Archive

Monthly Archives: March 2014

March 27, 2014

Loving Our Enemies

How to live Free

You can be the nicest person on the face of the planet and there will still be someone who hates you, is jealous of you, or just wants to see you suffer. It’s happened since the beginning of time, and it will be this way until the end of time. (Sorry if that sounds grim). But the fact of the matter is, Jesus was (and still is) pretty darn amazing! He taught love, encouraged peace, spoke life, healed folks. I mean, come on, what more could you ask for! AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM! Despite all His goodness, He ended up on the cross because he had enemies. People hated Him, hated what He represented, and hated the message He spread. Their hate for Him is why He was crucified. Did you catch that I said, THEIR hate for Him, not the other way around?woman praying silhoutte
Jesus wasn’t crucified because of how he felt toward His enemies. He wasn’t crucified because He was trying to inflict pain and suffering upon anyone. He was crucified because hate was deeply rooted in the hearts of His enemies, and they wanted nothing more than to see Him dead.

Fast forward to present day. On our best days we are nothing like Jesus, yet we still have enemies. Saved or unsaved, Christian or Buddhist, white, black, or purple, WE HAVE ENEMIES. So how do we deal with them? 

*DRUMROLL PLEASE* 

PRAY FOR THEM! That’s right, I said it. Pray for your enemies! When people speak curses over you, SPEAK BLESSINGS! (Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:28 NIV)
When the are hateful towards you, WALK IN LOVE! (And live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 NIV) When people persecute you, PRAY GOD IS MERCIFUL ON THEM! I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. When we allow ourselves to be consumed with hate, we become hostages. We’re prisoners of hate because we become so focused on our enemies that little else is of importance. We want to know what they’re doing so we can do it better. Where they’re going so we can go someone better. Who they’re friend are so we can make sure our friends are better. That’s not living!

 As crazy as it sounds, there really are benefits to praying for our enemies. Try it and watch how quickly you become set free!

Written by Amber Boggs. If you would like to contact Amber, you can reach her here.
 
 

March 20, 2014

Marriage and Respect

This month marks 5 years of marriage for me and my Mr.  So when I was give then opportunity to write about marriage and having God in our marriage, my Spirit  just leaped.  I knew this was God sent.

What God impressed on me to share is on RESPECT I will now give a disclaimer before I go any further: I have NOT mastered this area, so allow me to be candid.  I will be honest about certain struggles. It is not an easy thing to open up.

I have to admit I am guilty of only sharing our positive, happy, smiley photos and stories on social media.  Not so much to paint a picture perfect marriage but I don’t like to do rant posts or share my dirty laundry. However I am going to step out in faith and be transparent for the purpose of offering hope to hurting wives and to help bring THE LIGHT to struggling marriages.
Now let me say that what I do share on my social media is the truth and as real as can be however there are certain times when it’s not all pretty, all the time. I am really hoping this is normal. Most times are all smiles with Mr. Aguila.  He is a truly amazing, God sent husband.  He is so patient, so loving and so thoughtful quite the opposite of me.

So moving along and on to RESPECT which means to esteem; the state of being admired; thoughtfulness. Ephesians 5:31-33 instructs us and is titled in the New Living Translation version, Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

While doing my research I found the word deference as a synonym for respect. Deference means respect:  polite respect; especially putting ANOTHER person’s interest FIRST.

We must follow Philippians 2:309-woman-talking-when-man-isnt-listening-1

I like this version. Philippians 2:3 The Voice  Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others.

And this one..Philippians 2:3 New King James Version (NKJV) 3Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
We are now one with our spouses.  We are not better than them or deserve more or entitled to more we actually should honor and respect each other ABOVE ourselves.
Romans 12:10 instructs us in the New International Version (NIV)  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. These two scriptures are speaking against selfishness and showing us not to be self-seeking.  It is not all about us.  We did not get married to put the pressure on our spouses to make us and keep us happy.  We must always allow God to be our joy and happiness.  “The Joy of the Lord to be our strength.”  The bible does not say the joy that comes from my spouse.  God must take center stage in our marriages.

If we can love with that First Corinthians 13 kind of love than respect will begin to show up and show off but many of us wives know that it is not always easy, easy to be patient, or meek or kind or selfless.  I know for me it’s not and there are times when I am not patient and if I miss one then I miss them all because when I am not selfless I am not patient and I am not kind and I am not meek.  I get frustrated and start being disrespectful and yelling at my husband all because I didn’t get what I wanted.  Our bickering is over the smallest dumbest things but if Mrs. Aguila doesn’t get what she want, everyone will know.  Lately Mr. Aguila has been bringing my crazy outburst to my attention and lets not talk about all the rolling of the eyes, the sighs and the whatevers I throw in from time to time. That is all disrespectful.

We must see respect as a noun plus a verb.  Respect is not just something we know, it has to be something we show.  It requires action on our part.  A daily decision to put into action that First Corinthian Chapter Thirteen love which will pull out that respect we are instructed to have for our husbands.

Maybe you feel your husband doesn’t deserve your respect or that you don’t have to submit to him.  If you feel that way then try being obedient to the word of God, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ as Ephesians 5:21 tells us.  Most times I feel as if I don’t deserve my husband’s love to be honest.  This is one of my struggles and being open and transparent before God and being accountable is a great start for change.

Matthew 6:33 in the New Living Translation says, “Seek the kingdom of God above ALL else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”  I do believe that this is not only material stuff but it includes wisdom and respect and above all else love.  These are all also things we need.

Written By Victoria Aguila.

For more from Victoria Aguila, please visit http://faithhopeandtreasures.blogspot.com/
 
 

March 13, 2014

They Are Listening

I would like to share a few words of encouragement with mothers who think that the words they share with their children, who may not be walking with the Lord yet, are falling by the wayside. I’ve been guilty of believing that the words I shared with my son were falling to the ground because I was looking at his actions. Until one day God showed me otherwise.

My daughter has had an illness for about six years. As a mother, you just want to fix everything. I prayed, gathered information about the illness, and waited for an answer. All the while I was very frustrated because I could not fix the problem. I would pray and leave it in the Lord’s hands, then go right back and pick it up again. The vacillating began tobeach take a toll on me, but I could not see it.

One day, my son invited me to lunch. As we sat down we began to talk. He asked me how my daughter, his sister, was. All of a sudden I began to cry. With tears running down my cheeks, those words “how is she” seemed to cut deeply in my heart. I felt like someone who had been defeated because the enemy was right there to say: where is your God? Then my son said something that only the Holy Spirit could put in his mouth because he did not know how I felt. He said, “Mom, why are you carrying the burden? Are you not supposed to give it to Jesus? You always tell me to cast my burdens on Him because He cares for me? Then that is what YOU need to do.” Right there in that restaurant, God lifted my burden and I was freed from that heavy weight.

Today, not a lot has changed with my daughter’s condition, but the healing manifestation is on the way. In the meantime I am rejoicing in the Lord because I know that when we speak the word of God, His word makes an impact, even when we cannot see it. They are listening.
 
Written By Sheila Duran. If you would like to contact Sheila, you can reach her here.
 
 

March 6, 2014

Renew Me

There is a song I’ve loved since the first time I heard it, called “Renew Me”, by Martha Munizzi. My favorite part of the song says,

Don’t cast me away from Your Presence. staring_out_window

Renew a right spirit within me.

For my heart is broken before You.

I bow down before You in worship.

These words are a variation that come from Psalm 51 and were written by David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba. It is a Psalm of repentance in which David is asking the Lord for mercy. He is seeking God that he may be purified. He is acknowledging his sin, but also asking God to make him clean once again. In Psalm 51:10-11 (NKJV) David asks,

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Throughout the song, Martha Munizzi sings the words, “let this be your prayer”. When I first heard those words in the song, I thought of them as just that: words. They were merely a convenient little ad-lib that helped the song flow smoothly. However, eventually this song became one of the one’s I would play during prayer. It was then that, “let this be your prayer” became more than just an ad-lib. It was an urging to really pray to God for renewal. It was a challenge to not just ask God for “blanket mercy” that covered all my sins, but to really acknowledge them. To stop pretending that there weren’t things that in my heart shouldn’t be there.

For me, praying about those things that darkened and hardened my heart was painful. So, I did the only logical thing in my mind there was to do and avoided it. I figured, God already knows, so there’s no need to state the obvious. It was one thing to know the sins in my heart, but another to actually talk to God and pray about them. It was as if not speaking it made them have less of an impact, made them seem smaller than what they really were.

I think at some point we all fell that way about one thing or another. We use the whole, “God knows my heart” as a crutch to sometimes not say what needs to be said. I know I sure did! It took me a long time to realize how bound I was allowing myself to be by the things I wouldn’t say. I was asking God to give me a clean heart and renew my spirit, but holding on to the very things I needed to let go. I was unintentionally keeping myself in bondage.

Part of James 5:16 (NKJV) says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The New Living Translation says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Whatever translation you look at, the point in the same: it’s our earnest prayers, the prayers that come from deep within our hearts that are powerful. Those things we are hesitant to say need to be released. Don’t let the lies of the enemy convince you that you should be too ashamed to pray about certain things. Don’t let those lies keep you in bondage.

Yes, it is absolutely true that God already knows and sees all, but there is freedom in praying earnestly. There’s authority in praying earnestly. There’s an invitation for God to enter in and work when we pray earnestly.

 

Written by Amber Boggs. If you would like to reach Amber, you can contact her here.