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No Greater Love

No Greater Love
This entry is part 1 of 21 in the series Christianity

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.~John 15:12-14

“To lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” No one knows the true meaning of that better than someone who’s fought in a war. It’s Veteran’s Day and today’s Our Daily Bread devotional tells the story of a soldier who threw himself down on a grenade to save the lives of 4 of his fellow soldiers. That’s selfless love. That’s what Jesus did for us.

The concept of WWJD is to stop and think before acting in anger, vengeance or in any way against the teachings of the Gospel. But what about when there’s no time to think? If our reaction is immediate, is it the right one?

How do we make God’s teachings second nature? Jesus laid down his life for us. Would you lay down your life for a friend? For a child, parent or sibling – maybe. When do we throw self-preservation to the wind in exchange for true selfless love?

As Christians, we are called to strive to be like Christ. The only way to do that is to read the Bible, go to church, go to Bible studies and get to know Jesus. The more we do that, the more it becomes second nature and the more we reflect His Love and Light to the rest of the world.

Happy Veteran’s Day
God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Fear Not! For I am with you, says the Lord

Fear Not! For I am with you, says the Lord
This entry is part 2 of 21 in the series Christianity

I will fear no evil, for you are with me. ~Psalm 23:4

Fear is a greater evil than the evil itself.

As we approach the end of the year, we begin to wonder what lies ahead for us next year. It’s time to settle now that we will enter the enw eyar with even greater anticipation than we did this past year. We will fear no evil. We will continue to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” We will look for God in others. We will allow Christ to minister through our lives.

We will look forward to good things next year.

(From 365 WWJD: Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?)

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria

Fight the Good Fight

Fight the Good Fight
This entry is part 3 of 21 in the series Christianity

Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. ~1 Timothy 1:18-19

This has been a tough year for a lot of people – me included. “Holding on to faith and a good conscience” isn’t easy.

We easily get angry and frustrated at obstacles, issues, government, the weather, evil people and other “things” beyond our control. Many times we react with anger, agression, in ways outside of our normal character.

We have to realize that yes, these things will always be around – usually when you least expect it or need it – and they are beyond our controll. We just have to deal with it and not let our frustration show never mind take it out on innocent people.

Know that God is control. Life happens. God is there 24/7.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. ~1 Peter 1:6-7

God gives you TESTS so you can have TESTIMONIES.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33

Stop and think before reacting – WWJD?

God Bless
Giselle
Soli Deo Gloria
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www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd

Everlasting Love

Everlasting Love
This entry is part 4 of 21 in the series Christianity

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. ~God (Jeremian 31:3)

God’s everlasting love for HIs people is breathtaking. That there is nothing tha can ever separate us from this love is overwhelming. That many people we know need this love is apparent.

Today, may we learn to “bear the beams of God’s love” and give to others the same unconditional love Christ offered to those He met.
From :

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd

Shut up and listen!

Shut up and listen!
This entry is part 5 of 21 in the series Christianity
Be still, and know that I am God…~Psalm 46:10

Jesus often left His disciples and the crowds to be in solitude, in prayer with The Father. Often we pray and we do all the talking. We need to shut up and listen for God’s message to us.

In Jesus’ day, it was easy to get away and be quiet. In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with distractions – cell phones, TV, radio, traffic, kids, our inner to do lists, stress. Even when we try be silent and focus on God, our minds wander – did I shut off the coffee maker? I have to call my_____ (you fill in the blank); I forgot to do________…. the distractions inside and outside of our bodies are constant and we can’t hit the snooze button and shut them off.

How do we know what God’s will is for us? We need to be quiet and listen.

I enjoy hiking. It allows me to get away from the world and get closer to God in nature.

You have to find your own quiet time in a quiet place and be still and listen for God to speak to you.

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd
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The Narrow Road

The Narrow Road
This entry is part 6 of 21 in the series Christianity

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it…” ~Matthew 7:13-14 

“Go with the flow.” Boy, that phrase has gotten me into trouble. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

Only a few find the small gate and narrow road to life. Jesus said it. That makes it true. When you “go with the flow” it leads to destruction. When you follow Jesus, it leads to everlasting life.

Anything worth doing is not easy. Take losing weight for instance. Going with the flow, the masses, everybody else, eating what you want, what tastes good, what makes you feel good (temporarily), leads to obesity, difficulty getting around, discrimination, diabetes, acid reflux, joint pain… I can go on.

When we sacrifice our laziness and start walking, swimming, playing sports, hiking, working out, going up the stairs instead of the taking elevator, just getting up off the couch and moving, and controlling what we put in our mouths, we lose weight, look better and feel better.

The same goes for living the Christian life as followers of Jesus. We sacrifice ourselves for the sin-free life that Jesus gave us. Not a bad compromize when you look at it. He gave his Life. We surrender ourselves and live. Wow.

Take the narrow road.

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd
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Who is the church?

Who is the church?
This entry is part 7 of 21 in the series Christianity

I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. ~John 17:23

“Father Abraham, whom have you in heaven? Any Episcopalians? No! Any Presbyterians? No! Any Independents or Methodists? No, No No! Whom have you there? We don’t know those names here. All who are here are Christians…Oh, is this the case? The God help us to forget your party names and to become Christians in deed and truth.” ~ Rev. George Whitefield as read from the courthouse balcony in Philadelphia in 1740.

Before you are an Episcopalian, Catholic, Metchodist, Congregationalist, whatever, YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN.

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and foundation and we need to remember the basic and simple truth that He taught us: Love One Another.

God doesn’t care about church doctrine, what liturgy you use, who reads what, what version of the Bible you use, or how you dress. He cares about how you treat people.

If your church ceased to exist tomorrow, would anyone care?

Your church should be known for what it has done in your community to reach out and help the less fortuate.
Is it? Think about it.

God Bless,
Giselle
Soli Deo Gloria

Who is God?

Who is God?
This entry is part 8 of 21 in the series Christianity

Last Sunday’s Our Daily Bread (Feb. 13) was so perfect that I want to republish it here.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations.” (Ps. 46:10). 

These words from a song sung long ago at the temple in Jerusalem remind us of one of our main tasks—worshiping our awesome God.

One way to do that is to [think about] His many attributes. Exalt God, for He is faithful, eternal, all-knowing, just, unchangeable, gracious, holy, merciful, longsuffering, impartial, and infinite. Our God is perfect.

Exalt God also by realizing that He is all-powerful, almighty, personal, righteous, unsearchable, wise, triune, accessible, self-existent, glorious, and compassionate.

Another way to worship God is to contemplate His names. Exalt God, for He is Creator. He is Love. He is Redeemer. He is Shepherd. He is Savior, Lord, and Father. He is Judge. He is Comforter. He is Teacher. He is I AM. Our God is the Mighty One.

Dwell on His identity. God is our shield. Our stronghold. Our light. Our strength. Our sustainer. Our rescuer. Our fortress.

[Ponder] God’s attributes. Contemplate His names. Dwell on His identity. Adore Him. Respect Him. Honor Him. Love Him. Exalt Him. Use the rest of your life getting ready to worship our awesome God forever.

O worship the King,  

All glorious above,

And gratefully sing

His power and His love. —Grant

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. —Psalm 150:6

God Bless,
Giselle
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd

Ash Wednesday Fasting

Ash Wednesday Fasting
This entry is part 9 of 21 in the series Christianity

Fasting on Ash Wednesday is admirable, but do you really know WHY you’re fasting? If you’re fasting just because your church tells you it’s what’s you’re supposed to do to follow the rules – that’s wrong and you might as well save yourself the misery.

Ash Wednesday Fasting Rules

Why you should fast:

  1. To humble yourself before the Lord
  2. Because Jesus did it for 40 days
  3. To get closer to God

“Hungry people are desperate people, and they are hungry for more of God than they have ever had. They are breaking out of religious rules, regulations and traditional thinking and breaking through to more of His presence, more of His power, and more of His miracle-working power! Only Jesus satisfies hunger!” from Fasting: Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God by Jentezen Franklin.

I’ve done fasts for 1, 3 and 5 days. I take in just liquids. At meal time or when the hunger pangs strike it’s important to pull out the bible and read the Word of God and ponder it’s meaning in your life.

As a former Catholic, I never really quite understood the not eating meat on Friday rule. Where’s the pain in that?

My goal this Lenten season is to fast dinners for 40 days. When I get home, instead of turning on the TV and throwing something in the microwave, I’ll grab some water or juice and my bible and unwind OR if it’s early enough, grab my IPod – tune in the Christian songs and go for a walk.

Lent is a time for reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice for humankind and to show people that they only need to believe in their hearts, repent and be baptized and they will have everlasting life in heaven. It’s more than just knowing about Him, you have to Believe.

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Soli Deo Gloria!

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian
This entry is part 10 of 21 in the series Christianity

I love Joyce Meyer – she tells it like it is and she’s not ashamed to say it.

“Sitting in church each Sunday doesn’t make you a Christian just like sitting in your garage doesn’t make you a car.” ~ Joyce Meyer (paraphrased)

I couldn’t have said it any clearer. It’s belief in Christ that makes you a Christian and what you do with your life after you become a believer.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”~Acts 2:38-40

Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites because they claimed to be religious yet they didn’t show it in their daily lives. (Matthew 23:13-33)

Aren’t Christians seen as hypocrites today? Yes. And I’ve met some in my adult life. I knew a man who went to church regularly and volunteered to help and fix things, but he’d talk behind people’s back (gossip).

There was a devout lady who would openly judge other people. And then there are those who would walk by someone who needs help ignoring the person. Oh, we (and I include myself) do that every day.

You must step back and say to yourself, “Am I really a Christian?” If you have doubts, you need to pray this prayer wholeheartedly and sincerely and solidify your relationship with Jesus Christ:

Lord Jesus, I need You to guide my life. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Baptism
Christ warnings

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com
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Choose to Surrender

Choose to Surrender
This entry is part 11 of 21 in the series Christianity

This is from Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions (Faith Words) by Joyce Meyer

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.~Romans 8:29

According to this verse, on of God’s goals in our lives is to make us become like Jesus. He wants us to continue to become more like Jesus in our thoughts, in our words, in the way we treat other people, in our personal lives, and in our actions. Becoming like Jesus does not happen overnight; it’s a process we have to choose to embrace.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.~Romans 12:1

This means we have to make a deliberate decision to give ourselves to God. God gave us free will, and the only way we will ever belong to Him completely is to give ourselves freely to Him. He will guide us, and prompt us but He will always leave the decision to surrender up to us.

God created human beings, not robots, and He will not try to program us to behave a certain way because He gave us the freedom to make our own choices–and H wants us to choose Him. He wants us to willingly put our lives before Him every day and say, “God, Your will be done, not mine.” That short, simple prayer is extremely powerful when we really mean it, and it represents the kind of full surrender God requires. If God has been speaking to you or dealing with you about anything, I encourage you not to put off surrendering it any longer. Choose to obey His voice and surrender today. Ask Him to be your Strength and remember that through Him you can do all things.

Adapted From:
Great Blessings to You,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Check out her new novel, Deo Volente!
Soli Deo Gloria!

Legalism is Finished

Legalism is Finished
This entry is part 12 of 21 in the series Christianity

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ~John 19:30

When jesus spoke from the cross, saying, “It is finished!” He meant that the system of legalism was finished, that now, not only the religious high priests could enter God’s presence, but that all people could enjoy His presence, speak to Him, and hear His voice.

Before Jesus died on our behalf, the only way to receive God’s promises was to live a perfect, sinless life ( by being very legalistic), or to offer a blood sacrifice for sin, the sacrifice of slain animals. When Jesus died and paid for our sins of humankind with His own blood, He opened up a way for every person to enjoy the presence of God. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He invaded us to a life of freedom rather than fear. One in which we could be led by the Holy Spirit instead of rules and regulations. Ordinary people who don’t do everything right all the time can now enter freely into the presence of God.

Freedom from legalism is not a call to lawlessness or laziness. It is a responsibility for each of us to learn God’s Word and to hear from God for ourselves, which is what God has always wanted from the beginning of time.

God loves you and wants you to enjoy life.

From “Hearing from God Each Morning” (July 16), by Joyce Meyer

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!

The Power of the Holy Spirit

The Power of the Holy Spirit
This entry is part 13 of 21 in the series Christianity

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”~Acts 1:8

The Spirit of God gives power to those who want to hear His voice and serve Him. A person may desire to do something and not have the power to do it, but that power can come through receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

You may remember that Jesus was baptized by immersion in water, but He was also baptized by the Holy Spirit. In other words, he was immersed in power, which enabled Him to do the task His Father sent Him to do. Acts 10:38 says, “God anointed jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,” and that He “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (nkjv)

Before Jesus’ public ministry began, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are able to hear God’s voice more clearly and we are equipped for service in the Kingdom of God because we are able to draw on the power (ability, efficiency and might) of the Holy Spirit we received when He came upon us to be His witnesses. This power enables us to do what God wants us to do.

It is important to see that Jesus did not do any miracles or other mighty acts until after He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. If Jesus needed the power of the Spirit, we certainly do, too. Ask Him to fill you with the power of His Spirit today and every day.

You have access to power–turn on the light!

From “Hearing from God Each Morning”(July 17), by Joyce Meyer

Throw off everything that hinders

Throw off everything that hinders
This entry is part 14 of 21 in the series Christianity

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. ~Hebrews 12:1 niv

What hinders you from get stuff done? Let’s see, we can start with a sinus headache, allergies or any other malady from a cold to arthritis. Then there’s technology that doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. How about people on which you were depending on that let you down? 


How about your own sin? I won’t go into details, but just to mention a few: greed, pride, envy, gluttony, lust, sloth, wrath. 


What is the “race marked out for us”? That’s what God’s plan and God’s will is in our lives. You may not see it His way right now, because of any of the above listed items, but there is a plan. Trust Him to know what’s best for you. 


We know that things like anger and unforgiveness weigh us down. We must look up and forward to God and the hope that he has for us. This life is temporary and what awaits us as believers is better than anything we could possibly build and obtain here on earth. But while we are here on earth, we must do what God wants us to do. 


Read the Bible daily. That’s how you discover what God’s plan is for you. Strive to be Christ-like. That’s where WWJD comes in. Ask yourself, “How would Jesus react to this situation?” Then act accordingly. 


Remember:

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. ~Galatians 5:22-23 nlt

If you find yourself entangled, call out the Holy Spirit inside your heart. It’ll help you find your purpose. 


Recommended reading: THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE


God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Debut Novel “Deo Volente” Now Available.   


The Warrior’s Prayer

The Warrior’s Prayer
This entry is part 15 of 21 in the series Christianity

As Christians, we need to put on the Armor of God each day before we step out into the world. Print this out and pray it each morning.

From David Jeremiah

Heavenly Father, your warrior prepares for battle. Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God!

I put on the Girdle of Truth! May I stand firm in the truth of Your Word so I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies.

I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness! May it guard my heart from evil so I will remain pure and holy, protected under the blood of Jesus Christ.

I put on the Shoes of Peace! May I stand firm in the Good News of the Gospel so Your peace will shine through me and be a light to all I encounter.

I take the Shield of Faith! May I be ready for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial and deciet so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.

I put on the Helmet of Salvation! May I keep my mind focused on You so Satan will not have stronghold on my thoughts.

I take the Sword of the Spirit! May the two-edged sword of Your Word be ready in my hands so I can expose the tempting words of Satan.

By faith your warrior has put on the whole armor of God! I am prepared to live this day in spiritual victory! Amen.  

Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Novelist
http://www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1 
Soli Deo Gloria!
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