Resisting Temptation

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

Courageous, the movie

How's Your Integrity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Do not Fear Death!

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” ~1 Corinthians 15:55

Take care of your life; and the Lord will take care of your death ~George Whitefield

Jesus Resurrection

Jesus conquered death so we wouldn’t have to fear it.

Jesus didn’t spend much time worry about His death. Even as the Gospel story progresses and Jesus knows that His hour is approaching, He continues His mission in life. For each of us, God has a day set aside for us to face death. Why then should we worry? Until that day, let’s just spend our time doing what He did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Wisdom is a gift from God

I’ve made my share of unwise decisions and I know many people including close family members who have made them also. All of these mistakes are opportunities to learn, but the key is to ask God for wisdom BEFORE you make the decision to HELP you make the right decision.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. ~Proverbs 3:13-14

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0446557854 Joyce Meyer writes in her book “Hearing from God each Morning

Wisdom discerns truth in a situation, while common sense provides good judgement regarding what to do with the truth. I consider wisdom supernatural because it isn’t taught by men; it is a gift from God.

King Solomon is known for his wisdom. Why? Because he asked for it. God told Solomon:

Ask for whatever you want me to give you. ~1 Kings 3:5

Wow! That’s like finding the magic lamp with the genie inside! What would you have asked for?

Solomon could have asked for wealth or for long life, but no. He asked for wisdom – to be able to discern, that is, tell right from wrong. (1 Kings 3:6-14)

Because of that, God gave him the riches and long life anyway.

Folks going through recovery from addiction memorize the Serenity Prayer and are told to recite it often. But that prayer is not just for addicts. It’s for everyone:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Each morning we should ask God to provide wisdom (notice it’s not one of the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23) for each and every decision we need to make that day.

We must stop and ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do in this situation?”

Be wise and we will live long and prosper.

Read the book of Proverbs – it’s what God wants us to do and how He wants us to live.
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Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author

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

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

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

God’s Story: Act 1

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
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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

When Everything is Heading South…

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

Usually when things begin to go south in our lives, it’s not because we’ve had nothing to do with it. But we often look for someone else to blame. Those “downward spiral” times when everything in our lives just starts to hit the fan are precisely the times when we need to stop and take a long, hard look in the mirror. We need to get on our knees alone with God and honestly ask Him, “How am I doing, Lord?” What do you want to teach me right now? Not so-and-so, not my mate, not the government, not my bank—but ME!?

Christ's ArmsA couple of ‘spiritual tune up’ suggestions:

Memorize James 4:8 and take it like big boys and girls as if God were getting right up in our faces. It goes like this:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:8

We also need to understand and really believe that God is looking lovingly, deep into our hearts for something. He’s not looking for perfection; He’s just looking for openness to Him, a willingness to repent and change, and a desire to be used by Him.

Have you ever wondered what God does in his spare time?

Here’s what he’s up to:

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.~ II Chronicles 16:9a

God’s looking for a reason to rescue us, help us out of our downward spiral! He’s looking for some sign from us that we really want Him!

We’re going to see as we journey thru The Story of God this year together that rescuing His lost & fallen creation is THE PLOT in God’s Story—in Our Story.

Next: In the Beginning…

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr 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

Additional Reading: The Devil Made Me Do It

4 Misperceptions of the Christian Life

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 we read:

Cracked clay jarBut we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Sometimes as Christians, we get complacent with what we know and what we think we can do. Here are 4 misperceptions of the Christian life:

1: Misperception: I can rely on my own power to live the Christian Life

Reality: Jesus’ glory is revealed in my weakness and as I’m transformed.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Just like jars of clay, we are vulnerable, breakable, but we hold invaluable messages. Any power that we have is from God not from ourselves.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.~2 Timothy 1:7

You can trust God – You’ve seen Him work in your life so you believe and speak accordingly. The same God who raised Jesus will raise you up, too!

We are wasting away outwardly, but inwardly, we are being renewed (transformed) day by day.

2. Misperception: Once I’m saved, I can do what I want and play it safe

Reality: I need to die to myself and be a witness for Christ

We carry the death of Jesus in us so His life may be revealed in me, as I dei to myself.

Paul faced a lot of hazards on a very regular basis: threatened, hardships, beaten, people trying to ruin his ministry, etc. But he had given up his life for the sake of Christ. the death and life of Jesus are present with us all the time. Death through baptism, and life by the Spirit living in us.

Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 16:24

We die to ourselves and He lives in us. We have new life – Born Again!

3. Misperception: The better Christian I am, the easier life is and the more God is please with me.

Reality: God’s power sustains me through hardship and distress and as I endure, I become more like Jesus.

We will all face trouble to some degree. Hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down.  Our light and momentary troubles strengthen us.

Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; James 1:12

The futre glory is being achieved now through our troubles. We fix our eyes on what is unseen (eternal) and not on what is seen (temporary).

4. Misperception: life is about this world and the here and now. What can I get in this life? It’s all about me.

Reality: It’s about God’s Kingdom coming to the earth through us!

  • It’s about Jesus’ glory revealed in my weakness as I’m transformed to be more like Him.
  • It’s about our need to die to self and to be witnesses for Christ
  • It’s about God’s power sustaining us through hardship and distress and as we endure, we become more like Jesus.

Adapted from “Misconceptions Message” delivered by Pastor Jon Taylor, 2/14/10, First Christian Church of Phoenix

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Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
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Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author & Inspirational Speaker
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Standing in Faith for Our Healing

By guest blogger, Ronnie Dauber

Our communities are often plagued with some kind of sickness and when we get it, the first thing many of us do is go to the doctor. We put our confidence in the medical world and we tend to follow its direction and accept its diagnosis because this is the norm for this world.

Jesus heals the crippled man

Jesus heals the crippled man

However, as Christians we need to get out of this mind set and begin to focus on one issue and that is, What would Jesus do? And to take it a step further, “What DID Jesus do?”

Did Jesus hand out business cards soliciting reputable doctors? Did He send them to the nearest clinic to get examined? Did He tell them they needed medical insurance first before He would heal them?

No, Jesus had only ONE prerequisite to getting healed and that was to have faith.

We need to have faith in Jesus because the Bible says in Exodus 15:26 that He is the one who heals us.

Isaiah 53:4-5 says,

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows….. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

God is telling us to NOT go to the world for our physical healing but rather, to have faith in Him because He has already healed us – we just need the faith to believe it. And unfortunately, many of us miss this because we have one foot in the Christian doorway and the other still in the world. We need to seek His Word non-stop to get the truth into our hearts and know that He HAS healed us. We need to focus on Jesus and build our faith so we CAN believe.

Jesus heals the bleeding woman who just touched his robe

So much faith she had that she was healed just by touching His robe.

Romans 8:11 says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us and will quicken our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in us. This is the scripture that I held onto as I took my stand in faith last year to fight AND win my battle against cancer. I read the doctor’s report with the death sentence on my life, but I also knew that my body was the temple of the Holy Spirit. So I chose to follow God and trust Him for my healing rather than be at the mercy of chemotherapy. The Lord led me to a naturopathic doctor who helped me line my body up with the healing that Jesus had already given me.

Faith is not an easy stand to take because the world fights us and says it’s foolishness, yet it brings us into a divine relationship with God. And in the end, there is no greater reward than knowing that we trusted God for our healing and now His Holy Spirit, through us, can continue His mission on earth.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Cor. 3:16


Ronnie Dauber is a Christian who knows what it’s like to stand in faith and believe God for healing against all the odds. She is the published author of a y/a adventure series and has an inspirational blog called, “Smile, God Loves You”, where she posts frequent messages of encouragement on faith. It’s her commission in life to help other Christians grow in faith so they can have a divine relationship with the Lord and live victorious lives here on earth.

Official website of Ronnie Dauber: http://ronniedauber.ca

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