Tag Archives: Scripture

Pleasing God Above People

Pleasing God Above People

 For my whole life I was a people pleaser, but in the last 5 years in my walk with the Lord, I learned that is not pleasing to God. We are to please God above people, not vice versa. God calls us to help others, but there is a difference between helping someone in need and bending over backwards to please them and make them happy. When you make pleasing people more important than pleasing God, then you are forgetting your purpose as a child of God. God did not create any of us to be people pleasers, but to serve and to please Him. You may lose some friendships when you put God above others, but the right people will stay in your life. When your life is pleasing to God, He will help remove the wrong people from your life who are hindering your walk with the Lord and will place people in your life who will help you. God will also send people to you for you to help them with their walk with the Lord.

But please do not make the same mistake I did in trying to help someone else before you are steady and firm in your faith. The people you seek to help will be looking at your life, your attitude and behavior, your words and actions – at everything – to see how you conduct yourself. If you are telling or encouraging them in one area but they see you doing the opposite of what you say, then that will confuse them and turn them off to the Lord, and possibly to you. Heed the Lord’s warning from Matthew 7:3-5: “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend (brother/sister in Christ), ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye?” Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to help deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” I wish I had actually taken this warning into consideration, maybe then I would not have lost someone dear to me and maybe he would still be following the Lord instead of straying so far from Him the way he has. This relates to pleasing God because it does not please Him when we are at least in part, responsible for someone being led astray by confusing them. We try so desperately to please God that we end up making a colossal mistake. So let us follow carefully the instructions, commands, warnings, and advice the Lord and God give to us in Scripture. This way we will be doing what pleases God.

Matthew 10:28 tells us not to worry about people who have the ability to kill our physical bodies, for they can’t touch our souls. Instead, we are to fear God, who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.

There are more verses below that warn against seeking the approval of (or being concerned about the approval of) people above God. There are more in the Book of Proverbs, especially in chapters 10-31 both about the consequences of pleasing others instead of God, and on ways that please God and I encourage you all to read through the whole Book. Chapters 1-4 deal with how to attain spiritual wisdom and understanding, so those are definitely worth looking at too if your objective is to please God and to attain wisdom in the process. We are told in Proverbs 3:5-6 to “lean not on your own understanding, but to trust God and to seek His will in all that we do.”

 

Galatians 1:10 ESV

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV

But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

Proverbs 29:25 ESV

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

John 12:43 ESV

For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

Colossians 3:23 ESV

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

Acts 5:29 ESV

But Peter and the apostles answered, We must obey God rather than men.”

Isaiah 2:22 ESV

Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.

Galatians 2:20 ESV

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 5:44 ESV

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

Romans 12:1-2 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 We are obedient to God when we honor His command to love one another, but we must learn to love them the way we are told to instead of making them our whole world and making pleasing others our top priority so nobody gets hurt. It is painful to hurt someone we care about when we have to either say something to them they don’t want to hear and can or will hurt them, but it is far worse for both of you if you do not tell them what God has instructed you to tell them, or to fail to do what God instructed you to do where the other person is concerned, regarding their reckless behavior or something specifically they are saying or doing that they need to stop doing before it is too late for them to repent and turn back to God to be saved. Remember this though: it is only our responsibility as Christ’s followers to warn them, or to plant the seeds and/or to water them. God is the only One who has the ability to make those godly seeds planted inside them to grow (1 Corinthians 3:6-8). In other words: we are to love others, including our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), and to help guide them on God’s path, but, we must be sure that we are in a stable place in our own faith where we can effectively do that, and we must be sure that our objective is to please God and not put priority over the other person. God is to be number 1 in our hearts and in every area of our lives, and we must show works of faith too, in order to please Him.

Read James chapter 2 and Hebrews 11 to read more about showing our faith in the actions we take. Our actions either show that we have faith in God, which pleases Him, or shows a lack of faith which grieves Him. He wants us to fully trust, love, awe, honor, and obey Him, willingly, because we want to. The LORD wants a close, intimate relationship with each and every one of us, and Scripture tells us how that is made possible and how to maintain the intimate connection, and how to make it grow stronger, once it has been made through our faith in action (repenting, confessing Jesus as our Lord and Savior after hearing God’s word and deciding to believe it completely, being baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and then daily taking up our crosses to follow Jesus). Jesus outlines in the Gospels what the cost of following Him is, and the requirements for being His disciple. When we follow these instructions, we please God. He warns us against loving our mother, father, sister, brother, child, or anyone else above Him (read Matthew 10:37-39 and Matthew 16:24-27). We are to love Jesus the most in order to please God. And Hebrews 11:6 tells us “it is impossible to please God without faith”, and when we have faith in God, we will naturally want to please God, and will learn to make pleasing Him more important than pleasing others.

The right people, even if they are hurt at the beginning, will come around and accept God’s truth. As for everyone else, God tells us not to worry about them. Once we have done what we are commanded or called to do, it is in God’s hands. Let us then decide today to make every effort to please God above everything else and to seek His will in all we say and do, and in our attitudes and behavior. Let us decide to love God with all of our hearts, minds, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30) -> with our whole being. If any of us here have trouble doing that, let us come to the throne of our loving and merciful God in prayer and ask Him and His Holy Spirit to give us the help we need to show our love for Him, to equip us with all we need to obey Him, and any other areas we need help with. God is just and faithful and He will give us the help we need when our goal is to please Him. God loves all of you unconditionally. He will gladly help you where you are in need of His help. May God’s peace be with you and may You feel his love in your hearts.

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.

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.

 

Importance of Health (and Jesus) Versus Money

Alexis Malek

05/24/2016

Important of Health (and Jesus) Versus Money

What is wrong with the people of this world? When they are sick, they go to work sick and either spread germs, are unable to do their job properly, or both. If they suffer an injury, or just got out of surgery (or both, if injury led to surgery), they still show up to work the same day, or the next day!!!!! That is not what people should be doing to their bodies, or to others if spreading germs is a risk. The Apostle Paul tells us that we (who have been made right with God) in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you realize that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Even for people of this world, God sent Jesus to die for them, for He died for everyone. That high price mentioned in verse 20 above, was Christ’s blood, on the cross. Jesus willingly died on that cross to save everybody, not just select people. Rather, it is select people who will accept this truth and answer God’s calling for them. But even for people who do not believe in God or Jesus, why do they worship money so deeply that they fail to take care of their bodies properly, and then expect everyone else to do the same, and get angry when someone actually takes care of themselves with rest and whatever else is called for in sickness or injury recuperation, and when confronted about it, they say “That is how the world operates.” And they are correct! That is how the world operates. But that is not how God designed us. God designed us to rest regularly to stay healthy, and to rest and take other recovery steps when sick, injured, or after surgery.

Worshipping money and making it your number 1 priority could end up putting you in an early grave, and any money you manage to make and hold on to (that does not go to bills, groceries, other necessities, or material things) will go to someone else, for you cannot take anything with you when you die!  1 Timothy 6:6-10 says, “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.  After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” Money itself isn’t evil, but worshipping it or placing security in it both lead to great sin. The true treasures of life are love, peace, joy, and other things that come from Heaven, from God Our Father. And when you come across someone who wisely knows to take care of their bodies when they are sick, injured, or both, then don’t yell at them or call them lazy or irresponsible, naïve, or anything else along those lines because what they are is wise and understanding of the importance of their bodies, either because they are children of God and realize their bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit, or they understand that they can function a lot better instead of slowing people down or doing a sloppy job (and possibly spreading germs, or further injuring themselves) when they take time to rest until they are feeling better, or are healed. Instead of yelling at them and looking down on them, learn from them. Learn to honor the Lord above all else, and to honor your body before work, or money that you earn from showing up to work. Don’t make God step in by having you so ill that you are hospitalized, before you slow down, or get the rest you need to get well or recover from your illness, injury, or surgery. This is a message for everyone regardless if you walk with the Lord or are of the world and follow the world’s standards.

If you are a person of the world, go hear God’s word, accept and believe it as truth, repent of your sins, confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and be baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit by being fully submerged under water to die to your old self, come into contact with the blood of Jesus spiritually to be cleansed, and emerge with Christ in you and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hear God’s word is quoted from Romans 10:17, Believe (step 2) from Hebrews 11:6, Repent from Acts 2:38, Confess from Romans 10:9-10, and be baptized is also from Acts 2:38, or Matthew 28:20. These are the 5 steps to entering a right relationship with the Lord, and tomorrow is never promised (James 4:13), so make today the day you get made right with God so you do not have to suffer the alternative when Jesus comes back to claim those who are His, given to Him by God when they believed and acted upon their belief. If you want to read about the alternative, look at Luke 16:19-31 titled “Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus,” and Revelations 20:10-15 and 21:8. In the parable in Luke, a description of what the lake of fire (where all unbelievers will go) is given, and the rich man speaks of a very real torment that people will live with for eternity if they do not turn from their sins to the Lord and be saved while they still have breath left in them. This is not me saying this, but the Holy Bible, so I am passing along the information for those who do not know the truth so they may verify it in the Holy Bible and then learn about this truth. 1 Peter 3:9 says that God wants us all to be saved. I do too. We (God and I) both know that not everyone will be saved, but for anyone still alive now, it is not too late! The Lord loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him and Jesus in Heaven, and also with your departed loved ones who were followers of our Lord and Savior. Put Jesus and love for and time with Jesus and your loved ones above money. God promises to supply all of your needs for all who are His faithful children, in Philippians 4:19. Also read Matthew 6:19-34 about not serving God and money, or letting worries or cares prevent you from putting the Lord first. He offers a great promise in Matthew 6:33 if you put Him first.

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.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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.

Who God Is and Is Not

Alexis Malek

03/04-05/2016

Who God Is and Is Not

Too many people in this world have false information or ideas about God. Some believe there is more than one God/many gods, others have skewered, or fanciful ideas about Him. I will focus on those who have skewered ideas about Him for now.

Where do people get the impression that God is either an angry God, or a God who is “too busy” to worry about everyone? And how to people come to the idea that everyone is in competition for God’s love? Where in the Bible does it say that?! Show me a verse that says “I can’t, I am too busy” (and if anyone thinks of the story of the gentile woman who asked Jesus to heal her child and mentioned dog being fed scraps under the table, then you are forgetting that Jesus granted her request after seeing how strong her faith was (For those unfamiliar of the woman I am talking about, you can read about it in Matthew 15:21-28).

I will concede that there are parts in the Bible, particularly in OT where God was angry with His people or with other wicked people and destroyed them or brought war, famine, and disease to them, but that is not the whole entirety of the Bible. The information about God and mankind does not end there. There are tons of stories about God’s love, God relenting on the wicked when they cried out to Him, God’s mercy, God’s grace, and let us not forget that God loved us sinners so much that He sent His One and Only Son to earth as man (first Jesus taught for 3 years in His adult life and healed many) to die for us to save us from our sins. Then He was raised 3 days later so we could have a right relationship with God through Him (Jesus) based on faith instead of relying on obedience to the law like back with the old covenant. Anyone who sees God as angry and far away/unavailable is either stuck in Old Testament and should read the New Testament (and all of it at some point in their lives, while there is still time, starting with the Gospel of Matthew), or they are stuck deep in sin and deep down they know that their sin is great and can’t possibly imagine that God could still love them/love sinners.

I don’t know about you, but I think that it is kind of strange that God would send Jesus to die if He didn’t love us. It is made very clear throughout the Bible (and especially in New Testament) that the sole reason Jesus came to earth to be born as a human was to die for our sins to save us. Most people are familiar with John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Not as many people may be familiar with Philippians 2:6-11, where the Apostle Paul tells us to have the same attitude as Christ (verse 5) and tells us just what that attitude was: “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. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus became human and humbled Himself and died a criminal’s death, for us! He did it to save us and to set an example of how we must live our lives. We must have faith as strong as Jesus, for He knew God would raise Him and that He would never die again, but live forever, as our eternal high priest, pleading for us at God’s right hand. That does not sound like a cold, distant God, or like an angry God, or like a God who is too busy to deal with our problems.

Speaking of problems, where in the Bible does it say “figure it out yourself” or “God helps those who help themselves”? The answer is nowhere. There are different places in the Bible where God offers for us to turn to Him, to ask for His help, or to give our plans to Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all (emphasis on “all” in both verses are done by me) you do, and He will show you which path to take.” In verse 7 we are told not to be impressed with our own wisdom, but to revere the Lord and turn from our evil ways (which makes it clear that it goes against God’s will to depend on your own wisdom or knowledge because it often goes against what God says). While you are in the book of Proverbs, turn if you will, to Proverbs 16. Proverbs 16:1 says, “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.” Verse 16:3 states, “Commit your actions (or plans, depending on translation you use, I am using NLT) to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” Drop down to verse 9, which says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invites us to rest in Him: “Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble 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.” This does not mean we shouldn’t do anything, since God warns us about what happens to the lazy in the book of Proverbs, but we are not expected to do everything ourselves, and are actually told to include God in all of our plans. He also invites us through the Apostle (and friend of Jesus) Peter in 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares about you.” And there are other places like the psalms and Philippians 4 where God tells us through the authors doing the writing (inspired by God Himself, as you will find in 2 Timothy 3:16) that He cares about us and to come to Him with our troubles and worries and how He promises to sustain or help us, and give us His peace (that only He can give because His peace is true and surpasses all understanding) and to rescue us or help us through our problems. God would not invite us in so many different passages of Scripture to lay our burdens at His feet if He was too busy or didn’t care about us. Yet He does continually invite us throughout the Bible in both Old Testament and New Testament to give our worries, and our plans, to Him so that He can guide us along the path of life, and so that we do not have to carry heavy burdens (that we were never meant to carry alone) ourselves. It is important to learn the difference between the burdens/load we are meant to carry, and when we are to go to God for help (and often, God will send a person who is willing and able to help to help us, though there are times He will help in unexpected ways so we are to stay open-minded to whatever His solution ends up being to the problem we go to Him with).

For those who question or doubt God’s love (and I admit, sometimes I do this), He tells us many different times throughout Scripture in Old Testament and New Testament He loves us, and shows it in His actions. I already gave the greatest example of His love when I mentioned sending Jesus to die for us. God tells us also in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jesus tells us Himself when He was on this earth as a human, in John 15:9 (the first part of the verse), “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me.” I know that when hard times come, it is hard to see how God could possibly love you or could still be with you, but we are assured in Romans 8:35,37, Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

If you feel as though God could not possibly love you because of all the bad things you have done, remember the Apostle Paul, who was originally named Saul and went around everywhere persecuting and killing believers for casting out demons or doing other forms of healing, or for speaking about Jesus (Acts 8). But then in Acts 9, Jesus has a conversation with Saul asking why he persecutes Him and then after that, Saul changed his ways and became Paul and went around preaching God’s word to others. If God can save someone who did things as awful as what Saul did, then He can definitely save you; and if Jesus even loved Saul (who later became the Apostle Paul) while he was persecuting Him and His chosen people, then He can love you no matter what you have done.

There are people who refuse to believe because they claim “How can a loving God let innocent people die?” or “How can God let the innocent suffer?” They say the true God could not possibly be God because “a loving God would not let the innocent suffer, die, or let anything bad happen to them.” Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if we follow Jesus that we will have problem-free lives or be free from experiencing any form of suffering or physical death. In fact, Jesus told us if we follow Him to expect persecution (in the book of John). Then Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4, starting at verse 12, to not be surprised by the fiery trials and to feel honored to suffer along with Christ for being His follower. And earlier on in chapter 4 (of 1 Peter 4:1) we are told that Christ suffered and we are to have the same attitude He did when He suffered, in regards to suffering physical pain. So no matter what kind of suffering (or trials) we go through, we must not think God abandoned us, for just as He did not abandon Jesus when He suffered for us, God has not abandoned us either during our times of suffering or during our trials and tribulations. If you turn a few pages back to 1 Peter 1, Peter tells us that our trials test our faith and purify us (like fire purifies gold) and give us and that when our faith turns out to be genuine, we will receive praise and glory and honor the day Jesus is revealed to the world (1 Peter 1:6-7). We may not understand why God lets the innocent suffer or why He lets there be war, famine, starvation, homelessness, and disease, but we must trust that God has a good purpose for them and that those who are faithful to Him will be blessed for their troubles. Look at the book of Job, to see what God allowed Satan to do to him and then at the end where God restores double to Job for remaining faithful and speaking truthfully about Him to his friends during his trials and suffering.  It is not up to man to question why God does, or allows certain things (to happen), but to trust that God has a purpose and will bring good from it. I don’t understand why God brought my mom home to be with the Lord back in 2006, but as a child of God, I need to believe He had a good reason and that someday I will understand (and see my mom again), and that God will make good come from it somehow. God does love us, but that does not mean we will live a life without any form of suffering. It does mean He will see us through our suffering and bring us off more blessed than before the trouble or suffering began, if we trust in Him.

One final thing, for anyone who ever thought there is more than one God, God tells us in Deuteronomy 6:4 through Moses, “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone (or The Lord is One). That means there is no other God. Make sure that you are worshiping the Right God, the One and Only True God, and also His Son Jesus Christ. Otherwise, come Judgment Day, you will give an account of the way you lived to God and will have to explain why you worshiped false gods and refused to see or hear the truth and live by it. For those who do not have a right relationship with God through His Son Jesus, no matter how good a person you are, the harsh truth is, you will not make it to the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus makes it clear in John 14:6, “Jesus told them, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the father except through me.” Also, if you have not been baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, or have not repented of your sins (had a change of heart and in your attitude) or will not confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior (if you miss any of these steps or fail to understand that it is in baptism that you are cleansed of sins and put on Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide you in the right direction) then you will not be saved or make it to the Kingdom of Heaven. I had the great pleasure of witnessing 2 baptisms at my church in less than a week: the first one last Sunday (February 28th), and the other one Wednesday (March 3rd). The one from Wednesday night happened at the end of Bible study and those of us who were there at the Bible study (some of us anyway, including the minister teaching the class) participated in helping the young man (19 or 20) to understand the importance of baptism and he finally understood, after talking with the minister for a few months about God, Jesus, and baptism and the other things like confessing Jesus and repenting of your sins. As long as there is breath in you, it is not too late to enter into a right relationship with Jesus. It is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. It has been nearly 4 years since I decided to be baptized (and was, since it was April 11, 2012), and it was the best decision I ever made! Jesus has been changing my life for the better ever since and can do the same for you, if He has not already. For those of you who are in a soul-saving relationship with the Lord, keep sharing God’s word with others and keep living clean lives that honor and please the Lord.

I leave you with the following blessings: (from Numbers 6:24-26, and Colossians 1:9-12)

Numbers 6:24-26

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.

Colossians 1:9-12

“We (or in my case, I) ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live your lives will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you get to know God better and better. We (I) also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light.

wr1ghtlexi

February 16, 2016

Stay Tuned

Sorry for being away for so long again. I have been very sick on and off, and I do not remember if I mentioned this or not, but back in September, I sprained my back and injured my right knee. I have also been dealing with tons of drama that I am not sure I want to talk about at this point in time.

That being said, one good thing has come of this new year so far. I have a new laptop, thank You God, and I asked God to pick one out for me and I hope it is the one I am writing to you on right now because I believe it is. I also got a year of Microsoft Office (and a year of antivirus) so I hope to be writing again soon. I miss writing and I have lots to say to all of you. I have not been absent for lack of things to say, but because of headaches and not enough energy. I have been writing, but the things I have been writing are letters to God, writing how I feel and why (I will try to add more detail to this later), messages from God when I go to church and hear my ministers speak on Sundays, and I take notes at Wednesday night Bible Study too; I write down goals and how I plan to obtain them, grocery lists, to-do lists, and other important things I need to remember.

The only problem is, none of the above are forms of creative writing. Even this is not really creative writing because all I am doing is updating you with information, which does not require creativity. I hope to be well enough to get back to writing soon, so I can share more godly advice and also so that I can write other stuff I enjoy writing like short stories, screenplays, and inspirational books. I still have not been published yet, but I know God put a passion for writing inside of me so that I could be published and reach more people and save more souls. I just need to trust in God’s timing.

I think that is something many of us who believe have trouble with at least in one point in our walk with the Lord. Perfect faith does not happen overnight, but is a lifetime process, as we learn to know our Lord and Savior more and more on deeper levels as we seek to learn more about Him and gain the spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and understanding we need to better know and understand His character and His will for us. It is one thing to know facts about Jesus and God, but it is another to understand and to have a personal relationship with Them. With my passion for writing and my passion for seeing everyone saved, teamed with God’s will and purpose for my life, and promise to fulfill my desire to be a published writer, I hope to help people who currently do not know, or who need to relearn, the difference between knowing what is written in Scripture and knowing Jesus on a personal level.

For anyone who, like me, feels “stuck,” or like things will never get better, remember God’s loving and faithful promise in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Don’t give up, but hold firmly to your faith and whenever you know what step(s) God is asking you to take to show your faith, do it. If you do not feel equipped, pray to God about it and then when you have done what He has asked you to do, you will see positive results come from the step in faith you took. Stay tuned for more inspirational stuff to come (God willing).

May God bless you with peace and anything else you stand in need of.