Excerpt from How to Live A More Godly Life

Dear readers, I thought I would share an excerpt from the inspirational book I put together based on the best blogs I posted on here that I compiled together into a book, and am now editing. I am over half-way done editing and must decide (and will with God’s help) whether to self-publish, or look for the right publishing company that pays the author and royalties, and their payment is part of the royalties, but for me I do not get charged for them to publish my book, and a company that will read unsolicited manuscripts. If anyone knows of any such publishing companies, and they publish inspirational books (about God), then please let me know and I will appreciate it, and with your permission, add you to my acknowledgement section where I thank everyone before the intro to the book.

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Alexis Kaye

How To Live A More Godly Life

Chapter 1

Answers to Questions and Concerns About God’s Existence

Are you a child of God who is trying to reach someone in your life to bring that person to the Lord to be saved? Are you having problems reaching anyone in your attempts? If you are there are different possible reasons as to why you are being met with opposition or reluctance, or with hesitance or flat our refusal. It could be that someone suffered the loss of a loved one or something else bad happened to them and they haven’t fully recovered and are unwilling to believe that if God really does exist, that he would be so cruel as to take a loved one away or to let us go through horrible experiences. Other people may worship money or other things that takes away the right frame of mind to worship God because they have made something else their idol of worship (such as jewelry, clothes, shoes, cars, houses, etc). There are people who have wrong information about God based on how they were raised or on what they have been surrounded by religion-wise and they could simply be confused or loyal to their family members who practice a different kind of religion that either believes in many Gods or practice other false beliefs such as putting more emphasis on Mary than they should. Jesus should be our focus of worship, not Mary and not any other God. It seems that no matter the different reasons for not believing in God, one thing these people who are non-believers (or false worshipers) is that they have somewhere in their lives been given false information and do not know the one true God.

In order to find out origins of other religions, go online and type in the name of the religion (for example – Roman Catholic, or Mormon) and you will find articles or books (if you go to the library you may find books on the library database search engine) that will give you the origin of when these different non-Christian religions started and if they are good references, they will tell you what their proof is of the origins of these religions that do not follow Christ’s way of living. After doing that, research where to find an older bible that has all Old Testament and New Testament books in it and then if it is harder to read because it is on old English, Hebrew, Greek, or any other language you do not understand, find a translation that you can understand like NIV or NLT and the text should be saying the same thing, but in a way that is easier to understand so that we can grasp the proper context of what is written in the Bible, which is God’s written word. Any Bible that adds or takes away from what was originally written, or any Priest, Rabbi, Pastor, or Minister (or any spiritual teacher) who adds or subtracts from God’s word or twists it around in any way is a false teacher and you must be careful to test everything you hear with the Bible (and a non-Catholic and Non-Mormon Bible that follows the original text and the only difference is the wording to make it easier to understand, but the message should be the same no matter if you are reading King James version or New King James, or New International Version, New Living Translation, The Message, Amplified Version). The message should be the same in all of these translations of the Bible which means they should all contain the content that was originally written in the Old Testament and in the New Testament for the Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). And when you find a church, they should teach from the Bible and follow the word completely and not add anything of their own or subtract anything that is written in the Bible.

God does exist and Paul tells us in Romans 1:18-20 the proof of it, saying, “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” This verse backs up the claim David made in Psalm 19:1-4, which says, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.” The reason we should know God exists is because who else could have created the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the sand, the oceans, the trees and everything else including animals and humans? Yet people do not consider this and others who have considered it dismiss the possibility of God because it is too awesome an idea to fathom to them. They would rather go on doing whatever they please without having to worry about an invisible God punishing them for the sins they commit against him. There are other people who think that if God really existed, how he could let people die or let bad things happen to them when he is supposed to be a loving and caring God. What they don’t understand is that God takes no pleasure in people dying or in bad things happening to them but sometimes it happens due to sins they committed and other times they are being tested by trials to test their faith and when the good people die – that is, good people by God’s standards – he is saving them from pain or protecting them from the evil to come, which Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 57:2. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.” Since all parts of the Bible are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17, which you will see quoted later when I get into proof about all Scripture being God-breathed), and Paul saw Jesus himself after persecuting him (Acts Chapter 9), then it must be true that Jesus does exist.

When people reject Jesus as the only way to get to heaven, they are fooling themselves when they believe they can get there in their own might by their own good deeds or by their own power. In the gospels, Jesus gave specific instructions on how to live and they are The Way, the only way to Heaven. You cannot get to Heaven except through Jesus and you must believe that Jesus exists, that he roamed earth as a human, believe he died to save us all from our sins and was raised 3 days later so we could have a right relationship with God based on faith. You must also believe that Jesus is coming back for the chosen ones that God has chosen to spend eternally in Heaven after Jesus’ second coming and must believe that Jesus has not yet come back, since he hasn’t yet come back and nobody, including Jesus, knows when Jesus is coming back again. The only thing we do know is that it has not happened yet.

Some people believe (and will argue the point with others) that the Second Coming has already come, but the Bible says that nobody knows when the second coming is but that there will be a series of events that happens before the end (before Jesus’ Second Coming). These events can be found in Matthew 24 (and Luke 21). In Matthew 24:4-8, Jesus says, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.”

Jesus lists a whole bunch of other things that will come after, but pick up at Matthew 24:23-42, where he says, “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time. “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near. “Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.

Jesus not only exists, but he is God. Philippians 2:5-8 says, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

Also, in John 17:5, Jesus said in a prayer to his Father, our God, “Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.” I also encourage doubters to read all of the Book of John (also known as the Gospel of John) chapter 1, and all of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and Revelations where Jesus makes several statements about who he is, and his apostle Peter confirms it in some of them, like in Matthew chapter 16 where Jesus asked his disciples who people said he is and then asked who they think he is and Peter said, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus told Peter that he was blessed that his Father told him who he (Jesus) was, which was an affirmation to the statement that he is indeed the Messiah. The great prophets in Old Testament like Isaiah and Jeremiah predicted the first coming of Jesus  (Isaiah 9:6 and Jeremiah 33:15-16) and the New Testament books after the gospels all talk about Jesus, how he died for our sins and was raised 3 days later so we could be made right with God through him and through faith, and how Jesus is coming back soon for the Chosen ones that will be brought up to Heaven after Judgment has been made to all on the second coming of Jesus, which has not occurred yet between then and in the present time of 2014.

Jesus is The Way (the only way) to Heaven and proof of this is also found in the gospels, with special attention paid to John chapter 6 where Jesus talks about being the Bread of Life. Jesus also makes the statement in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Peter, who spent time with Jesus, stated in 2 Peter 1:14-21, “For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone. For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” This powerful statement from Peter in the above verses prove that not only did Jesus exist, but that he is God’s Son, and that the Bible is not a work of fiction but God-inspired – which means that God helped the prophets and other original authors of the Bible to write it from beginning to end (and everything in-between). So this statement knocks out two or possibly three arguments or issues people have about believing in Jesus’ existence, who Jesus was, and the authenticity of the Bible actually being God’s written word. Another statement made in the Bible to support that it is God’s written word comes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which reads, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The translation I used for 2 Timothy was NIV for anyone interested in checking it to make sure it is true.

There is a verse that goes perfectly with the intention of this blog and it is found in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, which reads, “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”  The barriers people have put up to justify not acknowledging God’s existence, that Jesus is the Only Way, that baptism is necessary to be saved (read Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 2:38-39), that Jesus is the Son of God and is also God, and that the Bible is real and not a work of fiction need to be removed. It is important that everyone see The Truth so they may be saved before it is too late. In order for the truth to be known, the truth has to be told to people who do not know it; for those who know the truth but deny it, they need a wake-up call and they need to read the truth in the bible and soften their hearts and open their minds to understand and accept the truth for what it is.

There is only One God and one true faith, and Paul mentions this in Ephesians 4:4:6 where he says, “For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

Paul goes on to tell us in Ephesians 4:11-16 that we are all given gifts that we must use to build one another up until we are mature in the faith. He says to us (everyone who will ever read the Bible and to all who already have), “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

God makes it clear in that he is the only God in the Old Testament too, and tells us through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 45:5-12 (NIV), “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of it  setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form  the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things. “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it. “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’? Woe to the one who says to a father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to a mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ “This is what the Lord says— the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry  hosts.” Anyone who believes there is more than one God, when it states clearly in the Bible (the original versions which have been translated into forms of English we can easily understand but still have the same meaning), is mistaken and misinformed.  Drop down to verses 16-25 in Isaiah 45, where God once again makes a statement through Isaiah about what will happen to people who worship idols (other Gods, anything that people place more value and importance on than Him) and also what will happen to those who will enjoy everlasting salvation because they believe in Him and make Him their only God and honor Him: “All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced; they will go off into disgrace together. But Israel will be saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting. For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right. “Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. Declare what is to be, present it— let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.’ ” All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the Lord and will make their boast in him.” God is also telling us about his nature, how he does not lie and everything he says can be trusted in these verses above. Everything God predicted would happen happened already, except for parts of the book of Revelation and other parts of the Bible that have foretold what will happen right before Jesus’ Second Coming and after judgment has been passed and the new heavens have been made. God will forgive you once you have willingly received and accepted the truth and worship only Him as your God.

Paul instructed Timothy to “Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants,” in 2 Timothy 2:25-26. God directs us to do the same thing today. We who are children of God and have gained enough understanding of the Bible and fully understand the Good News should help instruct others who do not know God yet either because nobody has ever talked about God to them or due to misconceptions they were given growing up. People who are not members of the body of Christ need to be fully informed of The Truth and they need to know the Good News about salvation and eternal life. It is our job as Christians to make sure everybody knows The Truth so that they can make an informed decision whether or not to follow God and be saved or to continue on their current path. Once we have presented them with the information, all we can do is continue to be shining examples of the way Christians should act – which is like Christ in all we say, think, and do – and it will be up to the people we try to reach to decide whether or not they want to be saved.

God also gives us instructions on how to help those in the faith who are fading away or in danger of being lost or snatched by the devil. Jude, an apostle to Jesus, tells us in verses 22-23 of Jude that we must show mercy on those wavering in faith. His exact words are, “And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” (Jude 1:22 -23) God wants everyone to be saved so when we see a fellow believer struggling in their faith and deep in sin, we are to do our best to help bring them back to God and help strengthen their faith, and we must help in a way that we do not ourselves get caught up committing the sins that are ruining their lives and separating them from God.

For anyone struggling in their faith or who do not believe in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or that the Bible is God’s written word, study the verses and the full chapters and books they are written in and you will find answers to your questions, or you will gain understanding as to why God lets bad things happen to good people. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:45, “For he gives sunlight to both the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” What Jesus is saying is blessings come to both children of God and to people who are not. Everyone receives God’s favor at some point in their life, so do not envy the evil ones who are prospering right now for God tells us through King David in Psalms 37:12, “Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.” If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, read Isaiah 57:2 as to a possible reason why they were taken (it says that God takes some good people away to protect them from the evil to come), or in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, David’s son King Solomon tells us, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest,” and he goes on with a list of things there is a time for, which you can find up until verse 8 in Ecclesiastes 3. God can break the stronghold of human reasoning for whatever reason you have come up with for not believing and when you turn your heart towards God and live for him, you will see your life improve. Remember, when you are suffering for any reason, that it is temporary and that all children of God (who have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior publicly, repented their sins, and been baptized to be cleansed by Jesus’ blood of all sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit) will enjoy eternity in heaven after Jesus’ second coming and you will enjoy an eternity of peace, love, joy, and being in the presence of the Lord and your loved ones who will also make it to heaven. If you are unsure if someone you love will make it to heaven, then it is not too late to do something to help them. Enlighten them by talking about Jesus and the good news and about salvation and how to gain salvation. Tell them how they can be saved and then you have done your part and it is up to them to decide for themselves if they believe and follow God.

Chapter 2

Faith in God

It is important to have faith in the one true God, who exists in the trinity which consists of God, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Without faith, you cannot please God and you will not live the amazing life God promises He has for us. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as, “The confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” A few verses later in Hebrews 11:6, it says, “And it is impossible to please God without faith.

Abraham, a servant of God you can read about in the book of Genesis starting in chapter twelve where he was known as Abram, had strong and unwavering faith in God and was made the father of many nations. He was given many descendants and God considered him a friend. The Bible is also full of promises that those who trust in the Lord and have faith in His promises will lack nothing they need and will be blessed.

When I first started reading my bible actively, I didn’t start at the beginning with Genesis, I started in the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The gospels are written books on Jesus’ time on earth as a human and provides us with His teachings and how He healed the sick, blind, lame, and everyone else who came to Him in need of healing. I also read Psalm 18 in the beginning because King David, from back in Biblical times (1 and 2 Samuel tell about the events of King David’s life) talks about how God helped him and saved him from his enemies and is full of praise for the Lord. Between reading about how God helped King David and seeing his praises to Him in Psalm 18 and reading about Jesus and how he healed many, including raising people from the dead, and His teachings about faith and on how to live life God’s way, I was inspired in my own faith in God. I found a good Bible-based church that does not add or subtract from the Bible’s teachings and started attending every Sunday for church service and every Wednesday for Bible Study. I also do a daily bible study and I take notes, especially at church, so I can apply what I learn to my life, increase my faith, and be more faithful and obedient to God. God’s way of living protects us and promises eternal life.

In order to receive salvation and eternal life promised with it you must do the following: 1) realize you are a sinner according to God’s guidelines because we are all sinners. We may not do it intentionally, but whenever we have a bad attitude or do something that goes against God, we sin 2) confess your sins and repent (repent means you stop intentionally doing what you know is considered to be a sin by God) 3) confess Jesus died for our sins, was raised from the dead 3 days later so we could have a right relationship with God and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior 4) be baptized and then you will 5) receive the Holy Spirit who will guide you to live a life that is pleasing to God.

People tend to get the wrong idea about God. He is not always angry with us and He does not have rules to drag us down. His rules and laws are meant to protect us and help us live a long, healthy, prosperous life. Psalm 103:8 assures us that “God is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” God has His arms open wide waiting for you to accept Him into your heart. God wants to help us and make our lives better. He does not want us doing everything on our own or to live life frustrated or in lack, but rather God wants us to have abundance in every area of our lives and for us to experience His joy, peace, love and other fruit that comes from the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 lists all the fruit that comes from the Holy Spirit. Today I encourage you to see God as the loving, merciful, forgiving God who honors His promises and gives you grace, favor, and blessings.

 

Trust is the Only Way to Live a Happy Life

Trust is extremely important in all relationships whether it be with God, with family, with friends, or with someone you love romantically. Trust is also important to live a long and healthy life in happiness and peace. Without trust, you will be miserable in all of your relationships and miserable at your job, and miserable in every area of your life. You first need to trust God and trust in his mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead, and in his promises. God is a faithful God who honors his promises to his children. Trust in God opens the door for you to be able to trust in all of your other relationships including your relationship with the person you love romantically.

Trust in God also opens the door to live a less-stressed and more peaceful life because when you trust God, you are believing that everything will work out in your best interest no matter how bad the situation may currently appear to be. When you are at peace, you are happier in every area of your life including your work life and you will be healthier too. Stress causes a ton of sickness and pain in your body, but as soon as you release the causes of stress into God’s hands, you will experience peace and good health. Not to say that you will not experience problems, just that when you give your problems, situation, worries, and fears and doubts to God and trust him to take care of you and work things out for you in your favor, you can breathe easier and feel at peace and be happy.

In Isaiah 26:3-4, it says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal rock.Psalm 37:3 states, “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.” In Psalm 91:14 is the promise, “The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.‘” We find out in Hebrews 6:18 that God is incapable of lying so every word written in the bible, which is all God-breathed, is true. Find comfort in knowing that when you put your trust in God, you will be protected and brought through all of your difficult situations to a better place and will be given his perfect peace which is not any kind of peace that the world can offer you. The peace God offers is only available through believing in him and in his son Jesus.

You should, of course, question things people tell you, especially as it relates to God by looking it up in God’s word. This way you will know what is the truth and when you know the truth and live out God’s truth, you will have no reason to fear, doubt or be anxious. Jesus tells us in John 8:32, “For you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Can you believe that? The truth, God’s Truth which is the only real truth, will set you free from living a life filled with misery, doubt, stress, other forms of sin, and anxiety. You will be free to live a peaceful life pleasing to God which will greatly extend your life as you trust him and follow his way. Fear and doubt trap you, but faith in God and living by God’s truth will set you free.

When you are set free you can live a life open to love, faith, trust, peace and joy. You can breathe easy and enjoy your life and have happy, healthy, loving relationships that last long-term when they are meant to. And your relationship with God and Jesus Christ can be eternal if you choose for it to be by living life God’s way. It starts with believing in God and believing Jesus came to earth as man, died for our sins, and that God raised him from the dead three days later so we could have a right relationship with God. Then you realize that you sin, even if unintentionally because everyone sins, as pointed out in Romans chapter 4:10-25, which says, “10 But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised! 11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”

At the end of chapter 4 of Romans and the beginning of Chapter 5, the apostle Paul tells us we are made right with God through faith. After you realize you are a sinner, repent of your sins and confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior and then be baptized. After baptism, you will receive the gift of the Holy spirit (Acts 2:38), who will lead you and guide you to the best pathway for your life.

When you place your trust in God and live a life pleasing to him, you will experience his perfect peace. When you experience his perfect peace, you will no longer feel a need to run and hide from people you love and who love you. You will no longer feel a need to run from life or find an escape through harmful means such as alcohol, drugs, are cigarettes. You will be free and you will be happy and healthy, and you can experience prosperity in all areas of your life including health, finances and relationships. When you trust in God, you will find you are able to openly express your feelings to others no matter who the person is that you are expressing your feelings to. God will bring you through all difficulties you will experience in life when you trust in him. If this sounds like the kind of life you would like, it can be yours starting today. Start studying God’s word daily and get into a good bible-based church if you have not already done these things. If you have a bible and a good church to attend but still struggle, check to see that you are applying God’s word to your life as you learn it and understand what you are reading in your studies. Ask your Pastor or minister if you have any questions about any of the scripture and utilize bible study tools that are available and were created to help you study God’s word and interpret it more easily. The Life Application Bible Study is a good example. It has a dictionary in the back and it explains each book and what you will be reading about and there are notes for many of the verses. There are a few other tools in there too that have been very helpful and can help you too. Let the truth set you free today.

 

Forgiveness and Why It’s Important

You may have heard the saying “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you,” or “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” Both sayings are absolutely true. When you forgive someone, you are freeing yourself from the pain, hurt, stress, anguish and all of the other negative emotions attached to unforgiveness and giving yourself a chance to heal and find peace. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others is an important key to happiness and to God’s blessings. When you hold a grudge against someone, you are not punishing them, you are only hurting yourself. Once you come to that realization, you can forgive whoever has hurt you or whoever you hold a grudge against and know you’re not saying “I’m okay with what he/she did,” but are saying, “I refuse to let what they did to me hurt me and steal my peace anymore.” When you forgive, you lift a huge weight off of you and are free and feel peace and love instead.

It is a bit trickier when you need to forgive yourself, but that is as important as forgiving others. When you are angry with yourself, you are punishing yourself and blocking God’s blessings for you. You need to understand that you are human and are bound to make mistakes but that what is important is to learn from the mistakes and that starts when you open your heart and forgive yourself and let yourself receive God’s forgiveness He had already given to you and His love and love of yourself.

You should have your heart and mind open to forgiveness regardless of whether or not you believe in God, because whether or not you believe in his existence, unforgiveness causes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health problems. People who hold grudges and harbor unforgiveness tend to feel body aches and pains all over, have low energy and are always tired, have trouble concentrating, and are miserable most of the time. Why would anybody want to live that way? As soon as you understand the two concepts mentioned earlier: First, that when you forgive someone you are not condoning their actions or saying it was okay and second, that the person suffering as long as you refuse to forgive is you and not the other person, then you will find it easier to forgive.

Another thing to understand about forgiveness is that by forgiving you are merely letting go of the anger, bitterness, pain, hurt, resentment, and all other negativity attached to unforgiveness and that this does not require you letting the person back into your life if they did something really horrible to you. But if the offense was minor, such as the other person using the washing machine or oven (or other appliance) when you were going to use it, then overreacting and being rude and holding a grudge is a waste of your time and energy. The reason why you have low energy when you are holding a grudge is because it takes all of your energy to stay angry with the other person. So whether someone is guilty of a minor offense or a major offense (or one in between), it is important to forgive the offender for your own health and peace of mind and heart. You do not even have to let the other person know you have forgiven them, particularly if it was a major offense. Just simply let go of all of the anger, pain, hurt, resentment, and bitterness; let go of whatever it is the other person did to you. If it was not a major offense (and sometimes even if it was, depending on how much the person means to you), once you have realized that then you may want to let the other person know they are forgiven, especially if they were (or are) a close friend, family member, or someone you love in any way.

Are you holding a grudge against anyone or harboring unforgiveness towards others? Are you condemning yourself and refusing to forgive yourself for something you have done to God or to someone else (or to both God and someone else)? If it is something you did against God, he tells us in 1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” All of Psalm 32 also talks about forgiveness and it would be worth reading, whether or not you have ever read it before. God forgives you the moment you confess your sin so you should forgive yourself too. For sins others have done to you, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive those who have sinned against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.Colossians 3:13 tells us to, “Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” It probably won’t happen overnight, but you can learn to forgive completely and frequently so that every time someone commits a sin against you, then you can forgive them and whenever you do something wrong and have confessed (to God or to the person(s) you sinned against) your sin, you can forgive yourself. There are other verses on forgiveness that can be found in Matthew 18:15-35, Mark 11:25, Luke 17:3-4, and 2 Corinthians 2:7 (The Apostle Paul is talking about a man who wronged him, and wants to forgive him so he does not get discouraged). Try it today, it is very freeing! When you forgive yourself and others, you will be unloading a huge burden and you will feel joy, peace, and love and you will feel wonderful.

 

 

Put on the Full Armor of God

Ephesians 6 tells us that our true enemies are not of flesh and blood but of evil rulers and authorities in the unseen world and says to “Put on all of God’s armor.” (Ephesians 6:11 and 12) and then verses 14-17 tell us what the full armor is: “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Children of God must make sure they do this daily and also pray persistently and on every occasion, like Ephesians 6:18 tells us to do, for all believers everywhere. Of course it is also important to pray for non-believers since Jesus told us to love our enemies in the gospels and the Apostle Paul tells us to pray for everyone in 1 Timothy 2:1. We must keep the word of God written in our hearts and minds and remember that when we live God’s truth, we are free (as Jesus tells us in John 8:32).

Salvation comes when we confess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, that He did live on earth as man to teach and heal us then died for our sins so God would forgive us, then was raised 3 days later by God so we could have a right standing with God and finally, get baptized so we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38). We receive peace when we read, believe and accept into our hearts and minds the four books of the gospel which tells us of the Good News that Jesus died for our sins and was raised 3 days later to save us.

Faith in God is our shield against the enemy’s lies because anything that goes against what God said is false and we can then answer the enemy’s lies with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and we do this by faith. When we live a life pleasing to God, we have put on the body armor of His righteousness. And it is not enough to put on the whole armor of God once because the enemy is constantly attacking so we must stay alert and continually put on all of God’s body armor and pray for one another (not just for ourselves) and this is how to daily defeat the enemy. We must remember Jesus already won the fight against the devil when he conquered the grave, when God raised Him from the dead. We know the outcome so it is important to keep our peace and joy and to stay in faith, trusting God to honor His promises and bring us where we should be according to His good plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11: ”’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future.”)

The way to strengthen your faith is to study God’s written word daily and believe God to bring every promise to pass and believe in God’s truth and mighty power which raised Jesus from the dead. You must also apply what you learn through God’s word to your life daily so you will live a life pleasing to God and keep yourself from intentionally turning away from God’s ways. Taking action steps to show your faith to God is also important, as the Apostle James points out in James 2:14-26. He says that faith without works is useless. You can claim you have faith but if the way you live does not display this faith then you do not truly have faith, or enough of it. Jesus says that with faith even as small as a mustard seed, he can use to do great things for God through Him. Living in faith to God is also the way to living a righteous life in God’s eyes. One thing today from God’s word you can apply to your life today is to love God with all your heart, mind and strength and to love others as you love yourself (which fulfills the requirement of the most important two commands Jesus gave us in the gospels). In order to love others, you must love yourself and in order to love yourself in a healthy way, you must love God completely with an open and loving heart and mind. Just focusing on these commandments alone can change your life drastically for the better. And as you study more and more of God’s word and apply what you learn to your life daily then you will see even more change and not just in your life but in other people’s lives as well and huge positive changes will be made and visible to you and the people in your life.

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