Category Archives: Christian Living

Why Pray for our Nation?

Why Pray for our Nation?
United States Capitol

U.S. Capitol (Photo credit: Jack in DC)

This is from the 2010 National Day of Prayer booklet.

Prayer is an important part of America’s history, reflecting the faith of our founding fathers. In fact, America’s first national call to prayer predates the Constitution. In 1776, the Continental Congress called for a day of prayer. Their expression of humility and dependence on God provided a bedrock of faith on which the United States was founded and still operates today.

We can wait till the official National Day of Prayer, but our country needs prayer right now.

How to Pray

Being raised Catholic, I learned 3 prayers, the “Our Father”, “Hail Mary” and the “Act of Contrition”. I was never encouraged or taught to pray otherwise.

Since becoming a born-again Christian, my spiritual journey has lead me closer to God, His Word, but I still struggle with finding time to pray.

Prayer is simply:

  • Talking with God
  • Listening to God
  • Enjoying the presence of God

Remember the components of prayer: P.R.A.Y.

Praise God for what He has already accomplished through Jesus.

Repent personally and on behalf of our nation.

Ask God to reveal truth and turn our hearts back to God.

Yield to the Lord and recognize He has heard our prayers and will answer according to His will.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray that Government will Value the Lives of the Voiceless

Pray that Government will Value the Lives of the Voiceless
This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Pray for America

Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey - Icons

It’s unfortunate that government leaders put political gain and power ahead of the people’s true needs, and it’s the voiceless and poor that suffer.

Leadership gains authority and respect
when the voiceless poor are treated fairly. ~Proverbs 29:14

Pray that our leaders with put the needs and wants of the people first and their political ambitions aside.

Pray for those being affected by the shutdown, those on furlough and those whose have indirectly lost work because of the shutdown.

 

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray for our Leaders to be like Solomon

Pray for our Leaders to be like Solomon
This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Pray for America

King Solomon is known as one of the wisest people of the Bible. And it’s interesting how he got all the wisdom. In a dream, God spoke to Solomon (1 Kings 3: 5-14 NIV):

“…God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Now, put yourself in Solomon’s shoes. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Power? A long life? Wealth? Solomon’s response is not what you would have expected…

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

“A discerning heart?” What is discernment? It’s the ability to judge well. To know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong. “To govern your people.” He put the people first. Wow. Totally unselfish.

English: Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 ...

Solomon’s Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12-13, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”

So God gave him wisdom AND what he didn’t ask for – wealth, honor and a long life! But he also said that “…there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be… And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands…” 

So, can we expect our leaders to be like Solomon? No, but we can pray that they strive to be. We can pray that they govern with “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”

And Solomon was kind enough to share all the wisdom that God gave him in the Book of Proverbs. It’s a gift from God through Solomon. Making foolish decisions is easy for people when they don’t consult God or the Bible. That’s another thing we can pray for.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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God Chose our Leaders

God Chose our Leaders
This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Pray for America

White House Front
Romans 13:1 reads:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (NIV)

“The authorities that exist have been established by God.” What?

Our first thought may be, “God, what were you thinking!?” That may be one of the first questions I ask Him when I get to heaven. God has a purpose. It is not for us to know or even try to figure it out. All we can do is pray and keep praying and trust that God knows what He’s doing.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray for the Peace of Washington D.C.

Pray for the Peace of Washington D.C.
This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Pray for America

Cover of "The Secret Power of Speaking Go...

I picked up a great little book that I take with me to church and sit in the prayer room during the second service. It’s from Joyce Meyer Ministries: The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word. I bought it when Joyce was here in Phoenix a few years ago. What makes this book different is that it puts scripture into the first person and it’s divided into topical sections.

In the “Civic Responsibility” section I like to take the 3rd one down and give it my own spin:

“I pray for the peace of Washington D.C.! … May peace be within your walls and prosperity within your palaces!” (based on Psalm 122:6-7)

If Christians in the U.S. pray this several times a day, maybe we’ll see a change.

Here’s another…

I am one of God’s chosen people. I am called by His name. If I humble myself, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity the face of God and turn from my wicked ways, then will God hear from heaven, forgive my sin, and heal my land. (based on 2 Chronicles 7:14)

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~Matthew 11:28 (MSG)

Prayer is a powerful tool.

We may feel that we can’t do anything to change anything in Washington D.C. We may feel that our representatives and senators aren’t listening to us or putting the needs of the people first instead of politics. We may feel helpless, but we’re not. We’ve got the power of prayer.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

We don’t know what God’s plans are. We can seek his Will for our lives and pray for the lives of others. And when we do, we will feel “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” and that is an awesome feeling. What happens in the world, doesn’t matter. It’s in God’s hands.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray for Leaders to Govern with Justice

Pray for Leaders to Govern with Justice
This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Pray for America

Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation. ~Proverbs 16:12

What is a “moral foundation”?

KJV Bible

KJV Bible (Photo credit: knowhimonline)

That’s simple — a life that’s based on the Bible — the Word of God. Someone with a moral foundation easily recognizes when something is against the teachings of God because he or she reads the Bible daily and seeks God’s Will and guidance in every major decision they make in their lives especially when they affect other people.

Pray for America. Pray for Leaders to Govern with Justice

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray for Mature Godly Leaders

Pray for Mature Godly Leaders
This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Pray for America

Mature godly leaders – sounds like a joke, right? What’s happening in Washington D.C. right now sounds like a bunch of kids who can’t agree to play the same game and follow the rules. The captain of one team wants to make up new rules and the captain of the other wants to play it his way. The problem is — no one wins! There’s a stalemate — or in this case, a shutdown.

Oops! I’m criticizing. Shouldn’t do that.

What we need to do is PRAY! We have to give it to God. God is bigger than the problem.

English: Statue of George Washington by Lee La...

Statue of George Washington by Lee Lawrie. At Washington National Cathedral, Washington (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But a nation will prosper when its ruler is mature, and its leaders don’t party too much. ~Ecclesiastes 10:17

That goes for any organization. We’re stuck with an inexperienced leader. We need to pray. Just pray.

 

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray for America

Pray for America
This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Pray for America

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of politics and our national government. I don’t want to see the rantings and ravings on Facebook or Twitter any more.

So what are we to do?

As Christians, we have really only one choice – to PRAY!

Pray for America

It only takes a minute to say a prayer.

Hal H. Sacks of BridgeBuilders Int’l Leadership Network wrote in “Scriptural Prayers for Good Government“:

It is better to pray for for government leaders — local, state, and national — than to criticizes them. This does not mean we always agree with their every action or condone legislative decisions that go contrary to biblical principles. It does mean that we respect positions of authority (Hebrews 13:17) even if the one filling that position compromises God’s principles. As we humbly and fervently call upon the Lord, He promises to raise up godly leaders to rule our land (Daniel 2:22).

It’s what God wants us to do. For the next 30 days, please join me and other Christians in prayer for our nation.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. ~2 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)

Whether your Progressive or Patriot, Liberal or Libertarian, Republican or Democrat, Independent or Non-Committed, Right Wing or Left Wing, you can do something a simple as praying.

We’ll be posting something daily for the next 30 days. Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, Subscribe to this blog or our newsletter (forms on the right column).

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Are you a Cultural Christian?

Are you a Cultural Christian?
This entry is part 22 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

What is a “Cultural Christian”?

A Cultural Christian is someone who may be born again, believes Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, may have been baptized by immersion, yet still accepts, lives in sin and/or condones what the current culture accepts as proper, OK, passable, not a sin — knowing that it’s against God’s will and law and does nothing about it.

It’s like you have one foot in God’s Kingdom and one foot in the world.

The problem with that is that once you become a born-again believer, you are a Citizen of Heaven and you cannot continue being a citizen of world.

I was a cultural Christian for many years. Of course, I knew my ticket to heaven was secure, but I thought I could continue to do some of the things that I did before and it was OK. It’s wasn’t. I was in a relationship with an unbeliever and after each “encounter” I had this guilty feeling. That was the Holy Spirit inside of me convicting me – telling me that what I was doing was disappointing God. It was against his rules for living a righteous, Christ-like life.

I was a liberal Democrat. I had the attitude of “to each his own” – but condoning and accepting bad behavior is also against God’s will. Now, I’m a Christian Conservative and what’s happening in our country and the world makes me angry. Actually, I’m incensed and disgusted! I don’t recognize America any more – I know our Founding Fathers wouldn’t either. 

A Cultural Christian thinks same-sex marriage is OK. In God’s eyes it is NOT so it shouldn’t be so in your eyes.

A Cultural Christian thinks abortion is OK. It is not in God’s eyes – it’s the murder of innocent lives. It doesn’t make sense that when a pregnant woman is murdered it’s two counts of murder, yet society condones the murder of innocent babies like they were trash.

Get the point?

As a Christian, you MUST read the Bible DAILY! 

With so many Bible apps & websites, there really isn’t any valid excuse not to. Check these out:

You must attend and get involved in a bible-based church.

“Bible-based” is the relevant keyword here. Make sure the church leaders and pastors don’t pick and choose what Bible verses to teach and ignore the ones that God needs believers to hear. Strive to seek the truth.

Live a WWJD? life.

Stop and think before reacting. Say to yourself, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” “How would Jesus handle this issue?” What would Jesus say in response?” “Would Jesus watch this show?” “Is God smiling or is He disappointed in me and my behavior?”

Connect with Christians on the social media sites.

Follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their blogs, like them on Facebook. You become like those you hang out with. Striving to be Christ-like is not easy. But it helps when you get together with other committed Christians and talk about the latest news, how you feel and how your friends feel about the issues.

This world is not all there is – Thanks to Jesus!

When I look around at this sin-sick world that I live in, I thank the Lord Jesus that this is not all there is. That I have a HOPE like no other in Christ of an eternal life in a Paradise called Heaven. I like reading Revelation 21.

Here are a few of my favorite passages from that chapter:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared…I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Jesus at the Gate

The Narrow Gate into God’s Kingdom – Heaven

And the one sitting on the throne [Jesus] said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev. 21:1, 3-8

You can take the wide gate just to be popular and accepted into today’s society and culture or you can truly live the Christian life and enter Heaven through the narrow gate:

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it…”~Matthew 7:13-14

 It’s Your Choice.

Here’s a hint: Jesus wins in the end! Don’t you want to be on HIS Side? Click here to get to know Christ personally – it is about a personal relationship, not about religion.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
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New Year’s Resolution: Get Good Habits-Lose the Bad Ones

New Year’s Resolution: Get Good Habits-Lose the Bad Ones

…they get into the habit of being idle… ~1 Timothy 5:13

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it. ~ Horace Mann

English: Portrait drawing of American educator...

English: Portrait drawing of American educator Horace Mann (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One great enemy of effectiveness in the lives of those who would ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” is our tendency to bad habits. As Horace Mann, the father of public education, observed, habits are woven daily until they have the strength of a strong cable in binding us.

Jesus had no bad habits. The Apostle Paul said he would not “be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). As we learn to ask “What Would Jesus Do?”, we’re developing a good habit.But we must also deal with those cables of thread–the bad habits–that we’ve accumulated over the years.

Many Christians, in an attempt to be free from wrong habits, resort to will power–only to fail again and again. The road to freedom from the threads that bind us is to grasp the full meaning of Jesus’ words, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (john 8:36). Today, let’s walk in the same freedom from bondage as did Christ.

365 Daily Answers to WWJD? Excerpt from 365 Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?

So what bad habits do you want to be rid of?

What good habits should you pick up? How about:

  • Walking a bit each day
  • Spending more time reading the bible
  • Spending more time with family
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Asking “What Would Jesus Do?” before making a decision or responding to something.
  • Getting closer to God

It’s your choice.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
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Advent Conspiracy – Worship Fully

Advent Conspiracy – Worship Fully
This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Christmas

by Chuck Foreman, Teaching Pastor, First Christian Church of Phoenix

Advent Conspiracy - Worship FullyNone of us would dispute the observation that Christmas has been hijacked by consumerism. Even Christians get caught up in the hustle and hassle of buying more stuff than at any other time of year. We agree that Christmas should be about giving not receiving, but what kind of giving exactly? Am I really giving something worthwhile or am I just spending?

How many of you have ever received a gift you didn’t need?
How many of you have ever received a gift you didn’t want? Didn’t even like?
How many of you have pretended to like it anyway?
How many of you still have it because you can’t get rid of it and still live a happy life?
How many of you have ever given a gift to someone and you know they didn’t like it? …because they told you so. 
How many of you remember all the gifts you bought for people last Xmas?
How many of you remember all the gifts you received and from who last Xmas?
How many of you have ever far exceeded & essentially destroyed your normal monthly budget in December buying Xmas gifts?

How many of you long for Xmas to be different—less hectic and more restful, less commercial and more worshipful?
How many of you know how to make that change happen?

Sermon 12-2-12 from First Christian on Vimeo.

It’s a difficult subject to even talk about, isn’t it?
The way we do Xmas has become part of our culture. But something un-Christian has happened to Christmas…
Americans spend $45 billion on Xmas presents every December! Really?!
I wonder how many of those gifts actually meet a genuine need? Or do they fall into the category of stuff we don’t even want, and we can’t even remember who gave it to us?

Imagine the incredible good that could be done in the world, in our communities, in our churches, if even a fraction of that $45 billion was redirected to meet real needs of real people.
If Jesus is the Reason for the Season, why do we spend so much money buying so many things for so many people who don’t have any real needs?

What if this Christmas you went into your living room on Christmas morning and joyfully announced, “I didn’t buy anybody anything this Xmas because everybody already has everything!”

What if this Xmas you found people who don’t have what they need—people who aren’t getting by so well, and you redirected your normal spending—even just some of your normal spending— to meet some real needs of real people?
(Some of you have done that with the gift tags off our Christmas Tree…)
In Acts 4 there’s an almost shocking description of the early Church that always haunts me. Let me read it to you… Acts 4:32-35
I’d like to suggest this morning, as we enter the Xmas Season here at FCC, that that kind of giving is what Xmas—True Christian Worship is all about. We raised over 30K for missions overseas in our Thank Offering. That’s a good thing …But we also have some families at FCC who have some real needs right now, which we’re going to try to help meet too.

For the next 4 weeks leading up to Xmas, we’re going to be talking about how to:

  1. Worship Fully
  2. Spend Less (on ourselves)
  3. Give More (to those in need)
  4. Love All People

at Christmas time.

Worship Fully?   How do you do that?   Do we ever, really?
One thing for sure, you can never worship God fully if there are distractions in the way—or substitutes for him.  If money and possessions come before God, we’re in trouble.  Jesus said, Luke 12:15
Somehow we’ve got to free ourselves from the hold that money & possessions have on us.  The best way to do that is to GIVE it away—but give intentionally and thoughtfully to meet real needs of those less fortunate than we are.

In the Bible, God makes the connection for us between:
Worship————->Taking Care of the Needy
but I’m not sure we’ve paid attention.  Let’s take another look…

What kind of Worship does God really want?
Isaiah 58:1-11
How did Mary worship God?
Luke 1:46-55
(She paid attention, acknowledged what He was up to…)

How did the Wise Men worship Jesus?
Matthew 2:11

How do we give to Jesus now?
Matthew 25:31-46  (summarize)

Joseph’s Dilemna.. When the incredible story of Christmas was just beginning to unfold, Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, had a huge problem with the way God was going about things… (Explain…)

God’s Solution:  Matthew 1:21
Jesus (Gr.) = Joshua (Heb.) = Savior, Deliverer.  Jesus was “God to the Rescue”.  He is our Hero, the One who can Deliver us from all our bondage caused by sin!

And just as Jesus is our Deliverer, so we, as His Followers, are Deliverers too!  With whatever means and power we have, we are to help the helpless out of whatever holds them captive, so they too can enter into the life of freedom and joy God created them for.

The Central Miracle of Christianity?   is not the Virgin Birth.  It’s not the Resurrection, or any of Jesus’ other miracles…  It’s Xmas!

It’s   The Incarnation—“God with us”      Matthew 1:23
The Central Miracle of Christianity is the very idea that God would become one of us.  This is Christianity— that God gave the ultimate gift— He gave Himself!

And as His People, that’s what we do too.  (slide-build bold) We Are Givers.
“Freely you have received, freely give.”  Jesus gave his 12 Disciples a very demanding, draining ministry.  But listen to what he told them:  Matthew 10:7-8

Following is Costly (and “salty”).  He talked about what it would cost to follow him: (slide) Luke 14:33
He said it not me!  This is not figurative language with some more palatable, hidden meaning.  Preachers are often tempted to explain this away…  But you’re not going to get any help from this preacher to make this easier for you.  You’re on your own.  Go figure out what this is going to mean for you.
Then Jesus referred to us as “Salt”.  Luke 14:34

“As my Followers, you are to be like salt—you’re either noticeably present or noticeably absent. (Ever had popcorn w/o salt?)  You are the ones who make a difference in this world.  If you aren’t making a difference, you’re like unsalty salt. You’re of no use. You’ll be thrown out.”  (He said it…!)

Giving is better than receiving.  Paul’s example about working to help the weak: (slide)  Acts 20:34-35
We need to reconnect our ideas about Worship with helping those in need.  When we help others, we are worshipping God with the very way we live.

When you give to FCC, you are giving to those in need.  We have a significant portion of our budget that is dedicated to helping people who are struggling financially.  Every year when we plan our budget, we plan to give away a lot of it.  And we always end up giving away more. And God always provides.

I believe that Following Christ means being a regular Giver.  Following Christ means that you understand that what God gives you, he gives you to manage for Him.  He doesn’t give it to you just for you.  You are a conduit of his blessing to others.  If you don’t give to others, neither will God give to you.  It’s that simple.

Jesus said, The Key to Finding Your Life is to Deny Yourself
Matthew 16:24-25
I have to ask:  How often do we deny ourselves anything in this country?
What about generosity?  How do you define generosity?  What’s the dollar amount cut-off, above which you have just become a generous person, or a “sacrificial giver”?
C.S. Lewis talked about what it means to be generous: (Mere Christianity)
For the Xian, there ought to be some things we just do without.  We simply decide that there will  be some things we won’t have, may never have, may never do, because we’ve chosen to give away enough of our income so that those things, whatever they are, are denied to us—they’re beyond our financial reach, on purpose.

And we’re OK with that, because we know, that just like the One we Follow,
We are Givers!

II Corinthians 8:9

The richest people are those who give—of themselves—to others.

So Let’s Give!    Let’s really Worship!

Let’s rethink Xmas this Xmas.

Right On!

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Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarCheck out Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

 

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Conduct Unbecoming a Christian

Conduct Unbecoming a Christian
This entry is part 21 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

bible readingIf you’ve served in the military or watched any war movies, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “conduct unbecoming an officer.” It’s a charge with sometimes severe consequences if an officer does something that an officer shouldn’t do.

As Christians, we are supposed to act like Christ. It’s expected of us.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he stresses this:

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. ~Phil. 1:27a

What’s important are the first two words: “whatever happens” – that means at all times, in all circumstances, no matter what.

There’s no excuse for not behaving like a Christian!

It’s not easy. But God gave us two invaluable tools: the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it. ~Luke 11: 28

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. ~Galatians 5: 22-26

Each morning, before we start our day, we need to ask God for strength and guidance to conduct ourselves worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Check out these other great blogs:

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

The Deadly Virus in our Churches Today

The Deadly Virus in our Churches Today
This entry is part 21 of 21 in the series Christianity

I met with my pastors, Jon Taylor, Lead Pastor of First Christian Church of Phoenix, and Chuck Foreman, the teaching/missions pastor, this week to talk about collaborating on a small-group study on WWJD?. They agreed to help write it as well as a companion sermon guide.

Chuck forwarded me a newsletter from the Disciple Nations Alliance. I loved the opening message and tried to find it in a blog online at their website so I could share it, but could not. It was written just for the newsletter recipients. Thus, I’m compelled to share it here since it highlights the need for a church-wide study on WWJD?.

Coram Deo: Before the Face of God

A deadly virus is running rampant through the Church around the world. Not a physical virus, but a mental one—and very subtle. Victims typically don’t realize they are infected.

What is this virus? It’s the idea that the Christian faith is primarily personal and private. It addresses personal salvation, and it focuses on developing a pious inner life, but it has little to do with how someone lives the rest of his or her life.

There are huge problems with this.

We spend the vast majority of our time working, eating, playing, and living in relationship with family, friends, and co-workers. If my faith isn’t informing how I live my life, something else surely is. And that something is the accepted norms, values, and practices of my surrounding culture.

The virus enables Christians to assume they are theologically orthodox because they affirm correct answers to the questions of God, man, the fall, and salvation. Yet it prevents them from making a connection between these personal/spiritual topics and how they think about work, life, leisure, and the broader culture. While holding to a form of Christianity, in practice, they are functional atheists, Gnostics, or animists, depending on the culture from which they come.

This explains how Enron’s indicted former CEO, Ken Lay, while serving as an elder in his local evangelical congregation, could drive his company off a cliff. In business, you play by the rules; and in today’s America, the rules are established by the secular, pragmatic, materialistic culture. It is OK to “cook the books” and deceive shareholders, so long as you don’t get caught.

This is just want Satan wants, for the virus strips the church of its saltiness. It is no longer able to influence and shape culture. God’s truth is shackled—prevented from penetrating and saturating all areas of life and society. As a result, the nations are not discipled. Rather, the church increasingly reflects the values and practices of the nations. This is the tragic consequence: The failure of the church to understand, much less carry out, the Great Commission. The nations—trapped in structures of poverty, corruption, and tyranny—are paying the price.

This is the problem we exist to address. This virus has to be attacked head-on, exposed for the lie that it is. When Jesus said “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” he really meant it. His truth applies to every area of public life. It is not merely a message of salvation; it is an all-encompassing way of understanding everything. We are called not just to save people out of the world, but to bring the truth to bear in all areas, thereby living God-honoring lives and creating God-honoring cultures, starting with our families, churches, arenas of work and, ultimately, nations. As this happens, the nations are blessed, just as God promised they would be (Genesis 12:1-3).

God loves His Bride, and we see increasing evidence that He is awakening her to this inward threat. We believe God has raised up the DNA to be part of the solution, and we are grateful for your partnership in the endeavor.

In Galatians 5:13, Paul tells us Christians:

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Here, “the flesh” refers to the sinful nature of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit. You see, it’s not “natural” for us to be godly. We can thank Adam and Eve for that. But Jesus shows us how to live righteous lives and commands us to do so. (Romans 12:1-3)

WWJD? The Revival is not just another fad

Our mission is to help Christians strive to be Christ-like. It’s not easy. We are tempted by the world on a daily basis. That is why the small-group study that we’re preparing is so vital. When discussed in the small-group setting, the group members hold each-other accountable. That makes a big difference from just reading a daily devotional.

Please follow WWJD? The Revival on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We will keep you updated on the progress of the study and when it will be available. In the meantime, look for devotionals, bible passages and encouragements.

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Author
@giselleaguiar 

Kirk Cameron: An Outspoken Man of Christ

Kirk Cameron: An Outspoken Man of Christ

Bravo, Kirk!

Marriage is between a man and woman as defined by God in the Garden of Eden – till death do you part.

He doesn’t support gay marriage.

Homosexuality is “unnatural.”

Just because 7 states in the U.S. have legalized gay marriage doesn’t mean that it’s right in the eyes of God.

Kirk Cameron is an example of someone living the WWJD? life.

We as Christians should not condemn homosexuals that’s up to God in the final judgement. We are not perfect, and we cannot tell someone to stop doing something without showing why it’s wrong. We are to love one another – everyone – no exceptions.

Kirk spoke correctly when he said that we are all sinners and the best thing to do is teach the Word of God, God’s love for us and how God wants us to behave.

Kirk Cameron’s ministry, The Way of the Master, is dedicated to bringing people to Jesus Christ by showing them that we are all sinners.

WWJD? The Revival on Facebook
Twitter: @wwjdrevival

Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author

Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Resisting Temptation

Resisting Temptation
This entry is part 23 of 23 in the series WWJD?

In two subplots in the movie Courageous, we see examples of integrity – one man who had it and one who didn’t.

Courageous, the movie

How's Your Integrity?

Sheriff’s Officer, Shane Fuller, played by Kevin Downes, is a Christian, divorced dad struggling to pay his child support and alimony.

Javier Martinez, played by Robert Amaya, is Christian, married, father of two struggling to feed his family and pay the rent and bills. He hears about construction jobs, but when he gets there, they have enough men and he’s sent home.

Javier later gets a job at a factory and after a month, is presented with an offer. The company’s president tells him he can be promoted to a managerial position with increased pay if he would just fudge the inventory a bit.

Shane, is also tested daily. As the Sheriff’s Office arrests drug dealers in the city, Shane is in charge of getting the recovered drugs to the evidence locker. He is tempted to take one or two packets thinking that they wouldn’t be missed.

Which one do you think passed the test? Which one do you think stuck to the integrity and moral values of his Christian faith? Which one do you think fell to desperation and greed?

The answer is surprising. Sheriff Officer, Adam Mitchell, played by Alex Kendrick (who also co-wrote and directed the movie), notices that the amount of drugs collected doesn’t match the amount in the evidence locker. He suspects his partner, Shane, who is later caught in a sting and sent to jail.

Javier, after thinking it over and talking to his wife, tells his boss, that no, what he was asking him to do, lying on the inventory sheet, is dishonest and it goes against God’s Word. As it turns out, it was a test and Javier passed. They were looking for the honest, man of integrity to promote. They had tested many other people and Javier was the only truly, trustworthy person.

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