Tag Archives: gospel

Hope For the Prostitute – Introduction

The American church is often plagued by a horrible disease. It’s a disease that effects how we look at others and how we minister to them. It’s a disease that causes our ministry and personal spiritual lives to suffer. It’s a disease that is deadly and it’s effects have already been seen. What’s this disease? It’s as simple as pride, which leads to self-righteousness and judgmental attitude toward others.
These have all plagued humanity since the fall, but I want to address how it’s present and effecting our current time and culture. In so many Christians, including myself, there is often a focus on how naughty “those people” are. “Those people” that are outside the church and doing “really bad things” that are not usually found inside the church. Those “huge” sins like drug addictions, homosexuality, murder, theft, sexual abuse, and prostitutes.
Now prostitution is never even mentioned in our churches. In almost fourteen years of growing up in a church I’ve never heard it mentioned once. It’s one of those “outside” things that is dirty and we don’t like to touch us. It’s something we may fight against in the form of not wanting strip clubs and such in our neighborhoods, but that’s just about it. We often see prostitution as something “out there” when it’s actually in our neighborhoods and communities, it’s even in the Bible belt! (I have an interesting story about that…)
So how does this go back to the things like pride and self-righteousness?  A prostitute’s sin is blatant and easy to see and recognize, for a self-righteous person, they don’t even think that anything is wrong. It’s so easy to forget that if it wasn’t for the grace of God we would be worse then they.
My main goal for this series is to focus on reaching those we term the lowest of the low with the gospel. But before we do that we need to lay down our pride, self-righteousness, and judgmental attitudes. Now the reason I’m focusing on prostitutes is because it’s something that has been laid so heavily on my heart. God has caused my heart to ache for the women enslaved to sexual sin and selling their bodies. It’s also an ignored subject in the church and as I’ve been studying it, I’ve found that it is often misunderstood, especially by the young people in the church.
The biggest goal for this series is ultimately that God is glorified and the gospel is preached. These men and women need the gospel so badly, just like we do! I was to encourage you to be the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone but especially in our sex driven culture with it’s perversion and sin. From the pregnant teen sitting in our pews to the prostitute on the streets of Las Vegas, it’s our job to proclaim the gospel to them and to love them. That’s why I believe that this is a topic worthy of my time and energy.

{Finally I’m posting the first part to my series entitled Hope For the Prostitute. Big thanks to my friend Josh for being my super duper editor man. Note: I hope to aproach this topic in a way that is clean, pure, and holy while not denying the ugliness, evilness, and sinfulness that surrounds it. In no way will I disguise the truth or try to paint it as a prettier picture but I will not be blunt for the sake of being blunt. Thank you all for your time and (maybe) attention.}

The American church is often plagued by a horrible disease. It’s a disease that effects how we look at others and how we minister to them. It’s a disease that causes our ministry and personal spiritual lives to suffer. It’s a disease that is deadly and it’s effects have already been seen. What’s this disease? It’s as simple as pride, which leads to self-righteousness and judgmental attitude toward others.

These have all plagued humanity since the fall, but I want to address how it’s present and effecting our current time and culture. In so many Christians, including myself, there is often a focus on how naughty “those people” are. “Those people” that are outside the church and doing “really bad things” that are not usually found inside the church. Those “huge” sins like drug addictions, homosexuality, murder, theft, sexual abuse, and prostitution.

Now prostitution is never even mentioned in our churches. In almost fourteen years of growing up in a church I’ve never heard it mentioned once. It’s one of those “outside” things that is dirty and we don’t like to touch us. It’s something we may fight against in the form of not wanting strip clubs and such in our neighborhoods, but that’s just about it. We often see prostitution as something “out there” when it’s actually in our neighborhoods and communities, it’s even in the Bible belt! (I have an interesting story about that…)

So how does this go back to the things like pride and self-righteousness?  A prostitute’s sin is blatant and easy to see and recognize, for a self-righteous person, they don’t even think that anything is wrong. It’s so easy to forget that if it wasn’t for the grace of God we would be worse then they.

My main goal for this series is to focus on reaching those we term the lowest of the low with the gospel. But before we do that we need to lay down our pride, self-righteousness, and judgmental attitudes. Now the reason I’m focusing on prostitutes is because it’s something that has been laid so heavily on my heart. God has caused my heart to ache for the women enslaved to sexual sin and selling their bodies. It’s also an ignored subject in the church and as I’ve been studying it, I’ve found that it is often misunderstood, especially by the young people in the church.

The biggest goal for this series is ultimately that God is glorified and the gospel is preached. These men and women need the gospel so badly, just like we do! I want to encourage you to be the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone but especially in our sex driven culture with it’s perversion and sin. From the pregnant teen sitting in our pews to the prostitute on the streets of Las Vegas, it’s our job to proclaim the gospel to them and to love them. That’s why I believe that this is a topic worthy of my time and energy.

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Faith, Hope for the Prostitute, The Gospel

The Paradox of Freedom

monthlymondaypoetrysmaller-1

The Paradox of Freedom

Surrounded by a sea of people celebrating liberty

Little could they see that they are bound in slavery.

In the light of the day

The darkness was still their way.

Decked in red, white, and blue

Holding their favorite brew,

They are enslaved

Not knowing that they need to be saved.

Their bodies are unshackled

Their souls are chained.

Yet they don’t understand.

In the land of the brave and the free

So many are living in captivity.

Those of us who have been released,

Will we stay silent while our brothers decease?

3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Holidays, Monthly Monday Poetry, Slavery, The Gospel

Easter Series (Introduction)

Easter Lily   Easter is right around the corner. The day that has been hidden by candy and fluffy bunnies still manages to shine through all of that to show the Truth, the Way, and the Light. It’s so easy to forget the reason behind the best day in history by the show that the world puts on to try to distract us. We are all busy with Easter plans, services, activities and such going on that we forget to take a deep breath, slow down, and meditate on the glory of this day where we celebrate the gospel, our salvation, and all that Christ has done for us.

 Easter was when Jesus conquered death and sin. Easter was when the whole world was turned upside down. Easter is when the most miraculous event in history happened, Jesus rose from the dead. Easter was when God saved us. There has been no better day since the dawn of time than Easter.

 This year I’m going to do a series of blog posts for the purpose of preparing my own heart and also help you as well. I’m also going to try to read Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die (also known as The Passion of Jesus Christ) by John Piper in the next two weeks so I’m sure a lot of my posts will be influenced by this book (not to mention quotes galore!). I hope you all enjoy this series and the Lord will work through them to help your hearts be ready for Easter. God bless!

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Easter Series, Faith, Holidays, Jesus, The Gospel

The Greatest Power For Change

 I live in a tough area of the country. Drugs and alcohol abuse run strong and there are as many bars as churches, if not more. It’s the most unchurched county in the state. Teen alcoholism, STDs, and pregnancies run high. There are children as young as four roaming the streets in the town. A few years ago a girl like that was kidnapped and hasn’t been found. It’s a hard place here.

 Yet God has been changing my heart towards it… while I used to have a bitterness and an attitude of scoffing towards the depraved culture, now God has been showing me that this is a place in desperate need of the gospel. No amount of abstinence speakers, police enforcement, parental guidance, or anything else can change this group of small towns that makes up the area I live in. Only the power that can bring about change is the gospel. It’s Jesus’ blood and redemption through His grace.

 We are Christ’s ambassadors. We have the light of the world inside of us and it’s our job to let that light shine. In James is says that whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, he is sinning. We keep the good news of the gospel locked up inside of our hearts, letting it out a little at church or on a missions trip. But if that’s so, do we really value the gospel? The gospel is the power of God, our salvation, hope, water for the thirsty, strength. Do we truly value the gospel if we don’t share it?

 One of my favorite stories about a man who truly valued the gospel was pastor John Harper. He was so in love with the gospel that he jumped into that ice cold water from the ship Titanic so that he would share the gospel to the dying souls drowning in the water. He cherished and prized the gospel enough to tell everyone he could instead of only worrying about his own life and wellbeing. That is how we should be.

 We should be madly in love, infatuated, captivated, enraptured, obsessed, and head over heals for the gospel that we should have a passion to see others find that love too. I know full well how hard it is to break down our pride, to be willing to make things socially awkward, risk friendships, or our reputations to share the good news of forgiveness and life in Christ. I’m still learning how to do it and do not do a good job of sharing the gospel yet. But I pray that God will work in my heart to make His truth so treasured in my heart that I can’t not share it.

 It’s so easy to just hate the sinful culture instead of changing it. Though we are to hate sin, we are to love sinners with a pure heart, one that desires to see sinners lead to repentance and regeneration and ultimately to God. We can’t do the saving on our own, we aren’t even the one that does any of the saving. We are simply the preachers of the good news, the rest is God’s job, not ours.

“Wake Up” Leeland

The nation lost and dying
Searching for You
Creation waits
Children with the word of God
Written on their hearts
Show love to the world

We need to wake up, wake up
Live like God
Pour out love
We need to wake up, wake up
Live like God
Pour out love

I know it’s sad
That the gift we have
We keep it for ourselves
Most of the time
The world is looking
For a love that’s locked up
Inside these four walls
Break the door down and shine

Our face is set
Our goal is heaven
Jesus, You are the well of love
We’ll pour You out
We’ll pour You out

(Note: My dad has some excellent posts on evangelism and the gospel on his new blog Gospel2Live. Go check it out!)

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, heroes, Jesus, Passion, The Gospel

Where to Set Our Eyes

So many things are constantly vying for my precious time and attention. So many things that, even if they themselves are good, are pulling me away from Christ. So many sins that love to cling to me and temptations that are strong. We live in a world where it is not easy to live lives of true devotion to Jesus, but has it ever truly been?

Last week God convicted me or something in my life that I had not been doing a good job of doing and needed to change. I felt horrible for ever letting things get that way and I felt like I had failed. Then a verse I had memorized came to mind and hit me stronger then ever before. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I realized that it was setting my eyes on Christ that I needed to do. Not just become determined to not do it again or try to change on my own accord, but to focus on Christ. To rest in His arms and to be given the strength that I so desperately need from Him. Only through pouring myself out for Him and remembering the blood that He shed on my behalf, only then can there be any progress and holiness.

We can’t be setting our eyes on the sin that clings or to the temptations that surround us. We need to acknowledge them, yes. But we can’t be dwelling on them and we can’t be fixated on them. As my mom tells me, “We can’t always dwell on our problems, because when we do that we just keep spiraling down into a pit and we stay in that pit. What we have to do is deal with it and move on.”

Jesus Christ and the wonderful cross, which is our life and salvation, is what we need to be fixated with. We need to totally be caught up in Him, and that should overflow into every area of our life. As we seek the Lord with all of our hearts, our entire lives will be effected by that. The key to everything is the gospel. It is the answer to all our problems. I think that is just wonderful. That God gave us the blood of Christ and through Him we have not only salvation, but He has also given us the power to face anything through the cross! It’s such a wonderful reality!

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, Jesus

Jesus Paid it All

 The last few days I have had a certain song stuck in my head, and it is a very god song to have stuck. I have been singing it constantly and it has been actually filling me with joy, or should I say the words to the song have. These are the lyrics to the chorus/refrain.

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin has left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

 It is such a true and beautiful hymn. Through the blood of Jesus we are white as snow. God no longer sees our sin, but His son Jesus’ holiness. Isaiah 1:18 says,  

“‘Come now, let us reason together,’
says the LORD.
‘Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.’” (NIV)

 It is such a wonderful promise, that Jesus wipes out all of our sins. Every bad or careless word that we have ever said, every wrong thought, every selfish motive, everything has been made white and pure by the blood shed on the cross. Those who are Christians (and I don’t just mean going to church, reading the Bible, etc. but those who have been truly redeemed by Jesus and are putting their faith in him and love him) are totally forgiven for their sin. Though we will have consequences, we are forgiven. It is such a beautiful and liberating thought.

 But that doesn’t mean we should keep on sinning knowing that Jesus will forgive us. To the adulterous woman that Jesus forgave in John 8:1-11 Jesus said to her, “go, and from now on sin no more” (ESV). A truly repentant heart will be striving to change. As that second line goes, “all to Him I owe”. We owe our all to Jesus, not just some, not just most, all. We owe our obedience and love to the one who loved us first (1 John 4:19) and died for us while we were still wretches(Romans 5:8).
 I want to leave you with the following verse from Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (KJV) Soli Deo Gloria
 

5 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Faith, Music

Are Your Feet Beautiful?

  Some of you might just be reading this because of the interesting title. If so, great! But this was the thought that crossed my mind while reading Romans 10 yesterday. This is the part that really stuck out to me:

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15 (ESV)

 It just jumped out at me asking, “Olivia, are your feet beautiful? Do your feet run to share the gospel, or do they run to do your own pleasure? Do your feet go to do evil, or to rescue the oppressed?” Those are important questions. We are called to share the gospel. (Matt. 28:19-20) It was the last thing Jesus told his followers before he ascended to heaven. It is important to God.

 If we have the holy spirit inside of us we should be running to tell others about the gospel. We should go to whatever lengths to serve God and to have him glorified. We should be “crawling over broken glass” to tell others. Yet today in America we see that less and less. It is sad. Not only sad, but wrong. It tears my heart apart that people that claim to have the holy spirit dwelling in them don’t notice the call to share the gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation. They ignore it saying, “that is better left to the more experienced people.” or “That is just for the missionaries and pastors.” NO. Every Christian is called to share the gospel. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how young you are. (Except I do have a very funny story about how two of my friends cornered this guy they knew in 5th grade and interrogated him about what he believed.)

 Many Christians in America are more concerned about what they put on their feet instead of where their feet take them. We need to be running to do what God has for us. We need to be running to bring justice. We need to be running to bring healing and help, and with that, the gospel. We need to share the gospel, and we also need to provide basic needs. (James 2:14-18)

 So ask everyday if your feet are beautiful. Seek out times to share Jesus with the unbelievers in your life. Be quick to pray for people. Be quick to help others, and have good attitudes, for that can be sharing the gospel in it’s self. And be ready to give an answer to any man that may ask. I am praying that you will all have beautiful feet.

Your sister in Christ,

Olivia <><

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Faith