What We Learn About Jealousy, Fear, and Love in the Life of David | alyssajhoward.com

What We Learn About Jealousy, Fear, and Love in the Life of David

The life of David was both exciting and complex. He was a man after God’s own heart, yet he dealt with his fair share of ups and downs. An artist at heart, he wrote poetry and songs to God pouring out his heart in an intimate way. But David was far from perfect. He dealt with sin, struggles, jealousy, pride, and hatred… both within himself as well as with the people around him. But through it all, God never left his side. In fact, it would be through David’s bloodline that Jesus would be born. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses that Proclaim Your Freedom in Jesus | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses that Proclaim Your Freedom in Jesus

Do you ever feel stuck or trapped in your circumstances? We all crave freedom in our lives. In fact, it was the desire for freedom that inspired the beginnings of our great nation. But freedom goes beyond our rights to worship and free speech. Jesus died to set us free from sin, death, and the corruption of this world. And when you surrender your heart to Him, your freedom in Jesus is secure for all eternity. Continue Reading

3 Ways to Set Your Mind on Things Above

Set your mind on things above… Growing up in the church, this was something I commonly heard. But what does it mean to think about things above? Are we called to think about God? Or heaven? Our future in Him? Or is there more to it than that? Continue Reading

David and Goliath: When You Feel Insignificant in World Full of Giants

Do you ever feel insignificant in this world? Do you wonder about your place in it all? There are many things in this world that can overwhelm us… relationships, finances, careers, health issues… it’s easy to feel small sometimes in the midst of it all. Many of us know the story of David and Goliath. In this story, David didn’t just feel small… he WAS small. He faced a giant that was very apparently bigger than him. It was a battle he should have lost, but God gave him the victory.

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Samuel and the Call of God: Paving the Way to the Messiah | alyssajhoward.com

Samuel and the Call of God: Paving the Way to the Messiah

Samuel is one of the most well-known prophets in the Bible. And while there is no written record of him prophesying a future Messiah, Peter describes him as being the first prophet to speak of the days when a Messiah would come. (Acts 3:24) He was the last of the judges in Israel and would anoint its first two kings – Saul and David. God used Samuel in many ways to lead the nation of Israel during a time of transition. And his life would also foreshadow the biggest transition of all for God’s people… the beginning of the Kingdom of God. Continue Reading

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

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 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

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