Why Christians Should or Should Not Pursue Their Dreams

dreams...

Certainly, God is in the business of making things fall into place as they should. However, the way they fall into place is often based on the condition and motives of our heart.

As an artist, one who writes, acts, sings and directs, it is easy to think I have what at first glance may seem to be “good” intentions. But we have to have genuine faith in Christ, not in ourselves, if we are going to first please Him and be used by Him for what really matters.

As a Christian and an artist, I can sometimes get off focus and start concentrating on and pursuing worldly desires, not Christ’s desires. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with desiring to provide for your family. In fact, it is a godly desire, since God too delights in providing for our physical needs. However, it is certainly a lesser need and one that should ALWAYS take third place in the life of a Christian.

When Jesus was weakened by hunger, and His disciples left Him to sit and rest at a well while they searched for and pursued their physical needs (food), Christ pursued God’s greatest desire first. He chose to draw a broken and sinful woman to Himself, extend His forgiveness and salvation to her, and transform her life with the power of His love. When His disciples returned, still focused on their physical need for food, this is the lesson Jesus taught:

“Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for *eternal life*, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.””
‭‭John‬ ‭4:33-38‬ ‭

Beyond a doubt, Jesus was more concerned with the eternal souls of a lost village than with His need to eat. Too often we are primarily concerned with how we are going to pay the bills than how we are going to bring souls to Christ.

Our gifts were not essentially given to us in order to earn income. Sure, God can use them to provide financially, but again, that is always third place. First thing we are commanded to do with the gifts God gives us—with all that we are—is to love Him, to seek to please Him. Next, it is to serve others for the purpose of edifying them in love. Lastly, it is to earn income to physically provide for our loved ones and others in need. When those priorities are shifted, we are missing the mark, we are not doing God’s will.

My prayer, my plea, is for every Christian artist out there to just stop and examine your heart and really discover the primary reason for why you are doing what you are doing. If it is first to promote yourself in order to provide for your physical needs, remember that is not supposed to be the primary desire and thus, repentance will be necessary.

Repentance is a change of mind. It is when you agree with God totally and then choose to obey Him. The amazing and beautiful thing about our Lord is that He is faithful to forgive when we repent, and He then pours out His Spirit and gives us all we need in order to accomplish His good desires to save souls and transform them with His love.

As Christians, we mustn’t seek our dreams first unless of course those “dreams” are truly and primarily the goals of Jesus: sharing the gospel and making disciples. In fact, I genuinely dislike the whole, “Pursue your dreams,” and, “believe in yourself,” phrases. 100% of the time, these phrases are encouraging you to put yourself first and to trust in yourself to do what you want to do. Let’s face it, that’s exactly what satan taught Eve, and continues to preach to this day. Jesus, on the other hand, says deny yourself, believe in Him, love others, and put yourself last!

Many self-proclaiming Christians tragically buy into the self-serving dream-pursuit message, and don’t even realize they’re serving themselves instead of Christ; they’re building up themselves, instead of bearing fruit for His kingdom, i.e., bringing souls to Him and/or strengthening the hearts of those who are already His. As a parent, that is certainly something I want to be mindful of.

As much as I love Arrow, I cannot support or enable him to pursue selfish desires. When he’s an adult, if he chooses that route for himself, I will pray for him, but I will not cheer him on. I pray his gifts and his life are always offered up as a sacrifice to God first and foremost. I pray he loves and fears Jesus first and I pray my husband and myself model that example for him for as long as we live. May my goal always be to love the one who loved me first, to give everything to the one who gave everything for me. To live for the one who died for me that I may truly live forever with Him. And I pray the same for you, beloved.

My Gay Cousin Asked Me To Write This

A few months ago, my homosexual cousin asked me to write a blog about this. At the time, he and his then-boyfriend were attending gay services with a homosexual pastor. My cousin felt that it was wrong, but said the opposing views had him confused. He wanted to know what the bible really says about homosexuality. So cousin, the following bible verses are all from the New Testament, after Jesus died on the cross and resurrected.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. (‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭26-28‬ ESV)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭9-10‬ ESV)

We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God … (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭9-11‬ HCSB)

In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced perversions, just as angels did, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (‭Jude‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ HCSB)

Homosexuality is a sin, and when Jesus died on the cross and then resurrected from the grave, He defeated all sin.

The bible teaches that those who are “born again,” who deny themselves—their feelings and opinions—and choose to follow Jesus, these people receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Christ’s very Spirit. He sends Himself in Spirit form into your heart. When His Spirit is united with your heart, your desires naturally begin to change. 500 years before Jesus promised He would send the Holy Spirit to believers after His resurrection, God told His people through His prophet Ezekiel:

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36‬:‭26-27‬ ESV)

And in the book of Jeremiah, God says:

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭32‬:‭27‬ ESV)

Whether it’s drug addiction, pornography addiction, depression, premarital sex, money addiction, prostitution, compulsive lying, stealing; whatever your sin is, God’s Spirit is stronger. His love is greater. His fiery passion for you pinned Him to a cross and kept Him dead for three days. His love for us rose Him from the grave. His love for us crucified all of our sin. The bible says the sins of the world, the iniquity of us all, was laid upon Him. He died for it, but then conquered it when He rose again. He sends the same Spirit that resurrected Him from death into our hearts. Christ Himself lives in us, giving us the power to likewise crucify our sin and overcome it, raising us to new life. That is why I know people who once struggled with homosexuality and now are completely delivered from it. Jesus changed their heart, because He’s powerful enough to. His love conquers our sin, it consumes it and incinerates it.

In Christ, there is no desire we cannot defeat. Our sinfulness is not stronger and never will be stronger than His Spirit. If we simply surrender those desires to Him and just focus on knowing and loving Him, He takes care of our sins. We’ll look back and see we no longer want what we once wanted. We are free to walk in the good works God created us to walk in. We are free to know our true selves: a son or daughter of God, cherished and loved, made for eternal glory.

Anyone can be set free to be who God made them to be. It’s just up to us to decide if we want Him or our sin. Forgiveness or condemnation. Light or darkness. Freedom or chains. Life or death. Heaven or hell.

Precious cousin, I pray you choose Life, I pray you choose Love, I pray you choose Jesus.

Jesus, Please Cast The Demons Out Of Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner has had a demonic spirit lying to him since his youth, and many transgender men and women have been unknowingly experiencing the same satanic deception.

We see two-year-olds claiming to be the opposite sex. The world sees this and exclaims it must be their true identity if they begin feeling this way at such a young age. But if they knew the bible, they would know that parents would often bring their children to Jesus so He could cast out the demons that were possessing them:

Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon.” Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and urged Him, “Send her away because she cries out after us.” He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came, knelt before Him, and said, “Lord, help me! ” He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table! ” Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was cured. (‭Matthew‬ ‭15‬:‭22-28‬ HCSB)

There are more accounts of demon-possessed children in the New Testament whom Jesus delivered, and the prophet Jeremiah also wrote:

The Lord said, “It is because they abandoned My instruction that I set in front of them and did not obey My voice or walk according to it. Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts and followed after the Baals as their fathers taught them.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭9‬:‭13-14‬ HCSB)

Bruce Jenner is unknowingly calling Jesus a liar, for Jesus said God’s Word will never pass away. God does not change His mind. His Word is fixed. He would not deem cross-dressing an abomination and yet cause one of His creations to be confused about his gender. Satan, however, is the author of confusion, and the father of all lies. He always attacks God’s Word. It was his very first assault on mankind in order to deceive and destroy them and it worked (see Genesis‬ ‭3‬:‭1-6).

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

After Adam took his heart from God’s hands and trusted it over God’s Word, he passed that sinful nature on to the rest of humanity who would come after him. So before we surrender our hearts to Jesus, they are deceitful and desperately wicked. But praise God He promises:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36‬:‭26-27‬ NKJV)

When Jesus lived in a prone-to-sin human body yet never sinned once, He defeated sin’s power. When He died on that cross 2,000 years ago and then rose again, He conquered the curse of sin and death, and offers that victory to anyone who changes their minds and chooses to agree with God’s Word, to trust it, even over their own feelings. And He promises:

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭31-32‬ NKJV)

I pray that Bruce Jenner finds a Holy Spirit-filled Christian, who knows the truth about what He’s suffering, and prays for those demons to come out of him. Then I pray he asks Jesus to take over his heart, and begins renewing his mind through God’s word—the bible— so he will know the truth, and be set free from this bondage, able to have joy in his identity as a man of God, reflecting the glory of the God-man, Jesus Christ, whom he was designed after and created for. Then Bruce, and every transgender who also surrenders to Jesus, will discover their true identity and experience everlasting peace and joy.

Christians Are Called To Be Superheroes

A few days ago, someone I knew from middle school shot himself in the head. Twenty-five years old. Last week, another twenty-five year old that I knew from high school overdosed.

We as Christians can get so distracted from the greater reality: we are in a spiritual war. Depression, anxiety, pornography, sex trafficking, rape, all satanically influenced. People’s souls are being brutally fought for in the spiritual realm and we are seeing it plain as day in the physical realm. Our best friends, co-workers, and family are on what Jesus called the path of destruction. My generation, the Millennials, are so lost.

Christian, there’s walking dead people all around us, and you’re concerned about career? You’re concerned about becoming rich? You’re concerned about getting a wife or husband? Worse yet, you’re enjoying the short-lived pleasures of sin and walking like the dead, absolutely useless to God who desperately wants to rescue them and died to rescue you—not just from hell but from the bondage of sin! You’ve been set free yet you’re living like you aren’t.

We are the superheroes of our world. In our community, God has specifically placed us as watchmen. Even greater is our mission than the superheroes we watch in films. They merely save the physical body. We are called to save the eternal soul! There’s a great villain who is destroying lives, wreaking havoc on the ignorant, and we are the only ones who stand in his way.

Are we fighting him? Are we winning? Or are we foolishly following him instead of God by staying in our sin while souls perish all around us?

We don’t wear costumes, but we wear the light of Christ. Is He being seen in you? Do those around you and those who encounter you know you’re a superhero, know that you’re a Christian? Are you walking in His power so you can save them?

Time is so short. We don’t know who the devil will take out next, but we know this great villain does not sleep, he does not relent. Only those who give their hearts to Christ can withstand and overcome him. That is why we must take our training seriously. Lives literally depend on it.

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Going To Church Doesn’t Mean You’re Saved

There’s been many times where I’ve asked someone if they knew Jesus and his or her response was, “My dad is a pastor,” or “Yeah, I go to church,” or “I was raised going to church.” But I was not asking them if they regularly attended a corporate Christian service at a building, or if their parents knew Jesus. I asked if they knew Him.

“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭8-10‬ NKJV)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”-(‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭21-23‬)

It is a tragic thing when people assume the sum of christianity is going to a weekly church service. This is not only tragic because they’re utterly missing out on the incredible reality of knowing Jesus personally and experiencing Him daily and having His love completely transform you into who you were created to be and leading you into your destiny through the power of the Holy Spirit, but they’re on the path to destruction, not realizing Jesus isn’t going to allow people into heaven on the basis of their church attendance but on whether or not they truly knew Him, had given their heart to Him and loved Him not in word, but in deed and truth.

That word for “know” is the same word the bible uses when speaking of a husband and wife becoming one through sexual intimacy. It’s the deepest and most intimate level of knowing, and that is what God desires for us. He didn’t send His Son from heaven to live here and teach and walk among us and heal us for three years just so we can think He’s cool and go on with our lives. He wanted to reveal Himself to us, to have us know beyond a doubt what He’s about: love.

He taught us that He’s a loving Father who desires to reveal Himself to us, to adopt us as His own, to heal us, to transform us, to teach us, to use us to bless others and bring them into His family, to redeem us, to set us free.

When someone really knows Jesus, it’s evident in that their life is completely changed. They aren’t the same person. You see the transformation. And that’s my prayer for all those who think they are a Christian, but don’t really know Christ, and for those who have knowingly rejected Him. May you come to know and experience the amazing love, forgiveness, and transformation that I’ve known and experienced for the past six years. Not just so your life on this earth is incredible, but so that you can be saved from yourself and from the chains of satan and go to heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬)

Are You Ready To Meet God?

Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire shall devour them. Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men. For they intended evil against You; They devised a plot which they are not able to perform. Therefore You will make them turn their back; You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces. (‭Psalms‬ ‭21‬:‭8-12‬ NKJV)

Yahweh, the proven Creator of this universe, will have a face-to-face meeting with us all. We were born by His permission, into His world, and remain breathing now by His will. Like wind to a burning wick, He can blow the very life out of our hearts and we will die, only to stand before the Consuming Fire of whom we must give an account.

Are you ready for this personal encounter? Are you prepared to be judged by Him?

I tell you now, not one person on this earth can ready themselves any other way than that way which God has provided: His Son.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬)

Man is without excuse. There is an abundance of historical evidence that Christ indeed proved Himself to be the Son of God by His perfectly moral life, His miracles and resurrection from the dead, and the billions of lives He’s transformed since then. If anyone doubts this fact, He can merely ask the Lord to reveal the truth, and He will to those who genuinely desire Him. For though many accept that there is indeed a Creator, they reject Him in their minds and hearts, and do not desire Him to be their Father and Master. In their grave foolishness, they deem their ways better than His, and so they cling to their sin and deny God until they inevitably meet Him and face the eternal condemnation for which they brought upon themselves by denying God’s plan for forgiveness and redemption.

I don’t want you to be one of those who all their life assumed they’ll get into heaven on good merit, not realizing they’ve broken the commandments of God over and over and over and have never been truly forgiven of them because they’ve never surrendered to the One who never once broke a commandment; the only perfect One who can forgive sin since He overcame it when He walked this earth in human flesh. Jesus Christ alone is worthy of heaven. He alone has never broken God’s law, therefore when He died, He did not die for merely the worst of sinners, but the bible says He died for the entire world.

Do not trust in yourself to get you to heaven. Jesus has made the path clear: Himself. Come to Him for forgiveness and salvation. Trust in Him as your Savior and Lord, give your heart to Him, change your mind about what you believe is right and renew it by seeing what God commands in the Bible.

May you be set free from every sin and hurt and come to know the One who loved you so much He allowed Himself to be beaten, ridiculed, and pinned to a cross for your forgiveness to be made possible.

If you have any questions on beginning a surrendered relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, feel free to email me at BetterThanPrinceCharming(at)gmail.com

Love and grace to you,

Natasha

I Love Jesus, But I Love Comfort More

We get angry.

We complain.

We grow weary.

We become complacent.

Many Christians tend to fix their eyes on all that isn’t right in their life, rather than on what is.

I love, love, love how the introductory note of this psalm is: “A Davidic psalm. When He was in the wilderness of Judah.” I.e., when evil/crazed Saul, and his soldiers were hunting David’s life and he was hiding in caves with a gang of smelly rebels. But despite his dreadful circumstances, here’s what David writes:

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips. When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches because You are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me. But those who seek to destroy my life will go into the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the power of the sword; they will become the jackals’ prey. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by Him will boast, for the mouths of liars will be shut. (‭Psalms‬ ‭63‬:‭1-11‬ HCSB)

He’s able to say Yahweh’s faithful love is better than life. But how many of us are put in difficult situations and begin doubting His love? Instead of declaring the truth of Yahweh’s proven character we ask, “why me? What did I do to deserve this? When will this end? Why is God doing this to me?”

The focus is on ourselves rather than on Yahweh. No wonder things only get worse: not only are our circumstances tough, but our attitude is growing more sour rather than our character becoming more Christ-like.

When we allow Yahweh to build our character in difficult circumstances, things get better. Why? Because we have become better, and when we become better Christians, Yahweh is pleased.

Reality check: as Christ followers, we aren’t supposed to love ourselves and our comfortability more than we love Christ.

Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. (‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭3‬:‭1-4‬ NKJV)

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (‭II Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭3‬ NKJV)

We are quick to forget all that Christ suffered for our sakes. We have yet to follow in His steps of affliction. We haven’t had our bodies crucified like the early apostles and our brothers in other parts of the world. Just last month a group of teenage Christians were crucified for refusing to deny Christ. And it’s only getting worse. The persecution of Christians is at an all-time high. May we be praying and thankful for all the comfort we still obtain here in America—even if we are “poor” by the government’s standards, or have yet to find a spouse, or any other difficulty we may find ourselves in. It can always be worse. And complaining about it only angers God and ourselves—and those around us.

May we repent of trying to please ourselves and truly live to please Christ. If we are serious about our Christianity, may we no longer love our lives and our comfort more than Him. May we serve Him like He served us. May we remember every morsel of food and sip of water and breath of oxygen is given to us by Yahweh. Every single thing that is still good and right in our lives are blessings, not entitlements. God does not have to keep giving us breath so with it we can continue complaining.

We were created to glorify Him, to thank Him at all times and in every circumstance; to know that despite the inevitable trials we face in this hellish world where the devil and his demons prowl, we have a hope to hold onto. Christ is coming back, and we does, everything will be made right and good.

Until then, let us endure hardship as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We may be out of here tomorrow and never have to worry about another thing again. Let’s prepare ourselves for that day of reckoning, when we meet our Savior face-to-face.

The grace and peace of Yeshua be with you.

Love,

Natasha

Why Should I Love Jesus Christ?

What did Christ really do for us?

1.) He left heaven and came to earth

In heaven, hundreds of thousands of angels worshiped Jesus. He stood among them in complete and glorious splendor. But even more wonderful than all of that, He lived with the Father Himself; He saw, walked, and talked with the Creator, the Perfectly Good One. He had everything He needed in heaven, yet He left it for not a day, not a few months, but thirty-three years.

Not only did He leave this wonderful home with the Father, He traded it for a horrendous one; one where corruption, hate, murder, adultery, paganism, idolatry, and violence ran rampant. A home where from birth, His life would be hunted. He dwelt among the poor and lived as though He was poor—for us.

2.) He loved us

Jesus laid hands on the untouchables and outcasts; lepers, the blind, the lame, adulteresses, tax collectors, and He healed them.

He taught us what following God really looks like. He revealed to us the very character, the very heart of God. Instead of demanding to be served, He served and gave up His life—for us.

3.) He suffered the reproach of the cross

Christ was fully aware that He would be beaten, ridiculed, rejected, arrested, and eventually crucified yet He did not forsake God’s plan, but embraced it—for us.

4.) He defeated sin and death

Not only did Jesus make a way for forgiveness through His perfect life and sacrifice, opening the gates of heaven for all who wish to enter through Him, but He also conquered sin and death—the very power of Satan that kept the human race bound since the days of Adam and Eve. Before Christ died, we were helpless to sin’s control over our life, and victims of mortality. But through His willing sacrifice and resurrection from the grave, Christ frees all those who trust in Him from the devil’s works. Jesus brought deliverance, both now and eternally—for us.

5.) He gives us everything we need in the midst of this dark world

Peace:

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭27‬ NKJV)

Joy:

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭11‬ NKJV)

Hope:

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast … (Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭19‬ NKJV)

Companionship:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭20‬ NKJV)

6.) He rewards us

As if all the fore-mentioned wasn’t enough, Jesus offers us heavenly rewards, gifts that never perish, treasures that never rust. He promises a crown, the right to drink from living waters in heaven, and healing fruit to eat; gates of pearls, and streets of gold to walk upon.

There’s so much Jesus Christ has done for us. Do we love Him with all our heart? Are we thankful to Him every day? Do we really understand how worthy He is, and thus live for His glory?

May you and I both grasp the depth of Christ’s love and how worthy He is of our complete devotion. This is what life is about for the Christian—loving Christ for who He is and what He’s done.

How Do I Imitate God?

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭1-10‬ HCSB)

Be imitators of God. What a high command. This is the call of every Christian—no excuses. So what does it mean? Firstly, it’s a denial of self.

Christ was always denying Himself and giving glory to the Father and doing whatever He told Him to do.

Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t Mine but is from the One who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own. The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (‭John‬ ‭7‬:‭16-18‬ HCSB)

This is the attitude and obedience we are supposed to imitate. And of course, being a servant to others from the love of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts.

But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭20‬:‭25-28‬ HCSB)

Now here’s a hard reflection: are we imitating Jesus? Maybe we are sometimes, but think of the times we aren’t. Is that okay with God? If we cuss at times, or get drunk, or have an outburst of anger, is that fitting for someone who is supposed to be imitating the forgiveness, love, patience, and humility of Christ? How about if we do these things often?

Christ enables you to repent if you are sincere about following Him. He can renew and establish you in the faith, cleanse you and make you holy; make you like Him. He is able, we only have to be willing.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭14-16‬ NKJV)

May we all grow more like Christ from glory to glory.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha

I’m a Christian, But I Don’t Want You To Know I’m Struggling

Sometimes, most times—often times—our fear of being vulnerable is rooted in pride or the fear of man. Both are a snare.

But as Christians, that’s one of our crosses to bear, something we are commanded to do: be transparent. And here’s the irony of it all: it’s only after we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be real, that healing and deliverance comes.

Some of us are tangled up in chains. We hide our shackles beneath long-sleeved coats and pants, blind to the fact that when we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ, there’s keys in the midst, keys that are just waiting to set us free.

It is for our benefit that God commands us to be honest with our struggles.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭16‬)

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭1-2‬)

We all are going through some trial or struggle and could really use prayer support. This transparency among each other promotes love and true edification. It also leads to a deeper understanding of God’s love and power because as James says, confession coupled with prayer brings healing. But if you can’t be real with one another, you’ll stay stuck in whatever it is Christ died to liberate you from. On the outside you’ll put on a smile, while on the inside you’re dying.

You don’t need to die! You don’t need to put on a show. Most discerning Christians can see through that anyway, and you will never fool Christ. He sees your brokenness and greatly desires to heal it, but it must be on His terms: vulnerability, transparency. Christ died so you can be made alive. What a shame, what a waste to throw that gift away, to reject it for vanity’s sake because you want to protect your ego.

Christianity is a brutally honest walk. There’s no room for fakers. And if you keep it up long enough, out of love and a desire for you to be healed, Christ will eventually expose you. If you don’t want to fess up, God will display what you’ve been hiding in darkness.

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. (‭Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭16-17‬)

Confess to your brethren now before things get worse for you. The only thing you’ll regret is not having done so sooner.

Grace to you,

Natasha