Mar 20, 2012

Tuesday SHINE

Good Tuesday morning SHINE girls!  :))

Here is our reading.  Today's text is really good so you won't want to miss it!

Do we love Tuesdays?!?  I know I do.

Thrilled to have yet another SHINE spotlight today.

We are beyond blessed to have these women who share their Light so freely.

Without further ado...

I am so excited to introduce my sweet friend Ashleigh. I've known Ashleigh for two years now and can honestly says she seeks to honor and serve the Lord with all of her heart! Ashleigh has been such a great friend to me. She encourages me in my relationship with the Lord, my parenting, and my responsibilities at home. Ashleigh is GREAT at keeping a very clean home even with two little girls ages 3 and 1. But, more than that she takes time to read the Word, study books, and worship our Savior! Ashleigh loves and respects her husband just as Christ commands us married ladies to do! Thank you Ashleigh for being a great friend and sister in Christ!

Thank you ladies for letting me share with you how God has recently been working in my life. Before we get to “now” let me tell you a little about how I got here. I became a true Christ follower in March of 2004. I married my godly husband, Joey, in July of 2005. Six months later we moved seven hours away from home to Wake Forest, North Carolina for Seminary. In January of 2009 we had our first little girl Julianna Grace and almost two years later in November 2010 we had our second daughter Adalyn Faith. I am blessed with a wonderful husband who provides for our family and affords me the blessing of staying at home with my two sweet baby girls, a dream come true! We are still at Seminary, six years later, but enjoying this season of life and the lessons that come along with it.
Ashleigh & Joey with their beautiful girls
As I sought after the Lord for direction on what to write about I kept coming back to the word “deny”. God has been showing me my selfishness and my need to deny myself and follow after Him. I was reminded of two different passages in scripture, the first Matthew 16:24:
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
In this verse Jesus says “deny himself”, but let’s make sure we understand what he means. He is not speaking of material things but about giving ourselves fully to God. He doesn’t want us to give into the flesh but by the power of the spirit, surrender all of ourselves to his will. The second passage was Philippians 2:3-8:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
It is here that we see the ultimate example of sacrifice, humility, the denying of self all in Christ Jesus. He did not consider his equality with God as something selfishly to be held on to. He didn’t think of himself but he thought of others. He was a servant, who laid down his life for the sins of the world on a cross of death. What grace and humility!
As I read these verses and was putting them into practice I realized that my selfishness and lack of humility was leading me to see that I don’t truly love people the way I should. I came across this quote from Warren Wiersbie, "The way we behave toward people indicates what we really believe about God." My heart is broken by the reality of my sinfulness in this area. I am quick to judge and not quick to love. I see this sin in all areas of my life, from strangers to family. The most heart breaking part is not only do I not love the people around me in a way that is honoring to Christ but my love for him is not as it should be either.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:11-12
I thank God that he has brought these things to my attention and that his Word is faithful and able to change us if only we are willing. I want to challenge you with Psalm 139:23-24:
 “Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!
 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Thank you for letting me share with you.

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