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
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)
Foolishness to blinder eyes,
Ridicule to empty minds
Solitary stand the souls
Holding in their arms the stones
Engraved upon them, mysteries
And truths revealed as vast as seas
Truth, rewording history:
The drops of blood in sunlight shone
Upon the temple of a head
Whose strands of blood-soaked hair instead
Were once a resting place for jewels.
This, the tale of one Man, lone,
Who fought a battle not His own
To death, where death was brought beyond
To sweet defeat in three days’ time!
And in this lies the truth unknown
The truth is but of sacrifice,
The truth itself was crucified,
And in the sinless crimson stains
Was man, his destiny, defined.
-Stenila Simon ♥
Just some thoughts and words that came to me at 12:00 am while in the middle of doing homework! Sometimes you just need to stop everything and write. God bless you all.
A crown of thorns upon His head
Adorns His face in crimson blood.
His clothes, a pile of rags be dyed
In painful shades of sinless red.
I peek between the many men
That crowd around this man condemned
Whilst try my best to catch a glimpse
Of Who this man be, standing hemmed
And see beneath the blood and tears
And wounds and scars repulsive, oh!
A pair of eyes that gaze at me
And in that chaos, kindness show.
Those eyes doth gaze, my soul, within
And sift my thoughts in search of love.
And rather than to find their goal,
Do find a sinner’s heart thereof.
And as I doth stand quiescent there,
Caught in a gaze at those two eyes,
Yes, oh! Those eyes be pearls of wine –
I hear a thousand rising cries.
Some cry of death to be His fate
Some other cries do echo hate
And only few request to free
This man Whose eyes still gaze at me.
And then a voice is heard that talks
Of not a kinder word to hear,
A judgment falls of death on a cross
At which the mob does echo cheer.
I wish to not mere blink as if
I might lose sight of my soul, its root
But then I wonder with a sigh,
“Does He not wish the least to refute?”
And then as though an answer sent
He looks once more, mine eyes in sight,
And feels my soul, a song of sweet
That tells me “Do not worry dear”.
And then as though a sack at hand
They push and shove this man away
And at that very moment, sad,
My heart resounds of a sinner’s pray.
In my short lifetime so far, I’ve had the blessed opportunity to come across all kinds of people, deal with all sorts of characters, and have experiences both good and bad with friendships/acquaintances.
But there is one particular thing that bothers me more than anything when I find it in another person’s character. It’s not sin. It’s not greed. It’s not laziness. It’s not even selfishness. It’s PRIDE. Arrogance.
The notion that you are above other people, that you have the right to look down upon your fellow human beings and act like you’re everything and more than perfect. This ONE character trait is something I find very hard to deal with, because I cannot comprehend how people can be unkind or arrogant towards others less fortunate just because of their worldly status or gains.
Why are people arrogant? I’ve seen and known people who think that just because they were born into a rich family, or just because they live in a developed country, or just because they have a “better” job than others, that they deserve better treatment and more respect from others. These kinds of people think that others less fortunate than them are good for nothing, and deserve no human consideration or love.
They think that your social status determines who you talk to or show kindness to. If you’re not up to their standards, you don’t get the “privilege” to talk to them or be friends with them. If this surprises any of you, then you have a lot to see yet in life, my friend.
The world is a dark, dark place, and the more I live in it the more I realize just how dark the human heart can get.
“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Galatians 6:3)
If people think that the material riches of this world, the fame of this world, are to be proud of, then you need to open your eyes. Nothing of this world will last. What happens to the money or fame at the end of your life? You cannot take any of that with you. Everything in this world is temporary, but the soul is eternal.
“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD….” (Proverbs 16:5)
“…..God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
The Lord does not like arrogance, and it is even an abomination to Him. Why? Because God is the Creator of all, and He created every human being. Each of us is His creation, and thus equal to each other, none above the next. God loves justice, and justice counts every man the same.
It is quite surprising to me to see CHRISTIANS being arrogant against others!!! “Christian” literally means a follower of Christ. How can people who claim to follow the loving Jesus Christ live with arrogance?
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
This Bible verse literally tells us to humble ourselves and “let each esteem other better than themselves” – which means to consider everyone else above yourself. Be kind enough to think of other people’s feelings and needs as more important than your own.
We are called to be representatives of the loving Jesus Christ, and He set the example when He lived to serve others, and ultimately sacrificed Himself for the sake of all of humanity.
That is the kind of sacrificial love that Jesus showed us by considering our salvation more important than His own life. The least we can do is love others around us more than ourselves. ♥
In the last post, we talked about how people who die are essentially asleep, and how they have no more part in what happens on the earth after they have passed.
They cannot influence anything anymore, so they are not capable of “haunting” or “visiting”, like many people believe.
So if ghosts are not the spirits of those who have passed away, what are they exactly?
Excellent question, my friend. What are these “ghosts” that cause trouble and fear in the living people sometimes? There has to be some reason why people’s lives are affected by such presences so much.
What does a person who sees or feels a “ghost” actually experience?
They are actually experiencing the attack of demonic spirits. This is the blunt truth.
I guarantee you that 99.99% of ghost sightings, experiences of people who have lived in “haunted” houses, poltergeist experiences, etc. are evil in nature. The “ghostly presence” usually wreaks havoc in the house, and causes fear and/or harm to the person. This evil nature in itself proves that this is the work of the devil.
When living people start believing that there is a way to talk to a dead person, the natural human tendency of curiosity kicks in and starts to make them want to pursue them. People want to know what lies beyond death.
No matter if you’re an atheist or believer of God, or if you believe that you “become one with the universe” – whatever your belief system of the afterlife is, there is still this human curiosity that wants to know when we realize there could be a way to talk to someone who has already crossed the threshold of death. This leads to dangerous practices like trying to use the “ouija board” to contact the dead and ask questions.
First off, even wanting to ask a dead spirit about the past or future is something God does not approve of.
“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?” (Isaiah 8:19)
God wants you to seek HIM, not the dead, because the dead are asleep!!!
But if you go looking after the dead, the devil can and he WILL DECEIVE YOU.
Remember who the devil is described as in the Bible:
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
There are real cases of people who have used this demonic game in the past and ended up being possessed. If the ouija board really does summon the spirits of dead people, why would they end up being “possessed”? Shouldn’t the dead people have already moved on and not be in need of a human body?
No, possessions happen because demonic spirits are always in search of ways to enter and control the human heart. Where there is a void, there is a way for a demon to enter it.
The devil is everything that God is not. God is holy and pure, so the devil is unholy and impure. God is merciful, the devil is cruel and heartless. God is love, the devil is hatred.
Similarly, God is the purest form of truth, so the devil is a liar!!! The devil does not like being identified for who he is. If people knew who the devil was, then they would try to avoid him. But no, he hides behind several false identities.
He tries to make sin socially acceptable so people do not realize they are following evil ways. If he has the power to influence countless hearts to do and accept evil unknowingly, then indeed he has the power to appear in the form of a “dead soul” and use this as a means to possess a person, destroy their life, instill within them a hatred for God, and try to condemn their soul to eternal damnation.
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
So please, do not pursue the “dead”. The real souls of dead people are asleep, awaiting God’s judgment day.
Learn to control your curiosity under the will of God. Have faith in Him for to care for your future.
If you ever encounter a demonic entity, or feel like there is an evil presence in your house, PRAY. The devil hates prayer. Continue to pray every single day and rebuke the demon in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
Fight the spiritual battle and do not allow the devil to deceive you. Once you realize the great truth that the devil is behind all of this, his influence starts to get limited, because now you are no longer blinded by deception.
God bless you all.
Any student or family member/friend of a student will know exactly what I mean when I mention test anxiety.
The past two weeks, I had been under the stress of college exams. These final exams carried such weight that they had the power to determine what final grade I would make for those classes. So of course I felt anxious. But this whole experience taught me something fundamental about Christianity, believe it or not!
During finals week I constantly felt overwhelmed and overworked to the limit. I was forced to sacrifice my sleep and utilize every last minute to study my best, just as all my peers. Why? Because college exams can be VERY difficult. No matter how much you prepare, there is always the chance that you might not know how to answer certain questions or that you may even fail because the one chapter you did not get to study was the one chapter they focused the exam on.
So as I was pushing my mind and body to the limits studying for these exams, I felt exhausted and wanted to give up and rest so many times. But I had the willpower to keep pushing on, because of one thing that gave me so much hope:
Right after final exams, I would be free to leave my campus and GO HOME!!!
For all of us that stay on campus in dorms/residence halls, the biggest excitement of finishing finals week comes from knowing that we will finally be able to move out of our rooms and back to our homes where we feel most at rest, where we are treated as kings and queens of our own realms by our loved ones, the place of freedom and rest.
I felt a reassurance and peace knowing that rest awaited me at the end of the exams, no matter how good or bad the exams would be. This peace allowed me to keep my calm and keep smiling throughout the whole process.
And thinking about this during my very last exam, I realized this is exactly what pushes us to keep going as Christians.
See, we children of God are kind of similar to college students. We are living the stressful life in “college”, in a constant “finals” week. We are put through trials and tests that are much too hard sometimes. We work ourselves to the point of exhaustion, but we know we cannot give up.
We know we must keep going. Why? Because at the very end, we get to leave this lonely and troubling place, and GO HOME!!! We know that at the very end, we will pack up and leave to our place of rest, to the hands of our Father. No matter how good or bad the trials were, no matter how tired we are, no matter how stressful this life is, we know we can hope for rest in heaven someday.
It is this faith and hope that keeps us going every single day. It helps us smile throughout the sorrows and despair. It reassures us that it is worth it to suffer in this life as long as we end up getting to go home.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)