Tag Archives: Santification

Sanctification Is A Slow Process

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Photo by Marcelo Silva on Unsplash

Sanctification is a slow process. You don’t just wake up one day and all your bad habits are gone. That’s why there is this concept called the “renewing of your mind”. We are also encouraged to guard our hearts. The parable of the sower – the good soil – waits patiently, diligently working on the seed that was planted, until it grew big and strong and produced good fruit.

What made that good soil different from the others was perseverance. Nothing stopped them. Healthy trees need pruning. Healthy trees still get bugs on them. Healthy trees still need maintenance, and a sick tree can be made healthy again, when tended to.

On this journey towards sanctification : DO NOT GIVE UP. Heart break, disappointment, confusion or even sin, cling to Jesus! Sanctification is a life long process of pruning. The goal is to make us more Christ-like – producing the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT- bearing good fruit. The goal of this fruit is to be loving and kind to those around us, just like He is to us.

Quick Glossary:

Pruning– trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.

Vinedresser– a person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines.

John 15(NKJV) 1-17

The True Vine

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Love and Joy Perfected

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.

Let me break this down for you: First we must know that we serve a Loving God. All my problems flow from a belief of an unloving, unfair God. Here, Jesus tells us to abide in God’s love. Once we take our eyes off of our loving savior, like Peter, we begin to sink.

Second, abiding in the Greek – G3306- menō means –

  1. to remain, abide

    1. in reference to place

      1. to sojourn, tarry

      2. not to depart

        1. to continue to be present

        2. to be held, kept, continually

    2. in reference to time

      1. to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure

        1. of persons, to survive, live

    3. in reference to state or condition

      1. to remain as one, not to become another or different

  2. to wait for, await one

Therefore, never give up on God or your salvation! Sanctification is a long process of pruning with the goal of love. Your requirements are to stand under the grace of God and to obey Christ’s command of loving one another. When you abide or stay close to Christ, renewing your mind with his word and letting His Spirit work in you; you become loving, kind, patient etc. Evil things that once gave you pleasure and satisfaction, no longer do.

Don’t give up. God loves you with all your faults, sins and preconceived notions. He will hold up a mirror to your face and show you what’s in your heart. At first it will be painful, you will be kicking and screaming. You will question God, get angry with people, sin and be tempted to leave the faith, but don’t. Hold on tight to Christ, even when you do not feel joy in your heart. God is faithful to comfort you, expose you and heal you where you are. The reward is renewed strength, peace and ultimately joy- that is your strength. Pain and hardships humbles us, softens us and makes us compassionate towards others.

God Bless,

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The Lady of Noble Character

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31: 30

Throughout history, since the beginning of time…women…women have always been on the quest for beauty.

This post will not be about beauty! We have tons of articles, personal accounts from women from various cultures and nations and just a plethora of stories about the standard of beauty. I am, however, talking about self-worth and the standard of character. It is not enough to be intelligent. No, it’s not. The modern woman wants to be successful in her career and her education. However, I am here to tell you that it’s meaningless (in King Solomon’s voice)! You see, that charm…that thing that makes us stand out…whether it be the way we carry ourselves, or the way we speak. Another word for charisma…well…that’s meaningless too. You might say, “has she gone mad?” Well here’s the thing. It’s God. Everything must point back to Jesus.

I realized that my beauty is fading. I’m simply getting older. I will wrinkle, I will sag and I will eventually have white hair. It’s a part of life none of us can escape. My charm, the IT factor. That thing that makes me stand out from the crowd, that too is deceptive. Why? Because it’s dependent on what others deem as charming. It’s dependent on other people! My relationship with God, however, will never fade way, nor is it dependent on external circumstances or people. Good character is hard to find. It is not just simply external morality, but an internal heart condition. It is a heart that is yielded to God and then in turn produces the FRUIT of THE SPIRIT. Without the evident Fruit….our lives are meaningless. Without fruit we are empty vessels that look pretty and sound pretty.

My worth, Your worth….our sense of well-being…everything, must come from God. We cannot blame society, men or the media for who we choose to be. We cannot blame our parents, our circumstances…we cannot blame Satan for anything we decide to do.

Everyday, I have to make a conscious decision that I will follow Jesus. Everyday I must lay down my life for His Will. Being a christian comes with a daily cost. People believe it’s about blessings…but truly, it is about struggle. It is about being emptied out so that God can pour into…it is becoming a new person…literally. It’s not just bad habits that are being changed but also your very personality!!!!!

SHOCKER! I know. I know. And, while it’s happening, it HURTS. You kick and scream and cry. You fight…you throw tantrums. You ask God “WHY ME”! But then, you think back on all that God has done for you…from the initial dying on the cross, paying the price for our sins and then the intimate dealings in our everyday lives. You realize you owe God everything. And then, you also understand that you are being reborn. It’s for your own good….it truly is for your own good. You are not just going to be beautiful on the outside but a beauty that shines in the likeness of your heavenly father.

You know how people set up trophies on their walls….well….I don’t have a trophy wall. But I have a mental wall of progress. You see, the me in the past would not be saying these things. I’d probably go off, doing my own thing, being mad at God and ignoring His voice. I would be living it up, saying “forget it”! But this new me that is emerging is saying….YOU KNOW WHAT LORD! I AM NOT HAPPY AND I AM UNCOMFORTABLE BUT HAVE YOUR WAY! But whatever you do, do not remove your Spirit from me.…(in King David’s voice).

Nothing is worth losing God for. NOTHING! Not a man, not a career or your education, not family, not your body , NOTHING! Everything you need is in Jesus Christ. If you need anything…”Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” Philippians 4:6-7

The humble prayer of my heart is simply…LORD, help us to give our thoughts, concerns and our feelings to you. Help us to pray about everything and to keep on praying until we are met with the blessing of incomprehensible peace. Let us be Proverbs 31 Ladies that find our worth in YOU…and not in deceptive and fleeting things.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Just A Thought…

People see the outward part of us. What we show to the world, but God sees the inner man. The places in our heart, mind, soul and spirit that even we cannot see. Unlike man that loves a performance and a show, God looks at the heart. He looks at the source. He sees the hidden things and if we allow Him, He can clean every nook and cranny until we are spotless.

I believe this is why God said do not focus on pleasing people. People usually do not care what’s on the inside, they just like seeing pretty things. They like to be entertained. If you try to please everyone, you will not only burn yourself out, but lose yourself in the process.

This ties into being who you were created to be. You were born special and unique. There is no competition in God’s kingdom. Moses was not like Joseph and both of them were not like David or Daniel but God used all of them and loved them all. The one thing they had in common was their love for God but their temperaments, life story and callings/ministries were different. We are one body with many parts. All parts are necessary and important for healthy function. So don’t compete. Don’t compare. Be free and be YOU and love God with all your heart because he saved you from the competition and stress of the world.

Here is a quote I came up with in the quietness of my own thoughts :

“The me of today can only do what I can do at this present time. And, I cannot do today, what I can do tomorrow. But, if I keep doing today what I can do for now, I know I’ll get better in time for tomorrow.”

Tomorrow is dependent on God. He forms the new day, calling it into existence. He keeps the world functioning as it should. He cares about the intimate details of our lives and so all progress in our lives rest in his hands. There is something different about the Kingdom of Heaven that is different than the system of this world. We use to rely on our own ideologies and our own will and strength but those things can crumble and fade away through the pressures of life and even in the face of death. But there is something supernatural about the system of heaven. It’s more about dependence on God. A faith that is reliant on God’s power, wisdom and knowledge but not our own.

I had a realization that unless we allow God to empty us, and refill us with Himself, we will never become who we were created to be, reaching our full potential. We will always be putting on a show. A source of entertainment for people to enjoy and feel comfortable, but true change is uncomfortable, forcing people to see beyond themselves and into the Light of Christ.

The Journey to Love

These last few months, God has been taking me through a journey through love. He began to open my eyes to the people around me. He exposed things within myself and others. The information given was given with the purpose of healing.

I say this for a reason. Sometimes we think all information we receive is from God. The way I can tell if it is or isn’t, is how my heart responds to it. If the information was meant for me to hate someone or myself or is that information given for me to seek forgiveness or give it.

With all the information I’ve received, it felt like system overload. The journey is hard. It is emotional. It leaves you naked and exposed. It leaves you vulnerable, but in a good way. You see, I could be hiding in the shadows. However, true love doesn’t allow someone to hide away in shame. It allows the person to fall on their face and know for a fact that there is a loving God that will embrace them.

I say this all the time and mean it :true and pure love comes from God. I had gotten tired of hearing how loveless I was from the very people I had looked to for love. The very people who told me I wasn’t loving, failed to love me. So, how convincing are you if you do not even embody what you expect from me? Unlike some people that go searching for love, I accepted a life without it. I wasn’t looking for love nor did I care for it. I was content living my life and being successful. I worked hard at everything. I had dreams and goals and I was very happy with them. However, I had reached the end of myself and my goals and dreams could only get me so far. I do not say this with any anger or shame. I say this with joy. The very people that failed to love me, I now see them as incomplete. I cannot hate them. Why should I? They need to experience that same love of God like I did.

I am free. This word came with a price. I had to lose everything to gain my life! But I thank God for the process because I can truly say I know who God is. God is love. This is truth. This cannot be argued or changed. God is love. Pure and true love. No ones love can come close. We must always love people with the hope of pointing them to the ultimate love of God. Our love is never complete. It cannot compare. Our love cannot save. Our love cannot heal. Our love cannot change if it is not rooted in who Christ is. Everything must point back to him.

Thank you Lord for your love personified through Jesus Christ. Thank you for his life, his ministry and his example. May we always strive to be like Jesus in all we do by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

The Body Is The Temple Of The HOLY SPIRIT.

This will be the first out of two posts about my weight. The reason  I am limiting the amount of posts is because it can easily become a whining session full of bitterness, confusion and defeat. However, I just wanted to share something I’ve learned

It is common knowledge that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If you believe in Jesus Christ you basically have God living inside of you. As a christian our walk with God is not just spiritual but physical and mental too. We need God to help change our attitudes. The way we see ourselves and others. The way we see him needs to change as well. There is always constant growth, or should be. A part of this process comes from throwing down idols. We throw down idols through confession. Specific confession followed by removing said idol. For example: food and body image or your past of being bullied because of your weight. I had a wake up call. God is showing me that I am sensitive in this area. I keep lying to myself thinking I’m strong and nothing affects me but it does. Words hurt. Being mistreated for wanting good things in your life is confusing. So in subconscious ways I sell myself short for comfort. I deep down don’t want to be hated. I don’t like the sly comments or the harsh words. But at the same time selling myself short is affecting my relationship with God. I  am not treating myself correctly. I am not allowing God to be honored by how I treat myself. We are all worthy of love. Not because of what we have done or have to contribute but because we all are created in the image of God. When we lose our identity we become ineffective. We cannot do the will of God because we won’t have the confidence to seek him for it. We also open ourselves up to sin because of a lack of self disciple and boundaries. Its a form of self hate. A reflection of how we see ourselves. And how can we truly love our neighbor if we don’t love ourselves. We must first seek God with all we are and patiently wait as he molds us and removes all the baggage.

This is my current place. And at this point in Time I’m feeling the need to introspect. Not with my own eyes but through God’s eyes. He knows where to look and how to perceive. He knows exactly how to fix and enhance. He knows how to eraticate and heal.

No more dishonoring and abusing this temple of the Holy Spirit.

Silence In The Darkness II

I think my actions forced me into silence. Honestly, I am very happy to have this silence. I am free to think. I am free to study. I am free to seek.

As confusing life is to me, I know that God has not deserted me. As evil my nature is, God has not turned his back on me.

Sometimes we can have good intentions, sometimes we think we are doing the right thing for ourselves to find out that it was flat-out wrong. But the joy I have is in productivity.

I am no longer a busy body like my teenage self doing everything and anything. I calculate my days and what needs to get done. I make time to take care of my body and adopting proper eating habits.

However, there is still room for improvement. My last post was titled:  “Silence in the darkness”.

I know for a fact that this is the silent part of my journey. I already know that I am a hopeless human being but I didn’t realize how hopeless I was.

As dismal as that is, the reality of it all is that I’m realizing more and more that only God is good and there is no way that I can be good in my own strength.

Not spending time in God’s presence is my problem. I always say I don’t have time even when I do. It’s always an excuse for me. The passion has left and I blame it on time. Then when something pops up I get upset with myself and the cycle continues.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think about God and I thank him for all he does in my life. However that is not enough. At some point I realized that I was spiritually blind. Spiritually dumb.

I was comfortable in my own folly. I made excuses for my own sins and  attitudes. I made goals without asking God exactly when and how.

It’s way to easy to fall off track when you make excuses. It’s way too easy to fall of track when you are worrying about who hurt you or how tired you are after a long day of work and chores. It’s easy to fall off track when you are too caught up being angry with yourself.

I decided this was a wake up call. Honestly, I am tired of wake up calls. I want to reach a place where they are few and far in between.

The word of God is like a flicker of light, a spark of fire in the darkness. Every sparkle and every flick illuminates each tile, brick or step of the way. It doesn’t illuminate the whole path, just the steps we need to take.

Satan is on the side lines trying to divert our attention  to what he has to offer ( the state of the world) . It may be enticing because it is easy, or maybe because everyone is doing it. Other times it could be because the light hasn’t shown up fast enough. Some of us could be on one step or tile for years. It seems fitting that we can take a detour.

However, as we move from beginners or babies to mature or elders, Satan’s tactics would soon begin to appear dull or desperate. He might even try new ways but because of our maturity in Christ we can rest on what we know of him and his ways/timing.

The Holy Spirit is with us throughout this journey. He reminds us of what we know and he will reveal to us what we need to know. That’s the comfort we have. He also gives us the authority and the power to stand against the bully ( Satan) in Jesus name.

This is exactly how it’s coming to me and it’s making sense. Along the way we develop new skills called virtues that help us reach our goal: heaven.  Most importantly it also  living life as a testimony of God’s grace and love for everyone. Soon that spark will light up other lives. I always wondered what makes a christian mature and now I’m seeing that it comes from experience: trials and tribulations.

Being alone in the dark is scary at first but sometimes necessary. We begin to notice our surroundings, our spiritual state and our relationship with God.

I guess despite everything, today was a good day.