Humility

I don’t want you all to think I am up here on a high horse, preaching at you. I myself struggle with being humble, I have to check myself often. I hope you all do too, it is so important that we are thinking about our actions and our words throughout our days.

Let’s look at some scriptures that tell us the importance of humility, because the Bible does mention being humble or humility often.

1 Peter 5:5-7 (NKJV) 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to [your] elders. Yes, all of [you] be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”] 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

This scripture states that we are to submit ourselves, what does that mean? Some
synonyms of submission are complaint, obedient, meek, and yielding.
So this scripture is telling us to be obedient and compliant to our elders and to be humble, because why?

Because it says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
I want God’s grace, and more importantly I NEED God’s grace. So I am going to do
what He says, I am going to submit to my authority and my peers, I am going to clothe myself in humility, I am going to cast all of my cares on Him because He can care for me better than anyone else.

Micah 6:7-8 (NKJV) 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, The fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

In this passage, someone is asking what the Lord will be pleased with- will God be pleased with thousands of rams, what about ten thousand rivers of oil, what about if I sacrifice my child for my sins.. but the answer is much more simple than that. It says that the Lord requires you to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. The Lord requires this of us.

Luke 14:11 (NKJV) “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”.

This verse is pretty cut and dry, not a lot of room for interpretation. It says that if you
exalt yourself, meaning you think about yourself in a position of greatness, you will be humbled. It says that if you humble yourself, you will be exalted, meaning raised to a position of greatness in God.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want God to have to humble me. Being humbled
hurts. I want to check myself, and humble myself, so that God doesn’t have to.
But you know what, if He has to do it, I would rather be humbled by Jesus, then not be pleasing to Him, and not be with Him for eternity.

Philippians 2:5-8 (NKJV) 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, [and] coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to [the point of] death, even the death of the cross.

When I read this verse, it hit me hard.

I want you guys to really grasp what this verse is explaining to us- it is telling us that Jesus, who is the form of God and equal with Him, came in the likeness of us; He did not come as a millionaire like He could have, He did not come as a King like He could have, He came as an ordinary baby, an ordinary man. He humbled himself, and wrapped Himself in flesh. He humbled himself and was obedient- even to the point of death. Think about that. Jesus humbled Himself, and was obedient enough to say okay to dying on the cross for us. And all He is asking us to do, is to follow His Word, to humble ourselves. He isn’t asking us to be tortured and nailed to a cross, He already did that for us.

We have established the importance of humility- but what is it really?

Most of us understand that pride is the opposite of humility. What is pride? Pride is when you focus on who is right and your own glory, it reveals your character. Humility is when you focus on what is right and God’s glory, it reveals God’s character.

Maybe you are not prideful on purpose, and you don’t understand how pridefulness comes into your daily life. Let me give you some examples of how it happens- pride comes in when you compare, when we think we are owed something. Pride comes in when you pity yourself, and only focus on your weaknesses. Pride comes in when you are self reliant, when we think that we have our acts together. Pride comes in when we want recognition or when we expect others to acknowledge us.

Humility is, like a quote which I recently read, not necessarily when we think less of ourselves, but it is when think about ourselves less. True humility can be understood like this:

H-honoring God above yourself

U-understanding your need for grace

M-mourning over your sin

I-illuminating God’s glory

L-looking for ways to serve others

I-ignoring your pride

T-trusting God’s plan over your own

Y-yearning to worship

The Bible says that Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). So I want to challenge us to strive to be humble, be more aware of our actions and attitudes, and check ourselves and make sure we are pleasing to God.

Sabrina Hope

Mothers Mention

The term “mother” used as a verb is defined as “bringing up a child with care and affection.” Motherhood is more than a matter of fertility, but also a God-given set of skills meant to nurture those who need to be fed and cared for. The woman who fulfills this roll in our lives is not always our biological mother. Sometimes the Lord puts women in our lives to lead us, mentor us, and impart wisdom to us for our future.

I think as girls, it’s hard for us to understand why our mothers worry so much, or get on our nerves about the concerns they have for our lives. The truth is, our mothers always desire for us to go beyond and achieve more than they ever did, and so they care even more for our futures. They have experienced things we haven’t, and they see the bigger picture of how our actions impact our futures.

There is going to be a time where you are let go into the world and it’s likely that you, yourself will begin to invest in others the same way you were invested in. Whether it be your daughter, or a young girl who needed the same care that you, yourself needed.

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Bethany and Her Mother

I’m so thankful and blessed to have a mother who cares about my future and the choices I make. I would challenge each of you girls to not only honor and love your mother on this Mother’s Day, but to also find someone who has invested in you and had a strong impact in your life, and honor them. Happy Mother’s Day!

Bethany Marsh

Voices of This World

Dear fellow Apostolic Girl,

We live in a world that tells you, as a woman, that to be feminine means to not submit to authority, that to dress like a woman makes you look weak, that when you become a wife and mother, and take care of your household, that you give up your independence, future, and opportunities.

This is my second entry as an Apostolic Girl blogger, and I want to tell you that you are powerful, that in your submission you are crowned with glory and anointing, and that you are beautiful. And in this world that tries to tell you otherwise, I admonish you to guard your mind and your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all else, who can know it?”

When you do not guard your heart, you make yourself susceptible to the influence of this carnal and sinful world. As some of you may have experienced in your past, this is a dangerous and vulnerable place to be. The principalities of this world will try and make you believe that you are treated unfairly, that you shouldn’t have to submit or be humble, that you deserve recognition for all of your accomplishments and acts of service. Thoughts and attitudes like these will begin to poison and darken your heart.

In contrast, submission and humility are exactly what we should strive for. God sees your private devotion and servant-hood.  He walks with you in every journey or path you take. When you submit, HE sees. When you are humble, HE sees. When you serve the kingdom of God without recognition, HE sees.

There are so many voices in this world. And sometimes it can be hard to discern God’s. The most dangerous of these voices are the false ones that come from within the church. Those in whom you trust, that are giving you misguided direction. You will only be able to discern the voice of God if you build a relationship with Him. When you get to know Him, His voice, His thoughts.

You must be careful about what you open your mind to. Whether it be movies, books, or even educations that can lead you astray. Pray for your mind. Pray for your heart. Pray for the armor of God to be utilized every morning before you walk out your door. For without it, you are walking into the world without spiritual protection. Know that you are crowned with glory. That you are anointed and powerful. Do not let the voices of the world take that away.

Disney may say to “Follow Your Heart.”  But, please don’t. The heart will deceive you. The heart will make you feel emotions that are not of the Lord. Follow the Holy spirit that lives inside of you. The one that will guide you in the right direction. The voice that will speak clarity to you in the midst of the fog. Who are you allowing to speak into your life?

 

Bethany Marsh

A Woman to Be Praised

Today, we are bombarded with the feminist movement and the many different meanings it holds for people (don’t worry, this is not an article about feminism, that’s a whole different conversation). That the thought of being a Proverbs 31 woman is outdated and old-fashioned, or only for moms. But, I want to encourage us to not get caught up in that feminist mentality or argument that being a Proverbs 31 woman is outdated, but to focus on the women that God is calling us to be.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 NKJV

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 ESV

The Bible says charm is deceitful. Charm is defined as “the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration”. A synonym for deceit is misleading. So, another way to interpret this verse would that arousing admiration is misleading, and that beauty is vain.
As girls and young women we have power, but we must be mindful of how we use it. We do not want to be a stumbling block for those around us, we do not want to be a distraction from what is truly special about us and what separates us, which is that we are chosen of God and we are filled with His Spirit.

I pray that instead of being girls who are focused on the material things, the charms and beauty we have, that we are girls who choose to become a woman who embodies the characteristics God desires of us.

To be modest – 1 Timothy 2:9

To be kind – Proverbs 31:26

To have self control – 1 Timothy 2:9

To fight for those who can’t fight for themselves – Proverbs 31:8-9

To be trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11

To be good – Proverbs 31:12

To honor and be honorable – Proverbs 31:25

To be willing to work hard and not be idle – Proverbs 31:13-15, 27

To plan and make decisions carefully – Proverbs 31:16

To be strong – Proverbs 31:17, 25

To be wise – Proverbs 31:26

Let us be girls, who are rising up to become Proverbs 31 women.

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Save this image for your wallpaper as a reminder!

 

Sabrina Hope

Remember Your Roots

Dear Fellow Apostolic Girl,

Remember your roots. When you look at a statement such as this, you may think that I am referring to remembering your family tree and heritage. But in this case, I am referring to the roots that have sustained us and built us up from our personal pasts and experiences. The roots that grew as a result of your testimony.

Often times, we look at our past, and the mistakes we’ve made, or what we’ve been through, and try to bury them away. We want to hide from those feelings so we push them away from us. Many times, we were put through a time of trial or testing and in that time, we learned some hard life lessons, or grew from hard experiences where we had to learn to trust on the Lord. For those of you who may be going through something like that right now, let me encourage you that there is a bigger picture that goes beyond what we can see or comprehend. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

We often use the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Let’s look at that scripture in a different translation to give more perspective. “For I know that thoughts that I think towards you, declares the Lord. Thoughts to prosper you and not to harm you, thoughts to give you a hope and a future.” The Lord can map out our lives according to His specific will, for each moment in time. No matter how much He has done this, He will never force you to follow His will, so… when we step outside the will of the Lord, we then take control of our own lives, and may get caught up in something that was not planned for our lives. BUT the mercy and grace of the Lord is never-ending and never-failing. Praise God! There is always room for another chance for us to fall back in line with the will of the Lord. And when we do, the result is a testimony of what the Lord brought you out from.

Victor Jackson said this, “God factors your failures into your future.” What an incredibly true and encouraging statement. As a child, I was always told that “God uses the bad things that happen, for good.” And it is true. He takes those experiences and trials we’ve been through and uses them to reach others. Sometimes, I think to myself that the Lord may have put me through something for the sole purpose of being able to reach others who are going through the same thing. The important thing to realize, is that no matter the mistakes you’ve made, the trials you’ve suffered, God can and will use it as a testament of where He has brought you from, and it then becomes your job to share with others as the Lord leads. Our testimonies should be used as an encouragement to those around us. They give us opportunities to reach and relate to people we would have never related to before. Testimonies glorify God and are a constant reminder of His grace, mercy, and mighty works.

I challenge you to share your testimony, and let it be a constant reminder of who God has called you to be, and where you would be without His love. I challenge you not to hide from your past, but to share your experiences with those who are in need of hope, encouragement, advice, and love. Most importantly Sisters, I challenge you to trust in the Lord, and let Him direct you.

Bethany Marsh

 

Enjoy Everything

To give some background on what this phrase means to me, this phrase of ‘Enjoy Everything’ became a sort of motto for both my family when, 8 years ago, my 19 year old cousin was killed by a drunk driver in a hit and run. In his pocket there was a To-Do list for the next day, one thing to do was pay a ticket and there were a few other things. But, the last thing on his list was simply Enjoy Everything. In hindsight, this phrase and the simple yet powerful reminder it provides has been applicable to my entire life.

This sentiment of “Enjoy Everything” can be applied to the various situations we all have gone through and will go through. Good or bad.
As I prepared this, I sat down and read Ecclesiastes; most people are familiar with Chapter 3, the first verse states-

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
The chapter continues and goes through different situations and conflicts. I won’t go through all of them, but I definitely encourage you all to read Ecclesiastes. It only takes about 10 minutes, and it is so applicable- at least for me, to this season- and it serves as such a great reminder on perspective.

Each season and moment in our lives has rewards, heart breaks, and challenges. I think, for those in this college season in our lives, we can think of something that fits each of those categories. Maybe the reward of A’cing an exam or utilizing a student discount. Maybe the heart break of failing a class or being away from your family. For those in a season of Middle or High School- maybe the reward of winning a sports game or making a team. Maybe it’s the heartbreak of losing friends who you thought would be with you forever.

Obviously, there are worse things and I am sure each one of us has been through our own personal seasons of heart break, of challenges, and of rewards. But, I want to encourage us to enjoy everything in every season. Even if that season is watching as doctors turn off life support. Even if that season is burying someone you love. Even if that season is losing everything you have.

I know I sound crazy- I am telling you to enjoy things that break your heart into a million pieces and that change your life. But, here’s the thing- God is working for our good, always. My dad, and I am sure you have heard this if you have been to church or around Christians, always says, “God is good, All the time”. He is good and He is working for our good. When we are in the thick of the situation, of the challenge, it is hard to see the good and it is hard to imagine there could be anything good about it. But, God.
God sees the big picture, God is shaping us; He is molding us into who we are destined to be. When God breaks us, He is still there- He is holding us and crying with us, His heart breaks with ours. Then, in His perfect timing, He picks us up and makes us into something even better. In Ecclesiastes, it also says that a sad face does good for the heart.

We can trust Him. Why? Because we have a promise, His promise.
His promise in Romans 8:28, that He will make something good out of the storms that bring devastation in our lives.
His promise in Isiah 66:9, that He will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.
His promise in Jeremiah 33:6, to heal us and give us abundant peace and security.
He is working for our good, always.

I don’t know if any of you can relate to this but, a lot of times I find myself neglecting the season I am in, planning and dreaming for the future, thinking once I get there I will be happy, content, and can finally enjoy my life. But we shouldn’t be waiting to enjoy the next season, we should enjoy the one we are in.
As much as we don’t like to think about death and our lives coming to an end, at least I don’t; we only have a certain amount of time on the earth to make a difference and to live our earthly lives. Some people have a longer time, some shorter. When we are laying on our death bed at the end of our lives we won’t have a “next season” to plan and wait to enjoy- besides Heaven of course.

Each new challenge, each heart break is a chance for us to grow and to let God do what He wants in us and through us. Throughout my life, growing up, I never, ever thought what I have gone through to be part of my testimony and may be able to help someone else one day. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life or experiences.

Enjoying everything takes faith. Faith doesn’t mean everything will be great, it’s believing God knows what He is doing even when. He has our back, He promised and He can’t break His promises.
This ride of life may be bumpy, but we can have peace in the fact that He is working for our good.

sabrina hope

 

It Takes Time

Remember when you were a kid and you would get a cut and want it to go away as soon as possible? So, you’d pick at it or try to cover it with a band aid. Your parents would get on to you and say that you’re just making it worse or you’re just making it heal slower. Well, they were right.

The more you try to pick on your wounds the more it will take longer to heal. Covering it with a band aid won’t help either because no wound heals overnight. They say that time heals all wounds. It’s true.  You see, healing does take time. It doesn’t have a timeline.  But what does this word “healing” actually mean? According to Google, it means, “the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.” So now the question is, how long does someone have to wait until they can finally say “I’m healed”?

Healing happens over time. It’s something that cannot be rushed. It’s an everyday process. You got to be patient with yourself and push yourself to be brave enough to heal. Healing is hard and I will tell you this, there will be days where your mind will be full of questions and you will feel desperate for answers that do not exist. There will be moments where all hope is lost and you will feel like you have not made any progress. Healing is messy and can get ugly. Sometimes it can be breaking and painful. But, there will also be days when you feel free and hopeful, even when you thought you had no hope left. There will be moments where you will feel supported and loved by the people around you and that healing won’t be too far away. And those moments are the ones you should hold on to.

Healing also happens when you’re alone at night or when you’re sitting in your car at a red light and suddenly you remember everything that hurts, and it feels like you’re getting stabbed in the chest repeatedly. Now your whole body just feels heavy, your heart and everything inside you hurts. Because, healing is pain, but it is also triumph. To be honest, you will always scar, but it will serve as a reminder that you made it!

The bible says  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18

It takes time. It takes pain. It takes hopelessness. It is not an easy process. But, healing will come. And when this pain is over, the joy that He will bring in your life will be incomparable. He has a plan for your life. God brought you this far and He will get you through.

So this New Year, I pray for everyone that’s in the process of healing. Don’t give up on yourself! Keep pushing. Give your broken pieces to the Healer. Little by little, every day, as healing slowly finds its way to you and as your wounds become scars which will be proof of how gracefully you healed, your heart will be full of joy, hope and love. You will be better than okay.

francesca vitug