The Difference Between Reasons and Excuses

and why it matters

bible excuses reasons

1 John 1:8

There are always reasons why we sin, but there is never an excuse. In a day and age where everyone who attends high school is required to take a course in Psychology 101, where you can turn on the TV and watch Dr. Phil do a live counseling session, and where every behavioral problem in children is apparently linked back to a genetic problem solvable by medication, we are a society prone to look for the “root issue of the problem.”

It’s certainly not wrong to take a deeper look at how someone was raised, what genetic dispositions they may have, or how society has negatively shaped an individual. The Bible itself makes clear that bad actions (sin) are rooted not in the surface decisions being made but deeper, in the sinful nature (Galatians 5:17).

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

Why Does God Value Us?

Your Value Depends On Your God

Matthew 6:28-30

Matthew 6:28-30

Why does God value us so much? Where does our worth come from?

We are constantly trying to create worth in ourselves by our works. We often think God values and loves us because of what we bring to the table. It’s easy to think God chooses and elects us because he saw something special in us. But none of this is true. When God looks at people apart from the grace of Jesus Christ, he doesn’t see potential, he sees a problem.

God Values Us Because He Is Love

And yet he truly does love and value us immensely, more than we can ever fully know. The only reason God can love us even though we were his enemies is because his love is not based in us at all. He does not love us because of what we do. He loves us because of who he is, for “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

God Says We Should Care About What Others Think of Us

“Not Caring What Others Think” Is Not Always Biblical

what does the bible say about not caring what others think God

Colossians 4:3-6, Galatians 1:10

Does the Bible say we should not care what others think about us? No, but it does say we must seek to please God over people.

As every Christian matures, one of the things the Holy Spirit will surely convict us of is seeking the praise of man over God. In our sinful nature, we care about what others think of us for the wrong reasons.

Caring What Others Think of You Can Be Expressed Wrongly in Two Ways

When we seek the praise of people, it can be expressed in many different ways. The two ends of the spectrum are obsessive pursuit and obsessive avoidance. One person may do anything to be praised by people, while another person will do anything not to be seen by people, but both can have the same root issue – caring too much about what people think of them.

My Identity in Christ

From the Family of Liars to the Family of Truth

“Who are you—Esau or Jacob?”- Genesis 27:18 (NLT)

my identity in Christ JesusWhat is my identity in Christ? Every Christian has asked it. It seems basic, like we all should know what our identity in Christ is.

But when answering the question, “What’s my identity in Christ?” we have to first start with what we were so we can better understand what we are now through putting
our faith in Jesus.

Before My Identity Was in Christ, My Identity Was Found in the Family of Liars (Sinful Man)

Abraham pretended to be Sarah’s brother (Genesis 12, 20), Isaac did the same thing to his wife Rebekah, Jacob pretended to be Esau (Genesis 27), and on Jacob’s wedding night Leah pretended to be Rachel.

Out of this family of lies, to highlight God’s amazing grace, came the whole nation of Israel, and out of the nation of Israel came the Savior, thus fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).

Abraham and his family was such a fitting choice for God to bring about redemption through because the whole human race sins just like them. We all lie about ourselves. We try to survive on this planet by adapting our identities to the present situation around us.

If it is more fitting to be a womanizer at work so we will fit it with the guys, we adapt into that. If a man you desire to date likes women who dress provocatively, your wardrobe changes. If the woman you desire to date wants a well mannered man, you put on a different face than you have when with the guys at the gym.

All sin is a marring of God’s original image for you. God made man in his likeness, with a godly, holy, and pure identity. Sin occurs when we change who we are to protect ourselves from earthly threats rather than obeying and trusting God.

So before my identity was in Christ, my identity was rooted in lies.

Christ’s Identity Never Changed Like Mine

How to Submit to Authority Without Feeling Devalued

You Have to Untangle Your Identity from Your Role

How to Submit to Authority Scriptures

Philippians 2:3-7

Taking orders is difficult. Like players yelling at the officials in a sports competition, our natural reaction is to rebel against anyone who may exercise their authority over us. When a professor gives us poor marks on a paper we thought was top quality, we instantly feel the need to attack them verbally behind their backs not because we disagree so much but because we despise the idea of the professor being able to do what she likes to our paper.

Honesty Is Not the Cure to Hypocrisy

"Come as you are"...but don't leave that way

cure for hypocrisy church

Galatians 2:20

Hypocrisy: the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do: behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel.

It’s not news to state that those who despise the Christian church the most typically do so because of the hypocrisy they feel is present within her. Christians themselves, especially those of us from the millennial generation, despise how hypocritical the church can feel at times.

We all know hypocrisy is a problem, but what’s the solution? What’s the cure for hypocrisy?

Why You Should Stop “Putting God First to Find a Spouse”

“Putting God First to Find a Spouse” Is Biblically Backwards

1 Corinthians 10:31

What I’m about to say is going to come off as blasphemous at first. So please read this whole article to get the full context of this statement. If you do, I believe you will better enjoy your Christian singleness and be better situated to find a Christian spouse. Alright, here it goes:

Stop trying to put God first as a way of finding your future spouse.

Christianity Is the Greatest Paradigm Shift in History

Jesus Changed Everything

christian paradigm shift bible

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see . . . .”-Acts 9:18

Have you ever taken hold of an idea that completely changes the way you view the world?

A paradigm is one’s theoretical views or beliefs that create one’s perceptions of the world, shaping the way one thinks and lives. A “paradigm shift” happens when a new idea or viewpoint changes the old way of seeing.

For example, people use to believe the earth was flat. This belief shaped the way they lived because they feared they would fall off the face of the planet if they traveled too far. This was their paradigm.

However, once the truth was revealed that the earth was round, a paradigm shift happened in the minds of men. It changed everything.