Humbled Through His Use


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.-Psalm 139:13,14

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?-1 Corinthians 4:7

Lay Aside the Weight Of Unforgiveness

Forgiving Like God...for His Glory

unforgiveness bible freedom

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” -Isaiah 43:25-26
“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” -Colossians 3:13

Why does God forgive us? He can forgive us because of the sacrifice of Jesus. But he chooses to forgive us because he is love and because he loves us.

Why should we forgive others? We can forgive others because of the sacrifice of Jesus.  And we should choose to forgive because to be God’s child is to reflect his loving image. If we don’t forgive others their sins, then God will not forgive ours because this proves we have not become his children through grace (Matthew 6:14).

How Does Hell Glorify God?

How does hell glorify God_

Ezekiel 18:32, 2 Peter 3:9

If we don’t have tears in our eyes and a deep grief in our hearts when we talk about hell, we are not truly grasping even the smallest percent of its terror.

In my human limitedness, I despise the idea of people going to hell for eternity. But as Augustine said, “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”

The Bible clearly states that heaven and hell are both real and eternal (Deuteronomy 32:22, Psalm 9:17, Matthew 10:28, John 3:16, 14:2, Revelation 20:10, 15). Therefore if I choose to believe the Bible, I must also believe in hell, no matter how disturbing it may be to me.

As Christians, most of us accept the truth about hell and yet still struggle with the emotions triggered by this biblical reality. “Why, God? Why did you create such a horrible place? This seems so cruel, so unnecessary. An eternity of torture? I thought you were a God of love?”

Anytime you ask a question that starts with “Why does God . . .” you can always answer with, “For his glory.” Everything God does, he always does for his honor and fame. Therefore to answer “Why does God send people to hell?” we must actually ask, “How does hell glorify God?”

Why Did God Create Us?

And how your marriage affects your parenting....

Why did God create us

1 John 3:1

Why did God create us?

Well of course anytime you ask a question that starts with, “Why does God . . . ?” you can always answer it with the right theological answer, “For his glory.” Everything God does, he always does for his glory.

But how did creating humans bring God glory? To answer that, we need to remember what the glory of God really is. In short, one basic definition of the glory of God is when the invisible qualities of God are made visible or knowable.

With this definition, it’s not hard to connect the dots: If God is glorified through making his qualities visible, he would then glorify himself by making beings in his image. Because we bear God’s image (Genesis 1:27), we thus glorify God (Isaiah 43:7). Sin has marred this image, and thus the more we sin the more we “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The more we are sanctified and remade into the image of his Son, the more we glorify God as he originally intended (Romans 8:29-30).

But I’ve talked about all that before. Let’s take this a step further. How else did creating humans reveal God?

God revealed his love and fullness through creating humans just as a healthy marriage reveals its love and fullness through producing children. Let’s dig deeper into this idea.

God Reveals Himself Through Our Stories

story glory of god

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.-Psalm 139:14

To know the works of God is to begin to know God himself. We are constantly describing and defining things by comparing them to other things. This is what God does to reveal himself to us. When God seeks to explain what he is like, he cannot just say, “I am like God.” To describe what an apple is like, you can’t say it is like an apple. Everything you define you define it by comparing it to something else. To define a word you cannot use that word in its definition.

The Ultimate Guide to Christian Singleness

By Mark Ballenger

There are already so many great books on Christian singleness. Just do a Google search on “books on Christian singleness,” “Christian books about being single,” “best books for Christian singles,” “Christian books on finding a spouse,” “finding a godly husband,” “how to be a Christian in college.”

The results will be endless.

I’m sure you will find a lot of helpful advice in these Christian books about singleness. However, most of these Christian books about being single focus on one aspect of singleness: your relationship with God, godly dating, finding contentment as a Christian single, how to find a Christian spouse, and other such topics.

I believe the Ultimate Guide to Christian Singleness is so special because it covers nearly every common question asked about singleness. I get right to the point in these thirty chapters. I don’t waste time with long stories. And I give you extremely practical steps to take in each of the four stages most Christian singles go through. It’s great for small group Bible studies or for individuals too.

If you want answers, this book on Christian singleness was written for you.

Below is the full description. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at MarkBallenger@ApplyGodsWord.com.

Hoping you find the love, security, and guidance you need during your season of Christian singleness.

For God’s glory and our good,
-Mark

Why Does God Give Us Crowns?

Your Crown is Meant to Glorify Christ (Revelation 4:1-11)

Why does God give us crowns

4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. . . .

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

– Revelation 4:4, 9-11

3 Ways Humility Produces Holiness

Holiness Without Humility is Impossible

holiness humility christianity

1 Peter 1:14-16

Holiness and humility go hand in hand. The Christian cannot have one without the other. All true Christians desire to be holy, which can only be given through the grace of Jesus Christ, but it seems some have a greater holiness playing out in their lives than others. Humility is always the underlying determining factor for who is walking in holiness and who simply desires to but is left struggling to do so. For as 1 Peter 1:14-16 explains:

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

If we want to be holy, it starts with being like a child. Here are three biblical reasons why holiness without humility is impossible.

24 Signs Your Church Is Super Healthy

Built to Last

signs of a healthy church

Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4:16

Click here to download the pdf version. (This article was also published on ChurchLeaders.com)

Recent statistics show that every year in the US, 4000 churches close their doors while only 1000 new churches are planted. Among existing churches, half did not add any new members to their ranks in the last two years. From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations dropped by almost 5 million members, while the US population rose by 24 million.1

These are alarming statistics!

Each church that shuts down represents real people who have lost their church family. So if you are someone looking for a new church, someone wondering if their church is built to last, or someone who would love to help their church improve, here are 24 signs of a super healthy church.

Why Does God Love Humans Most?

Genesis 1:27, Isaiah 48:11

Genesis 1:27, Isaiah 48:11

In the six days of creation, there is clearly a progression of intricacy happening. God starts general, making light, and then gets more detailed, finally making man.

It was a progression in revealing his own glory, for the glory of God is the visible manifestation of God’s beauty and character. When you see some intangible quality of God in a tangible way, it’s called “the glory of God.” That’s why, for example, when God would reveal himself in the Old Testament to the Israelites in a cloud or in fire it says the “glory of God” would appear (Exodus 24:15-18).