REVELATION 10

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Hi friends and welcome to Shebrews Good!

So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.

-Revelation 10:9-10 // NIV Translation

Revelation 10 presents a great example of how seemingly sweet sin can turn into a dangerously sour package. Sin appears to in order to tempt us. Think of sin as a nicely wrapped Christmas present, sealed together and given to us in glittering wrapping paper with a bright red bow on top. It appears beautiful, worth it, and appealing; we are drawn to it because it pulls at our worldly desires and our need to receive a quick satisfaction. If sin was presented as evil and degrading, there would be no reason for us to be drawn to it as we are. That’s the double edged sword of sin: it looks good but rarely gives us the fulfillment that we are truly searching for. When we connect fully with Christ, we are given a nicely wrapped package that is as good as it seems. Why be a slave to sin and treachery when we could be in community with the Creator of everything that is good and joyful in this world? In order to be able to combat the battle of temptation we have to be alert (1 Peter 5:8) and willing to take our eyes off of what the world presents on a golden platter and look towards what gifts come from above (Colossians 3:2). We must be convicted to pick up the armor that we have been provided just by our salvation and be on the ready for a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6). In the case of sin, remember that not all that glitters is gold.

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TITUS 2:11-12

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For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.

-Titus 2:11-12 // NIV Translation

There is nothing on this earth that tastes as sweet as the grace that we have received due to the sacrifice made for us on the cross. Very often do we take for granted the grace that we are given. It is as if we believe that forgiveness merits the continuation of the sins we commit. In Titus 2:12 we are told that the grace of God teaches us to deny ourselves of the temptations that the world offers us. This can be a hard concept to swallow because it seems as if we are drawn to sin or that our sins are hard to let go of. Hebrews 12:1 says that we must throw off all the baggage that entangles us so that we can run the race that is set out before us. When we trust in God, we are able to surrender all that may distract us from pursuing the Lord to our fullest extent. Place your trust in the Lord and you will reap infinite rewards and receive the ability to say no to all that pulls you down the opposite path from the plan that God has hand-crafted for you. Salvation has been offered to us through never-ending grace (Titus 2:11) and from that salvation we have freedom to say no to sin and instead say yes to a good God (Titus 2:12). design

UNSHAKEABLE

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Hi friends and welcome to Shebrews Good!

I will put my trust in you alone and I will not be shaken.

Build My Life | Housefires

Sometimes it feels like there is a whole world of troubles toppled on you all at once. The beauty of having a strong faith is that there is simply nothing of this world that is able to keep you from discovering the wonders of the Lord. We serve a God who is more powerful, more loving, and just simply more than anything we will ever encounter here on this earth. Colossians 3:2 says that we are to set our minds on the things that come from above (aka God-filled thoughts) rather than gain anything from what the world considers to be “wisdom.” When we begin to seek the kingdom first, everything else falls into place around us because we have relinquished control to the One that casts away all anxiety and fear. Uniting with God means uniting with the creator of the whole universe, the one who knows every in and out of each dark corner and unknown space that was and is and ever will be. Rest easy in this, knowing that no force of this world or any sort of temptation can move you from the solid rock you stand on. If you believe in the truth that the Lord has for you and make the decision to rest firmly in that truth then you will not—and cannot—be shaken (Psalm 62:6).

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MEDIOCRITY

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Hi friends and welcome to Shebrews Good. Enjoy!

Today I wanted to touch on the subject of mediocrity and faith. Not once in the Bible does it say that it is okay to be mediocre in the pursuit of your faith. There are calls to bold faith, rich faith, and everlasting faith (the list goes on), but never once does the Lord call us to a mediocre faith. Half-heartedness does not sit well in the eyes of the Lord; He wants all of you, not just the pieces of yourself that you deem “good enough” to hand over to Him. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was meant to cover all of your sins, and there is nothing that you can do that God is not willing to forgive you for or that His death cannot cover. 2 Corinthians 3:12 says that due to the hope we have in the Lord, we are to exhibit boldness in our faith. Our call is not to live a quiet faith or a faith that depends on our moods or the people that we choose to spend our time with—we have a call to be different than the rest. We are a chosen people who are meant to lead lives in order to be examples to those that do not yet know the Lord (1Peter 2:9). Mediocrity just doesn’t fit into the plan that God has for us to be leaders that pursue Him to their fullest ability. If Jesus gave it all up to pursue a holy life and surrendered His life for our benefit then should we not do the same in intentional pursuit for the Lord? We are totally secure in the goodness of the Lord which means that we can live a faith absent of mediocrity and instead approach our lives with willing hearts towards what God has set out for us to accomplish.

THERE ARE MORE THAN FOUR SEASONS

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Hi friends! I’m back today with a new post about the importance of recognizing that there is a time for everything in life. Enjoy!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil–this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 // NIV translation

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the importance of being patient and knowing the power of God’s timing. We as humans often have a tendency to snub the value of being patient. We want things now or we don’t want them at all. Luckily, we are ruled by a God who understands the innate workings of our deepest selves. He knows that we are an impatient people who would rather rely on the quick pace of the world rather than resting easy in His perfect timing. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is a time for everything; there is a season for each area of life that we will encounter. Verse 14 continues on to say that everything the Lord has planned out will endure forever and that there is nothing that we can do to take away or add to what He has planned. While that might spark fear within our time conscious hearts, we can actually find rest in this fact. The Lord has great plans for us, ones that will only cause us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). Our penchant worry stemmed from impatience will not add a single hour to our life, nor will it greater our quality of life (Matthew 6:27). In laying down our lives and trusting in the goodness of God and His grace, we will find our souls at rest no matter what season we are currently experiencing. So whether we are downtrodden due to the inability to find a relationship, over joyous because of a mountaintop experience, or content through the routine of daily life we can know that we are secure because of our God given foundation of love, joy, hope, and grace. design

TREACHEROUS WATERS

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Treacherous. Sounds kind of foreboding doesn’t it? Well, in all actuality it should. It’s easy to know that we have been saved and given eternal grace through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but it’s far harder to let go of all the things that hold us back in our walk with the Lord and embrace the grace we have been gifted. There’s a reason faith is a hard walk; it’s not meant to be an easy path and isn’t made for the faint of heart. It takes courage–overwhelming amounts of it–to face all that life throws at us and still be able to respond in a manner based on the pure truth of the Lord. No, it may not be popular to reject underage drinking or gossip or hook-ups, but when we subject ourselves to those very things we aren’t continuing our walk with Jesus with the same passion and focus as we should be. These worldly, flesh pleasing things are distractions and temptations provided by the devil so that we may find our worth in what the world has to offer rather than in the one who gave it all up for us on the cross. They are addicting forces that take ahold of us and rarely let go unless we actively work to be set free. Once the cycle of sin addiction sets in we fall into treacherous waters, waters that Satan revels and thrives in. Our faith becomes half-hearted and filled with loopholes; it becomes almost a mockery as we turn to things that not only don’t glorify the Lord but also cause us to find our identity in the world rather than God.

While there may seem like there’s no way out of this worldly cycle and condemnation is what will meet us at the door when we come knocking for Jesus, that isn’t true. It is actually because of the infinite grace that we are given due to Christ’s sacrifice that we are able to return to our faith so full heartedly. Now this isn’t to say that we can abuse the gift of grace. Grace comes with some weight to it and while we are given it as a way to leave behind our mistakes and hangups, we are called to return to the Lord and leave all that binds us at His feet. When we fall into His truth we are renewed and no longer have to conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2). So while treacherous may sound scary, there is a God who can lift us out of ur drowning state and provide shelter and defense against what may tempt us. Be encouraged by these words friends and free fall into a love and grace that is so so good!

Here are a few Bible verses that are grerat words of encouragement for this subject:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2)

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.” (Psalm 18:16)

LET IT GO

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Hi friends! Today I am back with a prayer post because it seems like I haven’t done one of these in forever. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with being able to let go of things that aren’t in my control. Sometimes I think that, as a whole, we tend to think that it’s our job to fix situations and people when in reality there’s nothing that we can do about it. Once I started to realize that the things I was worrying over were not my responsibility nor in my realm of authority, I decided to let it go and pray it up. I’ve felt so much better and more positive after doing this and I hope that this prayer or one similar to it will be able to help you out if you are struggling with something similar.

Dear Lord, I ask that you help me to let things go that are out of my control. Help me to point out these things and recognize them so that I am not exerting myself in a way I do not need to be. Thank you for your word that tells me not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34) and to pray continuously (1 Thessalonians 5:17) because you will answer all my prayers and provide for me when I place my full trust in you. So please help me open my heart and place my trust in the safest place possible so that I no longer have to worry about the things that I am unable to control. You alone can exercise authority over those things and it’s not my place or my will to have that power. Amen.

Thanks so much for reading and I will see you back here soon!!

Much love and grace,

Jordan

GOOD SOIL

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Hi friends! My latest study of the Bible has been in Luke, and so I thought I would share my thoughts on the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:1-15.

In short, Jesus is explaining to those gathered what it means to actually take up God’s words and live according to that. Jesus speaks first of seeds that are scattered along a walking path and eaten by birds. These are the people who hear the word, but are tempted by the devil and fall trap to Satan’s fallacies and are therefore left with an unbelief of what the word says. Then come the seeds that are thrown across rocky ground that grow but eventually die due to lack of water. These people welcome the word when they hear it but have no true roots in the Lord and in their faith—they’re lukewarm. When temptations and tests come their way they fall away from their faith and run into the arms of the world. Then there are the seeds that fall among thorns, and when they try to grow are choked by the weeds surrounding them. These people are the ones that hear the word and are again lukewarm, but don’t stand firm in faith. The world and the things it has to offer seem a lot more pleasing and fulfilling to these people. They are torn down by temptation and worry and what the world wants for them rather than what God calls for us. Finally, Jesus speaks of the seeds that are sown on good soil. These people are those that take the word into their hearts and stand firm on top of it, and in the end produce a great crop from sowing good seeds onto good soil of their own.

I love this parable because it’s a reminder that we need to be fully rooted in the Lord’s word. We can’t let temptation, worldly pleasures and problems, and lukewarm faith get in the way of pursuing Christ’s kingdom. Instead we need to be rooted in good soil and sow our seeds wisely in the word of God rather than the pleasures of the world.

Thanks so much for reading!!

Much love & grace,

Jordan

WEIGHT OF GRACE

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Hi friends! Today I’m back on the blog with a short devotional about grace. Grace is a long-winded subject with so much that can be discussed but for this devotional I really want to focus in and break down what it means to take grace for granted.

We hear about grace all the time whether it’s in church or small groups, and as Christians we know that grace is a huge deal. But I think most of the time we don’t have a grasp on how huge of a deal grace really is. We sin constantly—something I’m sure we’re all reminded of daily—but what makes the Lord so good is that He forgives us freely. And that right there is what grace really is; it’s an undeserving, but freely given gift from a god who is more powerful than any other. Because of our nature of sin and the fact that we oftentimes become numb to the sins that we commit on the daily, we don’t think much about grace in its full sense. It’s almost like we become numb to grace just like our sins. We take it for granted and we forget that it’s what renews our faith and allows us to still be  forgiven even when we mess up.

In Luke 7, Jesus is anointed by a woman who all the teachers of the law call a sinner. She is broken, beat down, and hangs heavy due to the overwhelming impact of her sin. When she meets Jesus, she instantly feels compelled to fall at His feet and clean them. When the Pharisees tell Him that she is a sinner and unworthy of His presence, He explains that her faith in that moment has displayed her great love and that her sins are forgiven. Jesus’ grace is so evident here and I think it really helps to put in perspective the impact of grace. Even before He died on the cross, He was freely forgiving those that were considered sinners and unclean. And even today we have that within our faith: an unending and overwhelming grace that we don’t deserve, yet still are gifted.

Thanks so much for reading and I will see you back on the blog in my next post. ❤

Much love & grace,

Jordan

GALATIANS 6:8-10

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Hi friends! So I was flipping through my Bible to get to Ephesians and came across this verse that I had highlighted in Galatians, and I knew that this was what I had to write about for today’s post. Keep reading to see what it’s all about and enjoy!

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

-Galatians 6:8-10//NIV Translation

For this weekly verse post I’m going to briefly break down these three verses. In verse 8, Paul (the author of Galatians), writes about reaping what you sow. If you are deeply rooted in this world and are planting seeds of greed, jealousy, and worldly things, your crop is going to be filled with those things. If you are steadfast in the Spirit, then you’ll be reaping love, joy, and other fruits of the Spirit. Verse 9 reminds us not to grow weary in our do-gooding because there is a time for everything. Instant results do not stem from spreading the word of the Lord, you have to keep your eyes open for the gradual build up of things in accordance to your spreading of the message. God will reward us for our steadfastness, so when you do begin to feel weary remember the encouragement that He gives us in these verses. And finally, verse 10 says that we should do good to all people. It seems pretty obvious that we should do this, but if it continually comes up in the Bible, then it must be something important to remember.

So as you go through this week, remember to reap good things so you may sow the same, spread good and do not be discouraged by delayed results, and spread good to all. Thank you so much for reading. (The cover photo came from She Reads Truth which is a really cool app/website to check out if you haven’t already!)

Much love & grace,

Jordan