Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Right Perspective

     I was thinking upon the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 and the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16.
     In the parable of the prodigal son, the son that stayed with his father was upset at his father for giving a celebration for his brother, who had spent all his money then returned home. He complained that his father never did anything like that for him and he pointed out that he was the loyal son who stayed with him. His father explained his reason for the celebration that he was giving for his brother. He said in Luke 15:32 "It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found."
     In the parable of the workers in the vineyard the owner of the vineyard hired labors to work in the field and he told them that he would pay them a coin for their day's work. He hired different workers throughout the day and even on the last hour of the day he hired workers. When it was time to stop the work, he had his foreman to call them all together for so to receive their wage. The ones who worked at the beginning of the day were not happy when they saw the people who had worked only one hour and got the same wage as they got. The owner said to one of them that was complaining in Matthew 20:13,14 "But he replied to one of them, "Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? ,14Take what belongs to you and go, I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you."
     In the parables, both the son and the workers complained that they were being treated unfairly. They both thought that they deserved something more but they both missed the point of what had happened. When the prodigal son left his home he was in a spiritually dead condition and so was the people who were not working in the field. Romans 5:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." This is what the father was celebrating, his son who was spiritually dead will now have eternal life. The workers in the field represented the disciples of Jesus Christ, who are brought into his service and no matter how long they have been a christian each will equally receive the same reward which is eternal life. So there was no real reason to complain both the prodigal son and the workers were spiritually dead and now they are alive, they were spiritually lost and now they are found.
     Being imperfect humans that we are, we do sometimes miss the point and think to ourselves that we are being treated unfairly. We sometimes cannot grasp the whole picture and understand what we need to know. The brother of the prodigal son lost sight of the understanding if his brother were to die in his sinful state there would be no reunion after death. The workers in the field lost sight of the consequences of anyone who was not in the field it would mean their eternal death. It does not really matter in what condition someone comes to God or if it's the last hour of his or her's life. What matters is they are now spiritually alive and will receive eternal life and be with us in God's kingdom.
     With God we have a hope of eternal life without him we have only death. Just like in Noah's day those who stand inside of the ark will live and those who are on the outside will perish. I believe that is why our religious relatives nag us to go to church and give our lives over to God because they want to see us in the resurrection. They love us and want us to be with them forever.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

To Many Sweets

     I know by the title, you think I am going to talk about having to many sweets during the holiday season. However, I want to go deeper than that, to think about the people who are living on nothing but sweets. They are spending most if not all their time on the things that make them feel good for the moment. Things just like a sweet, it makes you feel good for awhile but the feeling goes away and after awhile, you need a another one to satisfy your craving.
     People are literally gorging themselves on sweets and not getting a lasting satisfaction in doing so. Feeding their need to be fulfilled with an empty nourishment that can never completely satisfy their soul. Lets look at the sweets in one's life. First the obvious is food you can try to eat your sadness away but it does not work and neither does drugs or alcohol. You can avoid your problems through various types of entertainment and it might make you feel better for a time but after your done, you will still have to face what is troubling you. You carry your problems wherever you go so you cannot really run away from them through travel. Your broken soul must be mended first before a lasting peace can be found, an overindulgence of sweets (a solution to feel good only for the moment) is not the answer.
     When we overindulge we are trying fill that emptiness that is within our soul and to soothe our pain but it only last temporarily. Consuming to many sweets does not solve our problems but only creates more problems, more sadness and disappointments.
     Not giving up on hope and facing your pain is the beginning to your healing. Praying and looking to God for your answers is a good start. Look for your answers inside the Bible for it is God's word. In God's word you can find what you are looking for and hope for your hurting soul. Having to many sweets is not the answer but God's word is.

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Friday, November 25, 2016


     I have always heard it said if life gives you lemons make lemonade, meaning make a negative that is in your life into a positive. But I have to say, from where do you get your sugar to make your lemonade? Lets say your perfect condition in life would be to have a wife, children and friends who love you. Now if a negative condition came along in your life, you could rely on your family and friends for the support that you need to help you with your problem. Their love and positive support would be the sugar for you to make the lemonade.
     Now lets say your life is less than perfect and you are in a bad way with little to no support, maybe even alone without many in your life to love you. Where will the needed sugar come from to make your lemonade from the lemons that life has handed to you? A man or woman with a good support system can fall but he or she has people around who will reach out and catch them. They will never fall to the bottom. But someone who has no support in their life have only themselves to rely on. They must stop themselves from falling to the bottom.
     I want to think about what kind of support does a person alone have when feeling down. Where can they get their sugar from to make their lemonade? I thought about the trials and tribulations of the apostle Paul, what he had to endure while trying to spread the word about Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul told us what he went through while spreading the word. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 he said that he had countless beatings and was often near death. He said five times he was lashed with forty strokes less one, three times beaten with rods, once stone and three times shipwrecked. He said that he had to endure hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. It look like life was handing the apostle Paul a basket full of lemons while he was on his mission.
     Even though the apostle Paul had a basket full of lemons, he did not give up. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:8,9 "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;" From where did the apostle Paul get his strength and support to carry on? He said in 2 Timothy 3:11 "my persecutions and suffering that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra--which persecutions I endured; yet from them the Lord rescued me." The apostle Paul relied on God for his strength and support.
     The apostle Paul said he learned to be content in every situation. Philippians 4:11-13 "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me." The apostle Paul look to God for both his strength and support. Even though the apostle Paul had a basket full of lemons, God supplied him the sugar by means of his Holy Spirit so Paul could make his lemonade.
     So we can see by the apostle Paul's example even though we may be alone, God can be relied upon for our strength and support in our time of trouble. We do not have to be in a state of constant despair, we can pray to God for our help. Psalm 34:17 "When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."If we are alone and in trouble, we do not have to drink sour lemon juice, God can and will help us to solve our problems. He will supply the sugar that we need to make our lemonade. In our darkest hour we can still look up and see God's light shinning through. We can lift our head up and be joyful in the LORD.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Our Thread of Comfort

     What makes us feel comfortable around each other? For example, If you are married, why do you feel comfortable around your wife? Because you feel that you can be relaxed and just be yourself around her. There is also a trust between you and her and you feel that you can let your guard down. And above all else there is love, making your home a place where you feel accepted and belong.
     There is a common thread of comfort that gives you comfort with your children as with your wife.There is a strong bond of love between you and your children. Just as with your wife, you can be relaxed around them and just be yourself. You also have a feeling of trust, acceptance and belonging when you are with them.
     I have just skimmed the surface of the topic of the feeling of comfort. I was just looking for the common threads of what makes us feel comfortable around each other. I have asked this question to myself, if I have a feeling of comfort within my family, cannot this feeling be expanded outside my family's home? What can make me feel comfortable around strangers?
     If I were to enter a new church where would my comfort come from? In the beginning, the common belief that we share (our belief in Jesus Christ) would make me feel comfortable. Through him we are connected to each other and this brings us together in worship. When you are united in a common cause, you see each other as more than just strangers. When we are united by a belief, this gives us a sense of belonging and acceptance among other believers.
     In time, trust can be established and you can start to feel comfortable around the new people that you have met and hopefully, you will start to feel that you can just be yourself while you are around them.  And the more you get to know them your connection to them will grow. Together, with your new friends(who were once strangers) you can have that comfortable family like relationship.
     My comfortable family like relationship for me is to feel relaxed, to feel accepted, to have trust and made to feel that I belong, also to be loved and to be able to be myself without many judgments. This is my comfort thread but others I believe may need or want something else to make them feel comfortable. The more we know about ourselves the more we can find comfort and be comfortable in our world. But our true comfort comes from God, 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word."

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The illusions of the Dark Light

     2 Corinthians 11:14,15 "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
     Our world is under the dark light of Satan. He is trying to make us believe that his word is the truth and his way is the right way. He is the master of manipulation and deception and he wants to have total control over us. Control over the way we communicate with each other or the lack there of by isolating us then dividing us to make us easier for him to control..The illusions of his dark light is many, it looks like light but in truth it is just only another form of darkness.
     In Satan's dark light, he keeps us away from having security and happiness in order for us to stay in survivor mode so to attack rather than to embrace our neighbors. He wants us to view security as living in a fortress surrounded by weapons. He wants us to see our lust as love. He wants to disguise our want as our need. He wants us to get rid of our self sacrificing ways and just do what we want. He wants us to put ourselves above all else, above our God, our family and our friends.
     We wonder why our world is so evil because people are looking to the dark light to light their way. It looks like hope but it never delivers. It looks like warmth but it is so cold. You believe that it has answers but it has nothing but lies. In this dark light, kindness is a form of control. It is given out of a hidden agenda so to create dependency and enslavement. In a dark lit world little is given and much is taken. Gifts are not given out of unconditional love but from a selfish desire.
     In this darkness, progress is viewed as having many material things and not as having a healthy mind and spirit. Community is lost because isolation equals control. Shallow pursuits are encouraged over deep spiritual endeavors. This darkness is trying to get us all to climb over each others backs in order to get a prize that is not worth the cost. All in all, the dark light is telling us to trust in no one and to keep on fighting with your neighbors because they are out to get you. The devil is trying to make you believe that survivor of the fittest is your best philosophy to live your life by.
     In a dark lighted world, you are surround by a deceiving light. It is a controlling light design to keep your mind on yourself and away from God, our true source of light. The darkness clouds our mind and creates doubts about our true existence. We become so trap in our own way of life that we cannot see another way to live and that is exactly what Satan wants. 2 Timothy 2:26 "and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." Satan design our world system to trap us and to make us to do his will, not our will or God's will but his will. Without God's protection and guidance, Satan will thoroughly manipulate us and deceive us, making us believe we are doing our will but we are in fact doing what Satan wants.
     Jesus came into our world and he saw the dark light of Satan. He saw through Satan's lies and deceptions. The devil tried to tempt Jesus and Jesus rejected him. Matthew 4:10 "Then Jesus said to him, Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." Jesus did not given in to temptation and he remained loyal to God. We are now being tempted by the illusions of Satan's dark light and all of us will have to make a decision whether or not we are going to follow in Jesus Christ's footsteps and reject the devil or are we going to continue to remain in the darkness to be deceived and be used by him?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lost in Selfishness

     Selfishness to me is someone trying to find satisfaction in physical things. Thinking that giving more to one's self will bring you happiness. In selfishness all your thoughts are turned inward and you block out or ignore the feelings of those that are around you.
     In my opinion, selfishness is like someone who is drowning and grabbing at anything that is around them in order to survive. They are trying desperately to find their way to the surface through their physical desires.The mind knows it needs something to be happy and a person in desperation will take and not give anything away.
     Some people have given over to their selfish behavior or are just blind to it. While others like me have a struggle with it from time to time. My mind sometimes turns inward and I become lost in my own misery.
     Sometimes but not all the time when I have some sort of struggle with a emotional distress, selfishness seems to take over and I start doing things more for myself. Believing in the more I do for myself the better I will feel. I found it to be just a lie of the mind, a mental weakness, the sin at work within me taking hold and leading me into a spiritual darkness that only increases my pain rather than relieving it.
     When I find myself in trouble, I always look to God's word for my answer. I find that the searching for my answer within the Bible is in itself a relief to my mind. My inward thoughts start to turn outward towards God for my help. Instead of me trying to solve my own problems with a clouded mind, I rely on the wisdom of God's word. I found that relief of a selfish mind only comes when you no longer focus only upon yourself.
     The Bible tells us instead of thinking selfishly but to think in a godly way. Philippians 4:8 " Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
     We can free our mind of our selfishness if we start to think in a different way. Focusing our thoughts more on what God is telling us rather than what our selfish mind is telling us to do. Our mind can be at rest and have peace if we only look to God for our answers.

2 Corinthians 5:15 "and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

In This Corner

     In this corner is God and in another corner there is Satan. God has his people and Satan has his.
     What kind of people are with God? The deeply spiritual holding tight to righteousness. Those who care and give from the their hearts. The powerful in spirit, who are loving and forgiving, are those with God.
     What kind of people are with Satan? The shallow without empathy. The selfish without compassion. The powerful, who are without mercy or love, are those with Satan.
     Two corners, two opposite kinds of people, one wanting what the flesh has to offer and the other wants what the spirit has. One wanting to be a king in this world and the other to be in God's kingdom.
     In one corner are those who live without a conscience and hurt others for selfish gain. Those who see empathy as a weakness and live in a cruel way. The intelligent ones who have no wisdom and create and do things that one should not. They are the ones who stand in the darkness with Satan.
     In another corner are those who have a conscience and are compassionate. Those who see empathy as a strength and help others. The intelligent ones who have wisdom and use their intelligence for the good of mankind. They are the ones who stand with God.
     Yes, there are two corners, God's or Satan's. I believe each of us need to be asking ourselves in which corner do I stand?  

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Sprout of Life

     I believe we all are born with a sprout of life within us. It is something that if we nourish it and make it grow, we will feel complete and whole inside. It is not a material thing but spiritual one, a spiritual maturity within us that is waiting for us to nourish it in someway. It is enclosed in our sinful body, in a sort of darkness and needing light to make it grow. If we do not give it light, it will stay a sprout until the day we die.
     The sprout of life within can never die nor matter how evil we may become, it just waits patiently for the light of life to make it grow. This means that a great change can happen to any of us at any point in our life, provided if we would only change the way that we live. In the forgiveness, the mercy and the grace of God the sprout of life is given a chance to grow and flourish. The sprout of life matures and blossoms under the light of God. Our spiritual maturity is made whole and complete by the guidance of God's word and spirit.
     The light that we need comes from God. John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." By having this light of life we will be made satisfied. Jesus said in John 4:14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  By us embracing the words of Jesus Christ the darkness within us is overcome and the spiritual sprout within us grows.
     For us to spiritually mature, we are told to long for spiritual food. 1 Peter 2:2 "Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation." The sprout of life within us needs proper nourishment and that nourishment is the spiritual food that comes from God. John 6:35 "Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." The bread of life, which is Jesus, is the food and water source that will make the sprout of life within us to flourish and grow.
     There is hope for us and that hope is in God. He knows how to make our lives better. We do not have to live in fear and darkness. The sprout of life within us can be made to grow, we can mature into a higher spiritual being and have happiness, joy and love. Our minds can be made over by God's word and spirit. The sprout within us, can grow and blossom making us feel whole and complete inside.

2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."    

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Do Not Lose Faith

     Do not lose faith for God is with you and he will sustain you in your hour of need. Times are getting worst and violence seems to be ever increasing throughout our world. More and more I am hearing in the news about violent acts that are being carried out and this reminds me of what is written in the book of Matthew about the lasts days before the return of Jesus Christ. Matthew 24:12 "And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of the many will grow cold." And lawlessness has increased throughout our world bring with it fear and great sadness, making us feel a little less loving and forgiving toward each other.
     What can I say is this, now is not the time to be losing our faith but on the contrary to be growing stronger in our faith in God. God is our great healer, he is the one we should be looking to for our comfort in these hard to deal with times. There is a spiritual war that is going on around us, the devil is trying his best to keep his control over mankind through fear and violence knowing he has only a short time left. He is trying to plant his seeds of hopelessness, despair, hatred and mind numbing fear in everyone's heart.
     The devil is trying to drive out our love, for Jesus said in John 13:35 "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." If we lose our love the devil wins, we let our fear to paralyzed us into inaction for God. Our love reaches out to others while our fear will push them away. 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." Spiritually, fear will stop us from trusting in each other for fear of being harmed. We will start to see people as our enemies instead as our future friends. How will we be able to love and to forgive, if we let fear and hate take control over our own heart?
     Trouble times are upon us and it looks like that it will only get worst but do not let your fear paralyzed you, always trust in God to see you through. Keep your heart soft and do not let it become harden by what is happening around you, be the light in the darkness and give hope to others. Let the loving spirit of God pour out through your heart so to give healing and comfort to those who are in need. Let not the devil win but keep your faith and be strong, knowing that God is working hard to bring these dark times to an end. Jesus Christ will someday return and bring an everlastng peace and love that will change our entire world, so if possible live in peace and keep your faith and your love.
     Take comfort in these words. Psalm 34:17-19  "When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I Am Alright

     When I experience difficult times of my life, I can always find encouragement from God's word to give me the strength to carry on. I can pick myself up and say to myself that I am alright, meaning that I am not in a perfect condition but I do have enough strength and hope to keep moving onward in life. I thank God for that, for without hope, I would not have enough mental energy or motivation to start my day. With the help of God's spirit I can still say to myself, I am alright even after the difficult times of my life.

The reasons why I am alright:
     I am alright because I can count on God's help in my time of trouble. Psalms 107: 19,20 " Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 20He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction." Psalms 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all." Psalms 41:3 "The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health." God is always my hope in the darkest hour.
     I am alright because the LORD is my protection. Psalm 9:9 "The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble," Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." Alone I feel fragile, with God I feel safe.
     I am alright because I find comfort in Jesus Christ, he makes me feel that I am loved and cared for. Matthew 11:28,29 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." 
     I am alright because of the beautiful promise of God's future kingdom, where all of God's loving children shall dwell someday. There will be no more pain and sorrow. These words of hope brings me comfort when I see our world in a state of chaos. Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." What a wonderful world that God is planning for our future.
     Yes, I am alright for God is my strength. Exodus 15:2 "The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him."
     I am alright because God has put a spirit of strength within ourselves. 2 Timothy 1:7 "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
     God watches out over his children, we are his sheep and he is our shepherd. King David's words in the book of Psalm sums up how I feel. Psalm 27:1 "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
     I am alright because of the love of God. He has strengthen me through the hard times. He has stayed with me and guided my way, even when I could not clearly see. I am alright not because I relied on my own strength but I relied on his, and I am alright for a great future awaits me someday in his beautiful kingdom.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

If You Were The Only One

     If you were the only one with a heart filled with love, where did your love come from? If you were the only fountain flowing in a desert, from where did you get your water? If you are the only blossoming flower in a garden, from where did you get your beauty? And if you are the only sheep that is left among a large pack of wolves, from where did you get your peaceful nature? These are good questions to asked ourselves, if we think that we are surrounded by evil and that we also think that we are the only one that is holding on to love, wisdom and righteousness.
     Yes, when we think that we are standing alone, where is our strength, our determination coming from? We may feel abandon and alone but we are determined to carry on despite everything that is going on around us. What is making us to persevere under our hardship? 
     The answer I believe is that we will never abandon our faith. We will not stop caring and loving because others have given up on it. Even if we may feel that we are all alone in our beliefs, we will never give up on them. For some reason, doing what is right and good is written within our hearts and we follow that code no matter how bad our world has become (Hebrews 8:10). We carry God's light within us and it makes us happy to express it anyway that we can. If this makes us strange or an outsider to others, then so be it. We cannot be anything other than ourselves. 
     When you feel you are just giving and you are not receiving anything back; how do you still keep on doing good and not become cynical? Because you refuse to give in to your sadness and hurt others, instead you hold on to your belief to be peaceful, to do good and to love one another. If no one is giving you anything for all the good that you are doing, why keep doing it? Because there is more to us than our fleshly desires, we live by the Holy Spirit and we want to do good over evil. Our love for our God and his words are far greater than anything that is within our world. We want to please him and to do his will. We are made more happy by serving our God, than by serving the world. 
     Even if we believe we are alone, we are not alone for God's spirit is always with us. We feel God's spirit even when we feel that we are isolated. If the whole world were to turn against us, we would still hold tight to our love, for it is God's precious gift to us and we will never throw it away. Seeing the bad in the world sickens us but doing what is good heals us. We are God's children and we want to do what is right, even if we feel the whole world is doing what is wrong. What keeps us going is God's spirit which strengthens us. Externally we may not get anything back but internally God's spirit energizes our soul. Psalm 46:1,2 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,"
     I wrote this post because I wanted to remind myself and to tell others that we are not alone. If we feel that we are abandon and alone, all we have to do is to look within ourselves and see the spirit of God that is at work within us. You still do good when others are doing bad. You still hold on to your love, when others seem to abandon theirs. Why? Because God is standing next to you and helping you through your hard times. He is empowering you with power of his love and his spirit. He is protecting you from the darkness that is around you and shining down upon you his loving light. Our connection to God is a strong one and it would take a whole lot more than what the world has to break it. If you felt that you were the only one left with God's spirit of love then it was God who put it there and through his spirit, your heart kept it there.

Isaiah 41:10 "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."    

Friday, June 17, 2016

Who Do You Serve?

     Romans 6:16 "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? " This verse made me think, to whom am I serving, sin or righteousness. Am I letting the sin within me have control over my actions or am I following the spirit of the LORD? I believe, this is where the violence in our world is coming from, from us serving the darkness from within rather than serving the righteousness of God's word.
     Are we obedient to God's commandment to love one another other or do we hate each other? John 13:34,35  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." And if someone has hate in his heart and wants to kill. It is clearly stated in God's ten commandments in Exodus 20:13 "You shall not murder." 
     And if you are angry and want to take matters into your own hands, the apostle Paul told us to do this instead. Romans 12:16-21 "Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." The apostle Paul is telling us to live in peace and harmony with those that are around us and leave the vengeance that we may want, for God to do. God wants us to be a living example to our enemies that it is better to do good than to do evil.
     Is it not a whole lot better to serve a God of love rather than spreading evil throughout our world, working together to make it a beautiful place to live rather than ugly one. It is far better to live in a world as a family, than an world full of enemies. This is the will of God, for us to be a family, living in peace, harmony and love. If we all take it upon ourselves and serve God, darkness would have no hold upon our world and murder would not be upon our minds.
     Who do I serve? Everyday I make it my choice to serve God. Even though I may have bad thoughts, I will not act upon them. God gave us free will and I chose to do good over evil. I chose righteousness over the darkness of sin. We can bring about a greater change to our world by serving God, than we ever could by spreading evil through fear and violence.
     Galatians 6:9 "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."     

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Where does Your Love Come From?

     Where does your love really come from, from within yourself or from others? I asked this question to myself because sometimes I do not feel I have love within my life.
      I wonder how did the apostle Paul kept feeling loved while he was still in prison. He did not turn bitter, nor did his heart turn to hate. It was the same way with Job, when the devil took all that he had away from him. Job's love did not lose strength. He still loved God with all of his heart. Those two men showed me from where their love flowed not towards the material world, but towards God.
     I wanted to know, what is the difference between their love and those who do not believe in God? I notice this about myself and about most of the people in our world that we really care what people think about us and how they view us. We want to feel accepted and that we belong somewhere, we want to feel their love. However if we get ignored or the people around us are negative instead of positive, we will begin to believe we are not wanted or even loved at all. We heavily rely on the opinions of others to how we feel about ourselves.
     Now think about how we would feel if we did not believe in God for our support and we were put in prison unjustly and everything and everyone was taken away from us. We would not feel loved, we would feel rejected. The outside sources for our approval and love would be gone. We would be on our own, probably with bitter feelings and self pity. Hating the world around us for what it have done to us.
     So how did the apostle Paul and Job maintain their love through the harsh conditions that they went through. The answer; Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." God never abandoned apostle Paul or Job, his spirit was always with them. They felt the love of God within their heart and they never felt separated from him.
     When I am alone, sometimes depression comes over me and I feel sad and lonely. In this dark state of mind, I feel that I am not loved. What really saves me from this condition and brings me back into an happier state of mind is reading the Bible. God's spirit somehow works through his word and brings strength back into my weakened condition. It's like a fountain bubbling forth water into a dry desert, bring life back to what was dead. All I can say it is, miraculous! For me I found from where my love comes from, it is not from others even though having people around you who love you is very good; I found my main source of love is from God's spirit that pours into me. I believe it is the same love that the apostle Paul and Job experienced.
     I believe to experience love you must first reach out in order to receive. When you reach out to others and to God your heart touches theirs, a connection is made. Sometimes with others they will return your need for connection but with God you can count on him every time. When you reach out to God, he will reach back to you, touching your heart with his loving spirit. His love lifts you up and makes you feel loved and happy. In my feeling of God's love, all I want to do is to rejoice and praise him. In this dark world that we live in, God is always my guiding light, my main source of love and my savior.  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Something You Need to Know

    This is something that everyone needs to know. A way to have freedom, a way to have control. You do not have to be a slave to your desires. You have been given the right to chose in how you want to live your life and because we have the right to chose, we sometimes make the wrong choices. Why do we sometimes make more wrong decisions rather than the right ones? It is because we have one thing in common with everyone else, a thing that was handed down to us by our first parents, Adam and Eve. It is a great imperfection that is within our flesh that we cannot get rid of, it is called sin.
     When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God told them not to, something happen to them. Genesis 3:5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." After eating of the fruit, their mind knew evil where they never knew it before. Before Adam and Eve ate of the fruit their body and mind were perfect, there was no evil within them, their thoughts were pure. But after both of them ate of the fruit, their mind became corrupted by sin and they saw themselves as naked before the LORD. Adam said to God in Genesis 3:10 "And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." Before that happen, Genesis 2:25 "And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." But after they both ate of the fruit, they became ashamed, meaning they both had something to hide. What was it? It was their wrong doing, they knew that they sinned against God.
     After Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of good and evil they did not become like God but more like the devil, a rebellious sinner, not doing what was right but what was evil. What does all this mean to us? Sadly to say we have all inherited this evil sin. Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." Not only was the way we think changed, our bodies also became mortal because of it. Yes, sin has corrupted both our mind and body.
     This is important to understand that you are inclined to think in an evil way because of the evil condition that you inherited at birth. You inherited sin. Sin has change your from thinking pure thoughts to thinking bad thoughts. Genesis 8:21 "And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done." God saw our sinful nature and took pity upon us.
     Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Iniquity definition is the quality of being unfair or evil. So this means we were born in an unfair evil condition. I think this is why we kept on doing the wrong things when we were growing up and our parents had to punish us because of them. In way our parents had to act like God in our life showing us what was right and wrong. Why? Because if left to our own sinful desires we would choose to do wrong most of the time.
     The apostle Paul explained how sin work within his body in Romans 7:15,17,18,20 "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." The apostle Paul told us he was having a conflict within his flesh. The flesh being influenced by sin was telling him to do wrong, while his spirit wanted to do what is right. He said nothing good dwells in my flesh. Why? Because that is where the evil of sin dwells.
     The apostle Paul also said in Romans 7:25 "....So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin." He said he follows the commandments of God with his mind while his flesh is inclined to break them, due to the sin that is within it.
     So when bad thoughts come into your head, you now know where they come from, from the evil of the sin that is within you. Like for example you feel a need to steal, to hurt others, to get drunk or to do immoral things, this is the sin that is within you telling you to do it. You do not have to give in to it because we all have a choice. You can say this to yourself. You can said yes I do have a feeling to steal but I will not act upon it. You can yes, I do have a desire to hurt others, to get drunk and to do immoral acts but this is only my sin's desires, it is not my real desire. I am not my sin. My sin does not define me. My sin does not have control over me. I am more than this and I do have a choice.
     We do not have to live by our basic nature in doing evil, just because our first parents sinned against God. We can actually choose a different path, the path that Jesus Christ set for us to follow. Yes, we are all sinners but we do not have to act in a sinful way. Jesus showed us how to live our lives. He gave us a choice to follow him and have eternal life rather than live our life by our sin's desires and have death (Romans 6:23). God gave Adam and Eve the freedom of choice, and he gave us one to.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Taking Back of What Was Lost

     In the beginning man had dominion over the Earth (Genesis 1:25) and then Satan took that control away from man (Luke 4:5,6). Then Jesus Christ was sent into the world to reclaim what man had lost. He succeeded in defeating Satan for Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." Daniel 7:14 "And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Just as man lost his earthly dominion to Satan, Satan lost his dominion over the Earth to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ took back what man had lost.
     It is interesting that Satan tried to give Jesus control over all the kingdoms of the Earth. Matthew 4:8,9 "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." These verses showed me that Satan has complete control over all the governments of the world and that is why we are told to not to fight against the physical governments but against the power that is behind them. Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the comic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
     Jesus through his death and resurrection broke our captivity to Satan. Jesus opened our eyes and gave us a way out of the sin and death that we were living under. 1 Corinthians 15:21,22 "For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." Romans 5:19 "For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one's obedience the many will be made righteous." 
     Satan does not want to lose control over us so he tries to prevent us from finding our salvation through Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." Matthew 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart..." Matthew 13:21 tells us that some people will abandon the word of God if it brings them trouble or persecution, something the devil is happy to do. Next in Matthew 13:22 tells us some people will place their everyday activities over the importance of studying the Bible. It is so curious to me why we ignore something that so important to our lives and make it so trivial. It seems that Satan has many ways to keep us distracted and in the dark, from the truth of God's word.
    If our fight is not against the physical but the spiritual, should we not be preparing ourselves for the battle, not with guns but with God's word. God's word is what Jesus Christ used to defeat Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. It is what he relied on throughout his ministry. God's word is a powerful weapon against evil so powerful that it created all things in the beginning. No one should underestimate the spiritual power of God's word. God's word is the light we should be using against the evil darkness that is within our world.
     Jesus told us how he wants us to take back our world from Satan. Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have command you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 9:36-38 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
     Jesus Christ wants us to spread the good news to everyone so to bring light to where there was only darkness. He wants every eye and heart to be open, not by fear but by love. Jesus Christ took back what was lost and he wants us to continue the work by rescuing the captives of Satan, by freeing them with the salvation of his words.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

When the World Became Evil

      In the beginning man had dominion over the Earth. Genesis 1:25 "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Then Satan came along and tricked Adam and Eve into believing in his lies rather than in God's truth thereby delivering the dominion of the world into his hands.  
     Satan was given dominion over the world. The devil told this to Jesus in Luke 4:5,6 "And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,6and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will." And Satan carefully watches over his territory for in Job 1:7 "The LORD said to Satan, "From where have you come?" Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." This is why the apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
     We are born into this dark devil controlled world to live out our lives. 1 John 5:19 "We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." Not only are we born into this realm of darkness, we have the misfortune of having a sinful nature too. Genesis 8:21 "And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth..." This showed me that the only hope that we have is through God's forgiveness and his love.
     The sin within us is inclined to do evil and the devil tempts us into doing sin. The devil uses our weaknesses against us and tries to belittle us before God. He does not want to lose any of us to God so he accuses us of being disloyal before God, trying to convince God that he still in control instead of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:10 "And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before God." The devil is hoping to make us feel to unworthy to be loved by God, so that we do not seek him out.
     Our only way out of this darkness is God's love and forgiveness through his son Jesus Christ. Nothing that man is doing on his own is bring our world closer to being a loving family. Man alone has no power over the devil, he cannot bring a lasting change to our world without God's help and protection. Whatever good he is doing will be met with resistance for the devil is evil and not good. Satan does not want his world to reflect the goodness of God but the darkness of his own desires.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How Do You Act?

     If you treated someone as though they were dead, How would you act towards them? You would not include them in your life. You would rarely think about them. You would not be interested in what they had to say. You would act as though they did not exist. This is what you would do to someone if you were mad at them and wanted to cut them out of your life but it is also something you would do if you unintentionally ignore your family and friends. We can get so wrap up in our everyday lives and start treating those around us like they are dead and do not even exist. It is can also be the same with our relationship with God.
     I asked myself, how would I act as though God was dead, even though I still believe he is alive and I still wanted to serve him. By my actions I would not be doing what God wants me to do. I would not be taking to heart any of his words. I would be doing as I please as if the Bible did not exist. I would be more reliant on myself and on others for my answers, than on prayer and God's guidance through his word. Yes, in my mind I would believe him to be alive and still wanted to serve him but by my actions I would be sending out a different signal to God as though he did not exist.
     Our actions can be misread by our family and friends if we do not make time for them. They may think we are mad at them whereas we were only neglectful in including them in our lives. God knows our hearts but people only know us by what we say and do. Our heavenly Father also wants to be included in our lives, by us making time to talk to him in prayer and by showing him respect by living by his word.
     Jesus said in Mark 12:30,31 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." If we really love God and our neighbors we will make time for them and not ignore them like they do not exist. We would not want to be treated like that and neither does our God, our family nor our friends.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Let There Be Light

     In the beginning God brought light into our world. Genesis 1:3,4 "And God said, "Let there be light," 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness." Again God said, "Let there be light" and sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ into our world. This time the world was not in a literal darkness but a spiritual one. Through Jesus Christ, God again separated the light from the darkness and he saw it was good.
     I saw a similarity between the light at the beginning of creation and when Jesus Christ brought light into our world, both times the world was in darkness. There was a separation between light and darkness in a literal sense at the beginning and also in a spiritual way, when Jesus Christ was upon the Earth. God never wanted us to live in complete darkness. Genesis 1:16 "And God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-- and the stars." As you can see God made the light to rule over the darkness and not the darkness ruling over the light.
     John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." God's light came into our world through Jesus Christ and the light of Jesus conquered over the darkness. From him God's light expanded and spread throughout our world. It would have been a beautiful thing if all the people upon our world would have embraced the light of our Lord but they did not. Many people became to accustomed to living within the dark to let it go. Some may even partially agreed with Jesus and partially agreed with world but they did not let go of the darkness that God was trying to get rid of. God is telling us through Jesus Christ, now is the time for change. We can keep the darkness and perish with it or embrace the light and live.
     Genesis 19:14 "so Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, "Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city." But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting." Many people are not grasping the importance of Jesus Christ message of salvation. They are not seeing the change that God is bring upon this world. They are like Lot's son-in-laws and thinking it is all just a joke, something that should not be taken seriously.
     God has a plan for us. Colossians 1:13 "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son," God is bring his people out of the darkness to be his chosen people. 1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." This is no joke, the spiritual darkness within our world is coming to an end by being replaced by the spiritual light of God. We have to make a decision whether or not to hold on to the spiritual darkness within the world or to stand completely in the spiritual light of God.
     So God said, "Let there be light." and so shall it be.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hope to Where There was None

     I was reading about the mission of Jesus Christ in Luke 4:18,19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Jesus spoke these words in a synagogue in Nazareth, a place where he was brought up. These scriptures caught my eye because in just a couple of sentences it explained that Jesus Christ's mission while on Earth was to bring hope to all who had none.
     Jesus said he is to proclaim good news to the poor. Jesus Christ gave hope to those who were in need both materially and spiritually. He taught his disciples to be charitable. 1 John 3:17,18 "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." Jesus had these comforting words to say to all those poor souls who were troubled and worried. Mathew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
     The poor have a quality that God highly admires. they are humble and receptive to his instruction. James 4:6 "....Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." That is why Jesus said in Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Those who are poor are looking to God for their help, their hope and salvation; and God has answered them through his son Jesus Christ.
     Jesus said he was sent to proclaim liberty to the captives. Before Christ we had no redemption, we were captives to our sin. Because we were captives to our sin that made us captives to death as well. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death,..." Jesus Christ paid for our sins by his death upon the cross. We were prisoners without hope for escape but he set us free and brought us hope for an eternal life in God's kingdom. Romans 6:22 "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." Romans 6:6-8 "We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him."
     Jesus said he was sent to give sight to the blind. Luke 7:22 "And he answered them, "Go and tell what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the good news preached to them." Jesus Christ not only made the physically blind to see but also the spiritually blind to see as well. John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
     Jesus said he was to set at liberty those who are oppressed. Acts 10:38 "....He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."
     Jesus Christ done what his Father asked him to do. He proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to the captives and recovering sight to the blind. He set at liberty those who are oppressed. He gave hope to those who had none. Jesus Christ freed us from sin and death and gave us hope to a eternal life in his Father's kingdom. It is good to know why Jesus Christ came to us. He came to gives us salvation and hope, a way to get back into paradise and God's favor. Through his words and sacrifice we are all given a hope for a better life in a better world.

Monday, April 18, 2016

From My Nothingness, I am still Something

     Today, I was thinking about my losses and failures throughout my life. Working hard to build something only to see it crumble to dust. Working hard to have good health only to be brought down by an illness. I somethings feel like I am working hard and not getting anywhere at all. But a curious thing happens during those hard times in my life, my faith grows and I feel closer to God than in the times when I have everything that I need. When I feel that I am nothing, something deep down inside me tells me I am still something.
     When I feel that everything has been stripped away from me, I still have one thing in my life, my faith. It never leaves me. It has been weaken on some occasions but it has never left me completely. It is like having the voice of God within you, telling you everything will be alright. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10 "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. for when I am weak, then I am strong."
     In my humility, my nothingness, I am stronger in my faith. I think sometimes this is why calamities happen in life to bring us back to God. I found that most people who believe that they have nothing, pray more and relied more on God's help. If the God of love saw his people with sin and abundance and not having one coin in heaven, would he not do something about that? He would not stand by and let them be asleep in sin and death. He would try to awaken them to their life's condition. Showing them there is more to life than having pride in one's material possessions. Mark 8:36 "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
     1 Timothy 6:7 "for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world." If we cannot take anything out of this world when we die, then what do we take with us? The answer is our inner self, our spirit. Matthew 12:36,37 "I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." We will all stand before God and be judged by not what we have but who we are on the inside. When I feel like I have nothing it makes me take a good hard look at myself to who I am. I have come to realize in these bad times in my life that who I really am is a child of God and I cannot be anything else. Trying to be something that I am not only brings me much emotional pain and trouble.
     From my nothingness, I am still something. The person, God created me to be. My inner self glorifies God and longs to be with him in his kingdom. This thinking maybe worthless to the world but it is everything to me. My core being, when in need it cries out to our Father in heaven. This is the truth, with him I feel complete without him I feel lost. Why, because I am his creation and my body, mind and spirit knows somehow this is true. When I am feeling that I am nothing, I can still feel the spirit of God standing beside telling me I am still something. Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Attainable

    We seem to be constantly looking to attain things. But I have asked myself what can I really attain in this world? I have to be honest with myself and say there are things that are beyond my ability to accomplish. This thought lead me to a realization that what God wants for us is within everyone's reach. God loves all of us, so to put his salvation plan within everyone's ability to have. We do not have to be the best, the most wise, the strongest or the smartest, we just have to say, yes to God and live our lives according to his will. He made it uncomplicated so that everyone can understand and have a chance at eternal life in his kingdom. Many things are beyond our reach but this wonderful blessing from God is attainable for all.
     He made it easy to accept his gift. There is no competition for it, everyone who wants it can have it. It is one of the most simplest things that we can do in this life and it becomes our greatest thing that we can do in our life. It is nothing that we have earned but it was freely given to us. Ephesians 2:8,9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast." God has given this gift to all of us and no one is left out.
     Some people in our world looks at this free gift from God as something not worth having. 1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." We can see how powerful this free gift of God is in how it has changed our lives and the way it has made us feel. It is not foolishness to us, for it has saved our lives and lifted us out of death to eternal life. The word of the cross has brought the power of God into our lives and we are very grateful for it.
     We do not have to feel sad because we are not accomplishing fantastic things in this world. We do not have to be the best of the best to be loved by God. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 "For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God." So do not be ashamed because you are not the best according to worldly standards, God still loves you and invites you to be with him in his kingdom. You can have the best in life by embracing the word of God and accepting his free gift of love through his son Jesus Christ.                                                                                           (ESV) 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

We were Created out of Love, to Love

     Who created us? A God of love. 1 John 4:8 "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." And what does God want us to do? 1 John 4:21 "And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother." So it stands to reason a God who is love and created us from his love also wants us to be like him in loving others. The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." If God is the image of love, we are the image of that love as well. This shows me that we all have a great capacity to love, for God place it within the human race at the very beginning.
     To act out of violence is going against how we were created and how we are suppose to act toward one another. 1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." This violence that is in our world is becoming greater and I said to myself, "Why is this so?" I believe it is to draw us away from our true purpose for which we were created, to be God's loving reflection and image upon our world. Who would have an interest in stopping us from doing this? 1 John 3:10 "By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother." So the devil is involved and he is trying to turn as many of us as he can to his side.
     The whole world is being deceived by Satan. Revelation 12:9 "And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." With his deception, Satan manipulates people to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:26 "and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." The devil's deception blinds people from seeing the truth. 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." We see the devil is trying his best to take our minds away from following God's path of love and to follow his rebellious path of hate and violence.
     The apostle Paul called us God's workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Here again we are showed that we are made to do good over evil. Doing evil is going against our true nature. Believing in the lies of Satan only brings us down into a spiritual death. Ephesians 2:1 "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience." But God because he loved us rescued us and brought us back to life through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:4,5 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved." Only by God's love and mercy we are saved and brought back to a life that we were meant to live.
     No one thrives in a violent world. When gun fire is heard it causes us to fear. We are made for peace and we thrive when we are loved. This is what God wants for us to live in a peaceful and loving world. He does not want us to fear for our lives on a daily basis. We were created in his image and that image is a loving one. If we would just close our ears to the messages of hate and violence and embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ, we would learn about our true nature. The way that God intended us to live. 1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."                                                                                                                              (ESV)