Fire will burn you, but it also provides so much to improve our daily lives. It gives us light. It gives us heat. We cook with it. We use it to purify metals and to shape them into tools and so much more. As we discussed in the previous post, God often reveals Himself through fire. Here we will discuss how fire is used for judgement, but it is also used to purify us, to help us to grow. It is also used to represent the evil schemes of the devil, but we know that fire will await him in the end. Continue reading “The Good and Bad of Fire”
The third in our series on how to live as a believer once we are saved is:
Put on the full armor of God; Submit to God and resist the devil.
What does it mean to ‘put on the armor of God?’ and how do we do that? Spiritual battles are a part of a believer’s life. Not only do we have the battles within, the struggles between wanting to do what is right and desiring to do the things of this world contrary to the will of God, we also have an enemy who desires that we fail and not get close to God, and he wants to keep others from coming to God. He will use those desires and your weaknesses to come after you. But, we can resist him and we have the weapons to do it. Continue reading “The Armor of God”
We are saved by grace. Not by works. Does that mean once we are saved we don’t need to do anything? As Paul would say, “Certainly Not!” I think there is a reason that God doesn’t just take us up to heaven the moment we are saved. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, but we are also guided by Him to do good works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Without Christ, we can do nothing. With Him, we can endure all things and we can “bear fruit.” Bearing fruit means living according to God’s will, doing good works according to His purpose, having strength in our weakness, ministering to others, lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ, letting our light shine so that others can see Christ in us.
We as a church body and members of the body have many responsibilities, I think. One thing we are lacking is discipling new believers. I think many new-born Christians ask the question, “now that I am saved, what do I do next?” Hopefully we don’t stop at just showing people how to be saved, but show them how to grow as a believer. I have previously written posts about what it means to be saved and what it means to pick up our cross. I think that is a good place to start. The last post was about being a part of a church and why go to church? This is where we can fellowship with others and learn how to grow. As we read God’s word, pray daily and seek godly advice from others, we can become more mature followers of Christ. Continue reading “I am Saved…Now what to do?”
Words can be powerful. They can be used to get important points across. They can be used to bless. They are often used to hurt and sometimes they hurt unintentionally. On one hand people need to know the truth even when it hurts. But also it must always be in love. Sometimes we need to think of others’ feeling with what we say. The devil uses the tactic of twisting words so that we say things we don’t mean or the words are misinterpreted, and both can cause relationship breakdowns. Continue reading “The Tongue is a Powerful Tool”
So, I have just returned from a mission trip to Haiti. God is doing wonderful things there and I am so honored and blesses to be able to experience some of that in the little time I was able to. Praise God for all He has done!
The devil is very active in Haiti with more than half the people here practicing voodoo of one form or another. In preparing for this trip, I have encountered obstacles and distractions, opposition and even doubt. But I needed to stay strong in the Lord and pray often. I also noticed that during this week, I was often distracted while praying or skipped my morning prayers. I did make sure to read my Bible every day which encouraged me to pray. I had to keep my mind on God and pray as often as I can for the mission, for the kids, and for what I am doing while I am here. James said to resist the devil and I did just that as much as I could. Seeking God’s word and asking him for protection and guidance always works, even when things get tough. God wasn’t necessarily visible this trip, but I know He was there and I can see the work He is doing at the mission.
Anyways, we all go through struggles in life and wonder if we are doing the right thing or does God really hear us and things like that at one time or another. The devil likes to put lies in your head, but remember that his desire is to destroy your faith and keep you from sharing God’s love and grace and prevent others from a saving relationship in Jesus Christ. Continue reading “The devil is Real, Resist him!”