L.I.L.I.C. – Purposeful Acts of Power

LILIC (Lessons I Learned In Church – The “c” is silent, so it sounds like the lily flower.) are recaps of what I learned from church the prior Sunday.

Pastor Charles Price conducted the sermon from CCF church, Manila in The Philippines. Its central focus was the Power and Purpose Christ left to His disciples before His Ascension. He paid close attention to the reactions and actions of the disciples; also, everything is found in the Book of Acts.

First off, I must say I’m glad I came to Church on Sunday. I was tired, sleepy, not in the mood, and the Devil was tempting me with my soft bed. If I hadn’t gone I would have missed a wonderful sermon. Whenever this happens to you it’s best to make an even greater attempt (and enthusiasm) to head to Church, there will be a sermon you just have to hear! I learned a lot on Sunday, things I’ve read repeatedly on my own time but hadn’t actually noticed. 

POWER

1. The word used for ‘power’ is ‘donamis’ in the Bible, meaning “Dynamite power.” It is the “action/make” part of our role as disciples. Jesus’ disciples spent more than 3 years with Him; they lived with Him, ate with Him, became a family with Him. He was their Rabbi. However, they all deserted Him. (John stayed up until the crucifixion but left Jesus’ body soon after.) I hadn’t realized how disappointing the disciples were at the time around Christ’s crucifixion.

  • The disciples fought over who was the greatest disciples during the Lord’s Supper.
  • Peter questions Jesus when he is told that he will deny Jesus three times. It is an implication that he believed Jesus did not know him well.
  • While Christ was praying before He was captured His disciples, Peter, James, and John fell asleep when they should have been guarding their Rabbi.
  • Judas’ betrayal
  • The disciples quaked in fear and hid after Jesus’ crucifixion; they didn’t even visit His grave.

Sadly, all this occurred after Jesus had spent YEARS with them. They had learned and lived with God, and yet they became discouraged and small. However, before Christ’s Ascension we see a huge change. In the Book of Acts we see the disciples being brave and faithful to God as they spread the Good News. This brings us to the second kind of power the Holy Spirit gives:

2. ‘Exusia’ used in the Bible means ‘Authority,’ this, as Pastor Charles Price described, is the power to ‘tell.’ I must admit some times it’s scary to speak up and let your voice be heard, you’re target for judgment and ridicule even if you’re right. With this type of power the disciples became bold and courageous, illustrating God’s Word and commands to others. [Question: Do you choose your words carefully when you’re trying to show a fellow Christian when they’re wrong?]

PURPOSE

With these two types of power the disciples are able to complete their purpose – spreading the Gospel and showing others that Christ is worth knowing. “Our lives tell others that Jesus Christ is worth knowing or that Jesus Christ is not worth knowing.”

An interesting fact I learned:

Compare Acts 1:8 with Acts 8:1.

Christ told His disciples to be a witness to people in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the ends of the earth. However, through chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, the disciples only witnessed in Jerusalem; because this is where they’re welcomed and known. The persecution of Stephen caused them to scatter to Judea and Smaria.

It is not that we need to ask for more of the Holy Spirit and His power; in reality we need to give more of ourselves to Him, wholeheartedly. We are all given the Holy Spirit to guide us, help us, and show us where to go and yet we keep our eyes on our own abilities. If you believe you can do all things through Christ, then you shouldn’t second guess nor look at what you have/don’t have. Just go out into the world and show everyone that Jesus is worth knowing!

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Daily Devotion: “So, who did you bring with you?”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:19-20

Picture this: you just took your last breath on Earth and now inhaled into Heaven. You made it! You are amazed by the sights, the sounds, even the smell! Wow, this place is the bomb, you think to yourself. And then the best part, you bow before Our Father. He smiles and greets you by name but He looks over your shoulder and slight disappointment occurs; He smile reappears as He asks, “So, who did you bring with you?”

This is a crucial L. I. L. I. C. (Lesson I Learned In Church). Jesus’ last command was to make disciples; He wanted us to share the Gospel with those around us and teach them to “observe” or “obey” His Word. Have you been doing that lately?

Sometimes, we pay too much attention to our own salvation. Me, me, me. How am I supposed to get myself into Heaven so that I won’t burn in Hell? Sure, we may not say this aloud but Lord knows our hearts. If we have this kind of mentality then we resemble the false prophets with their selfish ambitions (Read: Matthew 7: 21-23). Our Walk becomes somewhat lonely. Why when we can invite who we meet alongside our paths?

Think: When was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone who is a Christian and is not a Christian? (For those of you who have Christian blogs, try remembering the last time you shared it in person or directly with someone.) How many people, can you guesstimate, have been Saved or decided to take their Christianity more personally and seriously because you were involved?

We want to make Papa proud! He would be satisfied to see that You helped bring others to Christ. Let everyone know about eternal life, tell them about the Good News, show them how God worked in your own life! Remember, that your job is simply to share. There will be people who will not accept Christ even if He came to them in the flesh so don’t be discouraged if someone does not give their life to Christ.

I’ve got a question for you: What do you plan to do now that you read this? (Keep me posted! Message me or leave a comment!)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I thank You for this life You’ve given me but I also thank You for the life I will have after this earthly one. I await the day we meet face-to-face. In the meantime, I will continue to improve daily for You. I want to bring others to You, Lord. My family, my friends, my co-workers, my enemies, and even strangers on the street! I understand that You are “with [me] always, to the end of the age” and, therefore, I have Holy assistance. May I do this for Your sole glorification! This I ask in Your Name. Amen.

My Testimony ‘Love from my Papa’

I could never quite tell “my story” right without feeling I’d forgotten something extremely important but if I didn’t remember, then it couldn’t have been that important. I’ll be turning 19 in August; for most of my life I had a perforated heart waiting to be substantially filled. When I came into this world I had so much hope, heart and happiness. That was until I realized where I was.

From around age eight to fifteen I suffered great depression. All of my hurt and anguish was at the hands of my father. My father was an abusive man. He abused his family in more ways than one – sexually and physically towards my mother, physically towards my eldest brothers (twins) and, generously, verbally toward us all. I grew up thinking I was the “problem solver”, I grew up believing that my father wanted, finally, a girl after 3 boys. I grew up believing he had wanted me. The drinking, the abuse, the tongue-lashing – it would all stop because I was wanted and I had arrived. So I thought. At first things seemed well, but nothing had changed. My father neglected his family and cheated on his wife, he’d be missing for hours and sometimes days. My mother would cry; my brothers would seek refuge in his absence. Years later he had another daughter, and just like that I was replaced.

I always knew that my mother loves me dearly, but even to this day I could never say the same for my father. When I was old enough to understand what occurred around me reality sunk in. I would cry a lot, I would be extremely suicidal – sometimes I would sit on the kitchen floor with the knife held to my heart, lights off, just wondering what would happen next. Could anything be worse than this? I’d thought to myself but God always stopped me. I tried hurting myself, I stopped socializing, I had dreams and ambitions but at the tongue of my father I knew it would never happen. Christmas, New Years, birthdays, and other special holidays came and went for years and my father did nothing; he wasn’t even there. Many times he didn’t even know what grade I was in or how old I was.

Because I was socially inept and withdrawn in school, I didn’t really have any friends until 10th grade. The few friends I thought were dependable said hurtful things to me or treated me harshly. I’d felt as ugly, unlovable, and grey in school as I did at home. There was no escape. I’d cry at school, I’d cry at home. I had cried so much I was left bone-dry and angry. Everything made me angry. The world was just a horrible place where beautiful people held ugly, selfish hearts; no one cared about anyone else and if they did, it was only temporary and a visage. Later I learned every trial was just a matter of perception.

I had heard about God, didn’t have any thoughts about Him. Besides, what kind of God would bring me into such an awful world? Somehow, we had reconnected. He intervened. At fifteen, while my brother was in Police Academy, my mother and I packed up and left my father’s house. That night the bills weren’t paid as usual, the electricity was off and my mother was tired. It was the best night of our lives. We didn’t have any money but God worked in our favor and my mother made $2600 in one day. We all moved in a 1-bedroom efficiency but it was like heaven at home. After that things went up hill. My grades improved, I made a particular best friend, “Limpy,” who I still cherish to this day and other friends, my mother’s business boomed, my third brother became a wonderful officer, and I was crediting God before even really knowing Him.

Slowly, I grew in my faith. I realized that everything was orchestrated so that I could be reconciled with God. Everything happens for a reason so that I may be drawn toward Him. I began praying, watching sermons, speaking to God. Through my life He’s also touched the hearts of some of my friends and family. I can see their lives changing. I’m also proof that praying for Christ to come into your heart is powerful even if you don’t completely believe.

Fast forward to today, I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made with a purpose. I can encourage someone who is depressed; uplift someone who’s feeling down. I can never forget what my Father has done for me, and continues to. As I strive for my Forensic Accountancy certification – dual degree in Accounting and Criminology – I will implement programs for children and adolescents in abusive homes, making sure to tell them about the Gospel. I can be an inspiration to those who never felt good enough, felt unloved and alone. I can be a miracle to them.

My relationship with my earthly father has also improved. I still can’t trust him completely but I know I don’t have to; I simply must trust in the Heavenly Father who never abandoned me, never forsake me, never stopped loving, and thinks I’m a Princess. My name is Philly, God saved me from a life of grey. He gave up His life so that I may be Saved. To Him be all the Glory!

 

If you want to give your life to Christ right now, maybe you don’t fully believe but you want to experience His love, please say this prayer below:

Dear, Lord Jesus I accept Your gift of salvation. I believe You are the Son of God and died for my sins. I have not been living my life for You but from now on I will. Please, come into my heart and life. I accept You as my personal and only Savior. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Daily Devotion: Big Faith, Little Works

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” –James 2:26

 All our Christian lives we hear words encouraging us to have faith, to cast our cares upon The Lord, to not worry because God is handling our problems. We are told that He may not completely diminish our headaches but rather soothe our pain so that we can adjust. Throughout all this God is doing His part as our Heavenly Father and while sometimes having faith is hard, it is not the only thing we should be doing.

In the statement, “faith without works is dead,” there are two important interpretations:

  1. Our faith should be displayed by our good works, just as the type of our fruits and tree (good or bad) is determined by our actions (Read: Matthew 7: 15-20). “Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”
  2. Our faith is accompanied by our actions. We do not simply pray and cast our cares to God, we also take action illustrating that we know God will fulfill His promises. (Read: James 2:21)

Introspect: Which of these do you have the most trouble with? How will you aim to improve today?

Oftentimes, I have horrible tendencies with number two; Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and ask God to help make my day productive and yet I sleep most of the morning away after Bible Study. God looks down on me and asks, “How can I help you if you’re sleeping all the time?! You can’t do anything whilst sleeping!” This can be likewise with a lot of us; instead we are sleeping on our actions – waiting for God to step in as if He is a fairy godmother. If a plan my day ahead, aim to nap maybe after I got a few important things done then I’m sure Papa will replenish my energy and even give me ideas on what to do next with my day.

 

Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, I know You tell me that having faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains! May I also have works that signify my good fruit and good deeds. I ask that You may help me to become a Christian of action; help me to not only talk the talk but walk the walk so that You may be Glorified! In Your name I pray this for in Your name I can do all things. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

LILIC: Be a Miracle to Others!

LILIC (Lessons I Learned In Church – The “c” is silent, so it sounds like the lily flower.) are recaps of what I learned from church the prior Sunday.

Side Note: It’s always a delight when friends and family read my blogs! 🙂 I hope and pray that there are people out there who are broken, lonely, and lost but somehow stumble upon my blog and feel the love of God. May you too feel God’s presence with my words which belong to Him. All Glory to Him and Him only.

Sunday, May 19, 2013 after Praise & Worship we watched a video of Pastor Nick Vuijcic who preached at CCF (Christ’s Commission Fellowship church) in Manilla, a branch of the church. If you do not know who Pastor Nick is then I suggest you check out lifewithoutlimbs.org

“If you don’t believe in heaven, how can you have a positive attitude?” Life would just be for the sake of living, for mere existence. People are depressed and oppressed for many years of their lives, maybe some still are, and without heaven they live life without hope. In Mumbai, India the virginity of young girls is sold (sometimes by their own family members) to pay off debts; these girls are as young as eight years old. They then must have sex with 800 men in order to pay off their debts (of about $800 for example). By the time they are free to go they are detrimentally hopeless, and with nowhere to go, no one to run to, what are they supposed to do now? If they don’t know about Jesus, how can they find hope after what they’ve been through?

A Christian organization, Indian Rescue Mission, has rescued over 238 girls and brought the Good News to them. (Read a story about a 12-year-old girl who was rescued here). With the Good News being made known to them there is hope for a better life. “The Devil has nothing on you if you know the Truth,” said Pastor Nick, “the only thing stopping you from entering heaven is you saying ‘no, thank You, God’.”

Oftentimes, us Christians misunderstand what salvation really is. In John 3:16 it says God LOVED the world so much that He allowed His Son’s death, a Holy Sacrifice, so that whoever BELIEVES in Him will have eternal life. Love and Believe. God gives love and we simply must believe. However, many of us believe that we enter Heaven because of our good works. Tell a lost soul, for example a girl sold as a sex slave, that there is a Heaven, that there is a God, and all He wants is for you to do is accept His Son and believe. On the day you return Home God may look over your shoulder and ask, “well, who did you bring?” Currently, are you satisfied with your answer?

You are destined to be a source of encouragement, a miracle, to others. You can bring hope in someone’s heart and a smile upon someone’s face, bringing Glory to the Father.

Lastly, here is an example of how we are all purposed to be an inspiration and miracle to someone. Pastor Nick Vuijicic is a man without limbs; he thought he was the only person born without any limbs. That is, until he met an 18-month-old boy who was also born without limbs. He looked down at that boy, reminiscing on the ridicule and insults he suffered as a child, and knew his life would be an inspiration to this boy when he is older. This boy may grow up mirroring Pastor Nick and give his life to God; he would be filled with the hope and Good News Pastor Nick preaches. He will know there’s more to life than living. 

How will you be a miracle to others?

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Daily Devotion: The Lazy Generation

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”

-Proverbs 13:4

This generation is getting lazier and lazier as time progresses. Due to modernization you don’t “have” to do certain things; there are convenience tools which do the hard work for us. Vacuums, dishwashers, dryers and washers handle our cleaning so we “don’t have to” do the harder, tedious choices. Spellcheck, google, dictionaries (I can’t imagine Jesus using a dictionary) make us look and sound smarter than we actually are. Motor vehicles, bicycles, delivery services, and technological communication (webcams, telephones, etc) give us the choice to stay home if we don’t want to. (It’s a fact that you can live a “normal” life completely at home.) There are many more innovative ideas and inventions that help us to be lazy. These are labelled as “convenience inventions,” however, there is a thin line between convenience and laziness.

The inventions of this world promotes laziness; it is our task to aim to work harder in other fields.

As a college student, it puzzles me how the internet can be the greatest (and sometimes most inaccurate) and most helpful source used for research papers and essays. There are many sites that can give me an abundant amount of information all at my fingertips. One of my college professors said that when she was in college there was no internet. She had to literally find all her sources without the help of a search engine. (Yes, college students are supposed to do the same; however, search engines and websites help direct them, give general knowledge in a matter of seconds, and help in overall analytical decisions – let’s not forget how useful the internet is for studying.)

Imagine: a world without technology. How would your days be like? What would you do? When there is a power-outage, what occurs in your household? This was how Jesus lived!

I’m not saying you should live without technology. It is quite a blessing that we are able to create such inventions through the knowledge God gives us! Because we have these convenience tools we have more time to work harder, however, are we?

Introspect: In what areas of your life are you not giving your all? How are you going to change that?

Prayer: Father, I thank You for the knowledge You give us to create great inventions. May these inventions help us to work harder in less frivolous, daily activities. May you denounce any laziness for Your word says “a slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4) May we also be rich in Your love and give You the attention You desire. May You help us to do everything as if we are doing it for You, in that case we will aim to work diligently and prosper! Father, we claim this in Your Holy Name. Amen

I’m Taking My Own Advice…

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Lately I’ve been feeling too wrapped up in myself. I’ve been in “summer mode,” talking to friends, making up for the sleep lost this semester, being absolutely lazy and unproductive. But that’s not really how I want to spend my summer – this just happened.

I do have summer goals and a major goal is to devote more time to God. To seek Him more. I do it every summer. Life gets pretty hectic with college, and tutoring, and handling responsibilities; I lose a lot of quality time with God and merely do something from time to time to reignite the fire so that I don’t spiral into ritualistic Christianity. God understands when we get really busy, He just wants some communication, respect, and love on our part. I want to give Him my all. Giving Him my all means taking my own advice.

For the next few days (or until I feel closer to God) I will be seeking God earnestly. I’m following the steps on How to Seek God. Which means no facebook, no twitter, no distractions, just Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, until I feel that chasm between us closing. I’ll answer to any important messages, but all my friends will know that right now Jesus is commanding my full attention!

Is your life sometimes so hectic that you don’t have much time for God? Are you sinking into ritualistic Christianity (a bad habit of Christians)? Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)

Daily Devotion: Being Fruitful

“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.”

– Colossians 1:10

I’m presenting a new feature to my blog: Devotions. I will try my best to make one each day so that there’s always something new up. Let’s devote time to Our Savior, cherishing Him, studying Him, and praising Him!

The scripture is taken from the Book of Colossians; Paul was Spirit-filled as he wrote to the Church of Colosse. He mainly speaks about the superiority of Jesus Christ and false teachings in his letter. In the first chapter, after Paul’s greeting, he praises the church and prays for them before correcting any misconceptions of Christ (this is a good way to correct someone – compliment them first, show you have good intentions, then correct with a soft tongue.) Before the tenth verse Paul says, “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding,” then proceeds to say the tenth verse.

Firstly, bearing fruit and being fruitful are quite important. But there are two kinds of fruit: good and bad. Paul clearly means good fruit. In Matthew 7:15-20 it explicates that you can differentiate between good and bad tree by the fruits it bears. We are the tree and our fruits are our actions. (V. 20) Being fruitful does not mean what comes from our lips, so that people who uphold an air of righteousness or a visage of Holiness cannot deceive you. It is by their works, reactions, and actions.

What kind of actions/fruit pleases God?

Read: Galatians 5:19-22.

“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” these are fruits of the Holy Spirit. These are qualities we must embody, improve on, and emanate to everyone around us. We must also possess self control and become abstemious, continuously (and conscientiously) showing these qualities.

Think: Introspect. Are you truly possessing these qualities? Are you giving in to your sinful nature, which does not possess these Holy attributes, and are constantly angry, greedy, jealous, disrespectful, or wild? Be honest with yourself; how do you plan to change?

Returning to the scripture from Colossians, notice that the ninth and tenth verse are connected by a transition. Paul says, “THEN the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.” This insinuates that there is something we must do in the ninth verse to “honor and please the Lord” and “produce every kind of good fruit.” The ninth verse suggests that we must ask God to give us complete knowledge of His Will, spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Prayer: Father, I come before you with my fruit. Bruised, tainted, and old they are from my former self. I ask that You may renew my roots, water my ground so that I may sprout new, vivacious and colorful fruit. Help me to possess fruits of the Holy Spirit, help me to show these to everyone I come across and not just people who like me. For if I only show love to those who love me than I am no better than the wicked. Lord, please also grant me complete knowledge of Your Will, spiritual wisdom and understanding so that I may honor You and You will be pleased by my efforts. This I pray in Your Holy Name. Amen.

Where We Go Wrong – 3 Bad Habits Christians are Guilty of

No one is perfect except the God we serve. Our walk with Christ should exemplify His Love with Love and good works. As Christians, we are target for slander, gossip, and ridicule. The world is our enemy. Skeptics, nonbelievers, and even our own brethren await for us to mess up and thus bring shame to the Name of God. We cannot focus on them, rather we must focus on God and how we Show Jesus in our lives.

Here are some things we all need to work on. Don’t fret if you are guilty of any of these things, remember we are not made to be perfect but rather to serve a perfect, loving God. What’s important is that we all must try to improve.

1. Religion Vs. Relationship

This is the most prevalent mistake Christians make. When we choose to have a religion instead of a relationship with Our Creator the result is detachment, misunderstanding of God’s love, lack of commitment or forced commitment. Religion is man-made and ritualistic. Christians who have a religion with God simply go to church, participate in some Church events, may make standard, repeated prayers, or speak to God only when they need Him.

These Christians are in some ways like the Pharisees. Image is everything; those who aim to uphold an image of righteousness instead of coming to terms with their unrighteousness will be told “I don’t know you,” by Jesus Christ. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted,” Luke 18:14. Here is a video by 17 year old, Emmanuel Garcia on Religion vs. Relationship

You can have a more fruitful walk by having a relationship with God. This relationship should be intimate, as intimate as your relationship with your best friend, and as respectful since you are speaking to the Creator of the Universe. [Click here to read about tips to improve your relationship with God.] 

2. Not Living in Love.

To live in love means you emanate it, it oozes off of you and splashes onto those you interact with. I could give you over one hundred verses on love to exemplify this, but what good will it do unless you actually BELIEVE them, UNDERSTAND them, and USE them? You already know Jesus came into the world with Love and left out of Love.

Everything was done with Love. Consequently, since we are to emulate Our Savior, everything WE do must be done with Love. You may say it’s easier said than done; the answer is to fix your perspective. “Easier said than done,” means you’re looking at the trial, difficulty level, and who you don’t want to show love to (especially since it requires forgiving them). Instead, look to God. “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Col. 3:17) “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Col. 3:23) Fix your eyes not on the trial, on other people, and your own abilities but rather on God; then you will do everything out of and with Love. Make God smile down at you. 🙂

3. Serving two masters.

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) To reiterate, you cannot be worldly and be a Christian (and expect Jesus to tell you “well done” on Judgement Day). This simply means you have to give up the things of this world and focus on heaven. The Bible says to take up your cross and deny yourselves if you plan on following God. What does that mean per se?

To “take up your cross” means “death of self”, or surrendering yourself to God. This is why Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9: 24-25). Therefore you must be so committed to Jesus that you would DIE for Him if the day comes. Since you’re willing to die for Jesus, how can you possibly have the capacity to serve anyone else? You should be filled with Jesus. Let’s review the second half of the phrase.

We must deny ourselves while we follow Jesus. It sounds self-restraining to others who want to feed their own pleasures and desires; no this, no that – there’s no fun in that. Not true. Believe me, this is far from the truth. As a college-bound teenager I have the expectations of going to wild parties, drinking, “hooking up,” using invective language, and many other things. But these things are not what Jesus would suggest if he were in my Sophomore class, sitting next to me in Business Calculus. He also wouldn’t tell me that I must live a boring life, clad in my queen-size bed’s attire. It gets easier to deny your old self with time and by reminding yourself of how Jesus died on the Cross for all your sins so that you may be reconciled with The Father. There must be a balance, people around you should definitely be able to say, “Oh, *your name*? Well he’s/she’s definitely a Christian, no doubt about it.”

Funny, last night a certain scripture was stuck in my head and now it’s the perfect ending to this blog.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Relations with the Father

Having a relationship with the Father is a foundational quality of the Christian life. Without a relationship, we are simply being religious. Then, how different are we from other people? Christianity is not a religion, it is a lifestyle that includes the Trinity in every way possible.

To clarify, let’s use an earthly example – your relationship with your earthly father. How do you two get along? Do you speak to him often, ask him for advice, lean on him? Whether you have the best father on earth or have never met him you can imagine the effects. If the answer is no to each question that means you lack a relationship with your dad. Thus, the answer to the first question is indefinitely No. Apply this to Our Heavenly Father and contemplate.

Below is a visual representation of the effects of having a relationship with God:

Image[Devotion kindles, or rekindles, your relationship with God. It fuels your spirit as you thirst for the Almighty. The result of an intimate relationship with God will lead to a stronger desires to do His will and better understanding of Him.]

“So… what kind of relationship am I supposed to have?”

Easy, a friendship, a parental relationship, and a devotional, respectful relationship. Thus, you must have an appropriate balance. Too much of a friendship means you may lack devotion, too much of a parental relationship means you may fear God but not love Him. You can’t devote too much of yourself to God, just remember not to forget your works. In adding all three types of relationships in one “I love You, God” gumbo, your result is a delicious, intimate relationship with God. Here, He is your Provider, Protector, Healer, Confidant, Best Friend, Lawyer, and above all else, Your Personal Savior and God.

“Great, I’ve got it! But how can I have a better relationship with My God?”

There are many ways to improve your relationship with God. That’s the best part. God just wants you to come to Him, surrender yourself to Him, pick up that cross you’ve got beside your feet, and show His love to the world! To help start you off, you can:

  • Focus less on appearing “righteous” and more on God. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard,” (Romans 3:23) therefore, no one can claim to be righteous. Show me a man who claims he is sinless and I will show you a liar. With that out the way you can focus on God who is forgiving, righteous and has boundless love.
  • Talk to Your Father more. You don’t have to pray for an hour every 4 hours each day on your knees with a rosary wrapped around your fingers. That’s a bit too much. Relax. Yes, this is the God who created Heaven and Earth, the God who knew you long before your mother’s birth, but He is also the God who simply wants to be your friend and Savior. Respect Him like a God but talk to Him like a Friend. Talk to Him while you’re driving, asking Him to help you find a parking space; talk to Him in the shower, let Him know how your day went; talk to Him in the morning after you’ve awoken or before you head out, telling Him of your goals and asking for assistance.
  • Another way to have a more intimate relationship with God is to fast and seek Him fervently. Having bible studies, fasting, and seeking His face [Here is an article on How to Seek God] are great ways to get to know Your Papa better. Also, go outside the box and keep up with the End Times. There are a lot of things news channels will not report concerning Christianity (for instance, the discovery of Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat – Do your research, brothers and sisters!!). Likewise, researching the signs of the Times as it correlates with the Book of Revelation is highly crucial. Our Savior will return sooner than you think! I hope you’re living as if He’ll return in 10 seconds rather than tomorrow! 🙂
  • Don’t forget your good works! It’s amazing how much closer you’ll feel after showing love to the world, spreading the Word of God, and bringing smiles to other people (and ultimately God). Don’t simply help friends, for the bible says “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.” (Matthew 5:46)
  • Lastly, get creative. I can’t dictate how you should live your Christian life (and frankly, I don’t want to) I can merely make suggestions based on my own experiences and research. Have fun!

I’d love to know more about you and how you are doing on your Walk with God! Feel free to leave me a message. We can pray together, fast together, or have Bible studies together. I am your sister in Christ and if you’re ever in need, I’m always here and will help in any way I can! Yours truly, Philly ❤
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