Lessons from the Faith of Rahab, an Unlikely Hero | alyssajhoward.com

Lessons from the Faith of Rahab, an Unlikely Hero

Rahab was a prostitute. She worshipped false gods and was a liar. Her nation was also doomed to destruction. Yet, her name is known to this day. To say that she was an unlikely hero is an incredible understatement. But the faith of Rahab changed the course of her life forever, and God used her in a mighty way. Continue Reading

What Do the Ten Commandments Have to Do with Jesus? | alyssajhoward.com

What Do the Ten Commandments Have to Do with Jesus?

One of the most well-known stories in the entire Bible centers around Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. It’s one of those elements of Scripture that nearly everyone knows about… even if they haven’t read the Bible. Some Christians post these commandments on the walls of their homes, and they serve as a basic moral law for many. But where did the Ten Commandments come from exactly? What was their purpose? And most importantly, what do they have to do with Jesus? Continue Reading

3 Reasons Why You Should Live in the Moment | alyssajhoward.com

3 Reasons Why You Should Live in the Moment

As Christians, we are often taught to be eternity minded. Colossians 3 tells us to set our minds “on the things above” rather than the things of earth. And Paul often reminded the early believers of the future that awaited them to inspire them and give them hope during their difficult circumstances. But I wonder if in our attempts to be “eternity minded,” we’ve become entirely “future-minded” instead. While it’s a good thing to have hope for our future, we certainly don’t want to miss out on what God has for us in the present. We need to live in the moment and embrace each day as an opportunity to grow and live out the call of God on our lives. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses That Declare the Joy of the Lord!

When times are tough, it can be hard to declare that the joy of the Lord is your strength. Trust me. I’ve been there. When facing sorrow, struggle, or tragedy… the last thing you naturally feel is joy. But Paul reminded us in his letter to the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always.” Not sometimes. Not when we feel like it or when things are going our way. Always. But the one things we must remember about God-given joy is that it truly is just that… God-given. His joy transcends our circumstances and allows our hearts to experience His peace beyond all earthly understanding. Continue Reading

The Difference Between Truth and Theology (and why it matters)

Growing up, I learned a lot about God’s truth. I also learned that the Bible is filled with His truth and can be trusted fully. In my mind, “truth” was anything pertaining to my faith in God. Then I went to seminary to study theology, and what I learned was a bit life-shaking. Some of the biblical “truths” I had come to rely on weren’t as firmly planted in Scripture as I thought. Now before I get ahead of myself, I should make one thing clear. The Bible is fully true. I believe that with all of my heart.

But just because something is fully true… doesn’t necessarily mean we fully understand it. Continue Reading

Let My People Go: Victory, the Cross, and Freedom in Jesus

Let my people go! I’m sure we can all imagine Moses shouting this phrase to Pharaoh with his fist raised high demanding freedom for the children of Israel. Ten plagues later, they were finally free to go. (Well, sort of… Pharaoh decided to go after them, God parted the waters of the Red Sea… you know the rest of the story.)

Interestingly enough, Moses didn’t demand their freedom simply for freedom’s sake. He wasn’t claiming injustice… although he certainly could have considering they were overworked and mistreated as slaves. When speaking to Pharaoh he simply proclaimed, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.‘” Continue Reading

4 Reasons Why the Wisdom of God is Superior to the Wisdom of Man

Do you ever struggle to make decisions in your life? Do you find yourself going back and forth wondering if you made the right choice? What about regrets? Have you made choices in your life that you wished you could take back? If you answered yes to any of these questions, know that you are not alone. I think it’s safe to say we all experience moments of indecision… times when we crave wisdom in our lives.

As Believers, we have the Holy Spirit living within us. And the Bible makes one thing abundantly clear… God’s wisdom is far superior to any and all earthly wisdom. Continue Reading

4 Powerful Lessons to be Learned from the Life of Joseph | alyssajhoward.com

4 Powerful Lessons to be Learned from the Life of Joseph

If I had to pick a favorite Old Testament Bible story, it would undoubtedly be the life of Joseph. From beginning to end, his life is both compelling and inspiring. One of twelve sons, Joseph was the favorite of his father Jacob. And because of that, his brothers were more than jealous of him. In their bitterness and rage, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt. And God used this seemingly hopeless situation to change the course of history. Continue Reading

Jacob and Esau: Deception, Bitterness, and the Sovereignty of God | alyssajhoward.com

Jacob and Esau: Deception, Bitterness, and the Sovereignty of God

Jacob and Esau were the first twins mentioned in the Bible. Sons of Isaac and Rebekah, these two came into the world after Isaac prayed asking God to give his barren wife a child. If you remember, Isaac’s mother was barren too. She was 90 years old when she finally conceived Isaac. So this was a story all too familiar for Isaac. But God gave him two sons. In fact, Genesis 25:23 describes them as “two nations.” Esau would be born first, but it would be Jacob who would be chosen by God to carry on the bloodline of Jesus. The older shall serve the younger… Continue Reading

10 Lies of the Enemy That Will Stunt Your Spiritual Growth | alyssajhoward.com

10 Lies of the Enemy That Will Stunt Your Spiritual Growth

Jesus referred to the enemy as the “Father of Lies.” Lying is what he does best. In fact, it literally defines who he is. But the truth is that the enemy was defeated at the cross. The Bible even describes his humiliating defeat in Colossians 2:13-15. The victory now belongs to Jesus and we get to share in that victory as children of God. Knowing this truth, the enemy does what he does best… lie. And even though he can’t change what Jesus did on the cross, he can certainly lie to us in an attempt to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destinies and to stunt our growth as Believers. It is when we recognize the lies of the enemy that we can best combat them with the truth. Continue Reading

3 Life Lessons About God and His Love from Isaac and Rebekah

One of my favorite Old Testament Bible stories is one of true love. Isaac and Rebekah were destined to be together, and their story was anything but ordinary. Perhaps I love this story because I’m a romantic at heart. I envision what it must have been like for Rebekah and leave her family home to journey towards a husband she had never met. Her courage, bravery, and faith in God’s promise are truly inspiring. But what is even more inspiring is how God moved in His love through it all. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses That Define Friendship in the Body of Christ

Relationships matter to God. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded by telling them to love God and to love one another. In fact, six of the Ten Commandments are actually relational in nature and they concern how we treat one another (stealing, lying, committing adultery, etc.). We serve a relational God, and He designed us to be relational as well. We need each other in this life. And for this reason, friendship matters to God… especially when it comes to our relationships with each other as His children. Continue Reading

3 Powerful Reasons Why the Test of Abraham Is Significant | alyssajhowardcom

3 Powerful Reasons Why the Test of Abraham Is Significant

Most of us have heard the story. In his old age, Abraham is given a son named Isaac. But God asks Abraham to do the unthinkable… to sacrifice this son on an altar. Some would say this test of Abraham was mean and cruel. Others would suggest that God had a divine purpose in asking Abraham to do such a thing. But what we must remember as Christians today is that every story found in Scripture is significant.

After all, it was Jesus who said that all Scripture indeed pointed to Him. (John 5:39) Continue Reading

3 Ways to Share the Gospel Without Saying a Word

When it comes to ways to share the Gospel with others, I’ve learned many methods throughout my years as a Christ follower. I’ve learned the importance of preparing my own personal testimony. (After all, no one can argue with your story.) I’ve also learned the importance of knowing the Bible well enough to share it. (Be prepared in and out of season, right?) But what about those in our lives who don’t want to talk about Jesus?

Are there ways to share the Gospel of Jesus without saying a word? Continue Reading

4 Reasons Why Theology is Important in Shaping Your Worldview | alyssajhoward.com

4 Reasons Why Theology is Important in Shaping Your Worldview

Before seminary, I gave very little thought to theology. After all, I was an everyday, ordinary Christian… not a theologian. While I enjoyed studying and reading the Bible, I never once saw myself as a scholarly theologian. In my mind, that job was reserved for teachers and commentators. But if there is one thing I learned from attending seminary, it’s that theology is important. In fact, it has the power to shape your entire worldview. I also learned that based on our studying and even our personal experiences, our theology has a way of shifting and adapting throughout our lives. Some of the greatest theologians in history changed their points of view throughout their lives and ministries.

Truth be told, we are all theologians… even if we don’t know it yet. Continue Reading