Category: Christian Growth

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

Everybody has a story to tell and can make some people hopeful. But not every story gives everyone hope; only His story does. If there is one story that made great history, it’s none other than what God has done.

The Bible tells us that God sent His only begotten Son as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). Man was in a state of condemnation as a result of Adam’s rebellion. But God loved us so much that He did not want us to perish.

So, He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross on our behalf (John 3:16). And the Son humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

Indeed, His story is nothing like anybody else’s.

Bible Verse: Romans 15:4, NKJV

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Here, the apostle Paul was referring to the divinely revealed Old Testament as that which was written for our instruction.

It’s true; Christians live under the New Covenant and are not under the authority of the Old Covenant. But God’s moral law has not changed and all Scripture is of spiritual benefit. See 1 Corinthians 10:6, 10, 11, and 2 Peter 20-21.

Paul’s description of the benefits of Scripture certainly includes the NT but speaks primarily about the OT sacred writings. Without the clear and certain promises of the Word of God, believers have no basis for hope.

A World of Hopelessness

Hopelessness is at an all-time high. Between depression, anxiety, drug abuse, pain, sex abuse, etc, there is no doubt that many souls are looking for hope. The problem is hope cannot be found in this world.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1 says that hope can only be found in the unseen. Nothing that can be seen or touched or tasted is worth trusting in. Everything in this world will be burnt up and destroyed. They don’t have any eternal value.

So many people place their value and identity in things of this world. It’s because they do not realize that those things cannot give them what they are looking for. They are looking in all the wrong places.

Hope is Found in His Story

Romans 15:4 says that hope is found in His story. God’s story is written down in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. He wrote down the literal history of how He is giving hope to humanity. God did this knowing that only some will receive it.

Even though we cannot see God, that does not mean He isn’t there. He is good at working behind the scene. Yet we can see the evidence of God working as John 3:8 says.

Although John 3:8 is referring to evidence of salvation, God also works in our everyday lives. The problem is with us because too many people doubt God is there and thus cannot work. We should trust God even if we do not see the works of His hands. God gives evidence after we believe, trust and hope in Him.

Closing Words

In this world full of chaos, everybody longs to have even the smallest glitter of hope. Hope keeps us going in life despite all the trials and difficulties. Without hope, we would all give up and let the enemy win without putting up a fight.

We all want to live a life full of hope and encouragement. But how do we achieve this?

Believing the Bible as God’s Word is the first step to a Hope-filled life, rather than a miserable existence. Life is hard for everyone, but that does not mean everyone is hopeless.

Life is difficult but God gives joy to those that learn from the past. This is the history found in the Bible so that we all can enjoy HOPE no matter the circumstances.

Do you have that kind of hope? Are you striving to share that HOPE with hopeless people?


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:

HOPE In Numbers – Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God’s Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert

HOPE In Numbers - Holding OnHOPE In Numbers - Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert erywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert In a world where hope seems lost and Christians seem to lose grip on their faith, there are numbers that tell a different story.

With Hope in Numbers, we can transform every number we see into a well-timed Bible verse and promise from God. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s Word.

In fact, the world has done all the work for us by placing numbers on every street corner, license plate, price tag, sports jersey, and time of day. Anywhere there is a number, that is where hope can be found.

Hold tightly to these truths found in God’s Word and see your life blessed in every situation. This is a rebellion to get God’s Word back into our schools, workplaces, and in the hearts of those in our communities.

HOPE stands for Hold Onto Promises Everywhere and in this book I will show you how you can be reminded of God’s Word everywhere you go. You will never see numbers the same way again!

How Christians Act Matters

How Christians Act Matters

Everybody is familiar with the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” even non-Christians. But little do many people know that our Lord Jesus Himself said this to His followers.

Bible Verse: Luke 6:31 (NKJV)

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”

Do you know that versions of the Golden Rule existed before Christ? It was not invented by Jesus. The truth of the matter is, that it is found in rabbinic writings and even in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Interestingly, all of them cast the rule as a negative command, such as Rabbi Hillel’s version. “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to someone else.”

In contrast, Jesus made it a positive command, enriching its meaning. The Lord also put it in a way that summarizes the whole gist of the ethical principles contained in the Law and the Prophets.

Golden Rule for Christians

Applying Jesus’ Command

The command to, “… do to them likewise” especially applies to Christian fellowship. Having experienced love from people who reached out to us, we must also love and reach out to others.

Are you, as a Christian applying what Jesus taught? Do you act differently than the world or there is no visible evidence that you’re a follower of Christ?

We must understand that the way Christians conduct themselves especially in public and among unbelievers makes all the difference. Simply put, how Christians act matters! When people in darkness see the light of Christ in us, we don’t even have to preach to them. This is where the saying, “Action speaks louder than words” applies.

Knowing the Needs of Others

Now that I am a parent, I am slowly learning the needs of my children. Everyone has needs. Sometimes people say what their needs are, other times they don’t. Many times children don’t even know what their needs are. Thus, it is the responsibility of the parents to know and provide what their kids need.

The same is true with our fellowmen. Let us be sensitive to their needs because this is one way of showing that we care for them. It doesn’t matter how many Bible verses have we memorized if we treat others like trash. Oftentimes, people just want to know that we care about them. As another saying goes, “People don’t care what you know (about God and the Bible) until they know you care.”

Christians should care about people enough to learn and know the needs of others. Jesus knew we had a sin problem 2,000 years before we ever knew we had a sin problem. Are we perceptive enough to know the needs of others around us?

In addition to perceiving needs, we need to care about everyone, including our enemies. The context of verse 31 is loving our enemies. It is contrary to our human nature to love our enemies.

Matthew 5:44

The Christian Response

Everyone has been the recipient of sin or misdeeds. We have no control over what other people do to us, but we do have control over how we respond. This is especially true of parents of children. Children naturally disobey their parents.

But how does God want us to respond? Of course, there should be a correction for disobedience as Proverbs 3:12 says. But with the heart of love and the goal of reconciliation rather than just retribution or superiority.

This is another reason why abortion is wrong. That baby did not wrong you. If we apply this principle of love toward everyone, how could we ever murder an innocent person? It is a shame that average Americans have murdered 60 million babies over the last 50 years because of excuses and they could.

This is another reason why I believe that all people are sinners.

Final Thoughts

It is true that loving everyone is very difficult and sometimes very uncomfortable but God blesses that humility toward others. The perfect example of that is Jesus. He laid His life down for everyone and yet He is called King of kings in the book of Revelation.

Do we love others as we should? Or do we need God to sanctify us some more?


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.

How to Resist Satan’s Temptations (Part 2)

How to Resist Satan’s Temptations (Part 2)

In last week’s post, I shared some important things about temptations. These include the definition and sources of temptation, and the lessons we can learn from Adam and Eve’s experience. How can Christians resist Satan’s temptations and overcome the human urge to sin? 

Here’s the continuation and conclusion of the post.  

The Four R’s of Temptation

The trick to resisting temptation does not only come from resisting the urge to sin. It also involves replacing the temptation with something pleasant and Christlike.

I call this principle the four r’s of resisting temptation: recognize, remember Scripture, resist, and remain vigilant.

1. Recognize the Temptation

What is the trigger for the temptation? Are there set times for such sinful behavior? What environment creates the sudden urge to do evil?

If you are currently in that environment, what do you notice? Mentally note or reflect on recurring sounds, tastes, textures, or other appealing senses or circumstances.

1 John 2:16, NKJV

Forms of Appeal

Temptations come in different forms of appeal.

  • Visual: lust of the eyes
  • Auditory or Reflective: sounds, or the inappropriate use of Scriptures
  • Gimmicks: comforting lies, such as “you won’t get in trouble.”
  • Anticipation: pride of life
  • Other sensory cues: lust of the flesh

Adam and Eve

The couple failed to recognize that the desire to eat the fruit was a real temptation. The couple had not experienced sin beforehand. However, they knew they were banned from eating the tree of knowledge.

They gave in to temptation because they failed to recognize the sensory lures that would entice them to sin. Having seen this weakness, Satan used the glamor and tasty aspect of the fruit. This made it enticing to the couple at the expense of introducing sin to mankind.

Modern Example

Your parents forbid you from going to the sleepover your friend invited you to attend this Saturday. Your friend consistently sends you text messages throughout the week asking you to go to the event.

Should you decide to disobey your parents and attend the sleepover anyway, you would be grounded for two weeks. The event features underage drinking, which would possibly land you in prison with a felony conviction on your permanent record.

These text messages are a visual lure used by Satan to convince you that it is not a bad idea to sneak out and go. It’s because your mom “won’t know that you went.” Or “your mom is just a boring boomer who does not want you to have fun.”

2. Remember Scripture

Remember what God says in His Word. Never underestimate the power of not only knowing but remembering what God said. The best weapon against the tempter is the Word of God. Jesus exemplified this when the Devil tempted Him in the wilderness.

By the way, context matters too! Do not forget that even the enemy knows the Scriptures and he often uses them to deceive God’s people.

Please see part 3 below for more details.

3. Resist

There are three questions to consider during this step.

First, what does GOD want?

This is where understanding Scripture comes in very handy. Remember, God’s Word is 100% truth, and cannot be sugar-coated or changed. This means, that whatever is written goes, regardless of the circumstances. The truth will always see you free from every negative influence and consequence in your life.

Be forewarned though. Even Satan knows Scripture as well and can use that knowledge against you as a means for temptation. This often comes in the form of taking certain passages out of context or omitting words that seem inconvenient or uncomfortable.

Do not let your guard down. Always be vigilant and actively study and meditate on the Word and its underlying messages: both for meaning, and application.

James 4:7, NKJV

Secondly, what does Satan want?

I know many of us may believe that sin is closely related to our flesh and Satan’s influence on the human race. However, we often try to separate these two things, or we may place blame on one thing instead of the other. I believe that the sinful flesh and Satan work in tandem, although each is separate.

Consider the temptation of Adam and Eve. Your sinful nature (aka your flesh) will most likely align with Satan and his false promises. These idle promises are cleverly designed for you to fall back into the pit of habitual sin. Being naughty tastes so good, as long as we get what we want.

Refuting “The Devil Made Me Do It”

Let me assure you. Although the sinful flesh and Satan work in tandem, we must distinguish the fact that we choose to sin.

Yes, Satan will tempt us with things that will appeal to our flesh. But, the challenge is left up to us. What we (or our flesh) want for ourselves may seem good for a season, but will ultimately lead to destruction.

Think of this as taking ten bags of candy, and eating those every day. It tastes good, but you do not want to hear that these would give you cavities in the future.

As Howard John Wesley best explained in a recent sermon, Satan will offer you things in this life that are so sweet and glamorous. He then cuts off the price tag so that you will take the bait, even if it means doing ungodly things.

What Will You Choose?

Third question: What do you desire?

In other words, which way will you choose? What will you say yes to? Those who are under the Holy Spirit’s guidance can make that choice. We can either choose God’s will and way of escape, or our own sinful desires (what Satan wants).

Jesus always provides a way to escape temptation. But it is ultimately our responsibility whether or not we take the escape route. Even if it means going through a period of discomfort. Or getting rid of old friends that you used to spend time with when you used to break curfew.

Seniors, this is a harsh reality that you will have to face in college.

The Sleepover: A Practical Application

Now, back to our modern-day example.

We know from Scripture that parents are called to be an earthly model of the authority of God as their Heavenly Father. This is through their decisions, their character, and their method of discipline.

The Fifth Commandment instructs us to honor our father and mother, so that we may live a long, prosperous life.

Ephesians 6:2-3, NKJV

In the example above, Satan would want you to disobey this commandment. He wants you to deliberately disobey the order to not go to the sleepover, since it would potentially involve drinking underage. The price that Satan doesn’t want you to know about is that you would get grounded for two weeks.

You could also go to jail for drinking under the legal minimum age (21). As a result, you would ultimately sin against your parents, local authorities, and God.

4. Remain Vigilant

Be forewarned that this may not be the last temptation you will endure on this earth. Until you are dead, or when Jesus returns, you will endure temptation.

Again, Satan will not play fair. Always be on the lookout, because an empty void could be a recipe for either godliness or a recipe for disaster.

Closing Prayer

Father, Promise-Keeper, You promised that You will provide a way out of temptation so that I can endure it. Help me escape from the evil one, who will tempt and defile me. Lead me not into temptation, Father.

Deliver me from the evil one. The Holy Spirit indwells within me, Father, and my will is aligned with Yours. Please help me stand firm on the day of temptation. And always remind me that I am not the same person I was before. Keep me from walking in the flesh and its accompanying desires. Instead, help me walk by Your Spirit.

I pray by the name of the One who is with me always.

Amen.


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:

Victory: A Seven-Step Strategy for Resisting Temptation and Overcoming Sin by Jim Schettler

Victory: A Seven-Step Strategy for Resisting Temptation and Overcoming Sin by Jim Schettler It’s a battle we all face.

It doesn’t matter what stage of life we’re in, the maturity of our Christian walk, or the length of time we’ve been saved—we struggle with sin daily.

Perhaps you’ve been wrestling with pride, anger, lust, or worry. You’ve tried again and again to overcome it but failed one attempt after another. Maybe you’ve even given up hope of ever winning this spiritual battle.

But God doesn’t intend for you to live in defeat. He has already provided the way to victory.

In these pages, discover seven practical steps you can take to overcome sin and live the victorious Christian life.

Each short chapter provides biblical truths and simple application questions, making this a helpful resource for personal study, discipleship, or biblical counseling.

Christ has already won your victory. Learn what it means to claim that reality in your daily life.

How to Resist Satan’s Temptations (Part 1)

How to Resist Satan’s Temptations (Part 1)

One of the many challenges Christians face today is resisting temptations. Some say it’s easier said than done. Thus, many are still struggling to overcome the temptations that come their way.

In this post, I would like to share some guidelines on how to resist Satan’s temptations from a young adult’s perspective.

Salute to the Graduates!

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the graduating Class of 2022. You have persevered and made the most of yet another challenging school year in the pandemic-stricken world we live in.

Let us then get ready to transition to the dreaded process of choosing a college that fits our future goals.

It is worth noting that parents and educators teach their young adult children to acquire consumer and business-related skills. Why? So it will serve them in the realm of job searching and money-making.

But parents should also want their children to volunteer in Christian youth ministries. This includes service projects in community organizations that help the poor, underserved, and disadvantaged.

Yet, as beautiful as these objectives are, far too many Christian parents fail. This is because they fail to equip their children with the essential spiritual and practical principles against Satan’s attacks.

Many children do not stand a chance against Satan if they are not aware of the weapon he uses to lure them – temptation.

No temptation will overcome you

Reflecting On My Junior High

Over the past three years, many juniors and seniors (now high school graduates) told me that the hardest point in their high school career was surviving 11th grade. Sometimes, I would find myself asking, “Why not 12th grade? This is where you start writing college-level papers that exceed five pages.”

Surely, there was the SAT, thinking about college, and working on my daily living skills as a blind student. This is on top of being off sick and scrambling through a four-paper research paper I had to make up.

However, I would argue that one of the main challenges every teen had to overcome in their third year of high school was the temptation to ignore temptation.

School Campus Evangelism

As I passionately carried out my duties as Vice President of one of few student-led clubs for people of faith, I had to grapple with the daunting task of preaching against sin and Satan. Not to mention that I do this in a climate where bad behavior was excused as a “mental health” issue. While in reality, most of the time was a sin issue or covid fatigue.

On large and diverse campuses, teenagers do not only possess different faiths. But they are also enticed to do daring online challenges with an immoral foundation. We have ditched the traditional methods of discipline and replaced them with empty threats and grade-school-style consequences.

Half of my class is stuck in detention while many seniors resort to foolish pranks. They do this out of desperation for immediate gratification and attention. Amidst all these, the last thing they want is someone telling them about sin and a dark realm that cannot be ignored.

Purpose and End-Goal

Since I graduated from middle school, I have continually remained committed to my calling. And that is to encourage fellow brothers and sisters to shine the light of Jesus Christ in their daily lives. Also, to educate others and give insight into the battle that is raging in the physical and spiritual realm.

Before entering a college campus, every young Christian must acquire a solid, biblical understanding of who Satan is. Young believers who understand the inevitability of temptation are less likely to abandon their faith.

In this presentation, I will establish some key biblical principles for young adults. My objective is to help them recognize, resist, and conquer sinful urges. These guidelines will equip them to actively engage in the fight against Satan with courage and confidence.

Youth Campus for Christ

What Is Temptation?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines temptation as one that is characterized by “the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.”

From a Biblical perspective, a temptation is simply any event, object, or pattern that is designed to lure one to sin (or disobey God). It is used by Satan to distract one from spiritual growth – “Taking the easy route.”

The most common example we see is Jesus and His three temptations.

Where Temptation Comes From

Temptation does not originate from God. God, being perfectly holy by nature, cannot tempt man to sin. Yet, many accuse Him of doing so when going through painful experiences that came as a consequence of their idiocy.

Also, temptation has a horizontal and vertical source.

Physical sources include people, places, events, and trends. Even environmental conditions can be an accomplice to certain temptations.

For example, a man who struggles with drunkenness may be tempted to get drunk on Friday nights. Why? This is a result of him attending nightclubs with his girlfriend, who encourages him to consume alcohol excessively.

On the spiritual side, the main source of temptation is Satan, also referred to as “the tempter” (Matthew 4:3).

Firefighters Building on Fire
Photo Credit: Wikipedia – Firefighting

Fighting A Fire: An Analogy

You may remember back in school when you had to regularly do practice fire drills throughout the year.

Whenever the fire alarm goes off, it should be taken very seriously. No one is allowed to take anything with them and must evacuate using the school’s emergency escape plan. The purpose of a fire drill is to practice the necessary procedures in the event your house is caught on fire.

This is the same way with temptation. The trick with spiritual warfare is that you need to run and resist. You need to get out of a burning building and extinguish the fire without getting burned or fanning the flames.

Although some fires can be put out with foam or a fire extinguisher, larger fires must be left to the fire department. They have the equipment needed to douse the flames while protecting themselves from debris.

You see, fighting Satan is like fighting a five-alarm fire. Fighting in your own human strength is like using foam to douse the flames. Let God assist you as you resist temptation. We cannot defeat Satan on our own. Satan is a very powerful and clever spirit. He studies our weaknesses and sets various traps. You will easily fall into these traps if you are not anchored on Christ.

And remember, never return to a burning building. In other words, don’t willfully put yourself in a situation where you know that you will reach the danger zone. Satan will have you turning 2°, taking baby steps, toying with sin. He does this until eventually, you are sidetracked and make a full 180-degree turn back to sin.

This is why many will backslide. You must resist, and don’t turn back! 

Learning from Adam and Eve

In Genesis 3:1-19, we see three C’s that characterize Satan.

Cunning

Satan will appear to us as an angel of light. In other words, he disguises himself as a saint. See also 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Crafty

Temptation is never original or “obvious” as humanity perceives. It would be easy for us to detect a lie if we were convinced that the sky is green.

The key for Satan to successfully entice us to sin is deception. He makes sin look and sound so good and beautiful to the point that we become blind. Thus, we fail to see the ugly consequences and reality of sin.

A common example we saw this school year is the temptation to seek approval by doing what we know as morally wrong. And then we post it on TikTok for everyone else to see. Temptation entices us to please men, ultimately searing our conscience with the spirit of cowardice and moral laziness.

Cruel

Masqueraded in cunningness and craftiness is the attitude of cruelty. Satan will never play nice, especially when we accept Christ and go through the lifelong process of transformation. If he can’t bring us back to our former sin-stricken lifestyle, he will bring back memories of our dark past.

That, in itself, is another form of temptation. But we do not recognize it until we find ourselves falling back to the old sinful habit.

Temptations Come From Satan, the Devil

Some Short Things to Note

God specifically told our first parents not to eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They could eat from every other tree. However, there was this one specific tree they were banned from eating and touching.

What did Satan do? He questioned God and the first parents by convincing them that they can’t eat from any tree. Satan twisted God’s instructions written in Genesis 2:16-17.

The serpent (devil) lied to them. He convinced them that they would receive a special revelation and know good from evil. Furthermore, he said that they would become like God. Needless to say, this is what Satan originally wanted in his rebellion (Isaiah 14:14).

The first parents disobeyed God, followed Satan, and ate of that tree. As a result, they both perished, and the world was cursed with the punishment of their sin.

 

To be continued in the next post …

 


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: Defeating the Enemy by Phil Hopper

Defeating the Enemy by Phil HopperGet the Upper Hand on the Enemy of Your Soul

Everything God wants to give you, Satan seeks to steal. Why live in captivity when Jesus came to give you an abundant life?

As a former SWAT cop, Pastor Phil Hopper offers a unique perspective on how to overcome the enemy of your soul. By knowing your enemy’s strategy, you will be equipped to live victoriously and not fall into Satan’s captivity.

This book provides a fresh, unique, and highly relatable look at the adversary’s tactics so you can always be one step ahead of the devil.

Learn how to live a life of freedom as we uncover the tactics, deceptions, and strategies of the enemy

What is Biblical Marriage?

What is Biblical Marriage?

Marriage as God instituted it is falling apart. The state has abandoned biblical marriage and redefined it to mean almost anything. Divorce and adultery are rampant.

Men objectify women by using women for sex. Women objectify themselves. Human trafficking and pornography are ruining relationships and the heart attitude of pride is just in the way.

So few people believe they have personal problems that are affecting their marriages.

Now, more than ever, we need to go back to the biblical definition of marriage.

What Constitutes a Biblical Marriage?

Bible Passage: Ephesians 5:25-33 (NKJV)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

The Husband Must Love His Wife

Although the husband is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23), it is his responsibility to love his wife. He must love her with the same unreserved, selfless, and sacrificial love that Christ has for His church.

Christ gave everything He had, including His own life, for the sake of His bride, the church. This is the standard of sacrifice for a husband’s love for His wife (Colossians 3:19).

Also, the husband must love his wife as his own body. This is one of the most poignant and compelling descriptions of the oneness that should characterize Christian marriage.

The believing husband is to care for his wife with the same devotion that he naturally manifests as he cares for himself. And even more so, since his self-sacrificing love causes him to put her first.

In the end, a husband who loves his wife in these ways brings great blessing to himself from her and the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25, NKJV

A Perfect Marriage?

Since all people are sinners, nobody can have a perfect marriage. That does not mean we should not try. God instituted marriage at the beginning of time because man should not be alone (Genesis 2:18).

In the process of making women from men, God made an institution as a picture of the relationship He wants to have with His children.

God is willing to take the responsibility to save, sanctify and glorify anyone, but only if God’s children desire intimacy with Jesus Christ.

This picture of marriage is only a blurry illustration of the relationship God wants to have with humanity. It is about communion with God through Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can bring us to God as Jesus said in John 14:6.

He was also implying that communion and intimacy with God were only possible through Him as well.

Oneness in Marriage

In Ephesians 5:31, Paul quotes from Genesis 2:24 to reinforce God’s divine plan for marriage that He instituted at creation. By doing so, the apostle emphasized its permanence and unity.

The union of marriage is intimate and unbreakable. The word “joined” is used to express having been glued or cemented together. It emphasizes the permanence of the union (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:5-9).

Thus, in marriage, the husband’s life is so intimately joined to the wife’s that they are one.

Notice that Ephesians 5:32 uses the word “mystery” to describe the union between the married couple. When used in the NT, mystery identifies some reality hidden in the past and revealed in the NT Scripture.

Marriage is a sacred reflection of the magnificent and beautiful mystery of the union between the Messiah and His church. This was completely unknown until the New Testament (Matthew 13:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7).

Here’s a beautiful Christian wedding song.

Intimacy in Marriage

Sex is the highest form of intimacy by two becoming one (Ephesians 5:31), which results in reproduction/fruit. The same is true during intimacy with Jesus.

Please remember that intimacy in marriage and communion with God is wonderful for everyone involved.

Communion with Jesus results in the fruits of the Spirit that are listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Jesus reproduces His character by the work of the Holy Spirit unto sanctification and holiness as Ephesians 5:26-27 says.

Once again, the problem is that too many people and Christians enjoy their sin and don’t want to live like Christ in their life. For many Christians, the Christ-like lifestyle is too difficult. What they don’t realize is that God enables us to live the sanctified, holy life (Philippians 4:13).

Only God can enable holy living. Unlike the many women that make excuses to not be intimate with their husbands, are we willing to sacrifice our will and be intimate and commune with Jesus, so that we may become more and more Christ-like in every area of our lives????

What a Biblical Marriage is Not

There are a bunch of common occurrences that should never occur in a God-ordained marriage.

Popular counselors say that men need to shut up so they can stay married. Women control their husbands by withholding sex and dictating when the dad can see his children. That is narcissistic!

In some families, the husband is a narcissistic dictator and the wife and daughters are doormats. Men are opting out of marriage because there is too much risk and cost associated with it. Quite often, men are illiterate and have no idea how to spiritually lead a home.

Because many women are not interested in sex, they will use any number of excuses to say no. All of these different cases are extremely unbiblical as the above verses say.

Ephesians 5:22, NKJV

Growing to be Christ-Like

As we become more and more Christ-like, we are growing in oneness with Jesus. Are we growing in Christlikeness or growing stagnant? Are the Fruit of the Spirit growing in our lives?

If Jesus was willing to die and rise again, to save, sanctify and glorify us, why are we not willing to sacrifice our will for His? If your husband is willing to unconditionally love your sinful heart, why are you not willing to sacrifice your pride and excuses?


Recommended Resource: Your Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship by Scott LaPierre

Celebrate the Marriage God Made for You

Your Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship by Scott LaPierre Your most important earthly connection is with your spouse, and when you honor the person you married, you’re also honoring God. He created marriage to be one of life’s greatest gifts, and the instruction manual you need for a joyful, lasting union is found in His Word.

In Your Marriage God’s Way, author and pastor, Scott LaPierre, takes a close look at the principles for building a biblical marriage—one in which your relationship with Christ brings guidance and blessing into your relationship with your spouse. You’ll gain the tools to…

  • understand the unique roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives
  • recognize and resolve the conflicts you face with a heart of hope and compassion
  • follow God’s worthy command to love and cherish your spouse unconditionally

Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or you’ve been on the road together for years, Your Marriage God’s Way will provide the helpful and encouraging insights you need to experience marriage as God intends it.

Singing the Song of Fools: A Critique of Traditional Views Held Among Christian Churches

Singing the Song of Fools: A Critique of Traditional Views Held Among Christian Churches

Music has proven to be an integral part of our culture. And it has played a significant role in the way we communicate our deepest emotions. Since the dawn of human history, music has greatly shaped our world and our perceptions of common topics. These include politics, love, sex, and, in some cases, certain behaviors that are tolerable in a sin-stricken society.

I recently came across an article from a Christian blogger named Joshua Infantado. In a 2016 blog post, Joshua offers an argument on our musical tastes and subliminal messages that could be hidden within these songs.

In this presentation, I want to provide a solid yet Biblical argumentation on this subject matter. Here, I want to offer a series of questions to challenge our current viewpoints on morality.

Also, I would like to thoroughly assess and challenge current practices of teaching and presenting hard doctrines, particularly the identity of Satan and the existence of Hell. We will look at this from a sociopolitical and Scriptural perspective, as well as trends during the onslaught of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“I will sing of Your love and justice; to You, LORD, I will sing praise.”

The Essential Question

What does it mean to glorify God [or Satan] from a Biblical and culturally diverse perspective through the lens of music and its underlying themes?

Focus Passage: Ecclesiastes 7:5 (World English Bible)

“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.”

What Music Means to Me

Music has been an essential part of my life ever since I was a toddler. As I lived through my preschool years, I learned how to play the piano, the drums, and the xylophone. Of course, I also learned how to sing.

At age 11, I was a pianist at a church I used to attend before the pandemic. I joined the school band and played as a percussionist until I graduated from middle school in 2019. I am currently a first soprano in a professional children’s choir in Northbrook. My gift of singing has gained attention over the years, including a performance at Carnegie Hall in the summer of 2019.

Our Recent Discussion

As the Vice President of the Agape Christian club at school, I had the wonderful privilege of collaborating with the President. We work together in initiating a whole group discussion on the rapidly evolving trends within the music industry.

In our series “Examining Salvation and the Nature of Satan” we gave the participants several questions to consider while reading Joshua’s piece. Most of which were based on a thorough and holistic examination of Joshua’s critical assessment of popular songs released throughout the past decade.

Together with the lessons from Lil Nas X’s controversial Satan video, we used the answers we got to assess some doctrines. We did this in a critical yet biblical way to expose some practices on controversial topics.

Thus, this presentation is not merely an assessment of Joshua’s theology alone. Rather, it is to examine the moral boundaries that must be drawn from a Christian worldview when such incidents pose such moral questions.

In light of the nature of this discussion, we challenged all members to carefully read through Joshua’s analysis. They must ponder on the points presented in the article, and view his opinions based on his cultural and religious circumstances.

An Overview of Joshua’s Article

In February 2016, Joshua Infantado (author of Becoming Christians) published an article titled “Singing the Song of Fools: Questions Christians Should Ask When Choosing a Song.”

His piece is a comprehensive and coherent analysis of lyrics taken from ten popular songs. These include Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

The Fingerprints of Satan?

Joshua begins his article by stating that there are catchy songs with hidden subliminal messages within the themes portrayed throughout the song. Through his assessment, he attempts to convey that the music we listen to may not be outrightly immoral.

But if you look deeper into the messages of their lyrics, he said that you will soon discover the FINGERPRINTS OF SATAN in these songs.

The reason I bring this into my analysis is that this is a common theme that is highlighted throughout his work. Joshua’s argument is based on the historical evolution of music throughout a historical period in America known as the Satanic Panic. Webster dictionary defines this event as “a moral panic regarding alleged satanic ritual abuse.” And the fear of such practices within the Occult (YourDictionaryar).

It also stems from the assumption that Lucifer was the angel in charge of music in heaven despite a lack of Scriptural evidence (see Ezekiel 28).

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

Blurred Lines: Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines:

Ok, now he was close.

Tried to domesticate you.

But you’re an animal

Baby, it’s in your nature

Just let me liberate you

Joshua’s Analysis

Joshua critically condemns the song, citing its references to sexual sin and its use of profanity. In a formal rebuke of the lyrics, Joshua questions why Christians enjoy music like this. He said that Satan is very successful in poisoning the air with so much garbage [filth] and profanity through the music we listen to.

He then concludes his piece by posing five questions to consider when listening to a song. His stance stems from a literal interpretation of Ecclesiastes 7:5, with the assumption that the song of fools is a reference to music that is sung in the world today, with the belief that Satan was the angel of music before his rebellion.

Results From Discussion

In the group discussion, we asked the members to examine this excerpt and to consider behaviors they have observed during class this past school year. As we returned to in-person instruction in August 2021, foul language and other unruly behaviors also increased during class. This is especially during lunch periods.

As a result, more students served detention for various infractions, including those dealing with attendance and poor behavior. And this does not include TikTok trends such as Devious Lick, which encouraged vandalism within the school bathrooms.

Among the most common music genres that students listened to in an average 5-minute passing period were modern hip hop and pop. Needless to say, these are infamous for their explicit content and rappers selling their souls to Satan.

Music Can Influence Our Behavior

The lyrics derived from musical compositions, as well as other rhythmic characteristics, are key communicators of the conscience. These in turn drive our perception of right and wrong, and how the brain responds to our perceptions.

Let us take for instance the song Blurred Lines. A Christian who is tempted to have sex outside of marriage would listen to this song and would consider it to be a lure into that habit. Hence, the like-still of the flesh. And Satan would probably use a song like this to convince us that such behavior is acceptable, as commonly held in society today.

However, this argument fails to consider taking into account those who may not encounter such strong temptations.

Now, let’s examine two scenarios: The book of Psalms and the message of Lil Nas X’s Satan video. While there are contrasting themes within the spectrum, each of them exposes a flaw in the way the church teaches them.

The Book of Psalms

The Book of Psalms is a song within many songs, a hymn within many hymns. In short, these are works of poetic literature. Their objective? To communicate the glory of God through praise and worship, and in some cases, lamentation.

Most of the things written within the book have been incorporated into hymns commonly sung in churches today. This is an obvious work that glorifies God, as it is taken directly from the Bible, inspired by God.

Lil Nas X

We asked the participants in the discussions to examine the Lil Nas X controversy from a doctrinal perspective. They must not only go beyond the general message of Lil Nas X’s controversial Satan video. But they must critically evaluate how the church today preaches about Satan in a Biblical illiterate generation.

According to an article from Barna, a majority of self-proclaimed Christians fail to believe in absolute morality. Many of them also do not think Satan is a real and active being.

Results from the group discussion further prove this stunning statistic. Hence, the club President suggests that such songs with overt lyrics do not only encourage bad behavior. But it also certainly raises eyebrows, due to its extreme association with the dark side [Seitz].

Furthermore, the answers point to a sad revelation about how the church preaches the hard subject of Satan. Could incidents like Lil Nas X’s scandal be a result of teaching such doctrines out of fear and condemnation, and not taking such knowledge into practical applications in life?

A sermon can only do so much for a topic that is rarely if ever, preached in a sin-stricken world.

Back to the Drawing Board

In summation, the question of whether or not a song glorifies God is not based on its words or images alone. Rather, it is through individual circumstances and their convictions. The fear of judgment is largely due to the way we preach such topics as the identity of Satan.

Based on my assessment, we are not doing a really good job. I am not saying we should take this threat lightly. I am saying that the church needs to go back to the drawing board. That is if we are going to effectively expose others to the evil plagues of this world.

It’s not the message itself. But HOW we deliver the message to others.

Raising Awareness of Satan’s Tactics

Here are eight practical solutions to tackle a complex dilemma posed by a morally declining generation.

1. Maintain empathy.

In Romans 14, Paul tells us to consider the weakness and temptation of our brothers and to not judge him based on his convictions. That doesn’t mean you are excusing the behavior, rather, you are allowing him the opportunity to make decisions.

A preacher whose sole motivation is to sow fear and strife will not only draw them away from Christ. But it will tempt many young believers to deny or run away from these hard truths. The doctrine of Satan and its heavy nature is not easy; it hurts to be exposed to this harsh reality.

The key is to do this through a spirit of gentleness and empathy, with consideration of the weaknesses of others.

2. Be supportive.

Support them in their fight against temptation. Many times when the incidence of satanic music comes up, we are quick to assume that these artists are Satanists. We all see the picture of Satan and not what is being communicated through the artist’s work. Why not view these moments as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than rebuke and shun.

3. Realize that some weaknesses may stay.

It’s a temptation to assume that someone’s a legalist or a false teacher without actually looking into the many trials they face regularly. For some of us, it is hard to resist certain temptations than others; some of which will take years to overcome.

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul openly comes forward to confess his own struggle with sin, calling it a thorn in the flesh. Within every fall and affliction lies a working testimony of a broken man’s strength in Jesus.

4. Kill Satan’s hatred through an attitude of LOVE!

The best way to help someone comprehend such doctrines as sin and Satan is through love. Offer them your love, and pray for them when they are being tested. Show them that they are not alone in this lifelong battle and that Jesus is right there.

5. Encourage your congregation to make a difference.

If we are walking in a world ruled by evil, why don’t we take the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus into their souls? Invite your friend over to Red Lobsters on Friday. Don’t be afraid to admit your own assumptions and ask questions.

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6. Listen.

Oh, is that such a lost art in a raging and impulsive world! The best way to alleviate their fears is by simply listening to their story and holding their hand.

7. Less Scripture, More Action!

Whoa! That probably hurts. Many of you may not like what I am about to say, but this is something I believe the Holy Spirit wants each of us to ponder on.

We know Ephesians 6:12 and spruce up the fanciest prayers when we are tested. But, are we truly showing others what it means to have true victory over Satan through Christ?

It’s time we start demonstrating this in real life, and not just through a 45-minute sermon filled with prophecies. Prayer and intercession are only step one. It’s time to do step two. It’s time to show the world that resisting the kingdom of Satan is not done simply through lip service and choosing to not listen to XYZ.

Time to put our weapons to use, and start the long process of winning people to the light!

Closing Prayer

Dear Father in Heaven,

I come before the throne to thank you for getting us through another day.

My prayer goes to those who may be reading this presentation; that they will not only be inspired but challenged to see spiritual truth in a new and enlightening way.

Lord, convict us when we are tempted to jump to rash judgments against our brother, lest we be guilty of any hidden sin that lies in our hearts. Continue to bless all of the writers contributing to this website, and let their talents be used to glorify your name.

May I continue to be a source of hope during a time when the world is being tried and tested as war cries from the sky. Help us be vigilant of who Satan is and embrace the victory that was given through the remission of our sins on the cross.

In Jesus’ name, amen!


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: Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David by Eugene H. Peterson 

Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David Paperback – July 23, 1993 by Eugene H. Peterson

A devotional prayer book focusing on one year with the Psalms, the most sensitive and honest words written about daily stress and daily blessings.

Words Are Not Cheap

Words Are Not Cheap

For years, I have thought that words are cheap because they rarely change anything or are just plain lies. We devalue our words when our words are not based on truth or are just hypocritical. It’s because they bring death to those that listen to them.

Bible Verse: Proverbs 18:21

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

The Word of God is clear. The greatest good and the greatest harm are in the power of the tongue. It’s no wonder that James said, “the tongue is a fire” (James 3:6).

Like fire, the tongue’s sinful words can spread destruction rapidly. Or as its accompanying smoke, those words can permeate and ruin everything around it.

Words of Affirmation

Recently I have been thinking about how people have different love languages. One of which is words of affirmation.

Everyone needs words of affirmation to one degree or another. It is true that some need affirmation more than others, but everyone needs at least some affirmation.

I can’t think of a better illustration than a woman in a relationship. We all know that men are not “big on words.” Unlike most women who tend to be vocal about how they feel, men, in general, are reserved. They do not always tell their women how important they are to them.

Words Have Power

It’s true that “Actions speak louder than words.” But women want their men to verbalize their thoughts and emotions. This is what some men are finding hard to understand. When the wife asks her husband if he loves her, her husband might say, “I married you, didn’t I?”

This is not the answer women want to hear from their significant other. Men should realize that women are different. They want assurance that their partner loves and values them, not just with action but also with words.

Choose Your Words Carefully

How we use our tongue can either build up or tear down others. And we must never forget that once we say something hurtful, we can’t take it back. Oftentimes, we hurt someone more than we intended to. That’s why we need to take a deep breath and think before we speak.

Many relationships were ruined because of hurtful words that the two parties threw at each other. This is another reason why we need to choose our words carefully.

This does not mean we cannot criticize others. However, truth be told it is very easy to be critical of others for many different reasons.

Are we known for being critical or affirming others? Is there room for improvement in how we use our tongue?

Affirming Others

Some might ask how should we affirm others? That is a good question. Colossians 4:6 answers that question.

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

To speak with grace is to speak what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complimentary, gentle, thoughtful, loving, and truthful.

And just as salt not only flavors but prevents corruption, the believer’s speech should not only be a blessing to others. It should also be a purifying influence within the decaying society of the world.

The keyword in the verse is always. We should always be truthful while maintaining a gracious attitude toward others, so that we may speak with grace. How gracious are we?

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Strengthen your faith with Christian jewelry, apparel, and wall decors.

Closing Words

Jesus frequently used words to encourage and guide His disciples. We should learn how to use our speech to build up others rather than tear them down.

Let’s conclude with James 3:2.

“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”

We all continually fail to do what is right; no one is exempt. James is saying that anyone who can perfectly control his tongue is a perfect man. But of course, no one is immune from sinning with his tongue.

More likely, “perfect” describes those who are spiritually mature and thus able to control their tongues.

Let us then allow the Lord to teach and mold us to be more like Him. As we mature in our spiritual lives, we will learn to control our tongues. And then we will know how to choose our words carefully.


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

Michael Heilman's Devotional Book

Becoming a Child of the Light

Becoming a Child of the Light

Hello everyone! Today, I am pleased to share some things about myself, as well as my journey to becoming a child of the light.

Writing, singing, current affairs, and creativity have been integral parts of my development as a Christian, even before I contributed to this blog. 

My Early Life

My name is Maia Armstrong, and I am an 11th grader who is attending a public high school in Illinois.

I was born in February 2005 (February 11 to be exact!). Yeah, I just turned 22. Most of my family is from either England or the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. But I am mainly from America, although my mother taught me how to speak with a British accent as I grew older.

Let me tell you, the culture is sublime. From the music to the spicy food, the Caribbean is a lifelong party!

The Caribbeans

At 18 months old, I was diagnosed with a heart disease known as Tetralogy of Fallot and had to go through an eight-hour surgery. I do not remember many details except for the sounds of some of the machines, and all of the painful injections I have been through.

As I began to enter my preschool years, I began to have trouble with my vision. The pain was so agonizing, that I felt like I was going crazy.

The World of Blindness

I was diagnosed with glaucoma in kindergarten. After numerous failed surgeries and tests to alleviate the pressure in my eyes, I officially had both eyes removed, and became completely blind. I have had a prosthetic eye for nearly eleven years, since 2011.

Trials, Tests, and … Tantrums?

Sometimes, I sit back and reflect on my journey as a blind girl. If there was one word to describe this experience: it was chaos. One thing I remember so vividly is the agony of tantrums.

They were not the average tantrums that kids throw to get their attention. It’s the type of tantrums that spoke of the pain and trauma in my soul that has been present until my freshman year.

I just wanted a remedy for this confusion. Even if it meant throwing meltdowns over missing Wheel of Fortune. Even in church, when many were screaming and clapping their hands. I couldn’t survive a single service without a meltdown. I could barely go a year without having meltdowns in bed or spending time in my room on punishment.

Coming to the Light: Church

Here I was: An eight-year-old third-grader in special education to adjust to blind life. It was my first time going to a local church with my parents. I heard of the name Jesus but did not know why it was such a popular name.

Was it just an expression, or a character from a franchise? Was eternity another folktale like Santa Claus? What is sin, and Satan, and that precious Cross?

I attended Sunday school with little kids for four years and was given books that contained excerpts from the Bible that were easy to understand, all translated into braille.

Coming to the Light: 9/11

If there is one event that rocked my faith, it had to be the events of 9/11.

It was a Friday morning. September 9, 2016. I was in 6th grade. This was my very first time in a history class. That day, we spent two periods of the day remembering the 9/11 victims. I have never heard of that fateful tragedy before.

But, when I got out of class that morning after hearing that dreadful lecture, I could barely move from my desk. I was in complete shock. It was a huge struggle to comprehend the horrors of September 11.

World Trade Center and Pentagon September 9, 2011 Terrorist Attack
Photo Credits: LA Times

9/11 Aftermath

For three years, I would resort to going to bed at exactly eleven minutes after 9 PM (9:11) as a nighty challenge. It was a remedy. I would spend hours watching countless documentaries and films just to comprehend that terrible day.

It was slowly taking a huge toll on me: emotionally, physically, and mentally. Sometimes, when I would have a conversation, almost every other word related to that day. All I could hear in my head was “9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11!”

It got SO bad that I would emotionally shut down in the middle of nowhere. It was a deep sense of sadness and confusion. The temptation to listen to the footage was so unbearable, that I just couldn’t shy away from it.

It was my last year of middle school, my last week of Winter Break. I would later hear these words: “You can only remember 9/11 on the date of the anniversary, and your ‘nightly test’ is banned!”

My parents banned my nightly challenge because it has taken such a detrimental toll on me. When I heard of the ban, I was in utter disbelief.

Then, as I struggle to battle my obsession, I would hear a screeching voice in the middle of the night, in my dream. “This is the end of your faith! I know that you have a deep passion for 9/11 and this world, but it is now gone forever! It’s over!”

I would hear that for four weeks straight! After weeks spent crying in the middle of the night, mom knew that I had a stronghold that I have been battling over, so she would pray for me, and encourage me to keep fighting.

Coming to The Light:
The Revelation and the Beginning of My Patriotism

It was the summer of 2019, in Lower Manhattan. My prayers have finally been answered. I stood at the reflective pools of the 9/11 Memorial: in hope, and prayer: for me, for my nation, and for this world.

It was the rebirth of my patriotism: through the fires of obsession, tribulations, and confusion. It is the revelation of sin’s darkest secrets. It was the revelation of me, a child of God, standing in the realm of Satan. We were never in the United States. And that is how God began to use my passion for America and Christ to develop my faith.

God vs Satan and Leadership

I was a freshman in high school when the coronavirus pandemic started.

On March 13, 2020, my school went into quarantine until further notice. For me, Covid has been an opportunity to set aside my perfectionism in terms of grades and grow in my faith.

It was during the George Floyd riots that God inspired me to lead a virtual movement to spread His love and light during these dark chapters. Formerly known as the virtual God vs Satan movement, this was a season where I teamed up with members of my Christian club to spread God’s word. We also shared words of exhortation to those in and outside of District 219. Although the virtual “movement” recently ended, it has not actually “ended.”

For me, God vs Satan has proven to be a gateway to discovering my talents, and the ways I utilize them to serve God’s kingdom. Throughout quarantine, I discovered my hidden talent in writing, music, and imaginative ways of expression. I also discovered a way to compile art projects virtually using Google Docs.

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Passion for Music

I was greatly interested in music since I was two years old when I taught myself how to play the piano and sing in tune. In middle school, I used to be a pianist every week at church and would sing with the youth every month.

I also got involved in a professional children’s choir in Northbrook, which made a debut at Carnegie Hall in 2019. I have been a soloist since 2018, and sing as the first soprano in the ensemble.

Below is a video of me singing O Holy Night with the Lincoln Chamber Orchestra. This was my last performance before the pandemic came.

During our movement, songs would either be created, rearranged, or have different lyrics. Most of the lyrics were either written down or memorized in my head. Then, I would make three separate videos putting all of the voice parts together to create a masterpiece that we would send to members.

Here is a link to a song we put together in 2020. It’s called “The Limb of Satan,” which is a song inspired by events that unfolded this year (to be featured in a future blog post).

Writing and Literature

Writing has been a very integral part of my Christian faith. But, it has been the subject of a majority of my creative compositions as I lead God vs Satan. From the creation of psalms and poetry to the formation of essays and letters, to the communication of spiritual realities through dramatic play and informal discussions.

I loved how God transformed the flavor of my word choice to create a reality that the human flesh cannot fully understand using pictures and Bible reading alone.

Called from Darkness into the Light

Agape Christian Club

As a result of my contribution to the club over the past three years, I was elected as Vice President of Agape. This is my school’s Christian club that runs every Thursday after school. It’s very similar to a Bible study group, except it is student-led. As Vice president, I am in charge of helping the President put together our weekly sermons and activities.

For the first half of the school year, our main focus was the Trinity and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This semester, we will focus on sin, evil, the nature of Satan, and spiritual warfare, as well as forming Godly habits and relationships.

Blogging & Content Creation

I first visited Biblical Christianity in 2017 and began contributing as an author in December 2021. Most of the content I plan to present centers around current events, the spirit realm, morality, faith, the workings of Satan, and the promises of God.

Also, be on the lookout for reviews of written works I have composed, as well as reflections and commentaries.

Conclusion

May I conclude with an excerpt from one of my pieces called “The Great Red Dragon.” I believe this is a very powerful statement that the Holy Spirit has led me to share with you.

“O, Satan! Satan! I am a teen, searching high and low, to decipher your filthiest secrets. So that I may bear the fruits of the Father who is in Heaven; that I may be a witness to the Gospel in your shadow of deceit. Satan, you have cleverly crafted the code of calamity. But my Savior, who is Christ alone, is my guide to peace, which is the route to the promised land.”

My Encouragement to You

I did not come to this site just to inform you of the Scriptures. But rather, to use my passion for current events, my faith, and music to bring others to the light. If it hadn’t been for the love and determination of my mother, I don’t think I would ever have received this revelation, or be in the place I wanted to be.

She knew that God was trying to uncover a revelation of what I had been called to do as a believer: to SHINE! To be the light in the shadow of darkness! An agent of love, hope, and encouragement in the face of tribulation. A helping hand in the face of tragedy. And to be a positive contributor to the good work that God was doing for others through nourishment and determination.

And Satan did not want me to discover this truth!! And now, it is time that he is finally exposed, out in the open, so that many will be free because of the blood of Jesus!

I pray that this testimony inspired many of you. I pray that you would grow in your faith as we stand strong against the kingdom of Satan! 🙂

The Importance of a Quiet Time

The Importance of a Quiet Time

Spending daily quiet time with God is essential for every Christian who wants to grow in their spiritual life. Just like in every relationship, the more time we spend with God, the more intimate we become with Him.

Setting aside time to seek God at the beginning of each day is also important because we do not know what each day may bring. God, on the other hand, knows and sees everything that is bound to take place.

When we make it a daily habit to come to God, we are acknowledging that there is nothing we can accomplish without Him. Spending time with God shows our complete dependence on Him for guidance, protection, and the provision of all our needs.

Why We Should Observe Quiet Time

Can any Christian who fails to maintain a quiet time with God honestly say they can begin the day well, go on well, or end up well?

By nature, we are all weak, ignorant, wayward, sinful, and fearful. Thus, we need strength, wisdom, guidance, restoration, and courage. We can only have all of these by spending time alone with God every day.

Christians who neglect to observe a quiet time often end up living careless lives as they are unable to resist temptations and sinful desires. There’s also the consequent disaster of them getting robbed of their joy in the Lord and usefulness in ministry.

Spending Time Alone with God

We must intentionally reserve and conscientiously keep this “quiet time” period to God. Nothing should get in the way; not the devil, the world, and the flesh. Sure, these three forces will work together to attempt to disrupt our daily program. They will convince us that “there’s no time.” Or that there are more important things we need to do other than seeking God.

But we must make an effort to maintain a daily quiet time with God. Let us defend this time alone with God from all attempts of the enemy to steal it from us.

How to Prepare for the Quiet Time

To prepare for the quiet time, first, we must select the best time for it.

Whether it be in the morning or evening, the same principles apply. The circumstances may vary but we must allocate enough time for breakfast and getting ready for work. Keep in mind that you are reserving the most important part of your day to God.

Second, we must get up on time. Use an alarm clock if you tend to oversleep.

If you have to wake up one or two hours earlier than you usually do, then by all means you should. This may not be as easy as it sounds as it does require determination and self-discipline. Who does not want to sleep in a little bit?

Rising on time is largely dependent on going to bed on time the night before. Instead of binge-watching movies, settle in early for bed so you can also get up early. As Psalm 127:2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late.” When we cultivate the custom of waking up at a particular time, soon it becomes a habit that yields blessings.

Third, wash up and get dressed.

While some people prefer to be still in their pajamas, having a nice shower thoroughly awakens you. This is to make sure that you will not be half-asleep during the quiet time. Rather, you are at your best physically and mentally to talk with and listen to God.

Observance of the Quiet Time

Observance of the Quiet Time

How long should the quiet time be? It depends. Each Christian must determine for himself/herself how much time they are to devote to God. Suppose we determine that we will spend thirty minutes for our “quiet time,” how do we use this wisely?

These thirty minutes are divided into three: 1) praise and worship, 2) Bible-reading and meditation 3) prayer.

1. Praise and Worship

While many Christians put the reading of the Scriptures first, I prefer to approach God’s throne with songs of praise and worship. It is important to spend the first ten minutes expressing our gratitude and reverence to God through songs.

The Bible tells us that “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3, KJV). In other translations, we read, “The Lord is enthroned on the praises of His people.” This simply means that when we sing God’s praises, His presence is sure to come down and be with us.

What better way to come to God during the quiet time than with songs of praise, thanksgiving, and worship? When we offer praise, we are not only expressing our gratitude for all that God is doing in our lives. But we are also glorifying God.

There are so many things we need to praise God for. We praise God for giving us His Son and the Holy Spirit. God also continually pours out His blessings, thus, we must give Him the highest praise. Each believer must cultivate the habit of thanksgiving and praise.

Worship, on the other hand, is the heart’s occupation with God Himself. It is the highest occupation of the child of God in this life. And it shall be our service to God for eternity (Revelation 4:11; 5:12). My pastor used to say, “If you do not know how to worship God now, how can you worship God in heaven? The only thing left to do in heaven is worship.”

Thus, with reverence and awe, gratitude and amazement, let us worship God during quiet time.

Praise and Worship During Quiet Time

2. Scripture Reading & Meditation

We spend the next ten minutes reading God’s Word.

Did you know that the average chapter of the Bible can be read within five minutes? If you don’t know where to start, you can set a definite course of reading plan. A good plan includes a chapter each from the Old and New Testaments. Read the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament in the evening before bedtime.

Read each chapter reverently and prayerfully. Do not rush to finish it; take time to absorb every exhortation and encouragement from God. Reading it audibly will also help you focus and prevents your mind from wandering.

Use the remaining five minutes to meditate on what you just read. Meditation may not be easy at first but it can be developed by practice. As you hear God’s voice, do not hesitate to ask God for spiritual enlightenment.

Pray as David prayed in Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.”

You may ask questions such as:

  • What is God trying to tell me through this passage?
  • How do I apply the principles I learned from this passage in my life?

3. Prayer

Spend the remaining ten minutes in prayer. But what should we pray about?

First, there should be confession and denouncing of all known sins on our part. Then we must come to God in humility to ask Him for cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). No one is worthy to approach God’s holy throne all on their own. But because of what Christ has done, we can now come to Him with confidence (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12).

Second, there should be supplication for others. We should not only ask God for our personal needs; that’s selfishness on our part. Rather, we must also remember the needs of others and present them to God. 

Quote on Prayer

Christians are called to be intercessors (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). We should pray for those in authority over us, our family, relatives, and friends, particularly for the unsaved. Let us also remember in our prayers those who are seeking to preach the Gospel all around the world.

God’s Word tells us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV). Indeed, prayer is powerful. Prayer is a mighty force as it moves the hand of Him who moves the world.

Final Words

Maintaining a consistent daily quiet time is of absolute importance to anyone who professes to be a follower of Christ. Thirty minutes each day or a minimum of fifteen minutes is not that long to spend with God. We should not see this as a burden. Rather, let us enjoy every moment that we are face to face with God during our quiet time.

How much time do you set aside for your quiet time? What other activities do you do aside from those that are mentioned here? Was there ever a time that you slacked off and neglected your quiet time?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comment section below this article. 

God bless you!


Recommended Resource: Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time: Discovering Radical Intimacy with God by Catherine Martin

Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time: Discovering Radical Intimacy with God  by Catherine MartinAre you enjoying the closeness with God you desire? Have your prayer times transformed your life from the inside out? Do you sense God speaking to you through your Bible reading?

Now you can join Catherine Martin on an exciting 30-day journey to discover how to really have a quiet time.

She provides effective, practical steps you can take to go deeper with God as you discover how to organize your quiet time, learn the revolutionary P.R.A.Y.E.R. Quiet Time Plan, experience interactive quiet times with God, practice journaling and studying God’s Word, and find other helpful resources for enriching your quiet time.

Listen to the longing of your heart.

Living Out Your Heavenly Citizenship

Living Out Your Heavenly Citizenship

Many people all around the world want to get to America and eventually become citizens. Why not? I’ve heard many Americans say that the United States is the greatest country on planet earth. And that the poorest people in the United States are the richest people in third-world countries!

So, I get it. People, especially from third-world countries see America as a ticket to a better life. So much so that there are thousands of illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border daily. I can’t blame them. Who does not want to live the American dream?

But if there’s one citizenship that every person on planet earth should want to have, it’s heavenly citizenship.

Bible Verse: Philippians 3:20, NLT

“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.”

We must note that in his letter, the apostle Paul was addressing the Philippian believers. When he said, “We are citizens of heaven …” he was referring to himself and the church.

How did they acquire their heavenly citizenship? By acknowledging their sins, repenting, and trusting in Christ as their Lord and Savior.

If you did the very same thing that the church at Philippi did, then you are also a citizen of heaven. You may be holding a Philippine passport, British passport, American passport, etc. But you also have an invisible passport to heaven.

A Heavenly Citizenship

In the sight of God, there are only two kinds of citizenship: earthly and heavenly. Your earthly citizenship is temporary while your heavenly citizenship is for eternity.

God has already predetermined our race and nationality before conception. But that does not mean we can’t choose to become citizens of another country. God does not forbid you to move to another country and become a citizen there.

But God desires for everyone to become citizens of heaven just as He originally designed them to be.

Adan & Eve in the Garden of Eden

Before the fall, Adam and Eve held heavenly citizenship. Didn’t they enjoy intimate daily fellowship with God? However, things changed after they deliberately disobeyed God.

As a result, Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was broken and they forfeited their heavenly citizenship. The good news is that God wanted to restore that broken fellowship. He also wanted to open the pathway for all earthly citizens to become citizens of heaven.

John 3:16 tells us what God did to accomplish that.

How to Live as Citizens of Heaven

The moment a sinner repents and accepts the gift of eternal life from God, he acquires heavenly citizenship. But what does it mean to become a citizen of heaven? How should Christians live out their heavenly citizenship?

1. Do Not Live Like the World

Paul said this to the church in Rome:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind …” (Romans 12:2, ESV).

In the NIV translation, this verse reads, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world…” This simply means Christians should STOP copying the lifestyle of the world.

Before coming into the knowledge of God’s truth, we were just like the people in the world. We conducted ourselves in the same manner and behavior, held the same beliefs and customs. And whatever the world dictates as acceptable, we also deemed acceptable.

Paul said the same thing to the believers in Ephesus but reworded and expounded on it. “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking” (Ephesians 4:17, NIV).

If we continue reading Ephesians 4:18-32, Paul enumerates all the things that the Gentiles do and tells them how they should live instead. To summarize, Paul said, “Throw off your old sinful nature and put on your new nature.”

Now that we’re no longer earthly citizens, we need to stop behaving just like the people of the world. Instead, we are to start living our new life in Christ as new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).

New Life in Christ

2. Do Not Love the World

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15, NASB

This does not mean we should loathe anything and everything that is in the world. Remember, God originally created everything “good” (Genesis 1:10, 12, 21, 25).

For instance, marriage and family which are earthly institutions are good. Scientific and advanced medicines are good because they help cure diseases and prolong human life. Technology is good because it connects people who are miles away from each other.

Wealth and riches are good because they allow us to have a comfortable life. The Bible does not say money is the root of all evil. It’s the love of money that is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

The “good things” from God become “bad” only as a result of Satan’s perversion. So, there’s nothing wrong and everything right about enjoying God and the blessings He freely bestows on us in this life.

But let us be careful to not get too attached to this life and the things of this world. This is what it means to not love the world. It’s about setting our priorities straight.

The Word of God reminds us to not start obsessing about the wealth and pleasures of this world. This is because earthly pleasures are not from the Father (1 John 2:16-17, NASB).

Friendship with the World

As citizens of heaven, we should not also be too friendly with the world. Friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God (James 4:4). Intimate friendship requires a commitment. When you choose to side with the world, you just chose to be in opposition to God. It’s because the world is currently ruled by Satan who is the archenemy of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).

You can’t be loyal to two opposing parties. As Matthew 6:24 (NIV) says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

Joshua said the same thing (Joshua 24:15), “Choose this day whom you will serve…”

The bottom line is, there is no middle ground, there is no gray area. When you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. If you are friends with the world, you become an enemy of God.

It’s a matter of choice!

James 4:4

3. Live as Pilgrims in a Foreign Country

“Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and foreigners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” – 1 Peter 2:11, NLT

Peter kind of echoed what King David said.

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.” – 1 Chronicles 29:15, NLT

A stranger or foreigner is a temporary resident or traveler in a foreign country, passing through on his way to his home country. This is what we are in this world. Thus, we have a different mentality about life as compared to the permanent residents of this world.

As travelers, we don’t live according to the customs and standards of the foreign country we are in. But for the sake of not offending the locals, we may temporarily adopt some of their customs if they are morally neutral.

For instance, women here in Saudi Arabia are required to wear abayas and keep their heads covered. So, foreign women must do the same when they come here. Also, during Ramadan which is the month of fasting for Muslims, we should not eat or drink in front of them.

4. Set Your Hearts & Minds on Heavenly Things

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:1-2, NIV

To set our minds on things above means we should think of heavenly things; we should meditate on the things of God and His Kingdom.

But what about setting our hearts on the things above? What does this mean? In the Bible, the “heart” always stands for our affection, aspiration, desire, and passion.

Paul’s encouragement to the believers is that their desires align with God’s desires and be passionate about them. And also for them to develop a heavenly mindset – a way of thinking that goes far beyond what humans perceive.

We must note that everything on earth is temporary. Everything visible will come to an end while what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Billy Graham Quote

Know Your Priorities

However, to desire heavenly things and think about the things of God does not mean we should not live in fullness. It does not mean you should not get married and have a family just because our Lord never married.

Or if you have a family, you neglect your responsibilities to them and claim that you are focused on God’s work. And if you’re a mother, you need to take care of your husband and children.

As a man or woman of God, your first ministry is your family. Take care of your family first before attempting to take care of God’s business in the church. You cannot be effective in the church if you can’t even take care of your own family.

It’s the same thing at work. Whatever your job maybe you should, by all means, give your best. Always give it your 100%. As Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) says, “We must do everything as working for the Lord…”

But as citizens of heaven, we need to always prioritize the Kingdom of God. We have to carry out God’s mandate known as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) – witnessing/evangelism and discipleship.

We are to keep building the church by using our God-given talents and resources to serve God and others.

Conclusion

Are you living as citizens of heaven?

We are aliens and strangers on this earth, heading as pilgrims toward heaven. We’ve got to adopt that mindset, which includes constantly remembering that we aren’t staying here for long. Our home is in heaven. We should live like it!

Although we are still in this world, we are not of this world. Many things could go wrong in this world but we shouldn’t get distracted.

As heavenly citizens, we are to remain faithful to God, live in righteousness, and anticipate the promised return of Christ. Philippians 3:21 tells us what happens when Christ returns.

“He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” – Philippians 3:21, NLT

This is the third and final phase of our salvation – the glorification of our bodies. This will take place in the event known as the rapture, our blessed hope.


Recommended Resource: A Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths about Your Eternal Home by Dr. Robert Jeffress

A Place Called Heaven by Robert Jeffress

If any of us learned we were going to move to a foreign country, we’d do everything we could to learn about that place so that we’d be prepared when moving day arrived.

As Christians, we know someday we will leave our familiar country and be united with God in heaven. And yet many of us know very little about this place called heaven.

In this enlightening book, bestselling author Dr. Robert Jeffress opens the Scriptures to unpack ten surprising truths about heaven and explain who we will see there and how we can prepare to go there someday.

Perfect for believers or skeptics who are curious about heaven.