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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Post #8: Homesickness in Turquoise and White

Howdy y'all! Today's sermon was an incredibly insightful one, taking place in the book of 1 Thessalonians.

We, as Christians, have something we must remember. We are citizens of the earth,  but after we came to recognize Jesus Christ, our home became heaven.
That being said, if we forget where we came from and where our true home is, we may begin to falter in our faith. 
This passage in Thessalonians is about how we should live not as citizens of the planet, but permanent residents of heaven.

 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Thessalonians 1:2

This passage, while it may seem to be a meaningless introduction, is actually extremely important. In this passage, Paul is writing a letter to his followers after he was exiled. He is thanking his followers for practicing his teaching, even though they are being persecuted for their beliefs.
At this point, Paul's concern is that the pressures of everyday life and persecution have caused the Thessalonians to abandon their faith in order to fit in or appear normal, since their church is a relatively new one at this point.
However, when Paul discovers this was not the case, he writes an encouraging letter to them praising them for being obedient to God, even though they did not have Paul watching over them. Knowing that God was watching them and judging them based on their actions was enough for the Thessalonians to abandon their sinful ways and adopt the teachings of Christ.

How does this translate into our everyday lives? We must not allow the pressures of modern society and new "standards of living" to interfere with our decision and commitment to our savior, Lord Jesus Christ.
Even though at times it may inconvenience you to pursue the way of God, (and it is often difficult,) the reality is that faith in Christ and living as he commands is more important and valuable than any
earthly thing we could desire.
Another thing that accompanies our Christian life is a new identity.
Whenever we are born again, we assume not only a saved soul and a total forgiveness for the actions we've committed, but we assume a new identity as well.
Assuming this new identity implies that we are not to behave in the same manner that used to bring sin into our lives, but to act in a way that is glorifying to God and exemplifies our new Christian morality.
There are marks of the Christian faith Paul speaks of in this passage:

 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. -1 Thessalonians 1:3-4
1. Work of faith: Even though we are not saved through good works, we are saved through faith, if faith within someone is genuine, then that means change within that person is evident. Whenever someone gives their life to Christ, that person will experience a behavioral change that the people around them will notice, too. 
2. Steadfastness of Hope:  Even when leadership is not present, (in modern times, pastors, deacons, priests, etc.) we must be steadfast in our hope, because God is always present. 
3. Conducting Labors of Love:  Self-giving, God glorifying love must be evident in the person that follows Christ; exemplifying how God loves us.
How can we improve our connection with Christ and more easily live out these marks of Christian faith? By connecting with people that share the same goal as you: to glorify God in every way possible. Connect with people that are going to take you "home". 
As Christians, the closest we will get to "home" during this lifetime is church. However, since we are fallible human beings, we must realize that no church is perfect, but we still must find a way to love the people around us at church and make it as pleasant of an experience as possible. Hang out with Christians on the weekends doing God-glorifying things (work of faith), participate in Sunday School (steadfastness of hope), and pray for fellow parishioners in times when they need you (labors of love). 

I didn't wear this outfit to church on Sunday (I had a bit of a fashion fail on Sunday, lol) but I did wear it over the Memorial Day weekend.
Since summers can be a real scorcher down here in sunny Florida, I chose to wear a breezy white linen maxi skirt with an equally as cool turquoise top to keep me comfy. The color choice was also super appropriate for summer. 

Skirt: Goodwill, $4.50
Blouse: Hand-me-down
Tank: Forever 21, $1.90
Shoes: TJMaxx, $10
Necklace: Charming Charlie's, $12

How was y'alls sermon this week? What did you guys think about the outfit? Let me know in the comments down below!

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed your blog today!! I think you are right on how easily we can forget that our time here on earth is brief, and while we need to be citizens of the planet our real home is heaven and we should act accordingly. I do love all of your outfits, they are classy and showcase that you don't need to show skin to be beautiful which is a very modern misconception. Your outfit reminds me of the Greek Isles. <3