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What is the Gospel?

Do you know what the Gospel is? Could you confidently articulate the Gospel message to someone else? Whether you are brand new to the Gospel or have been a believer for many years, the Gospel is for everyone. And, it’s important that we not only believe in it, but know how to articulate what we believe.

Click through the story below for a simple presentation of the Gospel. Then, we’ll go more in depth on each section below.

What is the Gospel? Story

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The Bad News

As I mentioned in the slideshow, in order to understand the good news, we have to understand the bad news. Which is: We are all born sinners in need of a Savior and cannot earn God’s favor by our own efforts. (James 2:10) In our postmodern culture, many believe there is no absolute truth – that what’s right and wrong is subjective. People who hold these beliefs do not understand their need for a Savior. If there is no absolute truth, there is no accountability for sin. So, we must start with an understanding of what the Bible says, which is that we are all dead in our sin. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

What is the Gospel? The Good News

Once we understand the bad news, we can understand the good news – the Gospel! I’ve heard it said that the Gospel is like a diamond and our sin is like a black cloth a jeweler lays down behind it to illuminate the stone’s beauty. With our sin as the backdrop, we can much more fully appreciate the beauty and magnificence of the Gospel.

So, what is the Gospel? Simply put, the Gospel is the good news that Jesus died and rose from the dead to save sinners. It’s by His grace, through faith alone that we are saved, not by works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Jesus makes it very clear in His teachings and throughout Scripture that no amount of works can save us. Works are the fruit – or evidence – of a person who is saved. This is what James meant when we read that faith without works is dead. (James 2:14-16) It’s crucial that we understand this truth in order to be led to the true repentance that is required in order to be saved.

The Response

When reflecting on the Gospel and proclaiming it to others, we don’t simply want to stop with knowing the Gospel message. We must respond. As believers, we know in order to be saved, we must put our faith in Christ and Christ alone. But what does that mean? Jesus said in Mark 1:15 to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” 

I heard this explained so well by Todd Friel of Wretched. He said that faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin. To put our faith in Christ (or to believe) is to repent of our sins – to acknowledge our need for a Savior, confess our sins to God, and turn from our sinful ways. Belief without repentance is not true belief and vice versa. True belief always leads to repentance.

Remember: God is Sovereign

I wanted remind you that we are called by Jesus to carry out the Great Commission to go out and make disciples. (Matthew 28:16-20) However, remember that while we are called to partner with God to spread the Gospel to the nations, He alone does the saving. If you miss a part of the Gospel message when witnessing, don’t beat yourself up over it. God is sovereign. My story is a great example of this:

My Story

Growing up I heard that Jesus was God and that He died and rose from the dead to save sinners. But, it wasn’t until college, when two friends shared with me that Jesus loved me, wanted a relationship with me, and that He would forgive all my regrets and mistakes, that I understood what the Gospel meant for me personally. They didn’t share the full Gospel message with me at that moment, but God used them to bring me the pieces I was missing. 

The story God gave me is such a clear picture of how He saves us by His grace. I wouldn’t have been able to articulate the Gospel in the moment I was saved. (I didn’t even know that’s what had happened to me at the time!) But as I studied the Bible and learned more about what it meant to be saved, I discovered that by His grace, He orchestrated countless experiences throughout my life to bring me the pieces of the Gospel, and ultimately, led me to true faith and repentance in His perfect timing.

Trust in His Sovereignty

This is oftentimes how God works. It’s a great blessing to be able to present the Gospel in full to another person, but if you miss part of it, mess up the delivery, or run out of time, trust in God’s sovereignty. You may not be the person He uses to lead someone to faith, but it is still a great privilege to be used by Him to plant seeds.

My Hope and Prayer

It’s my prayer that you will personally respond by repenting and believing in the Gospel and that your belief will inspire you to tell others the good news. The Gospel changes everything! It saves dead souls and transforms individuals and cultures. I hope today you feel more equipped to articulate what you believe, and that by the power of the Spirit, you’ll carry out Jesus’s Great Commission!


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Praising God for Five Years of Marriage

This week marks five years married to my hubby Luke! To celebrate this milestone, I felt compelled to publicly praise Jesus and share a bit of our story with you all today.

The beginning

When Luke and I got married five years ago, he was pretty sick. If you’ve been following me for a long time, you might remember I shared a little bit about him having a chronic illness. At the time, he had a diagnosis but his treatment was not working for him. On top of that, Luke and I were both going through major career changes. We had both been pursuing music at the time, but due to his health, he decided to go back to school. And within the same week of his decision, I quit my job as a church worship leader to pursue my business full-time.

So much of our identity was wrapped up in music, so these changes felt like major losses. We had always pictured our lives a certain way, but God was clearly moving us in different directions. So we let go of our long-time dreams and entered into uncharted territory.

In the storm

While Luke was in school, he got so sick that he had to get surgery. Thankfully, the Lord used surgery to bring major relief and healing to Luke’s body. He still has minor issues, but his body seems to be responding well to his ongoing treatment.

We got over that obstacle, but then we were faced with several trials – financial struggles being just one of them. These were stressful times, and looking back, I would have done things differently. However, God even uses our mistakes to accomplish His purposes in the lives of believers. He really grew us in prayer, because we were so dependent on Him to provide for our most basic needs. We saw great displays of His mercy during this time. It was pretty incredible.

This was our hardest season. But in God’s great mercy, He got us connected with our pastor Ian who led us through biblical counseling. We learned how to apply the Word of God and experience its power to redeem the broken areas of our lives. God used biblical counseling to really grow Luke and me closer to Christ individually and as a couple. It was truly life changing!

Five years… to today

It’s amazing to look at God’s faithfulness over the past five years – the spiritual and physical healing we’ve experienced, the growth, and ultimately His provision over all things. Luke eventually got a great job and my business is finally in a steady place. Luke’s health remains stable as well! We may be out of that long storm of a season, but our life is certainly not without its problems… no one could have prepared any of us for a worldwide crisis!

Where would we be?

Covid especially has caused us to reflect on how the Lord has faithfully gone before us these five years of marriage. Where would we be if we had remained in music? We certainly wouldn’t have gigs and we might not even have jobs at the church due to cutbacks and online services. We were so heartbroken by the loss of our music dreams at the time. But today, we are exceedingly grateful for the new careers God provided for us and the timing of when He guided our steps. God has graciously sustained us during very unstable times in the world. 

What if…

Another question we have thought about is, What if Luke had needed surgery during the beginning of the pandemic? I wouldn’t have been able to be with him at the hospital and care for him in all the ways I got to. The timing felt horrible (in many ways it was), but it was better than having to navigate pandemic restrictions on top of it all. 

We’ve learned that sometimes blessings don’t look like blessings at the time. But because God is gracious and merciful, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28

God is sovereign

My husband and I could ask what if questions all day long, but we know the Lord is sovereign. I will not forget my despair in some of Luke’s sickest moments and messages of God’s sovereignty brought little to no comfort. I wrestled with tough questions like, If God is sovereign, then why is He allowing Luke to be so sick? And, What does God’s sovereignty mean for me personally?

I’ve since learned that when I question God’s sovereignty, I’m:

  • Not trusting in His promises to provide for His children (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • Not truly believing that He uses trials to produce unshakable faith within us (James 1:2-3)
  • Forgetting that He promises to work all things together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28)

The hope we have

Jesus doesn’t promise us health, wealth, and prosperity. He does promise suffering. But, He is not some sick God who delights in our misery. He is loving, kind, and merciful. So much so, that He left heaven to suffer on behalf of you and me – unworthy sinners. By His grace, when we put our faith in Jesus – meaning we repent of our sins and trust in Him alone as Lord and Savior – we are redeemed and promised eternal life! God promises, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” –Revelation 21:4

I don’t know what the future holds, but God does. Luke and I have seen in just five years of marriage how God has faithfully gone before us. He has allowed us to go through many things we would have avoided if we had the choice, but we wouldn’t trade our growth in Christ for anything. 

God has unique plans for each one of us. He will allow us to walk through different challenges, but His character and promises remain unchanging. Cling to that promise today, sweet friend. Whatever you are walking through today, you can trust Him. He is sovereign and He is faithful.

“You have encircled me behind and in front, And placed Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot comprehend it.” –Psalm 139:5-6 NASB

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Praying For Yourself

How often do you pray for yourself? Do you struggle praying yourself?

This may seem like a silly question to some of you. Maybe you pray for yourself daily. But, today I’m asking this question because in recent years, I’ve been surprised by the amount of women who share that they often struggle to pray for themselves. Sometimes it’s a seasonal struggle or for others, it constantly feels selfish or even too vulnerable. Can you relate? If you can, I hope I can encourage you today.

Making sense of personal prayer

When I think about Scripture that points to the importance of praying for yourself, I think of Psalm 139. It is a beautiful psalm written by King David who is reflecting on how intimately the Lord loves and knows him. Throughout the psalm, David praises God, reflects, confesses, and asks for right-thinking and guidance. The Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart, (Acts 13:22) so we should pay attention to the ways he communicated with God.

I’ll admit, when I studied this passage, I was a bit uncomfortable. First, I tend to try to be less “me-focused” as I pray. Aren’t Christians supposed to be Jesus and others-focused? Secondly, it went super deep. The words of Psalm 139 speak of God’s presence and knowledge of the most intimate parts about us. Reflecting on those words made me feel vulnerable, which comes with its comforts, as well as temptations to keep God at a distance.

Jesus says in Matthew 22:36-40 that the greatest commandment is to love God with our whole being. And, the second command is to love your neighbor as yourself. We are absolutely supposed to be God & others-focused, but to neglect all thoughts and prayers about ourselves would be unbiblical. 

The spectrum

It can be helpful to think of prayer for self like a spectrum. On one end is complete neglect of self, on the other end is complete self-centeredness. We need to be somewhere in the middle. God wants us to come to him with our prayers, even the ones we think are too insignificant. He wants us to pray for our personal growth and sanctification – to be made more like Christ! Being in the Word of God daily will help us stay in the middle of that spectrum, not veering too far to the left or right. Are you reading the Bible daily? If you struggle praying for yourself and aren’t in the Word regularly, that could be a big contributor to your insecurities.

Vulnerability

Praying for ourselves can also feel uncomfortably vulnerable. Do you tend to keep others at an arm’s length? Do you have walls up? Are there parts of your heart you don’t let anyone see? If that’s true in your relationships, consider how that might be true in your relationship with Christ. If you are a born again believer, the Spirit of God is dwelling in your heart! Psalm 139 says He knew everything about us before we were born and that we cannot escape Him. He already knows everything – He sees more of your sin than you do – but He still died on a cross to forgive and redeem you. He sacrificed it all in love, fully knowing you and your sins. It’s safe to be vulnerable with Him.

Start praying for yourself

If you struggle to pray for yourself, start with Psalm 139. Read the verses slowly, out loud to God. Reflect on how perfectly He understands you, how deeply He loves you, and that He is always present with you. Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and share those feelings with Jesus. Ask Him to show you what it looks like to pray for yourself in ways that glorify Him. Ask Him to help you grow in vulnerability and intimacy with Him. It may take time for this to feel comfortable, but don’t let the discomfort keep you from seeking Jesus through personal prayer. Keep coming back to Him and watch how He will impact your relationship with Him for the better.

It is not selfish to pray for yourself. God is not too busy, you are not too damaged, and your prayers are not insignificant. Because of Jesus, through the Spirit, we can have access to our Heavenly Father who is ready to meet with us. (Ephesians 2:18)


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Surrendering to Christ

To repent and believe in the Gospel means surrendering to Christ and His will and way for our lives. There is an initial surrender that happens when we are born again as believers, but growing and maturing in faith requires ongoing surrender. Let’s talk about the significance of both types of surrender and what they mean for us spiritually.

Initial Surrender

The Gospel

As I stated above, true faith in Christ requires an initial surrender to God. Again, Jesus said to repent and believe in the Gospel (Mark 1:14-15), which is the message that we are all sinners in need of a savior and Jesus is that Savior. 

The Bible teaches that by nature, we are children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3) and that there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). So, Jesus Christ, who is both fully God and fully man, came as the perfect sacrifice. He was crucified, died, and rose from the dead to forgive sinners and justify them (declare them righteous) before God. By grace, through faith in Jesus alone, we receive this gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

Sinning against an eternal God, means we suffer eternal consequences if we are unrepentant. But, Jesus mercifully forgives those who genuinely confess their sins and express a desire to turn from their old ways of living and be changed by Him. True repentance leads to salvation and it requires complete surrender.

Surrendering to Christ means total trust

I read in a recent study (Amazon affiliate link) that this initial act of surrender is like signing a blank contract to God that He will fill out later. It’s as if we are saying, “God, I vow to follow you whatever the cost, whatever may come. I don’t know the future, but I trust You fully no matter what.” This is what initially surrendering to Christ looks like, which leads to saving faith.

Ongoing Surrender

Our salvation is secure

The Holy Spirit moves our hearts to surrender in faith and after that initial surrender, God’s salvation work is complete (Hallelujah)! Jesus’s last words on the cross were, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) meaning, His sacrifice was enough. We do not need to strive to gain or keep our salvation. Those truly born again are declared righteous and secure in Christ, simply by the work of Jesus on our behalf. Our works contribute nothing to our salvation. The Bible makes this very clear and this is the message of many of Jesus’ teachings during His ministry.

Surrendering to Christ leads to sanctification

However, our works do contribute to our sanctification, which is the ongoing process of maturing in our faith and being made more like Christ. This type of growth requires ongoing surrender. Our “legal status” before God is “righteous,” but the reality is, we still sin. We still fall back into old, sinful habits and ways of thinking. We can easily forget that our lives are not our own. They now belong to Christ and we have new life in Him (Ephesians 4:17-24). This truth should lead us into deeper areas of surrender. But, what does that look like?

The Spirit leads us in surrender

When I recently determined that I would live more intentionally surrendered to Christ, my intentions were good, but I caught myself surrendering in my flesh in some ways. To surrender is to be led by the Spirit in how He wants you to use your time, not necessarily how you think you should be spending your time.

Fully surrendering to Christ does not necessarily mean that you have to give up all your free time, hobbies, friends, desires, etc. It means holding the things you care about loosely – in submission to God. He may require you to give up something completely, partially, or not at all. The things we enjoy that don’t necessarily seem “spiritual” are oftentimes gifts for our enjoyment! But, when those gifts become idols or we are engaged in sinful behavior, God desires to do a work in us that requires surrender.

Ultimately, ongoing surrender means holding all He has given us with open hands. It requires trusting in His promises to provide for our every need and humility to submit to His will for our lives.

Surrendering to Christ

Surrendering to Christ takes faith. Whether it be that first, initial surrender that leads to saving faith or it’s the hundredth time in an ongoing process, we all can ask God how we can live lives surrendered to Him. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What is keeping you from fully surrendering to Christ in faith? Start reading the Bible (I recommend beginning with Matthew or John) and ask God to reveal who He truly is to You.
  • What areas of your life are most challenging to submit to God? Ask Him to reveal why that is and be open to His response.
  • What is one thing God might be asking you to surrender starting today? Is it how you spend a certain amount of time or money? Could it be a certain way of thinking? Does it mean saying yes to something or no to another?

God is calling us to deeper surrender and we can trust Him to provide for our every need in the process.

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Remembering the Gospel As We Pray

I put my faith in Christ back in 2012, but it wasn’t until the past few years that I really started understanding that the Gospel is not just for unbelievers. The truth is, we all need to know and be reminded that we are sinners in need of a Savior. Likewise, we must recognize that none of our works can make us right with God nor earn us entrance into heaven. We all need to hear and remember that the Bible says there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). So out of His great love for us, Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice to forgive and pay the wages of sin on our behalf so that all who put their faith in Christ as Lord and Savior will have eternal life (John 3:16)!

To put our faith in Jesus means we repent – confess our sins and turn from them (Mark 1:14-15). As a result, we are born again (John 3:3), new creations (Galatians 2:20), and have the Spirit of God dwelling in our hearts (Romans 8:9)!

If you are a believer…

Firstly, I want to ask you believers a few questions. When you hear the Gospel do you tend to zone out because you’ve heard it before? Does it lead you to spend time in God’s Word? When was the last time you praised God for His holiness, righteousness, and mercy? Are you in the habit of continually confessing your sins and turning from them to grow in spiritual maturity? How often do you thank God for forgiving your sins past, present, and future… for loving and saving you? Do you rest in the truth that Christ’s righteousness is counted to you as righteousness (James 2:23)? Does the Gospel message inspire you to be in a close relationship with Christ and live a life surrendered to His will?

If you are an unbeliever or unsure…

Secondly, I have some questions for those who are unbelievers or are simply unsure. What is keeping you from trusting that it’s by grace through faith alone you’re saved? (Ephesians 2:8-9) Do you crave freedom from the burden of trying to be enough? The bad news is, we can never measure up on our own. However, there is good news! The Bible says we can be counted righteous by God through repentant faith (Romans 4:5). The world and other religions say, “do,” the Gospel of Jesus Christ says, “done!” Will you surrender to Jesus and start seeking Him through His Word and prayer?

No matter what, the Gospel is for you.

Wherever you are in your life, the Gospel message is for you. The more we reflect on it, the better we understand who we are, who God is, and what He has done for us. As a result, we are led to praise, worship, confess, repent, read the Bible, and ultimately, fall deeper in love with the Savior. A deeper appreciation for the Gospel impacts our hearts and the way we interact with the world around us.

How will you reflect on the Gospel today? Has praise been lacking in your prayer life? Do you forget to thank Jesus for what He has done for you? Are there sins you need to confess and ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome? Do you really trust you are forgiven by grace through faith alone ? Or instead, are you still attempting to get right with God by your own efforts? 

I encourage you to get into the habit of remembering the Gospel as you pray. Watch how the Lord will work in your heart as you praise, express gratitude, confess your sins, and bring your requests to Him in light of the good news!

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My Prayer Journey

Before I put my faith in Christ, I was a church-goer. I prayed memorized prayers I learned at Sunday school, prayed over meals, prayed the Lord’s Prayer and for my family before bed occasionally, but that was about it. I treated prayer as recited words to send up to a distant God. They were very impersonal and had little heart in them.

In 2012, two friends encouraged me to pursue a relationship with Christ and start a prayer journal. They said if I told Him my regrets and mistakes, He would forgive me and if I sought a relationship with Him, He’d change my life.

I had grown up learning that Jesus died and rose from the dead to save sinners, but I never understood what this meant for me personally. So when I found out He wanted a relationship with me, that He would forgive and change me, it all clicked. By God’s grace, I repented, believed, and began seeking Jesus. I was saved! And just like the Bible and my friends promised, He changed everything.

Growing continually

I vividly remember sitting down to write in my prayer journal for the very first time and feeling super awkward. I wondered: How do I just talk to God? Could God really hear my prayers if I wrote them? If I didn’t fold my hands and cross myself? I still look back on my old journals occasionally and it’s sweet to put myself back into those old shoes and remember what it was like to start cultivating a relationship with Jesus through prayer. It was awkward, clumsy, and even cringey at times, but God saw my heart. He loves when we come to Him with a desire to love and know Him better, a desire to repent, grow, and be changed.

About a decade later, and I am still growing in my prayer life. It may not feel as drastic as the beginning, but I definitely go through seasons of feeling the growing pains. God continues to reveal where I still have a legalistic, religious, or ritualistic mindset around prayer and He is slowly, but constantly deepening a desire within me to simply meet and grow in intimacy with Him. Sometimes this means sitting down and journaling to Him, other times it means going on a walk and talking with Him out loud, praying through a list or simply as I think of someone during the day. I’m also continuing to learn the value in praying Scripture and how that develops intimacy and centers our minds on God before we come to Him with our requests.

Evaluate your own prayer life

My prayer life probably looks a lot different than yours – no two relationships with God look exactly alike! We are all at different places in our prayer lives, but what God wants with all of us is an intimate relationship, not a ritual.

Does your prayer life feel stale? Recited, robotic, or ritualistic? Maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and start a prayer journal or praying out loud. Maybe now the Holy Spirit is prompting you to start exploring what praying the Bible looks like. Or perhaps, He’s simply calling you to deeper intimacy with Him, but you don’t know what that looks like yet. 

Wherever you are at this point in your own prayer journey, start by praying. Don’t feel like praying? Start praying anyway. Ask God to give you a heart for prayer and if you genuinely desire this, He will absolutely bring about change. Just be patient, prayerful, and obedient. Sometimes it takes time for our feelings to catch up and that’s okay. God has lessons for us in the growing pains.

So, to close today’s post, I wanted you to ponder this question:

What is one thing I am going to start doing differently for the purpose of growing closer to God through prayer?


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Psalm 139 Reflections

I encourage you to read Psalm 139 before reading this post.

I have always wanted to memorize an entire chapter of Scripture, but I have struggled to complete whatever I’m memorizing. When I was contacted by a friend through my church about a group of women who were gathering to memorize Psalm 139 together, I signed up because I knew I needed accountability in this area. I knew parts of this Psalm… even memorized a few verses in the past, so I admittedly wasn’t expecting to be so impacted by words I was already relatively familiar with. But, God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) and He worked in incredible ways over the several weeks of memorizing, studying, and meditating. Today, I wanted to share just three takeaways.

1. God is omniscient – He knows everything about us. 

God knows us intimately. He knows our every thought, every word before we speak them, and every action before we do them. Nothing is hidden from Him. My group wrestled with these truths, because while they gave us a lot of comfort, we also cringed at the reminder that God knows every sinful thought and action.

Reflecting on this reality made us even more grateful for the Gospel. Despite our ugly sin, God still loves us! By His grace, the Father sent His Son to die the death we deserved for our sins so that all who repent and believe in Him will be forgiven and have eternal life. Born again believers can rest in knowing that though God is well aware of our sin, Christ’s righteousness has been credited to us (Romans 4:5). 

I especially found peace in reflecting on how our Father in Heaven understands us completely. One of the things I struggle with most is wanting to be understood by others. Since I was a little girl, I have had a deep longing to be known and understood by others. If I had to choose a quote representative of my childhood and adolescence, “Nobody understands me!” would be in the running.

My husband knows me better than anyone and I have friends and family who love and affirm me as well. But, this insecurity still runs deep within me and Psalm 139 caused me to confront it head-on. By the Holy Spirit’s prompting, I was forced to ask myself, “Do you really believe that God fully understands and loves you?” and, “Is that enough for you?” The answer was yes, so I’m asking the Spirit to help me live in light of this truth.

2. God is omnipresent – He is always present with us.

Before we were even created, wherever we go, whether we acknowledge Him or not, He is with us. We cannot escape the presence of God and when we are in right relationship with Him, we don’t want to. He leads us, holds us, and hems us in – His presence surrounds us and protects us. This is true in every sense. He is present with us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Verse 12 says, “even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

This truth brings comfort and gives me new strength, especially on the days my heart is heavy about personal struggles and evil in the world. Whether I am in a physical or mental place of darkness, He is there. He is my sure hope – my confident assurance that in His presence all evil is exposed, sin is conquered, and I am not alone.

3. God is omnipotent – His power is limitless.

God is the Creator of all things, seen and unseen by the human eye. By His infinite power, we were created in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). He carefully knitted each one of us together in our mother’s womb, but even before that, He saw us. Verse 16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

I was profoundly impacted by the truth that even before I was conceived, God had the number of my days written down. My life was carefully planned, no mistakes were made. In fact, He delighted in making me. Verse 18 says His thoughts about me are more than the sand. He thinks about every human being – born and unborn – in this deep, personal way. All are equally valuable in His eyes. Only the all-powerful God of the universe has the capacity to create unique individuals and think of each one of us in such an intimate way.


I could go on and on about the many ways memorizing Psalm 139 has impacted me. I am continually amazed by how God speaks to us through His Word as we memorize it and how He uses it for our benefit and to bless others. There have already been specific moments where He has brought the words of this Psalm to my mind to speak truth into my circumstances and cause me to think and act differently. He has also brought these words to mind to encourage friends in their struggles and it was a privilege to be used by God in that way. This is why we memorize Scripture!

Scripture memory glorifies God – He speaks to us personally as we write His Word on our hearts, causes us to live in light of what’s true, and uses it to bless others in profound ways.

I invite you to text a friend, or get a group of friends together, to memorize a passage in the Bible. Plan out how much time you will spend memorizing and hold each other accountable. Study and journal about the passage you choose and watch how God will use His Word and fellowship to bless you in profound ways!

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What is the Best Way to Interpret the Bible?

What is the best way to interpret the Bible? Is there one interpretation of the Bible or many? How do we know the Bible is trustworthy and true? Is everything in the Bible still relevant today?

There are many questions about the Bible and how we should interpret it. Above are just a few common questions I’ve come across recently. I’ve heard some great answers, but I’ve also discovered misleading responses and misconceptions about how to approach the Word of God. If you have asked any of these questions or someone else has asked you a similar one and you didn’t know how to respond, this post is for you! Let’s take some time to break down how to approach the Word of God and accurately interpret it.

Trusting the inerrancy and authority of God’s Word

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is “living and active” and that it discerns “the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” In other words, God spoke through the men who wrote the books of the Bible, but it is His written Word to us. It is without error, alive, active, and still completely relevant today! All of it helps us understand who God is and who we are. We can trust it, because God is unchanging, His ways are perfect, and His Word literally proves itself true (2 Samuel 22:31 & Psalm 18:30).

Many today believe truth is relative – what’s true for one person may not be true for another. But, the God of the Bible makes it very clear His will and His commands are not up for debate. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” He is not passive – He speaks intentionally, purposefully, and authoritatively. Therefore, we must accept that there is only one accurate interpretation of the Bible. He has our best interest in mind and is worthy of our trust! Our approach shouldn’t be: “What does this passage mean to me?” But instead, it should be: “What does God want me to understand from this passage?” And we should be diligent in seeking His truth – the only truth.

Interpret the Bible Accurately

So, how do we seek the truth? How do we know when our interpretation of a passage is in alignment with God’s intended message to us? A simple way to start is following 4 steps:

Pray

Before opening your Bible, pray that God would give you humility, wisdom, and discernment to accurately understand what He has spoken through His Word. Pray that He would make you teachable and inspire you to live differently because of what you’ve learned.

Ask: What is the context? Facts? What’s happening? What is literally being said?

Read surrounding verses to understand the context of a verse. What is happening in the passage? Is it a story? A prayer? A Psalm? Get to know what’s happening in the passage in a literal sense. If you have a study Bible, read the introduction to understand who the author was writing to, why, when, etc. This is crucial to having an accurate understanding of God’s Word.

Ask: What do I learn about God? Myself? Humanity?

Once you’ve explored the above question, think about what the passage is communicating about God, yourself, and/or humanity as a whole. If you’re not sure, ask God what He wants you to learn. The answer might come easily or it might take some time and that’s okay too!

Ask: How can I apply this truth to my life? 

As believers, we are meant to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). The Word of God should change us and inspire us to live differently. This is such an important question to ask and not a step in Bible study we should skip!

Other helpful resources and tips

It’s important to get into the habit of praying and asking the questions above as we learn to interpret the Bible with accuracy. But, there are also many helpful resources out there to help us dive deeper. One of my favorite resources is GotQuestions.org, where you can look up specific answers to Bible questions and get a biblical response. If you are wanting to dig into the original Hebrew/Greek, Blue Letter Bible is a fantastic resource! You can also find commentaries to help you understand the context, themes, and messages of entire books and specific passages. I’ve used the Matthew Henry Commentary a lot in my studies when I really want to dive deep and understand – it’s free on the Blue Letter Bible website!

And lastly and probably most importantly, make sure you are reading a solid Bible translation. There are many translations out there and I’ve learned that just because it’s on the Bible app, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. I mostly use the ESV, but I sometimes refer to NASB and NIV. Each Bible translation falls on a spectrum of word-for-word and thought-for-thought. NASB is closer to the word-for-word end of the spectrum, where ESV and NIV fall more in the middle, and translations like the NLT are more thought-for-thought. The Message is a paraphrase, and some “translations” are not accurate and should be avoided, like The Passion Translation (TPT) (See this article for more information on TPT). If you are unsure about a translation, do some research online!

In conclusion

The best way – really, the only accurate way – to interpret the Bible is by the power of the Holy Spirit. We must trust the Bible is complete, perfect, living and active Word of God, useful for understanding Jesus’ message of salvation and how to live life the way God intended. Approach Scripture prayerfully and humbly. Be willing to set aside our own opinions, feelings, perceptions, and desires in order to understand God’s intended message through His written Word. Pray that God would make you teachable and give you discernment. Pray He would reveal what’s true to you and that He would give you a soft heart, willing to accept all He says, even the more challenging truths.

Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” God promises to reveal Himself to us when we earnestly seek Him through His Word.

If you would like more encouragement and resources sent to you weekly, subscribe to my mailing list! I’ll start by sending you a free devotional to help you get into the Word and reflect on truth, but I’ve got a whole bunch of Bible study and prayer resources to send your way as we get to know each other better. Hope to see you there!

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Book Update & Personal Update

Hello, everyone! It has been a minute since I last posted here on the blog! I’ve been keeping in touch weekly with my community over email. But, those of you who are not on my list haven’t heard from me in quite some time! Sorry about that, but I promise it has been for good reasons! I’m back today with an update on my book and an update on what God’s teaching me right now.

Book Update

I mentioned a few months ago that I was writing a book… I’m happy to announce it is fully written and edited and my publisher is getting the design and layout finalized! We are hoping to have it completed in the next couple weeks, so it will be ready for release in the fall.

I’m keeping the specifics to myself until everything is sent to print. (Just in case something changes at the last minute!) But, I’m really looking forward to sharing what this book is all about. I have never written anything so heavily inspired by God’s Word. The Lord really used the whole experience to grow me in dependence on Him and love for Him. I’m so grateful for the ways He taught me to articulate who He is to others and how knowing Him more deeply impacts our trust in Him in mighty ways.

Personal Update & Reflections

Over the past few months, God has been teaching me about surrender. He’s been teaching me to surrender my time to Him, what I listen to, my work to Him… He’s revealing where I’m still holding onto my will and not surrendering to His will. And, He’s teaching me how to more boldly and intentionally live in light of the Gospel.

When we grow in our understanding of Christ’s loving sacrifice for unworthy sinners, we are led to live differently. We are led to offer our lives as a living sacrifice to God when we recognize what Jesus has done for us. The Son of God left heaven, came into the world as an infant and experienced life as we do. He came to walk with us, teach us, and ultimately, save us by sacrificially dying on a cross. Christ endured the wrath of God we deserved and triumphantly rose from the dead to forgive all who believe. He is oh so worthy of our complete surrender!

Encouragements

I encourage you to ask God how He is calling you to deeper surrender. Maybe you’re like me and you have some fears about that. I’ve realized my main fear is around rest. I worry that if I surrender everything to Him, specifically my free time, I’ll be tired all the time. I fear He’ll call me to more than I can handle and I won’t rest. But, when I focus on what’s true, I know that He promises to equip us for all He calls us to. He also promises to provide for our needs – even rest! What are your fears in surrendering everything to God? What does He say in His Word about those fears? Trust in His promises, surrender in faith, and watch as He works in mighty ways!

Anyway, that’s my update! If you’re in need of more encouragement, subscribe to my mailing list if you haven’t already! I send out weekly emails talking about practical steps to grow in your faith and love for Christ. I send out free resources and all sorts of content exclusive to members of my community who are ready to grow deeper in their relationship with God. I’d love to see you there!

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3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Study the Bible

If you’re a part of my community or have been following me for awhile, you know that I love God’s Word. Studying the Bible excites me. I talk a lot about the Bible and what God is teaching me, but I wanted to share with you why it’s important that we all study the Bible on our own and why we should get excited about it.

It’s important that we study the Bible because it’s God’s written Word to us and the primary way He speaks to us. 

If we want to grow in our faith, studying the Bible is foundational. Many people around the world do not have access to the Bible, but if you are reading this post, I’m gonna assume you do. 😉 So, start reading and studying the Bible online through one of the apps or websites I recommend (visit the link below) and if you can afford it, invest in a study Bible. All scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), living and active (Hebrews 4:12). Learning what messages God has spoken through Scripture for all people, for all time is exciting and it has eternal impact on our lives!

Side note: Do your research on translations. Some are more trusted than others and some are just paraphrases. You want an accurate, word-for-word translation. My personal favorite translation is ESV, second favorites are NIV & NASB.

It’s important that we study the Bible to grow in wisdom and discernment.

The world is a confusing place… even the church can be! Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” In other words, as Christians, we are not meant to lean on and live by our own ideas and opinions, we are meant to trust in God’s way and that His way is the best way. We grow in our godly understanding (AKA wisdom and discernment) through studying the Bible. The more we study the Bible, the more we grow in true wisdom, and the better we can discern what’s right and wrong in a world where it’s not always clear.

It’s important that we study the Bible to grow in our love for God and our love for others.

God’s greatest commandment has remained true since the Old Testament, but Jesus reiterates it in Matthew 22:37-38 ESV, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” God’s #1 commandment, the most important, our starting point, is to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. We grow in our love for God through prayer, worship, and studying the Bible. The second commandment flows from our love for God. The better we know His love, the better we can love others in the way Christ loves us.


I hope this post helped you understand better why we study the Bible. We don’t just study the Word of God to gain knowledge and go about our normal lives. It should change us. It should cause us to live and think differently.

The Creator of the universe wants to speak to you through His written Word—He wants to bless you with His love, gifts of knowledge and discernment, and so much more. This is exciting! Bible study is never boring when we ask God to use it to grow us and transform our lives. Pray daily for wisdom, study His Word, and memorize it. Experience how He speaks through Scripture and will grow You in ways only He can. <3

If you are not yet a part of my community, I would love to help equip you to study the Bible on your own and get excited about it. Sign up to join below to receive exclusive freebies and tips only available via email!

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