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? 🙂

 

 

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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

Venting: Personal Blog – Pink Crosses

Tonight was one of those nights.

The house was quiet, the rain had stopped pouring, everyone was asleep… and here I was. Alone. Bored. Moody. Depressed. Frustrated. Impatient. It goes on, trust me, it does.

I started thinking, “what’s wrong with me?” The things which absorb my thoughts, my deepest desires, started to consume me and I wasn’t sure if it was a Godly perspective on my situation. A lady in waiting. She waits for her Prince, her partner in crime, her confidant. There I was thinking on such things, about someone.

In the mere 18, soon to be 19, years of my life I realized that out of all our personal pursuits (occupational, educational, entertainment, pleasure, etc) love is the most crucial, most affecting thirst we all have. It comes in stages; I’m currently at the stage that yearns for God and a mate. I crave Jesus, I love Him so much. I crave God’s Will in my life and I want MORE of Him. I also crave a soul mate.. I’m actually contemplating on having a marriage-worthy relationship. A serious relationship. But, when I start yearning for what I don’t have my emotions reflect on that missing blessing.

So, the only possible way is to feed my spirit and out-pour my emotions. If I can in-take good, I will eject goodness. I’ve started writing letters to my Future Husband, taking my purity more seriously (as purity is not just about refraining from sex), reading a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris, and now I’m introducing a new blog – a personal blog. It’s called Pink Crosses.

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I won’t say what to expect from this new blog. So, don’t set expectations. It’ll be about my innermost desires and struggles. Truly personal. Sometimes, all I need is a release – this blog will be my release. Amen.

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.

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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.

L.I.L.I.C. – Being Spirit-filled (With Diagrams for explanation!)

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.

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Last Sunday the sermon was conducted by Pastor Peter Tan-chi; He spoke about something I have wondered and pondered over: being Spirit-filled. He began the sermon by asking, “are you filled with the Holy Spirit right now?” Honestly, I couldn’t raise my hand – I was unsure.

“Unless you are controlled by the Holy Spirit something will control you.”

Being Spirit-filled simply means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. He holds to reigns to your life and you follow His guidance. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Usually, we take the first part and say, “ok, I won’t get drunk” and be done with that verse. However, in that way we are neglecting the second command – “be filled with the Spirit.” This is a differentiation between morality and Christianity. Morality says ‘don’t get drunk, don’t go to wild parties, don’t curse, etc. because these are wrong,’ Christianity says ‘instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, let the Spirit control you, guide you, and turn to Him for everything all the time.’

Pastor Tan-chi spoke of three types of people, I am so pleased that I found variations of the diagrams he used on Google.com! To further explain, he used verses in 1 Corinthians.

Three types of Men (We are to be the Spirit-filled Man):

THE NATURAL MAN:

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This is how we are naturally, self-centered and with God outside of our lives. We are in charge of our lives (the ‘S’ in the chair) and make our own decisions, ultimately everything is directed to what we want, how we want it. 1 Corinthians 2:14 summarizes this perfectly:

But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

THE CARNAL MAN:

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The Carnal person is many of us Christians; it’s a good thing God is faithful and just when we confess of our sins. We should have Him leading our lives, sitting on our thrones! We are compared to infants in Christ, worldly and, therefore, we seem no different from those who choose Christ and those who do not. Where is the difference? This should be shown in our lifestyles and who or what we let lead our lives. 1 Corinthians 3: 1-3 explains:

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

THE SPIRIT-FILLED MAN:

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The Spirit-filled man has God controlling his life, his own desires come last, and his desires are aligned with God’s. On the left are his characteristics, and he has fruits of the Holy Spirit (characteristics on the right). 1 Corinthians 2: 15-16 says:

15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

Being Spirit-filled requires us to rely more on God’s instructions. This is step-by-step and after you’ve done this consciously a few times, it will become effortless. Join in on the three-minute challenge to better achieve this by clicking here.

3-Minute Challenge: You IN?!

3-Minute Challenge: You IN?!

How many times have you caved? How many times have you lost grip? If I were to ask you if you’re filled with the Holy Spirit RIGHT NOW, could you wholeheartedly and honestly say yes? Being filled with the Holy … Continue reading

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.

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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