Desires and Conflict

Today, as conflict was present in our home again I was led to read the word as tears were filling my eyes. Why? This question was going through my head. Why is there conflict? I had to remind myself again, because we live in a fallen world and that is why we need a Savior!! BUT, God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2: 4-5). In search for the source (or root) or all conflict, the Lord led me to these verses.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. ” -James 4: 1-5 (ESV)

“Ouch”…..very convicting!! Our passions and cravings that are at war with in us. We want something but, do not have it so we murder (hatred is considered murder in the eyes of our Savior). This is the root of all fighting.

This afternoon, my sister and I experienced this very thing.”BUT, I”. This very sentence reveals so much selfishness and pride! It comes out of my mouth so often. “But, I want to do this”, “But, I want it this way”, “But, I was in the middle of doing something”, to name a few.

Every single day, we all have a chance to lay down our wants and our desires and glorify God by serving others. How quickly I fail, how quickly I speak before I think about what I am going to say, how quickly I become moody when don’t get my way.

As, all of this sin was revealed in my heart today, I was quickly tempted to despair. I love the words to the song, “Before the Throne of God Above”. The 2nd verse particularly speaks against despair.

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see him there who made an end of all my sin! Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me, to look on Him and pardon me. -Before the Throne of God Above (Vikki Cook-Sovereign Grace Music)

images-1Remember the gospel!! The gospel is the the only antidote to discouragement. Remember when the Savior died, and how He died for all of our sins!! Absolutely NOTHING is outside of His mercy for those who are His. Nothing can keep you from the love and grace waiting for you in the arms of the Savior. Run to His side, dear saints. Don’t walk and fall away from the path of mercy, RUN to HIM!

Lastly remember that when in humility (James 4:6) we acknowledge our sin and weakness before the Lord, HIS sustaining grace is ever-present!!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see so clearly

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away

-Grace Like Rain (Todd Agnew)

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Bronte’s Picks

Besides the Bible I love the following;

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis:

I love Narnia! Besides the Bible there is no book I have read that affects me so deeply. I feel God has brought me closer narnia_booksto Him through reading these books. They beautifully portray real life truths in a graceful, imaginative way. They are wonderful and a dear part of my growing up. And I’m not ashamed to say I actually cried as I read The Last Battle. “Further up and further in!”

 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Another fantastic seriese! In LOTR Tolkien clearly shows the difference between good and evil. It shows even in the 0395193958_01_lzzzzzzz1darkest of times there is still a glimmer of hope. Oh, and the movies are fantastic too!

 

Why Pro-Life by Randy Alcorn:

x88301I was definitly pro-life before I read this book but now I feel like I’m even more pro-life. Alcorn does a great job of defending the pro-life stand in short, easy to read chapters. Even thought I’m only 16, I found this book understandable. This book is for everyone, whether or not their pro-life.

 

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul:

God is holy. How often in our day to day life we forget this. It should not be forgotten! God’s holliness is nothing to be the_holiness_of_godtrifled with. It is awe-inspiring and powerful. It should take our breath away. This book is a worshipful expirience. As it takes us deeper into God’s holliness it inspires worship to our awesome Creature. This book is worth it’s weight in gold.

 

Other favorites include, Chosen by God (by R.C. Sproul), Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards (by N.D. Wilson), The Penderwicks (by Jeanne Birdsall), Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen), Little Women (by Louisa May Alcott), and anything written by Kate DiCamillo

Read away!

Worldliness: God, My Heart, and Music

Discussion Questions: (taken from the book Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World)

For Your Mind:

1. What indications do we have from the Bible that God likes music?

2. Why can’t we create a list of artists or music styles that every Christian should listen to or avoid.

3. What do we mean when we say that music carries content, context, and culture?

For your Heart:

1. How important is music to you? Are you easily irritated when you aren’t hearing the music you prefer? Are you more passionate about a concert than participation in your local church? More excited about the latest album than about the truth that Christ has saves you?

2. Does the music you listen to lead you to love the Savior more, or does it cause your affection for Christ to diminish.

3. Whose musical tastes are you most tempted to critique or look down on?

For your Life:

1. Do you own music that you’ll listen to only if you backslide? If so, what reasons do you give for holding onto it?

2. As Harold Best points out, “There is no single chosen language or artistic or musical style that, better than all the others, can capture and repeat back the fullness of the glory of God.” What is one thing you can do to broaden your musical taste?

3. Next Saturday night or Sunday morning, prepare for your church’s Sunday meeting by taking time to thank the Lord for his gift of music and for those he’s provided to lead your church in worship. What are some ways you can prepare your heart and join wholeheartedly when your church gathers for worship?

Three weeks from now we will post the discussion questions from Chapter 4.

Thanks everyone!