Category: Bible Reflection & Challenge

Just Do It: Revisited

Just Do It: Revisited

Has someone ever told you to do something and when you asked why, they simply said, “Just do it?” When this happens, I can’t blame you for not wanting to do as you’re told. We all have the freedom to think for ourselves and decide to do what we’re asked to do or not.

How do we know if what someone asked us to do is beneficial to us or not? They can’t just expect us to take them at their word, right? But what if it’s God telling us something and adding, “Just do it.” Will that make a difference?

Bible Verse: Ecclesiastes 12:13, NIV

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”

Proverbs 1:7, NLT

The book of Ecclesiastes ends where the book of Proverbs begins (Proverbs 1:7), with an admonition for us to fear God. The fear of the Lord is that attitude of reverence and awe that His people show Him because they love Him. Christians also fear the Lord because they respect His power and His greatness.

The Fear of God

When a person fears God, he/she will pay attention to His Word and obey it. He or she will not tempt the Lord by deliberately disobeying or by playing with sin. An unholy fear makes people run away from God. But a holy fear brings them to their knees in loving submission to God.

The fear of the Lord must result in obedient living, otherwise, that “fear” is only a sham. One who is a dedicated believer will want to spend time daily in Scripture, getting to know the Father better and discovering His will.

Doing What is Right

There is a popular company today with the slogan, “Just Do It.” What does that mean? Could it mean we just do it because we think it is right? Or just do it because it feels good? Perhaps we just do it because the government approves of it?

Well, it sounds like “Just Do It” is based on the phrase, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Thus implying that our choices do not have consequences and we are not accountable to anyone but ourselves.

This is just outright unbiblical! Ecclesiastes 12:13 says humanity’s first duty is to fear God and His Word. Our first responsibility is not only to fear God because we are accountable to Him. If we continue reading Ecclesiastes 12:14, it says God will bring every work into judgment. God will judge even every secret thing we have done, whether good or bad.

We need to understand that God created life, therefore, He alone knows how to manage it. He wrote the instruction manual, and wise is the person who reads and obeys.

Doing Exactly As God Said

Final Words

I must reiterate that each of us has the freedom to make decisions for ourselves. When somebody tells you to do something, you have the right to decide whether you will do it or not. Even when the government or somebody in authority orders you to do something, you must think about the possible effects.

I’d say it’s another thing when it’s God telling Christians to just do it. We can trust that God desires what’s best for His children. God will never tell us to do something that would harm us.

God exhorted His born-again children to live in self-control daily (Galatians 5:23). With the help of the Holy Spirit, God will; enable us to make choices that honor Him rather than choices to please ourselves.

Every person, saved or lost, should ask themselves, “Am I living with a ‘Just do it’ attitude? Or am I living with the fear of God and making biblical choices?


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Saying Yes to God: How to Keep in Step with the Spirit by Timothy Geoffrion

Saying Yes to God: How to Keep in Step with the Spirit by Timothy Geoffrion Saying Yes to God is written to help maturing Christians better recognize the voice of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The book is a practical resource for those looking for fresh insight to break through barriers and personal limitations in their relationship with God.

In effect, this book offers hope to all those who earnestly want to know God better and to live Christ-centered, Spirit-led lives.

Readers will not feel judged or shamed but will hear a gentle but firm and persistent call to believe that God truly is at work in their lives, calling and leading them.

Not only can they learn to recognize the Spirit’s voice better, but they can learn how to work with God in tremendously satisfying and fruitful ways.

This book’s particular contribution lies in its simple presentation of important spiritual concepts, use of illustrations drawn from the author’s spiritual life coaching practice, and global teaching ministry.

It has a special emphasis on how to love others better as an outflow of one’s faith and personal relationship with God.

God’s New Commandment: Love One Another

God’s New Commandment: Love One Another

Many times unbelievers ask Christians to prove God exists, considering we cannot observe or perform a test on Him. So, how do we answer them?

For theologians and Bible scholars, this should be easy because they have studied the evidence for the existence of God. They know what questions atheists usually ask and know exactly how to address them.

But what about believers who did not go to Bible school but love the Lord and are passionate about God’s work? If you love the Lord, you will also enjoy communicating with Him. How do Christians communicate with God? We do this through prayer and reading God’s Word.

When people ask you to prove God’s existence, know that Jesus already answered this question in John 13:34-35.

Evidence for God's Existence

Bible Verse: John 13:34-35, NKJV

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

After announcing His departure and insisting that His disciples could not come with Him, Jesus laid out His expectation on them. Jesus said He expected them to follow His directives after He leaves them. He said that love is to serve as the distinguishing characteristic of discipleship.

A New Commandment

The commandment to love was not new. Deuteronomy 6:5 commanded love for God. and Leviticus 19:18 commanded loving one’s neighbor as oneself. See also Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8.

However, Jesus’ command regarding love presented a distinctly new standard for two reasons:

  • It was sacrificial love modeled after His love (“as I have loved you,” John 15:13).
  • It is produced through the New Covenant by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31:29-34; Ezekiel 36:24-26; Galatians 5:22).

What Jesus said in John 15:13 is the supreme evidence and expression of His love – His sacrificial death upon the cross. Christians are called to exemplify the same kind of sacrificial giving toward one another. Even if such sacrifice involves the laying down of one’s own life in imitation of Christ’s example (1 John 3:16).

The Evidence of God in Christians

The evidence of God is found in His children. It is human nature to hate, judge, lie, steal, and control. It’s also human nature to try to one-up somebody else to feel better about themselves. But Jesus taught the complete opposite of that.

We prove the existence of God by how well we love other believers. Since nobody deserves God’s unconditional love, it is miraculous to see believers unconditionally loving all other believers. The shameful reality is some Christians only love if we follow their list of rules. That is just hypocritical and judgmental.

Jesus never put conditions on when to love the brethren. He said we are to love one another at all times (Romans 12:9-10).

Devoted to One Another

Love is the supreme NT virtue, which centers completely on the needs and welfare of the one loved and does whatever is necessary to meet those needs. Christians should show their love purely and sincerely without self-centeredness or guile.

Romans 12:9-10

As Christians, we are to be devoted to one another in love. This means we must love other believers with a family sort of love, not based on personal attraction or desirability. This quality is the primary way the world can recognize us as followers of Christ.

We are to honor one another and show genuine appreciation, and admiration for fellow believers by putting them first (Philippians 2:3).

Concluding Words

I know how it feels to be judged falsely, and how it feels to be loved unconditionally.

I praise God for the fact that all believers will give account to God for how we loved others as Romans 14:12 says. Sure; we are not responsible for how others treat us. We are only responsible for how we respond to them.

I am reminded of how Jesus responded to the mockery and hatred of the Sanhedrin. He could have destroyed them all but He chose to suffer so that you and I could be born again.

Jesus did not have to die but He offered Himself so that we may have eternal life. That should humble us all to love the brethren despite their actions. This is God’s new but not new commandment. We should love one another as Jesus loved us and gave Himself up for us.

How well are we loving our brethren?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

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311 Ways to Be a “One-Another” Christian: Loving Others with the Love of Jesus by Stuart Scott and Andrew Jin

311 Ways to Be a “One-Another” Christian: Loving Others with the Love of Jesus by Stuart Scott and Andrew Jin “Nobody reaches out to me when I go to church.” “This church really isn’t much of a family.”

Have you heard these kinds of comments? How sad if they are true, especially as God’s Word has so much to say about how believers should interact with one another!

An array of interpersonal problems between spouses, children, parents, siblings, friends, and coworkers can easily develop, but if you are a Christian, you can put the Bible’s message into practice and see how radically it transforms your relationships with others.

By carefully examining the “one another” commands in Scripture, the authors provide a Word-based understanding of what God intends for Christian relationships – showing not only what they look like, but also how to develop them.

Enjoy reading and sharing this book; it’s very well-suited for individuals, couples, and small groups.

God and Government Revisited

God and Government Revisited

Should the government always consider what God has to say when making legislation? Why does it matter to consult God when discussing matters about government authority?

In this short Bible verse and reflection, we will revisit what the Bible has to say about God and the government.

Bible Verse: Proverbs 14:34, NKJV

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Although Israel is the only nation that has a special covenant relationship with God, the principle of this proverb still stands.

Deuteronomy chapter 12, Amos chapters 1 to 2, and Romans 1:18-32 make it clear that God judges the Gentile nations for their sins. This is so even if God didn’t give them the same law that He gave to Israel (Psalm 147:19-20).

National leaders can’t escape the judgment of God when they lead the people away from God’s holy standards. Legalizing sin doesn’t make it right!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord

America and the Bible

I have heard multiple individuals from different groups including pastors say they believe in the separation of church and state. The secular community would say that means the separation of God from everyday life and government.

Did you know that the USA is a Constitutional Republic? That means that every citizen is equal under the law. There should not be anyone exempt from the law. Do you have an objective or unchanging standard to say all people are equal and deserve fairness?

I think it is funny that the slogan “Make America Great Again” is found in Proverbs 14:34. Replace the words “a nation” with America and realize that “exalts” is just another word that means “to make great.” ☺

Related Article: Politics and the Bible: Are they Compatible?

Regardless of how you feel about the 45th POTUS, God’s principle remains. A nation that chooses to disobey God’s law and a leader who leads the people to sin will suffer God’s judgment. This is not to say that leaders can’t and won’t stumble in their governance. The issue here is their willingness to submit to God’s authority and lead according to God’s standards.

I find it disheartening that some candidates for the upcoming US Midterm Elections are promising to codify abortion. It’s bad enough that some states have made abortion up to the moment of birth legal. But that’s not enough, is it? They want to pass killing defenseless babies in the womb into law!

Whatever happened to the nation whose constitution was founded on Biblical principles and Judeo-Christian values? How did we allow this to happen?

Last Words

The problem is that many people do not believe in a moral objective standard to determine what is righteous. What is your objective standard? It is also obvious that if righteousness is the standard for greatness, it would be spelled out in Scripture as well.

How well are you looking for that standard?

The founders of America knew that the population needed to be righteous for America to be great so that the government would not need to control the people. The only way to be truly free is to be personally free of sin as the entire verse is saying.

Are you righteous before God? The greatness of America is found in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ who died and rose again to save sinners. Are we exalting or shaming our nation? How righteous are you?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the TruthDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened regarding:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • Loving God and others
  • Discerning God’s will for your life
  • Being confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

God’s Unfathomable Love for You & Me

God’s Unfathomable Love for You & Me

The Bible assures us in many places of God’s unfathomable love for you and me. This is what caused Him to sacrifice His Son on the cross so we could have eternal life (John 3:16). But God’s love does not end at the cross.

As Christ ascended into heaven, He promised that He will be back. He also promised His disciples that He will go to prepare a place for them. And then He will come back for them (John 14:1-3). Church-age believers, that includes us, are recipients of that promise.

There are other promises of God for those that love Him; promises that we may not be able to understand.

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Some say that this verse refers to the wonders of heaven. But others say it refers to the wisdom God has prepared for the believers. Regardless, God’s truth is not discoverable by eye or ear, nor is it discovered by the mind.

What does it Mean that God is Love
Photo Credit: Compelling Truth

Freewill to Choose

Physical death is not the end.

Everyone will spend eternity somewhere. But because God is love, He gave us the freedom to choose. Didn’t God allow Adam to choose to eat the forbidden fruit or not? Sure He did! He gave Adam a specific command about what to eat and what not to eat. But God would never force Adam to do anything against his will.

In the end, Adam chose to sin by deliberately disobeying God. As a result, sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men (Romans 5:12). Even after Christ redeemed man from the power of sin and death, many people are still choosing sin over God. Why?

It’s because God is love that He will honor whatever choice people make, even if it means letting them walk right into hell. This is because sin has a cost and that is death – separation from God (Romans 6:23). But if you choose God, you can also do it through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

God’s Truth is the Truth

Much of the suffering in this life is the result of sin. Humanity has placed a curse on this world. We would not want to live forever in a sin-cursed body. Just because people do not believe they are sinners, does not mean they aren’t.

People do not get to decide the truth. The truth is The Truth, regardless of what you and I believe.

God indeed uses suffering and pain to mature us as James 1:2-12 says. But God also uses suffering so that He might bless us for overcoming.

Romans 5:12, NKJV

An excellent example would be Job. He lost everything except his ungrateful wife. God allowed Job to be tempted by Satan because God’s plan always transcends Satan’s plan. God already knew He promised to bless those that overcome.

People were not created to suffer for the gods as Hollywood has said in their movies. That is totally and utterly wrong. Death and suffering are the results of our sin (Romans 5:12).

Closing Words

The only way to reverse this cycle of sin, suffering, and death is to love God. We may never be able to love God the same way He loves us. All we can do is love Him the best way we can. What does it mean to love God?

Once again, we don’t get to define what love looks like. John 14:15 says we will keep God’s word if we truly love Him. God does not allow us to cherry-pick from the Bible, what we want to follow or not.

God loves you & me; He loves everyone that He wants to save everyone (Titus 2:11). But we must choose God over sin. Have you made that choice?

We only have a certain amount of time until Judgment Day. Are we ready for that?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened regarding:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • Loving God and others
  • Discerning God’s will for your life
  • Being confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Arise Conquerors through Christ

Arise Conquerors through Christ

Coming to faith in Christ is no guarantee of a smooth and easy life. Just because you trusted in the Lord that you will no longer go through trials and tribulations. We all have our own “goliaths” to face. There are even times when we feel like the whole world is against us.

But in facing all these hurdles in life, we are more than conquerors through Christ.

Bible Verse: Romans 8:37, NKJV

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

In the NASB, it says we “overwhelmingly conquer” because of Christ. This is a compound Greek word that means to over-conquer or to conquer completely. It means we can get past all these without any real threat to personal life or health.

The Love of God for Man
Photo Credit: Bible.Com

When you are going through tough times and you prayed but God seems silent, don’t ever think that He does not care. God is concerned about the trials of His people. When He was ministering on earth, Jesus groaned at the sight of what sin was doing to humankind.

The world may condemn us because it does not agree with our response to trials. But as believers in Christ, God no longer condemns us because of what our Lord has done for us. We may face persecution because of who we are in Christ but we can and will overcome it.

The Uncertainties of Life

Life is hard. Life is uncertain. And we do not know what tomorrow will bring. How should we respond?

Today, the US is starting to feel discomfort with supply chain disruptions. Many Americans are having trouble looking for the things they need. Grocery shelves are almost empty and we don’t know when these supplies will last. I feel sorry for parents who couldn’t find milk formula for their babies.

Add to that the worst inflation that America ever had to face. Who would have thought that we would ever be in this situation? This inflation crisis has gotten worse it’s affecting the rest of the world. And what about the rising crime rates?

I am writing this while being currently laid off from my job as a result of the supply chain disruptions. This just shows how everyone’s circumstances can change quickly. Thankfully, God’s love for us does not. God always takes care of born-again Christians.

Christians are Conquerors

I am sure some unbelievers will claim God’s promise in Romans 8:28, 33-34. But the context excludes all unbelievers. Rather, these verses refer to those people that are born again.

Unbelievers don’t love God; they are not called and justified. More importantly, Jesus only intercedes for the born again. This is because only the born-again Christians have accepted God’s gift of salvation.

If you have never accepted that free gift of salvation, Jesus wants you to receive it. Why not ask Him now?

All things work together for good

Living as Conquerors

For those of us that have accepted that gift, nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35). It does not matter how much trouble we will have to go through. God loves us unconditionally and nothing will ever change that. Not even the forces of darkness can pull us away from God’s love in Christ Jesus.

Jesus taught us in Matthew 10:28 that believers should not even fear death. Fear is the opposite of faith and without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

The hard part is responding by living by faith. Are you living by faith and not by sight? Do you live like you’re more than a conqueror because of Christ? Or do you often worry and anxious about so many things? Always keep in mind that worry and anxiety is sin according to Philippians 4:6.

Final Words

When we live like we are more than conquerors, we will receive the peace of God as Philippians 4:7 says.

God has shown Himself faithful in my wife’s and my life many times. The moment I was told I would be laid off for more than 2 weeks, I did not worry. It’s because I had peace that God has everything under control as Romans 8:28 says.

I know many people do not have that peace. Do you? If not, why not ask for it? Since God has promised it, why not claim it?

We can conquer everything because we have Christ. So, arise conquerors!


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

More Than Conquerors: Portraits of Believers from All Walks of Life by John D, Woodbridge

More Than Conquerors by John D. WoodbridgeOver the centuries, God has used the lives of Christians to show an astonishing world what conquest truly is. That’s what makes More Than Conquerors such a remarkable collection.

More Than Conquerors will tell you about public figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Woodrow Wilson; missionaries who struggled with the same human flaws as every other Christian – and triumphed.

There are famous writers – some of whom you may never have been told were believers; evangelists, and pastors who experienced the joy of seeing mass conversions and the anguish of witnessing a wholesale rejection of the gospel.

Lastly, there are some celebrities and sports stars who fought the temptations of fame to give glory to Christ; and scientists, businessmen, and scholars who dedicated their minds and talents to glorify God in often spiritually hostile territory.

More Than Conquerors is a treasury of stories of more than sixty Christians from this century and the last whom God has made “more than conquerors.”

By letting their lives touch yours you can be confident when you walk that same victorious path.

Hope in the Lord’s Faithfulness

Hope in the Lord’s Faithfulness

In times when everything seems to be going south, we become dismayed and we lose hope. When things aren’t going the way we want them to, we lament and feel hopeless. Sometimes we even question if God loves us and cares about us.

The Old Testament saints were not spared from disappointment and hopelessness. But they clung to the Lord and hold on to God’s promise that He will deliver them. They trusted God knowing that they could count on the Lord’s faithfulness.

Bible Verses: Lamentations 3:26 & Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

“It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

“Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure. For my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked at all the works that my hands had done and the labor in which I had toiled. And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.”

Jeremiah Laments

The majority portion of the book of Lamentations laments over the apostasy and destruction of Judah. The apostasy and destruction were because the Jews were looking for purpose, meaning, and hope without turning to God.

These tragic events would not have occurred if the people had listened to him and obeyed God’s will.

After describing in chapters 1 and 2 the plight of the city and the people, Jeremiah describes his own personal pain and distress in chapter 3. He compared his experience to tasting the bitter herbs at the Passover feast or drinking bitter gall (Lamentations 3:15-16).

The Siege of Jerusalem
Photo Credits: The Times of Israel

The prophet speaks for himself, but as he does, he also reflects the feelings and faith of the godly Jewish remnants.

In the end, Jeremiah turned from contemplating his misery to remembering God’s mercy. He still experienced pain and sorrow, but he also called to mind the faithfulness of the Lord.

As Jeremiah contemplated the character of God, he realized that the best thing he and his people could do was wait. They had to wait patiently and silently for the Lord to work and accomplish His will in His time.

The Futility of Everything

Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, is a good example who experienced pain and heartache because he fulfilled every desire. He found delight in all his labor. But afterward, when he considered all his works, he saw only vanity and grasping for the wind.

Ecclesiastes 2 describes what Solomon did during his life. He easily could be described as the wealthiest man in the world. Yet, nothing he did brought him purpose, joy, and hope. Ecclesiastes 2:11 summarizes what all his effort and money brought to him. All of it was pointless and hopeless.

Hope in the Lord

This world is always changing. Everything dies or breaks down eventually. When we die, we die alone and cannot take anything with us. Solomon was asking what is the point of this struggle.

It does not matter the money we have or the authority or possessions anybody has. Life is a rat race and we are all trying to get a piece of cheese. From the world’s perspective, we get the phrase, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.”

That describes a hopeless existence and causes vexation to our spirit. That is the reason why anxiety, depression, suicide, drug abuse, etc. rates are skyrocketing today. We are not able to find hope in ourselves, in our endeavors, or in science.

People are looking for a reason to live. Hopelessness does not need to be our final answer. Solomon ends the book of Ecclesiastes by saying hope, purpose, and joy are found in God. Love God and Love others. Trust God to fulfill His Word.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.

Find Your Purpose in God

Everyone will give an account before a Holy and Righteous God. Even though we are sinners and no man can stand before God, Jesus provided a way to become righteous. That is how much compassion God has for us.

God allowed us to love Him as His holiness desires. We find hope and purpose in loving God as He wants to be loved as described in His Word. God fulfills His Word and blesses us when we trust Him and patiently wait on Him.

Final Thoughts

There is no hope in this world without God.

If the Lord is our strength (Psalm 73:26), then we are strengthened by that which cannot be used up or destroyed. God is our eternal source of hope, strength, and blessing; He is our refuge (Psalm 46:1).

Our circumstances change, and so do our feelings about them. But God is always good, loving, merciful, and kind, and He never changes (Hebrews 13:8).

Many people are living a miserable existence because they don’t have any hope for tomorrow. For the Christians reading this, are you actively trying to give hope to the hopeless?

For those feeling hopeless, why not turn to God and ask Him to give you hope?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

One Foot in Heaven: Finding Hope in the Hopeless by Sheila Preston Fitzgerald

One Foot in Heaven: Finding Hope in the Hopeless by Sheila Preston FitzgeraldSupernatural Rescue. Severe Suffering.

Mind-blowing Resilience. Endless Inspiration.

A tragic near-death accident turns triumphant and even joy-filled as the God of Grace pours His lavish love onSheila Preston Fitzgerald, a Southern belle who brings her tenacious, can-do spirit to the fight for her life.

While several years of tremendous pain, multiple surgeries, daily physical therapy, and the ever-present risk of serious setbacks take a toll on all aspects of Sheila’s life, her grit to go on, her passion for life, and the above-and-beyond love of her “village” of friends encourage everyone she encounters.

Join Sheila as she recounts her heartfelt—at times horrific, at times hilarious—journey. From one night that changed everything to her spiritual healing with the Savior, Sheila passes along incredible hope as she walks with One Foot in Heaven.

Mental Illness & Spiritual Warfare

Mental Illness & Spiritual Warfare

Dealing with mental illness or depression could be one of the most difficult things some of us would have to go through. But this is not anything ordinary. We can say that this has something to do with the spiritual warfare that we could be facing.

How then should Christians handle this kind of situation?

Bible Verse: 1 Kings 19:4, NKJV

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

Background of the Passage

Elijah Runs for His Life
Elijah Flees from Jezebel

When Jezebel issued her murderous threat against Elijah, the victor of the Mount Carmel showdown ran for his life.

The combination of emotional burnout, weariness, hunger, and a deep sense of failure brought Elijah into a deep depression.

We can see that in this particular instance, Elijah exhibited a lack of faith. But an element of pride and some self-pity were also involved. Elijah was sure that his courageous ministry on Mount Carmel would bring the nation to its knees.

Perhaps he was also hoping that Ahab and Jezebel would repent and turn from Baal to Jehovah. But Elijah’s expectations weren’t fulfilled, so he considered himself a failure and would rather die.

Since Israelites believed that suicide was an affront to the Lord, it was not an option. So, Elijah asked the Lord for death because he viewed the situation as hopeless.

Struggling with Insecurity

Recently, I have become aware that I struggle with insecurity. This is because I have a strong desire to be heard. I desire others to follow me as I follow Christ and I desire the approval of others.

Like many people, I have sought the validation of others. It never occurred to me that I struggled with insecurity. When God brought this to my attention, He also brought 1 Kings chapters 18 and 19 to my attention.

Elijah, a man of God, also struggled with insecurity that led to his depression. Multiple times Elijah said that he was the only prophet of God. He even said it in his speech on Mount Carmel to the people (1 Kings 18:22).

No doubt, loneliness can make anyone insecure. Although God gave Elijah victory in his spiritual battle at Mount Carmel, he still ended up depressed. Despite the victory, a powerful demon took possession of Jezebel and triggered a deep depression in Elijah.

Winning a Spiritual Warfare

Some people would say that spiritual warfare is not in this passage. That begs the question, “What caused such a radical change from a great victory to a despondent life? Why was Elijah so afraid of a woman who threatened to kill him?”

The answer is in 2 Corinthians 10:4. Many believers today do not realize that the church is involved in warfare. And those who do not understand the seriousness of the Christian battle do not always know how to fight the battle. They try to use human methods to defeat demonic forces, and these methods are doomed to fail.

Ephesians 6:12 also talks about wrestling against the powers and principalities of the air. Satan is a strong enemy and we need the power of God to be able to stand against him. We must never underestimate the power of the devil.

Christians are in spiritual warfare but their enemy is not people but rather the spiritual forces of darkness. This is why God harshly condemned consulting witches and magic practices in the Old Testament. These activities are an abomination to the Lord and dangerous for anyone’s spiritual well-being.

2 Corinthians 10:4, NLT

Victorious in Christ

As we draw closer and closer to the return of Christ, demonic forces are working harder to lead us astray. Satan and his minions are working hard to discourage Christians and lead them into depression.

Do not allow the enemy to control you and make you believe you are defeated. God has already won the victory. Think about those times when you thought you’d lost and yet, in the end, you won because of God’s power.

Mental illness is a reality and so is spiritual warfare. But Satan has already been defeated by the death and resurrection of Christ. Do not ever give the enemy a chance to rule your life again.

We are victorious because of what our Lord has done; always keep that in mind.

Concluding Words

Knowing that the enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, are you engaged in holy living? How well are you encouraging other Christians toward holy living?

As the church, we are in this spiritual warfare together and God is always with us. But Christians should also be working together toward the same goal. How are you contributing?

If a powerful and anointed prophet of God got attacked by spiritual forces, we are not exempted. Just because we might suffer from mental illness does not mean God does not have a purpose for us.

Anyone can overcome through the power of Jesus (Romans 8:37).


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Depression by Sarah J. Robinson

Dealing with Anxiety and DepressionWhat happens when loving Jesus doesn’t cure you of depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts? You might be crushed by shame over your mental illness, only to be told by well-meaning Christians to “choose joy” and “pray more.”

So you beg God to take away the pain, but nothing eases the ache inside. As darkness lingers and the color drains from your world, you’re left wondering if God has abandoned you.

You just want a way out.

But there’s hope.

In I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die, Sarah J. Robinson offers a healthy, practical, and shame-free guide for Christians struggling with mental illness.

With unflinching honesty, Sarah shares her story of battling depression and fighting to stay alive despite toxic theology that made her afraid to seek help outside the church.

Pairing her own story with scriptural insights, mental health research, and simple practices, Sarah helps you reconnect with the God who is present in our deepest anguish and discover that you are worth everything it takes to get better.

Beautifully written and full of hard-won wisdom, I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die offers a path toward a rich, hope-filled life in Christ, even when healing doesn’t look like what you expect.

Christians Should Sanctify One Another

Christians Should Sanctify One Another

Christians know very well that their sanctification or cleansing comes from God and His Word. But Christians also have the responsibility to sanctify one another. This is one of the purposes of the church. Believers are not only called to encourage and edify one another but also to sanctify.

Bible Verse: John 13:10, NKJV

Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

Obviously, Jesus was not talking literally. Everybody gets dirty. Our entire body gets dirty. Jesus is referencing our spiritual cleanness.

Romans 12:2a

The cleansing that Christ does in the life of a sinner who trusted in Him is complete and permanent. However, as the believer walks in this world, it is easy to become defiled. He does not need to bathe again but needs constant cleansing from everything that caused his defilement.

God is faithful; He promises to cleanse us when we confess our sins to Him (1 John 1:9).

Sanctify One Another

While God promised to continually cleanse us, we have the responsibility to sanctify our spiritual brethren. The Lord’s instruction to His followers (this includes us) is clear. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

How, then, should Christians sanctify one another? By constantly reminding each other of the sacrifice God made to redeem us from sin. It’s our responsibility to rebuke our brethren when we see them going off the rails.

The reality is, that we tend to forget the cost of our salvation which often leads us to a compromised lifestyle. In this regard, we need other Christians to remind us. We may feel offended but that’s what having a spiritual family is about. After all, God expects us to look out for one another.

And should we have friends and family who are going the wrong path, it’s our job to get them back on track. We must do what it takes for them to go back to their first love.

Defiled by the World

At the moment of salvation, Jesus cleanses the sinner completely. That begs the question, why do the feet of believers still get dirty? John 17:18 answers this question. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

God has sent us to a dirty world. He has sent us to share the good news of the gospel to a lost, dying, and dirty world. As we go into a dirty world, our feet are going to get dirty since the primary mode of transportation was on foot.

This is where Christian fellowship and community are critical for spiritually washing the feet of others as John 13:14 says. It’s also why the author of Hebrews exhorted the church to “not forsake our assembling together” (Hebrews 10:25). It’s pretty easy for us to go back into the “world” after coming to the truth of God’s amazing grace.

This is why we need to be in constant fellowship with other Christians.

Do Not Give Up Meeting Together

Sanctified by God’s Truth

In John 17:17, Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

God gave His truth to us in three “editions.” His Word is truth (John 17:17), His Son is the truth (John 14:6), and His Spirit is the truth (1 John 5:6). We need all three for a true sanctification experience; sanctification that touches every part of our inner person.

With the mind, we learn God’s truth through the Word. With the heart, we love God’s truth, His Son. And with the will, we yield to the Spirit and live God’s truth day by day. It takes all three for a balanced experience of sanctification.

Sanctification by Washing

Washing the feet of other believers is another way of saying “to sanctify each other.” God uses other believers and the Bible to bring about sanctification by showing humility and using the water of the Word. Christians sanctify one another by humility and submission as the Word of God commands.

What the Lord showed when He washed His disciples’ feet with water is the greatest example of humility. If the King of kings and Lord of lords stoop down to wash His disciples’ feet, why can’t we do the same to one another? We must always remember what the Lord said in Matthew 23:12 and Matthew 20:26.

If we want to grow and experience true sanctification, we need to wash one another’s feet. It is important to note that God wants all Christians to grow spiritually. That is sanctification.

Conclusion

Sanctification is an ongoing transformation or renewal of our actions, thought processes, and attitudes so that we live a Christ-like life. That is the will of God for our life.

Jesus wants us to be transformed so much to the point that we are willing to humbly sacrifice for other believers. We do this by using the Word to bring about sanctification in others.

Jesus did it for us. We can do it for others. How well are we washing the feet of other believers?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Sanctification: God’s Passion for His People by John MacArthur

Sanctification: God’s Passion for His People by John MacArthur

Among all the things that a pastor will do on any given day, he must not lose sight of his one ultimate goal: the sanctification of God’s people. This is the heart of God’s purpose for Christians.

John MacArthur calls pastors to remember what all the countless hours preparing sermons, visiting hospitals, counseling, conducting weddings, and more are all about, even when the finish line seems so far in the distance that they’re tempted to give up.

He encourages pastors with the power God gives them to place the sanctification of God’s people at the center of their ministry.

“Sanctification is a powerful tract for our times―a purposefully short book. You can read it in an hour or two, but its goal is the transformation of the rest of your life.”

― Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries

Vulnerability Because of Spiritual Blindness

Vulnerability Because of Spiritual Blindness

We are all prone to vulnerability at some point in our lives. Whether it be physically, emotionally, or spiritually. In the spiritual sense, spiritual blindness is one of the common reasons for vulnerability.

Thus, we need spiritual discernment that comes from God alone. We cannot live a victorious Christian life if we allow the enemy to deceive us. But what about those who are still in darkness? How can they remain alert if they remain spiritually blind?

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Christian vs Unbeliever

The contrast here is very clear; it’s between the Christian and the unsaved person. The Christian (spiritual) who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and the unbeliever who does not have the Holy Spirit.

The “natural man” refers to the unconverted who lacks supernatural life and wisdom. But through the illumination of the Word, the Holy Spirit provides the saints the capacity to discern divine truths. This is in contrast to the spiritually dead who are unable to comprehend.

The doctrine of illumination does not mean we would know everything and do not need teachers; we do. Also, we need to keep studying the Word of God to gain an understanding of what God wants is telling us.

The Doctrine of Illumination

Winning Spiritual Warfare

As Christians, we are in a spiritual war. We do not war against flesh and blood but spiritual forces as Ephesians 6:12 says.

Wrestling (struggle) features trickery and deception, like Satan and his hosts when they attack. Coping with deceptive temptation requires truth and righteousness. Yet, our enemies are the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms. These are the entire realm of spiritual beings.

They want to kill, steal, and destroy spiritually as John 10:10 says. Those evil spiritual forces want to destroy as many people as they can. As we near the end of the age, Satan’s forces are succeeding at destroying more and more lives. This is primarily because of the belief that there is no truth.

We need the Holy Spirit’s illumination if we want to win our spiritual battle.

The Power of the Truth

Most people hold to the belief that nobody is always right and nobody has the right to judge. This makes them completely vulnerable to the spiritual war around them. Without the armor of God described in Ephesians 6:11-17, it is impossible to defend or fight against these spiritual evil forces.

Just because we cannot see them with our physical eyes does not mean they are not there. It is impossible to put on the armor of God without the Holy Spirit as 1 Corinthians 2:13 says. Not to mention the first article of armor is like a belt of truth. It would be impossible to possess a belt of truth if we did not believe that truth even exists.

As an important side note, the belt of truth also tied several other pieces of armor together so that there are never any gaps between the pieces. 1 Corinthians 2:13 (NIV), “but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”

Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach us (John 14:26) and guide us into truth (John 16:13). But we must note carefully the sequence here. The Spirit taught Paul from the Word; then Paul taught the believers. We cannot know the truth from just any other source/s. We find the truth of God only in the Word of God.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood

Only Jesus Saves

Man’s wisdom teaches there are no consequences and hence people believe whatever they want. This includes many different philosophies and religions across the world, not realizing they are blinded to what God said. The only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are explicit!

No one is good enough to get to heaven. Only Jesus can save us from our sin. The question is whether people are willing to humble themselves before God. Would you ask for forgiveness by recognizing the finished work of Jesus Christ?

That is what the Holy Spirit teaches. He cannot teach error which should be evident by the word Holy, but that does not mean everyone is a perfect student. No student gets 100% all the time. All unbelievers get failing grades and only spiritual Christians receive good grades from the Holy Spirit.

Closing Words

You can win against Satan and his minions by not allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Do not remain spiritually blind. Instead, allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten you with the truth of God’s Word.

The question is which attitude will you have about truth? Do you believe that only God defines “the truth?” Is it your belief that Jesus Christ revealed the truth as explained in the Holy Bible? Or do you believe that you get to define truth?

If this is so, then you would have to suffer the consequences as a result.

Choose wisely!


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • Loving God and others
  • Discerning God’s will for your life
  • Being confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Is God Always Morally Upright?

Is God Always Morally Upright?

Does God have negative characteristics? Or is He the epitome of moral uprightness?

We know of God’s natural and moral attributes. God is love, holy, just, compassionate, forgiving, etc. In short, God is a good God and He is good all the time. But what about the seemingly negative character traits of God that we read in certain Bible passages?

So, is God really good? Or does He sometimes exhibit character traits that are contrary to His natural and moral attributes?

Bible Verse: Nahum 1:2, NKJV

God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies.”

7 God's Number of Perfection

The intended target of Nahum’s message is the people of Nineveh. Yet the broader audience was made up of God’s people living under the fear of the Assyrians. These people are desperate for a word of hope. And God delivered that message through Nahum.

Three important words in Nahum’s opening lines need our attention because they all relate to the character of God. Nahum used these words to describe God’s character: jealousy, vengeance, and wrath (rage).

These terms have human expressions, but we must understand them carefully when they are applied to God. He is awesome in His jealousy, vengeance, and rage.

Jealousy

Jealousy is a sin if it means being envious of what others have and wanting to possess it.

It’s quite common for neighbors, even siblings, and in-laws, to be envious of each other. For instance, neighbor A isn’t happy that neighbor B has a big, fully furnished house, a brand new car, and a huge swimming pool.

Neighbor B, on the other hand, is bitter towards neighbor A because the latter has a better-looking husband than her. In addition, neighbor A has 3 beautiful children while she is childless. This kind of jealousy is bad and believers should not feel this way towards one another (Galatians 5:26).

However, jealousy is a virtue if it means cherishing what we have and wanting to protect it. A faithful husband and wife are jealous over one another and do everything they can to keep their relationship exclusive.

“Jealous” and “zealous” come from the same root. When we are jealous over someone, we’re zealous to protect the relationship. Since God made everything and owns everything, He is envious of no one. But since He is the only true God, He is jealous over His glory and His name. God is also jealous over the worship and honor that are due to Him alone.

See Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; 32:16; Joshua 24:19; & Isaiah 42:8.

Isaiah 42:8, NASB

Vengeance

In Scripture, vengeance is usually presented as a sin. Both Jesus and Paul warned about it (Matthew 5:38-48; Romans 12:17-21).

The OT law of “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” was never intended to be applied by individuals in the OT or NT. But it was a standard for the collective society to use to enforce good conduct among people.

But a just and holy God cannot see people flouting His law and do nothing about it. “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense … I will render vengeance to My enemies, and repay those who hate Me.” (Deuteronomy 32:35, 41).

The manner and timing of the repayment of man’s wickedness is God’s prerogative. God takes vengeance by judging people because He is holy and jealous (zealous) for His holy law. God’s anger isn’t like human anger, which can be selfish and out of control. His is holy anger, a righteous indignation against all that defies His authority and disobeys His law.

Wrath/Rage

Nahum wrote that “the Lord avenges and is furious” (Nahum 1:1). In verse 6, Nahum says the Lord’s anger is so powerful like a fire that it throws down the rocks. But then Nahum 1:3 assures us that God’s wrath isn’t a fit of rage or a temper tantrum. “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power.”

See also Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; Jonah 4:2.

On the human level, we immediately think of Jesus taking angry action in the Temple courts, driving out the money changers (Matthew 21:12-13). But His godly rage was always under control. God is not a mad man who easily gets angry over shallow and irrelevant issues.

Let Jesus be our role model in controlling our anger. It’s not a sin to get angry. But what could lead us to sin is what we do or say in our anger. Some people cannot manage their anger and they tend to become violent. They may shout or scream at people while others like to throw things.

God’s people ought to exercise holy anger against sin (Ephesians 4:26; Psalm 4:4). By NT standards, anger can be either good or bad, depending on motive and purpose. When Paul said, “Be angry and do not sin,” he may have been sanctioning righteous indignation.

This type of anger hates injustice, immorality, ungodliness, and every other sin. When such anger is unselfish and based on love for God and others, it is not only permissible but commanded.

In Your Anger, Do Not Sin

Conclusion

God’s jealousy, wrath, and desire to avenge do not negate His moral character of love, compassion, and goodness. It’s because God is holy and just that He won’t sit idly by and let the wicked go unpunished.

Sometimes, it could be difficult to reconcile God’s love and wrath. If God is a loving, forgiving, and compassionate God, why would He want to punish anyone eternally in hell? Again, it’s because God is holy and He demands justice for sin. And it is for this reason that God sent His Son to die on the cross to save us from eternal condemnation in hell (John  3:16).

We are all sinners; we sinned against God and arouse His jealousy and anger. We deserve to suffer God’s wrath and vengeance and be separated eternally from God. But God is morally upright. He does not want to punish us without giving us a chance to repent and make things right with Him.

If you haven’t yet repented of your sin and rebellion, would you do it today and receive God’s forgiveness? Would you confess Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life and live and serve Him for the rest of your life?

Sinner’s Prayer

If God is convicting you of your sin right now, you may pray this short prayer wholeheartedly.

Dear God,

I thank you for your gift of eternal life. I acknowledge that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness and salvation because I cannot save myself. I repent of all my sins and I put my complete trust in you alone, Lord Jesus, as my Savior. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for my sins on the cross, and that He rose from the dead to redeem me. I invite you now Lord Jesus to come into my heart and life. Thank you for your wonderful grace and forgiveness. I ask that you write my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do not delay for tomorrow may be too late. Now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

God, Himself: A Journey Through His Attributes by Tony Evans

God, Himself: A Journey Through His Attributes by Tony EvansHow often do we stop to consider who the God is that we worship?

When we draw near and learn more about this God, we become amazed at who He truly is. Join Tony Evans as he dives into the character of our awesome God—one attribute at a time.

In God, Himself, we are invited, with unveiled faces, to behold the glory of the Lord—just as the Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians to do.

Dr. Evans offers insights about the character of God that will challenge you to pursue greater intimacy with Him and help you understand more fully what it means to be made in His image.

For after all, as image-bearers knowing who He is defines who we are.

You’ll learn about attributes like God’s wisdom and word, His sufficiency, and sovereignty, and His goodness, grace, and glory that make Him the great God that He is.

Dr. Evans also includes activities and challenges to help you know how to both process and respond to learning about God.

Find your heart encouraged and your worship enriched as you learn about the beautiful nature of our God, the source of all goodness and life.