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.

http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Frog-Prince-Natasha-Sapienza-ebook/dp/B00FDWY2G8

I Have Everything I Need In Christ. Do You?

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭19‬ NKJV)

Do you believe this? And this:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ NKJV)

If you’re a Christian, a person who has repented of your sins and trusted in Christ as your Savior and Lord, these promises are yours.

The bible says God cannot lie. If He promises He will supply all of your need by Christ Jesus His Son, He will do it.

Now here’s the awesome thing: He already has.

Some think because they’re single, God hasn’t supplied everything they need, but that isn’t true. In whatever circumstance you’re currently in, God has provided you with everything you need. Apparently, if you’re still single, you do not need a husband right now. Maybe you’re not ready, maybe the man is not ready, and thus God in His infinite wisdom keeps you apart for now, knowing you two do not need each other at the moment. In fact, putting you together would actually do more harm than it would good.

Maybe you don’t have or realize you have everything you need, and this can be because you aren’t doing your part: seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Every Christian wants God to hook them up, to give them everything they need and want. But, how many are actually pursuing God the way He commands us to? How many of His children are actually seeking Him and His righteousness above all else?

I think it’s safe to say the vast majority of self-proclaimed Christians are not seeking God first. They’re seeking career, relationship, fame, you name it, above their pursuit of God. Then, when God is not answering their prayers, they get angry with Him.

We have to understand God’s promises are conditional. If you seek God first and His righteousness, everything you need will be added to you.

It takes two to tango. God is in a relationship with us. He is not a genie who is under us. We are beneath Him. He is Lord, He is Master, He is Father, we are supposed to do what He says. He does not have to do what we say, and every time He does it is a gift, a benefit, not a right.

Some of us just need to be patient with God, knowing He tests hearts to determine who is truly faithful to Him. Others of us need to repent from a mindset of entitlement and a lack of obedience to and pursuit of our self-professed God. We need to lay down the idols: the money, the career, the fame, the boyfriend, and seek God above all of those things, and not only seek, but obey and become righteous before Him.

God does makes lots of promises, but notice who they’re to:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled … Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.(‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭6, 8‬ NKJV)

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 10:2)

Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalms 55:22)

Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. (Psalms 37:16-17)

For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish. (Psalms 37:28)

Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. (Proverbs 10:6)

There’s so many more promises to the righteous, the upright, those who fear God, those who love Him, who obey Him. But these promises are not for those who put Him in second place. These blessings are not for sinners.

So truly consider your walk with God. Do you think your ways are holy and pleasing in His sight? Remember, God is holy to the third power. He hates all forms of wickedness which is disobedience to His commands, and repays each according to his works. The Bible promises we reap what we sow. What are you sowing?

Christian Sex

My beloved brothers and sisters, I write to you what Paul wrote to the saints in his day:

“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” (Ephesians 5:3)

“Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God — as you are doing — do so even more. For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. This means one must not transgress against and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. For God has not called us to impurity but to sanctification. Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)

Once you accept Christ as Savior and Lord, God’s Holy Spirit literally comes into your heart and “seals” it, not only for salvation, but for sanctification. God’s Spirit is holy, and He commands us to also be holy.

As a child of God through acceptance and surrender to Christ, we should no longer struggle with lustful desires (anything outside God’s will). We have a “new heart,” that is now able to obey God’s commands, the first being: Love The Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

How can you love God with all your mind if you are lusting?

“This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him: The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.”(1 John 2:3-6)

“Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure. Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law. You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins, and there is no sin in Him. Everyone who remains in Him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you! The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:2-9)

Now the wonderful news is that if you have been sinning, you can repent and choose Christ. He will cleanse you completely and you, now knowing the truth about sin and that in Christ you can conquer it and not desire it, you will walk freely in Him.

I know many believe we’re only human, we’re inevitably going to sin, but the truth of the matter is that once you have the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living in you, sin has been defeated in your life, and if you do sin, it is by choice and pride. You can choose not to sin because of the most powerful Holy Spirit, if He indeed lives inside of you.

The beauty is the gift of the Holy Spirit can be given to any and all who are willing, no matter your past or your present. If you choose right now to turn away from your sin and give your will, your heart, to Jesus, He will give you a brand new one and empower you with His own Spirit, enabling you to live a life that is pleasing to God.

Are you ready for transformation? It’s a willing heart and confession away. Ask Christ to forgive you for your sins and to give you His Holy Spirit. When you do, not only are you choosing the only way to heaven (Jesus), but you’re choosing the One who destroyed the power of sin and “the devil’s works,” over your life. There is nothing more freeing that being able to desire and have the power to do right and no longer desire to do wrong.

I pray you allow Christ to set you free.

“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”(John 8:34-36)

If I don’t get married tomorrow, I’m going to die

Do you feel like you’ve been waiting for that spouse for a long time? Are you wondering what in the world is taking so long?

Make sure you’re being practical, not mystical. Choosing a spouse is up to you, but you do need God’s affirmation on the person you desire to pursue.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (Matthew 6:33)

Seek God’s will first and His righteousness. Pause for a moment. Are you righteous? Are you seeking God’s will first? Not just seeking Him in the area of relationships, but in every area of life.

You may be praying for a spouse, but you’ve got sin in your heart that has yet to be dealt with.

Do you struggle with lust and think when you get a spouse it will magically disappear? Yes, we all get tempted at some point, but the Bible is clear that:

No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)

James tell us in the verse before:

A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

If you fall into sexual sin, and have premarital sex, are you enduring? Should you expect a spouse? If you are master-bating because you cannot control your thoughts, are you enduring?

Again, we all get tempted by our own lists, and the Bible commands us to “take every though captive and bring it into the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and in various other places, “don’t conform but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” and, “gird the loins of your mind.” If you are allowing yourself to have sexual fantasies or are succumbing to pornography, God will not hand over one of His precious children to your lust so that you can objectify them and use them and end up cheating on them because you never learned to control your thoughts.

If this is speaking to you, the beautiful thing is that God understands our weaknesses. You can come to Him and confess these things. Do not try and hide it, Adam tried that trick in the garden and it accomplished nothing.

God is all-knowing remember? He knows every thought you have. But He wants you to confess it to see if you are serious about changing. That’s the first step: confession.

The second is repentance. Realize how broken you are. Realize that Jesus takes sexual lust so serious He equates it to adultery. Determine not to fantasize or masterbate or have premarital sex anymore.

Ask brothers and sisters to hold you accountable. Seek biblical counseling. Disconnect your Internet. Run from it! Repentance means running from your sin. Read your Bible, let it shine its bright light on the darkness of your heart, be open to it exposing your secret motives to you.

When you do this and overcome, then you will be a trust-worthy steward who God can bless with a spouse. Until then, stop whining and start changing.

It may not be lust you battle, but anger, or insecurity. These all must be dealt with. If you’re an insecure woman, you believe the lie that a husband will make you feel secure. In reality, when he comes, you’re gonna be making Him the Messiah in your life and set unreal expectations on him that will bring your marriage to destruction.

Anger is obviously destructive so need to expound on that one. But these are necessary to rid yourself of before marriage.

So, seek God’s will and righteousness first, and everything else will be added to you.

Kiss a Frog, Miss the Prince

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qdOwW-qmwJs

Natasha discusses four types of “frogs” women get into relationships with before introducing them to the Perfect Prince and the Rescued Frog. With funny anecdotes and great advice, women discover how to discern frogs from true princes, and are encouraged to wait on God to write their real-life fairy tale.

You can get it from Amazon for .99 cents. Here’s the link if you’re interested:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00FDWY2G8/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1379978121&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

Hollywood’s Love Lies Video

So me and Sir Jonathan (my husband), film relationship videos for YouTube. We give advice on how to do relationships God’s way. In this video, we parody Hollywood’s romantic comedies and debunk the second lie to their version of love. Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on it.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y3mBIfUro9o

Marriage keeps gettin’ sweeter

Today is me and Sir Jonathan’s three-year anniversary. And each year, I reflect and see that our marriage has simply gotten better and better. How is this possible?

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

There is a corruption-proof, erosion-proof, divorce-proof cord strapping me and hubby together that is not easily broken. This cord is Christ Himself.
Many take marriage on without this cord being the center of their lives and their marriage, and suffer greatly for it. They fight and fight and fight some more, getting more and more annoyed and even sick of each other until one or both of them finally throws their hands up and quits.
See, two sinners pledging their lives to one another till death do them part is unhealthy–unless God rules your heart and you give Him the reins in your marriage. He’s the One who came up with the whole two becoming one idea and sharing life together so I think it’s safe to conclude He knows the best way to go about doing it.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

The Bible has a lot to say about marriage, but this passage pretty much sums it up. Now I’m not saying me and hubby have never argued, but when we did, or do, it’s because we’re simply not obeying God’s marriage-commands and/or we’re sinning in another area of our lives and its affecting our marriage. That’s why I said it’s unhealthy to go about marriage without God ruling your heart and marriage.
God knows how desperately we stink at morality, so in His amazing grace and kindness, He offered His Perfect Son to hang on a cross and die to make the way for forgiveness and heaven, and then sends those who accept His Son, the Holy Spirit.
This Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and helps us obey God’s commands and teaches us more and more who Christ is.
The love of Christ transforms us, and we become more like Him daily.
That is why me and hubby’s marriage has only gotten better: he’s allowed Christ to rule his heart, and I have too, and when we mess up, we keep going back to God for help.
We pray together, go to Bible study together, encourage one another, support each other’s callings, Jonathan loves me, and I respect him.
And as long as we keep Jesus at the center of our lives and marriage, every anniversary will be sweeter.

Are you married? Have any thoughts or questions? Feel free to share them in a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Choosing Who To Marry

I used to think there was only one specific person God wanted you to marry. But after reading this, I’ve come to a different conclusion:

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:39)

The Apostle Paul says here that a woman has the freedom to marry whom she wishes, as long as they are a fellow Christ-follower. This kinda nullifies the whole “soul-mate” idea we’re spoon-fed via Hollywood.

However, I certainly believe there are people God does not want us to marry. The first being someone who does not follow/know/love Him.
But there are times where someone can say they believe in Jesus, but they’re not really following Him wholeheartedly. It is certainly detrimental to your own pursuit of Christ to bind yourself in marriage or even just tie your soul to someone relationally who does not give their whole heart to God.
Think about it: if this person cannot give Love Himself, the One who’s given them everything; died for them, made the way to heaven for them–if they cannot love Him with all their heart, or trust Him with all their heart, how could they possibly love you in a trustworthy and fully devoted way? They can’t devote themselves to the Perfect Person, how will they devote themselves to an imperfect person? The obvious answer is they won’t. Even if they never physically commit adultery, their eyes will look at others, their minds will wander, they will fantasize, or they’ll be more devoted to something else like a job, the kids, or themselves; their dreams, their desires, their money, their space etc.

The kind of love Christ taught us was very, very counter-nature:

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3, 4)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (I Corinthians 13:5-8)

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her … So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself … let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22, 25, 28, 33)

Submit to your husband in everything (Ephesians 5:24)? Respect a man always, even if you do not deem him respectable? This is something a natural woman, a woman who does not love and trust Jesus wholeheartedly will not want to do, nor can do.

Love your wife as you love your own self? That means to always look out for her and provide for her needs, cherishing her always, treating her as one who is just as important as your own self so she needs to be listened to and appreciated. This is impossible for a man to do till death do you part.
And to not seek your own? That’s all the culture feeds us: do you feel good with them, do they make you happy, are you pleased with them in bed, do you have a good time with them? It’s all about you. But Christ says: wait until you marry this person to enjoy their body. Sacrifice your interests, don’t seek your own, be patient “suffer long.”
When things get tough, don’t give up, do not fail to keep your vows, bear all things, always believe the best. I mean, this stuff is hard at times even for Christians to do because it’s much easier to put yourself first. But when you love Christ with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, you seek to please Him. You desire to obey the way He tells you to love others. And in His amazing grace, He gifts you with His Holy Spirit so you actually can supernaturally love the way He commands. It’s an incredibly beautiful thing.

So Christian, can you marry who you want? Only if they too love the Lord. You’ll save yourself much heartache and save yourself from divorce if you marry someone who loves Jesus more than anything or anyone else. So please be wise. Do not marry based on feelings. Marry based on observation. Does this person really love Christ wholeheartedly? How do they show it? What things come out of their mouths? What do they want to do for the Lord? How is God using them presently? Do they walk in the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love toward others? Are they patient, kind, honest, pure, a servant? Or are they selfish and self-seeking, a gossip, rude, impatient, and prideful?

Besides choosing to follow Jesus, who you marry is most certainly the most important decision you will ever make. Who you marry will either build you up in Christ, or drag you farther away from Him. There is no in-between. You decide who to marry. I pray it’s a good choice.

Have any thoughts on this post, comments or questions? Please feel free to share them in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you

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