Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Trusting In 2017

Trusting is something that we all struggle with, no matter how strong we think we are or how strong we want to be in our faith.

We fail to trust God even though we know that He is big enough to take care of everything.

We fail to trust Him even though we read in His word time and time again about how faith can move mountains, how worrying can't add a day to our lives, and how we should trust in Him at all times.

Two years ago I wrote a post for another blog I had co-authored with my sisters. I wrote about trust being my word of the year. How I wanted to lean on God more and trust in His timing.

This year Emily and I were published. We had been trying to get our books out there to publishers for some time, and it was amazing to see that come to be for us. It was one of the things that I had been trying to trust God about a year earlier.

There are so many things that we need to trust in God for every day. Without His help and guidance, we get lost.

I need to look to Him for everything, or I find myself worrying and stressing over all of the little things in life.

God is big enough to take care of it all. Small things. Big things. The plans that we have for ourselves that don't turn out. The ones that do. God is there through it all.

He sees you. He knows you. He loves you.

God will never leave you or forsake you.

You can trust in Him and count on Him to be there to guide you every day.

Trusting in God is not easy, even if it is something that we have heard about and learned about a lot.

Trusting is leaving things up to God and counting on him to see us through. It means taking the pressure off of ourselves and letting our Him take over.

And trusting is something that every one of us needs to do in this upcoming year.

I hope that I am able to trust God more and fear less.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Shepherds Were Visited by Angels

The shepherds were out in a field doing their job. They had a responsibility to the sheep in their care. They were supposed to watch over those sheep. That was it. That was their destiny.

The shepherds were tired. It was nighttime. They had spent the whole day working. They were looking for a chance to rest.

Suddenly, an angel appears. The shepherds had to wonder if they were dreaming. After figuring out that they truly were awake, they had to wonder if the angel was lost. Why would an angel appear to them? Why would an angel come to simple, ordinary men?

The shepherds might have wondered if they had done something wrong, if the angel had arrived to bring about justice. They might have feared for their lives. The words of the angel when he told them not to fear had to give them comfort.

Before the shepherds had the chance to get over the arrival of one angel, before they could figure out what had made them worthy of the visit of an angel, suddenly there was a whole crowd of angels in the sky. They were singing, celebrating, sharing an amazing message with the shepherds.

I'm thinking about the shepherds this year and what it must have been like for them as they were visited by angels. The Bible does not share a lot about these individuals. The Bible doesn't share why God chose to have angels visit simple people who were out doing their work. All we know is that the shepherds received a great surprise, and I am guessing that none of them ever forgot what happened on that special night.

Check out Luke 2:8-18 to read the shepherds' story.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Is About Giving AND Receiving.

We so often say that Christmas is about giving.

That because God gave his son, that is why we give to others.

That Christmas is about the time that we spend family, the gifts that we wrap up for them, and not about ourselves.

But it should be about us, too.

It should be about us and the relationship that we have with God.

We are celebrating Jesus' birth on Christmas, and because of that, the day should be about receiving Him. It should be spent thinking about the incredible gift that God has given us in His Son.

Jesus came to earth, was born in a manger, lived like a human, and then died a painful death. But that wasn't the end.

He took away our sins in His death. And He rose to life again.

So, this Christmas, remember that it isn't all about us giving presents to others, or even spending time with them.

Christmas is about God's gift to us.

And it should be about us receiving that gift and thanking God for it.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 
John 3:16

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It Is Important That We Obey God Rather Than Human Beings.

In Acts chapter 5, Peter says, "We must obey God rather than human beings!"

I was reading this the other day, and it made me think. We too often listen to human beings for advice. We listen to them and we do what they want of us because we think that they know best.

But God is only one who truly knows what is right for us. He is the only one who we should be listening to.

Not even good and smart people, such as pastors or teachers, know as much as God. We are all human. We are all flawed. The ones who we are looking up to will all let us down at some point.

Does this mean that we can never take advice from a human being? No. But we should be careful when we do.

We shouldn't rush into putting anyone on a pedestal. We shouldn't feel that there are some people that can play God for us.

We should read our Bibles more. We should study up on what is right and good. We should listen to God and obey him over anything that a human has to say.

Peter is standing up for what he believes in in this chapter. He is risking getting into deep trouble for saying that he is going to obey God and not humans.

If in that situation, would we be able to do the same?

This is something we should all think about. Consider who we listen to for parenting or relationship advice. Think about what we are doing with our careers and every other aspect of our lives. Are we listening to God in all of this, or man?

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken