~ Abide! ~

1 John 15:4-9 ~ “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

Abide in Him! When I read this verse for the first time, it left me very confused. I didn’t quite understand what the word Abide meant because it had never been clearly defined for me, so I decided to do a little research in the Word to see what Christ says about abiding in Him. Abide means to “await, remain, dwell, continue, endure. Someone who will not leave the circumstances of which he finds himself – to take up permanent residence or to make ones self at home.” I have often heard this phrase used by women in the Christian community as a way to express rest, peace, or stillness. And something to be noticed is that abide is a verb; an action that must be performed or demonstrated. This word abide is in reference to a place, a time and/or a state or condition of being. To dwell in whatever circumstance one might be in, good or bad.

So how does one abide in Christ? Well, one thing to remember is that it is not about perfection. Living a life of righteousness and holiness every. single. day. is absolutely impossible for us to attain on our own. That is what Jesus was communicating in the scripture listed above. When you abide in Him, He will give you fruit. He will allow the fruit you bear to be bountiful and blessed. Just like He says in the verses, “…He who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit…” What fruit is He talking about here? The very fruit of the Spirit established in Galatians chapter 5. “…Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” We cannot and will not obtain these fruits unless we abide in Christ.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Okay, but that still does not answer the question of HOW one can abide in Jesus.” Let’s take a look at the writings of Paul in Philippians 3:8-9. “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” We must remember that the things of this world are truly not important. Money, success, beauty, fame, knowledge… It is absolutely worthless compared to the relationship we have with Christ. 

This is where I explain the “how?” question you have been asking. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:10. To abide in Jesus is to remain obedient to His commandments, and keeping His commands is in turn loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. We do this by our faith in Him, by prayer, and our devotion to reading the Word. We pursue, pray, and obey Him which allows us to abide through relationship. The evidence of our relationship is found in our fruits, and our fruits in Him. It is a never ending cycle that always, always, always points back to Christ.

I watched a sermon once about being disconnected from the vine (Christ) and I believe that this would be a good way to explain today’s topic. He starts off by describing a couple having a sweet moment while at church. They were sitting beside each other, listening to the lesson being taught, and he leans over and starts playing with her hair. Gently running his fingers through her beautiful, long hair. And from time to time, she would do the same; softly run her fingers through his hair, showing a sweet affection toward one another. To most people, hair is absolutely beautiful. You can touch it, play with it, admire it. So many people compliment on one anthers hair. The curls, the color, the thickness, shiny, soft, the scent is pleasant. Hair is an attractive, beautiful thing.

Now, the moment the hair is disconnected, it instantly becomes repulsive. You absolutely do not want to touch it in any way, shape or form. I believe the examples he used were seeing hair in the shower; you pour water all around to get it down the drain but you make sure it doesn’t touch you. You have a hair in your food, disgusting. God has instilled in us to see and perceive things that are connected as beautiful, and as soon as they become disconnected, they loose their beauty and become disgusting. Just like a flower. While planted, it is connected in the soil, the roots receive nutrients and you can see the connection allows for beauty and growth. As soon as the flower becomes uprooted and is disconnected from its source of life, it slowly begins to wither, sometimes even mold, becoming disgusting and unpleasant. 

All joking aside, Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches.” We are to be connected with Him, involved in a relationship that has a deep, real yearning for growth. When we abide in Him, there is beauty in the midst of pain, chaos and confusion. He is not only our savior but our provider. Abide! Be at peace with where He has you knowing that He is in control. Dwell in His presence even if things have made you confused or fearful. Continue to seek Him and what His will is for you, remaining obedient. Endure the suffering and temptation of the flesh, and run into His arms for protection. Abide! Abide! Abide! I pray this helps you all understand this verse a little more, because the Lord certainly used this to give me understanding. God bless you all!

 

~Chaya

~ Therefore, dear brothers… ~

Okay gentlemen, this one is for you. The last blog I posted went over the different characteristics of a Godly woman; today, I wanted to dive into the attributes of a man of God. This blog is not just strictly for men, I honestly believe as women, we should be looking for these traits when it comes time to find a spouse. But, like my last blog post, this is going to be geared towards men and how the Lord desires men to be. All of us have unique personalities and different traits, but God always remains the same, He remains constant, and a godly man will have the following characteristics because the Lord is within Him. So let’s get started!

No matter how godly a man or woman may be, we are each still desperately in need of a Savior. So, what does the Lord say about how men can be transformed into men of God? What does a man of God look like? Today, we will be discussing 6 characteristics of a man of God, and provisions from the Lord in order to accomplish these traits. Just like the women in the bible, there are many many godly men throughout scripture. Were any of them perfect? None of them but Jesus. They still failed, they still made mistakes, they still had sin in their lives. But they lead a life of repentance and remained focused on the Lord. We still fail, we still make mistakes and we still have sin present within our lives, but there is grace and there is forgiveness. God desires to see the hearts of men throughout the earth to turn to Him and serve Him wholeheartedly, reflecting His righteous character to the world.

1.) He both seeks & fears the Lord ~ In order to be a man of God, you must seek God and fear Him equally. I know that all of the men in the bible who were men of God, were actively seeking God and His will for them. Though they do not do this perfectly or without flaws, they did it often wholeheartedly and with a reverent fear for the Lord. You will not only be able to tell when someone is chasing after the Lord, but as an individual, you will see the Lord slowly and gently molding you, shaping you as you continue to seek Him.

  • Matthew 6:33 ~ “ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
  • Deuteronomy 4:29 ~ “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
  • Psalms 14:2 ~ “The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand any who seek God.”
  • Acts 17:27-28 ~ “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'”
  • 1 Kings 22:5 ~ “But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, ‘First seek the counsel of the Lord.'”

2.) He is a leader: a provider and a hard worker ~ This is a unique role that is divinely given by God and there is no arguing with it. Men are responsible for leading, protecting and providing for not only his wife, but his family. This does not mean that men can dictate every decision a woman makes, nor does it mean that they have her life figured out. It means that the Lord has given men the responsibility and opportunity to help lead in the way of righteousness. He has been given the ability to see the needs of those around him, and act on it by taking initiative. He will work hard, with diligence and efficiency. Let’s look at the role of leadership in men throughout the Word.

  • Joshua 24:15 ~ “ But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
  • Ecclesiastes 9:10 ~ “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
  • Ephesians 5:23 ~ “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”
  • Hebrews 6:10 ~ “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
  • 1 Corinthians 11:3 ~ “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
  • Titus 1:9 ~ “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
  • Galatians 6:9 ~ “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

3.) He is a man of action; pursuing & initiating ~ A man of God is not timid; he is a man of action, knowing that when the Lord says speak, he will speak. He is not afraid to initiate something, nor does he remain passive. He knows when to hold his tongue, and knows when it is necessary to take action. Often in relationships, you will see the woman make the “first move”, but it should be the other way around. The man needs to pray for guidance, then pursue and eventually initiate the first step. This is the type of trait that almost always coincides with leadership. You will see those characteristics go hand-in-hand quite often.

  • Philippians 3:13-14 ~ “ Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
  • Proverbs 14:23 ~ “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
  • James 2:17 ~ “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

4.) He receives his strength from Christ ~ Most, if not all, men want to be known as strong. Physically, mentally, spiritually… They want others to know that they can take care of themselves as well as protect others. I have seen, even in women, that the desire to be strong can often lead to an arrogant attitude which causes people to stumble in their walk with the Lord. But a man of God relies solely on the Lord for his strength and remembers that his strength is not his own, but of the Lord. Not only do they know where their strength comes from, but they know where to go when they are in need of strength. A godly man knows that he can turn to Lord in any circumstance and He will hear his prayers.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:58 ~ “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
  • 1 Peter 5:8-9 ~ “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 ~ “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
  • Joshua 1:9 ~ “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.”
  • Psalms 118:6 ~ “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
  • Proverbs 18:10 ~ “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
  • Luke 10:27 ~ “He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

5.) He keeps his heart pure and mind sharp ~ Now, I know personally that men are not the only ones who struggle with sexual temptation, and this definitely character trait is not restricted to sexual sin only. Something a godly man does is knows the boundaries the Lord has set in his life, and is actively avoiding any situations that may cause him to stumble. He will be intentional about what he watches, what he listens to, the environments he is in, and the people he is involved with. God has given him discernment and the ability to know what situations he should or should not be in. You can see that the heart of a godly man desires to focus on the Lord and actively guard his heart and mind against the attacks of the enemy. He will work hard to overcome temptations and strives to avoid lust.

  • Romans 8:6 ~ “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
  • Numbers 30:2 ~ “When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.”
  • Deuteronomy 8:3 ~ “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
  • Psalms 1:1-3 ~ “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
    or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
    and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”
  • Psalms 101:3 ~ “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.”
  • Matthew 5:28 ~ “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
  • 2 Timothy 2:22 ~ “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

6.) He is in constant prayer & is obedient to the Lord ~ There were so many godly men throughout the bible that were on fire for the Lord and passionate about prayer. Someone who comes to mind is David, whom is mentioned in the Old Testament book of Daniel. He prayed three times a day and risked his life because he was dedicated to prayer and being obedient. That is what a godly man does; he prays despite the impossible that may be laid before him, and he doesn’t just pray when things are bad, but in all circumstances. He is a prayer warrior! Not only is he in constant prayer, but he takes his faith and puts it into action. An example that I think most of us can relate to is a dirty car. We can look at it time and time again, and tell ourselves “I need to clean my car,” and then continue on our day like normal. The do-er is the one who says “I need to clean my car,” and then gets right to business. This is a cheap representation of someone obeying the Word rather than just believe it. A man of God is not just a talker, but he walks the talk.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
  • Matthew 5:16 ~ “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
  • Deuteronomy 8:3 ~ “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
  • Joshua 1:8 ~ “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.”
  • 1 John 5:14 ~ “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
  • Jeremiah 7:23 ~ “but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”
  • 1 Peter 1:14 ~ “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.”
  • Philippians 2:12 ~ “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”

As a woman, I was lead to pour through the Word and discover exactly what a godly man will look like. I pray that I may have the honor and privilege of one day becoming a wife, and I believe that it is good to know what godly standards I ought to set based upon the Word. And this goes for guys too! It is important to know the character traits of a woman of God. As said before, godly men are not perfect, not even close. They still fail, they continue to have sin, they make plenty of mistakes. But so do I. No matter how much we try to be men and women of God, we will still remain sinful in our flesh. Praise God for His grace and for His desire to have a deep relationship with us, despite our sin.

Both these blogs are not to put either men or women higher not lower than the other. We both plan very important roles and the Lord cherishes both, using them for His glory. I hope that this was used by the Spirit to give knowledge and to shed light on character traits that seem to be dying away in our society. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The characteristics mentioned in both blogs are not of this world. These traits will set you apart, and you will see by the fruits of others and in your own life; that you are a man or woman of God, imperfect, but deeply loved and in love with Christ. God bless!

~Chaya

~ “She is clothed in…” ~

Alright, this blog is for all my ladies who are seeking to find their identity in Christ and become women of God, strong in their faith. Maybe you are trying to find out what career God has in store for you; perhaps you want to know your spiritual gifts and how to apply them in your life. Possibly even evaluating yourself, heart and all, and finding what the Lord desires for you to improve on and what strengths you have. Well, if this is the case for you, you are in good company. Not only am I myself trying to find my identity in Christ, but I find that lately, I have been evaluating many aspects of myself, who I am now, and trying to allow the Holy Spirit to mold me into His image, while still retaining my individuality. Buckle up, this blog is going to be a roller coaster of enlightenment and scripture that I pray impacts you in ways only the Lord can accomplish.

What does a woman of God look like? The answer to this question is all throughout the Bible, not only in how we ought to be as women of God, but we also have incredible examples in the Word that the Lord uses to help teach us. Ruth & Naomi, Esther, Mary (Jesus’ mother) Elizabeth, Rachel, Martha…. The list goes on. All throughout Scripture, the Lord blesses and uses women in miraculous ways and He values them deeply. Now, this topic could be a series in and of itself, breaking down every characteristic of a Godly woman in depth, but I want to try and focus on the 6 main characteristics of a woman of God. Lamentations 3:40Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” Though we all have individual character traits and we all have our own individual personalities, the traits that make up a woman of God are constant, because they are influenced by the Lord. So let’s jump right into this!

1.) She must seek and fear the Lord ~ The first and most important thing to have as a woman of God is to have a reverent fear for the Lord, with a constant seeking and desire for more of Him. There is nothing more honorable than a woman who is diligently chasing after Christ, knowing that He is faithful and will provide for every need she has. Here are some verses that give meaning to seeking God first, above all other things.

  • Psalms 111:10 ~ “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”
  • Proverbs 1:7 ~ “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
  • 1 Samuel 12:24 ~ “But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”

2.) She is led by faith, not feelings ~ As women, we are naturally drawn to be more emotional and to allow our emotions to guide a lot of our thoughts, conversations, and decisions. God knows, He created us this way! And there is nothing wrong with having emotions or feelings, it is rather a gift from the Lord to be sensitive to the emotions of others and to know your feelings. But it is not honoring to the Lord to use our emotions as a leader for our actions. The Lord desires that we think and meditate on the Word rather than be led by our feelings. The bible touches on this subject as well, and though the verses do not say these things exactly, you can easily apply them to how you react to the way you feel in certain circumstances.

  • Proverbs 31:25-26 ~ “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
  • Psalms 112:7 ~ “They will have no fear of bad news their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord”
  • Jeremiah 17:7-8 ~ “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
  • Isaiah 26:3 ~ “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
  • Luke 1:45 ~ “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

3.) She knows her value and her worth in Christ ~ This is one that I really struggle with, and these verses are just as important for me to remember as anyone else. It is vital to be useful to the discipleship of Christ to know that you are valuable and that Christ cherishes you and your heart. As a woman myself, I know what it is like to want to know that you are valuable, that you are deeply loved and cared for, and that someone cherishes our hearts. Something that I am learning is that the only one who can and will love me, pursue me, and cherish me more than Christ can. We are so precious in His sight and He desires our hearts completely. Let’s look at what the Word says about our worth in Christ.

  • 1 Peter 3:4 ~ “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
  • Proverbs 31:10 ~ “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.”
  • Ephesians 2:10 ~ “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
  • Matthew 10:31 ~ “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
  • Jeremiah 31:3 ~ “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'”

4.) She is modest and knows that character comes before looks ~ In the society we live in today, it is so easy to get caught up in the deceitful lie that our looks are what makes us valuable. This is not the case. Our character is what the Lord looks at, our hearts are what He desires. We are to have a spirit of humility, of gentleness, of submission. If you read Galatians 5:22-23, it outlines the fruits of the Spirit, and the attributes that the Spirit will give us, such as gentleness and kindness.

  • Galatians 5:22-23 ~ “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
  • Proverbs 11:22 ~ “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”
  • 1 Peter 3:3-4 ~ “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
  • Romans 12:2 ~ “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
  • 1 Timothy 3:11 ~ “In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.”
  • 1 Peter 5:5 ~ “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

    ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'”

5.) She guards her body, as well as her heart & mind ~ Not only is modesty important but we also must remember to protect ourselves from sin and allow the Lord to lead our actions, thoughts and desires. The Lord desires that we do not take on the ways of the world by partaking in sin and allowing it to run our thoughts, but to arm ourselves against the schemes of the enemy. This includes the lies that society, especially the media, want you to believe. Our bodies are sacred and are not meant for anyone but our spouse to see and take pleasure in. Our hearts are precious and ought to avoid being tainted by the wickedness around us. Our minds are valuable we need to be protecting our thoughts, for the thoughts are what guide our actions. Take a look at what scripture says about being on our guard.

  • Proverbs 4:23 ~ “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ~ “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
  • Psalms 51:10 ~ “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
  • Matthew 6:22-23 ~ “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

6.) She is hard working and serves with gladness ~ A Godly woman takes care of her household and does it joyfully and with efficiency. We are to be care-takers, helpers. I know that many women now-a-days are so unrelenting when it comes to the feminist movement, and I do not want to get political here on this blog, but this is very important for women to understand, especially women who are following Christ, we are called to be helpers, not leaders. We are called and required by the Lord to be submissive. Now, being a strong-willed woman myself, I understand how hard it is for women to agree or follow this command, especially when the vast majority of men are not seeking God, making it hard to submit to someone like that. But I believe that every part of the bible is inspires by the Lord and we ought to follow it, and that included the things we may not agree with. So is it wrong for a woman to work? Absolutely not! But when you have children and a husband who is working to provide, it is our calling to raise those children, tend to the home, and support our husbands wholeheartedly.

  • Proverbs 31:11-19 ~ “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.”
  • Proverbs 31:31 ~ “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
  • Ecclesiastes 9:10 ~ “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
  • Deuteronomy 15:10 ~ “Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”
  • Hebrews 6:10 ~ “ God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
  • Acts 20:35 ~ “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Now I already know that there will be some women who read this and become offended because of some of the things send here, but unfortunately, I am not concerned about that. This is the living Word of God and it is truth, no matter how much this world wants to change it or get rid of it. These are just a few of the characteristics of a godly woman, and they are clearly laid out throughout scripture. When we are truly aspiring to be a woman seeking after God, these will become so much more valuable and the Lord will give you the strength you need in order to achieve these attributes. Ladies, I believe, as woman, we are very strong individuals. We also have a very special relationship with the Holy Spirit in that we are more sensitive and receptive to His influence. I do not believe we are any better or worse than men, and neither does the Lord. We are uniquely designed and differently created.

I pray that this blog was not only helpful, but that the Lord spoke through my words, through my fingers on this keyboard, and allowed the Spirit to convict us to be more like Him. He loves you, He desires your heart and He craves a deeper relationship with you. I am not writing this because I have obtained all these attributes by any means, that is most certainly not the case. I believe that, especially as sisters in Christ, we are to build one another up and hold one another accountable. I am bringing this to your attention because the Lord has brought it to my attention and has really been laying it on my heart to share the very thing He is working on within me. Humility, protecting my thoughts, knowing my value…These are all things He is changing within me so that I may be more like Him.

So how can we become women of God, founded in strength, grace, and dignity? The answer is always Jesus. Seek Him, know Him, trust Him. He is worthy of our ultimate praise, and He deserves our complete and total submission. I love you all and pray that my words, though may not have been the most pleasant, will be gently given through this blog and that this is used for the good and for the glory of the Lord. Please feel free to leave any comments regarding today’s blog, and let me know if you would like a series that goes even deeper into this topic. Also, stay tuned, I will be posting a blog that is regards to the attributes of a godly man. Have an amazing day, sisters, and know that I am praying for each of us to become molded into the image of the Lord. God bless!

~Chaya

~ Real, Real Love ~

Real love…. What does that mean to you? When you picture what true love looks like, what comes to mind? Everyone has different experiences with love and various examples of love, and for me, when I think of real love, I think of my amazing parents. Is their marriage perfect? No. Is it the perfect example of love? No. Do they know exactly how to love on another to the fullest capacity? Not exactly. But, their love for one another is action, it is intentional, and it is real. As much as I want to believe that their marriage and relationship is what love truly is, I also know that I have been given the perfect image of love and the exact definition of love… that is Jesus Christ.

Now there are many types of love and I would like to touch on the truest and purest form of love that God has given us. Each variation of love derives from Greek words used throughout scripture, and I will briefly touch on three of them, and then focus on the real, real love. I can absolutely take time to write separate blog posts about each, and may even do a four part series, but for now, I will put the main focus on one: Agape.

Storge (στοργή) ~ Affectionate love. This love is the kind of love between family or fellowship. It is usually instinctual or natural, and it is a very strong bond. You will often experience “storge” love between parents and children, and within the body of Christ. It is a love that has a strong foundation and is often times the “unbreakable bond” you feel between family.

Philia (φιλία) ~ Friendship/Brotherly love. When you experience a love for a close friend, this is the type of love used in that scenario. This form of love is rich and plentiful, and there are many examples of it throughout the bible. Jesus felt this towards His disciples, a close brotherly love. Best friends often display an affectionate and generous love and is rarely ever felt towards someone we don’t get along with. It is shared between like-minded people who find an overwhelming sense of joy in each others company and fellowship.

Eros (ɛrɒs) ~ Passionate/Intimate love. Found between a man and woman, often in marriage, it is a sexual desire or urge for an intimate display of love. This does not mean Eros is impure or sinful by any means. It often is one of the quickest ways for most people to find themselves in sin but that is not what God intended this form of love to be. There is an entire book in the bible dedicated to the blessings of sexual, or erotic, love which is Song of Solomon. The love between a husband and wife should be an erotic love, among other things. But something to know is that a relationship cannot survive on eros love alone.

Agape (ἀγάπη) ~ Sacrificial, divine love. This form of love is divinely inspired by the Lord and can only be given through the Holy Spirit. It is faithful, it is selfless, it is sacrificial. Agape puts others first, sacrificing pride and self-interest for the benefit of the other person. And what is the most beautiful thing about this love, is that Christ has this love for us, which is what prompted His willing sacrifice to take away our sins.

In regards to Agape, which is the main focus of this blog, I researched multiple verse throughout the Word and almost every verse that I saw dealt with agape love. 1 John 4:7 says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” The Greek translation of love is agape in this verse. Going back into 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Jesus is the perfect example of love; real love. Love is an action, and it needs to not be solely a feeling, but an intentional commitment that takes sacrifice and selflessness. This is what the focus of the blog is today, what love really is and should look like. And the Lord has given us multiple examples of what real love needs to be.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” The word love used in these verses translates to agape: selfless love, divine love, Godly love. As believers and followers of Christ, we are called to show love like this to everyone. That does not mean to be tolerant of sin, but to still love the sinner, because in reality, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Not one of us can stand before another and say that we are better because we sin differently. That is not love, and that does not glorify the Lord. 

Why am I talking about love this week? Because Valentines day is right around the corner and I believe that it is vital for the church to understand what real love is. It is not just a feeling, but it is the action. 1 John 3:18 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” If Jesus merely felt love toward us, it would not have meant what it does now. It would have been irrelevant and would not have changed anything. But since He loved us so deeply, with agape love, He acted upon His love and willingly gave up His life so that we may have life eternally. What a beautiful gift that we have been given. And we have this as an example of not only how truly loved we are, but how we are to love others as well.

I pray that this blog was not only informative, but that the Lord is using it to help you all understand what real love is. I will be looking out for comments about whether you all want to see a four part series strictly devoted to love and the 4 types of love described in this post. I would love to hear what you have to say. Thank you all for taking the time to read this! With Valentine’s Day coming up next week, I am sure that most of you will be celebrating it with your loved ones. I challenge you today to allow the focus of Valentine’s Day to be solely on agape love and how blessed we are to have a Lord who loves us unconditionally, sacrificially, and perfectly. Have a wonderful day everyone, and God bless!

 

~Chaya

My Top 3 Worship Songs for January 2018

I want to try and start doing monthly favorites with everyone. These posts will be very laid back and casual, but I know that I love when other people share songs they love with me, so I figured this would be a fun way to open up some conversation within the community. I hope you enjoy!

1.) Sovereign God ~ Skyhook. So the first song I wanted to share with you is by a band that is not as widely known as you’d expect. The band itself is a Christian Rock band, who have a separate genre strictly dedicated to worship. This song is amazing and I highly suggest taking a look at it! It is from their worship album “Pneuma: A Worship Project”. (Fun fact, the word Pneuma [πνεῦμα] is an ancient Greek word for “breath”, and in a religious context for “spirit” or “soul”.) The song I want to emphasize today is called “Sovereign God”. Ill leave a link to the song on YouTube down below along with the lyrics to the song.

“Sovereign God, we are here.
We won’t leave until your glory fills the air.
Sovereign God we draw near.

We will wait until your voice falls on our ears.
Revive our hearts, renew our minds.
Your words ignite, our lives, our lives.
Sovereign God we are here.
We won’t leave until your glory fills the air.
Sovereign God we draw near, we will wait until your voice falls on our ears.
Revive our hearts, renew our minds.
Your words ignite, our lives, our lives.

Sovereign God hear our cries all our hopes and all our dreams are in your eyes.
Face to face we will rise.
We will lift the name of God on high.
Oooh-oooh-oooh-oooh Revive our hearts, Renew our minds.
Your words ignite, our lives, our lives.
Soverign God we are here.

We won’t leave until your glory fills the air.
Sovereign god we draw near.
We will wait until your voice falls on our ears.
Oooh-oooh-ooh-ooh-ohh-oooh-ohh-ooh-ooh-oh-ooh-ooh-ooh.”

Sovereign God by Skyhook

2.) Reckless Love ~ Bethel Worship. Bethel is a pretty well known worship group, but in case you weren’t familiar with them, here is a little information. They are an American worship band that began with Bethel Church locatied in California. They have many worship albums and I happen to love a good majority of their songs. This song in particular is so powerful and it was introduced to me while I was at a young adults fellowship and worship night. This song truly brought me to tears when it was playing, and the lyrics are moving. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

 

Before I spoke a word
You were singing over me
You have been so, so
Good to me
Before I took a breath
You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so
Kind to me
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still You give yourself away

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

When I was your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so
Good to me

When I felt no worth
You paid it all for me
You have been so, so
Kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still You give yourself away

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up

Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
No lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God”

Reckless Love by Bethel Worship

3.) Thank you Jesus ~ Hillsong Worship. Hillsong is a worldwide known worship group, singing in churches across the globe. The song I really wanted to share with you all is a song about complete gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord for all that He has done. And even though there aren’t that many lyrics, every word is powerful and the Holy Spirit really moves through this song.What an incredible way to sing praise!!

“Grace that flows like a river
Washing over me
Fount of heaven, love of Christ
Overflow in me

Thank You, Jesus
You set me free
Christ my Saviour
You rescued me

Take this life delivered
A vessel of Your love
Wholly now devoted
To see Your kingdom come

Thank You, Jesus
You set me free
Christ my Savior
You rescued me x2
You’ve given me life
You’ve opened my eyes
I love You, Lord
I love You, Lord
You’ve entered my heart
You’ve set me apart
I love You, Lord
I love You, Lord x4
Thank You, Jesus
You set me free
Christ my Savior
You rescued me x2″

Thank You Jesus by Hillsong Worship

I pray you all enjoy this type of post. I know it is quite different from the way the blog posts usually are, but again, I really wanted to share some worship songs with you! I often add songs into my blogs when they coincide with the topic, but I think there should be something separate. If you have any songs you would like to suggest, please let me know! I love hearing new music, especially worship. I also would like to ask what you all think about blog posts like this once a month? Do you prefer to see more posts like this or did you rather the other blogs? Maybe both? I pray you all have a blessed day and that the Lord speaks to each of you through the songs in a personal and individual way. God bless!

 

~ Chaya

~ He Holds My Tomorrow ~

How many of you are afraid of surrender? Does the thought of giving up all control and will to fight frighten you? Personally, I go through seasons like this more often than I realize. I will surrender for a while, but then after some time goes by, I go back to desperately wanting control. Then the Lord softens and humbles my heart, submission sets in, and then it repeats. It is an ongoing struggle that I have dealt with all my life. I prefer to have a plan, an outline for the things coming my way. I like having lists of things to do and ways to accomplish a task to the fullest of my capability. I prefer to know how things work and what is happening. Being “in the dark”, so to speak, is something that I have a really hard time with.

I have always seen this as a weakness, a sinful struggle that I am constantly needing to work on. And truthfully, it really is a shortcoming. The truth is that I am not trusting the Lord enough to know that no matter the circumstance or the outcome, He is good and He desires the good for me. Despite my lack of trust, the Lord has really been helping me to see my weaknesses as an opportunity to experience His strengths. Just as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “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.” The Lord uses our imperfections as a source for His glory. Because we cannot overcome our weaknesses without the Lord, and when we do triumph over sin, He deserves the ultimate glory and praise!

I want to share a testimony with you all today about something that just recently happened and I pray that the Lord uses my life and experiences as an example to speak to your hearts. I am currently in the process of moving out on my own. Woah, huge step in my life, right? Many of you have been there and done that, so I am sure you know and understand the situation. Well, I am learning a little more everyday the importance of budgeting and trusting the Lord with finances. And let me tell you, that has been difficult. You would think that trusting Him with finances would be one of the easiest things to trust God with, but I have found that to be challenging. The situation was that I wanted to talk to my boss about maybe getting a raise, just because I was barely going to be able to afford living on my own with the wages I make currently. I prayed and prayed and became impatient, almost jumping into a situation that God did not want me in. I was within minutes of talking with my boss and letting her know that I need to start making more when the Lord seemed to have whispered to my heart that I need to wait.

I ended up going to a woman’s bible study and explained the situation and how nervous and confused I felt. My amazing sisters in Christ immediately prayed with me about the situation, and they continued to remind me to just trust in the Lord and in His timing. So, I broke down and tried to really just find peace in knowing that He was in control and that He would provide for my every need. And He sure enough did. About a week or so later, my boss came to me and told me about a promotion, pay raise, and that it will be coming to me later this year, after a coworker retires. I bawled my eyes out because I knew that was straight from the Lord! It was so evident to me, not because He was giving me what I wanted right when I wanted it, but because He gently reminded me that He is there and providing for me, even behind the scenes.

The reason I am sharing this with you today is not to boast about the things the Lord is doing in my life, but rather to remind everyone that the Lord provides. When we truly surrender control over to Christ, He will indeed prove faithful to His children. Now, please don’t misunderstand me, surrendering does not mean God will give you exactly what you want or what you have been praying for. But He will provide the good for your life, according to His will, for His glory. Jeremiah 29:11-13, “‘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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

God desires the best for His people, and even when we are called to wait or the things we desire the most is not given to us, He is still working for our good and our benefit. 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.” He knows the end results, and He sees that even when we think something is good for us, He has something even better in store. I also do not want to glorify my lack of faith in any way, shape, or form. Distrust is a sin that I struggle with every day and the Lord is working on my heart. But I really wanted to share the amazing work of the Lord and His faithfulness. He is so good all the time!

I would like to finish off this blog with a verse that I believe is often overlooked but remains absolutely powerful and significant to this topic today. Lamentations 3:25-26, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Whether or not we receive what we want from the Lord, we still have hope that He is working all things, good or bad, for our benefit. He loves you and desires for you to prosper. I know what it is like to become impatient and to worry about rushing situations because you want something at that moment, but patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It can only be obtained through the submission to the Holy Spirit. When we are intentional in our walk with the Lord, you will notice that He will give you patience during times of waiting.

I pray you all have a wonderful day and that you are flourishing in your walks with the Lord. Thank you for being a community that I can come to share and talk about things that the Lord lays on my heart. This fellowship has been a blessing beyond words and I just want to encourage you to keep fighting the good fight! If any of you need prayer for any reason, feel free to contact me at any time and I will be praying for you. Have an amazing week and God bless!

~Chaya

Worship: Living & Singing

When you hear the term worship, what comes to mind? Do you think about your favorite worship song? How about the atmosphere of worship when your at church? When the band plays loud and all the congregations has their arms raised and hearts surrendered to the Lord? For a long time, that is what worship was to me. It was a time you set aside to sing songs of praise to the Lord, but it didn’t go much more beyond that. I am grateful that the Holy Spirit showed me what worship truly is; not just the songs we sing in church, but it is a daily lifestyle of obedience that is glorifying to the Lord.

Matthew 15:8-9 says, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” Now, I want to explain why I included this verse into the blog today. It is something that I used to notice in my own life, as well as the lives of those around me. We would go to church, sings our worship songs, then go home and things would go right back to normal. When I was growing up, it was almost routine that after we got home from church, at least two people in the house would be arguing. Didn’t matter who, like clock-work, it was always someone. The worship felt amazing to sing and experience, but as soon as we left church, inevitably there would be arguing. The enemy saw our worship and fought to keep our eyes off the Lord. This heart issue is not new, this battle we face with the enemy is not something that is new to the world and Jesus knew that. He knew then that we would still struggle with this, and He gave us instruction on how to keep from doing these things.

I have since realized that worship is so much more than singing songs and raising hands in church. It is a real, genuine experience between us and the Lord and it needs to be revered in our hearts. Worship should be reflected and should shine from within you. I have learned that in order to truly worship Him and praise Him, we must value who He is and what He has done for us. We are reading in the book of Romans in church and we just recently went over Romans 12, which begins as “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Reading through this, the section “this is your true and proper worship” made me really start thinking about how I can worship the Lord, even when I am not at church. It is living and breathing and doing all things for the Lord. When we surrender our will, our desires and our life to the Lord, we live as a sacrifice to Him. When we share the good news of the gospel, that is worship. Being there for someone in need, showing forgiveness, loving your neighbor, praying for others… These are all forms of worship! But it is not just something done publicly, it is also the intimate time spent with the Lord; in prayer, in studying the Word, in communion with the Lord. Our actions and behavior are what worship is.

I want to remind you that God is all-satisfying, all-sufficient, and all-satisfactory. He is due the ultimate praise and glory, and ought to be the most valuable treasure in our hearts. Now, I do want to remind you all that when I say renewed, I mean completely transformed, from the inside out. Not conformed, which is a term I have heard used often. When you conform to something, we keep our existing self and add on the attributes of the other. When you transform, it completely changes the very make up of who we are. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2. When we submit to the Lord, He will completely transform us from the inside out, and your mind will be renewed and rejuvenated by the Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite verses is Matthew 5:16, which says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” All things that we do in our lives are being watched and observed. So when we are living for Christ, we are worshiping Him and giving Him glory without singing and raising hands in church. Everything we say and do is a direct reflection of our hearts and what we believe, cherish, and value. Dedicating our lives to Christ and making Him lord of our life allows Him to renew your heart and mind, and shapes them to be more holy. When our hearts and minds have been renewed, you will see a desire, cherish and treasure the things of the Lord. All of life is worship, and it is up to us to choose whether we worship God or something of the world.

Life of Praise ~ Casting Crowns
“I will love You, Lord always
Not just for the things You’ve done for me
And I will praise You all my days
Not just for the change You’ve made in me
I’ll praise you for You are holy, Lord
And I’ll lift my hands, but You are worthy of so much more
For You are awesome, God of the Nations,
Lion of Judah, Rock of the Ages, Alpha, Omega
You’re worthy of all praise
More that these hands I’ll raise
I’ll live a life of praise
I will serve You Lord, always for You are my strength
When I am weak
I will never be afraid for You are my rock and You protect me
But I’ll praise You for You are holy, Lord
And I’ll lift my hands, but You are worthy of so much more”

I would like to end today’s blog with some song lyrics that I believe are beautiful correlated to the topic of worship. I pray you all have a wonderful rest of your week and I hope that the Holy Spirit spoke to your hearts today. Believe me, He uses these blog posts to change and shape me to be more like Him too. I need these words as much as anyone else does, and knowing that we have fellowship with one another and that we are all doing this together brings me so much joy. I also want to ask you all what you think about have some blogs here and there that go over christian movies, books, and songs? I have recently watched an amazing movie and I am halfway done with an incredible faith-based book and I would love to share thoughts and opinions with you all. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about that type of blog post. Thank you all so much! God bless!

~Chaya