Blessings follow obedience

The Bible indicates that blessings follow obedience. I can attest to its truth. I spent years answering phones in the customer service industry. I listened to endless complaints, profane language, and was subjected to stressful work environments daily. I went to college, obtained two degrees, and longed to switch to a different field. I endured countless job rejections throughout those years and I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t moving me in another direction.

I wasn’t saved during those years and I lived in open rebellion to God. I lived an immoral lifestyle, rejected God’s commands, and was self-centered. I couldn’t move to a better job because God does not bless our mess. I didn’t follow God’s instructions and He did not reward my bad behavior. I was lost, broken, and in need of a Savior.

I grew up in a single parent household, never had a relationship with my earthly father, wasn’t raised with any siblings, most of my family are unbelievers, endured serious illness, divorce, financial crises, single parenthood, challenging schools, and tension-filled jobs. But God still loves me. The world may deem me worthless but God doesn’t. I am His daughter and NOTHING can take me out of His hands.

In January 2016, I made the life-changing decision to follow Christ. In February 2016, He finally answered my job prayer, years after my request. He blessed me with a job in a Christian environment that’s not stressful. He answered my prayer in His timing and if it wasn’t for my other jobs I would not have appreciated this one. I lived in unbelief for 31 years and a month after I gave my life to Him He blessed my obedience with a better job. I’ve experienced miracles, God’s goodness, and am a living testimony. Even though trials and tribulations continue in my saved life, I know that “the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)

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In the world, not of the world

Jesus disciples are called to God’s standards and they are not “of the world.” Even though the world condones immorality, upholds division via racism, colorism, sexism, classism, and ageism; God calls His followers to His standards. The world offers temporary pleasures, short-lived excitement, and leads to eternal death. God promises permanent peace, His Holy Spirit, and eternal life. Jesus promises His children abundant life and with Him in it, how can it not be?

I’ve been born again for a little over 14 months. It wasn’t long ago that I lived in unrepentant sin, led a backslidden life, and thrived on self-destruction. The same grace God gave me is given to others who recognize their sinfulness and need of a Savior. The ecstasy of the world is exciting but it’s short-lived and void of real peace. The world and all it offers doesn’t compare to the miracles, testimonies, and life-changing transformations that only come with faith in the risen Jesus Christ.

Following Jesus is not popular but it’s necessary. The goodness of God, His unfailing grace, and His abounding mercy allows His children to know that choosing Him is the right choice. The world will let you down but God never will. He works in His timing and His love endures forever. He promises rewards to those that love and obey Him while His wrath is upon those who don’t.

I once read that a popular, celebrity self-proclaimed Christian encouraged others to wait 90 days before having sex. He didn’t encourage others to ascribe to God’s timetable of waiting to have sex until after marriage because he ascribed to the worldview of sexual immorality. Everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God however the difference between His fans and His followers is their willingness to continue in unrepentant sins. Followers of Christ despise sin and aim to eradicate it from their lives with the aid of God’s Holy Spirit. They fall down, they get back up, and they ask for forgiveness of their sins with the intent of never doing those same sins again. Fans of Jesus are much different. They commit sins, condone sins, and therefore are unwilling to confess sins. They hear the Word of God but they don’t live the Word of God. They are not living the will of God and if they physically die while spiritually dead they will hear Jesus tell them “…I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.” (Matthew 7:23)

Satan is “…the prince of the power of the air and is at work in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2) The world is his dominion and everything he temporarily offers conflicts with the lasting promises of God. Many people consider being rich a sign of God’s blessings yet our financial standings have no bearing on our spiritual health. Some unsaved people live affluent earthly lives but their afterlife is vastly different. An unsaved rich person who dies in unbelief will be in hell without their money and without God. Although they may have lived what some may consider a “great life” it was only great momentarily. The best earthly life is one lived selflessly in servitude to Jesus, condemning the world’s sinful ideals, and storing up treasures in Heaven that last forever.

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The power of the Holy Spirit

I felt overwhelmed with life yesterday and I needed to hear a Word from the Lord. I turned my radio to an Inspirational station but they weren’t discussing anything I wanted to hear. I turned it off and recited familiar Bible verses in my head to help me on my drive to Walgreens pharmacy to pick up a prescription for my daughter. The pharmacy employee told me I could wait to have her prescription filled so I went to the magazine section and picked up one titled Jesus. I sat down in the pharmacy section and before I could get engrossed in my periodical, I overheard a man state that he had to go through radiation and chemo. I wanted to say something encouraging to the man but didn’t know what to say or how to say it. As I pondered over what to do the power of the Holy Spirit was at work as the man sat down and started talking to me.

The man was well-versed in Scripture, eloquent, and bright. He told me about God’s love, His grace, and the spiritual gifts He gives us. I was engrossed in what the man said and I held onto every word. God sends what you need, when you need it, and that man was right on time.

The man in Walgreens was dirty, another customer ignored him when he said hi, and he was missing many teeth. But I remembered what the Lord said in 1 Samuel 16:7 “for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” The Lord blessed me with an inspiring message because I focused on the man’s interior and not his exterior. I’ve heard that the Holy Spirit brings power, presence, and promise. I can attest to the Lord’s power by counting all of the blessings He’s bestowed upon me. I confirm His presence because He is always with me. I believe in His promise “that when we seek His righteousness all things will be added unto us.” (Matthew 6:33)

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Jesus is God! Here’s proof…

There are many people that deny the deity of Christ. But just because some people deny His authority doesn’t mean He’s not authoritative. His saving grace is available for all who believe in Him. Below are factual reasons Jesus is who He said He is:

  1. Jesus performed many, many miracles including making the blind see, turning water into wine, feeding thousands with a few fish and some bread, raising Lazarus from the dead, healing people with various ailments, and the most important miracle whose effect still has an impact on His followers: He raised Himself from the dead and defeated death!
  2. Jesus received worship. Mary worshipped the risen Christ and He did not rebuke her
  3. Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life. He said He is the only way to Heaven.
  4. Jesus said He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
  5. Jesus, in physical form, is perfect. Only a divine person can be perfect and no other person in history has ever been perfect.
  6. Jesus predicted that He would be killed and raised from the dead which was fulfilled and confirmed by eyewitnesses.
  7. Jesus forgives sins and gives eternal life.
  8. Jesus offers the free gift of salvation to anyone who believes in Him.
  9. Jesus came from Heaven.  Jesus (God the Son) said He had glory with God the Father before the world was.
  10. Jesus is back in Heaven and He gifts His followers with His Holy Spirit.
  11. The Word is God and the Word became flesh. God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ to save humanity from the consequences of ALL of our sins!

Jesus has been confirmed by historians and theologians. His life and death are corroborated by His followers, His enemies, and many eyewitnesses. Archaeological evidence, scientific dating, and countless manuscripts in existence prove Jesus is God and His Word is factual. He is God, He is good, and He is glorious!

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“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) We can’t go through life expecting forgiveness when we don’t extend it. God forgives us of all of our sins and He wipes our slates clean in the process.  We are not defined by our worst moments, when we fall down we can choose not to stay down, and when God set us free we can be assured that we are truly free indeed!

I know all about failure. I failed out of college on my 1st attempt and my marriage failed.  But God wasn’t through with me and He uses me in spite of my circumstances.  His forgiveness changed my life and healed me in the process.  Jesus is willing to forgive all who admit their sins.  You can and will be forgiven.

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With His stripes we are healed!

“He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Followers of Christ are spiritually healed, spiritually alive, and are blessed with eternal life. Spiritual healing is the best healing we could ever receive on this side of Heaven. We will one day be blessed with physical healing when our bodies are resurrected but we can take part in spiritual healings now. I am so thankful for the born again experience that afforded me the opportunity to be spiritually healed. Christ followers are blessed with the benefits of spiritual healing and can humbly proclaim the rewards and benefits that come with it.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Accepting the deity of Jesus and asking Him to come into your heart are the 1st steps in receiving spiritual healing. Repentance is available to all but admitting our sinful condition is imperative. Jesus will accept those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy (nothing to offer Him), those who admit that they are unable to save themselves, and those who trust in Him alone for salvation. Jesus wants to heal us but we have to ask Him to heal our brokenness and trust that He can and will.

It wasn’t long ago that I had a terminal, spiritual sickness. I was on the wide road to destruction and hell was my destination. I was on Satan’s side, of the world, and lost. I enjoyed temporary thrills but they left me feeling empty. I knew I needed restoration and attempted to self-medicate pain only Jesus could heal. I asked Jesus to come into my heart, turned away from immorality, and attempted to live in His will. I am confident in who I am in Christ and know that Heaven is in my future. I experienced supernatural peace, Jesus bestowed blessings upon me, and I have nothing to worry about. I used to feel anxious over unknowns (death, diseases, and poverty). I now know that death means I get to meet my Savior Jesus, diseases have no power over my spirit which lives forever, and no matter how much or how little is in my bank account “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1) Jesus is the Great Physician, He is a healer, He is the light of my life, and He holds all authority.

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God gave us all free will and the ability to make choices. The most important choice we will all make is whether or not we accept or reject Jesus as our personal Savior.  Rejecting Jesus has dire consequences and those that deny Him will suffer eternally.  Accepting Jesus brings eternal life that starts when we accept Him.  Paradise with Him is what awaits His blood washed followers and eternal bliss can be expected.  Jesus is the historical, logical, and reliable choice.

Jesus is the author of life, offers the free gift of salvation, and is the first born of the dead. His finished work on the cross, His bodily resurrection, and His earthly ministry attests to His deity.  He is God in the flesh and He came to save humanity.  He saved me and I know He can and will save anyone who wants to be saved.  We have to recognize our deathly condition and our need for a Savior.  I am clothed with the righteousness of Christ and when God sees me He sees His Son.  I still live in the flesh and will continually make mistakes but Jesus forgives me of my past, present, and future sins.  He will do the same for you.  The choice is yours.

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