Challenge Your Spirit!!! – One Week Prayer Challenge

Aah, I love challenges. The first week is always the best.. until it gets a bit too real. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever started a challenge – be it spiritual, fitness, or other types – and you were hyped for the first few days. Then everything starts getting boring. Maybe you didn’t take it seriously enough?

Maybe you didn’t see just how important it is to challenge yourself once and a while. How important is your spirit to you? Very important. It’s all you’ve got when your body deteriorates away. Chances are, since you’re on my blog, you’ve already got interests in God and Christianity. You know that there is a life after death; there is a heaven and hell. You want to go to Heaven. So, how about a simple challenge to help you get there? Is that serious enough for you?

I found a Prayer Challenge on Pinterest. I couldn’t resist – I have to share it. I’m currently doing a Daniel Fast so this will come just in handy! Join me? Pretty pweaasseee? 🙂

 

 

Image

 

Image

ImageImageImageImage

ImageJoin me in this prayer challenge and/or one week fast as I seek God, asking Him for guidance, protection, prosperity and His Will. 

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul – Deuteronomy 4:29

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. – Lamentations 3:25

We are Barabbas

A few weeks ago, friend of mine shared a video on her Facebook and tagged me in it. I had watched that video at least three times since, because it was absolutely lovely and made me think!

[Here is the video in case you missed my earlier blog]

I’d like to add to this video, with my own thoughts and discoveries – a short reflection and commentary. Here are the main points Judah Smith presented:

  • We are Barabbas; we are the prisoner being freed.
  • We did not deserve that freedom. Like Barabbas, we were “thugs” and “rebels” (according to Judah Smith).
  • Like Barabbas, we are not thankful to Jesus for this transaction (not realizing Jesus set him – or us – free). In fact, Barabbas did not even know who Jesus was.
  • Our salvation and help comes from God, not within ourselves.
  • Jesus died so Barabbas (we) can live.
  • God loves us more than we could comprehend.
  • Your greatest challenge is simply BELIEVING.

Jesus_or_barabbas2-1.57174557_std

Barabbas was the leader of an insurrection, or a violent rebellion, against the government and a murderer. 1 Samuel 15:23 says rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft. Many books in the Old Testament speak against witchcraft. Exodus 22:18 says “you shall not permit a sorceress to live.” Since the two are synonymous sins, then rebels DESERVE their deaths. Revelations 21:8 and Galatians 5:20-21 confirms this. Yet, here comes Jesus, the Son of Man and God in the Second Trinity, to take the place of such shameful sin and place it on Himself. This is love.

This is salvation. A free gift.

We were friends of this world and kin to sin; rebels to God and murderers of all things Holy. Daily we sin, grieve the Holy Spirit, doubt, turn our backs to God, leave un-repented sin, refuse to believe in God and accept His gift of salvation. These are enslaved free slaves. John 8:34 says, “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” However, as Jesus traded places with us. “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36). “For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.” (Romans 6:20) Hence, we can not serve two masters – as we are free from one, we must serve one.

Yet, there are those who profess one and return to their old ways. As Judah Smith puts it, “You can not shake yourself free. There’s no answer within yourself. There’s only ONE – The One who TOOK YOUR PLACE.” God wants your sin. He wants you to live; He has plans for you on Earth (“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11) and a life after this. His blood is sufficient; It IS finished.

Jesus is ENOUGH!

My love

If you feel bound to sin, if you haven’t given your life to the One who gave it to you. I want you to give me 60 more seconds – Just 1 minute. Turn off your television, surround yourself in quietness, clear your mind. Just for 1 minute. You don’t have to know God to pray to Him; you don’t have to be a Saint to seek Him as we all are sinners. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) With all your heart and soul say this prayer. Allow God to make Himself known to you; allow Him to break those chains on your feet and walk with Him; allow Him to love you.

 

God in Heaven, I acknowledge that I am Barabbas – a sinner who has rebelled against you. I no longer what that title, I want to be Your Child and a Brethren of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I am returning to You, Father, as a prodigal son, as a lost sheep and I know You are waiting with open arms and a celebration. I confess in my heart and with my tongue that Jesus is Lord. Jesus, please come into my heart and life, make a home in my soul. I accept You as my personal Savior and Lord. I want to be Your servant, and only Yours! Create a thirst in me to seek You, to do Your Will, to read Your Word, and share You with those I come into contact with. Though I may stumble, I believe and know You will be there to pick me up as You have already carried my burden on the Cross. These things I ask in Your Holy and Gracious Name. Amen.

Daily Devotion: Blessed are the MEEK

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

Image

This week seems to dive into an introspection of our speech and personality and how it pertains to our Christianity. You should not aim to change yourself for the sake of “appearing righteous” because this will only lead to disappointment, discouragement, and possibly feeling like you are a “Failed Christian.” Such a deep change will occur overtime and purely on it’s own; in the meantime, it’s important to aim to show certain qualities to the world. We are Christ’s ambassadors and our lives show if living for God and not this world is actually worth it. Make a change…

Starting with being meek. 

It is one of the Beatitudes, it’s a prime quality of Our Savior and it is easier said than done. Meekness. What is being meek? When I hear the word ‘meek’ I immediately envision a prophet or Christ Himself; a soft voice, a still tongue, and a modest attire. Those are prime qualities linked with being meek. According to Wikipedia, words/phrases like “God-fearing, righteous, humble, teachable, patient under suffering, willing to follow Gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple” better describes the attributes of a meek person. This surpasses my personal definition by a long shot.

Look back at those attributes and ask yourself if you think you’re up to par yet.

God-fearing: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm 110:10) A complete understanding of who God is and what He can do will put things into perspective, thus roots wisdom.

Righteous: there are no righteous, sinless people on Earth. We must aim for righteousness by aiming to be sinless. By relying more on God and not on our own understanding we will yield less and less on our sinful desires.

Humble: Have you ever been boastful, prideful or show-offy? It happens to us all at times but we must aim for humility. Be modest in speech and dress, if you do then chances are you won’t have to apologize or swallow your words in the future.

Teachable: This means you must be able to take advice and criticism: a hard pill to swallow. Learn to simply nod and smile when someone advises you before speaking. If you continue to do this you’ll form a habit of accepting criticism without throwing over a table or arguing.

Patience under suffering: Patience is a virtue. I’ve had a lot of practice becoming more patient while waiting for government offices to handle any important documents I may need. Sure, you can take patience into your own hands by acknowledging that God is always in control… and you can always visit a government office as a cherry on top.

Willing to follow the Gospel teachings: Being willing and simply doing are completely different. If I am willing then I will not feel hampered by following God’s Word, I won’t feel self-deprived because I don’t mind being abstemious. Maybe this comes from growth in your Walk with God or simply your love for Him.

Remember that being meek does not mean you must be dull, lack-luster in personality, and lose all your characteristics. It is an addition and modification to your personality and is a blatant illustration that God is working within you by humbling you! In becoming meek, remember: to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:2)

Prayer: Father, I thank You for all that You continuously do for me. I want to be more like Your Son, Jesus Christ. Please, help me and guide me to become more meek in a world that is boastful, prideful, and boisterous. May Your Holy Spirit fill me and humble my heart to Your likeness so that I may inherit the earth. This I ask in Your Holy Name. Amen.

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.

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.

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.