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?