Tag Archives: evangelizing

Christmas when even the hardest hearts are softened

Christmas when even the hardest hearts are softened
This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Christmas
Nativity from Duccio’s Maestá, 13th century, a...

Nativity from Duccio’s Maestá, 13th century, a compromise shed-within-a-cave (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. ~Luke 2:7

There are some of us…who think to ourselves, “If I had only been there! How quick I would have been to help the Baby. I would have washed His linen. How happy I would have been to go with the shepherds to see the Lord Lying in the manger!” Yes, we would. We say that because we know how great Christ is, but if we had been there at that time, we would have done no better than the people of Bethlehem…Why don’t we do it now? We have Christ in our neighbor. ~Martin Luther

It’s interesting that Jesus begins life not just in a stable, but in the stable of an inn where there’s no room for His advent. Two thousand years later, there is still no room for Him in many hearts. But if we would make the same visit to see Jesus as the wise men, we may do so by visiting Him in our neighbor.

At Christmastime, many normally hard hearts are softened. It is a perfect time to express the love of Christ–just as Jesus would do it.

That’s really all He wants for His birthday.

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

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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

 

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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 

Using Social Media to Evangelize

Using Social Media to Evangelize
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Evangelism

Marketing for Jesus!

Jesus commanded us to do it!

“…Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”~Matthew 28: 19-20

Back then it wasn’t easy. The disciples had to do a lot of walking and letter writing.

Today, we have the Interent.

social media icons

Christians must embrace social media to further God’s Kingdom.

We have at our fingertips the most incredible medium for evangelizing, for spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, not just in our neighborhoods, but all over the world! The Televangelists had the right idea when they embraced the medium of television to help spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Now everyone that wants it has access to the Internet at home, at work, on their cell phones or iPads. The new phenomenon is Social Media and we as Christian need to embrace it and take advantage of it to further God’s Kingdom.

Right now, Satan has control of the world and is also using Social Media to tempt, attack, create doubt, and deceive. We need to fight back! And we can ride the coattails of the Social Media Revolution.

Watch this video:

Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh) from Erik Qualman on Vimeo.

Think of it as the parable of the sower…Matthew 13: 1-23

Understanding the last passage is crucial:

“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” ~Matthew 13:23

You never know when or if that seed will be planted and when or if later on, someone in their lives will help them come to Christ.

You must not discriminate.

I got into a discussion with @GodlessAtheist on Twitter not too long ago. He’ll post to the #TeamJesus hashtag just to get our goat. In our back and forth conversation, he was asking questions – and that’s what’s important. And I replied with scripture. Today he wrote something like “football is better than religion,” then I replied to him with a video from the 700 Club (CBN.org) featuring the players of the Super Bowl talking about how Christ is foremost in their lives.

We have the Armor of God and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) – which is the only offensive piece of the armor. We have Truth on our side and we must speak the Truth and spread the Truth, using the FREE tools called Social Media.

Social Media tools are free and easy to use and can be very power if you know how to use them properly.

“But I have no time!” 

I bet you said that when emails came out. What’s the first thing you do in the morning when you sit in front of your computer? Check email. And you probably do that a few times a day. Well, monitoring social media needs to be added to your schedule. Just 15-30 minutes a day and blogging once a week. There are some great tools to help you automate and schedule postings to save time.

I can show you how to easy it is to use Social Media to evangelize and it’s not just for pastors! Any Christian can do this!

Visit my Social Media Marketing Tips Blog

Have you got a Christian blog? Please post it in a comment and I’ll add it to a blogroll.

Check out these other great blogs:

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
Christian, Award-Winning Author, Inspirational Speaker
Social Media Coach
Follow Giselle on Twitter
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Are You Ready to Evangelize?

Are You Ready to Evangelize?
This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Evangelism

PreacherAs a young Christian (and I have to admit, my Christian growth journey has been very long), I didn’t understand evangelism. My impressions of evangelists were:

1. TV evangelists yelling at me from a pulpit in front of a congregation of thousands of people.

2. The folks knocking door to door asking, “Do you know if you’re going to heaven?”

I didn’t know that as a Christian, Jesus asked each and every one of His believers, who were now disciples also, to:

The Great Commission

Jesus instructing His Apostles to make Disciples of all the nations Matthew 28:19-20

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:19-20

Ok, so we know what we have to do. How?

Scenario:

You get on a plane for 2-3 flight. You sit down and introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. He sees the cross around your neck and immediately says, “I’m an atheist.”

Now, if you’re a pastor, you probably know how to handle this, but for the average Christian, our first thought would be to get on the defensive. Start defending God and Jesus and rattling about how we’ve been saved and the joy we have, etc.

Not the right strategy.

The Armor of GodRemember the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-30? We have:

  1. The belt of Truth
  2. The breastplate of Righteousness
  3. The shoes of the Gospel of Peace
  4. The shield of Faith
  5. The helmet of Salvation

and lastly, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Reading the Bible

Owning a Bible is no good if you don't read it!

Do you realize that the sword is the only offensive weapon? Everything else is defensive – to protect you. The sword is meant to thrust to attack.

The only way to arm yourself is to READ THE BIBLE. And not just cover to cover. But methodically.

If you want to be prepared to converse with an atheist whether it be on a plane or on Twitter, you must be armed with the undeniable Truth of God’s Word. Take some time each day to read it. The best time is in the morning when your mind is fresh. Hey, read it in the bathroom. God has no rules as where you have to be when you read it! If you need a guide, use one or more of the millions of devotionals out there. One of my favorites is Our Daily Bread. It’s online or you can probably pick it up at your church.

So how do you converse with the atheist on the plane when he proudly informes you that he doesn’t believe there is a God? Here’s your reply:

“Really, why’s that?”

Then shut up and listen to his story. (Remember, you’ve got a couple of hours.) Then and only then, you reply with, “Well, did you know that Jesus said,…’Truly I tell you….’”

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

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author

I you liked 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

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3 Parts of Being a Disciple of Christ

3 Parts of Being a Disciple of Christ
This entry is part 20 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Adapted from the sermon “2011 an FCC Odyssey” presented 1/8/12 by Chuck Foreman a First Christian Church of Phoenix

Jesus left us a lot of great teachings, but only 2 commands:

  1. Love one another (John 13:34-35)
  2. Make disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:19-20)

Our goals as Christians are to help people find Christ and teach them how to follow Him, obey Him and become real-life disciples to see real change in our lives, churches, communities and nation.

The Great Commission

Jesus instructing His Apostles to make Disciples of all the nations Matthew 28:19-20

A Disciples Life Experience happens in 3 areas:

HEAD – Committed to following Christ (lifestyle): Romans 12:1-2; Luke 9:23;

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. ~James 1:22

HEART – Committed to being changed by Christ (attitude): John 13:35; Philippians 2:5-8

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. ~Galatians 5:22-23

HANDS – Committed to the Mission of Christ (service/ministry): Matthew 4:19; John 15:8; Corinthians 5:19-20

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~Ephesians 2:10

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…~Ephesians 4:11-12

The Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit are the only things that bring real life change to anyone — or any church!

We must be sensitive to God’s leading and open to change when it seems right.

Learning to travel with God and His People is an adventurous journey — like an odyssey. Let’s live 2012 with WWJD? attitude as true Disciples of Christ

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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

Seek Out the Lost

Seek Out the Lost
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Evangelism

This is from Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life Daily Hope devotional. This is such a WWJD topic that I had to repost it here.

Seek Out the Lost

“Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.” (Romans 12:16 CEV)

In The Message paraphrase, 2 Corinthians 5:20b is rendered: “Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” That’s the message we’re to take to the world, yet often we limit our influence by seeking and maintaining friendships exclusively among other believers.

Jesus, on the other hand, sought out the lost, deliberately becoming friends with those who needed a friend in God.

The Bible says that when the Pharisees saw Jesus keeping company with the community’s great unwashed, “they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. ‘What kind of example is this from your teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?’ Jesus, overhearing, shot back, ‘Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: “I’m after mercy, not religion.” I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders’” (Matthew 9:10-13 MSG).

Jesus knew who he was, according to God’s design; Jesus knew whose he was, according to God’s truth; and Jesus knew his purpose for being here on Earth. All this allowed him to relax and ignore what others thought or said about him.

It meant Jesus wasn’t worried when others accused him of being a friend of sinners (Luke 19:7) because he was doing exactly what the Father sent him to do: persuade men and women to make peace with God (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Likewise, we’re to represent Jesus, speaking on his behalf to those still on the “outside.” Yet some of us are so isolated and disconnected from unbelievers that we rarely have any meaningful conversations with them. The tendency is that the longer we’re believers, the more insulated we become from unbelievers and perhaps the more uncomfortable we become with them.

The result: We no longer have friends who are non-believers.

Jesus’ actions suggest that our witness to a non-believer starts with friendship: We earn the right to share the Gospel through relationship. The old cliché is a cliché because it’s true: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Those who have yet to become friends with God are just like you and me, looking for deep, true, supportive friendships, sometimes especially during the Christmas season.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to find common ground with non-believers: “I do this to get the Gospel to them and also for the blessing I myself receive when I see them come to Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23 LB). Finding common ground is an act of friendship; it guides us to look for the positive instead of the negative in those outside the faith.

When Jesus met the woman at the well, he pointed to what they had in common rather than the things he could condemn (John 4). As a result, she not only became friends with God; she also brought her friends and family into the presence of Jesus.

What does this mean?

  • Do you know who you are? This is critical for you to become friends with non-believers. Otherwise, you may overly worry about what others believers think of you, or you may drift into sinful behaviors because you become concerned about what non-believers think about you. Jesus knew who he was and whose he was, and Jesus knew God’s purpose for his life. This allowed him to relax and ignore what others thought or said about him.
  • Love people, not their values. God loves people (John 3:16), but that doesn’t mean he loves the values of the world. The Apostle John warns us not to “love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father” (1 John 2:15 MSG).
  • Building friendships requires:
      • Courtesy: “Always talk pleasantly and with a flavor of wit but be sensitive to the kind of answer each one requires.” (Colossians 4:6 NJB)
      • Frequency: You have to spend time with non-believers in order to become friends with them.
      • Authenticity: “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.” (Romans 12:9a MSG)
  • Be friendly with everyone: “Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.” (Romans 12:16 CEV)

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and senior editor atPastors.com. He was vice president of communications at Purpose Driven Ministries.
Jon’s new book, In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work “Life Together’’, explains why every believer needs to be involved in a small group and why small groups put flesh on the Body of Christ.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author

Check 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

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The Holy Spirit – God’s Gift to Us – After the Resurrection – part 6

The Holy Spirit – God’s Gift to Us – After the Resurrection – part 6
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series After the Resurrection

The Holy Spirit – God’s gifts to His believers.

Read Acts 2

The phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” congers up pictures of folks rolling down the aisles of a church speaking gibberish. That’s not what it’s about.

The Holy Spirit is a gift from God when someone becomes a believer in Jesus Christ. You can only receive the Holy Spirit by receiving Jesus Christ into your heart and being baptized.

The Holy Spirit gives believers the power to overcome temptations from the devil. The Holy Spirit also brings us special “fruits”:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.~Galatians 5:22-25.

But you don’t automatically get the fruits. The devil doesn’t like that you’re a believer and he’s going to tempt you and mess up your life every chance he can get. That’s when you call on the Holy Spirit to help you. The Holy Spirit will deliver those fruits and all you need to do is ask.

What you need to remember is that the Holy Spirit is there, inside of you 24/7. It’s how Jesus lives in you when you become a believer.

How do you become a believer? It’s easy. To have eternal life with Jesus, just pray this prayer wholeheartedly and sincerely:

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

Being a Christian is a journey of faith with the goal to be closer to God and live like Christ and sometimes it is a struggle for some Christians to live like Christ. It also doesn’t guarantee that life will be trouble free. God sends trials to test our faith. So we must read the Bible to grow stronger in faith.

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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 Gift of the Holy Spirit – After the Resurrection – part 5 – The Book of Acts

The Gift of the Holy Spirit – After the Resurrection – part 5 – The Book of Acts
This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series After the Resurrection

The Book of Acts (aka The Acts of the Apostles) was written by Luke as an addendum to his Gospel. He continues the historical narrative of the transition from the life of Christ to the Church.

Read Acts 1

First Jesus tells the apostles not to leave Jerusalem, that God is going to send them a “gift”.

But the apostles think that the “gift” is God taking the Romans away and giving Israel their “kingdom” that was promised long ago. (Israel didn’t become it’s own nation until 1948 – God kept His promise.)

To that Jesus replied,  ”It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” (And people are still trying to figure out when He’s going to come back!)

Jesus continues, “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.”

Once they receive the Holy Spirit, they are to go into the world and spread the Good News of that Jesus conquered death and who ever believes in Him would also conquer death and live forever with Him in Heaven.

They were to tell everyone – even the gentiles.

Then Jesus was lifted up into the clouds and “two men dressed in white” stood beside the apostles as they stared into the sky.

Who were they? Angels? Moses and Elijah? It doesn’t matter. It’s what they said that matters, “…why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

God keeps His promises. Jesus will return soon, first he’ll summon His believers to join Him in Heaven (The Rapture), then comes the Great Tribulation and finally He’ll defeat the Antichrist (the devil) and He’ll come back to the New Earth to reign in peace. Only His believers have a room reserved there.

But even YOU can get your reservation in Heaven. It’s easy. To have eternal life with Jesus, just pray this prayer wholeheartedly and sincerely:

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

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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

After the Resurrection – part 4 – Gospel of John – Doubting Thomas

After the Resurrection – part 4 – Gospel of John – Doubting Thomas
This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series After the Resurrection

Read John 20:19-31

I’ll believe it when I see it. That’s something you say when you’re told something rather outrageous, unbelievable or from someone who’s not exactly trustworthy.

Like when you hear about an overweight friend who’s been notoriously lazy say they’re joining a gym and planning to lose 40 pounds before Christmas. You reply, “Yeah, right – I’ll believe it when I see it.”
When Christmas rolls around and the person lost the 40 lbs. and more, you’re reaction is different, “Wow! You look great! You did it!”

If you had not seen the person, you would not have believed that they lost the weight. Or would you have taken someone else’s word for it?

Or when a politician promises something. That’s easy.

Why do you think Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”? (John 20:29)

He knew that the disciples’ upcoming challenge was getting people who did not witness His death and resurrection to believe in Him and that it really happened. We still have that problem today.
How can you believe in something you can’t see?

We do it all the time. Take gravity for instance. We can’t see it, but we know what would happen if we didn’t have it. It’s a law – no doubt about it.

I could name some other things like time, air, etc. But that’s not the point.

The Rapture is coming.
Jesus will come back for His believers and then there will 7 years of tribulation. If you say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” sorry, Charlie, but it will be too late.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) That is the law of the New Testament. There’s no getting around it. And unfortunately, we also know what will happen if we didn’t have Jesus – we’d die and burn in Hell forever.

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. ~John 20:31

That’s what Faith is all about.

To have eternal life with Jesus, just pray this prayer wholeheartedly and sincerely:

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

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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

After the Resurrection – part 2 – according to Mark

After the Resurrection – part 2 – according to Mark
This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series After the Resurrection

Read Mark 16:1-20 

As in Matthew, the women are comforted with the words, “Don’t be alarmed.” But, Mark tells of the women seeing a “young man dressed in a white robe.” We assume the man is an angel of God because he says clearly that Jesus “has risen! He is not here.”

Then the angel tells them to go tell the disciples and Peter. Peter is singled out specifically because Peter denied that he knew Jesus 3 times.

The next section was written later and it highlights the disbelief as word spread among the disciples that Jesus was alive.

Think about it. If someone tells you that a person who you saw die was alive your first reaction would be – yeah, right, shake your head and walk away thinking they were insane.

First the women tell the men and they don’t believe. Then Jesus appears to two of the disciples who were walking in the country. The two believe, but when they tell the others, they get the same reaction – disbelief.

Then when all the eleven are together at a meal, Jesus appears to them and He scolds them for not believing.

Jesus gives them the same instructions – “go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Do not discriminate. Everybody is to know the good news of God’s love, of salvation and that Jesus is the only way to heaven.

Jesus tells them, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” That’s a promise.

Then they saw Jesus ascend into heaven. He sits at the right hand of God.

Jesus said, “I am going there [Heaven] to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:3-4)

To be sure that you have a reservation in heaven, click here. 
WWJD? The Revival on Facebook
Twitter: @wwjdrevival

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

After the Resurrection – part 1 – according to Matthew

After the Resurrection – part 1 – according to Matthew
This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series After the Resurrection

In this series, I’ll review the days right after Jesus’ Resurrection as told in each of the four Gospels and the Book of Acts (The Acts of the Apostles).

Read: Matthew 28:8-20

Remember the women were the last ones at the cross…
and the first ones at the tomb.

In Matthew, the women are running after discovering the empty tomb to tell the male members of Jesus’ followers and suddenly Jesus appears in front of them. He allows them to touch Him to prove to them that He is alive. They fall to their knees and worship Him. They are the first to see the Living Christ.

He first comforts them by saying, “Do not be afraid.” Then He tells them to tell the brothers to go to Galilee that He would see them there.

Now, the Jews knew of the prophecy that supposedly the Messiah was to be raised from the dead so to make sure that Jesus’ followers didn’t steal His body during the night and then claim that He rose, Roman guards were stationed outside the tomb.

But when Jesus really did rise from the dead, the chief Jewish priests didn’t want a riot to start or admit that Jesus was the Messiah, consequently, they bribed the guards to say that the disciples stole the body. Hence, the rumor that Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead spread through the area.

The faithful disciples went to Galilee as directed, but did they really believe the women? All they could do is trust them and do what they said. I can imagine even Peter accusing the women of making up the story. But what choice did they have? If they stayed in Jerusalem, they feared that they may prosecuted as well.

When they got to Galilee, they saw Him and still some doubted that He was really alive. Yet, they worshiped Him. At this point is when Jesus tells them to go to all nations to make disciples of them.

ALL NATIONS – Jews and Gentiles alike – everyone.

Teach them to obey everything that He has commanded. (Love one another, etc.) He tells them (us) what to do – to go to non-believers – convince them to believe, baptize them and then they become a disciple – a follower of Jesus.

Then Jesus assures them that He would be with them (us – yeah you, too) always, until the end of the the age.

It’s a promise. Believe in Jesus and He will be with you forever.

Click here to get to know God. 

WWJD? The Revival on Facebook
Twitter: @wwjdrevival

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

Spread the Word

Spread the Word
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Evangelism

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.~2 Timothy 4:2

You can’t preach the word unless you read the word. When’s the last time you picked up a bible and read more than just a devotional or the lesson from Sunday’s sermon?

Many people own only a King James Version and when they start to read it, they put it down because it’s hard to understand. If that’s the only version you have at home, go online to either www.biblegateway.com or www.crosswalk.com and choose either the NIV – New International Version or the NLT – New Living Translation. Both the sites offer commentaries that explain the verses.

Read a chapter at a time, read it more than once, stop and think of what God’s trying to say to you and how you can apply that passage to your life.

Jesus calls His followers to spread the Good News. That’s not always easy to do and we’re labeled “bible thumpers” and “Jesus Freaks”. I say, let them. Yep, that’s what I am.

The best way to evangelize (spread the Word) is to get to know the person, their story, understand where they’re coming from, become a friend and talk. Other ways are by actions, deeds of kindness, loving your neighbor, stopping to think WWJD? before speaking or acting foolishly or harshly.

You carry Jesus’ light in you. The Holy Spirit gives you love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…(Galatians 5:22-25) and you can call on the Spirit to back you up whenever you need it. You, Christians, are the Light of the World.

Dedicate 2011 to God and read His Word daily so you can help Spread the Good News.

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