Please don’t pray to saints

There are some who most times simply out of ignorance, place “the” saints on a level where they are able to answer prayers. But to you loved ones, I share one of many verses where Apostle Paul calls anyone who has trusted in Christ a saint:

“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:2, 3)

All who trust in Jesus are called saints, but when I die, please don’t pray to me. Absolutely nowhere in Scripture does any believer ever pray to anyone except God Himself. The only thing saints who have died and gone to be with The Lord do is watch what we’re doing and possibly cheer us on. I get this notion from Hebrews:

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy— wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 11:32-12:1-2)

Please note how the writer says, “looking to Jesus.” We are never advised in Scripture to look toward angels or deceased saints. In fact, the Apostle Paul who was one of, if not the most impacting saint to ever walk the earth wrote to the Corinthians:

“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter, ” or “I follow only Christ.” Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.”(1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

“I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”(1 Corinthians 2:3-5)

“Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building … Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.” So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Corinthians 3:1-9, 18-23)

So, beloved, please do not exalt any of the saints who have passed to a place where you now make requests of them and trust them to work on your behalf. Christ died to remove the veil.
At the time Christ walked the earth, the Jewish Temple was where the Jews offered sacrifices and performed worship according to the law of Moses. In this temple there was one place called the sanctuary and a second place behind a veil or curtain called the Holiest of All–the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence. Only the High Priest, once a year, was able to enter the Holiest of All to offer sin sacrifices for himself and the people, signifying the people were separated from God because of sin, but the moment Christ died on the cross, the Bible tells us:

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split …” (Matthew 27:50, 51)

When Christ died, He paved the way for us to enter God’s presence through trusting in His sacrifice, trusting He is the Perfect Son of God who died and rose again for that very purpose, as the book of Hebrews affirms:

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.”(Hebrews 6:19, 20)

We do not need to request anyone for anything, because of our Precious Savior, our Perfect High Priest, we can go right into God’s Holy Presence to speak to Him and make requests:

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”(Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT)

Religions that bash the Bible all have the same beginnings

Don’t all religions that add or take away from Biblical Christianity say the same exact thing about their founders: they are a special chosen vessel to completely “restore” the world to the “true” revelation of God’s Word:

“Following his analytical examination of the Bible, Russell and other Bible Students came to believe that Christian creeds and traditions were harmful errors, believing they had restored Christianity to the purity held in the first century. Russell agreed with other Protestants on the primacy of the Bible, and justification by faith alone, but thought that errors had been introduced in interpretation.”-Charles Russel, Jehovah’s Witnesses

“This vision of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ was the beginning of Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet of God. He was told that none of the churches on the earth had the fullness of truth. Over time, Joseph Smith was chosen to establish Christ’s Church and restore the priesthood, or the authority to act in God’s name. He was led by God to an ancient record and given the ability to translate it into English. This record is called the Book of Mormon.”

“In his late 30s Muhammad took to regularly visiting a cave in Mount Hira, on the outskirts of Mecca, to seek solitude and contemplation. In 610, at the age of 40, Muhammad returned from one such visit telling his wife he had either gone mad or become a prophet, for he had been visited by an angel. The initially startled Khadija became his first convert.
Muhammad reported that while in a trance-like state, the Angel Gabriel appeared to him and said “Proclaim!” But like Moses, Muhammed was a reluctant prophet. He replied, “I am not a proclaimer.” The angel persisted, and the Prophet repeatedly resisted, until the angel finally overwhelmed Muhammad and commanded him:

Proclaim in the name of your Lord who created!
Created man from a clot of blood.
Proclaim: Your Lord is the Most Generous,
Who teaches by the pen;
Teaches man what he knew not. (Qur’an 96:1-3)
After receiving Khadija’s support, and additional angelic visits, Muhammad became confident he had indeed been chosen as the messenger of God and began to proclaim as he had been commanded.
Muhammad’s message to his countrymen was to convert from pagan polytheism, immorality and materialism, repent from evil and worship Allah, the only true God. He was always careful to clarify his role in God’s work – he was only a prophet. He was not an angel, he did not know the mind of God, he did not work miracles. He simply preached what he had received.”

But this is what the Apostle Paul wrote 500 years before Muhammad, over 1,800 years before Charles Russel and Joseph Smith:

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God in me. (Galatians 1:6-24)

“But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” (II Corinthians 11:12-15)

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Writer, what will your legacy be?

As I was brushing my teeth, it dawned on me: through blogging, I am leading a legacy. One day my future children will be able to go back and read every single thing I’ve written online. So it got me thinking, what legacy are you leaving behind? What are your blogs about? Are they self-centered, other-centered, thing-centered, or God-centered? Or are you just all over the place? Why do you choose to write? What compels you, what inspires you, what keeps you going? Because writing isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be grueling. But if you have a divine purpose for doing it, it’s incredible.
It’s one thing to do something because you have a passion for it. It’s an entirely other thing to have a passion for God and know He’s called you and desires to use you to impact and change the lives of others for eternity. That’s passion to an almost incomprehensible degree.
My mind can barely wrap itself around the fact that God has gifted me for His divine will and purposes. Who am I, this mere dust-matter who is microscopic through the lens of this insanely vast universe, that God would mold me with a gift and then inspire me to use it to bring others to a clearer revelation of Himself, to send some divine message that will penetrate their hearts or piqué their interest in seeking Him out?
Who am I that the Master Storyteller has granted me the high honor of experiencing some of the awesome creativity that goes into the art of storytelling?
That’s the clincher: I am nothing but a sinner. It is only by His great love that I can experience anything good at all. It is only by His incredible love that I live, that I know He exists, that I write.
The Creator of the universe is my All-Consuming Fire, the light by which I am able to see and comprehend anything I think I comprehend. It is by His grace alone that I desire to write, that there is a flame in my heart called life, that motivates and compels me by His love.
So here I am, writing a legacy that I pray leaves an eternal mark in the hearts of my readers. I write for Him. I write for them.
What do you write for?

What Message Has God Given You To Write?

I have been in the presence of some Christian writers who scoffed at the idea of God writing through someone. When sharing how I pray before I write, trusting God’s Holy Spirit to work through me, some do not believe God will do this. But might I kindly remind you, beloved, that the Scriptures say in Colossians 1:29 that God is “working mightily” within us.
Jesus Himself also spoke of the Holy Spirit giving us words:

“But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” (Matthew 10:19, 20)

Apostle Paul also taught that the Holy Spirit gives us words:

“For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed …” (Romans 15:18)

And the prophet Jeremiah …

“Then I said, “Ah, Lord God ! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, “I am only a youth”; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:6-9)

God used ordinary people all throughout history as messengers to deliver His words to others, and God continues to do this today.

Now, I’m not saying everything a Christian writes is inspired by God. If your motives are jacked up, God isn’t writing through you. But if your heart is humble, and you desire to simply get His truth across, to deliver a message, there are times He gives you a message to share.
Sometimes, I write simply out of emotion, and every time I do, I have to go back and trash the thing. Jeremiah 17 tells us the heart is deceitful above all things, and Apostle Paul said the love of Christ compelled him. I’ve come to learn that writing from sheer emotions is not God compelling you to write. I might have genuinely been stirred about something disturbing I’d seen, an injustice of sorts, but immediately speaking out on it afterwards always came across wrongly.
When it is the love of Christ compelling you, there is a huge difference, and you see the fruit of the work in that it is impacting others for the better, revealing something to them, speaking to their hearts.
But many times, when God gives you a message to deliver, it’s not really something you want to do. It’s usually, from an earthly mindset, way over your head. Just as Moses disputed with God when He told him to deliver a message to Pharoh and then exodus the people of Israel from Egypt. Or when God told Jonah to deliver a message to the Ninevites; he hopped on a boat and fled in the opposite direction! And when God called teenage Jeremiah, as I mentioned before, he protested that he was too young and didn’t know how to speak.
I myself am certain the fantasy trilogy I’m currently working on is a message God wants me to deliver. How do I know this? When the idea got dropped into my mind, I was sitting in a prophetic church. Suddenly, while the pastor is teaching, the title “The Seven” randomly enters my mind and immediately, I know it’s a fantasy trilogy with seven characters who each resemble one of the seven Spirits of God–a verse I never thought about.
I was totally insecure. I thought, me, write a fantasy novel? Here I am, twenty-two-years-old, totally not a fantasy book reader, only having written nonfiction pieces about relationships from my personal experience, and God is telling me to write a fantasy book. I wasn’t even a Lord of the Rings Fan yet! My dad read The Hobbit to my sister, not me. Sure I read the Harry Potter books back when I was like ten-years-old, but I never got hooked on any dragon-and-knight-type stuff.
It took me a month to finally sit in front of the computer and begin typing the story. I knew that I knew nothing about writing fantasy and never desired to write fantasy. But because of those very reasons and the way it came to me, I knew it was not my idea. Now here I am, already working on book two, and knowing where book three is heading and how it’s all going to end. I envision it as an epic movie while I’m writing. I know what actors would be perfect for the main characters. It’s quite exhilarating.
So yes, I believe God still gives us messages to deliver to certain audiences. He has a specific message for teens and He chose me to give it to them.
As Christians, God gives all of us a message to share. Universally, we all carry the gospel, but then more personally, He uses us to give more specific messages. He’s used me to speak about the topic of relationships and marriage. What message has He given you to share?

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My ebook is now .99 cents!

My ebook for Kindle and the free Kindle app, I Get What I Want, How women win yet lose with manipulation, is now available for .99 cents on amazon!

I used to be an expert at the art of manipulation. I always got what I wanted from my boyfriends–but at a cost. There were four tactics I employed to dominate men, and they worked every time. In this book, I discuss the four ways women use manipulation, and share some of my own story of how I won with these tactics, but eventually lost what I desired, and how God disarmed my powerful weapon with the power of His love.

Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EEG5RLS?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links

God, Clean Out Your Pockets And Give Me My Blessings Now!

Which blessings are we more concerned about? The eternal spiritual ones, or the temporal material ones?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 2:15-17)

In this life we may not get rich, acquire a mansion, or a Lamborghini, but we have a promise to acquire things that far surpass anything in this world:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19, 20)

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:2, 3)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places …” (Ephesians 1:3)

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places …”(Ephesians 1:16-20)

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT)

“To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 2:14)

“There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:40-44)

“What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-57 NLT)

I don’t know about you, friends, but these are the things I look forward to: the spiritual gifts that await me. They far exceed these short-lived ones that eventually get worn out or broken down.
I look forward to sharing the very glory of Christ, who when He revealed a taste of His glorious body to the disciples Peter, James, and John, they fell down quaking for His magnificent brightness:

“As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.” (Matthew 17:2 NLT)

This was Ezekiel’s glimpse of heaven’s throne:

“Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli. And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man. From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor. All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the Lord looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.”(Ezekiel 1:26-28 NLT)

Just to help you somewhat visualize, this is what blue lapis lazuli and amber look like:

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I’m looking forward to a new and glorious celestial body, and having access to everything in heaven–no restrictions. To being completely aware, fully knowing all things my mind cannot even begin to grasp now or imagine. To understand the depths of God’s love and power entirely. To see everything He sees and feel everything He feels and experience Him for all eternity.

These are the things I look forward to. What about you?

Superhero movies affirm God’s Existence

Did you want to see The Dark Knight, The Avengers, or Superman? Lets admit, these superhero movies are quite popular. But why? My answer: they prod at the very fibers of our being because deep down, we all yearn for a Savior.

Superhero movies affirm that there’s a God. So many of us go spend our twelve to twenty dollars (or more if you’re with family), to see a distinct hero save the world.

Now please consider this: What religion besides Biblical Christianity is themed around the salvation of the world? One man who comes to earth as a Hero, a Savior to the world for all who accept Him as that and turn from their sins? We humans care so much about the idea of world-saving because just as we naturally agree with the Ten Commandments–lying, envy, theft, murder etc. is wrong–because they’re written on our hearts, so this grandiose concept of saving the world is etched on our hearts, placed there by the Creator of the world.
Even the whole good guy versus bad guy thing. We can’t wait to see the bad guy go down and rejoice with the victory of the hero because this is indeed what will happen at the end of God’s story: Jesus leads an army and with the mere breath of His mouth destroys Satan.
If we’re just the product of evolution–animals that can somehow think, judge, have opinions, and feel love and compassion toward others–why do we care if the good guy or bad guy wins? Who cares if the immoral one wins, survival of the fittest right? If he has the power to destroy all weaker animals (humans) under him, why would we get angry? He is just the ultimate display of a completely evolved animal, getting rid of the weaker links and conquering territory.
But we do care. We do want Darth Vadar [Star Wars], Bain [The Dark Knight Rises] and Red Skull [Captain America] to go down. And this is because we are truly made in the image of a Good and Just God who sent a Hero to save the world and makes sure this Good Guy and everyone who’s with Him wins in the end.

I Am Woman, I Get What I Want

I am excited to announce my new ebook, I Get What I Want, How women win yet lose with manipulation, is now available on Amazon for .99 cents. I pray God uses it to speak to and challenge you to further honor and glorify Him. Here’s the link if you’d like to download the book to your Kindle or free Kindle mobile app.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EEG5RLS?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links

Until next time, Know your worth,

<3 Princess Natasha