“Perfected: God’s Best Reserved for You”

Perfected_Book_Cover__76267.1443461480.1280.1280Colorado is lovely today with a blanket of fresh snow.  It’s ideal weather for staying by the fireplace with a good book and a hot drink, and I have the perfect book for the occasion!  I’ve been enjoying “Perfected:  God’s Best Reserved for You” by Erynn Sprouse.

I’ve been looking forward to this book because I love Erynn’s mind.  She’s the brilliant creator and editor of Come Fill Your Cup, and every time I hear her speak I think, “I wish I had her brain.”  She is a real student of the Bible, but even more impressive is her ability to present what she has learned from her studies in a practical and interesting way.  This is exactly what she does in Perfected, which is a study of Hebrews.

Whether you’re ready for growth and challenge in your personal Bible study or you’re looking for a new book for your ladies’ Bible class, I highly recommend Perfected.  For that matter, I think it would be a great study for teen girls, too.  They love to be challenged!  This book is no light-weight.  Erynn goes deep into the Word (both Old and New Testament, which is appropriate for Hebrews) to help us understand one of the most pivotal books of the Bible.  Why is this an important study?  The answer can be found in one of Erynn’s own comments on Hebrews 5:11-14:

“Did you know that if one stops consuming meat for long enough,the stomach will stop producing the acids required for their digestion?  Similarly, when we fail to challenge ourselves in learning God’s word, we begin to find difficulty in understanding.”

Here are some of the things I love about Perfected:

  • Wonderful, engaging writing style
  • Erynn’s delightful sense of humor
  • Thorough teaching on subjects such as the purpose of miracles, the purpose of Jesus’s suffering, and the possibility of falling away
  • Interesting illustrations for easier understanding of the text
  • Suggestions for Bible-marking in every chapter (yay!)
  • “Side Studies” sprinkled throughout
  • Variety of interactive opportunities, like thought-provoking questions, fill-in-the-blanks, charts, and outlines

Each chapter is noteworthy, but I particularly appreciated a couple of them.  Chapter three (“Confidence Required”) is about the hope and assurance we can have as heirs of God’s promise.  It is faith-building, comforting, and oh so needed in a world of doubt and insecurity.  Chapter five (“Beware of Complacency”) is a real eye-opener.  See for yourself:

“Failure to grow doesn’t just lead to falling away; failure to grow is falling away.  Take a moment to absorb that thought and reflect on your own spiritual life.  Are you growing?  Where are you now as compared to a year ago?  Are you stronger?  More able to resist temptation?  Bolder in proclaiming the faith?  Less anxious and more trusting of God? More apt to pray than worry?  If not, then you need to heed this warning!”

Erynn then includes a list to make it easier for personal introspection in areas of spiritual growth.  You will also enjoy the last chapter (“Tips on How to Run”), which includes several  suggestions and assignments for growth in the areas of hospitality, marriage, Christian sacrifice, and a renewed appreciation for the magnificent God we serve.

Thanks to Erynn’s hard work, I now have a greater understanding of the life-changing truths found in the book of Hebrews.  I also have a new Bible and can’t wait to mark up the pristine pages of Hebrews with Erynn’s Bible-marking suggestions!

Perfected:  God’s Best Reserved for You is a brand new book by Kaio Publications, Inc., and can be found here.



An Exercise for Our Christian Walk

Christians are to “walk in the Light” (1 John 1:7), “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16), and “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10).   How can we make that real and personal?  Here is an activity that can help accomplish that.  It’s a simple activity to work on with your children, to discuss with a group of teens or in ladies’ Bible class, and to incorporate into your own daily to-do list.  It’s a practical way to help us take our Christianity from the generic to the specific.

Brainstorm:  List some verbs that are a part of Christianity.

LOVE (Col. 3:14)

SERVE (John 12:26)

GIVE (Acts 20:35)

SACRIFICE (Rom. 12:1)

FORGIVE (Matt. 6:14)

GROW (Eph. 4:15)

TEACH (Matt. 28:19, 20; Tit. 2:3)

CONFESS (1 John 1:9)


Perform:  Next to each word, write down how you (personally) can fulfill that command.  Be specific.  Serve whom?  How?  Sacrifice what?  Forgive whom?  Grow how?  Teach whom?  When?

This would be a great exercise (for personal reflection or for family devotionals) to do every first day of the week.  For extra study, find as many Scriptures as you can that teach about each command.  For instance, some verses talk about loving and serving God while others talk about loving and serving others.  This activity can help us take some of these big, general concepts and make them personal and real.  It’s one way we can intentionally walk in the Light.


Sin is Gross

For the past week, my family has been taking turns with the stomach virus.  Carl the Culprit brought it into our home a week ago.  A couple of days later, Gary got it and ended up in the E.R.  48 hours later, Neal and I stayed up all night with it (not the most romantic thing we’ve done together).  Dale got it the next day.  That’s all of us, so we should’ve been in the clear.  But then at 3:00 this morning, Carl was in the bathroom being sick again.  And literally, as I type this, I can hear Dale getting sick.  He just said, “I didn’t get it all in the bowl….”

I thought we were supposed to be immune once we already had it?!  I now know that this monster virus comes from a persistent germ.  You have to use a bleach-based cleaner to get rid of it.  Neal hates the smell of bleach so I’ve been using other cleaning products and disinfectant spray.  I also learned that you’re contagious for three to seven days after you feel better.  We are a household of cootie carriers, surrounded by germs, and I hate seeing my big strapping teenagers doubled over in pain.  This week alone we’ve missed or will miss Teens in the Word, Wednesday Bible class, tonight’s soup and singing, and Sunday’s worship and Teacher Appreciation dinner.   This virus has become the enemy and I want it out of my house.

I can’t help but make the analogy:

  • Sin is pervasive- Isa. 1:4-6
  • Sin is “crouching at the door; and it’s desire is for you, but you must master it”– Gen. 4:7
  • Those who engage in willful sin miss out on the Good Life– Gal. 5:19-21
  • It’s possible for sin to rule over us– Psa. 19:13
  • The cords of sin hold us down– Prov. 5:22
  • Sin is described as an “unclean,” “filthy,” “withering,” “powerful” thing that “takes us away”- Isa. 64:5-7
  • Sin separates us from God– Isa. 59:2
  • Sin is contagious– 1 Cor. 15:33
  • Sin can only be removed by the blood of Christ– Rom. 6:1-18; 1 John 1:7-9

We all struggle with it and I’m thankful for God’s grace in covering it, but may we never gloss over it.  Sin is sin.  It’s contaminating, poisonous, and can take down loved ones.  It has lingering effects.  It makes us weak.  The world may embrace it or rename it, but let’s always see it the way God does.  May even the thought of sin cause us to shudder with revulsion.  Let’s want nothing to do with it (not sinners, but sin itself). Let’s determine to keep it out of our homes.  Jesus suffered for it, and that alone makes it vile.



Out of Control

I just watched my youngest son almost get into an accident.  It is an overcast, rainy afternoon and Carl was driving behind me.  I glanced in the rearview mirror to check on him and, to my horror, he was no longer on the road.  Carl hydroplaned while pulling out onto the street and lost control of the car.  When I saw him, he was on the sidewalk on the far side of the road about to hit a pole.  He swerved out of the way which threw him back into the street.  For the longest half minute of my life, I watched Carl try to right the car as he jerkily swerved back and forth from one lane to the other.  There was traffic both ways and I thought, “My baby is going to die.”  I heard myself screaming, “Caaaaarl!”

My hands are still shaking as I type this.  I apologize for the drama of this post, but I wanted to write while the feelings are still fresh.  Thankfully, all traffic was able to move off the road to avoid hitting Carl.  Thankfully, he was able to finally gain control and pull over into a parking lot.  I have never felt more helpless than I did as I watched my “baby” fight for his life.

So now I’m overwhelmed with fear.  I never ever, never ever (NEVER) want Carl to drive again.  How am I supposed to keep from replaying that scene in my mind the next time he gets behind the wheel?

Somehow my guys aren’t nearly as shaken up.  I drove straight to Neal’s office and sobbed on his shoulder.  I said, “Carl could’ve been killed!”  Neal said, “But he wasn’t.”  I told Carl I had just finished praying for God to keep him safe when I saw him lose control of the car.  He said, “And He did.”  While I was shaking from head to toe and imagining what could have happened, Carl said, “I’m glad Dad’s car is okay!”

The truth of the matter is that it was probably a good thing ultimately.  Carl just gained some valuable experience with driving, rain, hydroplaning, and overcorrecting.  He’ll be better prepared if he’s ever in that kind of situation again.  My mind knows that but my heart is protesting.

Honestly, this has been the hardest part of parenting for me.  Losing control.  My sons are grown and nearly grown.  I’m watching them make decisions, make mistakes, sin, or flounder around as they try to figure out their own lives.  What I want to do is have complete control again. They could get hurt!  But I know they’re growing and gaining valuable experience.  I know that they are capable and good.  I also know that while they will never stop being my sons, they really belong to their heavenly Father.  And He is always in perfect control.

“I know that You can do everything,

and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2).


Photo cred: Carl Pollard (I look like my grandpa in this pic)

Getting Back to Hospitality

If getting back to homey hospitality is a desire of yours, then I understand how you feel.  When it comes to relationships, nothing compares to having someone in your home.  Yes, we can go out to eat and still get to know one another, but there’s something special about being in someone’s home.  Your smile is a little wider and warmer the next time you see each other.

So what’s the hangup?  We’re just busy, busy, busy.  Even “stay-at-home” moms are starting to feel like real time at home is a luxury.  How can we get back to the joys of hospitality?

Make It a Priority

We’re always trying to squeeze in oooooone more thing– exercise, a Bible study with someone, a child’s extracurricular activity.  But just like anything else, if hospitality is important to us, we’ll make it work.  If our life is too busy to have anyone over, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate our schedule.  Is there anything we’re doing that hospitality should take a priority over?  Some say they don’t want to take away from family time, but being hospitable can be a very good family activity.

Drop the Excuses

They’re easy to come up with.  It’s been a rough week.  We need some down time.  The house is a wreck.  I could name some women whose homes are always open to visitors, guest preachers, members, friends, and students.  Is it because they’re not as busy as I am?  Ha…most are even busier!  One family is experiencing painful hardships yet still opens their hearts by opening their home.  Excuses may make us feel better temporarily but the blessings of hospitality have a much longer and happier impact.

Remember What Hospitality Is

A beautifully set table and a home cooked meal are lovely, but hospitality is so much more than that.  It’s about serving others by making them feel loved.  It’s about building relationships by talking, laughing, and praying together.  It’s about being a good steward by using your home to bless others.  These goals of hospitality can be accomplished with simple sandwiches or a store bought pie and coffee.

Moms, being hospitable to your children’s friends counts.

Be Prepared

Regret comes when I know I should offer my home for a meal or a bed but I don’t because I’m just not ready.  With some forethought and a little effort, we can be prepared to seize opportunities to show Christ’s love.

  • Keep easy meals on hand, like spaghetti and sauce, cookie dough, etc.
  • Some clean sheets/ blankets nearby make it easy to offer a warm bed.
  • Store convenient cleaning wipes in the bathroom to shine things up real quick.
  • Pray for a heart that is willing to be inconvenienced.

Don’t Wait for a More Convenient Time

Just begin.  Here are some ideas.  See if any of them seem worth trying:

  • When your next gospel meeting, lectureship, ladies’ day, or whatever comes up, let the ones in charge know you’re willing to house speakers or visitors.
  • Commit one night every other week to having people over for dessert and coffee.
  • Invite different families over on Sunday nights for sandwiches and singing.
  • Challenge yourself to have enough food prepared for Sunday lunch so you can invite others to join you. What a thrill to be able to look around and find someone to invite into your home on Sunday!  It just enhances the idea that the very first day of the week is the Lord’s day.
  • Look through your church directory and see if there’s a demographic you don’t know as well (singles, elderly, young people, etc.).  If you’re having close friends over, invite others as well.
  • Be sure to include people that don’t like you, people that you’re having a hard time liking, or people with whom you have unpleasant history.  God can work wonders through hospitality and humility.
  • Don’t forget your neighbors and co-workers.

“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Pet. 4:9).  “Be kindly affectionate to one another in brother love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord…distributing to the needs of the saints, giving to hospitality” (Rom. 12:10-13).  It’s possible to get into the habit of hospitality!

Image credit:  Michael Hite

Image credit: Michael Hite

God’s Wonderful People

Last night after dinner, Neal explained to his cousin, Naomi, that we have never lived close to our families, and that he would’ve liked our sons to have had more opportunities to be with their grandparents and other family members.  Naomi replied, “But you’ve had your church family.”

Oh yes, we have had our church family!  Whether in AL, VA, or CO, we’ve had brothers and sisters and role models and friends.  When we were young newlyweds and then new parents, we had couples take us under their wing and act as our own parents would.  Our boys have had adopted grandparents and mentors.  What a treasured blessing!  But that’s just one aspect of the beauty of the Lord’s church.  Consider some other blessings of being in God’s Family:

  • Continual support and encouragement (Heb. 10:24,25)
  • The much sought after feeling of belonging and community (Eph. 2:19)
  • Being with people who try to treat others with love, honor, and respect (Rom. 12:10)
  • Available help in time of need (Rom. 12:13)
  • Never having to suffer alone (Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 12:26)
  • A feeling of usefulness and purpose (1 Cor. 12:14-25)
  • Togetherness, devotion (Acts 2:42-47)
  • Fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)
  • Always having family (1 Tim. 5:1,2)
  • Being loved even when unlovable (John 13:34,35)
  • Being in God’s household (Eph. 2:19-22)
  • Pure and sincere love (1 Pet. 1:22)

Sometimes relationships in physical families are severed for various reasons.  Or sometimes it’s just not possible to be with our physical family as often as we’d like because they live so far away.  But God’s Family is God’s gift to us.  In God’s Family we always have loving relationships.

Sadly, some have not felt the love or sense of belonging in their church family.  If this is the case for you, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1.  Make sure you are doing your part to reach out, love, serve, and sacrifice for your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Sometimes we are quick to point out when others let us down but neglect to consider our own lack of involvement.  Maybe no one called you when you missed a service or two.  Before feeling indignant, do some soul-searching.  How many people did you call that week?  Focus on being an active, loving, giving member of your local congregation.
  2. Remember the church is worldwide.  Perhaps you worship with a small congregation and when experiencing a difficult situation you received little to no support (and maybe even received criticism or were the object of gossip).  In those cases, it helps to remember that the Lord’s family consists of more than just your local congregation.  There may be another one in the next town over.  You can find brothers and sisters (and their love and support) nearby and worldwide.  Look for strong, encouraging members and groups on Facebook.  Write letters of encouragement to stateside missionaries or those serving on foreign lands.  There are all kinds of ways to connect and serve in God’s Family.

God’s people are wonderful.  None of us are perfect, and we may even let each other down occasionally, but I’m thankful for this blessing of our dear church family.  I can’t help but think that if we each strive to be even more close and loving in the Lord’s church, those in the world around us will want to enjoy this blessing, too.

Photo credit:  Tracy Threlfall

Photo credit: Tracy Threlfall

There’s a Verse for That

I can tell it’s time for some personal spiritual growth.  I’ve found myself leaning toward comfort over outreach and control over trust.  I’ve allowed pride to reign more than once recently.  When my heart is battling the flesh (Rom. 8:5-8), I know it’s time to fill it with more of the Word.

  • “Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psa. 119:11).
  • Referring to the righteous…“The law of God is in his heart; his steps do not slip” (Psa. 37:31).
  • “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” (Psa. 40:8).

I need to be able to recall the perfect Law in each moment of temptation.  In order to resist the flesh, I need to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” by arming myself with the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:10-18).  I need to memorize more of the Word.

Neal recently said, “If there’s a struggle, a difficulty, a problem, a situation that arises in life, there’s a text for that. There’s somewhere that God has dealt with that–at least in principle.”  So here are a few verses to fight specific temptations that I’m going to work to treasure in my heart.  If you find yourself struggling with some of them, too, perhaps you’d like to memorize them with me. Good news for the not-so-young–I recently learned that our brains never lose the ability to memorize new things (but I still tried to choose verses that are short and to the point)!


“Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished” (Prov. 16:5).


“But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Rom. 14:10).


“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).


“He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly” (Prov. 14:29).


“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).


“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29).


“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Col. 3:23).


“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:16).


“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).


“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5).


“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).

Obviously there are many more fleshly temptations, but I tried to choose the ones that can so quickly sneak into our hearts.  If you can think of any others (and the verses that combat them), please share them with us!



One Simple Way to Find Balance

BALANCE– an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady; a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions

As I consider the various areas of my life as a Christian woman, I know I need to keep growing in all aspects (Eph. 4:15).  I need to nurture my relationship with God.  I need to take care of myself physically.  I need to work at being a better wife and mother.  I need to look for ways to reach the lost, help the needy, and encourage others.

Sometimes it’s a real challenge for me to feel “upright and steady” and to keep everything “in the correct proportions.”  I’ll do great at exercising and eating right but find myself neglecting personal Bible study.  I’ll put more concerted effort into my marriage, and then realize it’s been way too long since I’ve had someone in my home or invited someone to worship.   It’s like I forget certain areas while I’m focusing on other ones.

It could be that’s just how my mind works.  I have to write things down to remind myself to do them.  When it comes to finding balance in my Christian walk, I finally came up with the kind of list that actually works for me.  It’s all on one sheet, it’s easy, and it reminds me to “grow in all aspects.”

I’ve hesitated to share this list because I don’t want to give the impression that Christianity is a checklist of good deeds, and as long as I can check everything off my list, I can feel good about myself.  Truly, that’s not what this is about.  Christianity is putting God’s will first and allowing it to affect every area of my life.  But we are commanded to be soul-winners (Mark 16:15), to be benevolent (Matt. 25:34-46), to show hospitality (Rom. 12:13), and to encourage others (Heb. 10:24,25).  It just helps me personally to have a visual reminder of those areas so I can think about ways to live them out each day.

About the list:

  • The first half focuses on daily communication with the Father (Bible study and prayer).
  • The next section focuses on physical health.  I put tally marks down for each glass of water I drink and list the type of exercise I did.  At first I tried to include a space for a food journal, but a.) it took too long to record everything I ate (ha!), and b.) I find that if I’m exercising and drinking plenty of water each day, I end up eating better anyway.
  • Then there’s a place to list the three most prioritized things that need accomplished that day.
  • The final section is really what makes this list work for me.  It simply lists benevolence, hospitality, soul-winning, and encouragement.  It reminds me to do something that falls under one of those categories, and then I’ll write down next to it what I did (like sending a card, making a call or visit, having a family over, putting tracts in the car for distribution opportunities, etc.).  Because one of those areas comes more naturally to me than the others, this section also allows me to see when I’ve been neglecting the ones that push me out of my comfort zone.

To make it a little more fun and feminine, I printed the list off on a variety of pretty papers.  I can choose whichever print strikes my fancy each day.

You might find this list helpful, too (see below).  It’s plain and simple, mainly because I don’t know how to make it look cool and modern.  But you’re more than welcome to use it, and if you know how to make it more appealing, more efficient, or more practical, then please share!

Finding Balance List


Here is a revised list that was sent to me by a reader.  She gave me permission to share it here.  Thank you, Amy Ellis, for the cute and cool version!


*This post can also be found at ImageProxy.mvc

Never Good Enough

Some people are just hard to please.  No amount of effort is enough.  No task is done right.  Even thoughtful gestures or gifts are received in such a way as to let you know you fell short somehow.  Trying to please the hard-to-please person is wearying.  After a while, I don’t even want to try.

I wonder if some have this view of God.  They feel like they can never serve enough to please Him.  No sacrifice is great enough and no amount of effort will satisfy His demands.  This view of God is not biblical.  Yes, He wants us to be “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1).  Yes, He wants us to put Him first (Matt. 6:33).  And yes, He even wants us to strive to live as righteously as possible (Gal. 5:19-21).  But He is very pleased with our efforts to do just that.  How do I know?  Two words:  blood and grace.

Blood.  We’re all going to sin (Rom. 3:23).  Even the most faithful Christian will stumble (1 John 1:8).  Instead of being hard to please, God made it possible for us to still be pleasing to Him.  “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  We don’t have to worry about never being good enough because the God we serve is faithful and righteous to forgive.

Grace.  Day by day the blood of Christ is washing away my imperfections, and day by day the grace of God is strengthening my heart (Heb. 13:9).  Right after we’re told that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, we’re also told that we “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).  Instead of being hard to please, God has given us this beautiful gift (Eph. 2:8).  He gives this gift of grace to us in abundance (2 Pet. 1:2).  And He wants this grace to give us confidence, knowing that we can turn to Him for help at any time (Heb. 4:16).  Troy Woolery, a recent graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute, said, “When we’re lacking, grace fills in the gaps.”

“I’ll never be good enough.”  This sentiment causes some nonChristians to put off obeying the gospel because they feel they’ll never be able to measure up.  It causes some Christians to want to quit because they feel like they can never get it right.  Who wants the nonChristian to reject salvation?  Who wants the Christian to give up in despair?  It’s not God.  Instead of feeling like we can never be good enough, He wants us to know that He has made us more than enough.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

(Rom. 8:37)



Are Christians Your Favorite People?

Have you ever spent time around a couple or a family that ridiculed each other?  Whether it was under the guise of teasing or flat-out verbal lashing, you could feel the tension and contempt.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it.  I don’t like being around couples that mock each other in such a way as to make a point.  It makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t like being around families that have nothing but scorn for one another.  It makes me want to run away.  And it’s just so sad.  Where’s the love and respect?  What have they experienced together that created such bitterness?  It makes me shake my head.

May Christians never treat each other in such a way that our non-Christian friends shake their head.  The church is the household of God (Eph. 2:19), and we’re to treat each other brotherly, sisterly, fatherly (1 Tim. 5:1,2).  We’re to “love one another with brotherly affection” and “outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom. 12:10).  These aren’t just words to read but actions to put into practice!  How does the world SEE us loving and honoring fellow Christians?

In an effort to keep from being seen as harsh and judgmental, we’ve gotten good at extending grace to the worldly.  Let’s not neglect to extend grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ as well.  Instead of being quick to publicly point out what Christians are doing wrong or how they’ve let us down, shouldn’t we be working hard to show the world that fellow Christians are our favorite (John 13:34,35)?

I just don’t think that “fighting the good fight” means fighting each other.  In the same chapter, Paul warns against those who have an “unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction” (1 Tim. 6:4,5).  In the same chapter, Paul encourages us to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (v. 11).  That’s how we “fight the good fight of faith” (v. 12).  That’s how we “keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 14).

Because we have received grace, let’s freely extend grace to all, Christian and non-Christian alike.  Let’s draw the world to Christ by showing them something they’ll want to have for themselves.  I’m naturally drawn to couples and families that are kind and loving toward each other.  I want to be with them.  I want to learn from them and share in their joy.  What an opportunity we have as Christians to attract others to Christ by the way we honor, promote, love, and lift up each other!

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10, emphasis mine).

Thanks to Christa Bassett for the photo.

Thanks to Christa Bassett for the photo.