7.21.2017

Encouragement from Romans 5 + A Brief Announcement

Hello, readers!
I hope you are all having a lovely summer. I know that posts on A Purpose and A Promise have been rather erratic lately, but honestly, I've been okay with that. Before, I would have been all stressed out that my posting schedule got messed up, but God's been teaching me a lot lately, and that's included the real meaning of peace. Peace isn't always calm and quiet; it's isn't always the feeling that everything will turn out alright for you. To a degree, peace is knowing that God is in control and trusting fully in that promise, no matter what. At least, that's what God has been showing me about peace lately. 
Reading in Romans 5 has been a real encouragement lately- not only about peace, but about the hope we have as children of God, why there are trials in our lives and how they actually are for our benefit, and a reminder of the best news of all- how Jesus gave His life so ours could be reconciled to God. The first eleven verses are below, but you can read the whole chapter here.


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. // Romans 5: 1-11 

That said, I do have a small announcement. I will be taking an official break from posting on A Purpose and A Promise for at least three weeks, perhaps a little more. At the moment, I'm not planning on stopping indefinitely, but I think hiatuses are good for everyone. =) I wanted to say it in an actual post, instead of just abandoning the blog for a month. No, I haven't come close to doing that this month.

Thanks again for reading, following, and commenting on A Purpose and A Promise! I have been so blessed by my wonderful readers for this year and a half, learning and growing on this adventure. 

Have a wonderful remainder of your summer, blessed with peace that can only come from Jesus. ♥

7.04.2017

Freedom





O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea! 

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! 
God mend thine every flaw, 
Confirm thy soul in self-control, 
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! 
May God thy gold refine, 
Till all success be nobleness, 
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! 
God shed His grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea!
~America the Beautiful, words by Katherine L. Bates 



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And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. // John 8:32

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself // Galatians 5:13-14

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. // Romans 8:1-4


















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To those of you who are Americans- Happy Independence Day! God has blessed us with remarkable freedom for nearly two and a half decades in America, and we should never forget what He has given us.
To all believers- no matter what country you live in- we are all blessed with the true freedom found in God's Word, though Jesus! He gives us the ultimate freedom, and may we never forget that as we strive to tell others about this true Freedom found in Christ.





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O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heaven rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

-The Star-Spangled Banner (fifth verse), words by Francis Scott Key



6.20.2017

Tuesday Thoughts [4]- Real Love

{via}


love isn't always a feeling.
it's more of an action,
becuase love isn't sometimes-
it's for always,
and feelings only last so long
before they die away.
real love isn't like that;
it's an ongoing sacrifice
-and sometimes it hurts-
but it's worth it if it's real.
so don't rely on feelings
as your confirmation about love.
becuase while feelings will fade,
real love never fails.
- written 4.27.17

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Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. // John 15:13

....Love never fails... // 1 Corinthians 13:8a

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. // Romans 5:8

6.10.2017

More Love


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. // I Corinthians 13

Love is a word so misused in today's culture. We seem to have a lot of it, yet I really think that we don't have enough of it. Enough of the right kind of love, anyway. We have plenty of the wrong, mixed up kind!
The right kind of love is the kind that the Bible instructs us about- the kind of sacrificial love that Jesus displayed. Of course, we can't ever come close to having that kind of love for someone else, but God has given us some guidelines to follow regarding the kind of love we can have with His help. The Bible talks a lot about love in many places, but one of the verses that struck me recently was John 13:35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” How convicting!

I'm convinced that what the world needs is more genuine love. More love for others, and more love for Jesus. If we have love for Him, we should have love for others, so perhaps starting with loving Him more is the way we need to go. This post is a fantastic look at what loving Jesus more should look like.


None of us can love perfectly, but all of us can love more. That's most important thing. We don't have to- and can never- love perfectly, but we can- and should be- striving to love more as we learn and grow in Christ. That's a huge goal to have, but it's an important one! (Besides, I love having big goals and seeing what comes of them- especially when they're something that can only be done with Jesus' help, such as having more love for Him!) I have a long way to go with this goal, but I know it's vital for the future. And of course, with God, nothing is impossible. ♥

What do you think about this idea of having more love- more love for God, more love for others, more love for the world? Do you have any ideas on how we can love more like Jesus? Comment and join the conversation!