I've gathered some content for you this week. My hope is that it will spur on perseverance as in our walk with the Lord.
Content: This Week....
Five Things: On Personal Holiness
I was introduced to the Readwise app a couple years ago, which stores all the highlights from the books and articles I read. Every day I receive an email digest of 5 quotes. This week a theme emerged on personal holiness which challenged and encouraged me.
1 Holiness and the Gospel
"Holiness names not an inherent possession of the saints, but the relational reality of being swept up by the Spirit in the Messianic event of Jesus Christ." (Robert Dean)
The gospel gets us to the starting line.
The good news of the gospel is that we've been called, set apart as a holy people. In this way God's creating his team, his church who is united in him because of his grace and mercy. So we're on the team, warming up to stand eagerly, and anxiously, at the starting blocks to run the race set before us. We've been restored in relationship with God, empowered by the Spirit through the person and work of Christ.
It's the centrality of the gospel I don't want to forget in my day to day.
2 Holiness and Desire
"Desiring God above all things is the soil from which holiness is grown." (Jackie Hill Perry, Holier Than Thou)
Desire gets us out the starting blocks.
Having the gift of salvation, we endeavour to know more about God, his wonder and majesty, his sovereignty, his plans and purposes. Jen Wilkin reminds us, "the heart cannot love what the mind does not know." So with our spiritual appetites whet with good news, we pursue growth by taking in the spiritual milk to nourish our minds and souls.
We may encounter times of spiritual apathy, when we don't feel like reading the Scriptures or going to church, but we can choose to persevere, knowing our growth in Christlikeness depends on much needed sustenance. If that's the case for you right now, a simple prayer is, "Lord, I want to want to," asking him for that desire.
3 Holiness and Discipline
“The general human failing is to want what is right and important, but at the same time not to commit to the kind of life that will produce the action we know to be right and the condition we want to enjoy. This is the feature of human character that explains why the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We intend what is right, but we avoid the life that would make it reality.”(Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines)
Discipline keeps our pace.
In a race, your technique, strength and strategy are a result of your efforts in training. The time spent with your coach, in the gym, and in preparation.
If we're going to compete in a race, we've got to put some effort in. You've got your eyes set on a goal and you make steps toward achieving it.
Becoming the people God created us to be, to live fully as he intends, we put practices in place to get us there. Our spiritual growth needs our investment and attention. The relationship we desire needs cultivation.
As we creep into the new year, how have you been thinking about your spiritual habits?
4 Holiness and devotion
“Too many of us focus on the outward structure of character and conduct without taking the time to build the inward foundation of devotion to God. This often results in a cold morality or legalism, or, even worse, self-righteousness and spiritual pride.” (Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness)
How many runners do you know that really don't love to run?
I'd fall in that category. I enjoy going outdoors for a jog in the summertime, but I wouldn't say I love it enough to brave the task in winter.
We can be in danger of painting a portrait of self-righteousness while missing the care of the canvas. Our inner world, the life lived in secret, is tended by our devotion. Yes we desire to live and act righteously, but if piety is the only measure of our faith, we're standing in the crowds alongside the Pharisees.
What does it look like for us to develop our devotion to Christ this year?
5 Holiness and Obstacles
"Early in our spiritual pilgrimage, however, we learn that encounters with sin are not resolved so easily. Overcoming sin involves great warfare." (Joel R. Beeke and Michael V. P. Barret, A Radical, Comprehensive Call to Holiness,)
Our ongoing wrestlings with the flesh create obstacles in our race.
When I raced hurdles, I had to learn technique of moving my legs over while running, to count how many steps from the blocks to the first hurdle, and how many in between. As I trained, the hurdles became an expected part of race. However, if you're run the 400m without knowing white frames will stand in your way, you won't be ready. Even if you don't crash, your race will be hindered.
We can expect imperfections and temptation to enter our lane, it's assured; John calls us liars if we say we don't (1 Jn. 1:7). But in his grace we're given a Helper to strengthen us, the Word to teach us and his people to sharpen us.
How has your personal holiness grown the last year? Are there areas you're praying to sharpen?
On the Blog
Read my 2023 Christmas Letter with love from our home to yours :)
Its a Crazy Busy time of year...but truthfully, we're busy always. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, but it does mean our priorities need to be examined.
On My Shelf
This is the last week of our Advent bible study. I highly recommend it if you want to save it to remember for next year, restoring joy has been an unexpected gift for my soul.
Advent: Embodied Love | Mikey Conrad (Gospel Centered Discipleship)
"My dad knew it was my fault. I knew it was my fault. The insurance company knew it was my fault. But what I needed was compassion, and my dad knew that." When earthly arms reflect the love of the Father.
God With Us: Finding Immanuel In Our Toughest Trials | Kay Fuller (Risen Motherhood)
"As our story unfolded, the promise of Scripture personally held true: even when we’re not snatched from the storm, God is with us in it." The advent season doesn't provide immunity from hardships. Kay shares about their son's cancer and how they saw God with them through it. I pray it will encourage you if you're going through a tough season.
32 Random Thoughts About the Local Church | Tim Challies
In this article you'll find snippets of advice for us related to the local church. I enjoyed these a lot and was particularly challenged by number 2, 5 and ... a more.
5 Truths About Spiritual Gifts | Dan Darling
If we're getting ready for gift giving this weekend, it's a good time to also consider the gifts we have been given in Christ and the purpose they serve. Check out this quick overview of spiritual gifts.
Fight the Christmas Letdown | Kati Lynn (Well Watered Women)
Read this as the Christmas season peaks and almost abruptly ends in all the emotional highs and lows.
Christ For the World | Matthew Hoskin (The Gospel Coalition)
The last few years I've kept the tradition of reading through On the Incarnation by Athanasius of Alexandria. This article is a rundown of the text. "This Christmas season, ponder this classic work and bask in the glory of Christ who died and rose to save you."
(Christmas sweater day at school)
(our life group celebrated Christmas with a potluck and hayride)
Previously on My Mosaic
4 Years Ago
3 Years Ago
2 Years Ago
1 Year Ago