Brody Holloway
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Posts in Personal Worship
Strong
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Romans 16:25-27

"Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my Gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles—to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to Him be glory forever! Amen."

How do we get stronger?  Strength is gained through WORK.  No one lays around, watches Netflix, plays video games, and simultaneously gets stronger.  I remember as a kid in elementary school that my dad and uncle were power lifters.  My dad’s best friend was a world-champion power lifter who holds record in the Master category to this day.  Power lifting is a type of weightlifting that requires lifting really heavy stuff off the ground and then putting it back down again.  There are a few different lifts that are used.  All of them are major movements that are designed to push a person to extreme limits.  

I would come home from school and my dad and uncle would be in the basement of the house lifting, and the sounds coming out of that basement were INTENSE.  They didn’t have a normal set of weights like you might find at a fitness equipment store.  Instead, they had fabricated their own equipment from various parts of heavy equipment.  This stuff was heavy!  One set of plates weighed ninety pounds each—double that of traditional weight lifting plates!  The sound of those heavy plates dropping or hitting metal racks, along with the barbaric grunts of my father and the motivating yells of my uncle was almost scary.  I was used to it, but it was always funny when I would have a friend over during my dad’s workouts.  The look on the kid’s face would be priceless when he heard the noise from the basement.  It was almost like he thought someone was being assaulted down in the dungeon!  I would smile and say, “Oh that is just my dad and uncle lifting weights.  They always yell a lot.” 

Getting stronger is hard, and requires a lot of gritty work.  There is no easy path to it.  But along with hard work, there is a need for good nutrition and rest.  Competitive athletes and weightlifters take these two things seriously.  Work, nutrition and rest are all so important for strength and growth. 

The same is true of us if we are to grow stronger in our faith and our Christianity. We need to understand the balance of work, spiritual nutrition, and spiritual rest.  We work in obedience, and we rest in Christ.  Consider the 5 things this passage tells us will strengthen us in our Christian walk.

  1. According to the Gospel.
  2. The proclamation of Jesus Christ.—2 Timothy 1:7-8, "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord."
  3. The Word of God— "according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures."
  4. Obedience to God— "According to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles."
  5. Worship— "To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to Him be glory forever."

 

Mark 10: The Rich Young Ruler
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Mark 10:17-31
The Rich Young Ruler

Big points: Money can’t get you into heaven. Good works can’t get you into heaven. Salvation is impossible unless God saves us. We ALL need to be saved. There are often idols in our lives that keep us from Jesus, but one day those idols will be worth nothing.

In this story, a young man comes to Jesus with some very important questions that we should all consider. What are the questions the man asks Jesus?

The Bible calls this man “The Rich Young Man”, or, “The Rich Young Ruler”. The man is a ruler of a synagogue, and he is very successful. He has made a lot of money at being a “good and religious” person. Can money or religion get a person into heaven?

In verse 18, Jesus says that no one is good. He is saying that no one is good enough to save their self from their own sin. In verse 27, He says it is IMPOSSIBLE to save yourself. But in both verse 18 and verse 27 He also gives us the hope of how we can be saved. What is that hope?

The man replies to Jesus’ answers and questions by saying that he is good, and has kept all of The Commandments. Read James 2:10. The man tells Jesus that he has obeyed all of The Commandments. Do you think he really had? Talk about the impossibility of keeping The Law perfectly.

Some people think that just because they come from a Christian family, they are automatically Christians. This man told Jesus that he had been good from the time he was young. Does everyone really need Jesus to save him or her? Why can’t we just do good and then Jesus will accept our good works and we can be saved?

In the Second Commandment, we were warned about having gods and idols that were more important to us than Jesus. This man has chosen to worship something other than Jesus. What is it?

So, we see that idols don’t have to be little, carved statues. An idol is anything you love or hold onto more than Jesus. Do you have idols in your own life that maybe stand in the way of obedience to Christ? What are they? What can you do about it?

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In verses 29-31 Jesus says that no matter what we give up in this life, Jesus is better, and the life to come will be greater. Take some time to pray and ask God to give you the faith you need to live this life, in this world, worshipping and loving Jesus above all things.

Dealing with Doubt

I recently was asked this question in an e-mail, and I wanted to share my response.  If most of us are honest with ourselves, we'd admit that at some point or another we've also struggled with doubt.  Maybe this response would even open up discussions in the comments below.  I'd love to hear from ya'll.  I'd also like to start answering more of ya'lls questions on here, so e-mail or comment below with some of them.

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Doubt is never far from faith’s shoulder.”-St. Augustine

I don’t know if you remember that quote or not, or if I even shared it with you before, but it is often an encouragement to me.  I hope it will be to you. For a true believer, I am convinced that doubt—NOT FALSE ASSURANCE—is the more prevalent struggle.  If I am in Christ, then the tactic of the enemy will be to convince me that I am not in Christ or to rob me of my joy.  

If I am not in Christ, then a sense of false assurance will be more prevalent.  An unregenerate person doesn’t deal with doubt, because there is nothing to doubt.  Doubt attacks belief, not unbelief.  

Additionally, I read Anne Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts, and she makes a good point in there about a person’s thoughts and emotions.  She says that it is impossible to be overwhelmed by more than one emotion at a time.  The only way to defeat and drive out a negative emotion is to replace it with a more powerful positive emotion.  She makes a solid biblical inference to the emotion of thanksgiving.  That one thing will conquer fear and doubt every time.  What are you thankful for?  You have to ask yourself that question and answer it as an offensive weapon.  

Lastly, Matthew 12 is a reference by Jesus to the Pharisees who have just attributed evil works to The Holy Spirit.  That, he says, is unforgivable.  A believer doesn’t do this. In fact, I like this explanation, by Rick Cornish in a book called “Five Minute Theologian”—

“Concern about committing it reveals the opposite attitude of what the sin is. Those who might be guilty wouldn’t care because they have no distress or remorse over the possibility.

Hope this helps.  I will be praying for you.  Continue to fight for truth and rest in CHRIST alone.  He is the one who saved us, not we ourselves.  

Welcome Back

photo This year has been crazy.  If you’ve followed my facebook updates, you’ll know that Little and our 2 oldest traveled back to Uganda to bring JuJu and Mo home at the end of May, right in the middle of our summer staff training.  Holloway life isn’t easy or calm, but JuJu and Mo have fit right into the chaos. While we still have to go through the United States adoption process, I plan to update you guys on how things ended up on the Ugandan side of things throughout the next month.

I can’t begin to express in words how overwhelming the support our family has received throughout all of this has been.  I’m so grateful for each of you.

Our SWO14 summer was great, and I’m excited to have this website up and running again.  As most of you know, things don’t really ever slow down for us here—I love it! We’ve already had a couple retreats and one conference.  Most of you are already back in the swing of school and work.  As you get into a rhythm this fall, I want to leave you with this resounding truth in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”  In the busy-ness of work, Scripture is sufficient.  For the single mom trying to make ends meet, His Word is enough.  College student, the Bible is alive and applicable for your circumstances.

It’s easy to let our situations dictate our thoughts, emotions, decisions, etc.  I challenge you in this new season to establish yourself in the Truth.  Abide in His Word, daily, and let it change you.

 

‘til the whole world hears,

brody

Fight, thankfully!

“…take … the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)

Well, it is Thanksgiving, and I feel the pressure, and a bit of an obligation, to write an appropriate, occasion-specific blog. I don’t think that is a bad thing; in fact, I think it is a really great thought. I mean, I am genuinely thankful that the Pilgrims came over to pave the way for religious freedom, and that Squanto taught them how to grow corn, and that they had a big feast to celebrate it. I am not being funny. I really love this particular holiday, and what it commemorates. I love the annual Holloway/Turkey Bowl (a brutally competitive gridiron war of the grittiest caliber. Lailee is cut from the same cloth as say… Clay Mathews?). If you think the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving is a traditional throw-down, you should see this. And the accompanying Holloway Basketball Classic (traditionally played after dark under the lights) is a men vs. women affair that often brings bloodshed. This is one competitive family! I love eating fresh venison tenderloin, biscuits and gravy for breakfast (Tuck supplied this year’s kill with a nice fat doe). And I can’t forget Little’s buttermilk pies. You have, no doubt, heard of them.

We spend the holiday in middle-Georgia (not to be confused with Middle-Earth), hanging out at the Williams farm. Little has cousins there who may be the most hospitable people I have ever met. It is not only a day, but a week that I look forward to every year.

This morning, though, my mind goes to Ephesians 6:17, and an attitude of thankfulness that God has not left me unarmed in the battle He has called me into. I can’t imagine trying to be a dad, lead a home, shepherd this family of redeemed sinners, pay the bills, pastor my wife, maintain sexual purity, pursue righteousness, guard my steps and ways, be faithful, and wage war on sin, without the gift of the weapon that is the Word of God.

I am so grateful that God not only arms me, but that He wields the sword of the Spirit within me. He dwells in me. He is for me. He destroyed death for me. He has crushed the enemy. He was tempted in every way yet never sinned. He provides for me what He demands and expects from me. I am thankful for that.

Life is war. Sin is relentless. Satan hates us. We are overwhelmingly armed. It really isn’t a fair fight. You just gotta pick up your weapons. But you don’t have to fight unarmed. I am TRULY thankful for that.