situations I’ve experienced in my own life. When I find it hard to forgive someone, I think of how easily God forgives me. I can’t hold a grudge or decide not to extend forgiveness when our heavenly Father gives us his grace constantly.

 Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 God’s perfect gift is free. We did nothing to earn or deserve it, but he willingly and graciously gives us the gift of eternal life and so much more. This verse gives me a sense of peace and freedom because his grace is always constant, never fading and never changing.

I encourage you to remind yourself frequently of the story of Jesus and what that means for you and your life. Maybe sit down today and read it through. It’s a story of endless love, redeeming grace, and selfless sacrifice. Jesus is the same today as he is tomorrow, and the tomorrows after that. Remind yourself of the gift we don’t deserve, yet get to receive every single day!

– Chelsea

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5 Hints that God is Changing Your Course

If there’s one thing I know about God, it’s that he always knows what’s best for us. If we’re headed down the wrong path, he always put us back on…

If there’s one thing I know about God, it’s that he always knows what’s best for us. If we’re headed down the wrong path, he always put us back on the right one.

When God wants to change our course, he hints at us softly. I’ve learned a few different ways he does this, we just have to be looking for them.

  1. Your gut feeling.

This may be obvious, but your gut feeling can actually tell you a lot about a situation you’re in. Does it feel off? Do you constantly look for the negatives?

Take a relationship for example. If you find yourself consistently searching for red flags or “signs” to break up with that person, then maybe that’s a sign in itself. You can tell a lot about a situation from simply how you’re feeling. This may be one of the small, subtle ways that God is trying to hint at you that maybe you’re not where you’re supposed to be.

2. Rejection

 This is one of God’s more blatant ways of telling us no. Maybe it’s a job rejection, a date rejection, a college rejection letter… Whatever it may be, always remember that everything happens for a reason: HIS reason! 

  1. A constant thought.

A reoccurring thought can mean more than you think. Those thoughts can be God whispering to you time and time again. Isaiah 30:21 says, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”Take these consistent thoughts and pray over them. God will tell you the way to walk in!

  1. Confirmation from others.

Not just confirmation from anyone, but good, godly counsel are the people you want to seek advice from. Maybe a close friend or family member you look up to is trying to give you sound guidance that is different than what you’re currently pursuing. Again, pray about it and ask God to reveal his plan to you piece by piece!

Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” He may do this through good counsel! Be eager to listen to those you seek advice from.

  1. A change of interest.

 Sometimes, changing your course could mean a simple change of interest. I’ve had friends apply for schools and jobs and suddenly realize that that’s not where they want to be. Don’t ignore these feelings! They can be so clear and extremely meaningful. Why continue down a path you’re no longer interested in?

Pay attention to these quiet hints God is giving you! Pray over each and every one of them and change your course as God is calling you.

– Chelsea

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Must-Have Items for Pursuing the Lord

You can develop a relationship with the Lord starting any time, any day. Building a relationship with God is one of the most amazing things that he desires for each…

You can develop a relationship with the Lord starting any time, any day. Building a relationship with God is one of the most amazing things that he desires for each and every one of us.

As I began diving deeper and deeper into my walk with God, I would try different books, journals, devotionals, etc. that would help me do so. Through all the different things I collected, I found that some items aided in my relationship with God tremendously and wanted to share them with you!

A Bible.

First and foremost, you’ll need a Bible that suits your style. For me, I like journaling Bibles where I can write little notes and comments next to certain verses. It helps me remember what I’ve read and allows me to meditate on it. There are also study Bibles that provide further information on certain topics, stories, verses, etc. that can help clarify what it means!

With all of the different types of Bibles, you can find one that is easiest for you to read and understand. There are lots of styles of Bibles out there, so pick the version and type that will work best for you!

A prayer journal.

Prayer journals give you a place to write down anything you may be feeling and refer back to it in the future. I prayer journal on all occasions, when I’m feeling thankful, sad, frustrated, lost… Writing out my feelings is not only therapeutic, but helps me collect my thoughts and calm me down. My favorite thing to do is to go back and read what I’ve written in the past and see what God has done in my life!

A daily devotional.

Having a set daily devotional will encourage you to stay on track as well as give you a dose of God’s word every single day! I realized it gave me a sense of accountability to make sure I spent even as little as five minutes with God. Figure out what time of the day works best for your schedule and stick with it! I suggest first thing in the morning to start your day off on the right foot. Set your alarm for 10-20 minutes earlier than you normally would, and see how that small amount of time can impact your day and attitude!

Topic-specific books. 

As you grow in your relationship with the Lord, you may begin having questions and curiosities about certain parts of the Bible. It’s completely normal to start wondering beyond the surface level. There are many books that will help you dive deeper into whatever topic you may be curious about! Jump in and discover all there is to know about God and his Word.

I encourage you to buy these items and get on track for an amazing relationship with God. We are fortunate enough to have so many resources to grow closer to him, so take advantage of them and start today! 🙂

– Chelsea

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His Will. His Way. My Faith.

I was reading online and saw these exact six words: His will. His way. My faith. My mind kept coming back to this phrase again, and again, and again. It’s…

I was reading online and saw these exact six words: His will. His way. My faith. My mind kept coming back to this phrase again, and again, and again.

It’s easy to forget whose hands our plans are in. We look everywhere for answers, but fail to look to the one who already has our plans figured out.

God knows what the future holds. His will and his way are already decided. It’s the strength of our faith that is one of the most important parts of the equation. Without trust and hope in God’s will, then how can we allow God to work through our lives?

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Verses like the one above make me want to trust God more and more with the plans he has for me. His plans are always to prosper us and it says so right in Jeremiah 29:11. These types of verses make my anxiety go down, and my faith and trust in the future go up.

Would it be easier to trust God’s will for your life if he gave you hints along the way? Or if you could sit down and have an actual conversation with God, what would you want to know about the days to come? I always think about these types of questions or scenarios when it comes to the future.

The thing is, God already gives us hints throughout the Bible and within our day-to-day lives. Do you listen for his still, small voice? You can actually hear God’s voice if you listen for it! There are too many times when God tries to give us hints on where to go next, but we’re too busy or worrisome to hear him.

I know it can be hard to have faith not knowing where God’s taking you yet, but God will help you through it! I encourage you to journal all your feelings down in a prayer journal, whether they’re feelings of excitement, discomfort, or even frustration. Although God already knows what’s on your heart, he’ll give you peace and guidance if you just talk to him!

So, remember these six words: His will. His way. My faith. Repeat this phrase in your head when you’re having those repeated feelings of anxiety or fear.

As the Bible tells us, there is power in the name of Jesus! Call out to him instead of letting pride keep you from surrendering control. It’s always going to be his will and his way. Give him your faith and watch his perfect plan unfold!

– Chelsea

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3 Things to Prioritize as A Follower of Christ

Being a follower of Christ is not always easy. There are times when we have to put certain things above others, even when our own desires are completely the opposite….

Being a follower of Christ is not always easy. There are times when we have to put certain things above others, even when our own desires are completely the opposite.

Part of giving your life to Jesus is knowing that sacrifices will have to be made. You may not always want to sacrifice your time, sleep, independence, pride, etc., but God makes it clear in the Bible that following him will mean just that at times.

In Colossians 3:1-3 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

God asks us to prioritize certain things throughout the Bible. He commands us to leave our old ways behind and follow the path he created for us! Here are a few things to prioritize throughout your everyday walk with Christ.

Quiet, devoted time with God.

You may think that you spend enough time with God but do you really? I used to pray when I woke up and before I went to bed and think I gave God all the time I owed to him, but I was so wrong. He wants us to give up certain things, such as sleep, a Netflix episode, an extra half hour hanging with friends… to be able to devote to him.

I never understood the importance of this uninterrupted time in the Word until I really made it a priority. I realized not only did this time help me grow in my relationship with Christ, but it allowed me to learn more about who God is and what he expects of me as his disciple.

Sharing your faith.

1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…”

Although it may be awkward or uncomfortable, God commands us to share our faith and make disciples. It doesn’t always have to mean sharing your testimony or intentionally bringing up God in a conversation. It could be as simple as witnessing through your words and actions, and extending the love of Christ to those around you. Always be prepared to give the reason for your faith!

Godly desires over worldly desires.

This is something the Bible addresses time and time again throughout it. Taking up our cross and following Christ means that we are a new creation in Him. We no longer should satisfy the desires of our flesh, but satisfy the desires of the Lord. The more time we spend in the Word and in communication with God, the easier this becomes.

I challenge you to prioritize these three things this week. For only seven days, make a conscious effort to wake up early to spend time with God, start up a conversation with your friend about your faith, or say no to something that you know is sinful behavior. See how much you can grow in your relationship with God in just this short amount of time. Just one week can be the start of making these priorities a habit! I promise you, you won’t regret it. 🙂

Love, Chels

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Advice for An Overflowing Relationship with God

We all want that overflowing, abounding, “on fire for the gospel” type of relationship with God. The type of mutual love that not only God has for us, but we…

We all want that overflowing, abounding, “on fire for the gospel” type of relationship with God. The type of mutual love that not only God has for us, but we have for him.

Like every relationship, it requires work. I like to treat my relationship with God as if he were one of my best friends. He’s the first person you want to run to, talk to, vent to… You have to make time for him and be open and honest with him in order for you to grow in your relationship!

There’s a ton of advice I’ve learned to follow to gain this overflowing relationship with the Lord. It’s been so beneficial for me, so I wanted to share it with you all, as well!

There’s a difference between simply reading the Bible and really studying the Bible. How often does your mind wander and you realize you weren’t even paying attention to what you were reading in the first place?

I know for me, this used to happen all the time. But then I began to journal about what I was reading, write down prayer points that came to me, etc. These small changes will help you fully understand what you’re reading and allow you to get closer to God! When we’re reading and meditating on his word, we learn more about God and who our identity is in him!

Vulnerability and transparency are two concepts I’ve really come to know throughout this past year. To be transparent is to be completely open and honest with God. He already knows even the smallest details of each one of our lives, but he wants us to fully surrender and let him see the darkest parts of our hearts. To be vulnerable is to know that the possibility of feeling ashamed, guilty, or embarrassed exists.

These two words will make your relationship with God so much more intimate. It’s okay to be vulnerable when it comes to him. In fact, he wants you to let your walls down and open up. Practice transparency and vulnerability in these next few days when you’re talking to God and see how it changes your relationship with him.

There are a couple different verses that are the key to this overflowing relationship with God that we all desire. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” And Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The bottom line is: seek God first and everything else will follow. When we leave our old selves behind, we create our new selves with God.

When we make it a conscious effort to turn away from sin and seek faith, trust, grace, mercy, etc., we naturally fall more and more in love with the Lord.

I encourage you to let down your walls and allow God to see the real you, flaws and all. When we let go of our pride and selfishness, we fall into God’s love. He is always there waiting for you to take the first step!

– Chelsea

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Thy Will Be Done

“To pray ‘thy will be done’ I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.” – Elisabeth Elliot How many times have we recited the…

“To pray ‘thy will be done’ I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.” – Elisabeth Elliot

How many times have we recited the Lord’s Prayer and said the line, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” without even thinking about the gravity of those words?

Often, we use prayer to ask for things from God. Many times, when we need help, especially in desperate situations, God is the only one we can turn to. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is saying that prayer is less about asking God to give us our way and more about seeing God’s will done here on earth. Our worldly priorities and the priorities of heaven are in constant conflict. This means that prayer is about aligning our expectations to God’s purpose rather than asking God to conform to OUR expectations.

Jesus prayed “thy will be done” and was the only person – ever – to completely fulfill God’s will. Jesus did this for us. We can try to do God’s will, but not to earn His favor but to spread His goodness to the world. We listen to God’s word and obey his will because it is our joy, not because we think it will make God happy. This is what we were created for.

So what does it mean to pray “thy will be done”? One thing it represents is asking God to come into our cities, government, culture, and homes and defeat every kind of evil. He calls us to desire to see our world looking how God intended it. God’s will is for abundant joy and lasting peace. His will is to eradicate sin, evil, and death and wipe our slate clean through Jesus’s resurrection.

We are assets in this by surrendering to him and aligning our priorities with His. Using our prayers to ask for these things will accomplish His will and, in turn, answer many of our own prayers. And if not, He is still good.

Chels

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5 Biblical Ways to Show Love

One thing marriage has taught me is that there are many ways to show love – some easier than others. Showing love isnt always a physical action, many times it…

One thing marriage has taught me is that there are many ways to show love – some easier than others. Showing love isnt always a physical action, many times it is emotional and verbal. As a wife, I want to strive to “out-love” my husband every day. He does the same for me. The Bible is a great resource when it comes to advice on the best ways to show love to those we are closest to.

  1. Trust without doubting. “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7. Simply put, trusting your significant other – and showing them you do – is a clear expression of your love. They will know they have your full support and confidence in them. There is nothing better than feeling 100% trusted and supported in the decisions you are making.
  2. Let it go. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13-14. Forgiving and letting go is a beautiful way to show love to anyone, not just a significant other. Looking past the ways they’ve wronged you or hurt you is a clear act of love.
  3. Practice patience. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4. This is a big learning curve for any relationship. One of you may be a morning person and one a night owl, one may be always late and the other always on time, and many other little differences that can drive the other crazy. Being patient and learning to be flexible is a way to show love and that you are willing to adjust.
  4. Give selflessly. “Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!” Proverbs 21:26. One thing I try and give selflessly is my time. I feel like being sacrificial with this precious commodity shows tremendous love.
  5. Keep the complaining to yourself. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing,” Philippians 2:14. I have noticed that complaining just exasperates a situation. If you have a complaint, approach it in a loving way. Your man will be grateful for your gentle reminder rather than starting an argument.

Are there any lessons on love that God has been teaching you recently?

Chels

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Sharing Your Faith 101

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have….

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15

Sharing your faith can be both awkward and uncomfortable, while also being amazing and life-changing at the same time. I know sharing the gospel can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. When you truly understand the work you’re doing for the Lord, you’ll realize that God is changing hearts and moving mountains in the lives of those around you!

The above verse from 1 Peter talks about the preparation of sharing your faith. It’s so important to know what you would say if the opportunity presents itself.

A few years ago, I remember being caught by surprise when someone asked me my story and why I believe what I believe. After doing my best attempt to tell my story, I realized I could’ve told it much better if I would’ve known exactly what I wanted to say.

I read an article about the importance of preparing your testimony and the benefits of writing it out on paper. So that day, I sat down, grabbed my journal, and wrote out my testimony word-for-word. I was able to collect my thoughts and think of what I would want someone to know about my story if I were presented with that opportunity again. Now I can tell my testimony and include all the bits and pieces I wanted to originally! Always, always, always, be prepared!

I’ve realized that the more I talk about Christ to others, the less awkward and uncomfortable it becomes. It can be exciting, life-changing, and so much more!

Sharing our faith isn’t just something we can do but something we should do. Jesus commands us to as his children in Matthew 28:19-20. It says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

We are called to make disciples and spread the good news. Whether that’s in the form of sharing your testimony, praying with someone, or simply living your life like Jesus would, you’re still witnessing and being a light to those around you.

Set a goal for yourself this week. It could be as simple as sharing a few Bible verses with a friend who’s going through a hard time and needs to hear them! Or you could be even bolder and share your testimony with someone close to you. Whatever your goal may be, know that you’re carrying out God’s mission and doing the amazing work of the Lord!

Be bold. Be brave. And be courageous. Don’t let the devil trick you into keeping the good news to yourself. The story of Jesus is too incredible to not be shared!

– Chelsea

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Tithing… Why Do It?

Tithing is a difficult topic to talk about. For some reason, talking about money makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to approach it. If tithing is a hard…

Tithing is a difficult topic to talk about. For some reason, talking about money makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to approach it.

If tithing is a hard topic for you to fully grasp, I understand! No one likes the thought of giving away money, especially if we don’t understand the true reasoning behind it. Luckily, the Bible tells us the “why” behind giving money to the church and also helps eliminate some of the uncomfortable feelings that come along with it!

One big misconception with tithing is that if we give, we will get more in return. Although this isn’t always false, tithing is much more than simply giving to receive. It comes with so many more benefits that allow you to get closer to both God and the place you’re giving to.

I think 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 is the perfect passage to sum this up:

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Now, let’s break down what 2 Corinthians is really saying. When we give with a gracious heart, God will bless us abundantly. He sees when we so willingly give toward his kingdom with a joyful heart.

I think the middle part of this verse is so important. God doesn’t want us to give reluctantly or under compulsion. He wants us to give cheerfully, hoping that he will multiply our gift and take it further than we could’ve ever imagined.

Tithing also allows us to be involved in something much bigger than ourselves. It allows us to invest in our church, into missions, etc. We get to see our own money benefit others, which leaves us with an even more joyful and generous heart than before!

I think Jacob said it best in Genesis 28:20-22: If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God… And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Tithing results in the strengthening of our faith and the growth of our trust in Christ. If we know that God is always faithful, then we should trust him with our money and even our most prized possessions. Especially since HE is the reason we have these “prized” things to begin with!

I encourage you to set a financial goal. Day by day, week by week, month by month, build up to this goal until you reach it! It will benefit you in more ways than you could’ve ever imagined!

– Chelsea

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He Left the Ninety-Nine to Find You

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine” – Cory Asbury, “Reckless Love” Have you heard the parable of…

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine” – Cory Asbury, “Reckless Love”

Have you heard the parable of the lost sheep? It talks about how, if a shepherd has 100 sheep and one of them wanders off, he leaves the other 99 sheep and goes to find the lost one. “And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:12-14)”. Luke 15:7 goes on to say, “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”

This helps explain why God would leave the ninety-nine to find you. The ninety-nine have one another to support each other and to love and care for each other. God wouldn’t leave any of His people, even for a moment, if he didn’t think they could handle it. He has the confidence that they have the knowledge and know what to do. They aren’t lost, and if they do begin to wander, they have a support system to keep them on track. The one who wanders completely from the group is alone and has no one. If you are the lost one, He will come after you. Maybe you have been at a point in your life, or maybe you are there right now, where you feel your faith is thin and you have wandered from the path Christ meant for you.

If you are the “one” and not with the “ninety-nine”, I hope you see that there is nowhere you can go where God will not go to reach you. Just like the song “Reckless love” says, there’s literally no mountain he wont climb and wall he won’t kick down to come after you! His love will reach you wherever you are. He wants to bring you back to the flock and reconnect you with your family of believers. If you are one of the “ninety-nine”, God never really leaves you when he goes after the lost, He is with you always.

If it weren’t for the love of the Lord, we would all be like wandering sheep lost in the wilderness of life. Thank goodness for the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God!

Chels

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The Importance of Transparency

Transparency is the thing that makes us feel close to one another. It creates a sense of vulnerability and allows us to speak freely, without judgement or hesitation. Think of…

Transparency is the thing that makes us feel close to one another. It creates a sense of vulnerability and allows us to speak freely, without judgement or hesitation.

Think of the people you’re close to. Do you share with them the things that keep you up at night, make you jump for joy, or maybe give you aching anxiety? Do you allow them to be a listening ear when you can’t hold something in anymore?

When we allow transparency in the relationships in our lives, we feel closer and more connected. This holds true to our relationship with God, as well. When we hold back the things we’re scared of God knowing, we build a barrier between Him and us, that only gets bigger and bigger the more we close ourselves off from Him.

When I think of the word “transparent,” I remember one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

There is so much truth in just these two simple verses. Paul writes about being boastful in his weaknesses because these are the areas where Christ moves and works in his life.

We should all have the same mindset as Paul. Our weaknesses are what make us human. They’re the things that God so desperately wants us to bring to him and lay at the foot of the cross. For when we are weak and allow God to see our deepest places, then we are strong!

There are way too many times when vulnerability is confused as weakness. The world has shaped openness to be something that makes us seem like we’re falling apart or don’t have it all together.

But the truth is, transparency is what brings us together. When we can rely on someone we trust to rant to, vent to, talk to, confess to, etc., it benefits us in so many ways! We open the door for others to know it’s okay to be vulnerable, whether that be in their spiritual life or their everyday life.

Next time you sit down and talk to God, lay everything out on the table. Tell him how you’ve been struggling. Confess to Him the sins you’ve kept bottling up inside. God already knows everything there is to know about us anyways!

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel that God is preparing for you. When you go through a tough situation, talk to God. Be vulnerable, be transparent, be willing.

Like Paul said, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Start boasting about your weaknesses, and God will transform them into something amazing.

– Chelsea

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Practice the Pause

“When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.” I saw this short quote when I was scrolling through Instagram the…

When in doubt, pause.

When angry, pause.

When tired, pause.

When stressed, pause.

And when you pause, pray.”

I saw this short quote when I was scrolling through Instagram the other day. I almost scrolled passed it, but then the caption stuck out at me: “practice the pause.”

Practicing the pause is something I often forget to do. I react too quick, I jump to conclusions, I panic before knowledge of the whole situation… Any of these sound familiar?

Practicing the pause makes a world of a difference. It allows us to take the time to stay calm, relax, and talk to God. When we do this, we truly live out Psalm 46:10 which is “Be still and know that I am God.

When in doubt, pause. When we begin to lose faith, immediately get into communication with God. Pray for reassurance, pray for peace, pray for security… and all of these things will come to you. God never wants us to doubt his power over our lives. He has a perfect plan that is always for our good, whether we believe it at the time or not.

When angry, pause. This one is probably the most important. When we’re angry, it’s easy for us to quickly react without thinking. Take a deep breath, stop, and give yourself a chance to calm down. We should never react or make spur of the moment decisions when we’re mad. We should be clear-headed, calm, and controlled when we deal with tough situations or people.

When tired, pause. Let’s face it, we all get a little tired sometimes and could use a couple pauses throughout our day. Take a break from what you’re doing and spend a few minutes with God when you’re feeling overwhelmed, worn out, or beaten down. These few minutes with him can make the world of a difference.

When stressed, pause. If you let stress and anxiety take over your thoughts, it can fully consume you. When I become stressed or worried, I pause and immediately start counting my blessings. You can even write them down in a journal or in the notes section of your phone. This always helps change my mind from thoughts of worry to thoughts of praise.

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.”

In the midst of life’s pauses, remember this verse. God promises that if you come to him, you will find rest no matter the circumstances you’re in. What an amazing feeling of comfort he can provide us with through a simple passage!

Rest in God today and take advantage of your pauses. They will change the way you deal with doubt, anger, stress, and so much more!

– Chelsea

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Stronger Than Yesterday

“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…

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.” – Isaiah 40:31

True strength is easy to lack. We try to act like we have it all together, but at the end of the day, we are weak, broken, and hurting. It’s easy to let these thoughts and feelings take over our minds and start to believe what they’re telling us.

It seems like strength is something our generation forgets to pursue. Some of us are okay with feeling down or weak and put no work into feeling the opposite. God wants us to know our value, and he wants us to know the strength we can possess through him, his word, and our constant communication with him.

Like the verse in Isaiah says: those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. When we put our hope, trust, and faith in God, he gives us the power to keep on going.

Have you ever gone through a situation that makes you want to stay in bed all day? Or maybe your weakness shows in silence, and you shut yourself out from the world. Regardless of the situations you encounter, you can face them with a sense of confidence, according to the Bible.

Isaiah 40:29 says, He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” I’ve always heard the word “weary,” but when God uses it to describe us, I became more interested in what it actually meant.

The dictionary defines weary as “physically or mentally exhausted by hard work; fatigue; tired.” I could’ve guessed this would be the first definition, but the third meaning is what stuck out to me. Weary can also mean “impatient or dissatisfied with something.”

Think of the last time you’ve been impatient or dissatisfied, and remember the anger or sadness you felt. This is the same weakness God is talking about in the Bible. God uses these moments when we’re feeling sad and defeated and is waiting for us to come to him.

Psalm 72:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Cling to God when times get rough. We will always, always fail ourselves when we depend on anything other than him. This is something I’ve learned the hard way, time and time again.

There are things we can do daily that’ll make us stronger than the day before. Talk to God and be vulnerable about your weakness. When we surrender to him, we allow him to take control and do what he does best, and that’s carrying out the plan for our lives.  

 We can find strength in our weaknesses and throughout the hard times in our lives. Wave the white flag at God, and he will carry you through them all!

– Chelsea

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