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).

Need a Reminder of God’s Love for You?

A Motivational Story to Remind Us of God's Awesome, Selfless Love

a reminder of God's love for you

Psalm 25:11, 1 Corinthians 1:28-31

The Medal of Honor is the highest military award in all the US Armed Forces. It is only given to those soldiers who have displayed the utmost gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty.

One such recipient was Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez for his heroics in the Vietnam War. On the morning of May 2, 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters into a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam. Their mission was to gather intelligence information in an area heavily patrolled by the North Vietnam Army (NVA). The highly trained team began taking heavy fire, became pinned down, and called for an extraction. The only way out was by helicopter, and after three attempts by pilots, the plight of these 12 men seemed more hopeless by the minute.

Why Was Moses Kept From Entering the Promised Land?

why was Moses kept out of the promised land

Deuteronomy 3:27-28

It’s troubling when we learn that Moses was not allowed to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.

Moses spoke with God face to face. He was God’s chosen instrument to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God used Moses to give us the Pentateuch, the first five foundational books of the Bible. Moses was the humblest man on the face of the earth during his lifetime (Numbers 12:3). All in all, it’s hard to find a man more devoted to God in all of the Old Testament.

So why was Moses kept from entering the Promised Land?

What Does the Bible Say About Expectations of God?

God Won’t Live Up To Your Expectations

what does the bible say about expectations of god

Isaiah 55:9, Ephesians 3:16-21

He doesn’t live up to our expectations. God doesn’t act the way we think he should. He doesn’t love like we imagine. He doesn’t redeem, forgive, or set free like we had hoped. And this is a good thing. So what does the Bible say about expectations of God?

God Exceeds Our Expectations Because We Often Humanize Him

So many times we try to lock ourselves into a humanized version of God, but God, out of his love for us, seeks to always crush these little thoughts of ours. He doesn’t act the way we think he should because he is far greater than our minds could ever understand.

“Shining like Stars” Through Silence

Philippians 2:14-16

shining like starts in the universe Philippians 2_14-16

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. . . . – Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.”  But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer.  Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. – Matthew 27:11-14

Silence can say a lot. Sometimes words are not enough for the most important of messages. Sometimes the most effective answer is to say nothing.