Tag Archives: the bible

Pray for Honest and Sensible Leaders

Pray for Honest and Sensible Leaders
This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Pray for America
Read the Book of Proverbs to gain Wisdom

Read the Book of Proverbs to gain Wisdom

Have you ever read through the book of Proverbs? It’s full of wisdom. And it’s interesting to see the same Proverb in the various translations and versions. Take Proverbs 28:2 – here are a few different versions…

The Message:

When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.

New International Version:

When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

The Living Bible:

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily; but with honest, sensible leaders there is stability.

The Amplified Bible:

When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue.

I pray that the members of Congress and the President sit and read through the Book of Proverbs and that they all get a dose of common sense and honesty.

 

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray for Leaders to Govern with Justice

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

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

What is a “moral foundation”?

KJV Bible

KJV Bible (Photo credit: knowhimonline)

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

Pray for America. Pray for Leaders to Govern with Justice

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Pray for Mature Godly Leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar

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Heaven Can Wait, Government Can Save Us

Heaven Can Wait, Government Can Save Us

God’s Story—Our Story: The Reign of Christ—Now and Forever

Sermon by Chuck Foreman, Teaching/Missions Pastor
First Christian Church—November 11, 2012

Scriptures: Revelation 1-5; 19-22; Romans 8; 1 Thessalonians 4-5;
I Peter 2:9-17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Heaven can wait, Government can save us…

SALVATION & POLITICS

We’ve bought into an idea about “salvation” that is more like fire insurance than Biblical teaching. “Just give me that ticket out of hell and into heaven, and we’re good.” That kind of thinking doesn’t cause us to do anything about the combustible material in our lives that will probably burn our house down.

We think we’re heaven bound, but that we’re still trapped in an ugly, fallen world, in which we have to scrape and claw to get what WE want. We think all we really need is a government that will make it all happen for us.
Unfortunately when we think like that, there’s nothing about us or our ideas that ever changes anything or makes a difference in this world.

Our idea of heaven is more like an Escape Route or a Safe House, not a place where Christ reigns and gives us hope for restoring God’s will & reign on earth. And we think that government ought to make things better, and we hope that it will, so we whine & moan when it doesn’t, instead of rolling up our own sleeves.

The symbol for King in Chinese

The symbol for “King” in Chinese

What if we’ve missed something? What if what God really wants to do is to accomplish something revolutionary in us, thru us, among us—here, now— as we establish His Kingdom here, while we wait for the return of our King?

Illustration: Chinese character—“King” 3 horizontal lines representing heaven, man and earth, connected by a vertical line representing the one vested w/ power between heaven and earth to rule uprightly over man.

God’s Story is Our Story: Let’s review what he’s been up to and where he’s taking us…

Creation (Genesis 1-2)

The Fall of Man (Genesis 3)

A New Nation—Israel—The People of God (Genesis 12:2-3)

Israel’s Failure—Matthew 23:37-38

The Messiah—Immanuel (“God with us”—Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

The New Israel—The Church—The New People of God (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:42-48)

The transformation of the politics of Paul, James and Peter…
Galatians 3:28-29 (Revolutionary for Paul!)
Acts 15:16-18 (James quotes Amos 9:11-12)
Ephesians 2:10; 3:6-11, 14, 21 (God’s mystery made known thru the Church as we do the good works we were re-created to do!)
I Timothy 2:1-4 (Pray for kings so we can live peaceful, quiet, godly, holy lives—this is ultimately what will influence people to be saved.)
I Peter 2:9-17 (The New Order)

John’s Revelation…
Revelation 1-5: Message to the 7 Churches of Asia Minor—God is going to restore all things to the way they were. You’re in on it—it matters how you live! So get your act together!

Revelation 6-18: The Cosmic Battle between God and Satan over the Church

Revelation 19: Victory! The Defeat of the Beast/Babylon/The Prostitute (Rome), The Wedding of the Lamb

Revelation 20: Satan’s Doom & the Judgment of Mankind

Revelation 21-22: The Final Act—The Reign of Christ Fully, Finally Realized

Revelation 21:1-5 God with us—Out with the old, in with the new!
(This is where we place our hope, not in the White House, not in the Stock Market!)
Revelation 21:9-10 The New Jerusalem, The Church coming down from heaven

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Let’s go meet our King!

Revelation 22:1-3a Eden Restored

Romans 8:18-25 The Redemption of Creation

Revelation 22:3b-5 We will reign with him forever!

Jesus is Coming—perhaps soon.

Listen to his final words: Revelation 22:7 Revelation 22:12

Jesus is coming someday. On that day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord. Are you ready? You’ll either do it willingly or not, but you will bow. Are you ready?

The question is not, Is Jesus King?. He’s King alright. The question is, Is he king of your life?

You can make him King of your life today. There’s a lot of joyful work to do in His Kingdom, as we eagerly, patiently prepare for his will to ultimately be done and his kingdom to finally come “on earth—as it is in heaven.”

Right On!

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Conduct Unbecoming a Christian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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
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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

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
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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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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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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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How to Read the Bible

How to Read the Bible
This entry is part 11 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike
What would Jesus do? The only way to know what Jesus would do in any given situation is to read the bible. But let’s face it, pick up and dust off a bible and you stare at it thinking, “Where do I start?”

“In the beginning, God created” Yes, that’s a good place to start, but the Old Testament is a bit daunting for the bible novice. Eventually, read Genesis and Exodus to learn about the old bible stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Jonah and the whale and Moses.

Don’t play “Bible Roulette” — opening the Bible and reading wherever you land. You should read it systematically.

The place to start is the New Testament. The Gospel of Matthew is the first book of the New Testament, but it, too can be a bit daunting. It was written for the Jews of the first century explaining how Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for, thus the genealogy of Jesus in the first chapter.
Mark is more a no-nonsense story of Jesus’ time on earth as an adult. Luke starts with the Christmas story then tells more or less the same stories as Mark. The Gospel of John, on the other hand, is different. 
The other Gospels focus on events and facts of Jesus’ life, John tells of Christ’s nature — the meaning of what Jesus said and did — how God spoke in the only way we could understand — by becoming one of us. It clearly explains the basics of the faith.

Then read 1 John. It describes the nature of God’s Love for us humans.

The Apostle Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament in the form of letters to the churches of the first century. Even though it was writing so long ago, he could have been talking about today and what we got through in our lives.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians talks about the joy of believing in Christ. In Romans, Paul describes the whole scope of Christian doctrine, convincing readers that Christ holds the answers to all of life’s important questions.

What version of the bible is best? The King James Version (with all the “thees” and ‘thous’) is hard to read, but if that’s all you have in the house, start there then get yourself a newer version like The New Living Translation or the Good News Bible. They are written in plain English.

Don’t have a bible at home? Here are 2 websites that offer bible studies and a variety of versions in different languages:

As you get deeper into studying the Bible — find a Bible-based church, join a bible study group and get into the habit of reading a bit every day, you’ll find a version that’s comfortable for you. Here are some more tips on reading the Bible. 
  • Read a chapter of Proverbs and one Psalm a day. Proverbs are the wise saying of Solomon and they show us how God wants us to live. Psalms are songs and prayers to God. Some praise Him, some ask for help — they all make you feel better after reading them. 
  • Take notes as you read the Bible and don’t be afraid to ask questions at church. That’s what the pastors are there for. 
  • Reread the passage a few times and ask 
  1. What does God want me to know from this passage?
  2. What is God trying to say to ME that will help me grow? 
  3. What does He want me to do?
Life is a wonderful journey and the Bible is God’s road map so we don’t get lost. 


God should be your GPS not your spare tire!

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

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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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.

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 3 – according to Luke

After the Resurrection – part 3 – according to Luke
This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series After the Resurrection

Read Luke 24:13-53

It’s hot news. It’s the talk of the town. Everybody’s buzzing about it. Wow! Jesus was dead and his body was gone!

So, this “stranger” comes up to you and your friend and asks you what all the excitement about? You wonder, “Where’s this person been? Under a rock? How can he not know what happened?”

The two were more concerned about the spectacular nature of the event than what it truly meant.

The “stranger” then starts giving them an Old Testament lesson.

They invited him to lunch and then they recognized that it was Jesus.

They ran back to Jerusalem and told the other disciples that it was true – Jesus was really alive. Then Jesus appeared before the whole group.

A ghost? Again, initially, they didn’t believe.

They touched Him and with “joy an amazement” they ate with Him and He reminded them that “The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead” and then He promised them that a “gift” will come from God.

Then, in front of them, He rose to Heaven.

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. ~1 Corinthians 15:14

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” ~Romans 10:9

It’s that simple.
So, what’s stopping you?
Do you think you are unworthy? That doesn’t matter. God loves you anyway and that’s why Jesus died for you – to wipe away ALL your sins – no matter how bad they are. Wiped clean. Purified. Redeemed.

Jesus said, “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

That’s where He is right now. In Heaven preparing your room in God’s wonderful house where there will be no more pain, we will have perfect bodies, we’ll live in constant joy – no more tears, problems or heartaches. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Jesus is coming back and it really seems like it will be soon. Don’t you want to have that one-way ticket to Heaven?

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. ~Acts 2:38

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God Bless,
Giselle
Soil Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com

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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
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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

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.

WWJD? The Revival on Facebook
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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