I Don’t Celebrate Halloween Because

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Photo by Wild0ne on Pixabay. Edit by me.

Good evening everyone!

Tonight I have a topic on my heart that I want to get off my chest.

Everything that I have to say in this post is in love and I’m going to compare it against the truth of the Word of God.

Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:14).

I don’t understand why there are people who call themselves Christian that celebrate Halloween. Aren’t we the light of the world? Isn’t it common sense to say that if someone even sees lot’s of  Holloween decorations in stores that those decorations represent an example of evil, demons, and death? Why is Halloween taken so lightly, even in the church? There is a Devil and demons exist, and Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem people from the forces of evil. Why can’t Christians take God more seriously? Can’t Christians see that there is no peace in celebrating Halloween? I’m not shunning nonbelievers, but I’m saying, come on Christians, open your eyes!

Maybe some people might think that I’m super religious, or that I don’t have a heart. That’s not the case. I love my neighbors very much and I’m just a simple girl who has a relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I take God seriously and I’m not going to play around with evil, even if Halloween looks like a harmless day for others.

I just want to take a moment to briefly talk about the origins of Halloween. Then I’m going to talk about what the Bible says.

Halloween goes back 2,000 years to the Celtic tradition in Ireland, The United Kingdom, and Northern France when the Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain. Then Pope Gregory III made up All Saints Day on November 1. Both days eventually came together to combine Halloween. The Celts celebrated Sahmein on November 1 which marked their new year. This time marked the end of their summer and the beginning of their winter harvest. They believed that this time was associated with death and that the spirits crossed a blurred boundary between the living and the dead. On October 31 the Celts celebrated Samhain because they believed the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth. The druids, or Celtic priests, believed that the evil spirits caused trouble and damaged crops. They used crops to predict the future and they sacrificed crops and animals to the Celtic deities.

Jack-O-lanterns come from a fable that says there was a man called Jack who tricked the devil but that backfired on him because he was later turned away from the gates of heaven and hell. Jack used a lantern to guide his soul. As a result, the Celts believed that a Jack-O-Lantern would guide lots spirits back home as they wandered the streets. Jack-O-Lanterns were originally made from turnips, and the sinister carved faces were meant to scare evil spirits away.

The commonly known witches with a pointy hat and warted nose actually come from a pagan goddess called “the crone”. It was honored as a representation of Samhain. The crone is also known as “the old one” and the “Earth Mother”. It morphs into a menacing cackling witch, which is supposed to symbolize wisdom, change, and the changing seasons.

I also want to mention that Halloween is a night when crime rates rise and more drunk drivers are on the road (Leonard, 2015).

The examples I mentioned above are commonly seen in Halloween decorations. The historical examples of sacrificing to pagan gods, the use of jack-o-lanterns, and the existence of witches are just a few of those “decorations” that inspire a fire within me to talk about what the Bible warns us about.

Take a look at some of these scriptures:

My heart’s desire is to see more Christians walking in the light as the bible calls us to do. That is God’s heart for his children. The Bible says,

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

Ephesians 5:6-14

Here is further scripture about walking in light:

I heartfeltly warn Christians about practicing Halloween.

The Bible clearly speaks in Hebrews 10:26-31 saying,

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Let’s not take the blood of Jesus for granted.

Colossians 2:13 is my favorite verse:

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

I don’t celebrate Halloween because I want to be faithful to the Lord. I wouldn’t for a moment take a day to be unfaithful to my future hubby. I wouldn’t much less take one day out of my relationship with Jesus Christ to spend it with the Devil. Celebrating Halloween would invite evil spirits into my life, it would give way to evil strongholds in my life (2 Corinthians 10:3-6), it would become a negative influence for those around me, and it would harm my spiritual state.

I love my friends and family but I will not participate in Halloween, nor will I go outside that night. Jesus loves you. I love you.

I want to make a correction to this blog post, December 29, 2017, 1:24 p.m. I think I owe my readers the truth when I confess that I went out to youth service that night. A friend from the youth group wanted to visit another friend of ours who went on a two-week hiatus. I care about the both of them and wanted to make sure that she was well. So, we visited her home, and she was well. After we left our friend’s house, we stopped at the store because my ride wanted to buy some nail polish. By that time, youth service was only about an hour away, and I decided to go with her. After youth service, we went to the worship leader’s house, then I came home safe and sound. In no way did I celebrate Halloween. Due to the time, I felt convicted to go to service because I love to hear the Word. I wasn’t happy with everything that I saw in the church that night, but it was another experience that I learned in my personal relationship with Jesus. So, that’s what I really did on the 31st.

References:

 

My Questions about Baptism

 

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Photo by Ashstubbs on Pixabay.

Hi everyone, how are you all doing? I haven’t forgotten about this blog. I’ve just been busy getting back into the groove of college. I graduated with my Associate’s degree in May 2017 and now I’m working towards my Bachelor’s degree. I just finished my first class this semester, and throughout that time I came across a burning question. I wanted to know what baptism means! I know that baptism is submerging a believer in water, but I wanted to know what it really means. I was baptized when I was seven years old, but I feel that I didn’t really understand the significance of baptism in my walk with Christ. I was introduced to a few points about baptism in church as I grew up, but I just didn’t understand what it really means. So I dove into a bible study of my own.

First of all, I just want to say that I’m not a scholar or a theologian. I’m just a repentant sinner that has a personal relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I also want to quote “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel — not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17).

Now I can get into my bible study! I started by searching the index and the dictionary and concordance of my study bible. I wanted to answer a few basic questions like who, what, when, where and why. I know those questions are a little elementary but they really did help me answer questions that I had about this topic.

So, what does the bible have to say about baptism?

  1. What is baptism?

Baptism is the action of immersing a believer of Jesus Christ in a body of water, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It also includes praying for that believer(s) by laying hands on them so that they will receive the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 8:12, 14- 17, 26-39; Acts 19:1-6).

2. What does baptism symbolize?

Romans 6:1-4 explains it this way:

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

You can also read Colossians 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 for further reference on the symbolism of baptism. So I came to the understanding that baptism symbolizes that we were buried with him through baptism and raised with Christ so that we may live a new life by faith! Now, we are now part of the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit gives us gifts so that we can serve God and each other.

3. Who gets baptized?

Everyone can get baptized! Men, women, and children. Some believers can even choose to be baptized for the dead. Acts 16:13-15, Acts 16:32-34 and 1 Corinthians 15:29.

4. Why do we get baptized?

Well, it’s part of the directions that Jesus gave to his disciples when he gave them the Great Commission.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 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 28:18-19

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16

5. When do we get baptized?

I read up on a few examples in the book of Acts. Any believer can get baptized anytime after they receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Acts 8:12-17, 26-40, 19:1-6). One of my favorite examples example of this is of the Ethiopian eunuch.

6. Do we need to be baptized to be saved?

I take this question as a two-part answer. It’s important to remember that we are saved by grace and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

Romans 10:8-10 says But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

After we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, as it says here in the Word of God, then we can follow God’s commandment to be baptized as it says in Mark 16:15-18

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16

Yes, believe and be baptized. You don’t have to get baptized right after you believe. You can if you want to. If you can’t get baptized right away take comfort in knowing that you’re saved because you believe. Keep the faith, and if years go by and you still haven’t been baptized, but you believe in Jesus Christ as it says in Romans 10:8-10, then you’re saved! I suggest getting baptized after you learn about what it means. Baptism is a step of faith in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a commandment, so it’s good to obey God’s word since the Bible says that obeying God’s word is love for him (1 John 5:3).  If you can, get baptized now, or do it later. The point is, is that you believe!

Did you know that Jesus was baptized?

7. Why was Jesus baptized?

I’ll tell you in a minute. My heart kind of skipped a beat when I read about Jesus’s baptism. You’ll see why when you read his response to John in Matthew 3:15.

The Bible says that Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

These few lines filled my heart with love and wonder. I could see the relationship between Savior and man as Jesus humbled himself to take the place of all sinners. John was even humble in saying that he needed to be baptized by Jesus! But Jesus was sweet in his reply when he basically said, “No, I need to do this.”

Matthew 3:15 makes me think about how Jesus’s baptism was one of the first acts that he did to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17). I think that remembering about Jesus’s baptism is a great example for us as born-again believers to think about as we think about getting baptized because his baptism was such a great example of his love for mankind. Of course, the greatest act of love that Jesus ever did was dying on the cross and rising again.

Now I believe that I quenched my questions. I’m confident that I know what baptism is: It’s submerging a believer in a body of water, and laying on the hands to pray so that they will recieve the Holy Spirit; I know what it symbolizes: that we have been buried with Christ, and risen with him to live a new life; when to get baptized, who gets baptized, etc. I hope that you readers found help in my blog post. Please feel free to make copies, take notes or comment if you have any ideas about this post.

I hope you readers found this post a little helpful. Please feel free to make to comment if you have any ideas about this post. Subscribe, share, like. Make copies, share with your friends and family.

Thanks for reading! God bless.

 

Dance With Me

Last night I had a beautiful dream that I’m really excited to share with you! It’s short and sweet but very lovely.

I dreamt that I was in my kitchen, and I was facing the wall where the clock hangs. I don’t really remember what I was doing in the kitchen, but I know that I was remembering the Word of God in my heart.

In front of me was a white card floating in the air with my name on in lowercase letters: rose of sharon (which means, the church or bride of Christ).

Then behind the card was a large, white cloud that formed into a man. It was Jesus Christ.

He stretched out his hand to me, and said, “It is I. The God that you serve.”

I took his hand and we shared a secret! Then we danced in the kitchen, I gave him a hug, and the dream ended.

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Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash.

The life of a Christian is a life filled with love for servitude

I’ve taken some time off from this blog to spend time with the Lord. I didn’t want to write anything for some time because it’s his blog and I want what I write to be special to you.

In that time I’ve learned a lot of about the gospel, and how lovely it is to remember God’s grace each and every day. The core of this post is about love, and what it means to live in God’s love.

You can take your time reading this post, to learn the scriptures given. I find it good to meditate on the Word and let the Holy Spirit help me grow in the Word as I learn these scriptures by heart.

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Photo by Jussara Romão on Unslpash.

Our love comes from the source, God the Father! We as Christians have the good news of the gospel to live by and share with others. John 3:16.

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.

I chewed on this for a while and realized that God meets us half way. He loves us. So he gave us his Son. If we believe that, we will not perish, but have eternal life. It’s that easy! Just believe.

Another scripture is 1 John 4:9-10.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Remember, we are saved by grace, not by works. That is by faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I also learned and began to store this in my heart: Christ’s righteousness is my righteousness. (Romans 3:21-24, Philippians 3:8-9)

It doesn’t matter what I do, or how much I do to win God’s love because I can’t. The only way I have wholeness and satisfaction in my heart is by believing that what Jesus did on the cross and rising the third day, is enough for me in God’s eyes. I’m his child.

When I mess up, I ask God for forgiveness.

The bible says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (emphasis added).

But it’s important to know that we must repent, that means to stop doing the sins that we were doing before; to live a life holy to God. Keep your eyes on Jesus! (Hebrews 12:1-3)

In light of God’s forgiveness, I also love to remember this scripture: Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1.

Jesus loves you! Remember that every day. God is good, and his Word is good.

In the time that I spent with the Lord, I learned and meditated on this Word about his characteristics. The bible has many scriptures about what God is like. But I find that Jonah 4:2 describes how good God is!

He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity (emphasis added).

Other characteristics about God include that he is love, and a consuming fire (we are to revere him). God is holy. He is full of lovingkindness, and tender mercies. He is stern, he is just, and he is good. God has no favorites. He will never turn anyone away who comes to him through Jesus Christ. We can approach him with confidence! (1 John 4:7, Hebrews 12:28-29, Hebrews 12:14, Psalm 36:7, Luke 1:76-79, Romans 11:22, 2 Thessalonians 1:6, 1 John 1:8-10, Psalm 119:68, Romans 2:11, John 6:37, Hebrews 4:16)

God’s love endures forever! (Psalm 136)

Another thing that I learned about God’s love includes two foundational godly principals. I learned these from the church I started attending.

The two foundational principals are to love God, and love people.

The pastor used Deuteronomy 5:32-6:1-9. The context of this scripture teaches about the commands God gave to the Israelites as they went to inherit the promised land. It has great principals about teaching the believer to love God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their strength, then to teach their children these things, so that they will teach the generations after them to fear the Lord.

This scripture immediately reminded me of the conversation that the expert of the law had with Jesus in Luke 10:27-37. To love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind. And to love one’s neighbor as their self. At the end of that conversation, Jesus told the expert of the law to have mercy on his neighbor. If you read the parable you will see what I’m talking about.

Jesus had mercy on us, and it pleases God for us to have mercy on each other. (Hosea 6:6)

I hold fast to this because it really is foundational. Jesus taught in John 15 that he loved us as the Father loved him. Then he commands us to remain in his love (emphasis added).

How?

His command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Colossians 3:12-14 explains it to us this way:

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (emphasis added).

Forgiveness is key (Matthew 6:14-15).

 

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Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash.

Learning about loving God and others, was also reinforced into my heart by a video that I saw from Christine D’Clario, she is a well-known bilingual worshipper. She said, that if we live by loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength and all our mind, and loving our neighbor as ourself, then we will remain in God’s love and be able to persevere. We will find it easier to do what pleases God because we will want to!

That leads me to the next point about God’s love and it’s something else that the pastor at my church talked about.

He stated that we all want to belong to someone, but we, as children of God, belong to God!

1 Peter 2:9 says, But you are God’s chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (emphasis added).

As I’m in my waiting season for the future that God has for me and the special man that I’m going to marry, I realize that this is true. My guy is far away in another country, studying to get his diploma and I just graduated from college. I have plans to continue studying but as we are long distance, I realized that what the pastor said is so true. We all want to belong to someone, but we belong to the Jesus. I remember that God will never leave me nor forsake me, and that nothing can separate me from the love of God. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:31-38)

In light of loving others, the bible tells us how to treat our family.

For instance, husbands have a role as how to treat their wives (Ephesians 5:25-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7),

wives have a role as how to treat their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24, 33b, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Peter 3:1-6).

Parents have a role as how to treat their children (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21), and children should learn from their parents how to treat them according to the Word (Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20).

1 Timothy 5:1-3 tells every believer how to treat older men, younger men, older women, and younger women. I advise you to memorize these scriptures and store them in your heart. They’re good!

The bible also says to be wise in how you act towards outsiders. (Colossians 4:5-6) That’s especially important because people who don’t believe in the gospel yet look at how a Christian lives their lives!

During this mother’s day, I went to church and heard the Word about Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. They had sincere faith and passed that on to Timothy.

During the week, before that service, I told the Lord that I didn’t have that type of motherly example, and after the service, I repeated it the Lord. I said to him, “I don’t have a mother or grandmother who could have left behind a legacy of faith in my heart, but you Jesus, your Word is my example.”

So I left that day with that promise in my heart. That I will be that type of woman with a sincere faith who serves the Lord to teach my family about God’s love. You can too!

However, I am thankful to God for giving me a dad who raised me in the Word of God. His example is present and it has driven me closer to the Lord!

If you identify with my position as someone raised by a single parent, and you don’t have someone as a motherly figure, or father figure to be your example, you can be the first one in your family to start with the Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 11:1)

So I’ve learned that it’s not my job to tell my friend, or dad, or brother how to treat me. It’s my job to obey the Word of God and let God take care of the rest. I will do my part and love my neighbor as myself.

There are just a few more scriptures I would like to share with you. They are 1 Corinthians 13. The characteristics of love and Romans 13:8-10:

I love to remember the characteristics of love and putting Jesus at the center of them, because he is love! It’s the right perspective to keep and see how God pours his love into my heart as I serve Him, so that I can serve others.

The other verse is found in Romans 13:8-10:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” You shall not murder,” You shall not steal,” You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (emphasis added).

Oh, and it is also good to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17,

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

I cannot stress enough, to keep Jesus at the center of this. He came to fulfill the law, and we learn from his example to teach others.

Finally, after I read Ephesians 5 and 6, I realized how to bible commands in how to treat others then it tells us to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, because we are fighting a spiritual warfare.

Finally, Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

I know you know there’s more, please take the time to read the rest of the scripture.(Ephesians 6:10-19)

Use the Word of God to take pull down strongholds, and take thoughts captive that shouldn’t be there. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

Remember, the Word of God is alive and active! (Hebrews 4:12) Use it to fight your daily battles. We already have the victory through God’s grace! Our victory is in Christ because of his triumph at the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 5:4, 1 Corinthians 1:18)

 

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

So dear friends, I just wanted to share with you what I’ve learned in the Word about God’s love. Remember God’s grace, love him, and others. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus loves us and that we who believe are children of God, filled with the Holy Spirit. If we believe the good news of the gospel (John 3:16) and take that faith with us every day, the Holy Spirit pours love into our hearts by the Word of God, so we are able to love others and serve the Lord keeping eternity in mind. You have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

 

What matters most…

I just got done reading the Beatitudes tonight and I would like to share my thoughts with you about them.

Before now, I always saw the Beatitudes as a beautiful, yet contradictory poem. The words in themselves are lovely, but I could never really understand how one could be “blessed” in the midst of a lot of bad situations. I found it especially hard to understand how one could be happy when they’re persecuted, talked bad about, and made fun of.

But tonight, before I read, I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me and I learned something that I didn’t see before.

I let myself ask those questions that I didn’t dare asked before because, “How dare I question, God…” but I mean, I really wanted to know…

I sat and wondered about all of the people who read that passage before me and actually found comfort in those “contradictions”.

 

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Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash.

 

Then I realized:

The Beatitudes are about trusting in God when we are feeling mistreated by other people. But instead of lashing out at the people who hurt us we trust in God. We trust Him with the circumstance, with the hurtful emotions they cause us, and when we are so weak to the point that we can’t even find the strength to forgive somebody who could be so mean. We turn to God and ask Him to give us the courage to forgive so that we can let go of the pain. This is what being humble looks like, and it gives room for us to be kind in return.

I was like, “wow… when we’re nice in a situation where we’re treated poorly, God shows us mercy because we are being merciful… and He will satisfy our cry for justice… I mean.. can you imagine the amount of suffering people who are able to make it through the day with a smile on their face because they CHOSE to trust GOD and LOVE when unforgiveness was the other option?”

It’s so easy to hold on the hurt. But in the end you’re only hurting yourself when you don’t let that go…

This made me really think about my reality as a Christian. How God wants us to love Him and love other people too. But somewhere in the Bible, it says that we can’t love God if we hate our brothers and sisters. I mean, God knows we can’t see Him, so how could we love someone we can’t see if we mistreat the humans that we can love with our words and actions (1 John 4:20)?

I really got to thinking and asked myself… “Rosa? What matters most?” And I came to the conclusion that what matters most is that we love God, and love one another. What matters most is how we treat each other. In the end, it’s all about being kind in a cruel world. Choosing the love of Christ which goes against the grain of what is emotionally acceptable. Because I mean, Jesus saw how much of a hard person I am to live with, but he still loved me. So why can’t I do that for Jesus, and love my neighbor too?

That’s what matters most…

When Heaven Fights Back

In my last post, I wrote about being mad at God. When I wrote it I still didn’t understand why I went through what I did, but I accepted God’s forgiveness knowing that none of that is his fault.

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Photo by Andrew Yardley on Unsplash.

 

God is so good though because now I understand what God delivered me from.

Where do I even begin? Let’s see… I guess I could say the first clue came last Sunday after church service when The Holy Spirit was ministering to the congregation. My dad was the vessel used at the time, praying for the people, and it was nearing the end of the service. My eyes were closed, and I was standing in the back of the church praying. I felt a hand on my forehead and it was my dad. He prayed for me saying that all Satanic pacts that were dedicated for my life from my maternal grandmother are broken. I didn’t know where that came from, but I just received it in the moment and didn’t think about it again.

Fast forwarding to yesterday, my dad took my brother and me to a church ministry here called Combate (Combat) because a woman there wanted to pray for me and my little brother. I understood that we would talk individually and then she would pray for us.

When we spoke, she probed my past. She asked questions about my mom, my childhood, and my grandmother. It turns out that I still had hurt in my heart about my mom, her erratic behavior when I was a kid, and the experience of my parents’ divorce. Furthermore, it’s been a year since her disappearance and it’s still a mystery. Police reports came up leading to clues about her passing, but other than that we don’t know anything. That had really affected me, –obviously and I didn’t know how to cope with the news.

But what’s enlightening about the matter is who my grandmother was. The bible talks about generational curses to the 3rd and 4th generations (Exodus 20:5). Sometimes we don’t know about our ancestors: who they were, or what kind of things they did in their lifetimes. The woman explained to me that my grandmother was a witch (I already knew that my grandmother practiced witchcraft). What I didn’t know was that witches dedicate their generations to serve Satan and that after one of them dies, those spirits in the person’s life go to the next generation as a line of inheritance. When my grandmother died, she gave my mom a necklace heirloom and that was when I remember that my mom went especially nuts. I realized that it could be possible that my mother passed away and that those spirits that she inherited came to torment me and that they drove me to the mental hospital to recruit me as a witch.

I know this sounds crazy, but now it all makes so much sense. While I was in the hospital I fought for my Salvation. I cried out to God and said I didn’t want to be a witch. And if it weren’t for Jesus and my soul’s deep cry to serve God as His Child… well I guess you can imagine the outcome…

But God’s plans for my life were another!

Let’s get back to yesterday. The woman lead me through a prayer to break those generational curses and to renounce the legal rights the Devil had in my life because of my grandmother (all in Jesus’ name). Now the pact is broken and I’m free to serve Jesus as how he meant for me to do all along. The only inheritance for me and my ancestors is the inheritance of the Kingdom of God! ❤

But now, now, I understand why I went to the hospital and experienced such a horrible, tormenting experience.

Now I realize God’s mercy in my life and his love for me. That even though I was out of it, He never left me for a single moment. Now I understand that God’s plans for my life are for peace and that not even the powers of hell can take that away from me.

Thank you, Jesus.

 

Mad at God

 

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash.

 

I find that in the past few months I was pointing my fingers at everyone and everything else as a way to hide the anguish of what I was really feeling. Consciously, as I came to, I knew that it was absurd for me to be mad at God because I mean, He-is-Who-He-is, and I’m just a mortal human made of dust. That, however, didn’t change the fact how I felt. I blamed Jesus for what happened to me in the mental hospital, and my actual getting there.

I was so mad at God that he let me momentarily go crazy and allow me to go through such a scary process. I made a fool of myself running in the streets of my apartment complex, telling people to repent because Jesus was coming back soon. The night before, I stayed up all night praying because I thought the devil was out to get me, and the next day after my rampage, I was prepared to die and take a bullet for the sake of Christ. Don’t ask me how I was going to find a gun. That’s part of the crazy. But I was so mad at God after everything became clear. I was mad that I became an extremist who thought her life was going to end with a bullet to the brain at 22. I heard voices telling me to get ready to die and I was ready to give up everything for the glory of God.

It doesn’t even end there.

That same day, I fell into a psychotic rage in the middle of my bedroom. Something told me my dad was the devil and that I was the Christ. The scary thing is that I actually believed that heresy. I cried within and without saying, “I want to get out of here! I want to go to the crazy house! I can’t stand it anymore!”

So the police came and took me away. They took me to the crazy house.

But it was never God’s will for me to die for him. It was to God’s glory that he sent Jesus to die for me! The devil is such an evil liar that he makes people believe that sacrificing their life for God is what brings him glory, but it only makes the One who created human beings very sad. At the time, I didn’t realize this and later when I did I was so mad.

I was so mad at God for all that I experienced while I was in the mental hospital. I saw the devil try to come for my life one night. I saw demons during various nights gathered in groups outside the room I was staying in, waging war to kill me. Various witches manifested themselves inside of the hospital as patients and they cast their hexes on me, my family, my body, and my future because they knew I was Christian.

It was tough in there.

Oh, but I fought back. I quoted Isaiah 54:17 again and again and was amazed at how it stopped all of the curses in their tracks.

Yet, I became weak and afraid. Each and every spiritual battle drained me emotionally, and physically. It literally broke my spirit.

This made me hate myself for making Jesus look bad because as soon as I got there I told everyone “Jesus loves you!” But the enemy entinced me into thinking that I had lost the Holy Spirit and I desperately cried out to God in the middle of the night not to leave me. I’d say, “God! I want to live! Deliver me from this hell!!! I don’t want to die!!!”

The enemy didn’t stop there, he tried so hard to make me renounce my faith by making me think I was a Wiccan. And I would cry out and say, “No, I want to be a Christian!”After that, the nurses really did treat me like a nutcase “Just another religous fanatic who thinks she hears God’s voice.”

That’s what it said on the documents anyway.

So when they finally convinced me to take my meds, they put me on anti-depressants and mood stablizers. Do you know what that medication does to your body and reflexes?! It puts you to sleep and takes away your ability to move your body effectively. I was stiff and sleepy and angry that I couldn’t do normal things for myself like, walk quickly, bring food to my mouth fast enough, or wash my hair. Things I took for granted before, I longed to do for myself.

And when I got home I was a totally different person. The Lord used the meds to bring me into my right mind, but my spirit was still broken and I was struggling with suicidal thoughts. (A side effect from the medication I was taking). I couldn’t find a reason to smile and I became so mad at my dad for making me feel like a dependant child. Things I could do for myself, he did for me. This infuriated me! And furthermore I was infuriated towards God.

 

But not once did God give up on me. When I felt the most condemned, God sent men and women of God on His behalf to prophetically tell me how loved I am. That I’m His princess, and I have beautiful promises for my life. Everything that I had gone through was for good and for the consolation of other people.

One of my favorite ones is when my beloved friend told me, “you asked God to give you discernment of the spirits and what do you expect? You had to go through the trial.” Haha, I have to admit, I cringed when she told me that, and I even felt a little spite in my heart.

 

What’s more beautiful is that now, that I’m visiting in Costa Rica, I’ve been feeling some of those mad and sad feelings toward God. It’s beautiful because eventhough I may have been mad during praise and worship, the manifestation of the presence of God becomes so saturated in the air that it’s hard to hold that attitude in the company of His presence.

So when the church service ends and everyone’s gone, I remembered what that company felt like and prayed to Jesus in intimacy. I asked him for forgiveness for blaming him for everything that happened. I knew that it wasn’t God’s fault, but that more than anything, I wanted to be close to him like I was in my first love. A sincere and simple faith. No extremism, no religiousness, I wanted a relationship.

So he began answering that prayer.

I also asked him something else.

Another part of my anger towards God was because I feel like such a lonely person. In reality it’s hard for me to walk up to people and make friends. And after everything that’s happened, I don’t really feel like opening up to people right now. So I’ve become very quiet. In the longrun, this has affected me emotionally because I push eveyrone away.

So I asked the Holy Spirit one night that I felt especially sad to manifest his presence to me like he does during praise and worship when I feel most alone. And to remind me of those good things God says in the bible, and those things spoken over me prophetically by trust-worthy men and women of God. I even asked the  Holy Spirit to help me make long-lasting and trustworthy friendships in his perfect timing, and to allow me and my boyfriend to become closer as He sees is good.

And you know what? During those windows of moments when my emotions take a dive for the worst, I’ve felt an overwhelming blanket of peace that is above the circustancial and I remember scripture that says, God is with me and he will never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).

I can’t explain it, but all the fear, desperation, and anxiety I felt in the past months that led up to my trip to the hospital has helped highlight the love, peace, compassion and soundness of Jesus’ presence in my life.

Today I found a verse in Psalms that is a reflection of how I literally feel when God is knocking at the doors of my heart. It doesn’t matter whether I’m mad at him, or even if I’m sad and in need of a friend, I know that he wants me to come to him:

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8

Then instead of being emotional because of the situation, I get all emotional because I realize how lovingly God pursues me, even when I feel like I don’t deserve it.

So you see, just because I may get mad at God, that doesn’t change the fact that he still loves me and that makes me very very happy.

Woman and The Compass

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Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash.

A wise woman once told me that my life is like a compass.

My view is the panorama of what I see every day, to the North, East and to the West. The North, she says, is my future and the South is the past.

She said to me that the North is where I must look ahead, keeping my eyes on Jesus, as He leads me in the way that I should go. The South is behind me and I am to never turn back, only to look to learn from my experiences.

The good experiences are meant to be memories that I collect from the places I go and the people that I meet. No one can take those good experiences and memories away from me, because they are my gift from God. They are mine.

As for those bad experiences– those that came by wrong decisions, mistakes or hurts caused by myself or others– I’m to learn from those moments, forgive and give them to God and let Him heal my heart.

She said that I can’t stay stuck in the past– whether good or bad– but that I need to keep moving forward in Jesus Christ.

That special woman gave me a gem on that day that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Now when I reach any crossroads, I remember about the compass she told me about and call out to God as His Word says in Jeremiah 6:16:

Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Doing this, I find comfort in the Lord, as He always gently leads me in the way I should go in Jesus Christ.

It is He who says to every wanderer:

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30.

I’ll always remember this woman and cherish her with these special words in my heart. I know you’d love her too if you’d ever get the chance to know her. But I atleast hope you can appreciate these words of wisdom that I’ve come to cherish, and consider the compass– that when things get tough, always look ahead to Jesus who is our Compass in this hard but good life.

Come Home and Rest

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Photos by TheFreak1337 on Pixabay.

There is a physical place where we can run in to find rest and refuge. We call that place home. It shelters us from the storms and dangers of the world outside. When we come home, we lock the door and have faith that we are safe inside. We don’t worry about robbers, fires or flooding. When we lay down, we expect that our loved ones will sleep with rest and comfort without fear that any of the above would shake us out of our home. The Bible talks about a door, a home, and a kingdom. All of which is our place of rest where we run to in Jesus Christ here on earth.

Jesus is the door that lets us into our home in the Father.

John 10:7-9 says that Jesus is the door of the sheep,

“All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

In verse two above, Jesus says that

“But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. “Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Jesus himself is the door of the sheep, and we are his sheep. He calls us by name, but how many of us really hear his voice?

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

We are like these sheep who quickly run away to the voice of a stranger and disregard the voice of our gentle shepherd who calls us home into safety. Then we wonder why we get hurt or things don’t go our way. Maybe it’s because we run away from the door of our safety. Maybe you say to yourself, but how do I know the voice of the Father? Well He’s here calling to you from the door of His home saying,

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:8)

Jesus is the home we enter in to find God’s rest. The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 3:1 to consider the Apostle and the High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. The Apostle is the builder of our house, and the High Priest is the Head of our household. For Jesus is the one who builds our house. Our house is our very own body. For our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and He dwells in it (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Jesus holds honor in our house.

For the Bible says, “But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” (Hebrews 3:6)

If you have heard God’s voice and he has given you a Word, you need to come home and rest. We must honor Jesus and let him build up our life as He knows best. Many times we may get worried that the promise is taking too long to come. Or we might try to help God with the vision He said He has for us. But our job is to rest in God’s presence by being faithful to The Builder and Head of our household. How are we faithful? We are confident to the end, rejoicing in the hope that God has given us. We take it day by day trusting in God’s faithfulness (Psalm 37:3-8).

“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” (Hebrews 3:14)

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:8)

Don’t be like the disobedient sheep of Israel who tested God in the wilderness. God was angry with them for their disobedience. They chose not to believe. They saw God’s Works, His Miracles; they heard His voice, and still they went astray in their hearts. Belief in God’s word is a decision that we make daily, and this is another way we show our faithfulness to the Lord.

“They have not known His Ways, so He swore in His wrath they shall not enter His rest.” (Hebrews 3:9-11)

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest… but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:18-19). We can see that unbelief and disobedience run hand in hand. Therefore since a promise remains of entering his rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it (Hebrews 4:1). This rest is spoken of in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: and God rested on the seventh day from all His works. He also designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7)

The seventh day refers to the Sabbath. Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word Sabat which means that after God finished the creation of the world on the Seventh day, He rested. God’s energy is inexhaustible, but to say that He rested simply means He ceased working. He dropped what He was doing. (Please read Isaiah 58:13-14).

Jesus is our Sabat day, everday. We come to Jesus to rest in our souls and to drop the work that makes our minds run hundreds of miles an hour! God wants us to stop our worrying, to stop trying to make things happen, to stop trying to open our own doors, to stop trying to justify ourselves with our own works, and to stop tearing each other down, but to let His Holy Spirit build us up in the House of Christ. I repeat, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and He dwells in us, so is Christ a Son over His own house, whose we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Therefore, we have come to the Kingdom of God, let us then seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness first, and all these things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

Hebrews 12:18-29 explains the differences between the kingdoms that the Israelites came to in the time of Moses and the Kingdom that Jesus speaks of in the gospels.  Though the Israelites came to a physical mountain, they were afraid because of God’s booming voice of judgement that made the mountain burn with fire and that darkened the sky. It filled the the air with sounds of trumpets that even made Moses tremble!

However, in verse twenty-two of chapter twelve, the Bible says we have not come to that mountain, but to Mount Zion, the City of the Living God! Mount Zion, literally translated means refuge, or fortress.

Mount Zion is not the same mountain that the Israelites came to but could not find shelter because of their disobedience and fear of God’s judgement. Rather, it is the Mountain of God’s Grace.

The Bible says that there is none righteous, not one who understands; for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But we are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:10, 22-24). The righteousness that God offers us through Jesus gives us the assurance to enter into His rest and to rejoice in the confidence of our hope to the end. We don’t have to work where Jesus already set us free. Instead we drop what we know God is telling us to let go, and rest.

The Lord Himself says to you, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). For I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).

If you have heard God’s voice today, do not harden your hearts to the Lord. Don’t be like the foolish, unbelieving sheep who run in the opposite direction from the Door of Hope. Instead, come in and enter into His Home of Rest, find refuge in the Kindgom of God, through Jesus Christ.

Come Home and Rest.

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Photo by geralt on Pixabay.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a scholar or a theologian, I’m just a repentant sinner who has a personal relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. ❤

The Imperfect Christian

 

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This is my original photo.

 

Hey guys, I’m back!

I apologize for being MIA for the past few months, but it was a time of learning, growth, deliverance, and discovery of myself in Christ.

Between October and November I went through a really dark valley that brought me into a seemingly, hopeless season of depression. During this time I didn’t understand what was happening to me and why I couldn’t recognize my own reflection in the mirror, or why my eyes were so dark. I couldn’t even bring myself to smile without bursting into tears. I was miserable. And it was because for a moment, I lost my faith. I almost lost myself.

God permitted me to hit rock bottom.

But He never left my side for a moment.

The Lord used a sister in Christ to come to my house one of those restless nights, and I poured out my heart to her. She asked me, what was wrong.. The only words that I could muster were “I just feel so lonely!..” She caught me in her arms, cradled me like a baby and I wept as she began to battle for my life in prayer. When she was done, she looked at me square in the face and said to me with authority, “you need to fast. You need to battle and fight for your life! God has a great purpose for you but the enemy will use you to destroy you if you let him. If you don’t fight, you will commit suicide in this very room. You are a warrior.”

I’m not going to lie to you, I felt the fear of the Lord as she prophesied those words over me. I knew that the devil is real, I know that demons are real and that hell is real. But I also knew Jesus is real and He came to disarm the power of Satan and his demons at the cross, and more than that, Jesus TRIUMPHED over them (Colossians 2:15). For everything that Satan came to steal, to kill, and to destroy in our lives, Jesus came to give us back in life, and life in abundance (John 10:10) and that means leading us to freedom through the valley of the shadow of death here on earth.

He promises to give us rest. Peace. Joy. (Hewbrews 4:1, John 14:27, 15:10-11)

That very night I was decided. I was not going to take the enemies attacks lying down anymore. I entered into a fast for two weeks and Jesus delivered me from the spirit of fear (1 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18) . The spirit didn’t leave on happy terms, but unfortunately, upon eviction, it left me with a staph infection on my tailbone. I couldn’t sit or lie down for a week, and had to go through surgery to get the infection drained out. The timing was no coincidence either. I already had a trip planned for months to go out to Costa Rica, and left about a week after the surgery.

By the grace of God I was healed in time to be able to sit comfortably for the six hour journey. I was still on medication and still a little sore from the operation but that didn’t stop me from participating in the Christmas activities that I so longed to be apart of since last June! I danced and sang in the Christmas musical without any pain or discomfort and by that time I  was completely healed!

I had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas and New Years with my Costa Rican family. But I also received necessary correction from the Lord while I was there. From the very first sermon since arriving, He confronted my disobedient and unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:7-11). He helped me understand that He will never leave me nor forsake me, and that His promises are as secure as any written contract, but His are so much more valid than any human contract because it is impossible for Him to lie and because He always has the final say (Hebrews 6:15-18; 13:5-6). By the the end of the trip, the Lord ministered to my heart and promised to fulfill the desires of my heart in short time.

With that being, I returned to the States in time for classes to start in January. I didn’t come back the same, but with a fire that burned deep down in my belly. I returned with a joy that lit up my face, and with confidence that what the Lord said will happen, will happen in due time.

As I came back, The Holy Spirit continued to show me in God’s Word how to be faithful (Hebrews 3:14-15), how to rest in Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4: 6-10), how to be generous (Isaiah 58: 6-14, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15), how to love others and how to love myself (Romans 13:8-14); not care what other people think about me (Isaiah 2:22; Psalm 146: 3-5; Galatians 1:9-10) and how to be content (1 Corinthians 7: 22-23; Philippians 4:12-13). These are just a few of the many things the Holy Spirit has cooking in my heart…

Then today after prayer, after a moment of crying at Jesus’ feet over some silly anxiety in my heart. I sat down on my bed and began to say to my friend the Holy Spirit, “I really don’t remember in detail where I was exactly this time last year. I mean, I know that I was sad, but I don’t know what was troubling my heart. But I do remember that I spent Valentine’s day with you at Holy Land. It was the day that I saw Jesus and almost ran out into the scene of the garden of Gethsemane to hug him! That was a beautiful memory we shared together…”

Then this thought hit me like an oncoming truck:

“If I don’t remember all of the details of everything that happened precisely one year ago, except that I was sad. Then whatever was troubling me a year ago doesn’t matter today. Neither will whatever troubles me now, matter in a year from now…

And what if tomorrow never comes? What if Jesus returns for me before then in the rapture. Then none of it matters!”

The apostle Paul must have had the same revelation when he wrote this letter to the Philippians:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Philippians 3:7-10

I even agree with what the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write in verses 11 through 14:

I don’t expect myself to have been perfected in the knowledge of what I’ve learned in the span of these past months, but I do know that I’m still Christ’s work in progress– as we all are until we come to stand before the throne of God, face-to-face before the Master and give an account to Him of all the things we’ve done in this life (2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:13-14). Only then will we completely understand the grand scheme of His plan (Isaiah 55:6-12). All that will be left for us to do is just love Him, and remain in awe of Him for all of eternity (Revelation 22:13, 17).

I’m not a scholar or a theologian. I’m just a repentant sinner who has a personal relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I love you all, but Jesus loves you more!