by Marissa Harris
According to Paul, a holy life, a sanctified life, is one marked by self-control and purity. Paul discusses these qualities in regards to sexuality. But, they are also important in many other aspects of our lives.

We live in a country characterized by excess. I am increasingly aware of this as our toy room becomes more and more over-packed with each passing Christmas and birthday. We have more toys than our boys could ever want or need. In fact, our house is overflowing with clothes, shoes, and stuff. This makes me pause and think: are we exercising self-control in our purchasing? Are we living a life that will “win the respect of outsiders”, as Paul mentions in verse 11?

What other excess can we purge from our lives? Are we crowding our time with computer, phone, and television screens? Are we more concerned with earthly things than with heavenly rewards? Through His strength, we can let go of all that takes up our precious time and energy, all that is not worth it compared to a holy and sanctified life, one devoted to following and serving Him. May we all examine our lives and make sure He is the focus and leader.

Marissa HarrisAbout Marissa Harris
My family and I have been attending Browncroft for the last 4 years. My husband Jason and I grew up in South Jersey and attended the same high school. I teach 8th grade English at Red Jacket Middle School. I enjoy reading, writing, singing, and playing with our sons Andrew and Ethan.
Prayer of the Week
Lord, may we offer these verses from Thessalonians as our prayers to you. May we pray these in regards to our church family, our friends and neighbors, and for our surrounding community. Indeed, strengthen our hearts and renew us.

In your heavenly name. Amen.
Weekly Memory Verse
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
-1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
Monthly Spiritual Practice
Confession and Renewal
Nothing so cleanses the soul as confessing to God our shortcomings and failures to obey him. Our God is a God of patience, forgiveness and grace. He accepts our willingness to humble ourselves before him and sincerely confess our sins. He will forgive us. Our debt has already been paid. We just need to embrace God’s gift of grace. He will give us a “re-do” so we can renew our commitment to follow Jesus’ example.