From Defeat to Victory, From Worry and Fear to Faith in God

Last night I was reading a couple of inspirational books God has led me to read to boost my faith and deepen and strengthen my relationship with Jesus and Him as a result. A couple of the things I wrote down came from 2 different books. One was on how to be Victorious and when the author mentioned our victory already being won and to remind Satan of his future when he tries reminding us of past mistakes, I immediately thought of Revelations 20:10. In the other book, Romans 4:18-21 was quoted and it jumped out at me so I wrote it down. The other stuff I wrote down in my notes were thoughts that hit me as I was reading both of these books on my Amazon Kindle. I may edit this later if I can find time to re-format this into a proper blog post, but even as it is now, it is still valuable advice I wrote down for myself and want to share with all of you, my readers. I hope this advice blesses us  all and brings a turn around in our favor for each of our situations and trials and that victory is not only mine, but yours too, in every area of your life! I did edit some stuff (changed “I” to “you” or “we” and some other similar changes), but I did not re-format it. If the advice seems confusing as is now, let me know and I will re-format it as soon as I can, otherwise I may leave it as is.  The stuff immediately below was not included in the original notes, so I am keeping them separate for now.

Some things to keep in mind when doubt (or fear) creep into your thoughts and try to take over your life:

First of all, they stem from lies Satan tells us through our circumstances, through other people, or whispers in our ears when we are focused on our problems instead of on Jesus. In order to get rid of the strongholds these lies have on us, we must daily study God’s Word to learn the truth (what God says about our situation). It helps to write out the key verses that speak to the specific situation(s)  or struggles you are worrying about that are present in your life.

From Defeat to Victory, From Worry and Fear to Faith in God

More things to remember when fears and doubts assail you:

1)    King David, even before he became king (after the prophet Samuel anointed him to be king) boldly stated that “the giant” was defying “the armies of the living God” and then asked King Saul if he could fight against Goliath. King Saul eventually said yes, and with nothing more than a sling and a few stones, and a strong and firm faith in God and that God was with Him and had completely prepared him for the battle all those years he clubbed bears and other wild animals that tried to eat his father’s sheep, he completely defeated Goliath. He spoke words of faith and victory before the battle and already saw himself winning through God and that is how he won the battle against the giant named Goliath. Key verses: 1 Samuel 17:26, 32, 34-37, 40-50.

2)    Daniel (Book of Daniel) and his 3 friends Hananiah (also called Shadrach), Mishael (also called Meshach) and Azariah (also called Abednego) had a strong deeply rooted faith in God and it saved Daniel’s 3 friends from burning in the 7X heated furnace (Daniel 3:16-30, key verses 16-18 with their statement of faith that their God could rescue them from the furnace, but even if He didn’t, they would not worship the king’s god) and Daniel from the Lion’s mouth in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6, key verses 21-22 where Daniel explains to King Darius who had come to see if Daniel was alive, that God had found him (Daniel) innocent in His sight, and so had shut the lions’ mouths so they couldn’t harm him). Daniel and his 3 friends prayed several times a day and worshipped only the 1 true God and believed that God could keep them safe from death, and even if not (his friends said “but even if He doesn’t), they would worship only God because He was the only true God (was implied in what they said). And that is also why Daniel would not pray to anyone other than God and refused to stop praying to God even when some administrators tricked king Darius into coming up with a law that for 30 days no one could pray to anyone or anything other than the king. Daniel and his friends were faithful to God the whole time, and as a result, the king reigning in Chapter 3, and the other king who was reigning in chapter 6, both ended up praising Daniel and his friends’ God and made decrees that He was God alone and that no one was to speak a word against their God (chapter 3), or to tremble with fear before the God of Daniel (chapter 6).

 

  • Prayer and strong and deeply rooted faith in God alone is what made David, Daniel, and Daniel’s 3 friends successful in defeating their enemies and death.
  1. Abraham believed without wavering that God would honor His promise to make him “the father of many nations.” Romans 4:18-21.
  2. Our victory has already been won. Satan’s end has been set (Revelations 20:10), so I and other believers need to remember this truth, accept it, and live life with this truth as a reality. Satan wants us to think that there is still a chance for him to win the battle, and wants to bring as many people down (to eternity in Hell) with him as he can. The key is to remember that Satan’s future is set and can never be undone, and so his future will happen, but our future is with God and Jesus in Heaven because we took the steps (believed God’s truth when we heard it, repented of our sins, confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior, got baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – fully submerged under water for a second, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit as a deposit of the promise of eternal life. The Holy Spirit was given also to guide us along God’s path for our lives) to be made right with God through Jesus and faith with works is what is needed to be made right with Him. Through faith we repented, confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, through faith we got baptized, and through faith we daily take up our crosses to do the will of God/follow the instructions of Jesus for our lives instead of doing what Satan or our flesh (body) wants us to do. When we keep the victory over Satan (Revelations 20:10) and over death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) in mind, and remember that Jesus healed many who were sick, blind, deaf, mute, lame, crippled, demon-possessed, and other illnesses and raised the dead and that Jesus was Himself raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that that same Spirit lives inside of us who have been made right with the Lord, then we can have a victorious attitude and live out our faith firmly and strongly. We must speak faith-filled words, words of life, of blessing over ourselves and others in order to see God’s promises come to pass. When we speak positive faith-filled words based on God’s promises, we drive out fear, doubt, worries, anxiety, and it can also drive out depression and other negative emotions that bog us down and produce strongholds based on lies Satan told us that we believed, and when we instead begin believing God’s truth and speaking God’s truth over our lives and the lives of others, those strongholds will be broken and we will be set free. This is one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit – to lead us into all truth and for the truth to set us completely free from all bonds, chains, and strongholds of the Devil.

 

  • When the situations in your life appear to go against what God promises and I am tempted to feel depressed, anxious, defeated, stuck, or anything that goes with fear or a defeated attitude, I turn to Scripture (God’s written Word, full of good promises for hope and a future, for life instead of death) – and you can too and do the following too – to see what God says about my particular situation that I am are worried about, or depressed about and speak God’s truth over my situation (out loud whenever possible, even if only in a whisper) and firmly believe what God says about it instead of the lies. It could be that it is a general promise like “My present troubles are temporary but produce for me a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the things we see now for they will soon be gone, rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen, for the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) You need to believe you’re your current problems/trials/illnesses are all temporary. God also promises in Psalms 30:5 that “God’s anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” For my sickness, despite what someone else – even another believer might say, the promise in Jeremiah 30:17 is still applicable today, when God says it is – where God declares, “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds.” God might be saying “not yet,” but that does not mean that He is saying “no, not ever.” God only says no when He has a plan for the trial we are going through (including illness), and as soon as the plan is carried out (be it a lesson learned, being a display of God’s mighty power like the blind man Jesus was sent to heal who had been blind from birth, or if we are to help others with the same or similar problems or ailments/illnesses, lack of faith and God is giving us a chance to believe without doubting – for Jesus said “according to your faith may it be done” and “Be encouraged! Your faith has made you well” or whatever the purpose of the trial or illness is), then the healing will be given, the situation will suddenly turn around in your favor unexpectedly and suddenly, and you will see overwhelming victory through Christ because of His love for you.
  • And we are not meant to wait until Jesus comes back for a majority of our promises to be fulfilled, only for certain ones, like the promises of no more pain, separation, loss, tears, new bodies that are unperishable and eternal, and some other promises. But there are promises that I will see come to pass in my lifetime here on earth, when I fully believe without doubting, and when God deems it time to. God has a set time for everything (as we all learn in Ecclesiastes, and Isaiah mentioned something about it in Isaiah 61:2), and we need to learn to trust in God’s timing, even when we don’t understand why He is “taking so long” to honor a particular promise or why there was a “sudden delay” when we thought the promise was about to become reality. God’s ways are higher than our ways and He sees the whole picture, while we only see a glimpse of it right now, so He knows better than we do when the time is right to bring a certain promise to pass in our lives.

 

 

 

Unconditional Love Prevails Part 2_What to do While Waiting

A few years ago, I posted on here about unconditional love prevailing and listed the qualities of it, which come from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I also gave examples of what unconditional love is not, so that anyone experiencing any of the behaviors or things mentioned could see that it was not true love or meant to be and get out of the relationship and move on. Finally, I gave hope (which I hope actually gave my readers hope) that true love prevails and so if it is meant to be, it will find a way to be, when God says it is the right time. After re-reading my post, which by the way is already good as it is, I thought about it and now that I have learned some more from life experiences, I want to share it with you and hope that you can learn from my mistakes.

Unconditional Love Prevails Part 2_What to Do While Waiting

In addition to the advice given in the original post, I recommend writing a list of things you would like to grow in the “garden of your heart” and in the “garden of your true love’s heart” (spiritually, thinking as if what kind of flowers you would chose to put in a physical garden if you had one, but instead it is the qualities and anything else you want found in your heart like Jesus, faith, hope, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, desire to please God, etc.) and then pray for your heart and your true love’s heart to grow these things in the “garden” in your heart and in their heart. I read this in a book I read over the summer about what to do while waiting for your true love. It was addressed to women of God, but the advice can apply to either the man or the woman. It also said something about women not being the one to pursue the man because that is the man’s job and it can mess up the relationship. I didn’t even know I was doing it until it was too late. So please learn from my mistakes and do not make the same mistakes yourself ladies! And men, if you are in love with a woman, tell her and do everything you can (including praying to God about it and following His lead on what to do) to be with her, especially if you know she feels the same way and believe God led you to meeting her and bringing her into your life and she makes you feel good about yourself, treats you right, and tries to keep your relationship with Jesus alive and draw you closer to Him. The idea here is to be so busy with your relationship with the Lord that you have no time to worry about whether or not the person you are in love with and want to be with will ever straighten out, or realize you’re both meant to be together and if it will ever happen. And then the time will come when you are so close with the Lord that your faith will become strong and firm and you will trust Him to honor His promises and to love you faithfully and unfailingly. He is the example of how to treat others, whether in a romantic relationship, friendship, or any kind of relationship.  And remember, Jesus was never abusive in any way, so if someone is abusive whether verbally, mentally, physically, or in any way, then get out of that relationship now and pray for the person from afar, from a safe place and at a safe distance. Let Jesus be your example in all ways in every area of your life, and let Jesus be the center of your world. I admit, I am still learning this for myself, but if Jesus is your focus, then you will have the peace and joy only He can give, that He promises to us in John 14:27 and 15:11.

Whether you are the man or the woman, pray to God about the person you believe is your true love to find out if he or she is truly “the one” God is telling you He wants you to be with. If the answer is yes, then pray to God on what to do first (men). And women, pray to God that this man is first of all, a praying man and in a right relationship with the Lord, and secondly, that he be given the courage to pursue a relationship with you and reveal his feelings for you to you. Prayer and following God’s guidance on what to do and keeping Jesus first in your heart, in the center of your relationship, and in every area of your life will lead to the results you desire with your true love, and in life, because Jesus is number one and God’s plan is infinitely better than anything you could dream up or imagine. Remember God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 about His plan for your life. God is faithful and will honor His promise in the right time, and God sees the whole picture, so He will know when the right time is for the two of you to be together. In the meantime, you have a Lord and Savior – Jesus, who loved you so much He died for you to save you (1 John 3:16) and conquered death when He was resurrected 3 days later. And now He wants to shower you with His unconditional love for you. Spend time with Jesus in private Bible study daily, in prayer, in meditation (meditating on His love for you and also if you ask for something in prayer, He might answer when your mind is quiet), and any other way you can think of. Perhaps you can spend time with Jesus through worship music or hymns that praise Him or God or Both, so you are not just doing that at church on Sundays, but  every day, or as often as possible and as your priorities begin to become straight (in alignment with what God says our priority order ought to be, with Him and Jesus number 1), you may find time more frequently and possibly daily to add worship music, and dance if you like to dance. If not, then just praising the LORD through hymns and worship music will do your spirit and soul good, which will also be good for your physical health and emotional health.

Remember also, that your body is a temple to the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Do not use any part of your body to sin against the Lord or the Holy Spirit. Premarital relations (doing anything God says are meant for married couples only to be doing) is a sin and it will have serious consequences, believe me. I have never done it, but someone else I know has and now everything is messed up beyond repair – that is, it is humanly impossible for things to ever work out, and it would take God’s desire for things to work out with this person and His supernatural abilities to work it out for it to happen. Do not let that happen to you. If it has in one way or another (if you or the other person has had premarital relations whether with each other or with another person), then pray to God about it. If it is the person God had written in His book for you to be with, then perhaps there is still a chance for things to turn around in the right time. But pray to God about it and listen to what He says about it and do what He tells you to do. It may be what I am suggesting: focusing on deepening and strengthening your relationship with Jesus and placing Him number 1 in your heart and keeping Him and God’s Kingdom number 1 in every area of your life.

Do not let depression drown you or anxiety keep you awake nights, for this leads nowhere and just makes you tired and miserable, and can make life extremely difficult, especially when it comes to getting things done that need doing and you are unable to do them because you are too tired or ill (physically) to do anything other than get out of bed to use the bathroom or get food and water. If this already sounds like you, do not worry because it is not too late to overcome your depression, anxiety, or both. Taking your focus off your situation/problems and refocusing your attention to Jesus and spending time with Him in various ways throughout the day every day will most certainly help. The more time you spend in God’s Word and with Jesus, the more His promises will be written in your heart, and you will learn more of both God’s and Jesus’ character and heart and you will find yourself taking more steps in faith (for faith without works – that is, without action – is dead, as the Apostle James wrote in James 2:14-26 with the key verses being 17 and 26), and as you take more steps in faith, your faith will grow. In time, your depression and anxiety will lessen greatly or may even go away completely, depending on God’s will for you and if there is a purpose for either the anxiety or depression that will strengthen your character and will enable you to help other people in similar situations as you or who also suffer from anxiety, depression, or both. if you need to, talk to a professional about it. There are Christian counselors you can see for depression, anxiety, or both, if talking about it would help you; or perhaps you can talk to your minister or Pastor about it privately. I also recommend keeping a journal of how you feel, what thoughts are created by how you feel or what you are thinking and how that makes you feel, and then open your Bible to the Scripture that talks about your situation and see what God says about it. He may lead you to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 or to 1 John 3-4 or somewhere else entirely, depending what your focus is on and what He wants to reveal to you about it. Whatever verses He leads you to, write them down under your negative thoughts and feelings and then write down underneath the Verses you write down how you feel after reading those verses and saying them either out loud, or in your head. The idea being that we replace the lies we believe based on current circumstances or what Satan has whispered in our ears, or what other people have said, with the Truth. God’s point of view, no matter what the topic is, is always the Truth, and it is what we need to reprogram our minds to be focusing our thoughts on. God’s truth is what we ought to give great thought to throughout the day every day, and what we should be speaking over our lives and over the lives of others. If God placed the desire in your heart to be married and it hasn’t happened yet (or if it has but there are trials and tribulations in your marriage), then have faith in God that things will work out. Prayer offered in complete faith and sincerity has great power and produces wonderful results.  (James 5:16) And it is God who placed the desire in your heart to be married to the right person.

God promises in Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” This means that only He (the LORD) can fulfill us and complete us, and only He can give us true peace in our hearts, and satisfy our longings in our hearts. It means we find our worth in the LORD, who declares that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14 NIV) and that we are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). We must first realize that it is Jesus Christ alone who completes us and whom we find our worth in, not in another person. If we rely on another person to complete us or for our happiness, then you will both (you and the person who hinge your happiness on) be miserable. You need to both be 2 separate whole people (made whole by Jesus Christ our Lord) coming together to join your lives together – when you get married, and be able to find joy and peace apart from one another. You are to add happiness, joy, love, and peace to one another’s lives, not be the only source of it. Listen: You are already whole and complete without another person whether a significant other or a family member or friend. Jesus completes you, Jesus makes you whole. You are worthy and valuable, and loved beyond measure by the One who created you (God) and by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (God’s Son). God and Jesus love you unconditionally and want you to always be filled with joy and peace, no matter what is going on in your life – even through trials and tribulations. So take delight in the LORD and then you will begin to see Him giving you the desires He placed in your heart.

No matter how many mistakes you or the other person made, if it is meant to be, then God will find a way to right the wrongs, and for the two of you to be together. The key is to go about living your life for Jesus, without stressing or worrying over whether or not you or the person you are in love with is the one you are meant to be with. When you focus your eyes on Jesus, and on following His instructions and commands for your life and live to please Him and God, then in the right time, which only God knows when that will be for the both of you, God will bring the person you are meant to be with into – or back into – your life and everything will work out as long as both of you keep Jesus number 1 in your hearts and in all areas of your life, including Him being at the center of your relationship with the person God wants you to spend the rest of your life with. Do not force things to happen, or it will backfire and you could lose the person, and if not forever, then at least it will take a whole lot longer for things to be worked out on both your end (in your heart and in your life, and in their heart and in their life) for the two of you to be together. You may need to let the person you love go for a while so that God can work in their heart and in their life to make them the man or woman God created them to be, for Him and for you. And you may need to work on your own spiritual walk too. Have faith in God that it will work out at the right time. Let Jesus be the anchor to your hope. Despite how things may look now, God promises in Romans 8:37 No, despite all these things (trouble, calamity, hunger, persecution, etc.) overwhelming victory is ours through Christ.” Overwhelming victory will be yours too, which means that true and unconditional love will prevail. In light of this, keep praying, keep deepening your relationship with the Lord and going further in your walk with Him, keep hoping, keep believing, and take actions in your life that back up your faith – even if that action is waiting patiently and building your relationship with Jesus and living your life without the other person for a while, until God makes the way for it to happen when the time is right for both you and your true love. There are days that will be harder than others, and then there will be days where faith, hope, and peace are easy for you when you begin to see the pattern of God’s faithfulness in your life. Persevere through it all and you will see things work out better than you could ever have hoped. It might not be exactly how you envisioned it would, or when, but God promises it will be worth the wait.

Note: This advice works for friendships and family members too. If you are at odds with, or in a fight with a friend or family member, pray for the person persistently and if there is any unforgiveness in your heart towards the person, pray for God to help you fully forgive the person (or yourself or both if necessary) and keep praying to forgive until you have let go of all the hurt and pain and are able to fully forgive. And keep praying for the other person to come to know the Lord (if they don’t, or if they do not have the truth about God or Jesus) and that thy will believe and accept the truth and Jesus into their hearts and take the necessary steps to enter a soul-saving relationship with the Lord (you can pray this for your true love as well as for family members, friends, and even enemies since God tells us to love and pray for our enemies). If the person you are fighting with, estranged from, or at odds with is meant to be a permanent part of your life, then things will work out and your relationship with one another and their relationship with the Lord will all be mended, restored, and strengthened.

Love is More Than a Feeling

Love Is More Than A Feeling

Love is not just an emotion someone feels for certain people. Love like that is not real and fades, and no relationship, or individual, can survive with that kind of “love.” Love is a choice a person makes daily: to love God and respect, revere, and serve and honor Him in all you say, think, and do and in your attitudes and behavior; to love yourself without ego, but in a way where you are confident of who you are and Whose you are, and that God loves you unconditionally, and that we are to show a healthy love for ourselves by taking good care of our bodies and not talking down to ourselves or abusing ourselves and not letting other people put us down or abuse us; and the decision (or choice) to love someone else no matter how many mistakes they make, how well or badly they treat you, or how perfect or imperfect they are. Nobody is perfect and everybody needs to be loved. God loves everyone, but we too are to make the choice to love not only our neighbors: family, friends, people who live near us, and co-workers or acquaintances, but we are to love our enemies too. Yes, we are to show compassion, kindness, and respect to those who show hate, anger, contempt, and disrespect to us.

Love is more than a choice for Christians. For anyone who desires to follow Jesus and be in a right relationship with Him, it is a command. It is the greatest command and has 2 parts, both of which can be found in Mark 12:29-31. The first commandment is: “The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the Lord Your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength. The second commandment is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Jesus said this in response to a religious teacher asking Him what the most important commandment was). Jesus gave an additional element to the 2nd most important commandment in John 15:12-13, where He said, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus showed us this kind of love the day He died for us on the cross to save us from our sins and heal us of all our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:4 tells us Jesus bore our sickness and verse 5 says He was whipped so we could be healed.) By the wounds Jesus suffered, we find healing and by His death on the cross, we are saved if we accept what He did and take the necessary steps to enter a soul-saving relationship with Him.

When someone goes out of their way to show you the kind of love Jesus showed us, do not ignore them, throw it back at them, or treat them like they have the plague or as the scum of the earth. Let their unconditional love for you bring you closer to a soul-saving and loving relationship with Jesus (or back from the wrong path and back to a soul-saving relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus). And open your mind to God’s truth to believe and accept it and start living by it, and open your heart to receive God’s and Jesus’ unconditional love, and the unconditional love of the person offering it to you freely and openly, and purely. God said in Genesis 2:18 that “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Then after God brought all the animals He had created before creating the first man, Adam, to him to name them all, he put Adam into a deep sleep and created Eve from Adam’s rib. He used Adam’s rib so woman would be close to man’s heart, not under man to be stepped on or over man to be of higher authority than him. She is to be his equal, and to be held close, loved, and cherished. She is to be respected and cared for. Woman is meant to love, respect, and care for man too. For more about the relationship between a man and a woman read Ephesians 5:21-33, though this is specifically for a relationship between husband and wife. However, even before the wedding day, both men and women are to openly love, respect, honor and honor God and one another and take care of one another. There cannot be love or respect without communication, because communication lets you learn what is going on in the other person’s mind or heart. To love someone fully there must be both communication and spending time in one another’s company (in person whenever possible, but over the phone or video chat when not possible) and connecting on spiritual, mental, and emotional levels. Then when you are married, you can connect on a physical level that only married couples should be connecting on. Before the wedding there can be kissing and hand-holding and cuddles and hugs, as long as it does not lead to anything only married couples should be doing with one another within their marriage to their spouse. But a spiritual, mental, and emotional connection are necessary in order for the relationship to thrive and last. A willingness to be openly expressive of your love and of yourself (being yourself) is part of this equation too.

When your heart is open, it is true you could get hurt by either the wrong people, or sometimes by the right people who make mistakes. However, keeping your heart closed off cuts off your ability to receive God’s love and forgiveness, and so your ability to give love to yourself (unselfishly) or to anyone else and this creates a life of self-destructive behavior that will lead to death. It takes faith in God and courage to keep your heart open after being deeply hurt by others. But the reward outweighs the pain in the long-run. Being in a right relationship with Jesus, being able to receive and accept God’s love and forgiveness, (accept) Jesus’ healing power when it is needed, and being able to receive and accept love from the people in your life who truly love you (and show it in their actions to back up their words) will lead to a healthier and happier life here on earth. And eternal life in Heaven with Jesus and God is your other reward for staying open to Jesus, love, and God’s truth.

Someone in your life may have already expressed the kind of love Jesus told us to have for one another in John 15:12-13 and also have the aspects of true love given in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Have you accepted it? Rejected it? If you have rejected it, it is not too late to turn your life around and give it (your life) to Jesus and make things right with the person who’s love you rejected if it is a love that is meant to be. If you have already accepted the right kind of love from the person you are meant to be with, then hopefully you are also in a right relationship with Jesus or taking steps to enter into one and keep it once you have it.

If someone who loves you gently tries to correct you, like we are told to do in God’s Word in Matthew 28:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, and Jude (1: ) 20-23, then do not feel condemned or judged by them, but know that they love you dearly and just want to ensure that your soul makes it to Heaven for eternity and not Hell. Sometimes when someone loves another person they see doing self-destructive things to themselves, they may try issuing some tough love, but it is still love. Consider their words and check what they said with what God’s Word says in the Holy Bible, and if what they said matches what God says, then you know the person loves you truly and unconditionally. Accept that into your heart and let it heal you. Let Jesus’ love for you heal you fully and make you whole. Only Jesus can make you whole. The purpose of the special woman (for a man, or man for a woman) that God picks for you is to help keep you centered in Jesus and to bring additional love, joy, and faith to your life. But these things (love, joy, and faith) must begin with Jesus. Jesus loves you as you are now, but will not stop wanting to help you grow into the person God created you to be. A person who truly loves you will do the same thing. You may see it as them trying to “fix you,” but they know only Jesus can do that, and what they want to do is bring out the person God created you to be from the inside of you to outside and bring it to full expression and maturity in Christ. When someone goes through the trouble of doing that and risking your relationship, that shows that they love you the way Jesus wants us to love one another and that your happiness and salvation of your soul are truly important to them. Keep such a person in your life and never let them go, as long as it is in your power to have them in your life. Otherwise, you will someday regret it and it might be too late to make things right, because tomorrow is never promised and Jesus could come back tonight or tomorrow, or could decide either your time is up or the other person’s time is up and then, it is too late. I say it again: Let Jesus into your heart and let his love and forgiveness heal you and make you whole. And let Him transform you to be more like Him so that you can find rest for your weary soul (Matthew 11:28-30), learn God’s perfect will for you (Romans 12:2) and to be able to carry out His will for you (Hebrews 13:20-21).

When you are more like Jesus, then your love will become more complete and you will be able to handle difficult situations better, handle rejection and realize that it is God redirecting you to something better, and all you say and do will please and honor God because you will speak and act from a place of love and a place of faith in God, and so your words and actions will be in alignment with God’s will. This goes with what I said about how loving, respecting, honoring, and obeying God will lead to an easier life for you and success in all areas of your life. It is not to say you will not still face bad times, but God will see you through those hard times and keeping your faith in Him during those times will bring you the ultimate reward of the crown of eternal life (James 1:12).

I will now give some of the Scriptures I mentioned below:

2 Timothy 2:24-26: A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Matthew 11:28-30: Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you for I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.

Romans 12:2: (I would read verse 1 about making your bodies a holy sacrifice to the LORD – which means being careful what you eat, drink, watch, and listen to and careful what you do with your body and the way you use it and then read verse 2, which says) “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you which is good and pleasing and perfect.

And if you already belong to the LORD and are right with Him, remember what Romans 8:1 says about condemnation: “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” However, also heed the warning in Hebrews 10:26-31 about continuing to sin after you have been enlightened by the truth. But God’s truth will convict a person who has sinned, and all have sinned because as Romans 3:23 says, we all fall short of God’s measure, which is Jesus. Only Jesus is perfect. We are not called to be perfect, but called to be loving, respectful, reverent of God alone, and obedient to God and to be loving and respectful to ourselves and others second. The point is, if you feel condemned or judged, it is Satan doing it, not Jesus or someone who truly cares about you. It is very important to understand the difference. God loves you and has amazing plans for your life that will tie in to His plans for furthering His Kingdom, and when you choose to obey God’s commandment to love Him, yourself properly, and others in the right way, then you will find healing, success, and abundance in both spiritual and material blessings. And you will be confident in the LORD and will overcome all obstacles and make it through all difficult situations better off than before the obstacles or difficult situations started in your life, and your faith will grow as will your relationships with Jesus and with others.

Honoring and Revering the LORD Brings Blessings and Honor

Honoring and Revering the LORD Brings Blessings and Honor

Tonight at church was an interesting message about how honoring and respecting the LORD with reverent fear will bring you success, respect, and honor. When you honor, respect, and reverently fear the LORD you tend to be humble and obedient out of faith and love for God. Then life will become easier because what you are doing is pleasing to the LORD and honoring Him, and that is why He in turn will honor you, and bless you greatly with great success. Below are some verses to consider, that were mentioned in tonight’s message. I myself just re-read them and hope whoever reads this will open their Bibles or go to a Bible app/web site and read them too, and examine them closely. If reading these verses does not affect you in either way then either you are walking steadily along God’s path, or so far off it that you cannot see how much God loves you and wants to give you His best. But before God will give anyone His best, they must first love, honor, reverently fear, and obey Him.

Job 11:13-19

13 ‘Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.”

1 Chronicles 29:11-12

11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.”

John 12:24-26

“24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”

When we devote our hearts, minds, and lives to Jesus, then He will give us victory over our enemies, we can lie down and sleep soundly without any fears or worries, we will be respected and honored for respecting and honoring the LORD, and our struggles will become easier. Now these are just a few Scriptures from the Holy Bible (God’s Written Word), and in others, Jesus does tell us when we follow Him we will face opposition, persecution, and be hated…But He also promised the things mentioned above (or God did) and many other things such as restored health (Jeremiah 29:11), everlasting joy (Isaiah 61:7d), and the kind of peace the world cannot give (John 14:27) that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

If anyone thinks they have gone too far and God does not love them anymore, that is a LIE from Satan (the enemy, also known as the fallen angel Lucifer). Jeremiah 31:3 declares God has loved you with an everlasting love and that with unfailing love He has drawn you to Himself (I put emphasis on everlasting and unfailing, but it is still the truth), and also read Psalms 103 and from New Testament, read Acts 9, and maybe go back a little before then to Saul the persecutor who persecuted the people who had walked with Jesus and were teaching others about Him, but then in Acts 9, Jesus confronts Saul and asks why Saul is persecuting Him and he turns his life around and turns to the Lord and preaches God’s Word to others and wrote a few of the New Testament books. In 1 Timothy 1:15-16, Paul tells us he was the worst sinner of them all, yet God had mercy on him so that Jesus Christ (the Son of God) could use him (Paul) as a prime example of his perfect patience with even the worst sinners. So if you thought you were the worst sinner, you’re not! Isn’t that excellent news? Paul was the worst sinner, and he was saved. You can be too. God and Jesus both love you unconditionally. Give up your life of putting yourself first or money first, or others first (whatever is #1 in your life, stop putting it first) and put Jesus first in your life and watch your life change for the better. You will still face trials, but you will also see many good days, victory, prosperity (wealth), and honor. Your dreams will come true, for God promises us in Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.To take delight in the LORD entails daily Bible Study and meditation on the verses that most speak to you about your current situation, serving the LORD by helping others in need when you can and praying for them when you cannot help them directly, loving the LORD completely with your whole being, and respecting, revering, and honoring Him in everything you do and say, in every area of your life.

 

Forgiveness (in All Relationships)

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is important in any relationship, and Jesus and God both agree on this. In Matthew 18:21-35  says, “21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”   22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!   23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him.   24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.   25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.  26  “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’  27  Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.   28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29  “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded.   30. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.   31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.   32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me.   33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’   34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.   35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.

Then in Colossians 3:13, God tells us through the Apostle Paul, “13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Too many relationships have ended because of unforgiveness on one or both people’s sides, and wars have been started on people holding grudges as well. Refusing to forgive causes bitterness to take root. Forgiveness sets YOU free from the pain and hurt. It is not always easy to forgive, but it is necessary – and Jesus can help you do it, in order to move on with your life, and also in order to save relationships of any kind, and prevent wars that would otherwise have started because of it. Forgiveness can end wars, and end fights between friends and other people we have relationships with. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sins, and that we are to love each other. Forgiveness is a form of love, and so when you love someone and they offend you, then forgiving them will bring peace back to the relationship, and the LORD God will forgive you for your sins (Matthew 6:14 says, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you.”) so there will be peace between you, Jesus, and God too when you forgive others. True love keeps no record of being wronged (look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for the characteristics of genuine love), in any relationships.

However, if you do not forgive others who offend or hurt you in some way (or yourself for a mistake you have made), then bitterness will take root (Hebrews 12:15 mentions how poisonous bitterness can be), and your hearts will harden and you will end up making the mistake of ending relationships you could have saved by forgiving the other person, yourself, or both. Holding a grudge can also lead to wars whether personal between friends and significant others, or public against other nations and countries. Hate begins when you make the decision to remain angry instead of forgiving. Paul cautions us in Ephesians 4:29 that letting the sun go down on your anger can give a foothold to the devil. In other words, it opens the door for Satan to get you to do ungodly things and commit great sins against the person you are angry at, innocent people, and/or God. Do not open any windows or doors for the enemy to take control of your life because he leads down roads of destruction that end in death and God’s eternal wrath. Refuse to let unrighteous anger to stay, and channel righteous anger (being indignant about injustice) to lead to godly actions to bring justice to the unjust situation. Forgive whoever you need to forgive, whether someone who has wronged you, or yourself. Remaining angry can ruin your life, forgiving can save it. Everybody makes mistakes, for nobody (but Jesus) is perfect, but love covers a multitude of sins and forgiveness can bring healing both to your relationship with the person you were angry with, and to yourself (mind, body, heart, soul, and spirit).

I know it is not easy to let things go, however, with the help of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, it can be done. Pray to God in the name of Jesus for help letting whatever situation or thing you need to let go and keep praying until you are able to do it and look to the Scriptures about overlooking offenses and forgiveness if you need to. The only things you should be working to hold onto are your salvation, love, faith, hope, peace, joy, and other fruit of the Holy Spirit, such as self-control. Let go of all toxic emotions, thoughts, and anything that hinders your ability to deepen your relationship with Jesus. God promises to give us strength when we are weak (Isaiah 40:29), so let us remember this when we are struggling with difficult situations or with forgiving someone or ourselves and bring the situation to God. You may not feel different immediately (though maybe you will), but if you believe God will help you when you need it, then He will. God never tells us to figure it out for ourselves. He invites us to turn to Him in our times of trouble. But we must be willing to forgive because it is a command God gives us, and as long as we have a soft enough heart that wants to forgive and let the offenses go, then that opens the door for God to give us the peace we need to forgive, and then when we forgive, that is when the healing process will begin. The key is to be willing to forgive whether the other person is sorry or not. Going back to Matthew 6:14-15, in the model prayer we are asking God to forgive us our sins because we have forgiven other’s sins against us. God is willing to help soften our hearts to forgive, but we must be willing to have our hearts softened to forgive. God will not force us to do what we do not want to do, but we do not get to choose the consequences of our actions that we take against His will. Forgive whoever you are currently having a hard time forgiving. Don’t let bitterness take root, or give room for the devil to work in your life by remaining angry. Jesus forgave you your sins when he died on the cross. He forgave us all. Surely then, we can forgive others, especially since we have such an amazing example of how to forgive in Jesus, for He forgave many times in the Gospels. Even when people were mocking him, insulting him, beating him and torturing him, some of Jesus’ last words were “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they are doing.” in Luke 23:34. We ought to (including me) think of all of the things Jesus was asking the Father to forgive when He said that. Jesus forgave His tormentors and all of us, so we ought to consider our love for Jesus and for the other person to be greater than our anger, hurt, or pain and be willing to let all of that go and forgive the other person or persons. No matter how hard forgiveness seems, it will always be worth it to be rid of the anger, hurt, and pain, and to be right with the LORD.

 

 

Truth and Honesty

Truth and Honesty

 It is written in Scripture in John 8:31-32, “Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

Proverbs 12:19 warns us against lying because lies are exposed, but the truth stands the test of time.

There are other places in the Bible that tell us we are not to lie but to tell the truth/be honest with one another. So why is it that there are people who get mad when someone honest with them? Whether or not one believes in God or Jesus (and you are making a mistake if you do not believe the Truth), they ought to value honesty from others and be honest as well. I will always opt to be honest, because the truth will always be revealed eventually. I am just one who believes that it is best to be honest up front instead of someone finding out the truth later on. That does not make me a bad person, but it means I have morals and values that I stand by. To be angry with me because of my values and beliefs is unfair because I am up front about these things from the beginning. I am not in the habit of hiding who I am from others. I am nowhere near perfect, I make mistakes like everyone else, but I work hard daily to be a better person/daughter of God and follower of His Son Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

If more people in this world would not only accept the truth from others, but accept God’s truth both in Scripture, and spoken by believers and followers of Christ within the context with which the Scripture was written (with its intended meaning), then there would be no lies or cheating, and lots of other problems would be solved if everybody lived life the way God tells us to in His written Word, the Holy Bible. If we lived how we are supposed to there would be less relationships ending, no problems with poverty, homelessness, or hunger, no more wars – and many other of this world’s problems, along with people’s individual or group problems, would all cease to exist. We would live in peace, harmony, love, and filled with joy always, if we all lived the way Jesus instructs us to. It is the Truth, and acceptance of it and living out the truth in one’s life, the person who does this into a soul-saving relationship with Jesus and one person at a time, could make a positive difference in this fallen world.

I also show concern for those I care about, so do not mistake that for judgment because only Jesus has the right to judge. I guess what they say is right… those who are honest do not have many friends, but they will have the right ones, because true friends can handle honesty and are always honest too. And true friends show concern when someone they care about does something potentially harmful to them either in this life, or in where they end up spending eternity, or both. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19-20 to go make disciples and to teach them to obey the commands He gave us. That is what I try to do. I will not be disobedient to God just to please another person, or to prevent them from being offended by God’s truth, which is the Truth. I will. however, keep praying and whenever I can, I will keep trying, to make certain those I care about believe and accept the truth, enter a soul-saving relationship with Jesus, and take up their cross daily to keep their salvation by doing things the way God tells us to instead of doing what we want to do, when it goes against God’s will.

 

Open the Lines of Communication/Excuses_Updated

Alexis Malek

November 23, 2013

Modified 06/22/2016

Open the Lines of Communication/Excuses

How long have you known your best friend? Are they your childhood best friend? Did you meet in high school? Did you meet in college? Let’s talk about childhood best friends first, someone you have known most (if not all) of your life. They once knew all of your “embarrassing” secrets and you knew theirs and yet you still loved each other as sisters (or brothers or as brother and sister) and spent all your free time together. You two have been through a lot together and survived and grown closer as friends for sharing the bad times as well as the good times. When you went off to college you kept in touch by phone frequently, if of course you didn’t actually go to the same college.

Today, and probably for the past few years, you rarely speak to one another. Your best friend may attempt to contact you but you either ignore their attempt altogether or blow them off saying something about being busy with work and with life. What changed? Did loss of a loved one, which your best friend was there for you when it happened, close off your heart? Did you stop caring about this best friend who has always been there for you no matter what through the years? Did you two have a falling out and you never really forgave them? But then you probably would have told them that you were still mad, or that you no longer cared if it was scenario two or three. Are you hiding from them? If so, then why? Are you feeling guilty, ashamed, or fear to face them because of something you did? If that is the case then why would you suddenly feel that way when lots of things you did in your past they already know about because they were there and still continued to love you, support you, and be there for you?

Now open this up to include other people who love you and care about you like family (whether related to you or spiritual family) or anyone else who loves and cares about you who you once talked to frequently and were close with but now rarely talk to (God can definitely be included in this scenario if you once talked to him daily and were happy to spend time in his presence and worship him and to serve him but now you stay away from him and either never or rarely talk to him or do anything in alignment with His will). What reason is it that you stopped talking to the person or to God almost completely?

Next time you blow your best friend, or anyone else (human) who loves you or cares about you off with the excuse that “I’m busy with work,” or “I’m busy juggling work and a personal life,” or “I’m struggling trying to balance my work life and social life,” or any other similar excuse think about something. Think about this: If Jesus were to come back tomorrow and the Day of Judgment had arrived and you were standing before him and he asked you why you stopped doing his will and stopped communicating with him or why you stopped doing “this” or “that,” would you expect him to accept your answer of “I’m sorry Lord, I got too busy with work,” or “I’m sorry Lord, I got so busy trying to balance work and my life, both personal and social,” or any other excuse that sounds similar that you could come up with? You know He wouldn’t accept any “I got busy” or “I was busy with” answers. And if you do know those answers would not be accepted on the Day of Judgment when you are held accountable for your life and everything you ever did or did not do when it is the Lord asking you, then why would you expect someone you once considered your best friend (and possibly still do) or someone else you love who genuinely loves you and cares about you unconditionally to accept these lame excuses for lack of communication? I am not putting these people on the same level as Jesus, but if you love the Lord, and you also love these friends or other loved ones, then Jesus commands us to show it. And we show it by showing up in the lives of people we have relationships with whether friendship, romantic, family, or work, any kind of relationship; and by being honest in a respectful way with them. It would be the same with your boss, would they accept an “I’ve been busy with…(fill in the blank)” excuse?

Let’s look at it from yet another perspective. When Jesus was here on earth, what do you think would have happened if when people came to him to be healed, He had said “Sorry, I’m too busy. Go find someone else to heal you.”? And what if He had decided he didn’t want to die for us? There would be no hope for anybody (believer or non-believer) if Jesus had not died for us to be an atonement for our sins so we could be saved from God’s wrath and eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, separated from God and Jesus forever. But thank God, He did heal those who came to him for healing while He was alive, and praise Him for dying for us (Matthew 20:28 says, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Hebrews 2:17 NIV says, “For this reason He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.”). Now anyone who believes and shows their faith with works – beginning with repenting, confessing Jesus and their Lord and Savior, and being baptized – fully submerged under water to spiritually come into contact with the blood of Jesus to cleanse you, then receives the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38 and Romans 10:9-10), has hope of living for the Lord and on God’s path with a new life that will end in their salvation eternally with God and Jesus. But after baptism, one must make a conscious decision daily to follow Jesus and the way He tells us to live, instead of what we want to do, or what someone else tells us to do.

Just as the Lord is fair and will forgive you after you confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and you have no reason to hide from Him because He sees all, knows all, and is loving, merciful, and forgiving, the people in your life who love you unconditionally will also continue to love you and support you no matter what. So knowing this, why would you hide from them, or from God? Why would something you did recently affect your friendship (or relationship – as long as it is not cheating if it’s a romantic relationship, but you shouldn’t cheat on the person you are in a romantic relationship with and this will be addressed more in a moment) with the other person when they know all of your deep, “dark” secrets from the past? As long as you didn’t do something to deliberately hurt your friend or romantic partner, then you shouldn’t expect them to suddenly react any differently to anything you have done that you are not proud of doing. Everyone makes mistakes, we are only human. You should not fear harsh judgment (or any judgment) from the other person who knows all of your secrets from the past, or from God since he is merciful and forgiving and filled with unfailing love.

Taking a moment to go back to the whole cheating thing, cheating is morally wrong and if you commit adultery (Exodus 20:14 says, “You shall not commit adultery.” It is one of the 10 commandments. And under the new covenant with Jesus, if we are to follow the commandment He gave us in John 15:12, “love one another as I have loved you.”), you are sinning against God and it is actually legally wrong too. If you feel something is missing from your current romantic relationship you are in, you need to talk to the person you’re in that romantic relationship with and if they feel the same way then you can either talk about ways to spice up the relationship (in innocent, godly ways) or you can part ways in a mutual break up, especially if you already have someone else in mind you believe would have what is missing from your current relationship. If you have already done the cheating but you feel guilty and realized it was a mistake and truly do love the person you cheated on, then you should still talk to them about it and if it is true love, then it is possible you might be able to work things out. And if you are able to do that, consider yourself truly blessed because cheating is never okay. But then, neither is hiding from people you love who genuinely love you back or care about you in any way (even as a friend, sister, or brother). More than one thing is missing from your life if you feel it is okay to cheat though. Chances are, God is missing from your life. When you are happy and secure and know God loves you, and can feel God’s love for you, then you won’t feel like something is missing from the right relationship. If something is missing from your current romantic relationship and you are a true follower of God, then it could be God telling you he has someone else in mind for you and you should talk to God about it before doing anything you may regret later.

This of course also applies to the best friend or family member (spiritual or physical) that you’ve been ignoring lately. When you are secure in God’s love for you, then you realize that there is no need for human approval and you won’t get all paranoid and think that someone who has given you nothing but unconditional love and support, acceptance, and other qualities of true friendship to you would suddenly judge you for any mistake you make or for getting “caught up in life” for a little bit and temporarily forgetting them. It is when you neglect the friendship for long periods of time that the other person may start wondering what they did wrong and may attempt to talk to you about it, but you ignore all attempts of communication, which doesn’t happen when you are right with God and feel his love in your heart.

Whatever excuse you are using to ignore communicating with your best friend, significant other, family member, or God, the solution is both simple and complicated for some: Get right with God. Confess your sins, repent (as in no longer commit the sins you are asking God to forgive you for), and then open your heart to receive his forgiveness and love. Then open your mind, eyes, and ears (both physically and spiritually) for God’s guidance. God can lead you back to his path when you somehow fall off of it. Use the similar principle with the person you’ve been neglecting communication with: confess (let them know why you’ve really been out of communication with them all this time and be 100% honest with them), feel secure enough to honestly tell them you won’t neglect them anymore and then stay in touch with them, openly accept their love (and forgiveness if it is needed, though it may not always be required).

Keeping the lines of communication open is extremely important for all relationships, including your relationship with God. You could die tomorrow or the other person you’ve been avoiding talking to but whom you still care about could die tomorrow, since tomorrow is never promised (James 4:13), or the world could end and it will be too late to make things right. If you did have a falling out and the other person wronged you, forgive them. God forgives your sins so you should forgive those who sin against you. Life is too short to hold grudges, live guilty, or to live in fear. God does not want you to live that way. God wants you to live long, healthy, peaceful, prosperous lives loving others (as well as loving God and loving yourself). God created us to be social, but not with people who don’t care about it, but with people who genuinely care. The people who will always be in your lives should not be taken for granted, mistreated, or neglected, and neither should God.

Don’t wait until you are dying to get right with God or to make amends with your best friend or other loved one you have been ignoring or avoiding (or both), and don’t wait until the other person is dying or dead either because then it will be too late. Frequent communication with God and with the people you love (who genuinely love you too and have proved it by always being there for you when you let them be in the past) and care about is important. Keep the lines of communication open, honest, respectful, loving, and frequent. Do not waste anymore time living in self-condemnation, guilt, fear, doubt, or frustrated. Talk to God about what to say and what to do to make things right and then go do it. Let the other person know you still love them, that you still care. Chances are you can salvage the friendship (or relationship) with the other person and you always can with God as long as you have not turned so far away from him that you no longer want a relationship with him. As long as you are sincerely repentant and still want a relationship with God and are willing to do the work he tells you to do, then God will forgive you. The friend or loved one will probably feel the same way and will just be happy to know you still care and want to be in their lives.

On the small (very minor) chance that you go to the person and they don’t want you in their lives anymore, then at least you know you did everything you could to mend the relationship (if you actually try) and have peace in that. More often than not, honest and open communication can fix a lot of relationship problems (even in friendships) when both people in the relationship (or friendship) realize the other person still cares and wants to be a part of your life and finds out from you that you still care and still want to be a part of their lives. Keep God the center of your life and don’t stray from his ways, and you will find that all areas of your life: health, relationships, work, finances, and every part of your life will improve and will be healthy and prosperous.

This is for people who have ever neglected someone they should not have been avoiding or ignoring and also for those who have been on the other side, where you are the one who was ignored or avoided by someone you care about. If you are reading this and you never ignore anyone you love or anyone who genuinely cares about you and you are also blessed to not have had it happen to you then take a moment to consider how blessed you are and hopefully you will never neglect, use, ignore, or avoid anyone who cares about you and who you care about.