Thursday, March 15, 2012
"And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15
God has a message --and a gift-- to all who would receive. Jesus Christ paid for it. His precious atonement stamps the Letter eternally. God sealed the Letter and has commanded Christians to carry it forth. However, the message cannot come through us without God. His Holy Spirit indwells, convicts, and speaks through us.
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Acts 2:37-40
Take a few minutes to imagine your life without Christ. After considering this, I came to the conclusion that I cherish nothing so much as my relationship with Christ. Why wouldn't we want to share this priceless, exceedingly abundant News with all the lost or discouraged? Even more importantly, God commanded it. It may be that we need to read God's Letter to us more.... and pray for opportunities. Never has any man regretted obedience to God.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:13-15
Thursday, March 8, 2012
How many women do you know that are beautiful? What is it that makes them so? Many women diligently seek to attain what the world defines as “feminine sensuality.” By comparing the heart and meaning of femininity and sensuality, we will find that they have strikingly different qualities.
Femininity is (1) the characteristic of women or girls; feminine attire, (2) having quality or characteristics traditionally ascribed to women as sensitivity, delicacy, or prettiness, (3) womanliness. What characteristics are women “traditionally ascribed” to? The Bible begins by telling us in Genesis that God made woman for man to be his helpmeet, because he was alone and needed a companion. Originally woman was created to be quietly submissive, sensitive, and nourishing. Sensuality is defined as (1) arousing or preoccupied with gratification of the senses or appetites; carnal, (2) lacking moral restraints, (3) worldly; materialistic; irreligious. By definition, sensuality denotes a lack of character. True femininity demonstrates character. Being sensual is adorning the fallen nature of our character as a sinner, while being feminine is adorning the image of God in our character as a woman.
There are many areas in which femininity can be applied, such as speech or attitudes, but one of the most common is dress. Does choosing revealing pants over modesty really uncover anything about our character? There must be a balance: looking appealing is not wrong, but if our low shirt or glamorous hairstyle is the first thing people notice, is Christ being glorified with our body? Although our dress does not decide our character, our character does decides our dress. Too many women today are desiring to attain the honor of femininity, but are relying on the physical and temporal. They eventually become disappointed and regretful. It is natural to be discontent apart from fulfilling God's design. (Note: in submission a woman as a wife should dress according to her husband's taste.)
Femininity and sensuality both involve female beauty, but only one of them is biblical besides in relation to a husband. Truly being feminine is developing a relationship with God and reflecting His holiness. It is an inner, incorruptible beauty. Femininity is irreplaceable; exposing external beauty with indecency will never make up for the lack of inner beauty. Are our lives “preoccupied” with vain attempts to uplift our own image? The woman of God is spirit controlled within and meek without. Without God, a woman is tossed and turned as to who she should be. The sensual woman does not receive the satisfying promises as those who seek first the Kingdom of God (His will) and His righteousness.
Knowing the beginning and end of being feminine or sensual, we are thus challenged to daily choose which will characterize us. Drawing the line between femininity and sensuality is not always easy, but if we inquire of God, we can be what He intends us to be as a woman. A woman's beauty is not meant to attract men for the selfish purpose of imposing their weakness by our own power. A woman's beauty is God's blessing for men seeking to honor God's authority over their own lives. Isn't it a joy to know that God created us to be a blessing? Being created in God's image is a human glory, and we should praise God, because through Christ we can be God's children –bearing His likeness. Cherish God's design of your femininity!
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.”
1 Peter 3:3-5