One of those convictions is to fill myself with Scripture. Over the next few months I’ve decided to memorize the book of Colossians (except for the initial and final greetings). I’m so excited to see the changes that will happen when I start to replace my own thoughts with the thoughts of the Holy Spirit.
In November, I’ve decided to wear this dress every day (and wash it regularly, don’t worry!). I’ve been convicted lately of just how many material possessions I own, and I haven’t felt right about that. I remembered reading about the Uniform Project a couple years ago, and loved the idea of breaking free from the “you can’t wear the same dress twice” social norm and embracing the reality of living in just a few items of clothing like much of the world does. I’m still pairing up the dress with other items of clothing, so I won’t be just wearing the dress alone everyday, but I am hoping that through this I’ll develop a healthier relationship with my clothes, and be more aware of what I have and what I really don’t need.
I’m so excited. I need a good challenge.
October has been a month of convictions.
Convictions about my selfishness,
my fear to be bold in the faith,
not serving others,
valuing other things over God’s will and Word.
Even though it’s hard to be convicted, and the guilt and frustration that comes with those realizations can feel like a huge burden, He is faithful in “pruning every branch that does bear fruit so that it will be even more fruitful…for this is to [the] Father’s glory, that [we] would bear much fruit, showing [ourselves] to be His disciples.” (John 15:2, 8)
And that is not a burden.
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”
– PHILIPPIANS 3:7-9 –
Oh that I would genuinely consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Make it so, Lord.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless on the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness through Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”
I’m trying to commit more Scripture to memory –
overriding self-focus with Christ-focus,
a worldly perspective with a heavenly one,
me with Him.
“The events in the following account – the deaths of Perpetua, her maid Felicity, and some catechumens – occurred in the arena of Carthage around 203 AD. The narrative was compiled from the memoirs of the noblewoman Perpetua by an unknown North African Christian.”
“When, saith she, we were yet with our sureties and my father was fain to vex me with his words and continually strove to hurt my faith because of his love: ‘Father,’ said I, ‘seest thou (for example’s sake) this vessel lying, a pitcher or whatsoever it may be?’ And he answered, ‘I see it.’ And I said to him, ‘Can it be called by any other name than that which it is?’ And he answered, ‘No.’ ‘So can I call myself nought other than that which I am, a Christian.’”
“And I asked, and this was shown me. I beheld a ladder of bronze, marvelous great, reaching up to heaven; and it was narrow, so that not more than one might go up at a time. And in the sides of the ladder were planted all manner of things of iron. There were swords there, spears, hooks, and knives; so that if any that went up took not good heed or looked not upward, he would be torn and his flesh cling to the iron. And there was right at the ladder’s foot a serpent lying, marvelously great, which lay in wait for those that would go up, and frightened them that they might not go up. Now Saturus went up first (who afterwards had of his own free will given up himself for our -sakes, because it was he who had edified us; and when we were taken he had not been there). And he came to the ladder’s head; and he turned and said: Perpetua, I await you; but see that serpent bite you not. And I said: it shall not hurt me, in the name of Jesus Christ. And from beneath the ladder, as though it feared me, it softly put forth its head; and as though I trod on the first step I trod on its head. And I went up, and I saw a very great space of garden, and in the midst a man sitting, white-headed, in shepherd’s clothing, tall milking his sheep; and standing around in white were many thousands. And he raised his head and beheld me and said to me: Welcome, child. And he cried to me, and from the curd he had from the milk he gave me as it were a morsel; and I took it with joined hands and ate it up; and all that stood around said, Amen. And at the sound of that word I awoke, yet eating I know not what of sweet.”
“The day before we fought, I saw in a vision that Pomponius the deacon had come hither to the door of the prison, and knocked hard upon it. And I went out to him and opened to him; he was clothed in a white robe ungirdled, having shoes curiously wrought. And he said to me: Perpetua, we await you; come. And he took my hand, and we began to go through rugged and winding places. At last with much breathing hard we came to the amphitheatre, and he led me into the midst of the arena. And he said to me: Be not afraid; I am here with you and labour together with you…And I awoke; and I understood that I should fight, not with beasts but against the devil, but I knew that mine was the victory.”
“Now dawned the day of their victory, and they went forth from the prison into the amphitheatre as it were into heaven, cheerful and bright of countenance; if they trembled at all, it was for joy, not for fear. Perpetua followed behind, glorious of presence, as a true spouse of Christ and darling of God; at whose piercing look all cast down their eyes…Injustice acknowledged justice; the tribune suffered that they should be brought forth as they were, without more ado. Perpetua began to sing, as already treading on the Egyptian’s head. Revocatus and Saturninus and Saturus threatened the people as they gazed. Then when they came into Hilarian’s sight, they began to say to Hilarian, stretching forth their hands and nodding their heads: You judge us, they said, and God you. At this the people being enraged besought that they should be vexed with scourges before the line of gladiators (those namely who fought with beasts). Then truly they gave thanks because they had received somewhat of the sufferings of the Lord.”
“O most valiant and blessed martyrs! O truly called and elected unto the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Which glory he that magnifies, honors and adores, ought to read these witnesses likewise, as being no less than the old, unto the Church’s edification; that these new wonders also may testify that one and the same Holy Spirit works ever until now, and with Him God the Father Almighty, and His Son Jesus Christ Our Lord, to Whom is glory and power unending for ever and ever. Amen.”
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:34-37
How little I know of suffering for the Name. Increase my faith, Lord.
So much to meditate on.