Tag Archives: sin

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
Follow @GiselleAguiar on Twitter
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What it Means to Be “God Fearing”

What it Means to Be “God Fearing”

Watching the 700 Club last week someone asked Gordon Robertson, “…fearing God. Why does God want me to be afraid of Him? No one would willingly give their life to someone they fear. Why would God want one to fear Him when that defeats the purpose of coming to Him willingly? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Having grown up Catholic, “God Fearing” was not in my religious up-bringing. I heard it in movies and on TV, but never really understood what it meant. I heard it meant to respect God and His power.

But Gordon Robertson clarified it. He said that the Hebrew translation of the word fear is really “awe.” We call God, Awesome, Almighty, All-Powerful, Creator, Ever-Present and Eternal.

It’s towards the end of the show:

So respecting God and His Word is part of it.

We respect His Word by obeying it. 

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” ~James 4:6 NKJV

Excerpt from 365 Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?

The reader of the Scriptures should be a humble person, who shows reverence and fear [awe] toward the Word of God, who constantly says, “Teach me, teach me, teach me.” The Spirit resist the proud, even though they are zealous and preach Christ for a time without fault…Therefore it is humility that we need in the study of God’s Word. ~Martin Luther

Reflection: Some “scholars” have studied God’s Word and have decided that this or that event or Scripture is erroneous. Interestingly, quite often the parts of the Bible they want to eliminate are the ones that strike closest to home. If they can deem the passage not inspired, then they no longer are accountable to is truth. Those who, in humility, hear God speak through all of Scripture will profit–both now and in eternity–by their willingness to be held to its standard. If we ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” we need look no further than the Gospels to discover what our attitude should be regarding the Scriptures. Jesus often quoted the Old Testament as fact. He believed their accuracy.

So should we. (End of excerpt.)

Besides the scholars deciding that some Scripture is erroneous, we have readers of the Bible who pick and choose what to believe and what to obey. That, my friends, is not an option.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~2 Timothy 3:16-17

When President Obama quoted the Bible when he declared that he accepted Gay Marriage, he said that Jesus told us to “love one another.” But yet, he ignores all other scripture that says that sexual immorality is a sin.

Love the sinner, Hate the sin

Judgement DayEven if a sin is culturally acceptable like sex outside of marriage or with partners of the same gender, it doesn’t make it right in the eyes of God.

Just as we respect God, we must respect other people who are sinners just like we are. It’s all a matter of allowing Satan and our sinful nature to rule our lives or let Jesus and the Holy Spirit guide us. (Romans 8:8-11)

And check out what Jesus said to the Jews. He called them “Children of the Devil” (John 8:42-47) that’s who we are outside of Jesus Christ.

We are in a war with Satan in this world. That’s why we MUST ask “What Would Jesus Do?” on a regular basis and strive to be like Christ.

Had President Obama asked, “What Would Jesus Do?” before he made his statement, I believe he would have not done it.

Remember what Jesus said to the adulteress in the Gospel of John after all her accusers walked away — “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1-11)

Though we may not like or condone someone’s lifestyle choice, it’s not up to us to judge them. That’s up to God. We can only keep speaking the truth and God willing, if they truly fear God – revere Him, respect His Word  - they will respect God’s Word and “leave their life of sin.”

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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

Christians should be shocked by sin

Christians should be shocked by sin

Love the Sinner – Hate the Sin

I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin. ~Psalm 36:1-2

The greatest security against sin is to be shocked at its presence.~Thomas Carlyle

shocked

We are as a society, less and less shockable. We are the proverbial frog in a pan of heating water, unaware of our danger. What would Jesus do about the lack of concern over sin? Wouldn’t He want to restore sight to those who are blinded by the deceitfulness of sin? A healthy fear of God is a good way to restore our sens of right and wrong, sin and righteousness.

God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God. ~Psalm 55:19

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

Why do we condone what goes on in society? As Christians, we cannot keep the blinders on. We must speak out when we are bombarded by immoral and offensive advertising, TV shows, radio shows, movies and other forms of so-called “entertainment.”

We Christians can change the world.

365 Days of WWJD?

Further reading:

How should Christians talk about same-sex issues?

Keep the Peace Within You

ABC’s #GCB Should be Called ‘The 7 Deadly Sins’

What would Jesus do?

Walking the Walk
Follow 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): Christian Church History, The Roman Empire

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

 

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.

Read the rest of this entry

One Righteous Man

One Righteous Man
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The Story of God

Continuation from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

God prophesies the ultimate victory of mankind over Satan, the Serpent in Genesis 3:15:

“And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

Crushing the snake (satan)Paul refers to this same OT verse in his letter to the Church in Rome in Romans 16:20:

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Here’s what I want you to understand—from the moment of man’s first sin, God intervened to rescue mankind from the destruction our enemy has in mind for us. This rescue includes Nature too. Romans 8:19-24:

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Ultimately, Jesus Christ is the Hero of God’s Story—the Hero who came to save us all from the eternal consequences of our sin.

But all thru history, up to this very moment in time, God has been looking for ordinary people, devoted to Him, whom He can use in His rescue plan. II Chronicles 16:9a:

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

Act 1, Scene 3: The Different Man

Within just a few generations, mankind had plummeted into the depths of moral decay & corruption. The bottom had fallen out of South, things had gotten so bad. Genesis 6:5-7 is the first account in the scripture of God experiencing regret and grief. Divine Grief—Genesis 6:5-7

So the Lord God had decided He’d had all He could take. The demise of humanity was imminent. But then, right in the middle of this hopeless scene, when all seemed lost, God stops dead in his tracks. Someone had gotten His attention—one man, a different man. His name was Noah. Genesis 6:8

Noah's ArkWhat was it about this guy, Noah anyway? Well, here’s the account of Noah…
Tell: (slide) The Account of Noah—The Different Man, Genesis 6:9-22

So back to our original question: What was it about Noah?
Genesis 6:8 “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

  • Righteous (vs.9)
  • Blameless (vs.9)
  • Walked with God (vs.9)
  • Entered into a Covenant Relationship with God (vs.18)
  • Obeyed God (vs.22)

Could you be another Noah for your generation, for your family, for your work place, your neighborhood?

Seriously, could you be one who would catch God’s eye as He surveys the earth for someone different, someone who stands apart from the rest of the pack?

Which of these 5 characteristics of Noah could you do or be? How many out of 5? Let’s start at the bottom, in the Deep South, where things tend to go, and work our way up.

  1. Righteous? Here’s where we always rule ourselves out. Listen, R & B aren’t about being perfect, they’re about faith & the simple willingness to repent like David, & to earnestly seek God like Noah. (Rom. 3:21-22; Heb. 11:6-7)
  2. Blameless? (Psalm 51 David was able to pray this prayer because of who he was—he was willing to repent. — I Samuel 13:14)
  3. Walk with God? (Psalm 119:11; James 4:8a; Galatians 5:22-25)
  4. Covenant with God? (Luke 22:20) God has established a covenant of forgiveness in exchange for faith with every Xian. Do you really believe? Do you trust that Christ’s death paid for your sin—that God will forgive you?
  5. Obey? (I Samuel 15:22) Story of Saul… (In Noah’s day, no one obeyed!)

Here’s what I want you to get about Act 1 of God’s Story—The Creation & the Fall of Man: When everything was heading south, Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord! So can you! The eyes of God Almighty are searching for you, to see if your heart is fully devoted to Him—because He wants to strengthen you—to rescue you not destroy you! That’s what God’s Story is all about!

I’m gonna ask you the most important question you’ll ever be asked, right now:
When all is said and done, how will Your Story read?

You can start re-writing your story today…

  1. Have faith in God and let Him declare you righteous—like Noah.
  2. Turn from your sin and let Him call you blameless—just like Noah & David.
  3. Start walking with God each day, like Noah did.
  4. Remember the Covenant God made with you to forgive you and save you.
  5. Determine that regardless of what the rest of the pack of corrupted humanity is doing—You are going to Obey your God!

And I promise—You will find favor in the eyes of the Lord! Right On!

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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God’s Story: Act 1

God’s Story: Act 1
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series The Story of God

Excerpt from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

God’s Story begins at the beginning, which is always a good place to begin.

Act 1, Scene 1: Creation

Garden of EdenThis is when Genesis tells us God got it all going—the heavens, the earth, all living things-plants & animals, & then the crown of His creation, man & woman—the Image Bearers of God Himself. God described all he had made as—“Good.” Think about that—if God said it was good, it must have been really good! The final statement about creation at the end of Genesis 2 is that the man & woman got to play- in the Garden of Eden- every day—Naked! They had become one & the felt no shame! Everything was better than good, it was great!

Act 1, Scene 2: The Fall of Man

Enter—The Villain. Satan had disguised himself as one of the animals common in the garden, a snake. Let’s set the stage for Scene 2: There were two important fruit bearing trees in Eden—The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil were growing in the center of the Garden.

The fruit on The Tree of Life was fair game. Eat all you want! God said. But the fruit on The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil was off limits. Like any good Dad, God wanted to nourish the life of Adam & Eve, his children, but protect their innocence. He doesn’t want them to know everything he knows.

The consequence of losing your innocence is a downward spiral toward death. God knew it. That was not His intention for Adam & Eve. It’s not his intention for any of us either. God told Adam & Eve—“Don’t touch the fruit on that tree or you’ll die.” Thousands of years later God’s still saying the same thing to us.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.~Galatians 6:7-8

Satan, the Villain in God’s Story, the Enemy in Our Story, comes along and mocks God. He distorts God’s instruction to Adam & Eve and then outright lies to them. The Serpent’s Deception—Genesis 3:1-5

You know what happened in the rest of Scene 2. Adam & Eve believed the lie, rebelled against God and everything went South fast! A once perfect creation had been literally infected by a spiritual disease which corrupted and began the breakdown/decay of all of Nature. Scientists describe this breakdown in the 2nd Law of Thermal Dynamics or Entropy, for all you science nuts…the transfer of the heat/energy of an object to the oxygen around it. (Think of iron oxidizing or rusting—that’s why they tell us to take anti-oxidants—so we won’t rust!) The Bible calls the spiritual infectious disease, which introduced Entropy into creation & began the breaking down of Nature, SIN.

Next: Important Movement in Scene 2 of The Fall of Man…

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

Unintended Destinations – part 2

Unintended Destinations – part 2
This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Christmas

This is a continuation of Unintended Destinations an excerpt from Chuck Foreman, Teaching Pastor at First Christian Church of Phoenix

It’s Christmas Time, so I’m gonna throw in a little of the Christmas Story here. Remember the part about the Wise Guys? I mean the Wise Men? It’s in Matthew 2:1-12

Verses 1-2
The Star— We actually have software now which enables us to look at what was happening in the sky around the beginning of the 1st Century. What the Wise Men saw was Jupiter (King Planet) & Venus (Mother Planet) aligning. This would have looked like the largest star you’d ever seen! By God’s design, the Heavens were telling about the birth of a King.

When this alignment of the King & Mother planets occurred, it happened w/in the Constellation Leo (the Lion). The Lion, is the symbol of Judah, which told these eastern astronomers right where to find this new King.

Verses 3-8
On Dec. 25, 2 BC, Jupiter went into retrograde motion, which from a person’s vantage point on earth, who might just happen to be in Jerusalem, would appear that Jupiter had actually stopped in the evening sky right over a little Judean town called—Bethlehem. The Heavens were telling God’s Story, and Jupiter, the King Planet led the Magi all the way to Bethlehem. Pretty Cool.

Verses 7-12
But now these guys are stuck in Judea. They can’t go back home thru Jerusalem because Herod will figure out where Jesus is and go kill him. Matthew is very specific that, “…having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” They couldn’t get back home they way they’d come.

I know that’s not Matthew’s main point. He’s just telling us the story. But I’ve been thinking about that—These astronomers found themselves in a real pickle, a long way from home. And getting back required a change of direction.

If we’ve found ourselves distant from God, far away from Him, we’re never going to get back to Him on the same route that led us away from Him! We have to get back home another way!

If we’re honest, we know what sin it is that has us in its clutches. We keep going back to it and we know it’s become like a brick wall between us & God. We won’t let go of it and therefore, it won’t let go of us.

  • Sex with your girlfriend or boyfriend before marriage
  • Porn—It’s as addictive as any drug isn’t it? And it’s everywhere. You have to decide ahead of time what you’re going to do.
  • Anger or Critical Spirit—you do more tearing down than building up.
  • What’s the thing you won’t let go of?

  • What’s the thing that won’t let go of you?

Sometimes our sin isn’t that obvious. Some of you are sitting here right now thinking, “I don’t do any of those things.” But you still feel about as far away from God as you can get. It’s because for you, SIN has masked itself as—SELF. But you can’t see it because you haven’t stopped to take a long, hard look in the mirror since who knows when!

The thing that’s separating you from God isn’t any particular heinous sin that you can put your finger on. You’re not a bad person. You’re just a self-centered person—however subtle your self-centeredness may be.

If those who know you well were interviewed by Fox News, and asked these questions about you, what would they say?
Questions:

  1. What does (your name) do?
  2. What does (your name) love?
  3. What does (your name) stand for/believe in?
  4. What defines (your name) ?

How would those who know you well answer these questions about you?

What are you hanging onto that you need to let go of so God can change it into something that will help you serve Him?

What has a hold on you that you need to be released from so that you can be close to God again?

You see, our problem is either SIN of SELF. What’s keeping you away from God? What aren’t you letting go of? Are the habits & patterns in your life driving you to God or keeping him at arm’s length?

God wants you home for Xmas. He wants you back home with Him. But like the wise men—you’re not going to get back home the way you came. You’re gonna have to get home to God another way. Living life the way you have been & doing the same things you’ve been doing isn’t going to get you back to God. You’re gonna have to make a change in the way you live & in the way you think.

Seek, Reach Out, Find Him— Acts 17: 26-27

Everything God has done in your life has been so that you would find Him. The good and the bad happen to drive you to Him! He’s not far away from any of us. If you seek Him, you’ll find Him. If you reach out to Him, He’ll reach out to you…and lead you home!

Let Him take you home, back home, where He is, where you belong— this Christmas.

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

Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar
http://twitter.com/wwjdrevival

Unintended Destinations

Unintended Destinations
This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Christmas

This is an excerpt of a sermon given by Chuck Foreman, Teaching Pastor at First Christian Church of Phoenix on Nov., 27, 2011

Unintended Destinations

We just go along holding God at arm’s length and before you know it, we’re so far away from Him it seems impossible to ever get back. We try not to think about it. We stay busy and put it out of our mind. But in those occasional moments-something happens to trigger that gnawing feeling inside us. We know we’ve drifted about as far away from God as we can get—so far we don’t even know how to get home—to Him.

There’s only one thing that separates us—creates this painful distance between us and God, distance we can feel: SIN

I know, you’ve heard all that before, haven’t you? You see, that’s the problem with going to church all the time—it all becomes too familiar. After a while, we turn it all off. We stop listening. We just set our cruise control and go on down the road—but it’s almost always in the wrong direction. Our sin problem just gets bigger and bigger until it takes up the full screen of our lives—just like that.

Come on Foreman! It’s Chrismas time! We don’t want to hear about SIN!… Maybe you haven’t read the Story in a while. Don’t you remember what the angel told Joseph to name Mary’s baby? (Mt. 1:21) Jesus—Yeshua:“The Lord Saves”—because He will save His people from their—SINS.
People, that’s what Christmas is all about—God’s plan, God’s way of saving you from the sin that ruins your life!

One thing the Lord has made very clear to me is that I’m not supposed to make it easy for you to come to church here at FCC. WWJD? People would say to him, “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go!” What was his response?

  • Foxes… Luke 9: 57-58
  • Bury my father… Luke 9: 59-60
  • Hand to the plow… Luke 9: 61-62
  • Deny yourself & take up your cross… Matthew 10:38

Sometimes SIN is blatant. We know exactly what the sin in our lives is. We just don’t care. It hasn’t quite caught up to us and we’re still enjoying it. Or it has such a hold on us we can’t get rid of it. But sometimes SIN isn’t so obvious. Sometimes SIN disguises itself as… SELF It’s barely visible. We’re hardly aware of it, if at all.

Our own self-centeredness is the most powerful, yet most subtle separator of us from God.

We’re all in the same boat as humans as far as our sin problem. Look at these:

  • Romans 3:10-18       Is that you?
  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 2:5-11
  • Ephesians 2:1-3     Can you speak about yourself like this, using the past tense, or are you still there?

If Jesus was here, right now, would he say to us what he said to His 1st century religious contemporaries?   Mark 7:6

So if God knows all this about us, that we become dirt bags pretty fast w/o Him, what’s his attitude toward us, his intention for us?

  • I Thessalonians 5:9
  • Parable of the Lost Sheep Luke 15:1-7

Here’s what I think that means: If you’ve stayed from God, He knows it. He knows you’re missing. And he’s after you! He’s searching for you—and He won’t stop until He gets you home!

More later….

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

Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar
http://twitter.com/wwjdrevival

How Satan Speaks

How Satan Speaks
This entry is part 19 of 23 in the series WWJD?

Satan and his helpers are all around us. He speaks to us in the form of temptations — dangling pretty things in front of us and trying to get us to lie, cheat, steal even kill to get them.

If you put your trust in the Lord and trust that He’ll guide you where He wants you to go, then when an idea comes to mind or your instinct is telling you it’s the right thing to do, stop one more time to ask, “Lord, is this really what you want me to do?” Or “What would Jesus do?

If you still have that urge, then it’s the right thing.

Be aware, that Satan is always trying to steer you in the wrong direction. Whether it’s through an offer that seems too good to be true or the carrot stick of power and money, you’ve got to make sure that it’s not Satan. The risk then may be too great.

Discernment: How do you discern if the message is coming from God or from Satan? It’s not as simple as the angel and the devil on either of your shoulders whispering in your ears. We know to follow the angel’s advice, but end up following the devil’s temptation because it’s too good to pass up.

Satan wouldn’t make fun of you. He’d want to be your buddy so you’d hang around with him. Bad idea.

Follow Christ. Satan’s days are numbered. Christ will come back and rule forever.

Jesus: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” ~Revelation 21:8

Additional Reading:
The devil made me do it. 
Are You Part of the Chosen? 

Like what you read? Then you’ll love my award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out: www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1


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

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.   


Resurrection Sunday – Jesus Lives! A walk through Holy Week part 11

Resurrection Sunday – Jesus Lives! A walk through Holy Week part 11
This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series A Walk Through Holy Week

The is the greatest day! What happened on that Sunday morning is cornerstone of Christian belief. If it weren’t for Christ’s Resurrection, nothing He said would have meant anything. He would have been just like any other human being, any other prophet, any other teacher.

He was dead – crucified then put in tomb. Since the Sabbath was approaching, His followers didn’t have enough time to properly prepare the body (anointing) for burial. So early on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene took herbs to the tomb.

All four Gospels tell the story though they differ slightly. My favorite is John’s version.

In Matthew, Mary and two other ladies wonder how they’re going to move the large stone that covered the opening to the tomb, but to their surprise, it was open!

At first, they thought someone took Jesus’ body. Mary runs to tell Peter and the disciples and they come running to see that the tomb is indeed empty. Just the strips of burial cloth lay where they put the body 2 nights before.

Matthew also tells of an earthquake that moved the stone and that scared the Roman guards. The guards swore that no one came to take the body.

Mary was crying when a man asks her why. Thinking it’s the gardener, she asks him where has he taken her Lord.

Then Jesus says her name and she recognizes Him. He tells her to go to the brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’
Note something – the women were the last at the cross and the first at the tomb. And in those days, women were never witnesses at a trial. Women were thought inferior, yet it was to a woman that Jesus spoke to first and instructed to spread the word that He was alive.

I like the questions asked – different in each Gospel, but they are still meaningful to us today.

Who is it that you are looking for? (John 20:15)

Why do you look for the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5)

The answer is that Jesus has risen from the dead! He conquered death so that we could live – so that we could have eternity.

No other person did that for you.

Easter is not about cute bunnies and colorful eggs, it’s about Jesus being raised from the dead and what that means for us – for YOU!

My next series will cover the days after the Resurrection. Subscribe so you don’t miss out.

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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

The Stations of the Cross – A walk through Holy Week part 10

The Stations of the Cross – A walk through Holy Week part 10
This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series A Walk Through Holy Week

The Via Dolorosa (the painful way) or La Via Cruces (the Way of the Cross). Growing up Catholic, one of the yearly rituals was going to church and visiting each “Station of the Cross” – plaques depicting Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion.

Via Dolorosa, the stations of the CrossThe traditional Stations are:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus is given his cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time
  4. Jesus meets His Mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls the second time
  8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.

Via Dolorosa, the stations of the Cross, Jesus carrying the crossAgain, all four Gospels recount the story:

The highlights are known as the “Seven Last Words of Christ”:

  1. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). This is the ultimate forgiveness. Jesus is forgiving the people who betrayed Him, who called Him a liar, who mocked Him, who were killing Him.Jesus' Crucifiction
  2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43). Here He is telling the two thieves who were being crucified with Him that their sins are forgiven and that they would be with Him in Heaven.
  3. Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27). He tells the disciple He trusted the most to take care of His mother, Mary.
  4. Eli Eli lama sabachthani? (“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34) Jesus was human, in pain and here in a moment of extreme suffering, He pleads to His Father.
  5. I thirst (John 19:28). This again shows that He is human.
  6. It is finished (John 19:30). The prophecy is fulfilled, His job is done. Legalism is finished.
  7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46). According to Luke, Jesus said this rather than “It is finished.”

Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in the tombIf Jesus can forgive those who turned against Him, then you, too, can forgive anyone that hurt or betrayed you.

If Jesus can guarantee that two thieves would be in Heaven with Him, then you, too, can have the same guarantee no matter how bad your sins are.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ~ John 3:16-17

It’s true. It happened. All you have to do is believe and you have a ticket to Heaven.

Click here to get to know God.

An hour of quiet meditation, scripture, and prayer will focus our hearts on the cross, its meaning, and the price that was paid by Jesus.

Last of this series: The Greatest Day – Resurrection Sunday!

And the story doesn’t stop there. My next series will be After the Resurrection – a walk through the days after Jesus’ Resurrection to Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Subscribe so you don’t miss one.

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

Our world today – the seven deadly sins

Our world today – the seven deadly sins
This entry is part 10 of 23 in the series WWJD?

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

Doesn’t this passage describe our world today? Kind of describes the seven deadly sins: greed, pride, gluttony, lust, sloth, wrath, and envy – the things responsible for the status of our current situation. Let’s break each one down:
Greed: wanting the best, fastest, newest, hottest; wanting more money. We bought houses we couldn’t possible afford and the banks let us. 
Pride: boasting that you have the best, fastest, newest, hottest, most luxurious.
Gluttony: wanting more food than our bodies need. Over 1/4 of Americans are overweight or obese. 
Lust: sex is everywhere you look. When advertisers discovered that “sex sells”, we were bombarded.  There’s no such thing as love at first sight – it’s lust at first sight.
Sloth: we are a sloppy bunch. Single people tend to be guilty of this. Who cares if the house is dirty? No one else is going to see it. 
Wrath: anger – uncontrollable desires for malice or revenge. “Going postal” doesn’t mean you’re mailing a letter – you take a gun, go into the office of the employer who just fired you and start shooting at random. 
Envy: better than the Joneses. Envy goes together with greed and pride. Someone boast that they have a new car and you need to go out to buy a better one. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side. 
That first passage was written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy a young pastor in a church in Ephesus in the first century A.D. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Paul ends this passage by saying, “Have nothing to do with them.” Easier said than done, right? 
So how does one avoid that. Look at the seven heaven virtues: charity, humility, temperance,  chastity (purity), diligence, patience, kindness. 
Those are very similar to the fruits of the Spirit: 

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 5:16-25

When you accept Christ as your savior and are baptized, you receive the Holy Spirit in your heart and you have access to these fruits. You don’t automatically get them, but when you need them, all you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit for help. 
Notice that self-control is the last, but I think the most important one. The devil’s temptation is everywhere and the only way we can fight it, is to call on the Holy Spirit.  

When you’re about to lose your self-control, that’s when you need to ask your What Would Jesus Do?
WWJD bracelet green glow in the dark WWJD wristband
God Bless,
Giselle
Soli Deo Gloria