“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
This is the peace that has brought me through many a storm. There is an inexplicable feeling of calm that surrounds your heart when you decide to give God a chance to take upon Himself your life’s biggest burdens. After all, He has already made the ultimate sacrifice 2000 years ago.
How many times have you forgotten to tell God about your problems? How many times have you found yourself wondering where your life is going? Have you felt that desperation of not knowing how you’re going to make it through the next day?
This is something that my parents have taught me by example: when we have faced situations of heartbreak, life-shattering issues, desperate decisions, betrayals, and back-stabbing – no matter what the reason was that our peace of mind was taken away temporarily, I always found my parents sitting down to pray for a little while before going to bed. And every single time, I could feel the burden being lifted from our hearts. You suddenly realize that God has taken up your issue and you can almost hear Him saying to your heart “worry not, my child, leave it to me”.
Now the rest of the world may think these are all symptoms of insanity, because
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
You can try and shout it from the rooftops and dig out your heart and show it to the world, and the world would still not understand why you follow the Lord with such devotion. But to a person whose eyes are open to the truth, this good news of a God Who is willing to (and has already done more than enough to) love you with the utmost mercy and give you the greatest peace of mind you have ever felt – it is the power of God.
Sp the next time you are at a point in life where your tears will not stop falling, or when you have that silent ache in your heart that no one could possibly understand, take a minute and take it to the Lord. He is waiting right there by your side hoping you will give Him a chance to help, like a father waiting for His child to turn to Him for help.
This is the peace that we have in our God our Father. You can know the mark of a true Christian by how they deal with life’s heartless punches. A true Christian could be facing a life-or-death situation and still be able to smile with the peace of knowing their Father in heaven is looking out for them. A true Christian is able to deal with the ultimate loneliness in life with no one by their side, and still feel like they are loved the most, because they truly are, by the living God in heaven.
May His peace be with you, and know that my prayers are also with each and every one of you reading this. You are NEVER alone in your fight, whoever you are.
Now, I’m no expert in parenting or anything, but… we need to raise the next generation right. Come on, you can’t just sit there and complain about the “decline of society” and do nothing about it. The fixing starts at HOME!!!
I’ve had to babysit enough kids of our church-members (when I was a kid myself) to know that a lot of parents don’t even try to discipline their children, and even more surprisingly, don’t bother to teach them the basics of how to love God or to pray. There really is no two ways about it folks, and if you’re not raising up your kids in the right way and teaching them about the love of God then you are doing a disservice to them, AND to the world.
Don’t just force your kids to go to church with you and make them sit quiet there, make them understand why it is important to worship God. Tell them why God loves them and why they should learn to trust Him no matter what. Teach them discipline. Give them reasonable consequences for misbehavior. Don’t let even a single disrespectful word go out of their mouths without a stern correction from you. Teach them not to hurt anyone. Teach them to give to others, teach them honesty, teach them to help people. Teach them gratitude. Teach them to take nothing for granted. Teach them that the world does not revolve around them. Teach them that life may not always be fair to them, but they can get through it with the right attitude and faith.
Honestly, children learn from their parents. So if you’re a parent, your PRIMARY duty to your kid is to live out your life as best an example as possible to them. Don’t just tell them, SHOW them.
I’ve talked to people that said their parents were devout Christians but they never cared to take them to church, or they never talked about the faith to them, and so they felt not inclined to follow the faith. People, it is one thing to give an adult a choice to follow God, but it is another thing entirely to just let your children loose and not give them any direction whatsoever. Let the child choose their path once they are adults. Up until then, you raise them the way God has instructed you to. You are responsible for their moral compass until they are old enough to choose otherwise.
Instill in them all the goodness of charity and love and peace, while also teaching them how to stand strong amidst trials and how to deal with hatred from others with the grace of God. As a child, my parents always taught me the importance of prayer. They taught me that God would hear the honest prayers of a longing heart, not for materialistic things, but if I was in trouble and needed guidance, or if I wanted to help change a situation that was beyond my control for the better.
It is impossible to even begin to explain how much joy I had growing up that way – knowing that no matter what happened to me, I had an all-powerful God watching over me and waiting to answer my prayers. I believed in that strongly from a very young age. As soon as I began to talk I participated in prayer, (got whooped ONE TIME for crawling off in the middle of prayer, and ever since then have treated prayer with utmost respect and gravity), I would try to talk to Jesus as my friend and felt a sense of protection, and I came to actively seek out God’s wonders and mysteries.
My childhood was a blessed one, because I had the savior of the world by my side, and still do. My adulthood is built upon this foundation of faith from my childhood, and continues to support me and help me grow despite the trials of life.
So, please, don’t deny your children the opportunity to grow up with such guidance and sense of purpose. Let them explore God with their young, innocent and beautiful hearts. That, my friends, is the BEST thing a parent can do for their child.
(And plus, it might just lighten my burden as resident church babysitter in the future!)
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Imagine this: the wedding is in 24 hours. While all the invited guests are enthusiastic about the ceremony, the two people that should be MOST excited and prepared are the bride and the groom. The groom told the bride he was going away for a while to prepare himself and prepare a nice home for the two of them to build their future. This groom has been working tirelessly to prepare. The day of the ceremony is here, and when the groom seeks the bride, he finds her lazily asleep, all in shabby clothes, not the least bit prepared.
Now tell me; if the bride truly loved her groom, would she not put in the time and effort to prepare herself for the ceremony?
Would she not leave behind her shabby, dirty clothes and put on a new, pure white dress in respect of the ceremony?
Would she not tidy and cleanse herself a very long time before this ceremony?
In order to do all this, she would have to wake up quite early. Any bride that has been waiting all their life for this beautiful day would leave behind their laziness and wake up early enough to prepare.
The groom has been working tirelessly, my friends. He went away to prepare a place for us. Bride of Christ, if you love Him so much, then WHY are you asleep at this hour?????
Do you not see that the time is near? Have you not heard or seen the warning signs?
How many more trumpets must He sound, how many more prophets must He send, how many more signs must He show, before you will open your lazy eyes?
The time to sleep is long gone. This is the critical hour. His return is IMMINENT, and one of the most important people for this ceremony, the Church, is not prepared. WAKE UP, CAST AWAY YOUR DIRTY GARMENTS OF OLD AND ADORN YOURSELF IN WHITE TO PREPARE TO MEET HIM!!!!
Your fake piety astounds me. Everyone knows someone like this; if you don’t, then you could very well be the pretender yourself (?)
They’ll pray everywhere, post lots about Jesus, and put up a public face of the perfect Christian. But when you deal with them personally, you will find in them no love, no compassion, no patience, no kindness, no selflessness….Basically they don’t back up their words with their actions.
You can preach and holler all you want on Sunday but if your heart does not contain the pure love of God that helps you put others’ needs above yourself, makes you think of making others happy, makes you want to pray and cleanse your heart every day without needing to pray in front of an audience for approval – none of your religious displays matter if the fruit of your work does not match up.
I’ve heard of and personally met a few pastors that were filthy rich and preached about prosperity, yet they never once sacrificed a little of their own money to help a poor person. I’ve seen churches that have dress-codes and other criteria to join that are designed to weed out people of a lesser financial status. I’ve talked to people that needed help and approached a preacher or someone from a church and were ignored or outright insulted. Where, in these instances, do you see Christ? Where, in these hypocrites’ hearts, does God dwell? Do they indeed read the same Bible that you and I read? Do they skim over the verses about kindness and compassion? How dare they feel worthy of talking about faith when they have the nerve to look down upon the less fortunate without lending a hand? Would Christ be able to bear the hypocrisy if He were here today?
“21.Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22.Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23.And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
The above Bible verse makes it clear that if you do not do the will of the Father in heaven, then none of your other merits matter in the end. Part of the Father’s will: to love the least of these.
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
You cannot say that you love the Lord and then turn around and refuse to love the people that God has placed in your life. You cannot ignore the poor homeless person on the street and then drive straight to church to sing about your love for Jesus on Sunday.
These are things that make me lose faith – not in humanity, because it is impossible to expect kindness from a dark world – in modern Christians.
Jesus instructed us to be servants to others first. He lived out His life that way, showing us the ultimate example.
“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)
Where are the servants? Come forth and give freely unto all the love that you have been given freely from God.
While in a gloomy dream of loss
With not a single smile or cheer
My heart bearing a heavy cross,
My mind overgrowing with fear
A radiant shine I saw amidst
My darkest, deepest sea of tears
Calling out to me as if
It had a knowledge of my fears.
Oh, how I longed for such a bliss
To save me from my deep distress.
Had I not searched, I just could miss
This beam of light, I do confess.
But long it took to realize
The glory of this glowing hope:
Divine the face of Jesus Christ
Who held towards my hands, a rope.
A rope of faith and bliss it was,
That reached to me for my relief.
But doubt filled my mind because
Of this weak soul’s lack of belief.
I paused and thought, “Is this my way?
Is He the Savior of my day?”
Then filled with guilt, I told myself,
“He saved me when I lay astray.”
Free of hesitation, I
Leaped with faith and caught the rope,
Needless to say that till I die,
I’ll hold on tight to that good hope.
-Stenila Simon, 2009
My heart sinks every time I read an article online that discusses Bible prophecy or tries to warn the world about the end times, and then the comment section is filled with hypocritical “christians” who speak out of ignorance to challenge these claims. It’s almost as if “christians” are at war with one another and have thrown love – the most important commandment of Jesus – out the window.
What happened to referencing the Bible? What happened to taking heed to warnings? People will only hear exactly what they want to hear. Their ears are not open to the truth, their ears are open to words that comfort them and reassure them of themselves. They refuse to hear anything that might make them take a step back, look at themselves, and see the areas that need fixing, because that doesn’t feel very nice. They feel attacked, and feel the need to silence the person trying to warn them and help them.
3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
But as always, the word of God has predicted everything that was to come. The verse above is playing out right before our eyes day after day. “..they will not endure sound doctrine”… Why do you think doctrine is “endured” and not just “heard”? Because sound doctrine hurts. It shows you your flaws. It tells you exactly what God has in store for the future.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
It asks you to repent and turn to Jesus and leave your sins for the sake of your eternal future. It tells you to step out of the comfort of your sinful desires and lifestyle, and many people cannot “endure” that pain. The word of God is the twoedged sword of truth.
Coming back to Bible prophecy, everything that is meant to happen is written crystal clear in the New Testament. Jesus literally told of the signs to look out for the fast approach of the end times.
Someone points out these signs of the fast approaching end times, and immediately they get attacked by fellow “christians” on the forums.
Accusations range anywhere from “You’re judging people, that’s not Christian” to “Who are you to say you know about the end times? Only God knows that”..The ignorance is painful. Sometimes the people arguing are ones that have never even read the book of Revelations. Some people claim that everything about the antichrist and the mark of the beast is metaphorical, which is the worst blasphemy I ever heard (and probably the kind of thing the devil would like for people to believe so as to keep them unaware and unprepared).
When in doubt, reference the unchanging word of God. God gave this to us as a guideline for discerning what is true and what is not.
God has no grey areas. You either believe in the word of God 100%, or you don’t. The Bible is not a bag of trail mix for you to pick out the parts you want and refuse to acknowledge the existence of the others.
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6)
Let’s reflect and hope together, shall we? We are finally done with 2016, and the world is looking forward to newer and better things to come in 2017. Some people may look back at 2016 and see a train wreck, while others may see a better picture. I know that for me personally, 2016 was a constant struggle sprinkled with small moments of happiness with friends and family, but most importantly, 2016 was a year of refocusing on my REAL goal in life. I had focused so much on my academic goals that I somewhere had started to forget or neglect my spiritual goals, but this year I feel like I am finally able to see the big picture!
There are so many things I am thankful for, so many things that I have in my life that I don’t deserve, and I have no one but God to thank for that. The doors He opens can never be closed, and at the same time the doors He chooses to close cannot be opened by anyone else.
There were some things that I lost in the past year, some aims that didn’t work out, but I don’t care anymore, because I know I tried my best towards every single goal I had, and if God decides something doesn’t belong, He’ll take those pieces of the puzzle away Himself. I trust in His judgement!
I learned this past year that sometimes you need to pull yourself up and encourage yourself. If you don’t find the encouragement you need in other people, always remember that with a few minutes of silent prayer each day, opening up your heart to God, you will find yourself constantly being encouraged and cheered on by that voice inside, and you’ll know that God is always on your side.
Always take the time to remember those less fortunate than you. If life ever seems to become too difficult, just remember that somewhere out there, someone else is crying themselves to sleep for totally different reasons. We all go through hardships in life, and being thankful for our basic comforts that are luxuries to other people will make you a much more grateful person. It will encourage you to show kindness even when your heart is troubled.
Be kind. Remember to try your best to make others smile. If you’re having a bad day, try to make someone else happy. Their smile could fill your heart with the warmth that you needed. Remember that God’s love is sacrificial and unconditional, and try your best to share that love with others.
Above all, stay focused. Stay focused on your ultimate goals. Don’t let the immediate troubles of the world define the way you live your life. Money, fame, comfort, success – none of that really matters in the end, and this knowledge will help you deal with the growing stresses of life much better. Keep your ultimate destination in the back of your head, and work towards it.
As Christians, we are each called to a mission of our own, and nothing but eager prayer and patient labor can make you realize and manifest this destiny God has for you.
Finally, I would like to share a video that I put together for the hope and comfort of Christians. I hope you all enjoy it, and here’s to a beautiful 2017!!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, and God bless y’all!
Life is tough. Sometimes life can be a bit too tough! The pressure mounts, the stress leaves you sleepless, your natural panic-mode kicks in and you feel drained of energy at the end of the day.
I had a few weeks of that this month. Sometimes it feels like you just do not want to deal with all the responsibilities of life. But did you know that there is one thing worse than any and all of these feelings combined?
If, in the middle of your rushed and stressful life, you forget about God – THAT, my friend, is the worst that can happen. I almost did. When I started staying up late to get my studying done, I would crash and go straight to sleep, just to wake up early and start all over again. This cycle, I found out very quickly, is so unhealthy, both to your physical, as well as your spiritual self.
You spirit needs God. Your soul craves God. This is true whether or not you believe it! Our bodies are temporary and come from this earth, but our soul , that came straight from God, and no matter how well you think you’re multi-tasking or setting aside breaks for yourself, if you don’t allow yourself some time in the day to reconnect with your Creator, you are doing yourself harm as well as distancing yourself from the One Who loved you before you were even born!
There is a sense of peace that comes over you when you go to Him and tell Him your needs. You know He hears you and He speaks to your heart with words of wisdom and peace.
And that constant guarantee that there is someone up there that loves me unconditionally, to Whom I can pray about anything and everything and rest knowing that my prayers were heard, to know He is handling my life for me while I catch a little bit of sleep for the night, that is the best feeling in the world!!!
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)