Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Set Apart Girl has Inner Beauty

Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
I Peter 3:3-3

Have you seen Rihanna on the cover of that new magazine? Did you see the Victoria's Secret fashion show? I absolutely have to have that new shade of Cover Girl lipstick!
As women, we love to look beautiful, and  feel pretty - and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! God created women to be beautiful, delicate, and special in so many ways. The bible speaks about many "beautiful women." In fact, I encourage pampering yourself as much as you feel you need it. 

Daily, we spend time and effort in looking beautiful for ourselves and others. Day in and day out, we critique ourselves and others on the way we look. It is true that when you leave your house, you should take time to make sure you look neat a presentable. However, the problem that the girls of the world face is that they focus all of their time, energy, and money on becoming false image of "beautiful". They loose sight of who God says they are, and begin to become blinded by vanity, ego, and self-admiration. There is no sin in looking classy, fabulous, and glamorous. However, conceitedness, narcissism, and self-worship, are sin. Girls of this world put the love of "self" before their love of God.

When I was in high school, I wore long hair extensions because I felt having long hair made me feel pretty. I spent hundreds of dollars each month to make sure my hair was beautiful, so that I felt beautiful. During one of my routine styling appointments, I removed the extensions and had my natural hair washed. After my natural hair was blow dried and styled, I looked in the mirror. Instantly, I burst into tears. I hated the way I looked. My own hair wasn't good enough, and I did not feel beautiful at all. I went home, and added more extensions to my hair.
The problem was not the hair extensions. The problem was not what other people thought of me. The problem I had was loving myself for who God made me to be. I had fallen so in love with this "false appearance" of myself that I could not even look at myself in the mirror without crying. I had been blinded by vanity. 

God does not want you to have an experience like I had. He wants you to love His creation (you) whether you have on a full face of makeup, or just woke up and hopped out of bed. The Set Apart girl realizes that her beauty comes from within. The bible tells us that "People judge by outward appearance, but God looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). God sees you just as you are. He loves that you are a kind, and giving person. God loves that you are good with kids and that you pray for others. Those are qualities that make you beautiful to God. He created you and every beautiful feature on your body. Start seeing yourself as God sees you. Love yourself for who God created you to be. Your smile, your personality, your sense of humor, are all things that make you who you are. Don't hold back, and don't be afraid to stand out. Be you, and shine from the outside in. 

Think about it...
Why do you think God created you the way you are? What can you do that no one else can do? 

Focus Scriptures:
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
Proverbs 31:30

A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
Proverbs 11:16

Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Proverbs 22:24

There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!
Proverbs 29:31

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Set Apart Girl Follows Jesus

Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
1 John 2:6

 People of the world believe that going to church every sunday makes one a "Christian." Sometimes even as Christians, we believe that going to church or serving in ministry leads to a relationship with God. The term "christian" was given to those who followed Jesus when he walked on the earth.  Going to church every sunday won't get you into heaven. Singing in the choir won't get you special privileges with God. Living and loving as Jesus did makes you a true follower of Him. 

God sent His only begotten son, Jesus, here to earth to be an example of what we should be. Although the Son of God, Jesus was human just like you and me. He got hungry, he got tired, and he was tempted by the devil. There is nothing that you and I go through that Jesus did not also have to face. Jesus prayed, so we are to pray. Jesus showed unconditional love to others just like we should. In bible times, Jesus' disciples were those who not only followed Him around, but they also studied Him and lived by following His example. To be more like Jesus, you have to first learn about Jesus and how He lived His life. 

The Set Apart girl lives the set-apart lifestyle, just as Jesus did. She follows the example of Jesus and truly lives to please her Heavenly Father. To receive the promises of God, you have to first be obedient to God. Just as a mother rewards her son or daughter for good behavior, our Heavenly Father is pleased with us when we are obedient to Him. Jesus says that if we love Him, we will do what He says to do (John 15:10).

Think about it...
What can you do to be more like Jesus?

Focus Scriptures:
If you love me, obey my commandments.
John 15:10

When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love.
John 15:10

Jesus replied, "All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
John 14:23

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
John 15:4

Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
Philippians 3:17

And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Set Apart Girl Trusts God to Take Care of Her

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:33-34

The world we live in can be a scary place. The media and internet report stories everyday on war, death, crisis, and sickness. Whether these stories are truth or just propaganda, it seems as though everyone is consumed with the issues of this world. Although we live in this world, we have to remember that though we have to live in this world, we are not "of this world". The people of this world are worried about the issues of this world, but the Set Apart girl knows that because God is with her, she doesn't have to worry (Isaiah 41:10). 

The girl of this world worries about what will happen tomorrow. The girl of this world fears about the future. God does not want you to walk around in fear, instead He wants you to be strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6). He tells us "not to worry about tomorrow" (Matthew 6:34) because He will take care of us. We are not to worry about our life, what we will eat, what we will drink, or even what we are to wear. God says He will take care of all of these things when we focus on Him (Matthew 6:25-34). The more we receive the truth of God's Word, the easier it becomes to trust Him to do what He says He will do. When you focus your time, energy, and attention on God instead of worrying, He will give you peace (Philippians 4:7).

The Set Apart girl trusts God when He says he will take care of her. Psalm 24:1 tells us that "the earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him." Everything you need is in Him. God has the resources and the power to provide everything you will ever need. There is nothing too big or too small that God can not take care of. The bible says if you need something, ask God for it (Matthew 7:7). Psalm 84:11 tells us that God will not withhold anything from those who do what is right. God is our Heavenly Father and He takes pleasure in taking care of us. 

Think about it...
God tells us that He is our Heavenly Father, and just like an earthly father, He will take care of us. What are some things you have been worried about that you need to trust God to take care of? Pray and ask Him for His help. 
Focus Scriptures:
Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
Psalm 84:11

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalm 55:22

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Set Apart Girl Finds Her Identity in Christ

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10

When we are born, our identity comes from this world. Our parents give us a name, we belong to a family, and we learn how to live from our environment. As we grow, we learn to like and dislike things, foods, and people. We live to have experiences that mold and shape who we will later become. When a person becomes born again, they take on a new identity - a Heavenly identity.

Girls of this world will find their identity in the things they own, or the accomplishments they have achieved. The girl of this world brags about the degree she earned from the prestigious university she attended. The girl of this world bullies and gossips about others because she believes she is better than the "average person". The girl of this world will exalt herself and all that she has done, and can do. Although it is good to have goals, and work hard, Jesus tells us "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be" (Matthew 6:21). If your desires are in and of this world, your heart will follow the unGodly patterns of this world. 

When she becomes born again, the Set Apart Girl now takes on her new identity through Jesus Christ.  Her desires change from wordly desires to Heavenly desires. She no longer brags about what she can do, but she lives just as Jesus did. Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we can live again in Heaven with our Father God. The bible tells us that those that belong to Him will reign as heirs along with Jesus in Heaven (Romans 8:17). When the Set Apart girl realizes she is already royalty in Heaven, the things of this world become less important. 

 heir (n.) [air]
a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of another following the latter's death.

The Set Apart girl lives to store up her treasures in Heaven. She commits her time, resources, and talents to God's plan for her life. She lives this life here on earth to live again in Heaven. She behaves as an heir to the promises of God. 

Think about it...
When we get to Heaven, we will rule as joint heirs with Jesus. How does this change your opinion about how you should live your life here on earth?

Focus Scriptures:
And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right, to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Luke 22:29-30

Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Matthew 6:19-21

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
Ephesians 1:4

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Set Apart Girl Lives to Please God

Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant.
Galatians 1:10

Growing up, we were taught to be obedient and do what our parents told us to do (Ephesians 6:1). At our jobs, we are rewarded by our bosses for following the rules and doing great work. As we grow older, since the desire to please others was implanted into our minds from a young age, it needs to be put into perspective before it begins to control our way of living. For example, a girl of this world who wants to impress her friends by wearing fancy clothes, and having expensive things may work long tiring hours just to be able to buy these things that do not make her happy. A man of this world may want to impress a special lady by purchasing a fancy sportscar that he can not afford, then later goes into debt for doing it. That is not the life of joy that God wants for you. God does not want you to work hard to impress others. He wants you to work hard to love them. 

There is nothing wrong with wanting friends and family to be proud of you. The important thing when making decisions is the motive behind the decision you are making. Ask yourself, "why am I doing this?" "Who am I doing this for?"The Set Apart girl does everything she can to please God. Everything she does, she does it with her best effort, with the sincere desire to better others. She decides what to do based on what will please God. 

Do you know that when you help someone else you are pleasing God? Did you know that when you pray and talk to the Lord He is smiling down on you? Do you know that every time you are obedient to God, He has a blessing waiting in store for you? Can you imagine God dancing and singing over you because He takes delight in you? Because He does! (Zephaniah 3:17)

Girls of this world seek the attention of people around them because they have no idea that their #1 Fan, their Heavenly Father, is already pleased with them. God created you, and He loves everything about you. No one in this world can love you more than God. When you realize that God Almighty smiles with joy at the thought of you, you will try less to impress others, and spend more time doing things that are pleasing to Him. Spend time in prayer and talk to God. He loves you. 

Think about it...
God loves you more in a moment that anyone could in an entire lifetime. Before you do something, check your motives? Are you doing it to please God, or to impress someone else? 

Focus Scriptures:
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Matthew 6:24

For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4

I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:33

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Set Apart Girl Makes Good Decisions

Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"YOLO" is a popular catch phrase that means "you only live once." The popular motto implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks, and is usually used before doing something meaningless or foolish.

Although "YOLO" may be fun as a teenager, and daring as a adult, the world has taken this buzzword to new extremes and using it as an excuse to do things such as participate in drugs and hurt one another. 

The Set Apart girl must be careful of the company that she keeps and the decisions that she makes. Friends that make foolish decisions can sometimes influence others to make bad decisions as well. Some decisions can have devastating consequences, and that is why the bible tells us to "carefully consider our steps." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that the body of the Set Apart girl is a place for the Spirit of God to dwell, and that she does not belong to herself. When you set yourself apart for God's use, that includes all of you, even your physical body. If you respect yourself, others will have respect for you too. The bible tells us that when a Godly person gives in to unrighteous things, it is like polluting a fountain.  

The amazing thing about God is that He tells us if we need wisdom or understanding to just ask Him for it. Making good decisions in life takes a conscious effort, but is not hard to do. God wants to lead and direct you in every decision that you make - so let Him. The bible says that "the footsteps of a righteous man are ordered by God." How do you let God guide you? By reading the scriptures and learning what God says is right, and what God says is wrong. When you know what God says, you can make good choices based on what you know is right. 

Think about it...
How can making better choices you make an effect on your life? Why is it important to know what God says about a situation before you make a decision?

Focus Scriptures:
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
James 1:5

If the godly give in to the wicked, it's like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
Proverbs 25:26

Only simpletons believe everything they're told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.
Proverbs 14:15

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
Proverbs 14:12

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
James 1:5

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Set Apart Girl is a Rare Gem

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Proverbs 31:10

Are you a good woman or a Godly woman? 
The Set Apart Girl can be described as a virtuous woman. 
Virtuous is defined as:
  • having or showing high moral standards. 
  • conforming to moral and ethical principles; 
  • morally excellent; 
  • upright:

A virtuous woman is one who lives an upright life. She lives to please God, and she practices high moral standards. So why does the bible say that a virtuous woman is hard to find? In the society we live in today, living by high moral standards is not a top priority. Even though women of good character and high moral standards are hard to find today, they DO exist. Abigail is a perfect example of a virtuous woman read her story here. 

Being Set Apart for God's use means that although you are a woman who lives in the world, you do not act like the other women who live in the world. For example, the media shows us images and examples of women who are beautiful on the outside, but are angry, promiscuous, and belligerant. Look at shows like "The Real Housewives" or movies such as "Mean Girls", (just to name a few), where the women are very pretty, but mean towards others. These women are examples of girls of "this world". These women use their charm, money, and good looks to gain attention and things from others. The bible tells us that "Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised." The scripture is teaching us that charm and beauty one day will fade away, but a woman who loves the Lord will be loved by others. Now hear me clearly, there is nothing wrong with pampering yourself by wearing makeup, nice clothes, or fixing you hair to look beautiful on the outside. The difference between a "girl of this world" and a "virtuous woman" is that the virtuous woman is beautiful on the inside first. She focuses on her character before she focuses on her outer beauty. 

As a Set Apart Girl, you have to make the conscious decision to live an upright and moral life. God is not going to do it for you. The world wants us to believe that being "good" is good enough, but a good woman is not necessarily a virtuous woman. When you decide to become Set Apart for God's use, it means that you decide to live a morally upright life. A virtuous woman is a woman who God can trust to do the right thing. She thinks about others before she considers herself. She loves unconditionally. She is faithful in her commitments. She meditates on God's words. She is not focused on the things of this world, but the things of God. She follows God's direction for her life, and loves doing good because it pleases God.

Think About It...
Think of the virtuous woman in contrast of today's "modern woman". What are the distinct differences? Why do you think the bible says it is hard to find a virtuous woman?

Focus Scriptures:
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies.
Job 28:18

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
Proverbs 31:30

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Galatians 5:22-23

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November Study: The Set Apart Girl

Do you know that you are special to God? Do you know that He created you for a special purpose, to make a difference in this world? You are hand-picked and loved by the Almighty God. He chose you, and wrote your story before you were even formed in your mother's womb. God spoke to Jeremiah and told him,

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5

Just like Jeremiah, God has a special plan for your life. You may not be a prophet like Jeremiah, but you have been chosen by God to leave your mark on this world, to make a difference, and to bring glory to God. Because you are so special, our enemy (the devil) is jealous and does not want you to fulfill your purpose, or receive all that God has for you here on earth. So what does the devil do? He puts in front of us enticing distractions and feel-good sins of this world, to keep us focused on everything but God. The devil tries to deceive us with the things of the world to keep us from the promises of God. When you decide to become"set apart" for God's use, He can move and flow through you everyday of your life to fulfill the perfect plan He has for you. 

The Set Apart Girl is a girl who is after God's purpose for her life. She sets herself apart from the things of this world and stays focused on the things of God. What is the difference between a girl of this world and a set-apart girl? Stay tuned as we search the scriptures and learn to distinguish the differences from a worldly woman, and a virtuous woman.

Scriptures about Being Set Apart:

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
Deuteronomy 7:6

The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
John 15:19

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
I John 2:15