Category Archives: church

Inspiration Vs. Divine Power

Just because someone is inspiring, does not mean God is the one behind the inspiration.

Someone may inspire you, but inspiring you to do or be what?

There’s many inspirational speakers; some are new age, some are Christian, some are Buddhist, and some are atheist.

As born-again followers of Christ, we should not seek to merely inspire, but rather, to transform and equip by the power of the Holy Spirit. I can inspire someone to do or say something, yet it wasn’t Christ in me doing the inspiring, but myself.

We must be very careful what we are inspiring others to do. You can “be positive” and encourage a non-believer to go after his dreams, but what if those dreams are shallow, or used to promote and advance immoral messages that cause many to sin?

What we want to do instead is first be filled with the Holy Spirit so we ourselves are inspired and empowered by Him to direct people in the right direction: toward Christ. But how do we get filled with His power?

First, we must surrender.

If there is anything we have yet to repent of, we deal with that first. We stop ignoring, we stop justifying, we stop quenching the Holy Spirit and put that sin to death like the bible commands. That could mean completely cutting off a relationship, stopping your pursuit of riches, or no longer flirting (remember how high God’s standards are: let there not be a hint of sexual immorality among you; Ephesians 5:3-5).

Once our sin(s) are repented of, we diligently seek Christ.

For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on.” (‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭16‬:‭9‬ HCSB)

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭36-38‬ NKJV)

The Father sent His only begotten Son to earth for thirty-three years and He was brutally beaten and crucified for you. He died for you. He gave everything for you. Do you think He will be satisfied with a portion of your heart, and a religious routine? Jesus wants completely devoted followers. It’s all or nothing. You either understand and agree that He is totally worthy of your full love and dedication for all that He did for you while you were still sinning against Him, or you don’t agree with that and continue on your own path that will inevitably lead to death and destruction. There is no middle-ground. Jesus told the Laodicean church in Revelation that because they were lukewarm for Him, and not cold or hot, He was going to vomit them from His mouth. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be vomited from Christ’s mouth. I want to be embraced by Him, always enraptured by His love.

If you do these two things: repent and really seek to know and love Christ, you will be led and empowered by Him and will be able—by His Spirit—to inspire others to draw closer to Him.

Love and grace to you,

Natasha


Abortion And The Human Heart

As I pondered how in the world human beings can support abortion, this verse flooded my mind:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭9‬)

Apart from having Christ reign in our hearts through His Holy Spirit, they are desperately wicked. The passionate cries of pro-choicers is a living example of that fact. These women chant and rave, yell and swear for the right to murder a poor, helpless child as he grows tenderly inside his mother’s womb.

I saw a video of an ultrasound displaying a live abortion to a baby at 12 weeks (when most abortions are committed), and his heart began racing and he literally started jolting in an effort to move away from the sharp steel tools stabbing at his amniotic sac. When the tools penetrated and began dismembering the child, his mouth opened like a silent scream! Limb by limb, he was scrambled to bits like an egg with only a floating head remaining which the abortionist used a clamping device to remove from the mother.

I read one article where a pregnant abortionist confessed that as she pulled off the baby’s leg she was killing, her own baby kicked for the first time.

To know you are brutally murdering a helpless child, but still justify it is an astounding testimony to how depraved the human heart is without Christ’s love living within it and transforming it.

I pray that more and more women and men as well recognize their desperate need for a Savior. That in God’s holy eyes we are all wicked and need the blood of His Son to be cleansed and forgiven. No one is even close to good enough for heaven, only Christ Jesus Himself was worthy. He did not know sin, yet became sin for us and died in our place. His crucifixion is what we deserved. But in His incredible love, He paid the price for our punishment. And what does God require? We forsake our evil ways and thoughts and choose to surrender to His Son, who loved us and gave Himself for us so we can be forgiven and receive eternal life.

Why anyone would reject this vital offer is because of the verse I shared: our hearts are deceitful and wicked. Whoever rejects Christ has deceived themselves into thinking they do not need Him. And for you, I pray God’s mercy and revelation that your blinded eyes may be opened to His truth so you can be set free from the devil’s chains that are binding you.

With love,

Natasha


Are You Ready To Meet God?

Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire shall devour them. Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men. For they intended evil against You; They devised a plot which they are not able to perform. Therefore You will make them turn their back; You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces. (‭Psalms‬ ‭21‬:‭8-12‬ NKJV)

Yahweh, the proven Creator of this universe, will have a face-to-face meeting with us all. We were born by His permission, into His world, and remain breathing now by His will. Like wind to a burning wick, He can blow the very life out of our hearts and we will die, only to stand before the Consuming Fire of whom we must give an account.

Are you ready for this personal encounter? Are you prepared to be judged by Him?

I tell you now, not one person on this earth can ready themselves any other way than that way which God has provided: His Son.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬)

Man is without excuse. There is an abundance of historical evidence that Christ indeed proved Himself to be the Son of God by His perfectly moral life, His miracles and resurrection from the dead, and the billions of lives He’s transformed since then. If anyone doubts this fact, He can merely ask the Lord to reveal the truth, and He will to those who genuinely desire Him. For though many accept that there is indeed a Creator, they reject Him in their minds and hearts, and do not desire Him to be their Father and Master. In their grave foolishness, they deem their ways better than His, and so they cling to their sin and deny God until they inevitably meet Him and face the eternal condemnation for which they brought upon themselves by denying God’s plan for forgiveness and redemption.

I don’t want you to be one of those who all their life assumed they’ll get into heaven on good merit, not realizing they’ve broken the commandments of God over and over and over and have never been truly forgiven of them because they’ve never surrendered to the One who never once broke a commandment; the only perfect One who can forgive sin since He overcame it when He walked this earth in human flesh. Jesus Christ alone is worthy of heaven. He alone has never broken God’s law, therefore when He died, He did not die for merely the worst of sinners, but the bible says He died for the entire world.

Do not trust in yourself to get you to heaven. Jesus has made the path clear: Himself. Come to Him for forgiveness and salvation. Trust in Him as your Savior and Lord, give your heart to Him, change your mind about what you believe is right and renew it by seeing what God commands in the Bible.

May you be set free from every sin and hurt and come to know the One who loved you so much He allowed Himself to be beaten, ridiculed, and pinned to a cross for your forgiveness to be made possible.

If you have any questions on beginning a surrendered relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, feel free to email me at BetterThanPrinceCharming(at)gmail.com

Love and grace to you,

Natasha


I’m A Christian, But I’m Stuck In Sin. Help!

Many Christians are struggling with a cycle of sin because they have yet to know the truth.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭31-36‬ NKJV)

Notice Jesus is clearly speaking of being free from sin.

Many, however, are biting the bait cast at them from satan, whom Jesus called “the father of lies,” who speaks nothing but lies. We forget our old self has died and we have been “born again” not of flesh, but of the Holy Spirit (John 3:6-8). In other words, Christ has made us a new creation by pouring out His very own Spirit into our hearts after we trusted our lives to Him. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul said, it is no longer we who live, but Christ lives in us.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (‭Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭1-11‬ NKJV)

There is no denying that this incredibly freeing passage is telling us we have died to sin and therefore are no longer slaves to it. It even affirms that we have been freed from it (verse 7). It’s not an elusive promise. This is practical and is speaking of the now, of every Christian’s current state in Christ. He is not speaking of when we resurrect; he’s using past tense verbiage to show we have already died to sin. That promise has been fulfilled. But in order to live it out, we must believe it. And in order to believe it, we must first win the battle in our minds:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1-2‬ NKJV)

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ… (‭II Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭4-5‬ NKJV)

We can only be transformed if we first renew our minds. But notice from 2 Corinthians that it’s a battle. We have to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. So when the devil tells us we want to watch porn, we slice that lie in half with the truth, just like Jesus used truth to fight the devil on the mountain. We say, out loud, “Get behind me, Satan, for Christ has made me a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). My old lustful self has died (Romans 6:2). I’ve crucified those passions to His cross (Galatians 5:24). It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).”

We need to know the Scriptures, for we aren’t battling flesh and blood. The bible says in Romans 6:6 that the body of sin has been done away with. Now we are waging war in the spirit. Jesus told His disciples the devil is subject to us (Luke 10:19-20). But Jesus did warn us to be careful that we aren’t deceived. Satan is crafty, the best liar there is. If we don’t know the truth, how in the world can we fight off his lies?

Too many are falling—and many to their spiritual demise—because they’re distracted by school, or work, or a relationship, and though they may pump iron at the gym, they are not training themselves spiritually.

If you are struggling with the lies of lust, don’t ignore them. Fight them! Renew your mind! Memorize Scripture that speaks against those lies. Your victory has been given to you by what Christ did 2,000 years ago, but you must receive it! Christ isn’t about raising up lazy children. He tests the heart. Do you really want to overcome sin and follow Me? Then pick up your sword and fight. That’s real faith; it’s active, it participates, it’s diligent. And only those who show such heart overcome.

So who will you be? The soldier that’s so wounded he falls to the ground and gets trampled by the enemy, or the soldier who is fighting valiantly, shredding his foes to pieces through faith by the power of the Holy Spirit?

As always, the choice is yours.

His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ … Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you. (‭2 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭3-8, 10-11‬ HCSB)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭8-10‬ NKJV)


Don’t Give Up On What You Know God Has Called You To Do

My writing ministry had me growing weary. I’ve been working on this YA fantasy novel for around four years now, and I just want it to be published already.

I was planning on self-publishing via eBook and raising the funds through Indie Gogo. However, after a sister in Christ challenged me—”Did God tell you to self-publish at this exact time”—I prayed. I sought more counsel and realized I should keep trying to get traditionally published.

At first I was discouraged. I cried, just wanting this book off my hands already, but then I prayed and began to worship. Within no more than ten minutes, God had encouraged me, and I was fine. Mind you, when I worshiped, I wasn’t, “feeling it.” I was still hurt, but I denied myself, denied my emotions, and chose to praise and thank God despite; out of obedience to His Word which commands us to give thanks in all circumstances.

When you repent—change your mind and agree with God—despite your circumstances and feelings, the Holy Spirit does a work in you and causes you to walk like His Son. I didn’t change my attitude, God through the Holy Spirit did, for the Word tells us, “It is God who works in you both to will and do for His good pleasure.”

When we choose to give God thanks, even when we don’t feel like it, our focus shifts from our problems to our problem solver, and He changes us by His grace.

This morning, I happened to read this:

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭10-12‬ NKJV)

Yet again, our great Savior encouraged me. I won’t give up on this book. I’ve dedicated it to Him for His glory and purposes. I believe He will use it.

Don’t give up either. Whatever you commit to the Lord for His good usage is not a labor of vanity. As long as you work diligently and as excellently as you can, knowing you’re serving the Lord, He will bless and use your efforts far beyond what you can ask, think, or imagine.

Keep fighting on. Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, and in Christ we are more than conquerors.

Grace to you,

Natasha


I Love Jesus, But I Love Comfort More

We get angry.

We complain.

We grow weary.

We become complacent.

Many Christians tend to fix their eyes on all that isn’t right in their life, rather than on what is.

I love, love, love how the introductory note of this psalm is: “A Davidic psalm. When He was in the wilderness of Judah.” I.e., when evil/crazed Saul, and his soldiers were hunting David’s life and he was hiding in caves with a gang of smelly rebels. But despite his dreadful circumstances, here’s what David writes:

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips. When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches because You are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me. But those who seek to destroy my life will go into the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the power of the sword; they will become the jackals’ prey. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by Him will boast, for the mouths of liars will be shut. (‭Psalms‬ ‭63‬:‭1-11‬ HCSB)

He’s able to say Yahweh’s faithful love is better than life. But how many of us are put in difficult situations and begin doubting His love? Instead of declaring the truth of Yahweh’s proven character we ask, “why me? What did I do to deserve this? When will this end? Why is God doing this to me?”

The focus is on ourselves rather than on Yahweh. No wonder things only get worse: not only are our circumstances tough, but our attitude is growing more sour rather than our character becoming more Christ-like.

When we allow Yahweh to build our character in difficult circumstances, things get better. Why? Because we have become better, and when we become better Christians, Yahweh is pleased.

Reality check: as Christ followers, we aren’t supposed to love ourselves and our comfortability more than we love Christ.

Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. (‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭3‬:‭1-4‬ NKJV)

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (‭II Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭3‬ NKJV)

We are quick to forget all that Christ suffered for our sakes. We have yet to follow in His steps of affliction. We haven’t had our bodies crucified like the early apostles and our brothers in other parts of the world. Just last month a group of teenage Christians were crucified for refusing to deny Christ. And it’s only getting worse. The persecution of Christians is at an all-time high. May we be praying and thankful for all the comfort we still obtain here in America—even if we are “poor” by the government’s standards, or have yet to find a spouse, or any other difficulty we may find ourselves in. It can always be worse. And complaining about it only angers God and ourselves—and those around us.

May we repent of trying to please ourselves and truly live to please Christ. If we are serious about our Christianity, may we no longer love our lives and our comfort more than Him. May we serve Him like He served us. May we remember every morsel of food and sip of water and breath of oxygen is given to us by Yahweh. Every single thing that is still good and right in our lives are blessings, not entitlements. God does not have to keep giving us breath so with it we can continue complaining.

We were created to glorify Him, to thank Him at all times and in every circumstance; to know that despite the inevitable trials we face in this hellish world where the devil and his demons prowl, we have a hope to hold onto. Christ is coming back, and we does, everything will be made right and good.

Until then, let us endure hardship as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We may be out of here tomorrow and never have to worry about another thing again. Let’s prepare ourselves for that day of reckoning, when we meet our Savior face-to-face.

The grace and peace of Yeshua be with you.

Love,

Natasha


Why Should I Love Jesus Christ?

What did Christ really do for us?

1.) He left heaven and came to earth

In heaven, hundreds of thousands of angels worshiped Jesus. He stood among them in complete and glorious splendor. But even more wonderful than all of that, He lived with the Father Himself; He saw, walked, and talked with the Creator, the Perfectly Good One. He had everything He needed in heaven, yet He left it for not a day, not a few months, but thirty-three years.

Not only did He leave this wonderful home with the Father, He traded it for a horrendous one; one where corruption, hate, murder, adultery, paganism, idolatry, and violence ran rampant. A home where from birth, His life would be hunted. He dwelt among the poor and lived as though He was poor—for us.

2.) He loved us

Jesus laid hands on the untouchables and outcasts; lepers, the blind, the lame, adulteresses, tax collectors, and He healed them.

He taught us what following God really looks like. He revealed to us the very character, the very heart of God. Instead of demanding to be served, He served and gave up His life—for us.

3.) He suffered the reproach of the cross

Christ was fully aware that He would be beaten, ridiculed, rejected, arrested, and eventually crucified yet He did not forsake God’s plan, but embraced it—for us.

4.) He defeated sin and death

Not only did Jesus make a way for forgiveness through His perfect life and sacrifice, opening the gates of heaven for all who wish to enter through Him, but He also conquered sin and death—the very power of Satan that kept the human race bound since the days of Adam and Eve. Before Christ died, we were helpless to sin’s control over our life, and victims of mortality. But through His willing sacrifice and resurrection from the grave, Christ frees all those who trust in Him from the devil’s works. Jesus brought deliverance, both now and eternally—for us.

5.) He gives us everything we need in the midst of this dark world

Peace:

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭27‬ NKJV)

Joy:

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭11‬ NKJV)

Hope:

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast … (Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭19‬ NKJV)

Companionship:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭20‬ NKJV)

6.) He rewards us

As if all the fore-mentioned wasn’t enough, Jesus offers us heavenly rewards, gifts that never perish, treasures that never rust. He promises a crown, the right to drink from living waters in heaven, and healing fruit to eat; gates of pearls, and streets of gold to walk upon.

There’s so much Jesus Christ has done for us. Do we love Him with all our heart? Are we thankful to Him every day? Do we really understand how worthy He is, and thus live for His glory?

May you and I both grasp the depth of Christ’s love and how worthy He is of our complete devotion. This is what life is about for the Christian—loving Christ for who He is and what He’s done.


How Do I Imitate God?

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭1-10‬ HCSB)

Be imitators of God. What a high command. This is the call of every Christian—no excuses. So what does it mean? Firstly, it’s a denial of self.

Christ was always denying Himself and giving glory to the Father and doing whatever He told Him to do.

Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t Mine but is from the One who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own. The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (‭John‬ ‭7‬:‭16-18‬ HCSB)

This is the attitude and obedience we are supposed to imitate. And of course, being a servant to others from the love of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts.

But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭20‬:‭25-28‬ HCSB)

Now here’s a hard reflection: are we imitating Jesus? Maybe we are sometimes, but think of the times we aren’t. Is that okay with God? If we cuss at times, or get drunk, or have an outburst of anger, is that fitting for someone who is supposed to be imitating the forgiveness, love, patience, and humility of Christ? How about if we do these things often?

Christ enables you to repent if you are sincere about following Him. He can renew and establish you in the faith, cleanse you and make you holy; make you like Him. He is able, we only have to be willing.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭14-16‬ NKJV)

May we all grow more like Christ from glory to glory.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha


I’m A Christian, And I Deserve …

Entitlement. The subtle sin that entangles so many professing Christians.

“I don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

“I deserve this …”

“I deserve …”

“I deserve …”

“I deserve …”

This is not a Christ-like mentality. It is a prideful mindset of the flesh, of the world, of Satan himself.

In reality, we deserve absolutely nothing, but hell fire. We deserve to be punished for the many crimes we have committed against God, for our rebellion against our Creator; for our blasphemies and lust and greed and jealousy.

Did we deserve God’s forgiveness? Did we deserve to be saved from His wrath? Did we do a single thing to earn His love? No. And He expects us to treat others with the same undeserved favor—despite how they treat us.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭44-48‬ NKJV)

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭18-21‬ NKJV)

It is only by the grace of God we have been accepted and redeemed by His blood. To feel entitled to anything is to have a mind contrary to the mind of Christ.

And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” (‭Luke‬ ‭17‬:‭7-10‬ NKJV)

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭1-10‬ NKJV)

…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭4-6‬ NKJV)

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭29-30‬ NKJV)

If God has shown us such mercy and grace (undeserved favor) who are we to not show the same grace to unworthy sinners? Even when we feel that our anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness is justified, Christ reminds us we have no right to hold onto it, despite how poorly we are treated:

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭21-22‬ NKJV)

There’s verse upon verse about how we are to deny ourselves, our feelings, our fleshly mindsets, and do what Jesus tells us to do: love, but can you point out even just one Scripture that condones us demanding to be treated with respect by others? There is none.

Christ is the only one who has a right to deserve anything good. Did He not have the right to say, “Stop slapping and spitting on me. Stop whipping me. Don’t strip me naked and pin me to a cross, I did nothing to deserve this treatment!” But He kept silent. He took what He did not deserve, He took what we do deserve. He humbled Himself to the point of death, yet we cannot not humble ourself if a friend or family member offends us?

We all need grace yet none of us deserves it. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. May we imitate Him and lay our pride down when we are persecuted, mocked, belittled and mistreated out of sheer obedience to Christ and even for the sake of our enemy, that they might get a taste of God’s grace through us and repent that they may be spared from the burning sulfur and eternal torment that awaits them.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha


What To Do When Your Christianity Isn’t Changing You

If we are serious about following Christ, we must have pure motives, and our pride has to be denied.

• Shifting blame to others: pride
• Not owning up and being truly broken for our wrongs: pride
• Failing to realize that when we sin, we are rebelling first and foremost against God: pride
• Refusing to change until the other person does, or only changing until the person sins against us again: pride
• Going to church and putting on a smile so others think we got it together: impure motives
• obeying God yet harboring bitterness: impure motives
• obeying God because we think He will then give us our selfish desires: impure motives

Is there no fear in knowing that God sees beyond our outward deeds and doesn’t just look at, but searches the heart?

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭12-13‬ HCSB)

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (‭I Samuel‬ ‭16‬:‭7‬ NKJV)

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭10‬ ESV)

If your motivation for being a Christian isn’t only because you have grasped the incredible love God has for you and that He is worthy to be worshipped, and thus you want to love and worship Him in return, your heart is not pure.

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ NKJV)

That word for “see” in the original language is horao which means to see, know, and experience. When your heart is pure in God’s sight, you will undoubtedly be transformed “from glory to glory” in His image and see Him actively working in your life and answering prayers. The opposite is also true, for the Word of God says:

God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. (‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NKJV)

To repent isn’t a mere outward change of behavior. The word repent in the Greek is metaoeno, which actually means to change one’s mind; heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.

Repent means you ditch your thoughts and opinions and agree with God’s. You no longer justify retaliating when others sin against you, you no longer justify bitterness or unforgiveness. You change your mind about following God when the other person starts to follow Him. You deny yourself; your ideas, your feelings, and just follow Jesus. That is true repentance. Without genuine repentance of the mind, everything you “do for Jesus” is just a show. There is no real transformation, real growth, real power, real love, or real joy. Though outwardly you may seem alive to others, inwardly you are still “dead in your sins.”

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”-Jesus (‭Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

May all who need to repent, repent in truth and be healed.

Love and grace to you,

Natasha