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, And I Deserve …

Entitlement. The subtle sin that entangles so many professing Christians.

“I don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

“I deserve this …”

“I deserve …”

“I deserve …”

“I deserve …”

This is not a Christ-like mentality. It is a prideful mindset of the flesh, of the world, of Satan himself.

In reality, we deserve absolutely nothing, but hell fire. We deserve to be punished for the many crimes we have committed against God, for our rebellion against our Creator; for our blasphemies and lust and greed and jealousy.

Did we deserve God’s forgiveness? Did we deserve to be saved from His wrath? Did we do a single thing to earn His love? No. And He expects us to treat others with the same undeserved favor—despite how they treat us.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭44-48‬ NKJV)

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭18-21‬ NKJV)

It is only by the grace of God we have been accepted and redeemed by His blood. To feel entitled to anything is to have a mind contrary to the mind of Christ.

And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” (‭Luke‬ ‭17‬:‭7-10‬ NKJV)

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭1-10‬ NKJV)

…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭4-6‬ NKJV)

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭29-30‬ NKJV)

If God has shown us such mercy and grace (undeserved favor) who are we to not show the same grace to unworthy sinners? Even when we feel that our anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness is justified, Christ reminds us we have no right to hold onto it, despite how poorly we are treated:

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭21-22‬ NKJV)

There’s verse upon verse about how we are to deny ourselves, our feelings, our fleshly mindsets, and do what Jesus tells us to do: love, but can you point out even just one Scripture that condones us demanding to be treated with respect by others? There is none.

Christ is the only one who has a right to deserve anything good. Did He not have the right to say, “Stop slapping and spitting on me. Stop whipping me. Don’t strip me naked and pin me to a cross, I did nothing to deserve this treatment!” But He kept silent. He took what He did not deserve, He took what we do deserve. He humbled Himself to the point of death, yet we cannot not humble ourself if a friend or family member offends us?

We all need grace yet none of us deserves it. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. May we imitate Him and lay our pride down when we are persecuted, mocked, belittled and mistreated out of sheer obedience to Christ and even for the sake of our enemy, that they might get a taste of God’s grace through us and repent that they may be spared from the burning sulfur and eternal torment that awaits them.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha

What To Do When Your Christianity Isn’t Changing You

If we are serious about following Christ, we must have pure motives, and our pride has to be denied.

• Shifting blame to others: pride
• Not owning up and being truly broken for our wrongs: pride
• Failing to realize that when we sin, we are rebelling first and foremost against God: pride
• Refusing to change until the other person does, or only changing until the person sins against us again: pride
• Going to church and putting on a smile so others think we got it together: impure motives
• obeying God yet harboring bitterness: impure motives
• obeying God because we think He will then give us our selfish desires: impure motives

Is there no fear in knowing that God sees beyond our outward deeds and doesn’t just look at, but searches the heart?

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭12-13‬ HCSB)

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (‭I Samuel‬ ‭16‬:‭7‬ NKJV)

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭10‬ ESV)

If your motivation for being a Christian isn’t only because you have grasped the incredible love God has for you and that He is worthy to be worshipped, and thus you want to love and worship Him in return, your heart is not pure.

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ NKJV)

That word for “see” in the original language is horao which means to see, know, and experience. When your heart is pure in God’s sight, you will undoubtedly be transformed “from glory to glory” in His image and see Him actively working in your life and answering prayers. The opposite is also true, for the Word of God says:

God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. (‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NKJV)

To repent isn’t a mere outward change of behavior. The word repent in the Greek is metaoeno, which actually means to change one’s mind; heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.

Repent means you ditch your thoughts and opinions and agree with God’s. You no longer justify retaliating when others sin against you, you no longer justify bitterness or unforgiveness. You change your mind about following God when the other person starts to follow Him. You deny yourself; your ideas, your feelings, and just follow Jesus. That is true repentance. Without genuine repentance of the mind, everything you “do for Jesus” is just a show. There is no real transformation, real growth, real power, real love, or real joy. Though outwardly you may seem alive to others, inwardly you are still “dead in your sins.”

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”-Jesus (‭Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

May all who need to repent, repent in truth and be healed.

Love and grace 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

We The Millennials, Pledge Allegiance To Master Internet

The “net is takin” over all right—taking over millenials.

The older folks, those from the era before computers, typically don’t care much for the A.I. Mother Ship.

Sure, there’s some baby boomers, Generation Y-ers utilizing social media for business and marketing purposes, but the ones who are becoming consumed by the world-wide web, are us millenials.

Those of us being born/raised in the age of technology or “knowledge” aren’t just using the internet for business; many of us are using it to connect, to be noticed, to feel accepted.

We cling to our iPhones like parasites. Though our intellect tells us texting and driving = extreme danger, we just have to get our social-media fix.

Did they like my default pic? Who commented on my post? How many views do I have?

The internet has a way of temporarily satiating our deep need to feel loved.

The more followers and friends we have, the more loved we feel. And O, if we could only get famous for something we toss into the web, then we’ll really feel loved and fulfilled.

As a fellow human being, I’ve been there. I’ve checked blog stats and glanced at twitter numbers. I’ve taken time to tweak my photos to ensure I look the best I possibly can.

Honestly, if I did not know how insanely loved I was by God, as displayed through the death of His only Son on that rugged cross, the internet surely would have taken me over.

But because I know who I am—a dearly loved daughter of the Creator of the Universe, who has plans for me that are good and pleasing and perfect—the internet doesn’t consume me.

I don’t need a hundred likes, or even one for that matter, to feel loved or accepted. Jesus took me at my worst and His love has consumed me.

So whether I become a best-selling author or not, if the internet melts down and there’s no more blogging or Twitter, I’ll be fine.

My prayer is that my fellow millennials will come to that place of freedom, freedom from stats and likes, friends and followers, and allow True Love to take them over. That they would come to know it doesn’t matter how famous they are online, but what matters is their soul. That if and when the internet no longer exists, their world won’t be over. That Jesus is the one and only person that consumes them.

I’ve thrown in the towel on letting myself use the internet to fulfill what it utterly can’t, and hopefully you do as well.

I’m A Christian, But I Don’t Want To Be “Just” A Wife And Mother

My sister in Christ who is in a relationship and preparing for marriage shared something with me this morning that the Lord is working on in her, and it’s worth sharing.

She and her boyfriend are taking premarital classes with a pastor and are in the Love and Respect phase. Sir Jonathan and I likewise read Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ book (Love and Respect) together during our premarital days. It really opens your eyes to how women need love and men need respect and how to give and communicate those essential actions.

So her boyfriend ends up telling her one day: “The way you’re speaking to me is disrespectful.” She goes to the Lord about it, and He tells her: “Imagine he was Jesus. Would you speak to him the same way?”

This poignant question definitely convicted her. I thought it was such a fine lesson from the Holy Spirit that all women of God should contemplate when speaking to others, especially the opposite sex.

“Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”-Romans 12:2

In America, there is an ever-increasing feminist agenda that is ironically becoming more and more hostile to the essence of womanhood and especially hostile toward men.

To think this pervasive mindset that saturates the media has no affect on us Christian women whatsoever is to be naive at best, and prideful at worst. But there’s another message that on the surface seems innocent, but is a worldly concept—not a Christ-like one—and that is this whole, “Chase your dreams,” notion. When this notion is not submitted to Christ, it can also tie into that hostile feminist attitude and manifest itself in disrespect.

I’ve seen this time and again with my precious sisters in Christ, and I’ve experienced it too. They desire marriage and children, a godly desire that is engrained in every woman’s DNA no matter how much they try to suppress it, but there’s a competing desire, one that can very well be ungodly.

A lot of Christian women think they need their own ministry or career. They have dreams of using this ministry to make disciples. But when that dream becomes “threatened” by marriage and children, they can get defensive and disrespectful to their male counterpart.

I’m not saying every dream we christian women have is a worldly desire. The dream can very well be from God, but we must be open to His timing. I RARELY see women under forty running a ministry. Most of the time, they’re wives who have already raised their children, and are now freed up to team with their husbands to start a ministry.

God can give you a dream like He gave Joseph, but not fulfill that dream until years and years of preparation and dying to yourself. And if we are not willing to lay that dream down for the sake of serving others, namely, our husband and children, that’s pride and it is dishonoring to God. His Word teaches us in Philippians 2:4 to not only look out for our own interests, but that of others as well, and Christ said in order to be great we must become least of all and servant of all.

The proverbs 31 woman sold clothes and fields, earning a profit, but her first obligation was to her husband and children and that’s really what she was highly praised for—caring for her family and household. But the feminist movement devalues stay-at-home mothers and exalts busy, unmarried, career women. There’s an exaltation of self, and a message that putting your dreams on hold to serve your husband and children is degrading when in reality, it’s extremely Christ-like and fruitful.

There’s no higher calling than making disciples for Jesus. A mother’s role is so critical to building God’s kingdom He makes sure the Word emphasizes her role over and over; Malachi 2:15, Titus 2:4-5, Proverbs 31:27-29, Psalm 127:3.

My prayer is that you would see with God’s eyes, not our society’s; that your mind would be transformed, not conformed to the pattern of the world. Feminism is an exaltation of self, it is not a Christ-like movement of serving others. It’s all about self—my wants, my dreams, me, me, me, and it has become so demonic it is now the biggest vehicle for promoting the murder of innocent babies in their mothers’ womb.

Please keep reading God’s Word. Let Him teach you and give you discernment. Be willing to put your dreams on hold for the greater good of your husband and children. Putting others before yourself is very pleasing to the Lord, submitting to your husband, raising your children to be godly, that is what He desires most because that—marriage—is what exemplifies His relationship with us most. And it is also a great tool God uses to equip us for ministry. If we as Christian women can die to ourselves and serve our husband and children, we can die to ourselves and better serve other women we desire to minister to in the future.

Lastly, let us not forget marriage and child-rearing ARE ministries—extremely important ones. When you study God’s Word, you see just how much He values this ministry. As women, we have incredible worth and purpose, and it’s not for the reasons the world perpetuates.

May you discover the beauty and honor in being a woman who walks in her Heavenly Father’s will.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha

Loving Ourself First Isn’t A Jesus Teaching

Jesus didn’t teach us to love ourselves. That’s quite a self-serving, self-first notion. He actually taught the opposite:

“The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (‭John‬ ‭12‬:‭25‬ HCSB)

What He emphasized instead was:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭37-39‬ HCSB)

He didn’t need to teach us how to love ourselves. Many of us already do naturally. We look out for our interests, our wants, our happiness, our dreams. But Jesus wants us to love God first, and then love others as we love ourselves, caring and looking out for them. This is what pleases Him, this is what we all were made for: to love God and love one another.

We were created to be loved by God and to walk with Him. We are made in His image. When we imitate Him, that is when we discover our purpose and meaning. And there is no greater destiny than to share and enjoy Love Himself. Are you walking in your true destiny?

Check out my latest eBook on amazon, Kiss A Frog, Miss the Prince.

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Jesus Is Supposed To Transform You

“Abstain from every form of evil.” (I Thessalonians 5:22 NKJV)

When I looked up the original word for “form,” I discovered it included the outward appearance of something. This verse isn’t just speaking about avoiding being involved with evil, but even just the appearance of evil; if it can look like you’re doing evil.

I would say that’s a pretty high standard, wouldn’t you? But if you are familiar with Scripture, you’d know there’s an emphasis on “walking worthy of the Lord,” and being “blameless.” Another verse says we are Christ’s representatives. That’s a big deal, a huge deal.

Jesus was morally perfect, completely blameless in all of His conduct. To represent that can seem impossible to many people, and it is—if you don’t have the Holy Spirit.

Christ came to utterly transform us, but, there is one major obstacle to the process of complete transformation: self.

Jesus told His audience that whoever wanted to follow Him needed to pick up his cross, deny himself, and follow Him. There is a prerequisite before a person can be transformed by Christ’s indwelling Holy Spirit: surrender. And I’m not talking partial surrender or lip-service, but true-blue, Jesus have it all, I’m done with my sins, my ideas, my desires, and I’m going to let You be my Master surrender.

I think there’s a few kinds of people. There are those who are interested in what Christ has to offer. Maybe they hear a sermon, or a friend tells them about Jesus, and they like the sound of forgiveness, grace, love, purpose, and escape from hell. But they are not aware of the depth of Christ’s love for them, and His perfect goodness, so they doubt if the Christian life is really all that satisfying, or they believe Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one can get to the Father except through Him, but they’re afraid of the unknown. Both have the solution to their problem in truly grasping that God is not a mean dictator, but rather a loving Father. And like loving earthly fathers discipline their children for their benefit, God even more so disciplines out of complete knowledge and understanding of what is absolutely best for you. Once this truth is grasped, it is easier to surrender.

But then there are those who truly just want fire-insurance. They believe in hell and don’t want to live there for eternity, so they confess Christ as Savior and Lord, but they never surrender. They maybe start a religious routine of attending church and going to a bible study, but they continue sinning and doing what they want to do. Tragically, Jesus says of these kinds of people:

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!’ “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭22-27‬ NKJV)

Jesus didn’t come just to save people from hell, He came to save them from being bound by hell. He defeated sin by the power of the Holy Spirit, and expects those who follow Him in surrender to do the same, not relying on their strength, but on His.

There’s loads of Scriptures on us being holy and different from those who do not know God, primarily how we love Him and one another. But love doesn’t harm, it isn’t selfish, it isn’t lustful or envious or prideful. Love keeps its clothes on and hands off until marriage. Love respects and does not belittle. Love doesn’t lie. Love doesn’t steal, it gives. Love isn’t out of control.

I feel for my generation because there’s so much blasphemy in “churches” today; people getting drunk, having premarital sex, dressing immodestly, cussing, lying, gossiping. These are not fruits of the Holy Spirit, but of the flesh, and it all leads to death. There’s these buildings with pastors who use Jesus’ name and some of the bible and then call themselves His church, when really, their heart isn’t surrendered. They treat His grace as something common and abuse it by continuing to sin and leading their congregation to sin. They talk about reaching the world, but they are still of it! They cannot save souls, but only draw them to themselves. They aren’t bringing people to Christ, they’re bringing them to themselves. It seems the majority of church-goers act like, look like, and talk like those who don’t know Jesus. They don’t realize that there is supposed to be a genuine life transformation; mind, heart, and soul, from the inside out we are truly new. Therefore, they not only miss out on genuine communion with God, but they also are on the wide path of destruction, rather than on the path to life.

The bible speaks of a “great falling away” of the church, and I believe this is the time it speaks of. More and more pastors are rising up, twisting or denying scripture, accepting sin and rejecting the power of Christ to really transform lives. Many are being led to hell and don’t even know it. Then, when someone confronts these pastors or the sin in their congregations, they are called judgmental and shooed out or silenced. The bible says those who do this have their just judgment coming.

But I know God is good. He seeks the heart that is truly hungry for Him, the person who is sick of following their own way and really wants to know Him. These He delivers, He “exalts the humble and gives them grace, but resists the proud.” Jesus visits these people and they surrender and become transformed. And that’s my prayer for you: that just like He visited me on February 22nd, 2009 and began radically transforming my life, that the same would happen for you. That you would come to know the depth and height and length and width of Christ’s love for you, and discover His good, pleasing, perfect and acceptable plans for your life. That by His power, you will be healed and through His Holy Spirit, be able to defeat the sin in your life. Then you too can be able to share Him with others and partner with Him in truly saving souls, storing up great rewards in heaven. But the best reward will be experiencing God here on earth, really experiencing Him; His love, His joy, His power, His grace, His leading, His favor.

If you’ll only surrender.

Mega Church Vs. Home Church

It is truly an incredible blessing to have a pastor who could easily follow the recent trend and form a mega church, but who instead desires intimate discipleship and fellowship and to see God move powerfully through us, to love and serve practically the community and one another. It’s not about numbers, it’s about making solid, strong disciples. He’d rather have ten on fire for Jesus, than ten thousand faithful church service attendees who are not on fire for the Lord.

Many (not all) pastors are so concerned about bringing in the masses that they neglect the few they have now, thinking a forty minute sermon is enough when truly, christianity is about family; extremely close relationships with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, being there for one another, holding each other accountable, building each other up. It’s not about spoon-feeding a message and then going about your day. I think a lot of these pastors have unwittingly turned church into a business rather than a loving and close-knit community of transformed lives.

Family, pray. I hope you aren’t in a church with leadership that doesn’t truly care tenderly for the flock. I pray you’re involved with a group of believers that meet at someone’s home, where it is more intimate and people can receive prayer and deliverance and personal encouragement, not just an often times generic sermon for thousands.

If you don’t have that, maybe pray about starting one of your own. That’s how the first church did things. They met at people’s homes and built strong relationships with their family in Christ and truly loved one another. Jesus said the world will know we’re His disciples by the way we love one another. But how can we do that in a mega-church setting where you go to service and then leave right after? Unless you serve there, then it becomes a little more intimate but even then, it’s not like you’re truly getting built up and ministering to each other, you are serving others which is great, but the body of Christ is supposed to build each other up too.

This close friendship and accountability is largely missing in our current church culture, but it is vital to our growth in the faith and in love. What do you think? Do you agree? Are you apart of a large church and feeling lonely? Are you in the service-attending routine, but don’t have genuine, close friendships with other believers that you can confess to and count on? Or are you also apart of a wonderful and thriving home church?

As the end draws near, the day gets darker. I highly doubt when anti-Christ shows his true colors there will still be public church buildings. I believe the church will be forced to go underground, like many today and in the days of the apostles. What a tragedy it will be if you have no one to cling to in that time, no one you know who has an open home for believers to gather together. I pray you find that, or create your own home church before it’s too late.