Is All Sin Equal in God’s Eyes? (And God’s Amazing Grace.)

is-all-sin-equal-in-gods-eyes-and-gods-amazing-grace

Wow, it’s been about a month and a half since I’ve done one of these posts. Time really does fly by. I can’t believe that it has actually been so long. Just wow.

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What It Means To Have “A Heart Redeemed”

Blogging Image(2)I recently realized that I never did a post about my site’s name: “A Heart Redeemed”. It is not really necessary, but I thought it’d be fun and would be helpful and informative to all those who follow my blog.

But here’s a little backstory first, I decided to have a blog after seeing my friend Amanda doing so well at her blog (Go check it out, by the way!). I also thought there were a good many benefits to having one too. I could go on blog tours for books that I love. It could probably help me get the chance to read some books before they came out! I also was inspired by my friend with idea that I could share my faith without sounding intrusive on here.

Of course, after deciding to do a blog, I had to figure out a name. That is one of the hardest parts for most people, but it ended up only taking a few hours of brainstorming with my friend. The first name I came up with that I liked was “A Heart Unchained” it reminded me of that verse in the song Amazing Grace, but someone on WordPress already had that name. So then my friend suggested “A Heart Redeemed”. And that’s how I got my site’s name.

But what does it mean? Well, it is a term that applies to all Christians. Everyone is a sinner, we all know that. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, this world has been consumed by sin. What was supposed to be a perfect world, became a fallen one. Before Christ, we tried to redeemed ourselves by following all of God’s commandments and laws and offering sacrifices of animals for our sins, but all those rules only proved how fallen we were.

Psalms 49:7

Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God.

But then Christ came down to earth, fully man and fully God. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sins: death. His perfect death was the only sacrifice that could fully blot out all our sin forever and ever.

Isaiah 44:22

I have swept away your sins like a cloud.

I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.

Oh, return to me,

for I have paid the price to set you free.

The theological definition of redeem is “to deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner”. That is what Christ has done for us. Christ redeemed us. He has saved us from Hell. He wiped away all our sin so now we look perfect in God’s eyes.

So the title “A Heart Redeemed” comes from the fact that I am redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice. We all are redeemed.

Christ has redeemed us and there is nothing that we can ever do to repay that.

Now tell me that isn’t beautiful. This shows that God’s love for us is more than we can imagine.

‭‭Job‬ ‭19:25‬

But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and learned a little something from it or maybe it refreshed your mind on something that we can so easily forget.

-G. Paige

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What does Love mean to Us?

ahr3Love. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of a kiss between a man and woman? Do you think of a parent loving up on his or her child? Maybe you think of the way Hollywood displays love in the films they produce. Or maybe you think one person caring for another. Either way, in today’s world, love is shown to be many different things and not all of them are right.

Most of you have heard the saying that “God is love”. It is absolutely true. But if we don’t know what love is, how can we even begin to know what God is?

1 John‬ ‭4:7-8‬

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

We are taught that one of the greatest commandments given is to love your neighbor as yourself. That means that it is necessary to really understand what love is, so we can do what God asks of us too.

Let’s first look at what the Bible says about love.

1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

It seems a pretty straightforward answer, does it not? But it is not so easy to carry out. To love one another we must be patient and kind. We must not be jealous or boastful or proud or rude. We must not demand our own way. We must not be irritable. You see the point.

We cannot live up to these standards, not without God’s help. But God definitely lives up to this and more. He is perfect, sovereign, and holy. Holy means to be set apart. God is set apart from us. The best part is that love will last forever!

Though God is love, sometimes we doubt that this is true. Why? Because we see the destruction and death that God allows in this world He created. How could a loving God allow this? He has every right, the only right, to allow it and much worse because we are the ones who sinned against Him in the beginning. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin this place became a sinful world. The death and destruction are the consequences of our actions. God gave us the consequences that we deserved. But God was so loving that He didn’t leave us in the pit we had dug for ourselves. He sent his only Son to live with us and die for us. To save us from ourselves.

Have you ever heard that a parent spanks his or her kid out of love? That it is as hard for the parent to spank or punish the kid as it is for the kid to receive that punishment? It is kind of the same thing when God allows us to get consequences for our sins.

What I’m trying to get at is that sometimes loving a person doesn’t mean giving them what they want. Sometimes it means giving them what they need. And a lot of the time that is not what they want.

So as we start this new year, let’s grow and learn in our love for one another. Knowing that when we follow God, we’ll be giving what people need, even if it is not what they want.

I hope that this year is filled with blessings and joy for every single one of you.

Happy New Year!

-G. Paige 

To Christian Teens: Why We Need To Obey Our Parents

aheartredeemedimageWe, as teens with parents, have been told time and time again to obey our parents. But do we really know why? Why should we obey our parents? This is what I want to go into a bit today.

Colossians 3:20

Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.

Since we were created to glorify God, we should want to please Him, the creator of the universe. If we live in Jesus, he gives us the ability to please and obey Him. If pleasing Him includes obeying our parents then I think we should do just that. That’s good enough of a reason, right? We should want to obey God with every fiber of our being. So why don’t we?

1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:34‬

Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

I believe it is the consequence of living in a fallen world. Sin is such a big temptation for us. It’s part of our nature to sin. So we disobey our parents either with disrespect, back talk, lies, and the list goes on. There are many reasons why: maybe we want control and we’re tired parents telling us what to do (we are teenagers, we can make our own decisions, right) or maybe we just are in a really bad mood and don’t want to listen to anyone (I do that quite a bit) or maybe we want to disobey, just to cross the line. Either way, we are teenagers so that means we should be able to see that obeying our parents is the right thing to do.

Ephesians‬ ‭6:1-3‬

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

It’s still very hard though, isn’t it? But if we lean and trust in Jesus Christ. We can do anything.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

When it feels impossible, just remember that: God is with you all the way, so what can be impossible? Anyways, your parents are probably trying to follow God too and do right by you. They are trying to teach you to do what is right so you won’t make any mistakes that you later regret. They have so much more experience than you. They have your best interests at heart. But most importantly, they love you. God gave you to them. So whatever punishment you think is unfair or whatever thing they told you to do that you don’t think you should, know that it is for your own benefit. And most likely, in later years (or now) you’ll be so grateful to have had such amazing God-loving parents. What could we have done without them? They’re a small reflection of what our Father in Heaven is like.

Proverbs 13:24

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Our parents are just doing what they’re called to do. We don’t have to love it, but we can respect and honor their decisions. We’ll really appreciate it later.

So I’m just going to shout out to my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such spectacular parents to me! I love you guys and I want you to know that it really really really means a lot how much that you’ve done and your doing for me.

-G. Paige
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God’s Grace

So…about three days ago I was flipping through Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul (I actually read it almost three years ago). I came across a section about God’s grace and I thought that might be a good topic to discuss. But first, for starters, we must know what the word “grace” means. So what does grace (biblically) mean?

Grace means (at least from the dictionaries I’ve looked at) the free and unmerited favor of God. My mother use to explain it like this: grace is getting something that you don’t deserve and mercy is not getting something that you do deserve. Mercy, you say, I thought we were talking about grace? I know, I just want to make sure that you know the difference between grace and mercy because they’re definitely NOT the same thing. Mercy is forgiveness given to someone by someone who could punish them instead. Grace is blessings given to someone who should be punished.

Okay, now that we know what the word “grace” means, what does God’s Grace have to do with us (as Christians)? God’s grace is one of the foundational reasons why we can be saved and be “Christians”. Without God sending His one and only Son to suffer and get the punishment we deserved, we wouldn’t be able to be saved. Jesus taking on all our sins and dying to give us the chance to be able to believe in Him and live in Heaven after our life here on Earth, that’s grace. I think this Bible verse states how we are saved quite clearly.

Acts‬ ‭15:11‬

“We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

We are all saved by grace. There’s not one person who lived, lives, or will live that has not been saved by grace. This next verse also says what God’s Grace does.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.”

The grace of God, His undeserved favor, has come. This saving grace brings salvation to all people. Isn’t that amazing?

Hebrews 2:9

“What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.”

God’s grace is the reason Jesus suffered and was tortured to death. Because he did that for us he was taken from his position “a little lower than the angels” to now where he is seated at the right hand of God “crowned with glory and honor”.

‭Romans 11:5-6

“It is the same today, for a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace—his undeserved kindness in choosing them. And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.”

We must always remember that God’s grace is free and undeserved, as the verse states above. It wouldn’t be grace if it was not free and undeserved and it wouldn’t mean anything either. We can not comprehend how much grace God has given us, but God’s grace is not infinite. There will come a time when judgement will fall as described in Revelation.

Jude 1:4

“I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

As Jude wrote above, we should not use God’s grace to our advantage. Look at what James says.

James 2:14

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”

If people use God’s grace as a free ticket to live immoral lives, thinking that they won’t get the consequences that come from sinning (which they will), are those people even saved in the first place? If you are saved by God’s grace, you should want to follow Christ because God, through the Holy Spirit, has given you the need or want to follow Him.

So I’d like to close off with a verse from “Amazing Grace”:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

‘Twas blind, but now I see.

Doesn’t this portion of the song speak such truth? God’s grace has saved us all. We are so blessed to have such a gracious God.

-G. Paige