Friday, March 9, 2012

Rejoices with the Truth

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

This is something I've been convicted of recently... I don't always take joy in what is good and true. I don't always uplift someone and be happy for them when something good happens to them, or they did something that was godly... Being pessimistic by nature, I always allow the bad things cloud over and I'm unable to take pleasure in seeing what is good. This is something my girlfriend had pointed out to me. [Thank you sweetheart... I love you!]

Now I know that when good is done, I need to be happy about that. I used to really berate my friend for being a "goody two shoes." But really, I need to be glad that he did something worthwhile, something godly... I guess I just wanted him to screw up, and do something wrong, that way I'd feel better about myself. My self esteem has always been low, but the problem was that I kept comparing myself to him... And what made matters worse, he practically never did bad things... But now as I have tried to mature in this, I realize he did make mistakes, and I just make even more than he did... So my focus shouldn't be upon his not messing up, but rather on the fact that good has been done.

It is prideful to let your self esteem be the focus of what is or isn't being done. Whatever is good, be glad for it, and be ready to praise the good things being done. God is working such wonders, and seeing His people hard at work living righteously is a blessed thing! Praise God, and be grateful!

...Let me digress. Now being pessimistic isn't all bad... You have to be realistic at times... Sometimes the optimist either is or enjoys pretending to be oblivious to the fact that this world is a messed up place, and that human nature is evil to the core... Rather, be pessimistic and realistic about the state of the world and human nature, and be optimistic about God and His true followers.
Rejoice in the truth always!
Fear God!
I love y'all!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Princess looking for a Knight in Shining Armor

So Valentine's Day is coming up, and all the hype and whatnot, so I decided to sorta blog about, well, relationships... Those romantic relationships. Bleah... However, I'm in one, and since this holiday is meant for couples I must admit its nice to enjoy it for once.

Relationships. If you look at the root of the relationship, what is it based on? Most are based on the fairy tale of a princess in danger, and a knight comes riding in to save the damsel in distress. It is some woman looking towards a man to save her from her situation, and not realizing the burden that he has to carry, the man will exploit the woman in order to fulfill his desires. Ultimately, he falls way short of the woman's expectations, taking whatever he can from her, thus creating another perilous situation for the woman. She needs another "knight in shining armor." But she will never be satisfied, and every jerk will be happy to take whatever he can from her. This sure is a great vicious cycle, isn't it?

As Christians, our number one priority is to follow God first. We can't exalt something or someone over Christ. Well, we can, but that would be sin, and it won't be pleasing to God. Yes, my girlfriend has a Knight in Shining Armor, but it isn't me. It's Jesus Christ. He is the One who is supposed to rescue her from her distress. Sometimes I have a tendency to try and fill that role, but it is foolishness, and more often than not I act like a jerk when I try to fill that role. Jesus can be the Only One for her life.

John 14:6- "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me.'"

That life can't come by a man filling up her time and giving her worldly pleasure. She will end up hollow inside, never able to fill her need for a Savior. Even if he's a really nice guy and a gentleman, only The One Savior can come and rescue her from her distress. Christian men must realize this and be ready to step aside and let Jesus take control. If you truly love God, and you love your significant other, you must be ready to point her to Christ always. You are only there to help her along in her journey, only by Jesus' empowering you to do so. You're just an aide. God's the King!

Every princess has a King...
Be wise! Fear God!
I love y'all!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Identity

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Just a thought that came to my mind at Bible study last night... 


As Christians, what is our identity? A follower of Christ, a "little Christ." And that is how we should be living our lives, as followers of Christ. But all these little things and responsibilities come up and take our time away, and soon we become passive in our faith. It happens to the best of us. But ever wonder why people who are dedicated to a "cause" seem so passionate about it? They get up in your face about it, and they're constantly talking about it. Why is that?
Because it is their identity. It has become everything they are! They have ingrained themselves so much with their "cause" that nothing can interfere. The other things they do always involves a part of their identity with that particular cause. They invest everything they are into the "cause."
Why are Christians not doing the same? Why aren't our jobs pertain to who we are? Why aren't our relationships working towards what God wants them to be? It seems that all these other things pull away from our main identity, which is found in Christ. Why not have these things work towards our identity in Christ, and have them build up our identity? That we have our identity in Christ mold our lifestyles and form who we are... That way we can be strong Christians, and be out finishing the race well instead of sitting on the sidelines...
It isn't easy to do this, I know. But it most certainly is food for thought...

Here's a video for you. Don't know if it entirely pertains to what I just said, but don't think about it too much...
Be wise! Fear God!
I love y'all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Go Now and Leave Your Life of Sin"

It is so hard to let go. Those tentacles of the sinful flesh and the world have such a grip on your soul... Sometimes you seem to never get out of the pit of sin and entrapment...
I know that I have been not well this past week. I have been stumbling and failing and messing up again and again. Sometimes I just can't do it on my own...

John 8:2-11- "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?' They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir,' she said. 'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'"

How do we leave our life of sin? It seems impossible. But God works in strange ways... I believe that every moment is a new opportunity to turn back... It is a battle of wills. His Will against your will. And often it seems like you never loved God and you completely turned your back on Him, so He will turn His back on you... Satan is always there, trying to barricade you from turning back to God. But God is always pursuing you! He just wants you to turn back to Him... He understands where we've been. He has been tempted too... But He did succeed in resisting. Once we are His, we can do the same. We have the power!

Sure, we may fall again, and it's likely inevitable that we will. I believe it is quite possible that the woman committed adultery later on, because she still had to battle with her flesh... We may fail, but we can stand strong again with God's strength!

It's war! God and us vs. Satan, the World, and the Flesh! And God is bigger than all three!!
Fear God! Love one another!
Peace! I love you all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Repentant Sinner or Saint Covered in Grace

Repentant Sinner, or Saint covered in Grace?


Time and time again, we fall short of the glory of God. Our response definitely determines who we are and how we will act in the future. Again, Repentant Sinner, or Saint covered in Grace?
As Sinners, we are not saved. Nothing will get us out of the Hell we make for ourselves. As in Romans 3:10-12 it says "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.'"

Nothing we do can fix our problem. We need grace and forgiveness.

As Saints, we are saved, and covered in Grace. As Christians, no matter what you've done, you are still considered a saint in God's eyes. We are covered in His Blood. Nothing will separate us from His love. Later in Romans it says

"But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (3:21-24)

We are justified by Him alone. Our works won't get us anywhere, but with the Holy Spirit we can do what pleases God. We don't need to beat ourselves up with our past faults. We have been forgiven!
But also, keep this in mind too. If God is in us, we should be striving to please Him. In Romans 6:1-4, 15-18, we see that we should be in God, not in sin.

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ...What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness."

We're dead to sin, Alive in Christ!

Be wise!
Fear God!
I love you all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tonight's Entertainment...

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on His law day and night. -Psalm 1:1-2


With this in mind, what is it that we delight in? Good, or evil? Everyone knows the difference between the two. But what do we see when we look at our lives?

We see sin there, and we are up to our necks with problems. We wonder why this is. I believe that our entertainment choices have a lot to do with it, particularly for Christians. Sure, we prayed the prayer, and go to church on Sunday, but what were we listening to on the drive there? What were we watching on TV on Saturday night?
As the old saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out". This is so true. Because you set your mind on something that is rotten, your life will start being rotten. Are you laughing at some dirty jokes? Pretty soon your mind will drift there. Spend enough time in the presence of evil, that evil will start to rub off on you.

"But I'm a Christian, and I know that it's wrong, but it's just so funny!" Sure, laugh now, and you'll regret it later. When you take time to listen to secular music and you get into the groove of things, do you know what the people are singing? "But I just listen to the music, not the lyrics." Music resonates so much with the human heart. When you are not careful in guarding your heart, and you dwell on the beat of the song, you begin to think about that song. It starts to play over again and again in your head, and soon you begin to sing along. And when you start to sing along, are you thinking about what you're saying?

If you are, then that is good. But when you think about the song is saying, it's message, are you disgusted? Are the lyrics themselves evil in any way? If you said yes to both questions, and you still listen to the song, you are meditating on it. And when you meditate on something, you begin to embed whatever it is into your soul, whether good or evil. As children of light, we are called to be separate from the darkness. So we cannot let this happen. Some people may be strong Christians, and find that the music doesn't affect them. But it can. If you're proud enough in your capability to not sin in one area of your life, you had better be on your guard, because the devil is always searching for someone to entice.

How about stuff we watch on tv? If something that starts causing your mind to wander to lust, is that helpful for your growth? Absolutely not! If you're watching something and you begin to lust, than you should find something else to watch or do...

These are just some examples. We must be careful in our entertainment choices. Music, movies, tv shows, websites, videos, books, you name it. Each one has the capability to drag us down. They plant ideas, whether good or bad. So maybe we need to start looking for good entertainment choices for us instead.


"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." -Philippians 4:8


I love you guys!
Be wise. Fear God!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trust and Forgiveness

Sometimes, trust is hard.
I've recently experienced a recent loss of trust. Someone close to me hurt me very much. And right now, I don't feel like trusting that person. I left my thoughts out there, and the person misinterpreted it and ran away with those words, believing a false idea about my character.

Of all things I hate, the thing I hate the most is having someone close to me think that I am something that I'm not. This makes things difficult for me. And now it's really hard for me to forgive that person and trust them with myself again...

Am I so shallow that I can't give this person the credit they deserve? This has been the first time they hurt me deeply. Will they do it a second time? Undoubtedly. The person is a sinner, just like me. No one's perfect. But the person was called to repentance and they said they were sorry. Do I feel like forgiving them? No... I'd rather find fault with them...

I feel like it's a game now, trying to find something that is a fault of the other so that you can use it to manipulate them. To hold it above their head so that they feel sorry for what they did. That way your sins are forgotten when the other person is now in the limelight, so to speak. Then the other person finds a fault... So the vicious cycle goes on and on till both are sick of it... Christians do the same thing. Except they are more subtle at it and use the 'God' card', or the 'holier than thou' approach. "It's been laid upon my heart that I should stop sinning in this area of my life." (Whereas they really haven't been sinning here, but you have been. Quite clever and manipulative, I might add. I've done this before, on several occasions.) I must apologize, because right now it appears that I'm using this post to do the same thing, but seriously I am not trying to do this. I seriously struggle with forgiving others, using the 'God card', and the 'holier than thou' approach.

That's not a Christian way to live, but sometimes that's how I act and feel about things. This is how a Christian is supposed to act: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you." -Ephesians 4:32

Did Christ bring up these sins over again to remind us that we hurt Him? No! Jesus Christ doesn't bring up the dirt over and over again. He calls us to do likewise with each other. It ain't easy, but it's the thing He wants us to do. So now I'm going to throw away the feelings of distrust and anger, and I'm going to forgive and trust once again. It doesn't matter what the person did, I still need to forgive. And in order to grow again in our relationship with one another, in order to forgive, I must trust again. And I'm ready to do that.

This is a song by P.O.D. This is a good song about this issue of trust. I would've included the actual music video, but it has some suggestive content, even though it fits with the message... Sorry about the picture, but that's the album cover...