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Encouraging for Christ

To strengthen, motivate, and build up Christians in the faith

Celebration in repentance

“He also said: “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! ’ So they began to celebrate.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:11-24‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

In those days (still today) it was a disgrace to eat with animals especially with pigs; an unclean animal. From having it all to to eating with animals seems like a dramatic step back but this is what happens when you forget how good you had it. In that moment he repents; he had a change of mind. He went back to his father to ask for forgiveness and his father didn’t respond with words but with action. Giving his son his robe, a ring, and a feast to celebrate his return. In this parable it shows that the father cares for all his children even the ones who are lost. When we repent for the sins that we commit God rejoices. He rejoices because we understand that He is a loving God. The beauty in repentance is understanding that God always has your best interest. In the parable when the son comes back some parents would be more mad that the son left them rather filled with joy of the return. Repentance is a change of mind. Whatever we did before we got saved we corrected it by the word of God. When we renew our mind with His word it becomes more clear why we should serve our merciful God.

God bless

How far does God love goes

“I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! ’ So they began to celebrate.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:18-24‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

If your in this situation where you made a mistake or you continue to make the same mistakes; me and you are in the same boat. For me it’s hard for me to turn to God when I sin because I know that God is a holy God. More times than I want to admit that I forget that he is a father as well. A father that wants me to run towards him in the mist of trouble or when I scrape my knee from falling. God love goes above and beyond my understanding. And yet I don’t run to it. Instead I believe the lies that hinder me from bonding with my father. God is running towards us with open arms to lift the burdens that are to heavy, to shed light in places that grew dark, and help us understand that there’s no mountain high enough or no river wide enough to separate His love from us.

God bless

Do You Trust God?

7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

11“What have you done?” asked Samuel.

Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

13“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

Reading this chapter for my devotion this morning got me asking one question……… Do I Trust God? There has been plenty of times when I’m making decisions that are important and I don’t involve God. I see myself making the same mistakes as Saul trusting my eyes rather than trusting God. It’s easier said than done. God does things on his time. There been times when it look like it may not workout and then I pull the trigger because I fear that He will fail me. As I’m typing this post it sounds real stupid but it’s true.

Saul had the fear of the Philistines coming to attack him and his army. As he was waiting for Samuel to come that fear built up inside that cause him to lose sight that God was there. Once Samuel found out what happen he rebuked him and told him another was coming to replace him. God want us to come to Him for shelter, wisdom, and knowledge.

So I’ll ask the same question to you. Do you trust God? Do we give all our cares to Him or do we put it on our shoulders? Do we trust God to make the impossible possible or do we make the possible impossible? My eyes can be deceiving but I know I can trust my father base on the fact that He sent His son to die for my sins. He loved me before I loved Him.

God Bless

Distracted by Distractions

37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
    preserve my life according to your word.[a]
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
    so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
    for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
    In your righteousness preserve my life.

We are in a generation that is flooded with distractions. With all the social media, television, music and etc distractions are larking around the corner waiting to devour you. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against these types of entertainment but we should be aware of  what and how much we are consuming. Finding that balance is very much need for our walk in Christ. I’m not speaking nothing new but just a reminder that we need every advantage that we could get to follow God’s will today. Let’s examine ourselves and cut off anything that maybe holding us back. Just because it’s not bad don’t mean it’s good for you. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (HEB 12:1)

Jesus deep love for us

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:25-27‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

The love that Jesus has for us is very sacrificial. He gave up his life to bring us to him that we may be presented as a holy wife. The book of Hosea paints a vivid picture of how Jesus loves his church. His wife was a prostitute and Hosea went out looking for her and bought his wife back even though she already belong to him. We have been infected by the first Adam mistake and been given a cure through the second Adam. The only way we could get this cure is if Jesus sacrifice his life that we may be cleanse from this disease. It’s important to know that your loved by Jesus because it’s going to help you endure through those days of doubt, unbelief, fear, anxiety, and bring joy, peace, patience and kindness. Jesus wants his church to know how much he loves us and he showed it through his actions.

God bless

Stand firm in your faith

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.”‭‭                            Isaiah‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

We are living in a time where Christianity is looked down upon of two reasons: One is because of the standards that is set by Jesus and two is that christians don’t follow these standards. 

The standard that Jesus gave us was to love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind. In order to love God We need the Holy Spirit to drown us in his love. This love we can’t earn but it’s a gift wrapped up for you. This gift birth love inside of your soul for God and give you that desire to know and to please Him. Even though we have this great love dwelling inside of us we are still in a fallen world with the temptations of pride and selfishness. I say that to say this. Living a godly life doesn’t come easy. It takes effort, sacrifice, and humility to fight against the devil but it is this love that works out these qualities in a Christian. It is love that is our foundation for living a life of faith. 

“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”                                                                                                                                ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

 The other standard is to love one another as you love yourself. The world we live in now it’s a “all about me” mentality. Most people worship themselves and get irritate if something not done fast enough. Not saying that you shouldn’t have self esteem but getting out of your comfort zone to show patience, kindness and humility should be comfortable. It’s hard to think of these commandments when someone does something wrong towards you and the peer pressure of others telling you to take matters into your own hands is not helping either. Don’t bend your knee to Satan but stand firm in the faith. If you are battling the same sin that keeps tripping you then get back up and keep fighting with the faith that got you here. At first it’s not going to be natural to obey, to be patient, to choose your words carefully but if you don’t start fighting the temptation you will stay defeated. You will overcome if you stand your ground. 

God bless

Building a relationship with God

To build a relationship with God takes many things like communication, trust, time, patience and many more. Sometimes we can lack the effort in our relationship with God. Our relationship mirrors a marriage and if you’re married or even in a relationship with someone you quickly realize that it takes effort to make it work. You put the effort in it not because you have to but because you want to. The difference between effort and works is the same difference between spirit and law. Living by the law is a “have to” life and living by the spirit is a “want to” life. 

In this relationship with God there will be times when you will be tempted to please yourself and to live your life away from God. But when this temptation comes remember the commitment you made with Jesus. 

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Look at Jesus and how he sacrificed his life to bring us closer to God. We was sinners and yet he died that we may have life. Jesus is our example of faith, love, and commitment towards our father. 

“keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Our effort in our relationship with God is a act of love towards Him who loved us first by sending his son to the cross so that we may know our father.  

Building a house on the rock

“”Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell-and great was its fall.””‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:24-27‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Where’s your foundation? Is it in Jesus or other things or people? Without the foundation the house will collapse and be destroyed. Jesus gave us this foundation to build on and grow our faith which is obedience. Obedience displays our love for God and our dependence upon God. Love and humility is the recipe for obedience. When the Holy Spirit comes in and fills your heart with the love of God your desires change from pleasing yourself to pleasing him. As a Christian you will recognize your need for God in everyday situations. So you put aside your understanding for God’s wisdom. You submit to the teachings of Jesus because you know he has everlasting life. Check your foundation to make sure there’s no cracks or termites eating away underneath. But if it is damage go to Jesus and have a honest conversation. Tell him “my floors about to cave in and I should’ve told you earlier but I thought I could fix it. Help me!” Believe that He is who He say He is and He rewards those who diligently seek Him. 

A prayer to seek for his refuge

Things are going good. There’s no financial problem. My health is good. I didn’t have to go out of my way to help someone. Didn’t get upset or frustrated with anything or anyone. It been smooth sailing for a while but I’m noticing some things as I’m enjoying this peace. I attend to lean on my own understanding rather than ask for your advice. I guess subconsciously I think of you as a bail bondsman rather than a father who seek a relationship with me in the good or bad times. When things are going good I think maybe I can handle it rather than following the one who pull me out the ditch. My desire for the things in the world are growing rather than seeking first the kingdom of God. This peace is making me rich in spirit rather than poor. What I’m asking you is to not take away this peace but to give me a greater desire for you in the good times. Of course I don’t want this peace to leave but I want you to be in the center of everything good or bad.

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