I’m excited to introduce you to Sarah Francis Martin, author of a new InScribed Bible Study, Just Rise Up. When I attended the Declare Conference this year I received a copies of several InScribed Bible Studies and absolutely love their messages. And while her bio notes that she is passionate about encouraging 20 somethings, her post today encouraged me, a not-so-20-somethings mama 🙂 If you’re interested, Sarah is hosting an online Bible study starting November 3rd on her blog, and I know she would love to have you join! Oh, and she’s giving away a copy of her book to one of you, so be sure to read all the way to the end to enter to win it! Woot!
Have ever had a moment when you realized that parts of your life do not match up with what you proclaim about God and your faith?
I‘ve had one of those moments.
And it hurt. Deeply.
I felt as if I was letting down Jesus, as if I had betrayed Him. Given that I am a perfectionist, it hurt even more that I failed.
Oh, but His grace!
I invite you into my own life tweak where I realized my fault, and then allowed Jesus to gently nudge me toward a life of praise, where I revered His name with my language.
I’m ashamed to confess that I once had a serious problem with my language. I used to curse and swear with the best of them. Four-letter words would roll off my tongue with ease, and not only when I was angry and couldn’t control my temper. Foul language was just part of my speech, and I thought I was really cool dropping crude words constantly.
I cringe now at the thought of my profanity, which simply reflected the ugly junk in my heart. What did my language portray to others? A frustrated heart. A heart not at peace with her present life situation, and whose only way to express discontent was to throw out ugly language.
Our hearts, our minds, and our speech are definitely interconnected. In the past, my mind wasn’t focused on Jesus and His goodness. Thus, my words did not bring goodness to the world around me. Years later, I continually find ways to better reflect a life of praise, one that worships Jesus with my mind, my heart, and my mouth.
There is always something to improve on; I am a work in progress. This realization brought me to a new mouth-tweak, if you will. In time, though I no longer spoke the f-word or the sh-word, OMGs were a regular part of my vernacular. I’m not just talking about a text shortcut. “Oh, my God!” and “Oh, God!” spilled out of my mouth as sentence exclamations. During this time I had a true desire to fully live out my faith, and I knew deep in my heart that OMGs are irreverent. In the Bible it is called “tak[ing] the name of the lord . . . in vain” (Ex. 20:7 NKJV). I was using the holy name GOD in a light manner—tossing it around uselessly. If I really knew the power of His name, I wouldn’t “OMG” unless my heart was truly calling out in praise or in prayer.
I took all of this into account when I decided to kill OMG and curse words from my vocabulary. Habits are hard to get rid of. What solidified the decision was when I truly grasped the idea that my outward communication is a reflection of what’s in my heart. I knew I loved Jesus, without a doubt. This was one of those “go deeper” moments in my relationship with the Lord as I recognized how imperative it is to live a life of praise from the inside out.
– An Excerpt from Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous
Can I take a moment to encourage you? To cheer you on?
If you are like me, wanting a “go deeper” moment in your relationship with Jesus, these tweaks will not always be easy or fun. But what spurs us toward doing life differently to make Jesus famous was this Truth: He is WORTHY.
He is worth doing the hard stuff and making tweaks in our life, so there is no doubt who we love and serve.
Yes, we are a work in progress. But that is what’s the beauty of it all.
The grace-filled transformation journey we are on (big life tweaks and small ones) give us the perfect chance to join in on His story. Let us allow our story of change, grace, transformation no doubt reflect our life of praise.
Are you encouraged to evaluate areas in your life that need tweaks to align your heart, mind, or actions with your faith in Jesus? If so, what will you tweak today?
Sarah Francis Martin is a wife, mother, friend, mentor, author and wanna be artist. She has a passion to ignite this generation to get up off the couch of complacency and do life differently for God’s kingdom. When she is not typing away at her laptop, you can often find Sarah on date nights with her husband, rough housing with her young son, or getting her hands messy with craft paint. She is the author of Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous.
Enter to win a free copy of Sarah’s new book! Simply fill out the giveaway widget for all the fun entries 🙂 One winner will be chosen on October 17th and notified via email (so be sure you enter that info correctly!). Good luck!