Lucia's Blog: November 2013
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, November 25, 2013

IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  
I Thessalonians 5:18


Thanksgiving can be careless or a deeply rewarding event. It all depends on what we make of it. Tables across the country will be set for the celebration of Thanksgiving.  Words and prayers of thanksgiving will be offered.  We are grateful for our abundant food, good health, our homes and our children.  It is so easy to give thanks when life is smooth, and everything is going our way.  In fact, in such times we find it easy to thank God for all He has done for us.

We, His children, have an abundance of blessings bestowed on us for which we must be thankful. Consider some of the many blessings:

  • Family.
  • Good health.
  • The freedom to worship God.
  • The Gospel of Christ.
  • Our redemption.
  • The hope of eternal life.
  • The freedom to home educate our children.
  • Air to breathe.
  • Water to drink.
  • Food to eat.
  • The everlasting Word of God.
  • And most of all our Lord and Savior:
    • Who redeemed us.
    • Who cares for us.
    • Who sympathizes with our weaknesses.
    • And who has sworn never to forsake us.  
If you have any of these many blessings, then you are more than rich.

“The blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich; And he addeth no sorrow therewith.”  
Proverbs 10:22.

We must also be thankful for His Son, who gives us victory.

“Who can separate us from the love of Christ?  Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.  ”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Even as it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  
Romans 8:35-37

Being grateful is the key to spiritual victory.  Joy is the result of a grateful heart. A thankful heart is the product of a person who chooses always to give thanks no matter what the circumstances.  It is the person who never compares himself to other people but always to Christ.  It is the heart that realizes he is rich beyond measure because he is a child of God and that in Him he finds His portion. It is the heart that is always looking for reasons to be content and give thanks.

Therefore, we must learn to appreciate and be thankful for God's loving kindness.  Notice what David once said:
"Blessed be the Lord, For He has made marvelous His loving kindness to me in a besieged city."  Psalm 31:21

There is nothing more critical than finding oneself in a besieged city.  It is as bad as one's circumstances can get.  Yet David acknowledges God's loving kindness toward him.  God heard his crying prayer for deliverance.  He made David aware of His love and kindness for him.

  • Are we aware or do we acknowledge God's loving kindness toward us?  
  • Can we fathom the depth of His love for us?  
  • Have we forgotten Romans 8:38-39?  
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Sadly, many become anxious when things are tough, and life is difficult.  They lose heart and become discouraged.  In those dark moments, they find it hard to understand the purpose of our trials. They become anxious about the unknown.  They are overwhelmed!  Despair is the opposite of true THANKSGIVING.  When our affections are on earthly things and not on God, we are in danger.  We tend to cling to our immediate circumstances rather than to God.  Only God can fill our hearts with His peace.   It makes us not only anxious but also insecure.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men.  The Lord is near."  Philippians 4:5-6

We must always remember that God is in control.  God is already in the future because He stands outside of time.  Let's never forget His beautiful and faithful promises we find in Matthew 6:28-34:  
"And why are you anxious....Do not be anxious then, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or with what shall we clothe our selves?  For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you..."

Our God wants us to live in His peace.


"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:7.  
He doesn't want us to become weary and anxious.  He wants us to let go of the bondage of anxiety. It doesn't mean that we will escape feeling sorrow or stress, but we will find a satisfying deep calm in our hearts.   Such tranquility can only come from trusting God with all of our hearts.  We must always have the disposition to give thanks to God no matter what our circumstances are.  YES, we must have a heart of thanksgiving even in death, in life, in sickness, in health, in abundance and poverty.  This is what God wants and expects of us. He wants grateful hearts!

Let's consider what Paul tells us:  


"The things you have learned and received  and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you."  Philippians 4:9.  

Paul makes us aware that it takes practice to accomplish and achieve this peace.   We must dwell in His Truth and guard it in our hearts to have this peace.  A muscle is strengthened with a lot of exercise.  In the same way, our spiritual strength is developed by a lot of practice enabling us to defeat anxiety.  We cannot let Satan lie to our minds and emotions.  This surely will drive us crazy!  We can't afford to walk his pathway of lies and anxiety.   Anxiety is just that—a great, big lie.
"For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened."  Romans 1:21.

Let's remember that our God is not a God of chaos and anxiety.


"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."  2 Timothy 1:7.  
Anxiety is not of God but rather the work of Satan. He, Satan, uses this as a weapon against us; to distract us from the PEACE of God. The only way to defeat him is by dwelling in God's Truth, fixing our eyes on Him.  Dwelling in lies, trusting that we are in control and not God, is of Satan.  We must always know that God holds us in His hands; and that He is the author of time; that we are here temporarily; and that He has control over everything.  So, my question is, What is there to become anxious about?

What did Jesus do before He went to the cross?  Let's read I Corinthians 11:24.  


"And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, this is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me."  

It was just hours away from His painful death on the cross.  Jesus gave thanks!   We have so much to give thanks for:  not so much for material riches, but mainly for God's love for us in sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that through Him we could be redeemed and have access to eternal life.  Let's never take for granted God's immeasurable grace.   So, when you find yourself discouraged, remember always that we have all we need in Christ.  He is the fullness that fills all in all.  Why not take a moment to give thanks?


"Saying, Amen, blessings and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever, Amen."  Revelation 7:12.

May our Lord help us to give thanks always no matter what our circumstances are.  May we live in His peace trusting in Him with all of our hearts, minds, and souls.  May we keep calm and know that He cares for us.  May we never forget that He is near.  To Him be the glory.

Luci


Monday, November 18, 2013

BLAME YOURSELF !

There is a tremendous temptation on the part of both children and adults to shift blame. This can be damaging and overwhelming at times. This rotten behavior of shifting blame has been around since the beginning in the Garden of Eden.  Our first father, Adam, modeled this behavior. Of course, it is so much easier to focus on blaming others than to take full responsibility of our own personal actions. But, this blame shifting is only a sign of living an unrepented life, cowardice, fear, immaturity and why not a combination of all. We must learn to first see the beam in our own eye before focusing on our brother's mote, Matthew 7:1-6. This is vital to restore peace in our homes and the church. We must be willing to take responsibility for our own actions in order to live a life that pleases God and lead others to Him. The only way to victory! Consider the following poem.

Blame Yourself !

There’s a nasty green temptation that afflicts most everyone
To skirt responsibility when we’ve done something that’s wrong.
Instead of ‘fessing up like men to the blackness of our heart,
We focus on the other guy’s fault and emphasize his part.

Here’s a hardy, healthy maxim given long ago by Dad,
With a world of wealthy wisdom which will triumph over fad:
God has given you great mercy; You’ve been spared the very worst.
Be gen’rous to others — Blame yourself first!

The poor response by Adam on the day he broke God’s Law
Was to shift the blame to Eve using an argument of straw,
Thus establishing for Mankind this most unattractive flaw.
Learn from his mistake — Stop and blame yourself!

When you’re feeling kinda fickle ‘bout the pickle that you’re in,
Teary puddles you’re producing, as your noodle cooks the sin,
But complaining while explaining never leads to a win-win.
Take a breath, think again — And blame yourself!

When befuddled and besmirched, without a horse before the cart,
It’s ever so convenient to forget Your own wretched part,
And recount with gory details His worst mistakes from the start.
Bite your tongue, take the hit — Just blame yourself!

There’s a way to say “I’m sorry” that’s clearly not repentance,
Taking some responsibility to minimize your sentence,
While giving him the lion’s share with most self-righteous vengeance.
This is not true contrition — Blame yourself!

When you’re backed against the wall, because you’re in a rotten mess,
Next you feel the pressure mounting, and you’re needing to confess,
But by shifting blame to others, you won’t mitigate the stress,
De-escalate the crisis — Blame yourself!

There’s another type of shifting reminiscent of a snake.
It happens when you twist and turn the other’s words and then take
Advantage of their absence through your sad one-sided remake.
But that’ll really bite you — Just blame yourself!

If you break the Ninth Commandment, just to save your precious skin,
Using just a little half-truth, so it doesn’t seem like sin,
But a half truth is a whole lie, and another form of spin.
Better focus on your part — Blame yourself!

By sustaining all your blaming, as you prosecute and try,
Your convincing is evincing such a self-deceptive high,
Your evasion becomes persuasion: You believe your own lie!
But that doesn’t change the truth — Blame yourself!

If you blame others less, and blame yourself more,
It may rub against the grain, and feel an awful chore,
But by doing you’re subduing pride and opening a door!
For future hope and peace — So blame yourself!

A gentle word assuages wrath, and less fire kills the flame.
Speak to your brother privately, or he may put you to shame.
Don’t accuse him before others, lest your tempted to defame.
And while we’re on the subject — Blame yourself!

When life is looking mighty grave, and your heart hungers for health,
Take a queue from the Word, quickly take the Bible off the shelf.
Stop and ask the living God to help you learn to die to self.
Be a truly humble man and blame yourself!


Anonymous
Luci

Saturday, November 16, 2013

COURAGE


It is to be able to face difficulties and dangers boldly, and to trust in God's strength in all the circumstances of life. We need this COURAGE the most when we are facing and fighting our spiritual battles and fighting for our FAITH, I Timothy 6:12.

If we don't fight against Satan boldly, we will surely fall into temptation and let him win. We must fight with COURAGE and God's help to win and come out victorious against our enemy. But, this can ONLY be accomplished IF we obey God's commandments and are willing to submit to HIS authority. What can Satan do if we resist him with the strength of our God? Let's have the COURAGE to do what is right and fight for the LORD ! The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the RIGHTEOUS are bold as a lion Proverbs 28:1

Friday, November 15, 2013

CASTING INSULTS AT YOU !


Have you ever been accused, insulted, slandered, lied or hated for doing the right thing or taking a stand for the TRUTH? The Lord says rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, Matthew 5:11-12. By doing this you are blessed! At that moment you may not feel all that blessed, but our Lord Jesus tells us that when we suffer for the sake of righteousness we should count it as an honor He is giving us, knowing that our reward in heaven is GREAT. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is GREAT, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

When our Lord Jesus is the One that governs our hearts, we are always going to want to do His will and be concerned about pleasing Him instead of men. Our main goal as Christians must be that of being approved before Him instead of the approval of men. It is our God we must fear and not men! If God is for us, we must not be concerned about who is against us. He will fight beside us if we hold fast to His Truth. It doesn't matter what men think of us. It doesn't matter who is attacking us. Their insults and attacks will fall like broken arrows at our feet. I will fear no evil and what man can do to harm me for the cause of Christ and righteousness. And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you shall suffer for the sake of RIGHTEOUSNESS, you are BLESSED. And do not fear their INTIMIDATION, and do not be TROUBLED. But sanctify Christ as Lord in you hearts, ALWAYS being ready to make a DEFFENSE to everyone who asks you to give an account for the HOPE that is in you, yet with GENTLENESS and REVERENCE. I Peter 3:13-15.

In giving a defense of our Hope and the Truth, we must always remember to respond in a Christ-like manner. But, if we respond in an ungodly way, this will not only bring confusion and provocation, but will bring reproach and dishonor to the name of our Lord Jesus. And keep a good conscience, so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better.... that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. I Peter 3:16-17.

Let's always imitate the beauty of Christ, even when we are contending for the Truth. We can be very direct and reproof them severely that the may be sound in the FAITH (Titus 1:13), yet let's answer in a way that glorifies and gives reverence to our God. Don't return reviling for reviling, I Peter 3:8. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16. Let's fight for the Lord with zeal, but with self-control !

Luci

Saturday, November 9, 2013

GOD'S IMMEASURABLE GRACE !






Freedom from sin has never been cheap.  It demands a high price called SACRIFICE.  God's GRACE is very costly.  It is costly because He sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross for us, Ephesians 2:1-10.  He paid the price for sin, Romans 5:6-8.  Jesus' death reconciled us to the Father, Romans 5:9-11.  So the question is, how does God make us righteous?  We are justified through FAITH in our Lord Jesus as Jesus Himself defines the Faith that saves.  That is why the Bible calls that FAITH "obeying the Gospel." 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 1:22.   It is through God's gift, GRACE, that we are justified and have redemption.   What this means is that there is no other way in which we can be justified since we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  The glory of God is His divine righteousness.  His righteousness defines His character. When we sin, we are not righteous.  Jesus is the propitiation for our sins through FAITH in Him.  Romans 3:21-31. Let's never forget that every time we sin, it takes Jesus' cruel death to pay for it.  Therefore, let's not wink at our sins, but turn to Jesus rejoicing in His grace, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12.

With God's GRACE in mind, let's never forget that His grace has been manifested for our salvation.  This GRACE has brought us instruction, teaching us that we should die to ungodliness and all lusts and to live godly and holy.  This GRACE teaches and trains us in how to conduct ourselves in purity, free of every lawless deed, in order to appear before Him as a zealous people equipped for good works.  This is how our Father is glorified.  Titus 2:11-14.  Jesus is our helper in overcoming sin.  He has already defeated him who had power over death, that is, Satan.  Jesus is our deliverer from the slavery of sin.  He gives the help that we need to overcome sin by defeating Satan.  He lived and became human like us that He might become a merciful and faithful priest, since He Himself was tempted and suffered like all of us.  In knowing all this, let's never forget that He is able to come to our help when we are tempted to sin.  Let's never forget our hope and confidence of deliverance.  Jesus is our High Priest.  Hebrews 2:14-18.  This is what the GRACE of God is!

Unfortunately, many are under the belief  and are convinced that by keeping a check list of certain moral principles they are going to be good enough to receive eternal life.  Let's be careful here and not pursue or establish our own righteousness.  This will never work!  Let's not make the big mistake of establishing righteousness through our own laws, but rather let's establish righteousness through the FAITH of Jesus.  In the Bible, the Law of God refers to the WORD of God and NO man can please God while he sets aside, ignores, or disobeys the WORD of God. Psalm 19 and Psalm 119.

So when we do not seek to be saved through Jesus, according to His calling us through GRACE,  II Thessalonians 2:14,  the Gospel of Christ, and pursue a different calling, that has been corrupted, we dessert Him who called us, Galatians 1:6-7.  So, are we justified or saved by keeping the Law of Moses? OF COURSE NOT .  It is ONLY through FAITH in our Lord Jesus that we are saved and justified, and not the works of the Law.  Galatians 2:14-16.  Now, can we fall from GRACE?  The answer is very obvious, YES!   If we unyoke ourselves from Christ and seek to be justified by the Law and not through the FAITH of Christ.  Galatians 5:4.

In conclusion, let's make it our ambition to live by GRACE and bear good fruit in our daily walk with our Redeemer.  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is NO LAW."  Galatians 5:22-23.  May our Redeemer help us walk by GRACE and bear good fruit to His glory !

Luci


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DEGRADED CHRISTIANITY

"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 who is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Matthew 7:21-23


It is very common in today's modern Christianity to find a worldly and cheap form; one which offends nobody, demands no sacrifice, no cost and it has very little value. We must be aware and on guard about today's modern version of what is called Christianity. It is the one that accepts some forms of sin; refuses to conform to the divine pattern; demands limited obedience and does not want to offend and correct the one who sins.

Often, I hear Christians complain about the one who is doing the correcting. They say he is not loving and accepting enough. When the fact is he does love them, but not their sin. Let's never forget that our Lord Jesus died to redeem us from eternal punishment. This is how He has shown His love for us. Let's be very careful not to invent another God, an idol of our own. One that is just merciful, but not just!

Lest we forget, it is our God who dictates how we ought to conduct our lives, even though it might offend.  Lest we forget, materialism and earthly treasures is not what ought to motivate us, even though it might offend. Lest we forget, it is the love of Christ that ought to drive us, even though it might offend. Lest we forget, it is our duty to teach our children the Word of God, even though it might offend. We as godly parents desire to see them walking in His pathways and not the pathway of Satan. Lest we forget, one must be faithfully committed to his family, loving his spouse and children that God has trusted him to love and protect, even though it might offend. Lest we forget, to condemn sin and love righteousness, even though it might offend. We have the choice to determine carefully what it is that we take in and shut out from our lives. We determine what we might decide to participate in and what we do not. We have a choice not to say YES to all the lust and the pleasures of this life. We have the choice and determination to be holy and hate sin! Lest we forget, one must walk the path of righteousness, the path less traveled, the path that is unpopular, even though it might offend.

With all this in mind, let's not be concerned about "offending" this WORLD. Remember that the earth and the works that are there in shall be burned up.  "Seeing them that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness...."  II Peter 3:10-11.  Let's never forget that being a true follower of Christ is going to bring us ridicule, scorn, opposition and persecution. Unfortunately, this is the reward that faithful Christians get from the WORLD.

Let's search our hearts and meditate on Jesus' Words and let's not be shamed by Him on that final day of judgment: "Not everyone 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....And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity."  Matthew 7:21-23.

Our ambition must be that of being worthy to be called "good and faithful servant" by our Master. 

"His Lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." 
Matthew 25:21


May our Lord help us be this kind of servant who would be worthy to enter into His joy!

Luci

Friday, November 1, 2013

DEALING WITH DISILLUSIONMENT

The prophet Jeremiah was overwhelmed with disillusionment and dispair. He begins to curse the day he was born and wondered wny he was even born and did not die before birth inside the womb. This is what he says: Why did I ever come forth from the womb to look on trouble and sorrow, so that my days have been spent in shame? Jeremiah 20:18. Do you think this is an exaggeration? Not at all. We read in chapter 20 that the chief officer had him beaten with 40 lashes then placed him in stocks. Possibly, he was tortured with such a device that caused his body to bend double. Imagine this happening after he was beaten! Why did he suffer this? Was he guilty of any crime? Absolutely not! He had simply declared the Word of God. He did what was right, but in return, what he received was punishment. His once trusted friends mocked him, throwing his own words back at him, calling him the name that God by phophecy had given to Pashur, the priest, Magor-Missabib, meaning "terror on every side. That hurt him, no? His prayers were full of loneliness and complaints: O LORD, Thou has deceived me and I was deceived; Thou has overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me.... for me the word of the LORD has resulted in reproach and derision all day long, Jeremiah 20:7-8. We can surely see a man in despair, anguish. This prophet of the LORD is struggling with persecution. I think that deep down in his heart he's questioning God's presence in a moment when he needed Him the most. What feelings of despair! We all have thoughts like that, don't we? Many, many times they come with long and dark suffering when the pain just won't go away. We feel, like the prophet, as if we are being beaten without mercy! We see this when our marriage vows are broken, tragedy strikes us, or the death of a very dear and loved one and injustice prevails. Sometimes, we question God's justice. God's silence can disillusion us sometimes. We begin to question why He permits such things to happen when we know and are aware deep in our hearts that this defies His character. It is then that we are tempted to say like the phrophet: I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name.... Jeremiah 20:9. So many times we see this happening with outstanding preachers. They quit and go after a secular job, this is the work of satan! It is then that we need to remember what Jeremiah admitted: ...Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it, Jeremiah 20:9. This fire was one of confidence, hope, determination. His disillusionment was replaced with God's reassurance. Let's always keep in mind what Jeremiah said: .... Nothing is too difficult for Thee, who showest lovingkindness to thousands.... great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to the fruits of his deeds, Jeremiah 32:17-42. The LORD'S lovingkindness indeed never ceases, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.... Lamentations 3:19-32; These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world, John 16:33.

CREATION & THE FIRST PEOPLE

I am enjoying my studies with my children on World History from a Biblical worldview. It is amazing how much I am being educated while I am educating my children. We are doing Ancient History from Creation to the Fall of Rome. We just started doing CREATION AND THE FIRST PEOPLE. We did some Apologetics where we discussed God's creation Vs. Evolution theory.  This last one suggests that everything we see is the result of impersonal time and chance. We discussed why God as our Creator is the major foundation of our Biblical beliefs. For example: IF God did not create everything, then He would be just a part of creation, meaning that He would be one god among many gods, and not the TRUE GOD. If GOD did not make man, then man OWES nothing to GOD, meaning gratitude, reverence, obedience and worship. IF GOD is not man's CREATOR and SUPREME JUDGE, then why did He offer us salvation through Jesus Christ? IF GOD did not create the first man Adam, whom the BIBLE calls a "type of Christ," Romans 5:14, I Corinthians 15:23, WHY is it that we have a second Adam in Jesus Christ, Romans 5:18-21.

We compared Biblical creation account with Mesopotamian creation myths. Here is a few of them: 1. In the Biblical creation account, God created everything simply by SPEAKING IT and there was life. In Mesopotamian creation myths, creation arose out of conflict; battles between the gods, and reaction to another god's action. 2. In the Biblical creation, God created thoughtfully, carefully, lovingly and well. In Mesopotamians myths, the gods created selfishly, rashly and angrily, and made mistakes. 3. In Biblical creation, God made man in HIS own image. Man was the pinnacle of God's creation. In Mesopotamian creation myths, man was created for 2 purposes: feeding and serving gods. 4. In Biblical creation, God commanded each part of creation to "be fruitful and multiply" without demanding that they perform any rituals or magic. In Mesopotamian creation myths, the gods often refused to give man what he needed unless he performed rituals and sacrifices they demanded.

A MANNER WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL


"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ... "   Philippians 1:27

Living in a world that is not accustomed to teach and practice a lifestyle worthy of what Christ expects of them, Christians look like aliens and strangers. "Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage WAR against the SOUL," I Peter 2:11.

So often,  I hear my beloved brethren use phrases such as "Oh Yeah, I'm a Christian;  I read my Bible sometimes; I go to church on Sundays... "  Oh Yeah, but let me tell you, that those who profess and have put on our Lord Jesus Christ, walk in a manner worthy of Christ.  Being a Christian is much more than calling yourself a Christian, assembling, and reading the Bible whenever you think it is convenient in your life.  Being a Christian is a matter of the heart, the mind and the soul.  To measure up to the stature of Christ is to show it in our FAITH, convictions and beliefs.  We must set aside anything else until we cannot help but to base everything that we do and say in the will of God.

First, we must start examining our way of living, our decisions and our way of thinking.  We have Christ as our example who by the sword of the Spirit breaks down all the walls of our thoughts piercing our soul and spirit and discerning the intentions of our hearts.  He builds new thoughts for us.  He pours out light where there is darkness by showing us through His Word how to make those changes that are vital. God wants us to shine His light in all areas of our lives; our homes,our work,our school, our health, our minds, our hobbies, etc.  They must be in harmony with our FAITH.   But sadly, our FAITH is often separated from all these things.

Let's never forget that our Lord is life--so why do we want to separate Him from every area of our lives?   So often, God is allowed in only certain "parts" of our lives.  We want to allow Him only a little bit in our churches, our hearts, every day walk, our decisions, our beliefs, our speech, our homes, the WHY of our daily activities, goals and everything that we engage in.   As Christians who desire to live "godly", we must start examining our minds, our hearts and our souls. We must start spending more time in prayer asking our LORD to help us do His will in every area of our lives and that includes our homes and families.  We need to learn that He is not a cookie cutter God.  We must allow God to shine His beauty in every compartment of our lives.   His grace and light must be seen in every area of our lives.   Each of our lives will look different if we only allow Him, through our FAITH, to make us live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.  Everyone will see God in us and they will see the light shinning in the midst of so much darkness; a light that is so much different than the world's.

So let's be wise and not put Him to shame because He will be ashamed of us in that day if we don't let Him live through us.  Those who want to live godly lives must strive to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.   Remember that our LORD is HOLY.   So let's behave in a way that glorifies our Lord, living lives that are unblemished and are living sacrifices well pleasing to Him.  And let's be renewed in our spirits and minds by putting on God in righteousness and holiness of the TRUTH.   "And do not be conformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, that you may PROVE what the will of God is, that which is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE and PERFECT."    Romans 12:2

May our Lord help us to walk and live in a manner worthy of His Gospel, walking in righteousness and living our lives as a sacrifice well pleasing to Him.

Luci