Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Today, read John 12:1-8
In chapter three of The Set-apart Woman, the author talks about true set-apartness and uses Mary of Bethany as an example.
True set-apartness causes us to joyfully lay everything we have and everything we are at His feet without hesitation, simply because He is worthy.Mary was extravagant in her worship, pouring expensive oil over Jesus' feet. No one suggested it; she didn't see someone else do it, but this act of worship came from her soul, out of a love for Jesus. And I love this next part: The house was filled with the fragrance (verse 3).
Judas, however, was totally miffed. In his betrayal mind, Jesus wasn't worthy of such expense or praise. I've been meditating on that thought since last evening and asking myself these questions: Which attitude do I have in regards to worship? Do I give my very best praise and worship like Mary, fragrance shared with all I meet? Or does my worship stink in its half-heartedness? Do I hold back in fear of what other Judas' may say.
What about you? What can you do today to show the extravagance of your love for Jesus, of your proclamation of His worthiness? Have you held back, fearful of what others will say?
Listen to CeCe Winan Alabaster Box
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
Subtle sins -- that's what Leslie Ludy calls them in The Set-apart Woman.
"The more comfortable I had become with the world's messages, the easier it had become to allow subtle sins into my life. Self-pity, laziness and selfishness had become familiar companions, along with other small compromises" (page 7).The more I thought about those two words, "Subtle Sins," God brought others to mind:
One hymn that has been singing in my head for the last few weeks is Charles Wesley's "I Want a Principle Within."
I want a principle within
Of jealous, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin,
A pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel
Of pride or fond desire,
To catch the wand’ring of my will,
And quench the kindling fire.
From Thee that I no more may part,
No more Thy goodness grieve,
The filial awe, the fleshly heart,
The tender conscience, give.
Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh,
And keep it still awake.
Almighty God of truth and love,
To me Thy pow’r impart;
The mountain from my soul remove,
The hardness from my heart.
Oh, may the least omission pain
My reawakened soul,
And drive me to that blood again,
Which makes the wounded whole.
Highlight Revelation 2:5 in your Bible. Think back to your early days as a Christian -- What were you doing that kept your soul open to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Were you effusive in praising God for your salvation? Were you enthusiastic in your worship? Were you eager in reading and meditating on His Word. Was talking with God a continual conversation?
These are the first deeds. These are the practices I've fallen from. Maybe not the practices, but the enthusiastic, the eagerness, the effusiveness -- that's what I desire to recapture.
I'm excited...and so thrilled for those of you who are joining me for this journey of Sacred Living. I'm praying for each of you as we remember and repent.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
I had traded spiritual passion for mediocrity. I was loving Christ with only part of my heart, rather than with my entire being. Leslie Ludy
I was hanging out at Ann Volscamp's Holy Experience when I saw Leslie Ludy's book. I knew if Anne recommended it, I would want to read it. I expected a good book; what I didn't expect was the way God spoke to me through the words of the first chapter as I sat right in the middle of Barnes and Noble. I highlighted so many sentences The Divine Invitation looked like a rainbow arc of promise. A promise that God would become the delight of my heart--not just in word, but in day-to-day reality.
If you are ready to be purified from the inside out and have your spiritual fire ignited, to stare undiluted truth in the face, let's study this book together. It won't be easy, but it will be exciting. Leslie asks the question, "Do you long to not just talk about Him, sing about Him, and learn about Him, but to truly walk in daily, passionate relationship with Him?" Leslie asks these questions:
Would (you) rather spend an evening curled up on the couch in front of the TV than on than on (your) knees in prayer or studying God's Word.
Do (you) feel more at home surfing the Internet for new fashion trends than searching the Word of God for priceless nuggets of Truth?
Are (you) far more inclined to open a Grisham novel than an inspiring Christian biography?We'll be discussing our journeys on A Sheltering Tree's Facebook page. (If you "like" the page I think the discussion will show up in your newsfeed.)You can purchase The Set-Apart Woman though Amazon. It's not a fluff book. It's not going to let even a trace of mediocrity remain in your heart.
Sign your name in the Facebook comment section under the Invitation to "Come away." We'll be authentic in our honesty as we journal, read biographies, share quotes, memorize Scriptures, and write our prayers -- either publicly or privately -- as we learn how to live this life sacredly.
Order your book, get out your journal, and your highlighters. We'll start bright and early Monday morning, April 13th.
5x7 Theme Verse printable
In preparation for the beginning of our book discussion tomorrow, read Matthew 15:8. In your journal, rewrite the verse as a prayer of confession. Feel free to write your prayer in the comments or keep it private. There's no right or wrong way to participate in this discussion.