True Faith…

The word, faith, seemingly has a lot of definitions to it. Like, you got to have “faith” that you can turn yourself around and stop doing whatever you’re doing. “Imagined faith” is what I call that because 9 times out of 10 (or it just seems like it), you fail at it miserably. Then you have faith based on reality to where you see a little bit in the future (this works best in the immediate family), and based on your own experiences you most of the time get it correct in predicting the future; that’s what I call experiential faith. Or you have what is called “the luck of the draw faith” in which you have a person going out and getting a tattoo of the sports team winning it all and taking home that special trophy several months before a sports season begins. I live in the USA, and that is what happened in the National Football League (NFL) in the United States of America recently.

Over the course of my life here on earth, I can say that I have been bombarded with these false uses of the word “faith.” Unfortunately, there are some churches with spiritually unhealthy leaders who make their living off of those that are fooled by this deception. “Prosperity gospel” runs off of this principle where you have to “believe” you will get what you are looking for, work at it, and have “faith.”

Just recently, I read an article on that word, “faith.” When I was younger I falsely believed that you could have a relationship with God outside of the Holy Bible seemingly the same as this person did on a recent blog I read. They concentrated on praying with an object in one’s hands as the key to finding spiritual enlightenment. When the person landed on the Word of Life or the Holy Bible, the person read it, but it did not make sense to them because the whole Scripture was in King James Version which contains a lot of Thee’s, Thou’s and some words which were appropriate a generation or two ago.

As I went forward at an altar call service at a church to receive Christ when I was the age of seven, several years later the Holy Spirit (which now lives in me) had me open to the book of Luke. In the book of Luke, I found out that it was written by a first-century doctor, so I knew that doctors had the obligation, to tell the truth. First of all, he wrote it to the high priest of the second temple, Theophilus, and Theophilus was one of the wealthiest people living in that time period (Google search). That is to say, if Luke lied about all the happenings that took place in his book, Luke would have an order from Theophilus to take out his physical life.

When I finished that book, I gained a whole new awe for Jesus Christ, and what He has done for me. Luke 9:20-24 says this:

But who do you say I am? Peter said, “You are the Christ from God.” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law. He will be killed and after three days will be raised from the dead.” Jesus said to all of them, “If people want to follow Me, they must give up things they want. They must give up their lives daily, to follow Me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who are willing to give up their life for Me will have true life. (NCV)

That is very similar to 1 Peter 2:21 which says:

For this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, LEAVING YOU AN EXAMPLE, so that you might follow in His steps. (ESV)

Yet, where was I going with this? The proper definition for True Faith is found in Hebrews 11 where it not only gives us the definition but also examples of True Faith.

Let us start off with the definition:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. … Through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:1, 3 KJV)

That is pretty straight forward. Now on to the examples:

By faith, Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than did Cain, by which he (Abel) obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying if his gifts: and by it, he (Abel) being dead yet speaks. (Hebrews 11:4 KJV)

Or,

It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven so he would not die. He could not be found, because God had taken him away. Before he was taken, Scripture says that he truly pleased God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that He is real and rewards those who want to find Him. (Hebrews 11:5-6 NCV)

Now, it takes that kind of True Faith to actively believe in Christ rising from the dead (John 20:9). No, He wasn’t a zombie as current media shows would have you believe there are such things as zombies. Yet Jesus Christ after He died a physical death on that Roman bloody cross is an actual living, breathing, walk through walls type of being who proved Himself to Thomas (one of the twelve apostles) when Thomas actually doubted in front of ten other apostles (John 20:26-29).

Furthermore, if you closely follow my blog, I wrote a blog a few weeks ago called It’s Time To Start Thinking About Easter I wrote about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how through that it provides a figure of an Easter bunny rabbit who is surrounded by eggs. Christians used an Easter bunny with the eggs to signify God the Father through Jesus Christ and people experiencing new birth as new Christians (Google search-www.history.com/easter). However, it takes True Faith to believe that.

If you feel a stirring inside your soul by reading this, then it is the Holy Spirit who wants you to accept Jesus Christ as the Person who saves you in time of difficulty from this sinful world. Do not be afraid to confess your sin once and for all time to Jesus Christ, then you can join in your first Easter celebration as a new believer in the name of Jesus Christ. If you do so, WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!

As long as you live on this earth, however, you are going to sin more. Even your awareness of the sin will increase as the Holy Spirit lives inside of you (just take a look at Romans 7). That is natural for believers in His name, yet you have to give the Holy Spirit meaning in His purpose of living with you. Let Him convict you of sin that you may be doing or have already done, and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you of any sin that you might commit to keeping your conscience clear.

So, that’s my stance on True Faith… Does anybody join me? Please be sure to like this and/or comment below after the links to music videos.

“Walk By Faith”-Jeremy Camp

“What Faith Can Do”-Kutless

“Warrior”-Hannah Kerr

“The Insanity of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected” by Nik Ripken

“I was told that the locals were still finding at least 50 land mines a day. Many of the explosives were discovered only when stepped on and triggered accidentally by animals or playing children. This was Somaliland in early 1992. … Yet, tragically, there would be many more months and countless more deaths before the crippled country’s full measure of misery would finally register on the screen of the world’s awareness.”-Nik Ripken

“Confidence”-Sanctus Real

“When Trials Come”-Keith & Kristyn Getty

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

The 5 Women Who Changed The Nation Of Israel and Christianity…

Earlier I had blogged about women entitled “News Flash! News Flash! There Is Women In The New Testament. In Fact, There’s A Whole Book Written About Them…” Well, this week’s blog is about The 5 Women Who Changed The Nation Of Israel And Christianity. Women have been vitally crucial in the ongoing of the human race, and although very few men have some of these qualities, they can never possess all the qualities of a woman.

In fact, the 5 women that I am speaking about is in Exodus, the second book in the Holy Bible. Their story starts at the beginning of history, just a few generations past Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Abraham and Sarah. My pastor began the St. Patrick’s Day message (although you would have a hard time connecting the two because it is not what he through the Holy Spirit was concentrating on). Rather, it was on God’s Plan Might Include Suffering. He is taking the church through Exodus, and it was through this that I came up with The 5 Women Who Change The Nation Of Israel And Christianity.

Warning! Some thinking is required. The story of Exodus for the Israeli people (exit out of slavery to the Egyptians and their hierarchy) begins in chapter 1, verses 15-22 when the Hebrew midwives received an order from the king of Egypt, called Pharoah.

Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one who was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birth stool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives and he said to them, “Why have you done this and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharoah, “Because the Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, He gave them families. Then Pharoah commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast him into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live. (ESV)

Then in the next chapter stood Moses’ mother, his sister (Miriam), and Pharoah’s daughter (one of the many instances where God uses unlikely women to change the course of Biblical history). And it is recorded in chapter 2:1-10:

Now a man from the house of Levi came down and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of brushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister (Miriam) stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharoah came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She (Pharoah’s daughter) saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him, and said, ” This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister (Miriam) said to Pharoah’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharoah’s daughter said, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharoah’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman (Moses and Miriam’s mother) took the child away and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharoah’s daughter and became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.” (ESV)

Wow! This happened in the first two chapters of Exodus! God is amazing because there was ample opportunity on both sides for things to go awry. Yet, the story of the Exodus from Egypt gets its beginning starting here. If it was not for those two midwives who most likely made up the valid excuse that the Hebrew women had already delivered by the time they got there (with a little dig about the Egyptian women that they weren’t a “vigorous” as the Hebrew women); if it wasn’t for Moses’ mother hiding him for three months until she could no longer hide him; if it wasn’t for Miriam (Moses’ older sister) making pretend she was one of the Pharoah’s daughter’s servants to get her baby brother rescued and brought back to the Israeli camp; if it wasn’t for Pharoah’s daughter who had compassion on the Hebrew baby, eventually called Moses things would have been totally different.

You would have no parting of the Red Sea; no climbing up to see God on Mount Sinai to have the instructions written down by God Himself, and many other miracles that God performed through the life of Moses. If it weren’t for The 5 Women Who Changed The Nation of Israel And Christianity, we would have no King David, King Solomon, all the way down through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ laid His life down on the old bloody cross only for God the Father to pick Him up after three days. The people in the world are trying to disprove that bodily resurrection never took place, but not us True Life Christians. No, we are for sure that Jesus Christ rose from the grave, and He is with us through His Holy Spirit which comes upon us as soon as each one makes a commitment in their soul to believe. If you want proof, then just take a look at John 3:16-21.

“Red Letters”-Crowder

“Red Letters”-DC Talk

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected”- A Book By Nik Ripken

“The few individuals I spotted on the street seemed to be wandering more than walking. There were people there that seemed to be going through the motions of life with no hope, uncertain purpose, and no real destination.”~Nik Ripken

“The Motions”-Matthew West

It Is Time To Start Thinking About Easter…

Already, various food and convenient stores are selling Easter candy. When I go throughout the local convenient stores, I find a hint of them trying to sell me by placing these chocolate goodies in the shape of eggs in places that will catch my eye. In several larger stores (like Walmart, Target, Big Lots, Home Goods, etc…), they are even selling stuffed bunnies of various sizes to go along with these eggs. Oh, did I mention the Easter Basket which you can carry your Chocolate or stuffed bunny along with chocolate eggs which undoubtedly come in the next few days, or it is already in stores now! So you better go out and buy one for your kids, your nieces and nephews, or your significant other! Easter is almost here!

Well, that is what the stores want you to believe so they can get a little bit richer off of your dime. Sadly, I continually fall into this trap. Yet, for some reason, I enjoy this time of year. When Easter comes it usually means that there is no more snow falling to the ground, the sunlight just stays out a little bit longer, and the temperature outside is a little bit more comfortable. Spring is finally here!

With spring here, no more looking at the dull, what appears to be dead trees and bushes that suffered through another harsh winter. Suddenly, the ground is thawed, and beautiful flowers push themselves up through the dirt. As we inch towards Easter (a holiday which had its origins in celebrating a human abundance through a bunny having eggs) and all that new life through bunny eggs has to bring, Christians turn to the cross and all that the death of Jesus Christ has to bring.

For all of the suffering, the physical death, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ went through was an example to anyone who puts faith in God the Father to go see Him in heaven (1 Peter 2:21). Jesus Christ, while He was here on this earth during His ministry which He told us several times and was adamant about it, told humanity that if they choose to follow Him, then they would have to suffer for the name of Jesus and experience physical death, all the while being assured that they individually be in heaven to share the glory of the God the Father (Matthew 10:38-40; Luke 9:18-27, 14:26-27; John 17). And for that single reason, It Is Time To Start Thinking About Easter… for what could be a better representative than a bunny surrounded by eggs to represent God the Father and Christians experiencing the new birth?

“The Cross”-Kevin Max ft. DC Talk

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected”-By Nik Ripken

“I couldn’t begin to comprehend all the devastation that I encountered traveling from the airport into the city that day. What should have been a quick 5-kilometer jaunt turned into a long and disturbing drive through utter destruction? If I had needed a visual image to illustate the word war-torn this picture popped up everywhere I looked.”-Nik Ripken

“God Of All My Days”-Casting Crowns

“While I Wait”-Lincoln Brewster

Best Friends…

Oh, how I miss my first best friend. We met at Tabernacle Christian School in Litchfield, N.H., USA. It also doubled as a church. I am not sure of the grade in which we met each other, but I think we were both 9 at the time which would put us in 3rd grade. Remember Mr. Martin? He was our 3rd-grade teacher.

The reason why I have that old picture of a telephone is that early to mid-1980s that is all we had to communicate instantaneously, in which you had to place a landline call to a home or business. In placing that call you would have to wait to see if the family member you wanted was home or the dreaded endless ringing which would generally signify that no one was home. Or the someone you would like to speak to was occupied with another conversation on the phone, this getting the busy signal. However, soon we got answering machines which would make your call seem a little bit more important, so it seemed. Well, that was the time we were living in, and we took full advantage of having each other’s phone numbers. Yet, as good as the phone technology was back then, I don’t want to say that our best friends relationship was based on getting each other’s phone numbers because it wasn’t. It was just a way for us to more easily communicate. We found each other, and that is all that mattered.

During one of the nights I stayed over his house, we said that no matter what happens in our lives we would stay best friends. We both like doing stuff together whether it was staying over each other’s house, roller skating, ten-pin bowling, candlepin bowling, to going to the movies, to walking around the mall together, to sharing our love for Jesus together. At church, we signed up for everything together-at youth group, youth retreats, youth competitions, regionals, summer camps, and becoming church ushers. Looking at us you would say we were extroverts with a love for Jesus Christ. Yup, we were Extroverts for Christ. Until one day our “best friendship” would be put to the most severe test.

The last day I can remember was on June 18th, 1989, right before I was thrust into a coma abruptly on June 28th, 1989. See, that day was special for both of us because it was the day my best friend graduated from high school and the graduation party at his house. Earlier I told you that it was special because my best friend and me were going to the same college which I expected us to rip up Southeastern College Assemblies of God campus (now Southeastern University). But that was not meant to be.

Obviously tired from all the ongoing’s that happened the day before, I decided to stay up over 24 hours and returning from my full-time Security job by a car on the highway on June 28th, 1989, I received a traumatic brain injury from a single car accident that should have killed me. Instead, I was in a one-month coma. That’s when our “best friendship” got severely tested. In fact, my best friend put off going to college for a year, to see if I would keep my promise to be “Extroverts for Christ.” Sadly, I couldn’t even though I tried with all my might. It felt like I was the only introvert for Christ, yet I knew deep within my soul that I was not the only one ( 1 Kings 19:1-18). During that year, my best friend, I felt, began to separate from me.

Even though we both went to Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God, we were separated by a traumatic brain injury in which I take full responsibility for. However, there is no accident, any disease, anything whatever that can separate you from God’s love:

Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love to us: He sent His One and only Son into the world so we could have life through Him. This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He has sent His Son to die in our place to take away our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us that much, then we should also love each other. No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is made perfect in us. We know that we live in God and He lives in us because He gave us His Spirit. (1 John 4:7-13 NCV)

Or how about this one:

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

Way back when I knew that it was Jesus Christ that is that friend “who sticks closer than a brother, ” making Him my spiritual best friend. I invite you to do the same.

Wherever you are at, if you are not positive on where you are going to spend your spiritual life when you are physically dead, then I invite you to make Jesus Christ your best friend. I encourage you, to mean this deep inside your soul that God came to rescue you. First, you have to ask for forgiveness of all your sin (sin in the past, present, and future) of your new best friend, Jesus Christ. Second, even though you are a sinner saved by grace, you will still feel the proposed need to fulfill your sinful desires (Romans 7:14-17), so then put to death those sinful desires that plague us (Luke 9:23) until we (True Life Christians) go to heaven to be with God.

It really is that simple but hard to pull off. However, if you choose this, WELCOME TO GOD’S FAMILY!!! 😇

~Update on my best friend-he is now living with his beautiful wife and 2 children in the state of Washington, USA. We have regained some of our old things that we used to do together, but it will never be the same as it once was given that there is such a distance between us. Sorry for that, my best friend.

“Friends Are Friends Forever”-Michael W. Smith

“Friend Of God”-(unknown)

“Jesus, You Are My Best Friend!”-(unknown band)

“Jesus, Friend Of Sinners”-Casting Crowns

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected”- A Book By Nik Ripken

“Within a few minutes of my arrival there I was aware that I had never been or imagined a place that was oppressed as this.”-Nik Ripken

“A Song For The Suffering”-UNKNOWN but Bible verses instead of lyrics)

“The Purpose In The Pain”-Matt Hybarger

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

“I Have This Hope”-Tenth Avenue North