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…

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!

 

Walking to the Beat of God’s Heart

 

It’s 2 AM and I’m laying up in bed.

 

it’s dark and all I hear is the ceiling fan whirring up above me,

along with the thoughts in my head, narrating my heart b-b-b-b-beat.

My hands crossed upon my breast,

I feel my heart b-b-b-beating against the walls of my chest

and do you know what that means?

It means that I’m still living.

It means that I’m still breathing,

and that I have a purpose.

It means that my life has meaning.

Have you ever thought about what self-esteem and dignity mean?

It means that you respect yourself, value your self.

It means that you admire who you are

as a human being.

In the past few weeks I realized that I don’t have to do

anything that I don’t want to. I’m not tied to anyone’s

opinion of who I ought to be.

Because my identity is in the cross. In whom Jesus says I am.

I ought to be loving and kind, yes.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash.

 

Considerate and loving my neighbor,

but not at the expense of my self-worth.

Who likes feeling rejected or ignored?

We all want to be accepted

but

the truth is,

that the truth is a hard pill for many to swallow.

I ought to be like Jesus, who spoke the truth

in the face of his opponents who breathed out murder against him.

Jesus esteemed the opinion of his Father in heaven

and God was pleased with him,

even if

Jesus had to stand alone.

As long as I’m speaking and living the truth for the glory of His Son,

My Father in heaven looks down on me and says,

“that’s my girl!”

One thing to remember is, is that the world didn’t die for me.

My dignity and self-worth is found at the cross.

Not in any other thing or human being.

I am a fighter,

a warrior,

a survivor

a soldier

a victor.

I’ve made it through lonely days, and lonely nights. I’ve survived moments without “friends”, because we’ve all parted our separate ways. I’ve pushed past suicidal thoughts, and won the victory over depression. But every time I feel myself slipping back, God works me like a muscle:

He brings me to my limits

and breaks me down again

so that I can recover

and be made stronger.

I have to keep moving, keep walking past

the circumstances that tell me God has forgotten.

I have to keep trusting, praying and surrendering to God

because He will prove that what He said will come to pass.

As long as my heart is b-beating, and I have breath in my lungs

God has a plan for my living, something that I could never plan on my own.

I’m a warrior in Christ and I’m never going to give up.

Quiet Observer

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Photo by Siddharth Bhogra on Unsplash.

So I’m at the library doing homework because there’s no Wi-Fi at home. I already finished what I needed to do, but I’m more intrigued by whats happening in front of me. There’s is a young Asian girl of about fifteen or sixteen years old sitting in the table across from me. She seems to be doing homework but from what I can observe she’s learning arithmetic. However, she’s not alone. She’s dependent on an elderly man who tutors her. She’s like a small child in her comprehension, and the old man sighs with exasperation at her childlike understanding, but I like to imagine that he feels useful to her.

 

There’s a complex story in front of me that I will probably never know about. Maybe an immigrant girl’s future, and a native old man of these Great States, who’s lived so much and willing to give to her that gift. The gift of inspiration and education. The gift of encouragement to take advantage of life and to make something of herself! A gift that many young people with the privilege take for granted today.

Who knows what will become of them both. Sometimes I feel like a quiet spectator given the opportunity to take a glimpse into the lives of strangers, or even of friends and family. I love to live, but I also take pleasure in observing– even if at times what I see is painful because I suffer in silence with them. But these small glimpses are the little golden nuggets of life that I treasure forever. Even if they don’t happen to me and I’m just sitting on the outside looking in…..

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

Made for Love

I know of a young woman, who all her life chased the illusion of love. She always gave her heart away to the first boys who passed her by. Frogs disguised as princes, who could never offer her what her heart most desired. Yet she chased and chased and chased so many frogs, giving away the pieces of her heart to be recklessly broken again and again. You’d think she’d learn after a while, but she was just so thirsty for love… When she finally realized that love could be found in none other but the Prince of Peace, she still treated Him with caution; as if He too would break her heart like the impostors of her past. Every time He’d try to show her the love she desired, she ran away in the opposite direction, to impostors who disguised themselves in robes of light. She’d break her Prince’s heart each and every time she ran away, but He would allure her back in by consistently showing her that His love is true.

He gave her promises of a life worth living, a life of Worship, and of a prince for her made in His likeness. He showed her first that she needed cleansing, a new heart, and a new spirit. So He began to cleanse her with His Words of Life and Righteousness. He dressed her in robes of white, and crowned her head with flowers of Grace. He mended her broken soul, and filled her life with purpose, then He began to give His lovely thoughts and desires to be her own. He showed her her worth, and poured into her heart all the love she craved. He said to her, “you are Mine, my lovely bride, my betrothed. I am yours.”

She found herself embraced in a love like no other; a love she never knew. A love that can’t be found in mere mortals, but is found only in the One who formed her soul. A love so pure, a love so forgiving, so sweet, honest and sincere. A love that is selfless and is truly satisfying. This love chases away all the fears she ever knew. This love is like a light that swallows up the evils of the night and gives her heart certain hope of joyful days.

Today she is seeing the promises that her Prince of Peace spoke to her begin to manifest; promises of Worship and of the prince made for her in His likeness– that it breaks her heart to imagine that she ever thought that she could find love in anyone or anything but in the King of kings! But she realizes today that she was made for love. A love story worthy of the cross, a love story worthy of rings and to spend in the presence of her God for all eternity…

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.