Find true freedom in Christ.
Faith

Want true freedom? Find it in Christ.

 

Find true freedom in Christ.
Find true freedom in Christ.

 

As we get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, I cannot help but think about the freedom that we have as followers of Christ.

We are no longer slaves to sin. We know peace, love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, mercy and so much more.

“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” Romans 6:20

That emptiness that I felt is no longer present because I have Jesus in my heart. He fills that void, that for so long I tried to fill with shopping trips (expensive ones, may I add!), people, jobs, etc.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?: Psalm 42:1-2

Now, I have an identity. I have Jesus. I am free in Christ.

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39

Do you long to fill that void in your heart? Want to be free today?  It’s up to you to take that step toward freedom.

It’s simple. Ask Jesus into your heart.

Pray the following:

“Heavenly Father, I come to you at this time to ask for forgiveness of my sins (Luke 24:47). I recognize that I am a sinner (Romans 3:9) and I believe that you sent your only Son(Luke 3:22), Jesus, to die for my sins (Galatians 2:20). I believe that He was crucified and resurrected (Matthew 28:1-10) so that I can have eternal life  (John 17:3). Today, I accept you as Lord and Savior, and I humbly ask that you write my name in the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5).”

 

If you recommitted your life to Christ or accepted Him as Saviour for the first time, please send me a quick note. I’d love to pray for you.

God bless you,

Ivette

Faith

Unconditional love reproofs, corrects and indoctrinates

The Bible is a God-inspired, collection of books that serves to reprimand, correct and teach us sound doctrine.

Because God loves us unconditionally, He left us an “instruction manual” that tells us how we should live our lives. These are not suggestions, these are commands.

Just like parents set the rules in their households, so does God. We warn our children of the consequences of their actions, we discipline and correct them when they misbehave and we give them various opportunities to rectify their wrongdoings.

Even when they continue to defy us and break our rules, we continue to love them.

God does, too! He continues to love us when we fail Him, when we break His commandments and when we refuse to correct our behavior. What a merciful God we serve?!

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17; KJV

There are many stories in the Bible that show what the consequences of obedience and disobedience are. We read about God’s mercy, His warnings, His love, and anger, among other things.

For example, David’s fleshly desires caused him to sin. He committed adultery and tried to cover up his sin. The woman conceived and because of sin, the child died. David displeased God. (Read the full story here: 2 Samuel 11 & 2 Samuel 12)

In another example, Abraham and his wife Sarah entered a new town during their travels. Abraham feared that he would be killed because of his wife’s beauty. They decided to lie about their relationship. The King took her as his wife. However, God warned Abimelek, in a dream, that Sarah is a married woman and if he touched her there would be consequences. (Read the full story here: Genesis 20)

There are consequences to our actions.

The Lord sends many warnings before unleashing his judgment; however, many people refuse to listen to God. Through the Word, He calls out our sin, He urges us to make changes to our behavior and He tells us how much he loves us. But people aren’t listening.

Many people refuse to correct their behavior because they believe scripture is “hateful and untrue”, “it is my life and I live like I want to” and “we can’t say that; it’s offensive”, among other thoughts.

Reality is……

God loves us. His mercy abounds. He dislikes sin. He is holy.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” 1 Peter 1:15-17; KJV

He gave us rules to live by and the ability to make our own choices. However, there are eternal consequences to choosing God or rejecting Him. This choice cannot be corrected once we die.

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23; KJV

It’s your choice to make! Eternal life or death? Which one will you choose?

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Christian Life

You have everything you longed for, but it’s not enough…

You feel blessed to have everything you dreamed of– a successful career, the house with a white picket fence, healthy children, a doting husband/wife, money etc., but you are running on empty. You have it all, but you don’t feel complete.

You want more and you continue to search for that one thing that will “fill you” on the inside. That one thing that will complete you. There is an emptiness in your soul and you can’t pinpoint it. The search is tiring and you want rest, but you can’t seem to find it.

We come to a point in our lives, where we don’t feel good enough. You try and try, but it’s never good enough. The question is: Not  good enough for who? Why do you feel this way? What makes you feel this way?

Perhaps, you’ve heard it before? All you need is Jesus.

In Him you will find what you need– rest.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

He will give you rest from all that is weighing you down. He will fill your cup. You will find peace in Him.

Be real with Jesus. No need to build a wall, hide or pretend that everything is okay. He knows it all, but He desires to hear it from you.

I don’t know what you are struggling with today, but know that God loves you and He wants to fill your cup with peace, comfort, love, and so much more.

You are more than enough. Jesus is more than enough for you!

I leave with you one of my favorite songs interpreted by Chris Tomlin:

 

If you are in need of prayer, please comment below or contact me.

 

God bless you & yours,

Ivette

 

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Faith

Nothing in this world can save us, but Jesus

There is nothing in this world that can save you, but Jesus. If anyone tells you otherwise, it is a lie.

Jesus is the only way to salvation. Good works can’t save us. Social status or fame can’t save us. Money or material possessions can’t save us. Heck, our pastors can’t save us. There is only one way– Jesus.

Scripture tells us that the only way to God is through Jesus. To know Jesus means to know God. He is the only way to salvation.

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” 

                                                                                           John 14:5-7

Mistakenly, people think that good works save. That it’s the ticket to heaven and it’s not. I am not saying that it isn’t good to work for the Lord. The truth is that if we rely on good works to save us, we’re in trouble. Why? Because we are placing our faith on our works and not on God. Grace saves us.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:6-8

Just as good works can’t save us,  fame and social status can’t either. We live in a world where popularity, money and fame influence many people, but these don’t influence God. He doesn’t play favorites. He looks at your heart! How is your heart doing today? Time for a check up?

If we play favorites, we sin. Sadly, this happens a lot in society. If we have nothing of “value” (according to worldly standards) to offer, people don’t notice us. But God doesn’t work that way. He loves us. We are worthy in his eyes. Every single one of us.

“If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:8-9

Just as good works, fame, and social status can’t save us, money can’t either. Money is necessary to conduct an exchange, but it won’t  buy our salvation.

In the book of Acts, chapter 8, Simon saw many people receive the power of the Holy Spirit after the disciples laid hands on them. Simon’s excitement go the best of him and he desired that particular gift. He offered money to buy that gift.

Peter was angry when he heard Simon’s offer. He told him that we cannot buy God’s gifts. Just as we cannot buy any of the  gifts that God gives to us, we cannot buy our salvation.

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” Acts 8:19-21

It is clear. Jesus is the only way.

To avoid deception and false teachings, it is imperative that we understand the Word. This is why our pastors encourage us to read our Bibles daily.

We should delve into the Word. It’s not just about familiarizing ourselves with the most popular characters or stories in the Bible. We need to understand what the Holy Spirit speaks to us through scripture. We need to meditate on the Word.

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3: 14-16

Let’s stay vigilant.

God bless you & yours,

Ivette

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Faith

You will never be ready to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Often, I hear people say, “I’m not ready to accept Jesus”.

Truthfully, you will never be ready. There will never be a right time.

Why wait?

Prior to accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I thought the same. And I didn’t find the following appealing: church services three (plus) nights a week, wearing skirts , and not be able to cut my hair. I didn’t want to stop living the life I lived.

I was comfortable where I was (for the most part!) and I didn’t want to leave the “old man” behind. And that’s exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us to feel so comfortable where we are, that we never want to leave. He paints everything else, but Jesus, as perfect and beautiful. He deceives you! That’s his specialty.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

However, God has plans for me. And He has plans for you, too!

At that time, my thought was that I had to make changes to my way of living right away. That was overwhelming and I wasn’t ready for that. Hence, “I’m not ready to accept Jesus.” The devil lied to me and he is lying to you!

How do you become a born-again Christian?

It’s simple. Let me explain.

You confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).

Click on the image below to read a “profession of faith statement”.

walkwithjesus

 

Once you repent of your sins and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, a few things happen:

Then you begin the “cleansing” process. God begins to purify your heart, mind, and spirit. That means that God is getting rid of all behavior that isn’t pleasing to Him. It’s a slow process that lasts a lifetime.

When I committed to Jesus, shortly after, I began to read the Bible and pray. My thoughts began to change and so did my heart. I noticed the change in me. I was no longer angry, irritable and I no longer cursed. (It took a few years!) To God be the glory!

The Holy Spirit is the only One who can do that. He changes you. It doesn’t happen overnight.

I am not going to lie to you. It is an uncomfortable process. You will question many things, you will cry and you will want out. The enemy will try to discourage you, remind you of your past, and guilt-trip you. I encourage you to hang on. God’s got you!

For example, in 2011, God spoke to my heart and He asked me to stop listening to secular music. Of course, I wasn’t ready. It took me two years to understand why I had to stop. It was my life! How can I leave all that  behind? My career choices were in music. It’s all I ever wanted. At that time, I wanted it more than God. Idolatry.

However, I was honest with God– I asked for His forgiveness because I was disobedient. I told him that I would be ready to leave secular music behind, eventually. (God is a merciful God! He understands. He is patient. He cares.)

A year later (2012) I destroyed all of my CDs (ancient, I know!) and I deleted music from my iPod. It was tough, but I survived. And if I did, you will too!

Reality is that we will never be ready.

It is scary and overwhelming.

Change doesn’t happen overnight (unless God wants it to!).

The time is now.

You will be fine.

I’m living proof!

If you have committed your life to Christ, please share encouraging words below with those who don’t feel “ready”.

God bless you & yours,

Ivette