Love

Fight Sin with Love

Let’s face it: life is a battle. Every day is a journey filled with many obstacles to overcome. In the Bible, God describes an even larger battle that’s ongoing. It’s the battle of good against evil. In the beginning, sin entered the world through Adam & Eve. We’ve all done it. We’ve all sinned. At one point or another, we’ve chosen to satisfy our own selfish desires instead of following God. In the battle of life, sin is on one side of the battlefield. What’s on the other side though?

In 1 John 4:8, we see that whoever doesn’t love, doesn’t truly know God. In the last part of that verse, we read that God is love. In this battle of life we speak of, sin is up against it’s nemesis: love. These two are like water and oil. They simply don’t mix. It’s a battle out there. Here’s why…

 

Selfishness is the Root of Sin

Sin comes in many shapes and sizes. We’ve all been there at one point or another. We’ve all fallen short. We’ve all stolen the cookies out of the cookie jar when we shouldn’t have. Everyone has lied, cheated, or taken unethical shortcuts. The truth is, nobody is perfect. We’ve all sinned because we want to satisfy our own selfish desires. We’ve taken the cookies because they seemed desirable at the time. We’ve lied because it seemed to be the best thing to make ourselves look good. Selfishness is behind all sin.

 

Humility is the Root of Love

A constant theme of scripture is the idea of humility. We’re told to have a realistic view of ourselves. We shouldn’t think too highly of ourselves, and at the same time we shouldn’t think too less of ourselves. No matter how much you don’t want to hear it, you’re not God. At the same time, you aren’t dirt. You’re somewhere in between. As followers of Jesus we’re called to love just like he did on the cross. Jesus paid our price on the cross. He didn’t shed his blood for any of his own purposes, but for our benefit. He was humble and he did it because he loved. Love humility in action.

 

Love is a Direct Attack on Sin

Life is a battle. It’s sin against love. Satan is pushing for sin. He wants to push you and me into a lifestyle of selfish pleasures. God on the other hand is pushing for something more. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, paid our price in full, so that we could live. He wants us to share this good news of love with the world, by speaking words of love and living a life of love. He wants us to fight sin with love!

 

Everyday we have a choice. We can either satisfy the desires of the flesh, or we can choose to put others before ourselves. Today, I choose love. I hope you do too. Join the fight. Let’s destroy sin with love. As always, don’t forget to comment below and subscribe to occasional email updates.

 

(Photo by Flickr User: photosteve101)

Light

Let Your Light Shine

So, maybe you’ve heard of the Sermon on the Mount? Jesus walks up a mountainside, sits down, and after a crowd gathers he begins to teach. Jesus instructs his disciples and the crowd about many things. But there’s a little passage at the beginning of his famous sermon, that I’m interested in today.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus calls us the light of the world. He told the crowd, the disciples, and even his followers today that we must go out into the world and spread the light. But what does this mean exactly? How can we let our light shine in this dark world? Here’s a couple of ways…

 

Living as the light means living a Jesus-honoring life.

When we sin we don’t want others to see. We often disobey God in the shadows of life, intending to hide it from the world and even God. In the light however, we tend to put our best foot forward. What if your life were in the light all the time? Light exposes darkness, it exposes sin. That’s how Jesus wants us to live. He wants us to live lives that would glorify our Father, free from darkness and sin. Turn from what is evil, and cling to what is good. Live a life of light.

 

Living as the light means living a life of action.

Living as the light not only means living a Jesus-honoring life, but also living a life of action. Jesus says that when we live as the light, people will see our good works and give glory to God. Our good works are not done just because they’re fun. We don’t do good works to show people how good we are. We live a life of action for a purpose: to push people toward Jesus. The life that Jesus called us to live is a life of light and action. Go out and be the light.

 

This week, be the light. Live a life that honors God, and a life of action. Be purposeful this week in your interactions with others. Go out and spread the light. As always, don’t forget to comment below about your experience as the light.

 

(Photo by Flickr User: mccun934)

Light Background

4 “Jesus-Like” Qualities I See In My Wife

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was homecoming at the local high school, and the parade was creeping through town towards the football field. I was one of the hundreds of people in attendance that brisk fall afternoon. It was the day that I would meet my wife, Amanda.

Photo Credit: Amanda Statson

Photo Credit: Amanda Statson

One near death experience, and three declined invitations later, we finally settled on the perfect lunch date. One date led to another and pretty soon, we were dating for five years. After gathering enough courage on our ‘anniversary’, I finally decided to pop the big question. A few short months later, we were married.

I’ve had the opportunity to grow in Christ alongside my best friend for the past several years. Since the first day we met, I’ve noticed she has many Godly-qualities. Here’s 4 “Jesus-Like” Qualities I See In My Wife:

 

1. Compassion — “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” -Proverbs 31:20

Throughout scripture Jesus always had compassion on the least and less fortunate of people. He chooses to eat with broken & sinful people, rather than the respected authorities. Christ goes even further, in his Sermon on the Mount, and he tells his audience to pray even for enemies. Compassion isn’t something to show only those close to you. We are to offer up love and support for everybody. This quality that Christ embodied is also very evident in Amanda.

 

2. Humility — “…but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” -Philippians 2:3b

Christ was born for a reason. He came into this world to die. More specifically, he came to die for us. Jesus lived a sinless life. His life was of extreme importance, and yet, he put the needs of others before himself. Similarly, I see this often in the life of my wife. Constantly, I find Amanda putting the needs of others before her own. She thinks of others, acts out for others, serves others, loves others, and will encourage others way before she thinks of herself. Every day, I work towards being as humble as she is, and as humble as Jesus was.

 

 

3. Forgiveness — “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:32

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we can do. To often, people hurt us more than we can bear. Jesus taught that we must forgive. This forgiveness doesn’t mean we must say a simple, “I forgive you.” Instead we must love & pray for those that have hurt us. As sinners, we all deserve death & judgement. Instead, Christ came to die in our place. He forgave us. Amanda models this forgiveness in her own life. (Keep in mind I’m not easy to live with! She forgives me, even when I am least deserving of her forgiveness.) Her wisdom, when it comes to the area of forgiveness, pushes me to be more forgiving in my relationships with others.

 

4. Love — “We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19

Love and Jesus go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Everything Jesus did revolved around love. My wife models this kind of love in her life. The love she shows for others, and for Christ, is immeasurable.

 

The moral of the story is that Amanda continues to amaze me as she embodies Christ-like qualities in her own life. She serves as a great example to myself and all those who know her that this life isn’t about us: it’s about Jesus. I love you Amanda!

 

p.s. Don’t forget to leave a comment below. If you know Amanda, be sure to leave her some love!

 

UPDATE: See 4 (More) “Jesus-Like” Qualities I See In My Wife

 

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Photo by Flickr User: snowpeak

How To Make A Comet Landing Look Easy

Way back in 2004, the European Space Agency launched a spacecraft named Rosetta that would embark on a decade-long journey to study a comet. On it’s way to the 67P comet, Rosetta would survive several low altitude flyby’s of both Earth & Mars, acting as a course correction of sorts. After billions of dollars, and several years, Rosetta finally reached the target comet. If you haven’t heard already, Rosetta launched the Philae landing probe that would successfully touch down on comet 67P on Wednesday November 12th.

This comet landing is no easy feat of accomplishment. Philae’s landing will, without a doubt, be recorded in the history books. But according to another historical book, a comet landing looks somewhat easy. Scripture records several accounts of God doing things that are ‘out of this world’. Here’s 4 examples of things that God did, that make landing on a comet look easy:

 

1. Creation

All that has existed, does exist, and will exist in the future was, is, and will be created by God. He’s the one that gave form to the earth, moon, & stars. He’s the one that breathed the breath of life to every soul. God spared no expense in his grand design of creation. Most amazing of all, it’s all out of nothing. It’s not like God spilled out the building blocks of life and just put them together like a child’s toy set. God built everything from nothing.

 

2. The Exodus from Egypt

God’s chosen people were in slavery in Egypt. It wasn’t until God hand selected one man that things started to change. God designed a series of plagues that would shock Pharaoh & the rest of Egypt, and would ultimately begin their great escape from the grip of slavery. God’s people cheerfully left Egypt until they hit a road block: the Red Sea. What God did next makes landing on a comet look like the most basic of tasks.

 

3. Feeding of 5,000

In Luke 9:10-17, Jesus gathers quite a hungry following. The text says that the men numbered about 5,000. Who knows how many other people were gathered there. With only five loaves of bread & two fish, Jesus proceeds to feed every single person in attendance. Miraculously, after everyone eats a satisfying meal, there were 12 baskets full of leftovers. Okay ESA, you can land a probe on a comet, but can you do that?

 

4. Conquering Death

There are several examples of God doing miraculous things in the Old Testament, and Jesus did several more that are recorded in the New Testament, but the grand finale didn’t happen until after Jesus was laid in his final resting place. Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross. His blood was shed as an atonement for our imperfections. After several gruesome hours of torture, Jesus died. He was placed in a tomb which was sealed and guarded. To everybody’s amazement, Christ rose from the grave and conquered death.

 

It’s clear that God has done some things that, when we think about it, make comet landings look easy. What has God done in your life that has amazed you? Share your story in a comment below!

 

 

**Subscribe for occasional updates to Scott’s ministry. (Photo By Flickr User: snowpeak)