Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JOY TO THE WORLD



 

 

 








Joy to the world! The Lord has come:
let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing
and heaven and heaven and nature sing
Joy to the world! The Savior reigns:
let men their songs employ
while fields and floods
rocks, hills and plains
repeat the sounding joy
repeat the sounding joy
repeat, repeat the sounding joy


He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders of his love
and wonders of his love
and wonders and wonders of his love

Joy to the world! The Lord has come:
let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing
and heaven and heaven and nature sing.

Most everyone is familiar with the Christmas carol above, which says joy is coming to the world and the reason is because of the birth of the Savior.  He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Let earth receive her king. Earth’s king is the One, Who created heaven and earth: Jesus Christ.

During this season, people are scurrying about in preparation for Christmas day with much shopping for gifts, food, trees, decorations, and other things that will enhance their homes and lawns. Preparing their hearts and making room for the Lord is not a priority. Many people look at Christmas as another holiday, while others (including me) consider this special day a holy day of worship and celebration.  When we prepare Him room, we can sing with heaven and nature of His majesty.

The Savior reigns in the hearts of many, who have become born again Christians. Christmas is the time for us to sing praises to our Savior along with His creations: fields, floods, rocks, hills, plains repeat their sound of joy!

Satan, the prince of this world, rules the world with deception, wickedness and lies {John 14:30}. The Savior rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations show proof of His righteousness and the wonders of His love.

Another song sung during this season says that Santa Claus is coming to town. Well, we know that Santa isn’t really coming, although, many parents have their children anticipating his arrival to leave presents under their Christmas tree. The Lord came as a newborn babe-- born of a young virgin named Mary over 2,000 years ago. The message of this carol rings loud and clear. It heralds the Lord’s arrival into the world; after His birth in a lowly manger.

CHRISTMAS is a season of joy and the wonders of the love of God, Who gave His only begotten Son to redeem the world (John 3:16).

 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Harmonious Relationships


Today, the news is filled with stories about people being assaulted or killed because of dysfunction in a personal life or with couples and families. What causes people to have disharmony that would lead someone to hurt or kill a loved one? There are probably many contributing factors; but I would like to provide one answer for your consideration and that is: a lack of love and not knowing Love. In case you didn't know, love is really a Person. Hold on and let me explain with a passage from my guide for life: the Holy Bible [all Scriptures passages have been taken from the New Living Translation-NLT]:
"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." ~ 1John 4:7-8_NLT
Over 2,000 years ago, God showed His great love for mankind (the world) and gave His only begotten Son Jesus, who loved His Father so much that He was willing to make that supreme sacrifice. He left His home in glory (heaven) to come to earth for three (3) years to fulfill His Father's plan of redemption. After an act of high treason and betrayal by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, man was found doomed forever; but God had a plan to save mankind, so we would be redeemed from our sin debt and reconciled back to Him.  
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him (Jesus)." ~ John 3:16-17_NLT
When love is absent, it is replaced by a counterfeit of love, anger, hatred, fear and other unhealthy emotions that cause dysfunction in any relationship. Relationships are important and contribute to family life. A healthy family begins with a healthy relationship and marriage between a man and a woman.
 
I have a loved one, who was in a dysfunctional relationship that eventually fell apart. Unfortunately, it wasn't a friendly breakup, but thank God there was no loss of life. During that relationship my best recourse was prayer [God was the only, Who would listen]. After the breakup, I thought about what had transpired in that dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship and how things should or could have been. As a result of that reflection, I wrote the following poem.  
RELATIONSHIPS come and relationships go; and where they go: only loves knows. Sometimes, it is weak love or a counterfeit; maybe an abuse of love-with someone getting hit.
LOVE doesn’t misbehave; but sometimes it’s mishandled by those, not trained. Handle love with care: not carelessly- or it won’t bring you joy- only misery.  
O, my friend, LOVE doesn’t live to hurt; nor does it throw someone down in the dirt. It forgives and doesn’t keep any score. Every failure must be thrown out the door. Love knows how to be right and admits, when it’s wrong. When you build it on good things—your love will be strong!
You can’t build love on selfishness; that just won’t endure. Love that lasts is giving and has a heart that’s pure.
No secret motives to manipulate; but honesty that chooses to communicate. Love doesn’t yell and is all ears. Love’s not insecure and has no fears.
Perfect love casts out all fear; if you work at love- it will bless you for years.
When it comes to relationships: if you seek God's wisdom or the counsel of a wise friend, you won't have to get clarity about an unsuitable mate and situation from hindsight. Always be mindful of the following Don'ts: 
  • Don't rush into any relationship, because love is patient and will wait if it's meant to be.
  • Don't be pressured. If you're not sure about entering into a relationship: BE STILL and pray for evidence to justify your reservation.
"If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged...Three things will last forever--faith, hope and LOVE-- and the greatest of these is LOVE." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1,4-5,13 {I recommend reading the entire chapter.}  
It is my prayer that you will choose to walk in love and be prayerful about all your relationships. Let God guide you, because He knows what you can't see. Sometimes, we choose to learn the hard way; when prevention is better than cureRemember: everything that looks good is not good for you! If you're a wise person, choose to walk with those, who are wise-- lest you become a fool.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6_NLT  
May God grant you healthy emotions that contribute to healthy relationships as you walk in Him (love). Selah [Pause and calmly think on that]!

#Shalom to you; and thank you for taking time to read this post! (*,*) 


 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Proverbs Make One Wise



PROVERBS: a collection of moral sayings and counsels forming a book of canonical Jewish and Christian Scripture.

Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel, wrote the Proverbs so that people would know skillful and godly wisdom and instruction, discern and comprehend the words of understanding and insight, receive instruction in wise dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice and integrity [Proverbs 1:2-3_Amp]. 

The Book of Proverbs contains 31 chapters, so you can read one every day [and read the last two on the 30th day of any calendar month (e.g. September)]. We will always need wisdom for our lives; but seeking the wrong kind of advice will bring the wrong results. The best place to look for wisdom is in God's Word, which is the Holy Bible. God is omniscient and therefore the best source of wisdom in heaven and on this earth. He longs for us to seek Him and His holy counsel; but sadly many reject it. Scripture encourages us to go to God if (and when) we need wisdom.
"If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind...[James 1:5-6_Amp]."
Scripture says we must go to God in faith and without doubting, when we seek wisdom; and I will explain the reason. If you went to a friend you considered a sage; you would expect to receive the right advice that would help you in making an immediate decision or give you insight for a future plan. You wouldn't go with a negative or pessimistic attitude; but you would have a sense of expectancy and believe the advice offered would be the best for you. This is how you should go to God: expecting by faith to receive His best counsel for your life.

There's great benefit in seeking out and heeding the Proverbs. A wise person will seek to gain more wisdom; but the foolish despise skillful and godly wisdom [Proverbs 1:7b_KJV]. Having a reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Because I revere and worship the Lord, I am always ready to receive His wisdom for my day to day life. It becomes the norm for me to seek Him at all times and under various situations. I have free access to His wisdom 24/7 and so can you.

Parents, who trust God have access to His wisdom, which they should teach their children. Wise children will never shame their parents; and as they mature; they will learn the benefits of heeding godly counsel or the detriment of rejecting it and following foolish friends. Sometimes, friends can entice others to do things that are not moral and/or will cause a loss to their victims.
"My son, if sinners (those not following and obeying God) entice you, do not consent. If they say, 'Come with us; let us lie in wait [to shed] blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause [and show that his piety is in vain] (Proverbs 1:11_Amp)..."
Wisdom instructs us to associate with wise people; because we become like the company we keep. "He who walks [as a companion] with wise men is wise, but he who associates with [self-confident] fools is [a fool himself and] shall smart [suffer] for it (Proverbs 13:20_Amp)."  Foolishness will always be at your heels and enticing you to yield to its ways; but wisdom cries out for us to heed her call and disregard the invitation of foolishness.
"WISDOM cries aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the markets; She cries at the head of the noisy intersections [in the chief gathering places]; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: 'How long, O simple ones [open to evil], will you love being simple? And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] fools hate knowledge? If you will turn [repent] and give heed to my reproof, behold I [Wisdom} will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you [Proverbs 1:22-23_Amp].'"
TUNE your ear to Wisdom; and you will be able to heed her call; and will be made wise. If you ignore wisdom, go your own way--only to fail and come back crying and calling; she will not answer you. 
"Because I have called and you have refused [to answer], have stretched out my hand and no man heeded it, And you treated as nothing all my counsel and would accept none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when the thing comes that shall cause you terror and panic--- When panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as whirl wind, when distress and anguish come upon you, Then will they call upon me [Wisdom] but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently but they will not find me [Proverbs 1:24-28_Amp]..."
Wisdom is time-sensitive, which means we must be ready to hear and heed it [her] quickly. Keep your ears open for godly counsel and you will avoid disaster. Reading the Proverbs will increase your understanding about yourself and others. The wisdom of the Proverbs will help you to stay in a safe place and away the wrong people, who prey on others as sport. We also learn by wisdom that, although we think and make our plans, a wise answer [about the plan] will always come from the Lord. Wisdom knows that it is better to commit personal works unto the Lord and rest in His peace about things [Proverbs 16:1,3_KJV].   

Wisdom is discreet and knows how to behave in sensitive situations with volatile people. A wise person knows how to treat others regardless of their status and will never mock the poor or be glad at other's calamity; therefore he will avoid punishment [Proverbs 17:5_KJV]. "Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you [Proverbs 2:11_Amp]." Through wisdom, your life can be prolonged. "For by me [Wisdom from God] your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life shall be increased (Proverbs 9:11_Amp)."

Wisdom benefits us in every area of our lives to include family. It will enable a
woman to build her house and not tear it down. "EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands [Proverbs 14:1_Amp]."

There is so much you can learn from the Proverbs; so I invite you to read one each day to gain wisdom and/or increase your understanding of what you have already learned. Your life won't be free of problems; but it will full of godly counsel that will instruct you through the rough places in your life. 
"WISDOM is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding [Proverbs. 4:7_KJV]." 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Communion...



COMMUNION: 1. an act or instance of sharing; 2. a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ.

All the gospels but John give an account of Jesus and the Passover meal he had with His disciples in anticipation of His time to depart this world unto the Father. Only the gospel of John gives an account of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples [John 13:4-10]. All the gospels give an account of Jesus dipping in the same dish with the disciple, who would betray Him.

 At that same meal, Jesus instituted the Communion table, which is an emblem of His sacrifice for mankind. "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread and praising God, gave thanks and asked Him to bless it to their use, and when He had broken it, He gave it to His disciples and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took a  cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you; For this is My blood of the new covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." -
Those who believe in Jesus and partake of what is called the 'Lord's Supper,' should have full understanding before taking it. Communion has become only a religious observance to many people; but it has a much deeper meaning [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]
 That deeper meaning of Communion is found in Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary. It is at Calvary that Jesus became the supreme sacrifice for the sins and curses of mankind [Isaiah 53; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24]. He took our transgressions and iniquities upon Himself after enduring 39 stripes at the hands of  Roman soldiers and having to carry His own cross to the top of Mount Calvary. He was mocked, spit on, crowned with thorns, beaten to a bloody pulp, nailed to a cross and had His side pierced with a sword.  "Crucifixion was one of the most disgraceful forms of death; and one of the most painful and dreaded forms of execution." Jesus took our shame and literally became a curse for us.
Primarily, the Church has centered  its attention on the wine as an emblem of Jesus' blood that was shed for sin. We take the emblem of blood and say, 'Thank God, we are delivered from sin,' and that is true!...But the blood is only half of Communion. The bread is an emblem of Jesus' body that was broken for us. The emblem for His body is just as important as the emblem for His blood [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]
 When we receive Communion today, we are receiving the body and the blood of Jesus. We must be sure not to eat "the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] (1 Corinthians 11;27_Amp)." We must not be guilty of His body and blood and should take them in reverence and with thanksgiving.
"Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eat and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ's] body eats, and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself." - 1 Corinthians 11:28-29_Amp
 To receive Communion means receiving everything Jesus' sacrifice provided for us:
  • Salvation
  • Peace of mind
  • Healing
  • Total prosperity
In the past, we have missed the full meaning of Communion by not completely judging ourselves when we partake of it. We have been ready to receive His blood and quick to judge ourselves where sin is concerned. We judge ourselves of sin and repent of it. But what about His body? It was broken for us. It was bruised for us. The stripes laid on Jesus' back were for our healing. At Communion, we should judge ourselves where sickness is concerned as well. Jesus purchased our healing at Calvary just as He purchased our salvation. [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]
Because of all that Jesus purchased for us; we should always be ready to receive what He provided, when partaking of Communion. Just as we received salvation by faith; we must [be ready to] to receive the peace, healing and total prosperity. Total prosperity includes complete wholeness [spiritual, physical, emotional, and material]; because 'the body and blood of Jesus covered every area of our existence.'

The thing I appreciate about Communion is that, when you truly understand the meaning of it; you can no longer look at it as just a religious observance that is reserved only for the first Sunday of the month [at church]. As believers in Christ, we have the liberty to take Communion as often as we choose; but when we do so, we are to remember Jesus.
"For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord's death until he comes [again]." - 1 Corinthians 11:26_Amp
Communion can be taken at home alone and included in one's daily devotional time or in the evening. It can also be taken with a small group at a home Bible study. Once you have partaken of the body and blood of Jesus say this confession [which is written in first person]:
"Father, I give You thanks for all You have provided for me in Christ Jesus. I confess this day, I am the blessed of the Lord. This covenant I entered into at the new birth is a covenant filled with Your exceeding great and precious promises; and I am a partaker of those promises now! I am healed. I am redeemed. I am delivered from the authority of darkness. I am translated into the kingdom of Your dear Son. I am the head and not the tail. I am above and not beneath. I come behind in no good thing. All that I set my hands to prospers, and I praise You Father, for the newness of life I now enjoy. In Jesus' Name, Amen." [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]

Monday, August 5, 2013

A WAY OUT


It had been a busy year, and although school had closed for the summer, there would be no fun in the sun for Nancy, because she needed a summer job. Next year she would be a high school senior. Being a senior meant many activities, and activities required MONEY!



Nancy was 17 years old and lived in a quiet neighborhood located in Rancho Cucamonga with her mother, Chloe, and two brothers, Sidney and Marcus, who were ages 15 and 13 respectively. They were “almost” a middle-class family, except her mother had to work two jobs just to make ends meet.  Nancy often dreamed of a better life for herself and her family, but it seemed like things would never get any better.



After seeing a job announcement advertising summer positions for teens 15-18 years of age, Nancy finalized an existing resume she wanted have for an interview the next day at the Alta Loma Sheraton.  A company outside of Cucamonga was seeking youth to work as tour guides for special summer events and all hires were also to attend training in Alta Loma. This training requirement could possibly lessen the chance of her mother giving Nancy permission. If her mother said “yes,” she would need to arrive to the hotel early as only the first 50 teens would be granted an interview.

When Chloe came home from work, Nancy did not waste any time in telling her mother about her resume, the summer job interview and the required training in Alta Loma. Her mother didn't really want to say “yes,” but knew she needed Nancy’s help with earning extra funds for next year’s senior high school activities.  After remembering that her cousin, who lived in Alta Loma could check on Nancy while she was in the city, Chloe finally approved and shifted her attention to fixing dinner.

Nancy’s excitement caused her to sleep light that night.  She arose early the next morning before the alarm clock buzzed.  After a quick shower, she fixed a cute hairdo, and found an appropriate outfit all before 7:00 a.m.  Since she was early, Chloe had time to drop Nancy off at the Sheraton on her way to her workplace in the surrounding area.

Once at the interview site, Nancy greeted a few classmates who had already arrived. The first 50 applicants were taken by elevator to an underground interview room.  She made sure her cell phone was in her purse so she could call her mother after the interview. Once in the interview room, which was furnished with tables and chairs, the applicants were told to find a seat. With eagerness, one of the teen boys blurted out, “When are you going to start the interviews?” A dark burly man with a strange accent stepped forward and told the teen to shut up, and without notice he felt the man’s back hand across his face—causing his lower lip to bleed. It quickly became evident that things were not going as anticipated. Here were 50 helpless teens trapped underground with no way out and their fate in the hands of total strangers. Each was subjected to a body frisk, which resulted in all identification cards, check cards, money, jewelry and cell phones being confiscated. Afterwards, Nancy and the other girls were led by a female, who looked American, to a different room while the teen boys remained in the interview room with the dark burly man. Suddenly, they heard a loud voice over the intercom say the following, “We would like to acknowledge the new employees added to our company today. Welcome aboard.  You are now our property!” 

For some unknown reason, Nancy was separated from the other girls, blindfolded, drugged and transported to a location outside of the state. When the drugs wore off, she was told she was in New York City and introduced to a woman who gave her a bag of skimpy outfits for her first job that night. She had been sold to a well-known slave lord in NYC, and one of “his girls,” Kat [a nickname for Kathryn], was to show her the ropes and tell her what she had to do each night to make money. They were unthinkable things and a virgin’s worst nightmare. Night after night, Nancy’s thoughts about home, her mother and brothers grew stronger and she wondered what they must be thinking. She had just vanished from the interview in Alta Loma and had no way to contact her family or friends. 

One fateful night, unbeknownst to Nancy, the silent prayers she had been offering in her heart since her kidnapping were going to be answered.  Her client, dressed in extraordinary attire, was unlike the other men, who considered her a sex toy. It turned out that this man actually wanted to help free her from her slavery and get her home safely. He introduced himself as Mr. Barnaba. After giving her his business card along with some important instructions, he told her he would meet with her again after arrangements for her departure were finalized.  Now full of hope, Nancy couldn’t wait to see Mr. Barnaba a second time because she would soon be free again and home with her family.

THIS IS ONLY A SHORT STORY, but there are many men, women and children, who are not as fortunate as Nancy to be freed from this Modern-day Slavery. Unfortunately, the stories of most present-day victims have a different and not so happy ending.  

Trafficking in Persons Report 2013

Secretary Kerry (June 19): "When we help countries to prosecute traffickers, we are strengthening the rule of law. When we bring victims out of exploitation, we are helping to create more stable and productive communities. When we stop this crime from happening in the first place, we are preventing the abuse of those who are victimized as well as the ripple effect that caused damage throughout communities into our broader environment and which corrupt our global supply chains. We all have an interest in stopping this crime. That’s why President Obama is so focused on this issue. And that’s why, as Secretary of State, I will continue to make the fight against modern-day slavery a priority for this Department and for the country." 
  
You're probably asking: "What can I do to help stop the atrocity of ‘Modern-day Slavery?  You can lend your support by doing the following: educating ourselves and sharing information with others, offering fervent and consistent prayers, and giving financial gifts.  Please visit the websites below for more information:

http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/

Freedom is something we all hold dear, but it becomes more precious as the threat of it draws near. #VES




Thursday, August 1, 2013

SUSPENSION



Happy August 1st to you all! A new month with new possibilities! I am thankful to God!
This is a short post; but I believe it will be helpful to those of you, who frequent Social Media sites [e.g. Twitter]. Have you ever experienced any type of suspension in your life? Suspended from school during your younger years: a driver’s license, or temporarily from a membership?  Well, suspension isn't painful: but it’s unpleasant, because it means having privileges taken away for a period of time. Every organization that executes suspension has a designated time period for suspensions. So, we must be prepared to wait on their terms.

Have you ever been suspended from social media? They have a lot of rules you try for users to follow. If you get too zealous [they call it aggressive] in your activity; you will find yourself suddenly on suspension. What makes this suspension frustrating about resolving or appealing your suspension-- is that you can’t speak with anyone; and everything is done online. The support department has its days and times they address each case and you can find yourself in a waiting game. You sometimes wonder what they're thinking about; because you can't think of what you might have done to be get suspended. If it is your second time; you'll probably have to wait longer before your case is resolved and your activity is reinstated. It can be frustrating; because your account is locked and your followers/following numbers are reduced to zero [Yet, your followers are still in tact].

I've been suspended twice on Twitter and learned a few things to ensure I'm never suspended again! (*,*) There are things you can do during your suspensioncreate a temporary account under another name [use a middle name with a birth name][1]; you can contact followers via email if you exchanged personal information; and share your plight; and review the settings of applications you use for your followers [unfollowers.me, etc.]. Automated tweets are not acceptable with Twitter; so you might modify your settings to ensure that any new followers don’t receive an automated tweet. Twitter Support monitors numbers, so make sure you use discretion with Direct retweets, mentions and direct messaging. [SIDE NOTE: One problem that can occur with DMs is hackers will use your account to send unsolicited messages to your followers. This will exhaust your limit.] 

The irony of being suspended is that there are other users doing more damage with phishing and pimping users to increase their following. Many users fish around for people they can mention in a tweet. This is to make you think you know them. In turn, you will mention or even follow them. Once, you follow them, you give them access to your Timeline [TL].  It’s a good idea to check their profile and see what they’re doing on their TL. If they don’t look good; you can block them. I have no problem with having a 'block party.' It's important to protect your TL from online profiteers, crazy people and those, who don't share the same interests! Some people never tweet anything noteworthy; but they send mentions all day long. If they're not about what you're about; you don't want to invite the wrong users.

Once, your suspension is lifted, take things slow and try not to repeat the practices that initially caused your suspension.  It’s a good idea to curtail the mention of all those who favor, mention, reply and retweet your tweets. Don’t worry about what others are doing; because there are many people getting suspended for violating the rules [you just don't know them]. Just make sure you follow the rules, so your experience on Social Media can be a pleasant one. Happy Tweeting everyone! (*o*)




[1] This can pose a problem, because you can end up with two accounts. You can tweet your followers that your original account is active; but not everyone will take notice or unfollow the temporary account to join you at your original/active account. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PATIENCE: A Key to Being Perfect



WHEN, you hear the word 'patience,' it might make you think of waiting in line at the supermarket; waiting for water to boil, while cooking; or even raising children [especially toddlers]! Patience can also be associated with enduring a personal trial, illness or dealing with trying relatives, friends or co-workers on the job.

PATIENCE is something we all need in life; but unfortunately it doesn't always come that easy, because we weren't born with it. But, we must make a deliberate effort to always be patient with God and with others. Maybe, you're asking: 'Where does patience come from? How do we get it and why do we really need it?' Those are all good questions and fortunately; there are answers. Some of the qualities you and I possess are natural and they are developed with consistent use and practice. At birth, we were unable to walk; because our bodies weren't developed to allow that activity. Over time, as we grew, so did our body parts and limbs. As a toddler, we toddled until we could walk and then we learned to run. We fell a lot before we got the hang of it, while our parents [patiently] cheered us on and kissed the 'owees' we suffered from falling. As children, we were taught patience, when we had to wait for dinner to be cooked, so we could eat. Homework had to be completed before television or other activities could be enjoyed. All of this involved waiting for the time we could get what we desired or earned. If your parents were like mine; you wouldn't get anything if you grumbled or complained instead of exhibiting patience.

Let's look some definitions: 

  • Patient: 1. bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; 2. manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain; 3. not hasty or impetuous
  • Patience: 1. the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient. Some synonyms include: forbearance, long-suffering, sufferance, tolerance. 


While it's easy to associate suffering with patience; this is not always the case. Look at the following words and think about them carefully: BEARING WITHOUT COMPLAINTBeing patience doesn't always involve bearing pains; but the wrong attitude can make the attempt at being patient- painful. Some people do bear [physical] pains. But, because they refuse to grumble and complain; their pain can be minimized with the absence of a negative attitude. A bad attitude will always complicate things; make a bad situation worse; and make an experience of waiting unbearable, because it will cause a delay.

Tolerance is really what we need in life to survive and succeed with others. We MUST have tolerance with one another! Patience is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit of God [Galatians 5:22]. God doesn't just want us to exist in this life; but He desires that we thrive and live according to His Word, will and way. We can obey and please God in this and other areas of life, when are are born again [John 3:16-18; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17]. The reason why being patient is a challenge-- stems from our human desire to have what we want, when we want it. We seek to satisfy our human needs and desires without delay. As a result, immediate gratification has become the rule for today's society.

Waiting is something we will all have to do as long as we live-- like it or not. But, the way we wait can smooth out the rough edges of our experience. No one in heaven or on earth is perfect, but God; However, we can take steps to emulate Him and His Son by reading and heeding His Word [the Holy Bible]. Since, we can't avoid waiting in life; we will need to exercise patience. When you're dealing with a trial-- remember it does have an expiration date and be sure to thank God during your trial [faith believes God without seeing the outcome]-- for bringing you out victoriously! 


"Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be '[people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking nothing." -James 1:3-4_Amplified

Patience works best, when you have faith in God. We must believe that God will be with us and not leave us alone during trying times [Hebrews 13;5-6]. But, God is concerned about how we wait. If we believe He is with us; we won't have to grumble and complain. We can put the situation in His hands and rest in His peace [Isaiah 26:3; 1 Peter 5:7]. Let patience become your friend instead of a dreaded enemy. If you master being patient; no trial or time of waiting will overwhelm you or steal your peace in God. 

Patience also involves showing common courtesy to others, who might challenge your tolerance level. But remember the courtesy you show to others, you will receive in the future. Scripture reminds us: "So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is the [sums up] the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12_Amplified) 

I know I said it before; but I will say it again: Exercising patience with others is a must; Because, you will surely have a need for others to be patient with you before you depart this life. The next time you're feeling like you've got things under control: consider your level of patience. Have you mastered waiting graciously or do you still grumble and complain? If you master patience; intolerance won't be able to master you! Remember: PATIENCE will help you through the trials of life; And make you PERFECT [complete] and tolerable! (*,*)




Sunday, June 2, 2013

SINCERE PRAYER

   

An old standard hymn that is sung in many Baptist churches is: “Just A Little Talk with Jesus,” which was penned by Minister Cleavant Derricks and published in 1937. In this song, the writer is telling his story about being in sin, then being saved or taken in by Jesus and experiencing the light of heaven in his soul. This same light bathed his heart in love. His ‘little’ talk with Jesus made him whole. Scripture tells us that the love of God is shed abroad in the hearts of all believers by the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5b). This song is about prayer; just as the writer talked with Jesus, we too can tell Jesus about our troubles and He will hear our faintest cry and answer us. Isaiah 65:24 is a prophetic word to God’s people that assures us of His faithfulness to hear our prayers and answer them: “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” We don’t have to be overwhelmed by the cares of this life; we can cast them on the Lord, because He cares for us more than we know (1 Peter 5:7).
Although, Minister Derricks called prayer ‘having a little talk with Jesus,’ we know there are other definitions for prayer. Let’s examine the Merriam-Webster definition: Prayer is defined as: (1) an address (as a petition) to God (or a god) in word or thought; (2) the act or practice of praying to God (or a god) <kneeling in prayer>.
Those in Christ know prayer as the means to communicate with and offer petitions to God, who is the ‘only One Supreme Creator and Sovereign Lord.’  Jesus made a way through Calvary for us to go the Father and that is through Jesus Christ, His only Begotten Son. We can be assured by Scripture that tells us God alone hears and answers our prayers.’ Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  (Philippians 4:6-7 Mess.)

Here are some important things to know about prayer:
1. Like Jesus’ Disciples, we need to ask the Lord to teach us the manner in which we should pray (being persistent, but not repetitious).  Jesus instructed the Disciples to pray – The Model or Lord's Prayer (Mt. 7:7; Luke 11:1b – 4; Matthew 6:9-13); 
2. Because, we don't know how to pray as we ought, the Holy Spirit helps us in our [physical] weaknesses and makes intercession for us with deep, inarticulate sounds, which cannot be uttered, according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27);
3. Prayer needs practice therefore, the more we pray, the more able and powerful, we will become in communicating with our Father, hearing His voice and getting results. (Galatians 6:9);
4. Don’t expect God to answer prayers that are not offered from a sincere heart and in [believing] faith. We must pray according to God’s Word. The effectual, fervent prayers of the righteous avail much (produce the best results). (James 5:16b; Hebrews 11:6); and
5. Whenever we approach God’s throne of grace, we are to pray with reverence and expectation (Psalm 95:6). We should expect results from our prayers or if not they are prayed in vain.

In Ephesians, Chapter 6, prayer is mentioned as a weapon of God's Armor, which empowers us to wage war against the devil.  God wants us to be thoroughly equipped and able to stand against the wiles of the devil therefore; we are to PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD DAILY.
  •       WHICH way are we to use this weapon of prayer? We are exhorted to provide a spiritual covering by “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for ALL saints.” (v. 18 KJV)
  •          WHO should we pray for?  We should pray for everyone and especially for those who are of the household of faith. We are also to pray for one for another to receive healing, when there is illness (Galatians 6:10; James 5:16a).  Although, it can be painful, we are also to pray for those who express malice or hatred toward us and intend us harm (Matthew 5:44).  The best thing you can do behind someone’s back is pray for them.
  •        WHERE should we go to pray? Instead of being like the Biblical hypocrites, who liked to be seen when they prayed, we should enter our closet and pray to God in secret. (Matthew 6:5-6)
  •         HOW often are we to pray? We are to pray without ceasing but surely, not on our knees for 24 hours per day. Instead, we are to maintain a prayerful attitude (offering prayers from the altar of our hearts) and focus on God by practicing His presence wherever and whenever we can. For those in the workplace, taking a ‘prayer and praise’ break will provide God’s peace and freedom from excess stress or things that cause it! Daily protection and power require sincere daily prayer (i.e. ‘Watch and pray, so you won't enter into temptation’) (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Matthews 26:41 KJV).


I’d like to leave with you with an important reminder: Let's remember that prayer is personal, an awesome privilege, and should be practiced daily (and throughout each day). We have the God-given opportunity to come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).  We are not to come to Him with only our petitions, but we should also come with praise, worship, and adoration as we let Him know how much we love Him. There is nothing better than spending quality time with the one you love and being able to express that love. We can express our love to God any time through simple and sincere prayer. 



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

THE DAY OF THE LORD




The LORD is coming back SOON!
I know you’re probably saying: ‘Yeah, yeah, I've heard that for years; but He hasn't come yet! In all reality, you should be glad that Jesus hasn't come yet. If you’re NOT ready for the day of the Lord-- it won’t be a good day for you! You must be prepared for His coming for three reasons:
  1.  The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night [1 Thessalonians 5:2].
  2.  No man knows the day or the hour [Matthew 24:36.
  3. You’re going to die one day, be judged and have an eternal destiny [Hebrews 9:27].

The Day of the Lord
Have you ever had anyone break into your home or steal your car?  I’m sure it was a total surprise and not a pleasant one. The day of the Lord will be totally unexpected for the world. Those, who believe in Jesus, will be pleasantly surprised as they are awaiting His return even now. Those, who don’t believe or haven’t made a decision for Christ, will also be surprised—but with great regret; because procrastination is a thief. Now’s the day and accepted time to make a decision for Christ. He made a supreme sacrifice for mankind over 2,000 years ago on Mount Calvary. Scripture puts it this way: “Today, if you hear his voice, do no harden your hearts as in the rebellion [Hebrews 4:15].” We were born in sin, but God didn't want us to stay that way, so He gave His Son for us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For, God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God [John 3:16-18_ESV].”

No One Knows the Day or Hour
We never know, when something unexpected is going to happen: because it’s just that: UNEXPECTED! There are events that can be a surprise to you; but they have been planned by others for you [e.g. birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, surprise baby showers, etc.]. The day of the Lord is unlike these events; because God is the only one who knows 'when.' “But concerning the day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only [Matthew 24:36_ESV].” Perhaps, you ask: ‘Why doesn’t God want us to know, when Jesus is to return? God is looking for ‘faithfulness’ in those who will be with Him for eternity. Receiving the sacrifice of His Son and believing in Him as Lord and Savior should be done out of love—not fear or to get fire insurance from hell.

Accepting Christ, being reborn or receiving salvation-- is personal. It is one person’s relationship with Jesus and has nothing to do with anyone else. How do you feel, when you know someone really loves you? It’s not only because they tell you; but they also show you in tangible ways! This is what God did, when He gave His Son to die for the sins of mankind.  Because, Jesus loves the Father, He submitted to His Father’s will. It was a bitter cup to take, but Jesus chose to drink it, because He was looking at the outcome. Through His death, burial and resurrection, He redeemed man from the curse of the law. “Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself [Galatians 3:13_MESS].”  The devil thought he had won his war against this species created by God. Unfortunately, he lost his position and residence in heaven after rebelling against God. He and one-third of the heavenly host were cast out of heaven; and the devil has been God's enemy since that time. He is also angry, because God created man; therefore his mission has been to destroy man since Eden [Genesis 2]. Mankind had a great sin-debt that could not possibly be paid under the law and so God sent His Son to earth to be born of a virgin. Jesus left His Father’s side to fulfill prophesies [Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 53].

When Jesus hung on the cross at Calvary, He took the sins of mankind; and in God’s sight—He 'was' sin. During the agonizing hours Jesus hung on the cross, His Father couldn't look at Him. It seemed to Jesus that God had forsaken Him, yet Jesus knew He had complete His redemptive work for us. While, we wait for the Day of the Lord  [the return of Christ]; God wants to give each and every man, woman and child the opportunity to accept His Son as Lord and Savior. Many will accept Jesus; but others will not. When He comes back; every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Now, we bow to Him of our own freewill; but one day those, who reject Christ will bow; because they will no longer be able to deny Jesus is the Christ! “Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren't going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture: ‘As I live and breathe,’ God says, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God [Romans 10-12_MESS].”    

The Appointment of Death
God didn't create us to exist in these houses of clay (our bodies) forever. “Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences [Hebrews 9:27_MESS].” Like the hairs on our heads, our days on this earth are numbered. Some people die young, because of bad decisions and sinful living; some die due to sickness and disease and some die for the cause of Christ. There are martyrs—even today. No matter the cause or reason, death is one appointment we will all keep. Although, death is inevitable, we must not be preoccupied with dying; but rather, we must live our lives in a way that glorifies God. If you live to honor God; you will not fear death.

Some people are afraid of dying for many reasons. The most common is—not knowing what death is like. Is it painful? Will you hear music or see angels? It is more common for those, who are not believers in God and saved by the blood of Jesus to have reservations and fear about death and dying. There are some, who currently don’t seem to care if they go to hell. This is spiritual ignorance. Anyone, who knows about hell, Hades, or  Sheol— knows that it is a damnable and evil place that you wouldn't want for your worst enemy! Yet, how many times do people in anger tell others in anger: "GO to hell!" When, it comes to one’s eternal destiny—ignorance is not bliss! Believers in Christ don’t fear death, because they know that ‘to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord’ [2 Corinthians 5:8]. “We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.”[2 Corinthians 5:10]

God loves you and that’s why He gave His only Begotten Son to die for and redeem you back to Himself.  He cares about your eternal destiny. Although, He made a great investment in your future—He has given you the freewill to choose heaven or hell; because God never sends anyone to hell. People go to hell because of their rejection of Jesus Christ. After all He gave for mankind; rejection of His sacrifice is a great sin and a sure ticket to eternal damnation. “Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change [2 Peter 3:8-9].”
God doesn’t want any of us to accept His Son for ‘fire insurance;’ but for blessed assurance! God loves you with an undying love and He proved it, so you wouldn't have to die spiritually and endure an eternity without Him. I invite you to accept Jesus right now [see prayer below]:

PRAYER: "Heavenly Father, I ADMIT I am a sinner. I BELIEVE that You gave Your Son Jesus to die for my sins and that You raised Him from the dead. I ask You Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord of my life according to Romans 10:9-10. Jesus, I CONFESS You as my Lord and Savior and receive Your salvation, In Your Name. Amen. Thank you Jesus for saving me!

If you prayed this prayer: welcome to the family of God. You are no longer a sinner, but have been made righteous in Christ Jesus [2 Corinthians 5:21]. Ask God to help you find a good Bible-believing church and start reading God's Word for yourself [the Gospel of John], so you can learn more about God the Father, Jesus the Son, the Holy Spirit to become a stronger Christian. I look forward to the day of the Lord and seeing ‘you’ in heaven. I can’t wait to see Jesus and meet you! If you have questions, before you get planted into your new church home, feel free to leave them along with any comments-- at the end of this blog. 

 The PEACE of Jesus be upon you! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Does the Devil Really Exist?


Do you believe in the devil [Satan]? Many people don't-- and think he's only symbolic of evil in the world-- [as God is symbolic of good]. Unfortunately, they are sadly mistaken, because the devil is REAL [just as GOD, who created the heavens and the earth and all its inhabitants (Genesis 1:1)]! 

Lucifer [Isaiah 14:12-15] 
"Lucifer: once an arch angel, was by historical reference called - "Light Bearer." Because of his jealousy of GOD, he was cast out of heaven for treason. One-third of all angels followed him. He was brilliant and a leader of heavenly worship. This 1/3 of damned angels actually acted on their own volition, but followed Lucifer's beliefs. He still awaits judgment day where he will again fail to defeat the pious and faithful, but he will still try. Lucifer does not wish to be seen, he enjoys people not believing in him, thus the greatest trick he ever pulled." [Urban Dictionary]

Satan is the enemy of God. He hates Him, all that He stands for and those He created on the earth. Because, he has no power to defeat God, the devil takes out his vengeance on man. This act of vengeance started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve [Genesis 3]. Disguised as a serpent, he deceived Eve, who gave audience to him. She took his advice and invited Adam to join her in disobeying God by eating forbidden fruit. 
Scripture tells us that God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden, which had been their home since they were created. 

Satan also goes after those, who are tremendously blessed by God. His objective is to prove to God that man only serves Him because of His blessings [Read Job, chapter 2].  He has been trying to annihilate man since the beginning. When God sent His Son Jesus to the earth as a baby through the virgin Mary, he made an attempt through King Herod to kill the baby Jesus. He was unsuccessful in killing the baby Jesus [Matthew, chapter 2]; but he had all the children two years and younger to be killed by the sword. Before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He was tempted by the devil. "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit [Holy Spirit] into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry [Matthew 4:1-11_ESV]." The devil questioned Jesus as the Son of God and tempted Him in His physical weakness. His effort was to get Jesus to worship him instead of His Father: GOD! Satan is quite prideful and has always thought more of himself than he should!   

Since, Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary [Matthew, chapters 27-28] to redeem us back to God, Satan has been tempting man to disobey God and cause them to think that God is withholding His best from them. He is the father of lies and there is no truth in him. Satan's also the author of confusion. He goes to and fro in the earth seeking whom he may devour [1 Peter 5:8] and does cause terror in some people. Those, who believe in God need not fear Satan: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you [James 4:7_ESV]." Satan preys on anyone he believes he can conquer. He attacks the children of God through sickness, disease and other calamities. He knows man's weaknesses and can be counted on taking advantage of them, when possible and advantageous for him. He even uses those, who believe in and serve him. Although, people worship him and get riches and earthly favor from his hand; in the end they will have no special favors and will be tormented with him. He hates all human beings!

On day, "an angel from heaven--having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain will take hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the Devil, and Satan, and bound him for one thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season [Revelations 10:1-3_KJV].
"When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea [Revelations 10:7-8-- read entire chapter]. 

Satan's wicked reign on earth will come to an end and he will be cast into the 'lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 

I invite you to read the poem below:
  
Bow Down

(In this diabolical poem, Satan appeals to the appetite and desires of weak-minded or unbelieving individuals as he seeks the worship that should be given only to God; his suggestions are meant to cause people to disregard God’s Word, to renounce God and Jesus’ Name, to question the reality of heaven and to actually trust him and become one of his.)  In playing the devil's advocate in prose, I show the way the devil speaks to the unsuspecting or those, who choose not to believe in God. It's dangerous to be out of the 'ark of safety' and in a state of indecision, which in itself is a decision. 

Bow down and worship me
I’ll give you whatever you crave
Bow down and worship me
It’s alright to misbehave

You can’t believe the things you've read.
Do you really believe the Word?
Don’t pay attention to what God said.
You’ll be brainwashed with your vision blurred.

Bow down and worship me
I’ll give you influence and fame
Bow down and worship me
Renounce God and Jesus’ Name.

Don’t worry about tomorrow.
Have fun and live for today
Do you really believe in heaven?
That can’t be the only way!

Bow down and worship me.
Your future is guaranteed
Bow down and worship me.
Just trust me and you’ll be My seed!

By now, I trust you're convinced that the devil is a liar, with no future and nothing of  'lasting' value to give you. If you don't know Jesus Christ in the pardon of your sins; your future is dim and damnable! I invite you repeat this short prayer, so you can be born again today.

PRAYER: "Heavenly Father, I ADMIT I am a sinner. I BELIEVE that You gave Your Son Jesus to die for my sins and that You raised Him from the dead. I ask You Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord of my life according to Romans 10:9-10. Jesus, I CONFESS You as my Lord and Savior and receive Your salvation, In Your Name. Amen. Thank you God for saving me!

If you prayed this prayer: welcome to the family of God. You are no longer a sinner, but have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus [2 Corinthians 5:21]. Find a good Bible-believing church and start reading God's Word [the Gospel of John], so you can learn more about God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit and become a stronger Christian. If you have any questions, before you get planted into your new church home, feel free to leave a comment/question at the end of this blog. 

May the peace, grace and favor of God overtake your life! 

COPYRIGHT 2012 • Creative words • Victoria Sellers

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013: A Year for New Possibilities

Children and adults alike waited with excitement for Christmas and before they knew it: it came, brought much joy and in a matter of hours, it was gone for another year. With its departure also went the Yuletide spirit and the love that people shared so generously with the needy, unlovely and the unlovable. Unfortunately, this past Christmas wasn't joyous for everyone, because of the loss of loved ones, which makes holidays more difficult to bear. My heart still aches for those, who lost loved ones in the Newtown shooting. I can only imagine how they felt on Christmas morning. After purchasing special gifts and planning to surprise their children, spouses or loved ones; that opportunity was stolen from then in a single act of violence. There's a gaping wound in their hearts and an empty place at their tables. Healing will be slow and painful, but they will heal in time and their hearts will stop bleeding. They will be left with a scar that will always remind them of the tragic day that stole their loved one. 

Once Christmas was over; people resumed familiar routines and went back to business as usual. Before the new year, many people considered resolutions [resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.] they usually don't keep after the first month of the new year. What they really need more than a resolution is to accept the redemption of Jesus. He did all of the work on Calvary to set mankind free from the bondage of sin, sickness and poverty. Jesus came to earth through a young virgin that we might have life; and that more abundantly (John 10:10).  If you don't know Jesus as Savior and Lord; seek new life this year through Jesus. Since, the Lord was gracious, I was given the opportunity to see the new year and look forward to experiencing new possibilities. For some people (me included) it might be employment; for others a better job; for others a new career. The list of possibilities is endless: but we should look forward to better things with excitement. Include God in this year's agenda, because He's been so merciful to you and me. 

God is always saddened by the atrocities in the world, but He gave Adam and Eve a  freewill, when they were in the Garden of Eden. Because of man's freewill God cannot intervene in our decisions outside of prayer. He desires that 2013 that is meaningful and beneficial to you, your loved ones and those who come across your path. He desires that we obey His commands and walk in love, so we can love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If you don't know God's only Begotten Son--Jesus [John 3:16], you can received Him today as your Lord and Savior [Read Romans 10:9-10 out loud]. Find a Bible-believing church or return to the church you attended before you strayed from God. 
Having Jesus in your life is better than having all the money in the world.This world and all of its riches will pass away; but God and His Word will not.  One day, we will die and our physical bodies will rot, but our spirits and souls [who we really are] will live forever. If you know Jesus, you will be with Him for eternity in heaven. If you reject Jesus, you will spend eternity in the abyss of hell with Satan, the father of lies.  The devil knows what heaven is like, because he was created to be with God for eternity as a mighty angel and creator of music. Because of his rebellion against God, he with one-third of the heavenly host was cast out of heaven into outer darkness. Scripture states that hell was created for the devil (formerly known as Lucifer) and his angels; but because of iniquity (sin) hell has enlarged itself [Isaiah 5:14] and many today are have already gone or on their way.

The choice of where you will spend eternity is in your hands. Just as you wouldn't purchase fire insurance after you see smoke coming from your home; you shouldn't wait to make a decision for Christ. You can't afford to wait, because the devil will make sure you never have an opportunity to accept Christ. The day you hear His voice (He does speak to us); harden not your heart! I must be honest about being saved. Some people teach or preach that life will be a breeze after you're saved: that isn't true. Life itself doesn't change, but your 'spiritual' life does. You might still burn your toast or the roast; have a flat tire or lose you job, but you are promised a glorious eternity (after death) with the Lord. God is faithful and will never leave or forsake those, who believe and trust in Him (Hebrews 13:5). Also, He doesn't want to see anyone perish in their sins [2 Peter 3:9]. 

In closing, I want to leave you with these words of encouragement:"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words." [1 Thessalonians 4:16-18_ESV]