Are we changed from the inside out?
In the book of 1 Samuel, there’s the story of a guy named Saul that became the first man to be elected as the king of Israel. God has chosen Saul specifically to be their king; it wasn’t by chance or by the power of men.
When Saul left from being anointed as king, 1 Samuel 10:9-13 says,
“When he turned his back to leave from Samuel [the priest that had anointed him] God gave him a new heart…and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over him? Is Saul also among the prophets?” When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be given a new heart. While there are many different ways that you can reference the heart–the organ that pumps blood, the warehouse of emotions, etc.–the heart especially seems to us to be the place where God’s Spirit dwells within us.
God has plans for each and every one of us, and He has equipped us with the skills, gifts, talents, loves, and even a special heart in order to fulfill every part of His plan for us with His help.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
God knows us better than we know ourselves, but it’s time that we get to know ourselves a little bit better. It’s time that we get to know ourselves not by our intentions but by our actions.
Does our outward appearance reflect the inward change that occured when the Holy Spirit filled us and were given a new heart?
Posted in Live Radically, Uncategorized, Walking Down the Narrow Road
Tagged action, appearance, change, Christian, God, heart, hollinger, intention, inward, king, outward, sarah, saul, spiritual, transplant
Do you ever wonder how God looks at us as His children? If life was a soccer match and God was the coach, to whom would God give high fives or shake His head because of a bad play or yell out shouts of encouragement?
Recently, this question has been on my mind. While we can never know the motives of God, there are a couple of verses that have given me some thoughts on how God looks upon us.
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7
Right off the bat, we see that God sees differently than we do. Why is that? It’s because on earth, our outer appearance is how we usually convey our worldly state–whether we are happy, successful, wealthy, etc. But here’s the thing, God’s kingdom is much different than our world. While the criteria for who’s the best here in the world may be based on status, God’s kingdom sees right through all of this.
“27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31
You see, it’s all about our heart condition. When we encounter God, does the life that we live from there out give all the glory to Him?
Just as a great coach, God sees that while skill is needed for His team–after all, He gave us every skill that we have–it’s the condition of your heart that determines how you will work in His body of believers. Will your life of being the most improved–from a destitute sinner to a believer washed in God’s grace and love–be even more important than being the team member that scores the most goals?
God loves each and every single one of us–bench warmer or team captain alike. So the real question for you today is this: by your heart condition, are you ready to glorify God?
Posted in God is Greater, Live Radically, Walking Down the Narrow Road
Tagged appearance, coach's, condition, corinthians, glorify, God, heart, hollinger, life, looks, outside, player, samuel, sarah, sees, soccer, team, view
Hello! Please read my salute to this past summer. It’s a thank you to YOU, my family, my friends, and my readers. I love y’all! Thanks for your continued support :)
Have you ever run across a verse that made you say,”What???” Hahaha…. well, I said that the first time when I read the story of the talking donkey in Leviticus or somewhere in the very beginning of the Old Testament. Just now in the Starbucks of Downtown Franklin, TN, I just came across another verse. This is what I saw right at first:
“You are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)
While both statements are really insightful, I especially liked the second half of that verse–that we are God’s building. Here’s what the rest of that passage says:
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).”
The reason why I liked this passage so much was because it shows just how much we all have an influence on one another. Paul states that he laid the foundation of Jesus Christ in the lives of church members of Corinth, and others build upon that foundation. Since it is you and me, though, that are building upon this foundation, we certainly have to be careful! Naturally, we are sinful and inexperienced when it comes to building spiritual houses, especially since we are still being built ourselves!
Not only are we just any building, though. We are God’s temple! (1 Corinthians 3:16) Woah! We should definitely be careful now in how we are being built since we are His temple.
My challenge for you today is to think of yourself as God’s temple that is still under construction. Who will you allow to lay each brick of your spiritual house? How will you construct the walls or framework of the spiritual house of one of your friends or family members?
Posted in Random Realization
Tagged building, Christian, construction, corinth, corinthians, field, God, hollinger, paul, Prayer, sarah, temple
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust IS the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends our its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for it’s leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of the drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
* Jeremiah 17:7-8 *
This is one of my favorite Bible verses, and I think I like it so much because of the tree analogy. Especially with summer heat full in swing, I feel as though every day is a day within a season of drought; therefore, this verse seems especially appropriate this time of the year.
Whenever you read this verse, I hope part of the beginning catches your eye… Blessed is the man…whose trust IS the Lord. Woah! That is a bold statement to make, a statement that I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out. After all, why would it be necessary to make sure a huge distinction between trust in the Lord versus trust being Him.
Take some time and ask yourself why you think this distinction was made. What implications are evident in the lives of those whose trust is the Lord? I’ll be back tomorrow after a good night of sleeping. Hopefully, He’ll be able to teach us all so much more about trusting through this passage.
Sleep well tonight or have a great day if you are reading this at any time other than bedtime ;) .
Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,
Posted in Searching for Answers
Tagged drought, God, green, heat, hollinger, implications, in, is, Jesus, life, Lord, sarah, trust
Are you a people pleaser?
I don’t know about you, but I sure am! Big time, actually. Pleasing others has always been something I’ve done because it makes me feel better about myself and more loved.
Did you know that the Bible speaks of this specifically? I had no idea that it did, but one day I was reading in the first chapter of Galatians, and I found this verse. Here’s what Paul writes in verse 10.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or God?
Or, am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
You know how people sometimes cough in their throat whenever they want you to pay attention? When I read this verse, I felt like Someone must have been tapping on my shoulder and saying, “Cough, Cough, Sarah, Cough!”
Is Someone tapping on your shoulder too? What is He trying to teach you about how you live your day-to-day life through this verse?
Are you seeking for approval from others? Maybe it’s time for all of us to realize that we have all the security of self we could ever need. All we have to do is seek Christ instead of seeking after our peers.
Posted in God is Greater, Walking Down the Narrow Road, When the Day Gets You Down
Tagged approval, Christ, esteem, galatians, God, hollinger, Jesus, sarah, seek, self, someone, verse, worth
Do you ever wonder what nature will look like in heaven?
Yesterday, I was laying in my hammock out in the middle of someone’s farm– I mean, there was no “No Trespassing!” sign, so I figured it was okay……
I was laying in my really neat hammock just listening to the birds sing and feeling the wind blow through the parachute material of it. In other words, I was simply enjoying just being out in God’s creation, which to me, seemed perfect besides the poison ivy growing right on the ground all around me. I had to tiptoe through it as if walking through a mine field in order to set up my hammock.
Just about the time that I began thinking about how perfect everything was around me–besides the poison ivy, of course–I remembered a passage in Romans. In Romans 8, Paul says that all creation has been in “bondage to decay” ever since the day that sin entered the world (Romans 8:19-22). This passage made me ask myself, If this scene is groaning from being frustrated by sin, then how amazing will it be when Heaven comes with Jesus?
All I could say to answer that question was, “Woah! I hope God has hammocks in heaven because I can’t wait to experience this in heaven!”
As a Christian, we believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross, becoming the curse of the Law itself in order that we might receive the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13). This belief is what saves us, allowing us to have what God has created us for: eternal life with Him (John 3:16, John 16:22).
Go out into the world today and praise God for giving you (as a Christian) the promise of an even more amazing creation to surround us once we finally reach heaven! After all, when creation is no longer groaning, that will be the day when we receive “adoption as sons and the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).
Posted in Heaven Here We Come!, Random Realization, Walking Down the Narrow Road
Tagged creation, farm, frustrated, God, groan, hammock, heaven, hollinger, Jesus, perfect, praise, Romans, sarah, sin