Category: New Life

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?


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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

Developing a Sympathetic Heart

Developing a Sympathetic Heart

In a world marred by sin and evil, everybody needs someone who truly understands what they’re going through. But we can only be that someone if we have a sympathetic heart.

What does it mean to have a sympathetic or understanding heart and how do we develop such?

Bible Verse: Hebrews 4:15

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus, our High Priest, does not only know what we go through. More importantly, He feels it too. It means that He can “sympathize with our weaknesses.” The ancient Greek word translated sympathize means “to suffer along with.”

Jesus' Crown of Thorns and Nails

One who hears of a tragedy that happened in another city would feel a measure of grief. But it’s nothing like the pain we would feel if it were the city we grew up in. Jesus added humanity to His deity and lived among us. When you have been there, it makes all the difference.

In times when you think and feel that nobody understands your pain, always remember that Jesus does. He is kind, loving, and compassionate. If there’s someone who would know and understand exactly how we feel, it’s the Lord.

Do Not Be Insensitive

All people are indeed sinners and there is plenty of proof of that fact, but does that mean we should be insensitive. Just the fact that God is holy and people are sinners would be enough excuse to be insensitive to the plight of humanity.

God did not have to give us the opportunity for a relationship with Him. We chose to break His law. That was not His responsibility to resolve and yet, He became human and died and rose again to have a relationship with us. Jesus gave us the perfect model of how to build a relationship with other people.

Everyone needs relationships. Without relationships, people become bitter. Everyone needs someone to relate to them. Are you willing to relate to them?

Jesus did all the hardest work to save people. However, that does not mean Christians don’t need to put effort into understanding, relating, and caring about where people are coming from. Being insensitive towards others shows a lack of love.

It is easier to receive instruction or a challenge from someone that tries to relate to you. How well do we try to relate to others?

Always Act Without Prejudice

Many Christians say that the gospel is for everyone, yet many of those same people have no desire to relate to other people. Why?

In the book of Hebrews, just like Jesus is our High Priest, all Christians are also priests that can intercede for others. Yet we tend to be narrow-minded and insensitive toward those that are different from us. How is that Christ-like? The Lord was tempted just like every person and overcame every prejudice.

Why are Christians not able to overcome every prejudice as well? We need to remember that a very prejudiced Jew named Saul hated gentiles. But he got saved and God changed him so much that he became the Apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8).

Galatians 2:8, NKJV

“For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.”

God gave His Son to suffer and die on the cross so that everyone who believes will receive eternal life (John 3:16). Whether male or female, Jew or Gentile, small or great, low or high, and whatever race you belong to, Jesus died for you.

As recipients of God’s amazing grace, let us sympathize with the lost and give them the gospel. Let us avoid prejudice at all costs and help them come into a saving relationship with the Lord.

Final Words

Being a born-again believer does not make us any better than others. Every Christian was a sinner saved by grace. If God is not patient and compassionate, we would still be wallowing in our sin and rebellion.

Do we believe that we can come up with an excuse to be indifferent, insensitive, or hateful toward anyone? How sympathetic are we?


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: Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor by Gary Smith

Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor by Gary SmithFor almost ten years, Gary Smith, S.J., lived and worked among the poor of Portland, Oregon.

With this memoir, he invites us to walk with him and meet some of the abandoned, overlooked, and forgotten members of our society with whom he has shared his life.

Just as Smith found a deeper, truer understanding of himself and the heart of God through his work, these people and their stories stand to transform us.

“Although its subject matter is bleak, the book is not. Smith has found love amid the despair. His book is touching, at times hopeful, and the kind of book that is hard to put down, that fascinates, horrifies, and rivets one’s attention.”

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! 🙂

Trauma and the Gospel

Trauma and the Gospel

Over the last few years, I have realized that trauma happens a lot in our sin-cursed world. It is nearly impossible to avoid being affected by traumatic events. Sometimes they are caused by someone else and sometimes we cause the trauma.

Paul, the author of 2 Corinthians, before his name changed, experienced trauma when he was an accomplice to the murder of Stephen in Acts 7:58. Despite his trauma, Paul still wrote that broken sinners can be made new in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

A New Creation in Christ

What it Means to be “In Christ”

The words, “in Christ” comprise a brief but most profound statement of the inexhaustible significance of the believer’s redemption. This includes the following:

  • The believer’s security in Christ who bore in His body God’s judgment against sin.
  • The believer’s acceptance in Him with whom God alone is well pleased.
  • The believer’s future assurance in Him who is the resurrection to eternal life and the sole guarantor of the believer’s inheritance in heaven.
  • The believer’s participation in the divine nature of Christ the everlasting Word.

If you have repented of your sins and received God’s gift of salvation, then you are “in Christ.” Thus, you get to enjoy the above-mentioned benefits of redemption.

Becoming a New Creation

A creation or creature is something that is created at a qualitatively new level of excellence. Nothing can come from nothing. It doesn’t matter how many times you hear atheists say that “something can come from nothing.”

The fact remains that something has to be created to exist and there has to be a creator.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB), the word creature refers to regeneration or the new birth. See John 3:3; Ephesians 2:1-3; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 2:29, 3:9, 5:4.

This expression encompasses the believer’s forgiveness of sins paid for in Christ’s substitutionary death (Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 4:24).

Saul had an encounter with God and became born again by the power of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

If you surrendered your life to Christ, you are a new creation.

Old Things Passed Away

After a person gets born again, his old value systems, priorities, beliefs, loves, and plans are gone. Evil and sin are still present, but the regenerated Christian sees them from a new perspective and they no longer control him.

The change in the renewed Christian’s life is not always automatic. It may take days, months, or even years. But change is most visible for those who were living notoriously before encountering the Lord.

As one Christian said, “Change is inevitable for those who are in Christ.”

Romans 12:2

Things Have Become New

The grammar used indicates that this newness is a continuing condition of fact. The Christian’s new spiritual perception of everything is a constant reality for him. He then now lives for eternity, not temporal things.

James, the brother of our Lord, identifies this transformation as the faith that produces works (James 2:14-25).

It’s not always easy to give up the “old man” and its “old ways” but every believer must strive to live a sanctified life.

God’s Gift of Eternal Life

Jesus indeed came to earth to save all, but not all will receive it.

Saul did not have that free gift at one point in his life, then received it later and became Paul. Do you know for sure, that you have received that free gift of redemption from the trauma of sin? If not, why not get it settled now?

Now for those that have experienced that free gift of redemption, how should we respond to those that are broken and traumatized? If we are born again by the power of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t we live as Jesus lived? Mark 6:34 says Jesus had compassion on all the broken and traumatized.

Concluding Words

Jesus died to save all broken sinners; the embodiment of the Gospel.

Our Lord lived it out by coming to earth from heaven, living a perfect life, and dying a traumatic death even though He was innocent. He rose again and ascended back to heaven where He is showing compassion to all the broken today.

How well are we showing compassion to the broken and traumatized today?


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 Heilman

Publisher’s Description

Do 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
  • How to love God
  • How to love others
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be 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.

A Testimony of the Grace of God

A Testimony of the Grace of God

God has blessed us so much in many ways and we ought to bless others as well. One way of doing this is through our testimony and sharing our journey to faith in Christ.

It is an honor for us here at Biblical Christianity to publish the testimony of a brother in the Lord, Carlo Caputo.


Dear Fellow Christians,

I was a Christian for over a year before I realized I was a true child of God. At the age of 34, God graciously gave me eternal life according to His promises in the Holy Bible. I had always thought I was a Christian and that I would go to heaven when I died because of my Roman Catholic heritage.

I now realize that despite all my church attendance, sacraments, and commandment keeping, I would have gone straight to hell. It’s because I was trusting in my own merits to earn salvation, rather than depending on Jesus to save me.

It seems that everyone strives for two goals in life – security and significance. If a person would honestly analyze their motives, I believe that they would see that all their activities in life fall into these two categories. 

The need to feel accepted by others (security) and the need to feel important (significance) are our two main driving factors.

How I Became A Roman Catholic

Although my parents were not practicing Catholics, they sent me to Catholic schools. And I received the sacraments as I grew in age: Infant Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, etc.

I turned to God early in life because I could not find love anywhere in the home, nor in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood where I was raised. Violence and rejection were everywhere. So my attention was focused on trying to please the Lord to receive the positive reinforcement that I desperately needed.

My efforts were directed through the only way I knew – the Catholic Institution. “Mother Church” became my source of security, and, my devout adherence to its teachings became my source of significance.

I attended daily Mass and Communion for almost 25 years. If I missed mass during the week, I would try to make up for it by going to extra Masses on the weekend. Many a time, as a teenager, I would sit through four or five Masses on Saturday morning. Then say an entire Rosary at each Station of the Cross.

I would give up eating meat for the entire season of Lent. I say this not to boast of my piousness, but to show the utter futility of it all (see Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5).

However, with all this religious activity, there was still an emptiness inside me that I could not explain. I thought I wasn’t doing enough for God, so I would make additional and countless sacrifices to make the Lord accept me.

But still, there was a void within me that I could not seem to fill. I did not try to find happiness by the sinful pleasures of the world and I continually strived to please God,  but deep down inside I always felt I was missing the mark.

Roman Catholicism

Considering Priesthood

While in college, I took Army ROTC and therefore incurred a military obligation after graduate school. After serving as a company commander at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, I volunteered for Vietnam and departed overseas.

At the age of 27, while still living a celibate lifestyle, I seriously considered the priesthood. I wrote to every diocese in the United States and every Catholic Religious Order. I already had eight years of college before entering the military. But to become a Catholic priest involved five additional years of postgraduate study in Philosophy and Theology, which did not seem appealing.

So, when I returned to the States from Vietnam, I became involved with numerous Catholic activities and was elected Parish Council President. I felt that I could serve the Lord without becoming a priest and avoid the time of additional education.

My Charismatic Experience

In the meantime, some sincere Catholic friends were telling me of a new life in the Spirit through the “charismatic experience.” After two years of being “witnessed to,” I received the “gift of tongues” during a Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference.

The fact that this occurred on All Saints Day was a tremendous boost for my “spiritual ego.” Through this experience, I became a better Catholic. The Mass became more meaningful, the words of the priest became more profound and his sermons were a blessing.

I purchased a Catholic Bible and started attending Catholic Charismatic Bible studies and prayer meetings. There had always been a “missing link” in my search for the Lord and now I thought I had found it.

With the ecumenical flavor of the charismatic influence, it did not seem too great a sin to associate with Protestants, so, I started dating a Baptist. After we were engaged, she decided to become Catholic. She took instructions in the Catholic faith and we were married by a priest in a Catholic Church with full nuptial blessings.


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.

New Life in Christ: What Really Happens When You're Born Again and Why It Matters

Joining the Baptist Church

After a while, I joined the Baptist Church to get a better understanding of her background. About a year later we left the Baptist church and joined a Pentecostal fellowship where we remained for three years.

Although I was a very active member of these various churches, the gospel of salvation was never really explained to me, 

and therefore I remained lost. All of this time, I still wanted to return to the Catholic Church. All of my formal education, except for fifteen years of post-graduate studies, was in Catholic schools, so my devotion to Catholicism was still very strong.

I was very uncomfortable with non-Catholics and grew very resentful towards Protestants in general. I was bitterly opposed to Fundamentalists, especially when they would oppose Catholicism, which I defended vehemently.

Frankly speaking, what I saw in Protestants made me want to return to the Catholic Church all the more. I didn’t realize at the time, that many Protestants are without Christ and also need to be “born again,” just like Catholics need biblical salvation.

Sinner Saved by Grace

Sometime later, my life started to change and I couldn’t understand why. Rock music became increasingly irritating, and I enjoyed driving the speed limit.

My greatest change was noticed in my desire to read the Bible. I had always found it difficult to study the Bible, but now I could not put it down. I suddenly had a deep hunger for TRUTH and I felt the Lord leading me to understand the basic doctrines of Biblical Christianity.

As I grew spiritually, I finally realized why my life was changing. A year and a half before this, I was reading a book on Basic Christianity. Here, I learned that I had a sinful nature. This rebellious nature of all mankind is the original sin of Adam & Eve. We are all born with it and will die with it and this is what causes us to sin (see Galatians 5:17).

While I was reading this book, I realized why I was a condemned sinner. And that I could never save myself by good works, but that Jesus Christ had to save me. At this point, I threw myself at the Lord’s mercy and cried out that I wanted to be born again.

I did not become aware that this act of faith is what makes one a Christian until later when I fully understood the meaning of salvation.

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Catholicism vs. Biblical Christianity

Further Bible study revealed some shocking differences from what I had been taught as a Catholic.

I could not find anything about monks, nuns, novenas, sacraments, indulgences, etc. Some would insist that these are part of “Catholic Tradition” which, is “sacred.” They would even refer to 2 Thessalonians 3:6 to justify that there is nothing wrong with this tradition.

I would agree, except when “Sacred Tradition” contradicts Sacred Scripture, then it becomes a serious issue, as warned by Jesus Himself in Matthew 15:6.

I discovered that the Catholic doctrine of:

  • salvation contradicts Romans 4:5, Ephesians 2:8-9; and Titus 3:5;
  • Purgatory contradicts 1 John 1:7;
  • confession contradicts 1 John 2:1
  • holy days of obligation contradict Colossians 2:16;
  • the office of the Pope contradicts 1 Peter 5:13;
  • mandatory celibacy for priests contradicts 1 Timothy 4:3;
  • the title for priest contradicts Matthew 23:9;
  • praying to saints contradicts 1 Timothy 2:5;
  • the Mass contradicts Hebrews10:10-18; etc.

It disturbed me that many Roman Catholic priests were speaking in tongues, yet hearing confessions. They were performing miracles, yet they were still teaching about Purgatory.

What was their source of power for the miraculous, I wondered? It could not be the Holy Spirit if they were still preaching a false way to heaven!

Protestantism vs. Biblical Christianity

I also noticed a familiar preaching style among Pentecostals. During my time in the Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, I was trained in Psychological Warfare.

I noticed that the same mind control techniques that I was taught to incite riots and rebellion were the same preaching techniques that Pentecostals were using in their sermons to manipulate their congregations. See 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

In addition, as I grew to understand the basic doctrines of sin and salvation, I found other charismatics in direct disagreement with the basic essential doctrines of Biblical Christianity.

They believed that it was possible to lose one’s salvation, which contradicts John 10: 28-29. They also believed that one can rise above sin, which contradicts 1 John 1:8.

Finally, I realized that if charismatics, who claim to be so “filled with the Holy Spirit,” could be in such Scriptural error, then what they had must be another spirit. And that the “full gospel” was “another gospel” (see 2 Corinthians 11:4).

It then became obvious to me that the Charismatic Movement is a clever Satanic move. This is the enemy’s weapon to get people to bypass Calvary and get them to the Upper Room where they can perform the “signs of an apostle” without being truly converted. See Matthew 7:21-23 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.

It is noteworthy that the method, by which the Devil used to bring sin into the world, was to entice Eve to become more spiritual; and he still uses the same tactics today.

The Truth Has Set Me Free

I thank God every day for my deliverance from Romanism and Pentecostalism. I now fellowship and worship in an independent, fundamental, Christ-honoring assembly where the Word of God is our sole authority.

It is only through the true power of the Holy Spirit that I could have been freed from the bondage of all the heresies and unsound teachings to which I had been exposed.

The Lord Jesus promised, “You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall make you free” (John 8:32). I had sought the Lord since I was a child and God honored my search.

Jeremiah 29:13

Many Roman Catholics may probably think that I have “abandoned my faith” but that’s not the case. In reality, I have forsaken any hope of achieving heaven by my own good works. Instead, have put my trust in the complete and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I came to believe that Jesus Christ did all the penance for my sins. And the only thing left to do to go to heaven is to have faith in the crucifixion of Christ as a complete atonement for my sins.

In my life without Christ, I had no real peace or joy in my heart. I was a loner and felt very uncomfortable around unfamiliar people. I was extremely insecure and had many fears inside of me that I tried to overcome by being boisterous and aggressive.

Due to the hostile environment of my youth, I was a very angry person and became easily upset with trivial matters.

Living a New Life in Christ

Now, by the abundant grace of God, I find myself being able to build relationships with all types of people. I have become secure in Christ, not in any religion or church. Having the assurance of eternal life and knowing Christ personally as a friend, has given me significance.

It is my prayer, that all who read this may find their security and significance in the Christ of the Bible. Receive God’s gift of eternal life by placing your complete trust in Jesus Christ and look forward to being with Him throughout all eternity.

AMEN.

Your brother in Christ,
Carlo Caputo

How a Husband Models Christ

How a Husband Models Christ

The husband is said to be the head of the family. But as wonderful as that may sound because that means he’s in charge, it also comes with a huge responsibility.

While the wife should submit to her husband, her husband should love her as Christ loved the church.

Bible Verse: Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”

In his exhortation to Christian husbands, the apostle Paul used the Greek word agape. But why did Paul use this kind of love to describe a husband’s love for his wife? Why did he not use eros, which from the word itself refers to love driven by desire?

This is because agape love has little to do with emotion. Rather, it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another. In effect, Paul was telling the Christian husband to continually deny himself for the sake of his wife.

God's Love is Unconditional

How to Love Your Wife

I was recently reminded that being a husband is hard. It can feel hard because it feels like I am giving up my needs for my wife. That can be very frustrating at the moment and it is not a good place to dwell in. Those frustrations are feelings based on reality but Jesus feels the same way about the church many times. Many Christians ignore His Word and we do what we want.

This is the reason why the Christian divorce rate is almost the same as the divorce rate of unbelievers. Many times neither the husband nor the wife are following God’s word. Human nature does not love as God wants us to love.

When men do not feel respected or listened to, they most definitely will not want to love. Thus creating a circle of disrespect and a lack of showing love among husbands and wives.

This is where husbands are commanded to remember Jesus and His sacrifice toward His bride, the Church. Christian husbands have the responsibility of modeling Jesus to his family and those around him. The Christian husband must forgive the disrespect and show unconditional love despite their actions as Jesus did.

Love Your Wife Unconditionally

The Bible says that despite our sinfulness and rebellion, Christ loved us. That’s unconditional love, which God demonstrated by sending His Son to die on our behalf (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).

If God loved us unconditionally, husbands should also love their wives unconditionally.

Unconditional love means giving up our expectations when they are not met. This does not happen very often because our sinful nature does not want to give up any of our rights, needs, or expectations.

As men, we are anything but humble. It is human nature to think we are important but we are nothing compared to the importance of Jesus. He created everything and maintains everything (Colossians 1:16-17). Christ empowers whomever He wills and is the master planner of everything.

At times, He allows us to mess up so that we can learn from our mistakes. Yet, He loves us enough to commune with us. He could have let humanity condemn itself to hell but He chose to allow us to be redeemed (Titus 2:11).

Husbands Modeling Christ

Model Christ in Your Marriage

Back to the application of the gospel in marriage, the husband should model Christ’s unconditional love to his wife. But this unconditional love should not be confined within the husband’s immediate family. He must also show unconditional love to the people around him. This is where God exposes our inability to love as God loves us.

I pray that all husbands humble themselves before God so that we would be enabled to live according to the Gospel.

We read the following in Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT).

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”

Closing Words

God is glorified when we live as He directs us in His Word.

As a reward and motivation for obedience to His Word, God will reward husbands who follow His example. We will be given crowns in heaven and a kingdom during the millennium. All things considered, nobody has any concept of how wonderful eternity with the creator of the universe will be.

Don’t you want to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant?”


Recommended Resource: Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Publisher’s Description

Do 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
  • How to love God, love others, discern God’s will for your life, and be 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.

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.