Monday, April 22, 2019

The Christian Life

Did you know that the Bible doesn’t mention the word “Christian” or “Christianity?” Why? Because God never told us to be Christian. A Christian as we know it is someone who says they believe in Jesus as God. This is not what it means to be right with God. Why? Because even demons believe in Jesus (James 2:19)! Believing in God is not all it takes to be on God’s side. In order to be right with God, one must be born-again (John 3:1-15) through repentance (Acts 3:19): asking God for forgiveness, changing, believing in their heart that God sent Jesus to die for their sins (John 3:16), and then confessing that Jesus is their Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10).

After that, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the believer so that He can lead you into a life that pleases God (Romans 8:9, 11). We can’t live a Christian life on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to guide our lives because we can’t ever live up to God’s righteous standards on our own (John 16:13). This is why Jesus came to fulfill the law for us. We can’t faithfully keep all of God’s commandments (613). Jesus was the only One to live a perfectly good life. Therefore, He is the only One good (Luke 18:19).

The point that I’m trying to get across is we need God every day to live the right way. We can’t depend on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Our human understanding is greatly limited compared to God’s omniscience. It is not only dangerous to live without following God, it is utterly pointless! (Read the book of Ecclesiastes) We we’re created for God’s purpose. We were literally made to walk with Him and enjoy life living His will. Remember what happened to Adam and Eve when they ate the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden? Their world fell apart and they died. The earth is feeling the result of their disobedience today. It’s foolish to choose the wisdom of the world over God’s who made the entire universe. Trust Him because He’s your Father who knows what best for you!

My heart in this message is to persuade “Christians” to not play religion anymore but to die to themselves and pick up their cross and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). The real meaning of Christianity is to be a follower of the One who is THE WAY, not to live your own way. Jesus is the only way (John 14:6). His path is very narrow (Matthew 7:13-14). Not only does this mean that He is the only route to heaven, but that very few people (even Christians) ever follow His path during their lifetime. Look at the evil condition of our world today. It is evident that most people reject the Bible and live their own way, seeking their fleshly temporal desires and doing what is ever right in their own eyes. Again, this is disobedient, foolish, and flat-out meaningless. You might as well “chase the wind” or a rainbow in search of a pot of gold because it’s just as stupid.

There’s no way you’ll ever get anything out of this life meaningful and lasting without God. Why not do what God wants? Our way is a definite epic failure. So choose God and choose life! Seek God with a sincere heart and get to know Him. No one will ever know love or experience the true purpose of life without walking closely to God. As born-again creations we are already made holy through Christ. There is no religious act good enough to make us right with God. All it takes is real belief that supernaturally results in Christ-like behavior. Holiness is automatic for new creatures because it’s God’s doing and not ours. But walking with God is a choice that you have to make so that you can grow spiritually and fulfill your purpose in life to live for Him.

I am incredibly blessed by my relationship with the Lord. There is nothing or no one that can ever compare to this! To experience true Christianity, you must desire to grow spiritually and ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). Then daily read the Bible to renew your mind (Romans 12:1-2). This process will saturate your mind with the truth and suppress the lies of the enemy. Before you know it, you’ll be living a transformed life because your life will change when your thoughts change. You are who you think you are, and you do what you think you should do (Proverbs 23:7). When you read and believe the Bible, you will find your true identity in Jesus Christ and start to live as He did (1 John 4:17).

There’s nothing you can do to successfully live this life yourself. The Bible [Jesus] (John 1:1, 14) is the only tool available to fulfill the deep longings and voids in your heart. People are being persecuted all over the world because of the power of God’s Word. Take that power and apply it to your daily life so that you can grow in the Lord and walk with God. Ditch your understanding and seek the truth so that you may walk freely and abundantly with Him. 

My Book Bible Journey is available on Amazon in both eBook and Paperback. It's a more thorough testimony of how the Bible transformed my life. I wrote it with hopes of encouraging people to get to know God so that they may walk with Him and live right.

Below is my husband's message about following Jesus. Enjoy, like, share, and subscribe!


Monday, April 15, 2019

Pray the Psalms

The Book of Psalms is not just a collection of poetic songs about King David and other wise kings and figures. The Psalms are written for us to apply! "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:17, NKJV). These poems are real-life experiences from believers of the past. Just like us, they suffered emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. But what's important is that they never lost their faith in God for deliverance. They sought the Lord, repented, worshipped, and praised their way to victory. Today, God wants us to read these words so that we may be encouraged and uplifted to persevere in this great walk of faith!

The psalms and other wisdom scriptures may be used as declarations and confessions of faith.

The expectation is for you to PRAY THE PSALMS (Speak them in prayer in place of your words) because they will reap spiritual benefits. Of course, you are to talk to God in your own intimate way. There's no rules. The purpose is to read them aloud often because the verses are God's inspired words with creative power to change your circumstances. Sometimes, we pray in ignorance, selfishness, or confusion. Thankfully, we have the scriptures available for our everyday use. There's no better way to pray than to pray according to God's Word because they're HIS words! So, speak His Word back to Him! With His own words, God created everything that exists. So why not use your authority as a believer and speak the Word over your life?

Below is a list of examples to encourage you to seek the Lord in both good and bad times.

Psalm 1: (one of my favorites!) This contrasts the prosperous lives of the righteous from the foolish lives of the wicked. vv.1-3 are great to meditate and declare.

Psalm 13: A prayer to trust God's timing.

Psalm 19: God's creation reveals His power.

Psalm 22: From suffering to joy.

Psalm 23: God cares for you.

Psalm 32: Forgiveness brings joy.

Psalm 91: God protects you. (I pray some of these verses daily!)

Psalm 116: God will deliver you. Be thankful always.

Psalm 131: Trust and contentment.

Psalm 139: A hymn of praise.

Psalm 146: Seek and trust God for help before running to people.

This exercise is inspired by an assignment in my course "Old Testament Poetry & Wisdom" at Colorado Christian University. For a further example and inspiration, you may check out my Psalm 116 project on YouTube []. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel!

(Bible Journey Book)

My 22-Day Devotional on Psalm 119 is available on Amazon both Paperback and eBook. Get yours today! []


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Wisdom of Love

After reading Song of Songs, I realized that this text was made for the Bible so that we all could know what real love looks like. Knowing what real love is like in a faithful marriage is the second greatest example of God’s love for us. It’s vital that we are faithful in marriage because it’s a representation of Christ’s love for the Church, His Bride (Ephesians 5:21-33). Christ dying on the cross for us in obedience to the Father is the first greatest expression of love (John 3:16).

“Rabbi Aqiba objected strongly from the Song of Songs and he implied that the book be interpreted allegorically of God’s love for Israel…An allegory is a piece of writing in which the author intends readers to take the surface meaning as symbolic of another level of meaning” (Lucas, 2008, p. 192). “Christian interpretation since Hippolytus (ca. 170-235 C.E.) and Origen (ca. 185-254 C.E.) follows in Jewish footsteps and reads the Song allegorically. Here we find two main interpretative strands: the first is an ecclesiological reading of the Song where the poem describes the love relationship between Christ and his church. The second reading is mystagogical, in which the poem describes the relationship of an individual soul to Christ as bridegroom” (Hagedorn, 2019).

“The Song of Songs was originally a carefully crafted anthology of secular love poems celebrating the sensual, sexual, and erotic love between man and woman. Later, Jewish and Christian tradition transformed it into a sublime document of religious belief” (Hagedorn, 2019). Because there is no mention of God in this book, religious critics were skeptical of why it was in the Bible, so they came up with theological doctrines to relate it to God. For example, in Song 8:6, the last line that read “a raging flame” was translated to a name of God (‘esh shalhebetya) meaning “the flame of Yah.” “In the Jewish tradition, the rabbis silenced such a discussion by affirming that “Song of Songs is holy because it was said [under the influence] of the holy Spirit.” The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that allscripture is inspired by God, so it doesn’t matter how we spiritualize things. Marriage is a perfect idea of God that is used to glorify Him.

The message of the book for us today is the same as when it was written. “The Song of Songs is a frank celebration of the joys of human love and sexuality” (Lucas, 2008, p. 197). Love in marriage is committed, romantic, beautiful, pleasurable, and intimate. When we read this book today, we are supposed to gain wisdom to apply to our own marriages so that we may experience God’s best in marriage and realize how God loves us even more than our spouses. 

“During the period of the Enlightenment the Song of Songs was read as an ethical appeal for marital fidelity” (Hagedorn, 2019). Up until recent times, many Christians applied the fundamental principles of the Bible to their marriages and everyday life. Today, we are bombarded by millions of lies from the enemy through social media, tv, radio, and foolish people who try to teach us their definitions of love. However, there’s no love in anything outside the Word of God concerning love and marriage.

Through the Song of Songs, we can learn how much God loves us because of His desire for us to experience intimate love with a significant other that reflects our relationships with Him. “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame” (Song of Songs 8:6, New International Version). “The wording here is important. The woman in the Song does not ask the man, however, to set his seal on her, as if marking her as his own, his commodity to do with as he pleases. She envisions herself as the seal she wants him to impress on his heart and arm” (Spencer, F.Scott, et al, p. 212, 2016). She wants to become one with him as God wants with us. 

God desires a committed relationship with everyone that never ends. This verse (8:6) talks about “a love that cannot be extinguished” (Spencer, F.Scott, et al, p. 210, 2016). We can also learn about God’s personal love for everyone and realize that we are called to love all of God’s people because we’re all created in His image and deserve to be loved deeply and unconditionally.

“There is the foundational wisdom that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom [or knowledge in some texts]’ (Prov. 1:7). On this basis the Song of Songs’ reflection on the nature of love must be taken to assume that the appropriate context for the fulfilment of love is marriage” (Lucas, 2008, p. 198). For the modern reader, wisdom for God’s design for marriage and intimacy with Jesus Christ, should be gained from reading this text.

Hagedorn, A. C. (2019, April 03). Jewish and Christian Interpretation of the Song of Songs. Retrieved from

Lucas, E. C. (2008). Exploring the Old Testament, Volume 3: A guide to the Psalms & Wisdom Literature.Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Spencer, F. S., Lawrence, L. W., & Reid, B. E. (2016). Wisdom commentary: song of songs. Collegeville, Minnesota: Michael Glazier: Liturgical Press.