Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Emotional Dodgeball

Emotional Dodgeball. It is a game that no one has ever heard of (because I just named it), but everyone, at some point, has played. And wether or not this is correct in sports terms (because I really don't know if it is correct or not), I am going to call the ball throwers the offensive side because that is what they are doing. I am going to call the ones being hurt the defensive side, because they are usually defending themselves.

You don't really know you are playing this game if you are playing offense. But the defense is definitely aware.
Ever have one of those days when you feel like everywhere you turn, stuff is getting thrown at you? It feels like everyone in your life is against you. One person says something hurtful to you, another person might just be inconsiderate, your kids are misbehaving more than usual, your spouse doesn't understand something that is important to you. In most cases, the balls that are being thrown at you are small and insignificant. But they are just coming from every single direction you turn. Sometimes, in this game, it is only one person throwing the balls, but they are big, and this person just keeps throwing the same ball over and over.
Obviousely, since I just made up this game, there are no clear cut rules to it. But I think you get the idea.
Whether the balls that are being thrown at you are big, and painful, or there are a whole bunch of little silly balls being thrown at you, I hope this encourages you:

2 Corinthians 4:15-17 (NLT)
15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are
being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

If you are on offense, you might not even know that you are taking place in this game. But we all need to be very careful. Everyone has been a ball thrower at some point.

Ephesians 4:29(NLT)
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Don't take part in this game. On either side. We all have a choice. On the defensive side, you can choose to either let these words or actions penetrate your heart and make you feel beaten up, or you can pick up your sword and bat them away.

Isaiah 54:17 (NLT)
But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!

On the offensive side, you have a choice to say things or not to say things. Check your motives before you say something that might hurt somebody. Are your words going to build somebody up, or are they going to tear that person down? If you do not speak with love, it will more than likely tear them down.

Ephesians 4:15-16 (NLT)
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Let our words and actions be encouraging to eachother. May we build eachother up instead of tearing eachother down.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fix our eyes

Yesterday, everyone remembered the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. All I could really think about was how so many people, after the attacks, turned to God. Churches were packed. People held prayer meetings. In the midst of this tragedy, people needed to heal. And they turned to the one who could heal them.

I wonder how long that lasted? Did they get the healing they needed, then go back to life as usual? Did they continue to pursue God? I don't know. But it did cause me to ponder on one thought.
Do we turn to God in the midst of our every day tragedies? The definition of tragedy is "An event resulting in great loss and misfortune". It doesn't have to be a terrorist attack.

1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. "

What would you consider a tragedy? Your marriage being attacked? Death of a loved one? Loss of a job? Depression? Infertility? Addiction? Children having babies? Abuse? Has anyone betrayed you?
All of those (and more) result in great loss and misfortune. So when we face those, who, or what, do we run to?

Matthew 11:28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Do we turn to God? Or do we try to find comfort in other things?

Hebrews 12:1-2Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

After the 9/11 attacks, there was such unity. I wonder how different things would be if we turned to God in the midst of the every day tragedies we face. And not just turn to him until that issue is resolved, or until the healing comes, but fixed our eyes on him, allowing those tragedies to draw us closer to him. Not just for a time, but for all time!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not I But Christ

Galatians 2:20
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I am reminded of the story of Moses. A man to whom God appears in the form of a burning bush. God tells him he needs to go to Pharoah and tell him to let the Israelites go. "But Lord, I can not speak well. i get tongue tied, and my words get tangled." Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Exodus 4:11

How often do we do the exact same thing as Moses? He tells us to do something and we say, " I can't Lord, I am......" . Fill in the blank. It can be anything.

-I can't go and talk to that lonely person, I am shy.

-I can't go and comfort that hurting person, I never know what to say.

Add anything to the list. I used those because that is usually what I say. What is yours?

"I can't ________because I am/can't______."

It is not God's intention for us to do anything with our own strength.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9
even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

When we take on Christ as our Savior, we are inviting him in our hearts and allowing him to work through us. Nothing we do is on our own.

When you are tempted to say, "I can't____because I_____" , remember that when God calls us to do something, it is Not I but Christ who lives in me. He does the work, we are merely the vessel. So we can say, "I can because if God is telling me to do something, he will equip me."For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:13.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Run the Race

Hebrews 12:1(NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

When we think of a race, we think about competition. This is not what this race means. It is a verb, not a noun. It just means to strive toward a goal. I don't think that when we read this verse we actually think that it means to be in competition against eachother. But how often do we judge someone's closeness to God by what we see? How often do we look at eachother and get frustrated because either, "I want to be where she is spiritually.", or "Why can't she be more like me spiritually?" If we see someone struggling, we are supposed to help them. We should just be careful that we are getting them back to where God needs them, not where we want them.

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)
When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Sometimes the outward appearance of someone's faith does not match their heart. Just because it appears to us that someone may be "behind", or not maturing fast enough, they just might be exactly where God wants them to be.

I was driving the other day, and I was so focused on the car in front of me, I didn't even realize I was in the wrong lane. Our eyes need to be on the road ahead of us. If we are too focused on some one else's path, or calling, how can we run the race God has set before each of us individually.

Ephesians 4:1-3
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Stop competing with eachother. Focus on where God needs you to be. Be content with where you are, knowing that there will always be a higher calling for your life in God's perfect timing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Recent Reads

I am not a reader. I typically do not have the focus, and I definitely do not usually have the time to read. But I have read two books in the last month. i am really getting into this whole book reading thing.
Here are the books I read this past month

"Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. It is a great story about a little boys trip to heaven and back during an emergency surgery.
The other one was "Erasing Hell" by Francis Chan

It was not my intention to read 2 books that are both about or destinies after we leave this life. Two completely different destinies at that. It just happened that way.

Heaven is for Real was a great book. It is a mood lifting, inspiring book about what I can look forward to when I die. Erasing Hell is completely opposite. It is not what the title sounds like. This is not a book suggesting that Hell does not exist. It is about the dangers of taking on that mindset. Choosing to believe in Heaven, but not believing in Hell. Who wants to believe in a place like Hell anyway? Right? But scripture tells us about hell.

If you choose to believe that everyone will go to Heaven, even those who deserve punishment, you better be REAL sure about that. Would you put your life savings into a stock that you were told very clearly will crash and you will lose all of your money? Why would anyone want to do that with their eternal destiny?

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Identity

I was thinking this morning about when my husband was in the Army. I was remembering that I had his social security number memorized very early in our marriage. On post, that was my identity. I was not Karisa Madera. I belonged to my husband. I even had to carry a card with me to prove that I belong to him. If I didn't have it with me when I left the house, i was likely in a world of hurt.

I still proudly belong to my husband, but I do not have to prove it to anyone. I also belong to someone else.

Romans 7:4
Today's New International Version

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

And I have to carry around my proof of identity. Otherwise, no one will know I belong to Christ. It is not a card with a horrible picture on it.
My proof of identity in Christ is this:

1 Peter 2:9
New Living Translation

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

and it is also this:

Galatians 5:22-23
New Living Translation

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

John 13:35
New Living Translation

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

1 Corinthians 13:2-3
New Living Translation

2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

I need to make sure I have that proof of identity with me at all times. Sadly, I often forget it. How much different would everything be if everyone who belongs to Christ carried their proof of identity AT ALL TIMES?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

He will catch us

James 1:12
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

I was at the park with my 3 1/2 year old, adventurous, fearless son. He was on the half circle climbing monkey bar thing(I obviousely do not know what they are called). He likes to climb up to the top and just hang until he can't hang any longer. As I was getting my bike ready to leave, I heard him calling for me. I turned to look at him, and he was holding on for dear life. But I didn't run to him. I slowly walked, not in any hurry. But my eyes never left him. Was I slow because I didn't care if he fell? Not at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. After watching this little boy play for 3 years, I have come to know his capabilities. I knew he could hang on longer. If i wasn't certain of it, I would have rushed to him, even if that meant I had to drop my bike. That is the love of a parent toward a child. Knowing how much a child can handle and knowing when to step in and help. We have to allow them to build up their strength.

James 1:2-4
Faith and Endurance
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

That is how intimitely our Heavenly Father knows us. Sometimes, we might feel like he has left us and is just letting us fend for ourselves in the midst of our trials. But he is always watching us. He never takes his eyes off of us. He will never failus, and he will never abandon us. Joshua 1:5 He knows our strengths better than we know them ourselves. He will be there to catch us at the exact moment we need it.

1 Corinthians 10:13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

If you are in the midst of a trial that you don't think you can possibly handle, either God knows you can handle it and he is building your strength, or he is there already, just wating for you to fall into his loving arms and take care of it. But he is never slow, he is never late. He is always right on time.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ask, Seek, and Knock

Matthew 7:7-8 (New Living Translation)

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

I think we read this scripture and think that it means that if you ask, you will just simply receive. No work involved, just ask, and wait for your answer.

If you ask for healing, you may actually have to get up and find a Doctor.
If you have a broken heart, or need emotional healing, God will probably send someone into your life, to say or do the right things to heal your heart. But sometimes you might reject the very words God is giving you
If you pray for weight loss, you will not just miraculousely wake up to a new body, but God will give you the strength, stamina and motivation to make the changes in your life.
If you pray for healing in your marriage (or any relationship), your marriage will not fix itself. You will probably have to humble yourself and allow God to show you what you need to appologize for. You can't heal your marriage by sitting there waiting for the other party to make the move.
If you are lonely, you may have to open your heart to receive the love someone is trying to give you.

I truly believe that when we pray, and feel like our prayers are unanswered, they are right there in front of us. Just waiting for us to reach out there and grab it. If someone gives us a gift, we have to actually unwrap it to see the gift. Gifts don't open themselves. It takes action.

Ephesians 1:18
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance

The answers to pur prayers are all around us. I pray that our eyes can be opened so that we can receive the gifts God is trying to bless us with.

Monday, March 7, 2011

God, our Father

It is impossible for us to ever fully understand God. He is so far beyond our comprehension. I love the fact that the image he gives us of our relationship with him is that of one of the strongest earthly relationships we have. Father and child.

Romans 8:16-17

16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Fathers love their children. God loves his children. God's love is prefect. It is unconditional.

Romans 8:38-39 (New Living Translation)
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Fathers discipline their children when they need to be disciplined. God disciplines us when we need it.

Hebrews 12:5-11 (New Living Translation)
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,

“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

When a child is hurt, or sad, his father will comfort him. God also comforts us when we are troubled.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (New Living Translation)
God Offers Comfort to All
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

When we are lost, our father will not stop searching until he finds us. If we ran away, he will wait for our return. He will stand at the door and never stop watching for you to come home.

Luke 15:3-32 (New Living Translation)
3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
Parable of the Lost Son
11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[b]’

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Even though I compare his love for us to that of an earthly father and child, the love that a father has for his child does not even come close to the greatness of God's love for us. But if we look at it from an earthly perspective, we can get a glimpse of how much he loves us.

Jeremiah 31:3 (New Living Translation)
3 Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How do we reach people?

I encourage you to watch this video. It is 15 minutes long. but it will help you understand why I am feeling led to share the things I am.

If you didn't have the time, or just didnt feel like watching the video, I will sum it up.
Mark, a man from Austin felt inclined to call into this talk show and let these hosts know that they will be going to Hell if they do not change their ways. It is a show called "The Atheist Experience". I have never watched this show. This video clip is all I have ever seen of it.

If you are a Christian, you would probably agree with me that we are on this earth for a purpose, and that purpose is to lead others to Christ. Are we in agreement here?

How do you suppose God meant for us to do that? Well, since we are Christians, which means followers of Christ, let's look directly to who we are to become more like. Christ!!!

Luke 4:18-19 (New Living Translation)

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.

Luke 4:42-44 (New Living Translation)
Jesus Continues to Preach
42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43 But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.

Luke 19:10 (New Living Translation)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

John 3:17 (New Living Translation)
17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Jesus came to tell the GOOD NEWS. It is also clear that he was not sent here to judge, but to save. If God did not send Jesus Christ to judge, what makes us think it is okay to do that?????

Luke 6:37 (New Living Translation)
37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

Is anything more clear than that??? We are supposed to be sharing the good news of God's unconditional love for us, and his desire to forgive us. We are supposed to spread the good news of salvation. Not spread the message of judgement and condemnation.

If you notice in scripture, there are warnings of judgement, but notice who they are directed to. They are directed at believers. People who should know better. Since this blog is already long, I will not add scriptural evidences, but you can check it out. the only people he spoke harshly to were the pharisees and even his own disciples. When speaking to a non believer, he spoke with love and gentleness, and mercy.

1 Peter 3:14-16 (New Living Translation)
14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (New Living Translation)

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

It is not effective to scare someone into a relationship with God. God wants to lavish us with his love, he does not want to condemn anyone. That is the message we are supposed to be spreading. God loves us so much that he created us, then sent Jesus Christ to live with us and be an example of how we are to live, and to die for our sins. He paid the price for us so we can live in eternity with him in heaven. That is the message of love!!

2 Peter 3:9 (New Living Translation)
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Romans 8:38-39 (New Living Translation)
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mary/Martha view towards salvation

most people know the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus comes to their house and brings a lot of people. Martha is worried about getting the food ready and the things that have to be done. Mary wanted nothing more than to sit at Jesus's feet and learn from him.

We normally apply this story to women and how they view the things that need to be done. Mary is the slow moving one that can just enjoy life. Martha is the one on the go getting things done.

Humor me for a moment while I apply this story to how we view salvation. What really saves us?? Some churches believe that baptism is what saves us, some believe we simply accept Christ into our heart. Here are some verses to go with these throries:
Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Romans 10:9-10
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

John 3:5
5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.

According to scripture, both actions are required.
Now apply this to Mary and Martha?

Martha: doing the busy things. Doing the things that need to be done. Yes, it is true, someone had to feed all of those people. According to scripture, baptism is required. John 3:5 leaves no room for misunderstanding. "No one can enter the kingdom of Heaven without being born of water and the Spirit."

Mary: she really wanted a relationship with Christ. "Mary has chosen what is better." She probably trusted that if no one prepared the meal, Jesus would take care of it. He did turn a tiny fish basket and loaves of bread into enough food to feed the multitudes, didn't he? Accepting Christ into our heart is what changes us. When we desire a relationship with him, we want to be like him. That is what we are called to. To become like Christ.

I'm not saying either is wrong, they are both inportant. Baptism is required, but wanting a relationship with him is better. Not only better, but even more important. You will never grow as a Christian if you don't actively seek a relationship with your savior.

After all, we are the bride of Christ. Would you marry someone you haven't already given your heart to?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What do you believe, really?

I have been feeling this for a while lately, and just wait for the feeling to go away. But the Holy Spirit just keeps bringing it back to me. The way He did today was confirmation of my feelings. GOD IS AWESOME!!!! For those that think that God doesn't talk to us anymore, maybe you should try listening for him. he is real and he still speaks to us today!!!!

James 2:14-19 (New Living Translation)

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.

Something that bothers me is that some refuse to believe in our Creator. He lovingly created us and everything around us. He put so much detail into us. Just look at how complex the human body is. WOW. That couldn't have just come from nothing. No way!! Nothing anyone told me, or showed me could convince me otherwise.

That is not what has been on my mind so much though. It bothers me that people choose to not believe in our creator. What makes me angry, I mean really gets my blood boiling, is people who believe in God, believe he created us, believes in Heaven and Hell, knows that our Heavenly Father calls us to a greater purpose in life, to truly live lives of righteousness don't live their lives in any way, shape or form that show they believe these things.

Now, I am not talking about Christians that just sin...sinless people just do not exist. Not the Christians that sin, and acknowlege their sin and truly try to break free from them. We all have weaknesses. If we didn't we wouldn't need Christ.

Romans 3:22-24 (New Living Translation)
22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

I am talking about the ones that say they believe in God, yet turn around that reject him with their actions and the way they really live their lives. The ones that just blend in with the world. The ones who do not live their lives in awe and respect of him and his power. Oh sure, they want all of his blessings, but they don't want to give him their life. THIS IS ETERNITY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!! This is important stuff people. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. That doesn't mean that we have to live in fear. If you are truly living your life for God, you wouldn't have to live in fear.

Be different. Quit trying to impress your friends with your actions, or your lifestyle. God is the one whose approval we should be seeking. When the time comes, he will make the decision, not your friends. Who are you choosing everyday to live for? Yourself, or the loving God who created you?

This is the chorus to a song by one of my favorite singers, Beckah Shae. Her lyrics are very deep. The song is "Almost Over" It has been on my heart for a very long time.

Here’s a song to let everyone know,
It’s almost over.
Think again before you run your own show,
It’s getting closer.
How well do you know where your gonna go?
Cause it’s forever.
The time is now to think about not now,
But your future in heaven.

But the day of the Lord,
will come unexpectedly as a thief,
Do you think that you’ll be ready?
But in keeping with His promises,
We are looking forward to a New Heaven,
A New Earth, the Home of Righteousness!!!
A world where everything is right with Him.
Do you know the truth?
Make sure you do,
Cause time is of the essence

1 Peter 1:17

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.”

Romans 13:11-12

11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.

2 Corinthians 4:18

18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.