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…

Dancing with Jesus

The growing pains of a transitioning season is never easy. Especially when you have a tendency to be so hard on yourself. I constantly tell myself I need to be better, I need to try harder, I need to– let go. It’s so frustrating to think that you’re making progress but you only feel like you’re taking two steps back, a step to the side, and another one forward– and then it becomes a dance.

“What am I doing?”

Here I am dancing with the Lord.

I don’t know how to dance at all really. Rhythm is not something I inherited. I’m awkward and clumsy. You’d think that being Puerto Rican, I should know how to just feel the music.

“How do you keep time? This is so unnatural to me. I feel incompetent.

What? What am I doing?”

As the music begins to play, I freeze— I try to analyze the components of the song– but Jesus takes me in his arms and wraps one arm around my waist, taking my other hand in his and says, “Follow me.”

“Jesus I don’t know the steps! I’m so lost! Slow down! What are you doing? Help me!”

“Relax.” He says, “Trust me and follow my lead.”

I’m in tears as I feel so embarrassed for every step that crushes His toes, for messing up, not keeping the beat. I’m a clutz. I begin to whine, “Jesus, I can’t do this. I’m a failure.”

“Child, My grace is sufficient for you. Let’s keep going.”

The song continues, the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. Accompanied by an orchestra of love that harmonizes with compassion, gentleness, understanding and grace. I look up at my Savior with eyes full of awe and wonder as He sweeps me off my feet. Satisfied with myself I begin to think, “hey, I’m beginning to get the hang of this!” Aware of my progress, He adds in a new move, but I’m completely thrown off again! “Whoa, God, slow down! I can’t keep up!”

“I’ve got you”, He says.

The tears start rolling as I weep into His shoulders. The sweet scent of His aroma fills my nostrils and pours into my heart as He holds me close to His. He comforts me in His embrace with every step we take. Not once does He rebuke me, but He takes the time to teach me gently. Letting me know that it’s okay. It’s okay not to know how to dance.

It’s okay to not be the best, it’s okay to be myself. It’s okay to be clumsy and make mistakes. Just as long as I keep on dancing with Him. As long as I stop trying so hard to do things by my own strength, as long as I just trust Him.

“Relax.” He says, “And let My Spirit flow through you. Confide in me and I will teach you. What you don’t know is that I’m preparing you to teach others how to dance too.”

 This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8

When God Keeps His Promises

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On a late November night, last year, the Holy Spirit woke me up to tell me three things that I didn’t know God had planned for me. I want to share two of these three things with you as a testimony of how the Lord keeps His promises.

When the Holy Spirit asked me if I knew I was going to be a part of the choir and that they already had a robe prepared for me, I didn’t know what to say. It was a sudden advisory, but I knew in my heart that this was a wonderful promise that God planned for me. I also knew in my heart that it would probably come to pass in Costa Rica because this is where God has been directing the ministry of my family. Then I wondered who and where would supply my robe because they don’t have my measurements. I didn’t worry to much about it though because those were just minor details that I knew God had already figured out. If He decided to share that mystery with me, all I needed to do was wait for those promises to become alive.

After we arrived in Costa Rica, in June of last month, I was watching the praise and worship team’s rehearsal service. The Pastor’s wife noticed me off to the side and made a comment, then I replied saying, “I’d love to be up there with them…” She said, “Why don’t you talk to Pastor Kenneth to see if you can sing with them.” I took the suggestion to my dad and he shared with me that Pastor Fernando (the main pastor in charge of Worship) had other plans for me. So we spoke with him and he said he was going to gather some people together for the choir and that I could be a part of it if I wanted. My eyes twinkled as I excitedly remembered God’s promise and I began to wonder to myself if this could really be it?? Regardless, I showed up to the first choir rehearsal that Saturday.

We rehearsed every Saturday after that to prepare for the revival the church was going to have in Sucre, Costa Rica during the second week of July. Pastor Fernando found some white robes that were used for last year’s baptisms, and he also found some red sashes to hang over our shoulders for the event. The nine of us each found our own sizes, and nothing needed to be tailored. Thank God, because we were all men and women of various frames!

I’m so happy to say that when the day arrived, we all looked so elegant in our uniforms! I still remember putting my robe on for the first time and helping the other sisters in the restroom get ready. Then when the Pastor gathered all of us together for prayer it began to officially sink in that I was living out one of God’s promises for my life. Then the moment came when we stepped up onto the alter; I wasn’t nervous at all, but I felt prepared. My joy overflowed as I began to worship with the choir, and we all sang beautifully for God’s glory!

Sucre is an active site where a lot of witchcraft is practiced, but the glory of God fell down in that place as the whole church worshiped the King of kings in Spirit and in truth! As we began to lift up our hearts and voices in unison to our Lord Jesus, many people began to pour in from the streets as we sang together. There were many miracles in that place as people gave their hearts to Jesus, others were healed of addiction, and everyone was caught up in the presence of God! The only word that I can use to describe the experience is beautiful…

So on July 11, 2015 God kept His promise when He told me that I was going to be in the choir, and that He already had a robe prepared for me. I’m humbled and grateful to Jesus Christ by the way He’s abundantly blessed me so far, and to be able to share the blessings of my life with my brothers and sisters in Christ is a blessing in itself.

This experience has taught me that we all work together to use our talents to bring glory and honor to the One who only deserves it: Jesus. And that God ALWAYS keeps His promises, no matter how big or little they may seem. I thank you Jesus for your great love, and for this beautiful life that you’re giving me. My life is but a vapor before you, and my years are as nothing in your eyes. My future is in your hands, as you have my days counted. I thank you Lord for pouring out your grace over me, and I ask you to fill me with contentment as I continue to seek your face. Your love is all I need Lord; may my life be a living and pleasing worship to you for as long as I live. I love you Jesus!

Finally Back in Costa Rica

 

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Photo by me.

It all began on Sunday afternoon when we returned home from the powerful church service after my dad preached. The Lord used a brother from the church to warn me about the troubles that would be coming our way; I need to be careful while our stay in Costa Rica by being vigilant and sober minded to the rising attacks of the enemy. So I told my dad about this warning in the car ride on our way home, and he shared with me that it was a confirmation, because unknowingly the pastors of the church took him aside also and told him the same thing! To my relief, we both came to the mutual understanding that the Lord is in control of everything, and not a single weapon formed against us will prosper in Jesus’ name. To those of you who serve or served in the military, my dad half-jokingly told me, “you watch my six, and I’ll watch yours.” “No one dies in advised warfare”, especially when our victory is already at the cross in Jesus Christ! Jesus is Lord and he will turn around every plan of the enemy for our good. 🙂

 

The beginning of our troubles welcomed us as soon as we got home from church; we literally walked into a sauna! The air conditioner conveniently broke on the day before that we left for our trip, and more so convenient on the weekend! If we couldn’t contact the apartment’s maintenance before we left, we’d end up coming home to an oven at the end of our trip. Thank God we were able to talk to someone, and everything will be taken care of during the week. That day we really felt the Florida summer heat. We’re so spoiled with the AC, because we realized that in 84 degrees with the windows open is no joke! But this was our consolation: hell is hotter, hahaha!

On our way to the airport yesterday, we were delayed in traffic due to a nasty car accident on the turnpike, but the delay of the traffic actually saved our lives up ahead! As we were approaching the airport, we witnessed a scary car accident that happened just a few hundred yards in front of us. A scrap of metal from an eighteen wheeler was in the middle of the road and the car in front of us was going full speed. It seemed that the driver didn’t have enough time to slow down his car to evade the danger on the road, so he hit the breaks and swerved off to the shoulder of the road, hitting the rear of his car on a light post! The light post then fell into the middle of the road, and thanks to God the driver didn’t go into the post head first, and that the poll didn’t fall on his car, or ours, because we were right behind him! Thankfully the driver of his car came out safely with no scratches but he was, of course, a little shaken. Thanks to God as well that the traffic behind us delayed our distance further ahead; that accident could have been us, or worse!

Nevertheless, we actually made it to the airport on good time! The waiting didn’t go on forever and we actually enjoyed every moment of the process as our anticipation rose to mount the plane! I think my favorite part about traveling in an airplane is ascending and descending. The earth below looks so small, like an ant farm working efficiently. The clouds in comparison are majestic as they dress the sky in white robes of puffiness. Somehow, being so high in the sky, makes me feel like I’m closer to God (even though I know that’s not the case). It’s just like, I could look out and imagine Jesus and his angels walking on the clouds, and here I am, just a tiny human who needs a plane to reach an atmosphere of the heights of His heavens.

When the pilot announced that turbulence was up ahead, I began to brace myself. I don’t have fear of heights, but feeling the plane drop a few altitudes to stabilize itself isn’t the greatest feeling. So in that moment I took out my bible and turned to Psalm 72 and began to read, then I began to hum songs of praise to myself and I felt a blanket of peace cover me. Sleep took over my eyes as we passed through the turbulence, and the bible became my pillow on the pull down table from the seat in front of me. Later I woke up to the pilot announcing that we would be descending soon! You can’t begin to imagine our delight!

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This is me.

 

Another two hour ride awaited us as we found my dad’s friend waiting for us outside of the airport! Ours was a warm family welcome as he lead us out to the car. And then we were off! I could probably say that by now, I know the route by heart. We rode with the windows down, to breathe in the fresh air that already began to cleanse our lungs. The blankets of green grass, and mountainous scenery was a welcome familiarity. It felt like home. As I looked out the window, watching people, buses and cars pass by, I could only think and wonder to myself what God has prepared for us in the days of our stay. To be honest with you, I have no desires to go back to Florida, but I won’t let the end of our trip steal my joy! Today God has blessed me with a wonderful portion of His grace as I sit across the room from my childhood best friend.

We have so many wonderful memories waiting to be made.

My only question is, “What will happen next?” ….

My Portion of Grace

Hello friends! I know it’s been a while since my last post, and I would like to apologize for that. To be honest with you, the past couple of weeks have been of great growth in my personal relationship with Christ: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and as well personally with my family.

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Photo by Jeremy Gallman on Unsplash.

I can tell you that since my deliverance from depression– all thanks to Jesus Christ! I have a lot more clarity, joy, and ability to reason and see the reality of things with a new perspective through faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). This new perspective is greater than my own. It is God’s perspective. I’ve realized that life doesn’t revolve around me, but rather, my life is one of servitude to God and others around me. My life is a testament to the wonders of what God has done, will do, and is most importantly doing right now in my life; here today, at this very moment. To keep this perspective I must forget about what is passed and what not yet is, but keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.

 

Ever since my family returned from Costa Rica last July, we have fought an uphill battle. Recalling what God spoke to us in the mountains of that beautiful land, He gave each of us (my dad, brother and myself) confirmations in regard to prophetic promises that have been already spoken over our lives. These promises are directed towards our ministries and personal lives a like, all for the glory of Jesus Christ. After we returned back to the flat lands of Florida, here in the valley was where our faith was put to the test. With little to no breaks, the enemy has been bashing us from left to right. Two days after returning from Costa Rica, we were run out of our apartment with other tenants who were victims of an arson fire, due to the envies of criminal activity in our neighborhood. We with the seven other families, were homeless for two weeks, but God provided everything we needed. Then the time came that we moved into our new apartment; renovated and at the same price for the other one that was lost in the fire. Keeping our home unfurnished, we’ve stuck to the essentials as we wait for our time to go. In the meantime, our neighborhood continued to get worse before it got better, but the Lord heard our prayers and there are huge changes happening in this complex for the better. The ghetto will no longer be the ghetto. Thank you Jesus!

While these changes have been occurring, Jesus has also been making changes within me. He has been enlightening the dark chambers of my heart and affirming my faith in Him to the certainty of His promises everyday. His consistency and grace has relieved me from the fears that plagued my heart. The fears that told me that God wouldn’t do what He promised.

Around two weeks ago, I searched the scriptures of my bible to better understand what the apostle Paul meant when he quoted the Lord our God who said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)” I’ve heard this verse repeated so many times before, but left without explanation. It was only for me to know that God’s grace is enough. This quote from the bible made me feel like a child who asks, “but why mommy?” and mommy’s only reply is a short, “because I said so.”

It probably might even come as a shock to you that in the intimacy of my prayers, I cried out to God and told Him that He wasn’t enough. I desperately wanted Him to be enough, but in my desperation, He wasn’t. In love, my Heavenly Father knew what to do with that prayer, and He showed me that He is indeed everything that I need.

So the next day after that prayer I went to the back of my bible to the concordance. I looked up the words “portion” and “grace”. I wrote down every scripture that cited those two words and thanks to God, my understanding was greatly opened!

I’ll add the scriptures to the bottom of this post if you desire to search the bible for yourself on these topics, but what I learned is this:

Psalm 16:5-6 says O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.

Jesus himself is my portion. A small sentence, yet full of so much meaning for the believer. The bible says in John 10:10 that Jesus came to give us life in abundance. This abundant life is given to us due to the blood sacrifice He made for us on the cross, because Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him (see Isaiah 53). Jesus died so that we could be a part of his inheritance as children of God; no longer slaves to sin or to our own weaknesses but through Jesus’ sufferings, we are able to enjoy the daily provision of life that God gives to those who believe in faith.

The bible says in Acts 17:26-28 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’

So because of the cross, I am able to live a full life of joy in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11). The inheritance and the lot that God gives me today is not necessarily material riches, but they are my daily needs (Matthew 6:9). God has assigned to each of us the place on earth where we are to live and the appointed time we are to remain in that place, because there is a purpose. There is purpose in which I am to remain in Florida for the time being, because this is where God has placed me and my family to draw closer to Him. For today in this moment, this is my portion from God. Though we live in the ghetto, we have never been harmed, without food, clothing, or the means to pay the bills. We have health, education, and we have each other. We have all of this because of God’s grace. Not because we deserve it, but because of his mercies that extend to us here and now, regardless of His promises for our future, He loves us and gives us everything we need today. We have this fullness when we realize that Jesus gives us this grace when we make an exchange of our lives for His at the feet of the cross.

Grace doesn’t end there. Our inheritance and portion of eternal life is found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died he was given authority to take up his life again because he had no sin (John 10:17-18, 2 Corinthians 5:21). He humbled himself in such a way– to save the life of sinners and to give us freedom– that God exalted him and sat him at His right hand (Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 10:45; Mark 16:9). Jesus is the first example of what our glorified bodies will be like when we pass away from this world and resurrect in Him (1 Corinthians 15:20, 40-44). Jesus is the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Him will live even if he dies (John 11:25). Those who think of such things purify themselves as they fix their eyes on Jesus Christ (1 John 3:1-3). Doing this we honor God’s command that says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasre is, there your heart will be also.

How gracious is the God that I serve! How much more can I entrust Him with my life when He gave us His only Son to die in our place? If He’s able to care for my eternal inheritance through Jesus Christ, how much more is He able to guard the inheritances of His promises to me and my family?

 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,  saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,  that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:13-20).

I thank God for his love and his faithfulness because the whole year in which has passed I have been at unease in having to return to Costa Rica to face the promises that are for me, but not being able to claim them yet. God’s timing is perfect and purposeful. In two days we’ll return to the place where our hearts are most delighted on earth, but we have our hope in God. He knows how to get us there. His ways are greater, and there is much to learn along the way.

Please pray for my family that we may have safe travels and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness, to those who need to hear the word of God from us while we’re in Costa Rica.

I hope to keep up with my blog while we’re there! I know that I’ll have lots more to share. I hope that you may also be able to rest in the portion of grace that God has given to you today. Lets together keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2)! ❤

“Portion”: Psalm 16:5, 73:26, 119:57; Isaiah 53:12, 61:7; Jeremiah 10:16; Lamentations 3:24; Matthew 24:51; Luke 12:42, 15:12.

“Grace”: Genesis 6:8; Psalm 45:2, 84:11; Zechariah 12:10; Luke 2:40; John 1:17; Acts 4:33; Romans 5:17, 11:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9, 13:14, 8:9; Galatians 5:4; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8, 4:7, 6:24; Hebrews 12:28; James 4:6; 2 Peter 3:18.

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 Best Single Day of My Life

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Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash.

This morning I wanted to try something different. Instead of thinking too far ahead in my future, and about what didn’t happen yesterday, I asked Father God for one request: “Make today the best single day of my life, in Jesus’ name.”

So I went about my business, praising the Lord as I got myself ready to run errands with my dad. I’m not going to lie to you when I say that too many times before I’ve taken for granted my dad’s company; but I am so blessed to have my dad around especially when so many people at his age are unhealthy. He’s a vigorous and seasoned man of sixty two years, who can keep up with and even surpass people half his age. I thank God for my dad’s endurance and strength as we ran around all over town to get stuff done in preparation for our return trip to Costa Rica that’s in less than two weeks.

Where I used to take for granted the long winded conversations of my chatty father, today I chose to listen with intent. I learned something new about him as we bonded in the presence of God at the laundromat, in Subway, in the car on our way to the bank, the post office, the grocery store and back home. That time was precious because we laughed, and we even cried as he shared a new portion of his testimony with me that I didn’t already know.

There was another part of my day that really left an impression on my heart. When we were coming out of the dollar store, we saw an African American woman sitting on one of the pillars that held up the roof to the plaza’s breezeway. The woman seemed as if she lived on the streets; her clothes were dirty and torn, and her face looked sad and preoccupied. When my dad and I exited the store and we saw her there, I gave her the biggest smile that bubbled up from the abundance of my heart. To my pleasant surprise, this woman smiled back! Her eyes brightened up, and as if automatically, the corners of her mouth raised to the apples of her cheeks! Like the parting of an elegant grand curtain that revealed the most beautiful, genuine smile that I’d ever seen. It didn’t matter that she had a few teeth missing, that her face was dirty, or that she didn’t have anything to offer me. It was that smile I received in return, that ignited hope and love within me.

Now that I’m back home, sitting on the comfort of my bed, under the roof that God provides for our family, I remember the prayer to my Heavenly Father this morning. I think about the tears that my dad and I shed together after we parted from the woman, and to think that I’d probably never see her again… It was a moment where God filled us both with the joy of His desires, as He reminded my dad from where Jesus delivered him. He too was on the streets at one time; a slave to sin, drugs and poverty. My heart was filled all the more with compassion for the poor and with the desire to step outside of my comfort zone, to give and share the love of Jesus with the people who can’t give me anything in return.

I thank God for this day, for the blessings of His grace and the mercies of His love. It’s beautiful how He took His time to show us that love is as simple as a smile, and as generous as the blood of Jesus that was liberally poured out for all at the cross. And who knows how God can turn around that woman’s life, just like he did for my daddy’s! Anything is possible with God! So I pray that wherever the road of life may take her, that at least for tonight she may have a hot meal, and a safe place to sleep.

With all that being said, I had such a wonderful day. Thank you Jesus for the best single day of my life!

Other Side of The Fence

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Photo by Micah. H on Unsplash.

Where has the time gone? Just three years ago I graduated from high school, and here I am, in the very place that I tried so hard to run away from. I’ve always been a quiet child with a loud mind. Fearful yet vengeful, waiting for the opportunity to escape and leave behind this Godforsaken place, or so I thought.

It wasn’t until Junior year that I met the girl who would help me come out of my shell. A tough, feminine outspoken girl with long beautiful raven tresses that flowed down her back. She didn’t take crap from anyone, yet deep down, she was soft to the core. I needed a friend, and she needed me. Her friendship seemed promising, but the truth is, I wanted to be just like her.

At first our fun was innocent enough. We shared four out of six classes together and began to take our homework back to her house. I got to meet her family, and her family met my dad and brother. Hers is a family of mostly women, and they seemed like the sisters I never had. Loud, rambunctious, and crazy; a great difference from my quiet home. Her family always made their own fun and I enjoyed every moment. We laughed, we danced, we played in the rain and we flirted with boys. We gossiped, we swore, we made our own parties, and later we went to church. It was all in fun. All of it was just harmless, innocent fun.

I remember to this day, how sad I felt when she had so many offers to prom and I had none. I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough but it’s actually kind of funny because, I remember how she genuinely tried to help me get a date. I never got my prince charming that night in Paris, but we still had “fun” dirty dancing with our own little group. Then later that night we went back to her house and started to drink. I can’t really tell you what happened because my memory fails me. Graduation day was the best day of all. We got ready together, took lots of pictures and remembered the good times we shared during the past two years. That night was a repeat of prom. We went back to another friend’s house and celebrated our graduation. If I remember correctly that night after we had our fun, we stayed the night at her sisters house and got high. I can tell you that even though we were all giggles and the room was spinning, I didn’t like that feeling much at all; but it was K2 and we were curious and nobody else had to know. I can tell you this, the head aches the next morning were not as “fun” as the night before.

Then summer time came, and my dad and brother went off to Costa Rica. They were preaching the gospel while I kept on sinning. My friend and I just got deeper into our antics. I got sick and ended up in the hospital. She was there for me for the time being, but I was scared for my life and thought that God hated me. Hypochondria set in and I felt disgusting. “Who would love me now?” But it was all just a lie from the enemy, a trap that he caught me in. A few days passed by and I just wanted to go back home. So her mom took me back to my dad’s empty apartment. No one else was home. I was all alone. I was scared out of my mind, so I drank half a bottle of NyQuil and went to sleep. The dreams I had were crazy, and the hallucinations became so real! I woke up screaming “God, I’m so sorry! Make all of this go away!” but God was quiet while I reaped what I had sown.

I remember that same summer my friend got pregnant, and I walked in on her the day it happened. They were in complete disregard to my presence, so I got what I needed and ran out of the room. I was embarrassed by what I saw, but how could I be when I was just like her. After she found out that she had conceived, she was scared and didn’t know what to do. The options were before her and abortion seemed like the only way out. I didn’t agree with that decision but I was fogged by my sins and just wanted her to be okay. She was there for me and the least I could do was be there for her. I helped her call all the clinics near by, but all the offices were too far away or too expensive, and she was ashamed to get a grant for help. Now as I think back, I thank God nothing happened to her beautiful baby girl because while I was there in the room as she gave birth, I saw the miracle of life being born. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I held that little one in my arms. To this day my heart goes out to her as they both appear in my dreams; it’s the only way I can see that beautiful little baby.

A few months passed by, and the unimaginable occurred. I opened up my bible and fell to my knees, giving my heart back to the Lord. The cross finally clicked for me; I didn’t have to keep living this way anymore! I texted her after it happened and told her that everything’s going to be okay! Jesus found me, and I’m not going to suffer anymore! At the moment she was happy for me, but time moved on steadily. I began to read my bible everyday, and began to see the error of my ways. Jesus wanted me to walk away from her….

I said, “Jesus how could I? She’s my friend! She’s been there for me and she knows things about me that no one else knows!” I tried to share my new relationship with Christ with her, but she just wouldn’t have it. She said, “Ever since you started all that church stuff, you don’t want to hang out anymore.” and Jesus just kept telling me, “My love, just let her go.”

For a while I felt guilty, like I was abandoning her. I thought about her baby and thought how much I’d miss that little girl. I returned to Costa Rica in June 2013 and Jesus showed me great and awesome things. I met people who love the Lord with all their heart; their lives were different and the youth were on fire! When I came back to Florida that late July, I brought her baby a pair of authentic booties and told her about all the amazing things that God was doing in my life. Her response was that she loves God in her own way, but she was happy for me. However, later I’d receive a slap to the face. She threw my past back at me in the summer of 2014 while I was away in Costa Rica. Her message read, “Do you really think your new little Christian friends will accept you if they knew what I do? No one is ever going to accept you if they did. You’re a horrible friend and worthless piece of sh**! I don’t need your prayers, and I don’t need you!” All I could say was, “I’m sorry that you feel that way, but Jesus comes first. I love you and that won’t ever change. If you ever need a sister in Christ, I’m here for you. Please, don’t forget that.”

It really hurt– I’m not going to lie, to let her go, but Jesus knew the condition of her heart as He kept showing me that “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

The bible says, “do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them, I will be their God, and they shall be My people” therefore “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)”

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to induldge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24)”

You see, my life with her was only for a season. A season that God permitted to turn my rebellion around for the purpose of His plan for my life. If I were to say that I miss her, then that would mean I miss the times we had. Now that I know better, all those times we had are only just memories. Yet, I don’t fault her for what she threw in my face because I know that it was just the enemy speaking through her. However, I can say that I love her, but sometimes it’s best to love from a distance. In this time I’m on the other side of the fence and I thank God for bringing me here. If I were to cross the fence to try to get back to her, then I would be in dangerous territory and out of the will of God, making me an open target for the enemy to lure me back into deeper and worse sins than before. I pray for this young woman who used to be my friend and I hope with all of my heart that one day she’ll come to know the same love that changed my life. The love of Jesus Christ.

I thank you Jesus, so much for your love, mercy and your grace. You brought me out of a dark place! Never let me forget from where you delivered me so that I can always be humble and help those who are on the fence with their lives. I thank you for giving me back my virtue and purity, for showing me my worth and how loved I am by You. I ask you Father to show all of your daughters that they are your special flowers. They are Your roses of Sharon; lilies among thorns in a world that displays evil as good. I thank you Jesus for showing me that no friend is worth the expense of the cross and my eternal life with you. I bless your name, Jesus and I bless the life of the one who is reading this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Where Are You, God?

I’m not sure which is worse: being the one to suffer, or to see a loved one suffering and having my hands tied?

What do you do; how do you believe in an all Sovereign, Benevolent God when the suffering you are experiencing is just so close to home? How can I hold on to my faith when I see how my little brother is so uncomfortable in his skin? My dad has tried all the creams, all the medicines, all the healthy diet changes, but nothing. My brother’s eczema only flares all the more. His skin is scaly and patchy; it’s itchy and it looks as burned as he feels. We’ve tried everything. I see how his embarrassment increases as others notice and point out the imperfections of his condition; the tears that well up in his eyes while he looks at his arms everyday thinking he’s a freak. I know it’s hard enough for him being thirteen, as he’s trying to adjust to the natural changes of his body and the world around him. It just breaks my heart every time he compares himself to my smooth skin, and all I can do is hug him and think, “why not me?”

Shocking isn’t it, when a Christian questions the very goodness of the God they serve? We’re supposed to have it all together, but the truth is that we’re human and we also tend to only see the tangibility of the circumstances. That is what really forces us to decide: “Does this really work?”

It’s so easy to quote scripture until you have to live by it, but I have some sad news for you in case you weren’t already aware– Christianity isn’t a quick fix.

There I said it.

God isn’t a magician in whom’s name we can call on to wave a magic wand to make all of our problems disappear. If that were the case then prepare to be seriously disappointed because anyone who decides to measure God’s abilities by the standards of their expectations has got it twisted.

So what now? Will I get angry at God, question him, accuse him, renounce him?

Only a fool says in his heart “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

So there, that’s settled. I’m no fool.

I’ve experienced way too much in my short years to deny the realness of God’s power and presence. Not only in my life personally, but also in the life of every soul I’ve witnessed touched by the name of Jesus Christ. There are just way too many “coincidences” that can’t be explained away through science or rationalization.

With that being said, a decision must then be made: Either I believe or I don’t.

I choose to be courageous. I believe.

The circumstances can say whatever they want but I believe without a doubt in my mind that Jesus died on the cross and that he took up my brother’s infirmities in His body. I believe without a doubt that Jesus rose from the dead and that He holds the inheritance of our renewed, glorified bodies in the promise of His current resurrected state. I believe without a doubt that Jesus is Jehovah Rapha, My Healer. So then I believe that my little brother’s skin is already healed in Jesus’ name.

Jesus himself said, you believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1). Oh Jesus, you know that I do believe! You are the only one who compassionately touched the leprous man and relieved him of his agony. I believe you can and will do the same for my brother.

So with the foundation of my faith being settled, something I’ve been meditating on the past few days is the truth in God’s word. The Holy Spirit has been tugging on my heart all week to read in the second letter to the Corinthians, and I was lead to the end of chapter three, concluding into chapter four.

The Holy Spirit began to further root my understanding into the everlasting glory of grace (2 Cor 3:11). It talks about how the law is the ministry that brought condemnation and though glorious, it was transitory. The ministry of grace, however, is now revealed in all surpassing glory through Jesus Christ! Since I have such a hope as this I am able to be very bold, holding fast to that truth that “wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”. I am then able to realize that this treasure of grace indwells the body of every believer and it is solely to the glory of God (2 Cor 4:7)!

Furthermore it continues to tell God’s children that “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 be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

Ohh, how I thank God for those ‘buts’ of the bible! I find rest in knowing that because it is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have the 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.”

Therefore, I 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 (2 Cor 4:16-18).

With all that being said, this is where it’s done. While I still don’t know which is worse: my suffering or being the witness to my brother’s agony, I will not lose sight of God’s faithfulness and complete aerial perspective. The reason why I can help my little brother endure this momentary suffering is because I know that God is above it all. Jesus is Lord. Period. He had the final say when He died at the cross and rose again! However, in light of our human weakness and limitations, I can assure you that there were many times that we cried out to God in desperation. But I know that He sees us, and He hears our prayers and He will deliver my little brother. God will use this suffering to bridge the gap between Him and His people through the ministry of comfort in the name of Jesus Christ. It will be for the sake of all the souls who will be touched by my brother’s story (2 Cor 1:3-7). I know that there is purpose in all of this, and I know that my brother will be stronger for it. God will use my brother as a godly man to reach many people that need to hear about Jesus from his experiences.

I close this confession with a petition of prayer to all of my family in Christ. Pray with me for my brother’s healing, and for the strengthening of his faith, that God’s will and purposes may be completed in his life! I’m so hopeful in knowing that God’s power is not limited by our resources or by our circumstances. He is God and I will let God be God as I continue to wait and pray for the day that my brother shouts for joy in praise, thanking Jesus for all that He has done for him! That day will surely come in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

From Korn to Jesus

Wow.. this testimony is so genuine! It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’ve done, the love and grace of God isn’t exempt from anyone! Come to Him as you are and Jesus will transform your life. 🙂

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20)