Answers to your questions
Do you have QUESTIONS about life? Questions about God? Have you ever wondered what you should do about problems or how you can live your life? Let me help you find the ANSWERS you need for the problems you face in life!
God sees beauty from the inside. God sees potential. God sees what we can’t see in ourselves.
Rahab was a prostitute. She’d made a mess out of her life…but God loved her. He knew her worth. It didn’t matter what she looked like on the outside. God cleaned her up and showed her that He had a plan for her life. Do you know that she went on to become the mother of Boaz, who was the father of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David? King David. Not only that, but King David’s lineage went all the way to Jesus. God took a prostitute, a woman whose body had been used. A woman who was abused. A woman who was called dirty and through her body came the bloodline getting us to Jesus!
God did not see Rahab the way we would have seen her. He wiped her clean and called her beautiful. In the same way, He wants to wipe away your past. He made you, He loves you, and He has a plan for your life.
I got married at 18. I imagined growing old with my high school sweetheart, but 8 years later found myself a single mom with 2 little boys. Well-meaning people would try to comfort me by saying “Everything happens for a reason.” Their intent was sweet, but that didn’t bring me comfort because it didn’t make sense. I believed in God, but I didn’t understand the idea of having a relationship with Him. I could not wrap my head around the idea that a loving God would plan for me to get a divorce. That a kind God would plan for me to suffer. I wondered if I was just a pawn in some game. If everything happened for a reason, then what was the reason He was making me go through this?
I began seeking Him & reading His Word. I started attending church & learning about my Savior. Do you know what I discovered? We live in a broken world. We live in a world where people sin because they have free will. We get to make our own choices, & the reason I went through a divorce was because of brokenness, sin, & personal choices. It was not because God planned it from the beginning. As I began to understand His character, I discovered how good He truly is. He said to trust Him & promised He would work all things together for the good of those who love Him & who are called according to His purpose. Yes, He allowed me to go through a trial, but He desired to take my pain & make something beautiful from it.
He has done exceedingly & abundantly more in my life than I could ever imagine. I turned my life around; I really started living for Him. I grew deeper in my relationship with Him. Today I have the most amazing husband, who faithfully leads our family. Every day I wake up & thank God for the ways He has blessed me. That doesn’t mean I don’t go through trials, I do, but I have no doubt He is working all things together for my good & His glory.
You might be facing a trial right now. You might be blaming God or questioning His love. I want to assure you God is not scheming to hurt you. He loves you deeply, more than you can imagine. He has a plan & purpose for your life. Seek Him in all that you do & begin putting your trust in Him. I promise He will work things together for your good.
16 months ago we decided to adopt again.
10 months ago we were given the files for a sibling group that we quickly fell in love with.
3 months ago we were approved by Colombia to bring these children into our family.
2 days ago we were told that the US government intended to deny our application to adopt.
Deny. That was not a word I ever expected to hear. To make matters worse, the denial had nothing to do with our family or these children.
I was crushed. I was angry, disappointed, confused, and heartbroken. In that moment, the Lord asked, “Do you trust me?”
I had to wrestle with the questions…Do I trust God when bad news comes? Do I trust God when things don’t work out the way I expect? Do I trust God when the timing isn’t what I hoped for? Do I trust God only in the good times, or was I going to trust Him now? To be completely honest, I took a minute to think about it before I decided to answer YES. It was not something that came naturally but instead was a CHOICE. Sometimes that choice is a hard one to make.
I don’t know where you are at in life right now. You might be going through something incredibly difficult. You might have just received news you never expected to hear. You might be in a battle that seems too big to conquer. Join me and CHOOSE to remember the goodness of God. CHOOSE to trust His plan and His timing. CHOOSE to keep your hope in Him despite your circumstances.
2 weeks. The government has given us 2 weeks from now to respond to their denial. I have CHOSEN to trust my Heavenly Father regardless of the outcome, however, His Word says to ask, so today I am asking Him for favor with the US government. If you wouldn’t mind, I would love your prayers for this too.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Jesus first modeled communion in Matthew 26, Luke 22, and Mark 14. This was His last meal with the disciples before He was crucified. They were celebrating the Passover, which reminded them of how God brought them out of their bondage in Egypt. What Jesus was about to do was bring all of us out of bondage as well, the bondage of sin and death.
When He broke the bread and gave it to his disciples said, “Do this in remembrance of me”. This is why the church takes communion. All churches do it at different times and on different schedules, but I once heard a pastor ask, “How often do you need to be reminded of what Jesus did for you?” Truthfully, the answer for me was EVERY SINGLE DAY.
As much as I attempt to allow the Holy Spirit to guide my days, I still fail regularly. I forget how Great our God is. I forget that Jesus calls me holy and redeemed. I forget that He gives me power in His name. I forget that He has freed me from the law of the covenant and grants me unrelenting grace. Communion isn’t a religious service that a minister must lead you in. It is a time of worship and thanks that you can partake in alone, with a group of friends, at your home in your closet, or at your kitchen table – it doesn’t matter.
Communion is an opportunity to remind yourself of how much Jesus loves you and remind yourself to give him thanks for that undeserved love. When you partake of the bread and the wine, you are partaking in everything Jesus’ sacrifice provided: salvation, peace, healing, prosperity, forgiveness, grace, love, power, strength, patience, faithfulness, and more.
Many believe this should be a somber moment. While what was accomplished on the cross is something incredibly deep, it is also something we should celebrate! He has restored our lives! He has taken away the bondage of sin and death! Our God sent His son to die for us because He loves us so much and wants us to have life in abundance. We have been set free! That is something to be joyous about!
The word “tithe” comes from the Hebrew word that literally means tenth, and it is a common understanding that believers need to give a tenth of their income to the church. A lot of people don’t like to talk about the tithe, and a lot of people don’t like to hear about the tithe because they feel like the church just wants their money and will think that they’re a sinner if they don’t give 10.
Well, I personally love to talk about tithing, and I’m excited to tell you that you do not have to give 10 percent.
God required three types of tithing. The first was for the Levites; it was for the Levi’s. They had a special ability, a special responsibility to perform the work of the Tabernacle. The Israelites had to pay them a tithe, that was their income. God also commanded the Israelites to pay 10 percent of whatever their fields produced each year to the church as a tithe. And then every three years, the Israelites were told to bring a tithe in for the foreigners, the fatherless, and the widows who lived in that town.
God explains in Malachi that there’s a curse if they didn’t tithe. He called it robbing from him. This is in Malachi 3:8. He says that not tithing is the same as robbing him. In that same verse, God describes the blessings of if you do tithe. In those blessings, he promises to prevent pests from devouring your crops. He promises that vines would not drop fruit before they were ripe. He says that he will bless so much, he will open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that you don’t have enough room to hold it. It is so awesome.
But it’s very clear, his expectations were clearly described and defined. The Israelites knew what was expected of them. But what about us under the New Covenant? In the New Testament, I want to tell you that tithing is not commanded. In the New Testament, Jesus did speak of the tithe. When he was addressing those who were still living under the Old Testament law, his comments are the only time in the New Testament that tithing is even mentioned. When Jesus died on the cross, he fulfilled the law, and we as believers no longer live under its authority. So no, you are no longer required to fulfill the law, and especially the Mosaic covenants of tithing.
Not required. But there’s something that I want to look at with you, and that’s the question of why did God retire or require tithing in the Old Testament. We knew that he wanted the widows taken care of and the Levites taken care of, and, you know, the temples and stuff taken care of. We know that. But is there another reason? And the answer to that is yes, and that’s in Deuteronomy Chapter 14, verse 23. It literally tells us the purpose of the tithe was so that the people would learn how to worship the Lord. That blew my mind when I read that. The purpose of the tithe, it’s not about money; it is about worship.
Okay, it’s not about obedience; it’s worship. So now, here’s my next question. If the Israelites, who were living under condemnation and law, had to give regular sacrifices for their sins to an inadequate high priest for temporary forgiveness. if they could give 10 in worship, then how much more should we, who live under grace, who have a perfect savior that gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could eternally live with our father in Heaven? How much more should we worship?
I also want to point out that giving, while not a requirement, is spoken of a lot in the New Testament. It’s something that should never be done out of obligation but should always be done as worship and thanksgiving for God’s amazing grace. Paul tells the Corinthians they should support those who preach the gospel. He says they should put aside money for collections; they should do so cheerfully. He explains to Timothy that those with finances should be generous and willing to share.
A set amount is not required by Paul anywhere in Scripture, but he says that they should give in accordance to what God has given them. Now, I don’t know about you, but 10 percent of my income does not seem like nearly enough compared to what God has given me. In my opinion, it does not begin to show the Lord how grateful I am for who he is, for what he has done, and what he continues to do in my life.
But the most important thing is the tithe. It’s not about obedience to the law; it is an opportunity to worship your creator. It’s an opportunity to show him how much you love him. It’s an opportunity to fully surrender to him and trust and say, “I trust your plan.” It is an opportunity that we get to partake in every single week, and it’s one that I look forward to. I hope that you do too.
Now, if you say, “I’ve never given. I’ve never been able to take that step of faith,” and I want to challenge you today—give it a try. Give it a try and see if you aren’t blessed abundantly by the Lord in so many areas of your life. Remember a few minutes ago when I said, “Check out Malachi,” right? And he gave a promise to open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there’s not enough room to store. That promise is for you too. He wants to be in your life, and the blessings, not just financial, but he loves you, and he wants to provide for all of your needs, and he wants to do so abundantly. He just wants you to truly, genuinely trust and worship him.
Now, maybe you say, “Katie, I believe in tithing, and I’ve always given 10 percent of my income.” That is awesome. If you’ve never tithed, start small— a dollar, ten dollars, ten percent. But if you’ve always tithed, try something different. Why don’t this week you give 20 percent or 50? Or why don’t you give 100 percent of what you make this week? Give it to the Lord, sow it into his kingdom, and see what God does in your life. I promise you, you will be amazed.