Will You Choose Life?

Why is it so hard to except the free gift of salvation? Jesus makes this so easy.

Believe in me. Call on me. And be saved.

No rituals. No gimmicks. Nothing to give. Everything to gain.

What could you do to deserve this?

Absolutely nothing.

Herein, I believe, lies the heart problem.

A lot of people have trouble accepting something that’s free. When we think of receiving something free we believe it’s either 1) Not good quality or 2) There is a hidden price we are going to end up paying.

With Jesus this is not the case. He wants nothing of you. In fact, there isn’t anything you could give the Lord of Lords and King of Kings! What Jesus wants is you. I know you’re thinking, “Whoa there! You told me He wanted nothing!” Once you experience just a taste of the Jesus, Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8, you will never be the same. You will want to live for Him, die for Him, give your life to Him.

You’ll change because it’s only natural. The power of the Holy Spirit is life altering. In things you once found pleasure you’ll now find distasteful. You won’t even know why that happened. It will just be. God in your life will change you for the better. See, He only has your best interest at heart. Won’t you accept His free gift of live over death? You don’t have to give anything but when He is done with you, you’ll want to give it all because you’ll realize what a remarkable gift you’ve received.

If we truly comprehended God’s love we would be floored. It is that good. Things that once attracted me in the world I realized didn’t really satisfy me at all. The things I thought I desired held no benefit to me.

Alcohol – I was not myself. Sloppy from intoxication I was willing to do almost anything. My inhibitions, well, there weren’t any. Let’s not mention intense hangovers. Why was this fun again?

Not Pretty

Sex – Meaningless encounters that left me as lonely as I was before I got in his bed. I wasn’t his wife nor did he have any intentions of making me his wife. I satisfied a carnal lust. After each encounter another piece of me was given away… I wasn’t even satisfied. Although, I put up a front like I was. It was all a charade. A mask I would don. “Was it good for you?” they’d ask. “Yes,” I would lie as I rolled over, silently cried and begged for God’s forgiveness. Having sex just to have someone in bed with you. Are you just as lonely when they leave? That emptiness, that void you feel…it’s still there isn’t it? Why was this fun again?

It wasn’t. I had been sold a lie. The enemy tricked me into believing this was the norm and everybody was doing it. That was a lie and the devil, satan, the prince of the air, is a LIAR. He petitions God for your soul. Oh, you weren’t aware of that, huh? Things getting a little too personal now? He is the accuser. When you sin he says to God, “Look at what he/she just did! They don’t love You! They don’t want You! Surely, I can have that soul!?”

Every Christian has an enemy. Although unseen by the natural eye, this adversary is not imaginary nor a mythological character. Satan, the Devil, is a real person… a spirit being, with intelligence, tangible characteristics, and whose incessant goal and ambition is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).

Around the clock the enemy is on the prowl, seeking to cause mayhem and destruction to all believers and the work of Jesus Christ throughout the world. With military-like strategy and ruthless hostility, the devil aggressively searches for weakness in our faith and spiritual life, hoping to devour us with deception, temptation, or oppression. He is the personification of all that is evil and is the author of every despicable work.

Regardless of whether you realize it, Satan has targeted you as a victim. He knows your name and address, your strengths and weaknesses. Somewhere in the shadows, he and his forces lurk, waiting, planing for the moment they will strike when you’re caught off-guard. He desperately hopes that you will, as many Christians, remain ignorant of his reality so that you’ll blame his assaults on somebody or something else.

His method of operation is almost always “undercover.” Subtly, he manipulates hindering circumstances and inspires evil thoughts or temptations, disguising his activities behind the shroud of people or things. He will always seek to divert attention and blame for his actions upon others. But make no mistake, he is the real enemy, not your husband, wife, employer, government or Christian brethren!“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). 

The good news is that, although the Devil is described “like” a “roaring lion,” in reality he has no actual authority over believers. He is not really a lion, but roars “like” a lion would to bluff his victims into fear and intimidation. Satan is a liar and deceiver and uses deception as his weapon to gain advantage over those who are ignorant of the limitations of his power.

When Jesus gave his life on the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world, He also redeemed us from Satan’s power and dominion over us. “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15). “…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Praise God! Satan is already a defeated enemy! His legal authority was neutralized by the finished work of Christ on the cross.*

Isn’t that good news?! You have to accept Jesus for this authority though. Jesus’ benefit package is greater than anything any employer could ever give you!

I need to be reminded of all of this as well but remember, as long as you repent (TRUE REPENTANCE: Conviction – it’s bothering your conscious/not sitting right in your spirit, etc and you STRIVE not to do it again.) God is faithful and just to forgive you. Yes, even Christians sin. We strive to live holy but we have our moments. Don’t be afraid to come to God because you aren’t perfect. None of us are! I recently heard this statement:

The only difference between people in Heaven and people in hell is that the people in Heaven chose the free gift of salvation and the people in hell did not. Both groups are sinners!

Choose Now!

Don’t miss out on this free gift! It’s without condition! Come! Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of this (well) water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

*Excerpt taken from http://www.victorious.org/devil.htm


Secular Sounds and Images

It has come to my immediate attention that the things that we hear and the things that we see have an impact on what we think. It has a greater effect on our minds than we may think. I was led to write this article because it has come up in various discussions with a few of my Christian friends. Is what we take in through our eyes and ears really important? If we know as Christians that we aren’t to entertain certain ideas or thoughts, why can’t we listen to certain music and watch certain programs and then just dismiss what isn’t righteous?

No. The fact is we can’t. Seeds are being planted by the enemy. The solution is to be very aware of what you take into your body. You wouldn’t knowingly put harmful chemicals in your body would you? So why would you knowingly put images or sounds into your body that would be harmful to your soul? Not everyone sees it this way. This is just my personal opinion. From life experience, I find that for myself it’s better to distance myself altogether from things that could possibly pollute my soul.
Listening to “Buttons” by the Pussy Cat Dolls, I find myself rocking along gyrating my hips, feeling sexy and wanting to flaunt it for the world. Of course, I’d never do these things but the very fact that my mind goes there when I listen to songs such as this one, is reason enough to leave the secular music to the secular world. As Shannon states in her book, “Every Woman’s Battle,” there is enough Christian music out there now for every taste and every fancy. It is imperative that we do away with the images and sounds that are chipping away little by little at our souls.

Fighting Worldliness: The Secret to Being in His Perfect Will 7/12/2010

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been challenged to try and hear God’s voice clearer. A really good friend of mine is fasting and trying to do the same and I was inspired. If you’re a Christian you know there are peaks and valleys in our walks and I was in the proverbial valley.

During this time, I had encountered numerous circumstances and scriptures on the topic of worldliness (of, relating to, or devoted to the temporal world not the spiritual one). I know at times I can get caught up (i.e. jamming to the new secular song by Usher, watching my favorite Desperate Housewives episode on Hulu or entertaining a conversation that is less than edifying) but as a seasoned Christian these things should have no affect on me, right?

Wrong. We have to limit the amount of worldliness we allow into our lives and this should be an ongoing process. As a believer, I am given freedom! But not everything is beneficial for me (1 Corinthians 10:23). As a rule of thumb, I’ve chosen to follow what Shannon Ethridge has recommended in her book, Every Woman’s Battle, * and examine what I allow into my mind – through magazines, books, movies, television, radio and the Internet. I suggest you do, too, and ask yourself the following questions:

• Does this glamorize ideas or situations that oppose my Christian values?

• Is it uplifting to my spirit, and does it make me grateful for what God has given me, or does it make me depressed or dissatisfied?

• Does this cause me to think about things that build my character, or does it tear it down?

Don’t allow things to enter your mind that can distract you from being devoted to Christ and the things He has called you to do. Paul warned the Corinthians about this possibility when he wrote:

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, you minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)

Paul wasn’t worried that the Corinthians weren’t thinking about God 24/7! He was worried that the things they were spending time thinking about would lead them in the opposite direction from God!

Christianity.com stated today that “We must fight worldliness because it dulls our affections for Christ and distracts our attention from Christ. Worldliness is so serious because Christ is so glorious.” Am I telling you to give up everything at once? No, of course not, but I am asking that you decrease the amount of the “world” you let in and watch how the blessings begin to flow! Instead of spending four hours on Facebook, spend only two. Use the time you would have been mindlessly playing Mafia Wars to read the Word of God. So many people are asking why they haven’t heard from Him! I have a question for them and for you: Are you really listening? Decrease the flow of “world” into your life and see how quickly He answers! His voice will become clearer to you! Spend more time with Him. How can we hear His voice if we aren’t listening? Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

As Christ followers, I believe we go through seasons of revelation. God will only give us what we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13) and when we are shown to be faithful with little we will, in turn, be given more because of what we did with the little we had. (Luke 16:10). If you want to know His will for your life it’s simple: just ask. But make sure that you aren’t too distracted to hear His answer. This, my brother, my sister, is one of the secrets to being in His perfect will.

~Aisha Antoinette~

*excerpt taken from “Every Women’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment” by Shannon Ethridge