Rejoice with Lord Jesus this Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you readers and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! It is Christmas time once again and that only means that we must keep honoring, thanking, remembering and praising Jesus for He is our Lord and Savior sent by the Heavenly Father.

Previously I blogged that Christmas has always been about Lord Jesus and this new faith piece I am writing is a follow-up to that. In this very divided and screwed-up world we live in, it is simply too easy for people to celebrate Christmas without prioritizing Lord Jesus at all. There are some, knowingly or unknowingly, who celebrate while forgetting or even disregarding Lord Jesus. And there are some who celebrate Christmas in a rather covetous manner, making material gains the top priority of the season instead of prioritizing the Lord. There are also others who celebrate Christmas without Lord Jesus as they were influenced by the works of entertainers who organized or published these so-called Christmas specials with unholy influences. In many cultures around the world, the fictional Santa Claus became the figure of the season instead of the Lord Himself. Christmas is to be celebrated with Lord Jesus first and foremost! To rejoice with Lord Jesus every Christmas season is the definitive way of celebrating the very season!

To understand the truth that Lord Jesus is the definitive reason of Christmas, let’s go to the Holy Bible with the following holy scriptures below…

Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;

All nations shall serve Him.

Psalm 72:11 (NKJV)

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

Listen! A virgin will be pregnant, she will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as “Emmanuel,” which means in Hebrew, “God became one of us.”

Matthew 1:23 (TPT)

During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent from God’s presence to an unmarried girl named Mary, living in Nazareth, a village in Galilee. She was engaged to a man named Joseph, a true descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Rejoice, beloved young woman, for the Lord is with you and you are anointed with great favor.”

Mary was deeply troubled over the words of the angel and bewildered over what this may mean for her. But the angel reassured her, saying, “Do not yield to your fear, Mary, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as King on the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign as King of Israel forever, and his reign will have no limit.”

Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!”

Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!”

Then Mary responded, saying, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38 (TPT)

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7 (ESV)

As seen above, the prophecy of the birth of Lord Jesus was recorded in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. Psalm 72:11 and Isaiah 9:6 are just a few of many references to His birth. God our creator and Heavenly Father already made a plan to save all souls and bring to them peace, wisdom, love and salvation. The prophecy of Jesus’ birth continued in the New Testament and Matthew 1:23 is just one recorded reference.

As recorded in Luke 1:26-38, an angel from God came to Mary and told her she was anointed her with great favor and that she will be pregnant with none other than the Heavenly Father’s own son Jesus. Out of faith, Mary overcame the initial uncertainty (her being a virgin) and accepted her destiny to be God’s instrument on taking care of Jesus whose birth was nearing. Think about that very carefully! Imagine yourselves being approached by God and knowing how faithful you are to Him, He would approach you and trust you to follow His command and that His plans for you are always good. That being said, doubts and fear should easily be set aside to follow God’s command and be a part of His plan manifesting here on Earth. Faith in the Lord truly makes tremendous, positive changes happen! To serve the Lord with deep faith in Him is always an honor!

As recorded in Luke 2:7, Mary, who was accompanied by her husband Joseph, gave birth to the infant Jesus even without the privacy and comfort of an inn. People back then also had to live under the shadow of uncertainty and death in connection to the rules of the time. No matter how difficult their situation was, the birth of our Lord happened! There was no luck nor coincidence involved at all! The birth of Lord Jesus happened according to God’s plan! It was destiny realized with God’s favor!

More on the birth of Lord Jesus and His being the reason of Christmas, pay close attention to the following holy scriptures below…

Jesus was born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem during the reign of King Herod. After Jesus’ birth a group of spiritual priests from the East came to Jerusalem and inquired of the people, “Where is the child who is born king of the Jewish people? We observed his star rising in the sky and we’ve come to bow before him in worship.”

King Herod was shaken to the core when he heard this, and not only he, but all of Jerusalem was disturbed when they heard this news. So he called a meeting of the Jewish ruling priests and religious scholars, demanding that they tell him where the promised Messiah was prophesied to be born.

“He will be born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,” they told him. “Because the prophecy states:

And you, little Bethlehem,

are not insignificant among the clans of Judah,

for out of you will emerge

the Shepherd-King of my people Israel!”

Then Herod secretly summoned the spiritual priests from the East to ascertain the exact time the star first appeared. 8 And he told them, “Now go to Bethlehem and carefully look there for the child, and when you’ve found him, report to me so that I can go and bow down and worship him too.”

And on their way to Bethlehem, the same star they had seen in the East suddenly reappeared! Amazed, they watched as it went ahead of them and stopped directly over the place where the child was. And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy. When they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, they fell to the ground at his feet and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests full of gifts and presented him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Afterward they returned to their own country by another route because God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.

Matthew 2:1-12 (TPT)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NLT)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (ESV)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NASB)

For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.

John 3:16 (TPT)

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)

With this in mind, we constantly pray that our God will empower you to live worthy of all that he has invited you to experience. And we pray that by his power all the pleasures of goodness and all works inspired by faith would fill you completely. By doing this the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you will be glorified in him, by the marvelous grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (TPT)

As Christians and children of God, we must always remember and live with the truth that our Lord and Savior Jesus is truly the reason for Christmas. No matter how savage or uncertain this world is right now, we must never lose faith in the Lord and it is only the Lord who can lift us up when we fall down. It is only He who can restore us, bless us and pave the way for us. The birth of Jesus has always been a key part of God’s plan for us all! The Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit love us all and we simply have to do our parts and responsibilities as members of the Body of Christ and the spiritual family (God’s family). That being said, celebrating Christmas with our Lord Jesus is the true way of celebrating the season.

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious zealot? Have you been persecuting Israel while supporting the terrorist-sponsored Palestinians and the wicked BDS movement? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still prioritizing addictions to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements over the Lord ? Have you been causing trouble as a social justice warrior (SJW)? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Have you been condemning churches and people of faith for a long time now? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Have been a Planned Parenthood supporter or activist? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? Have been practicing sorcery and witchcraft? All of that darkness can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the LightGlorify only the Lord!

There is no force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from my first pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits in reference to what I published here and here. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion at all. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some Christmas music videos for your engagement and immersion. Merry Christmas to all of you and always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this Christian article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing the love of Christ can make a tremendously positive difference with others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

Never Let the United Nations and Other Worldly Forces Deceive You

Do you seriously believe that the intergovernmental organization called the United Nations (UN) is really working for the good of the world as well as maintaining peace and security? Are you comfortable with the ideas that the UN would affect your personal liberty, violate your nation’s sovereignty and meddle in the local affairs?

I asked these questions for you my readers to be aware of what has been going and what is happening around us all in this very divided, screwed-up world we live in. Very recently, the UN had its 76th General Assembly in New York and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres went ahead with what could be described as acts of fearmongering and making people even more worried during this COVID-19 pandemic.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report. Some parts in bold…

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres raised the alarm on Tuesday as world leaders convened in New York for the 76th General Assembly, telling them to “wake up” in the face of cataclysmic challenges.

Speaking as the General Debate opened, Guterres said the international community is facing “the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes.”

“We are on the edge of an abyss and moving in the wrong direction. Our world has never been more threatened or more divided,” he said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has super-sized glaring inequalities. The climate crisis is pummeling the planet. Upheaval from Afghanistan to Ethiopia to Yemen and beyond has thwarted peace. A surge of mistrust and misinformation is polarizing people and paralyzing societies. Human rights are under fire, and science is under assault.”

Guterres blasted searing inequity in vaccine access with the developed world mulling booster shots for its populations while many in developing regions are desperately searching for immunizations.

“This is a moral indictment at the state of our world. It is an obscenity. We passed the science test, but we are getting an F in ethics,” he said.

The UN chief further warned that current national climate commitments will see emissions go up 60 percent by 2030, which he said would bring a “hellscape of temperature rises of at least 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial levels” as nations remain “light years away from reaching our targets.”

“Instead of humility in the face of these epic challenges we see hubris. Instead of the path of solidarity, we are on a dead-end to destruction,” he said.

The stark warning comes after the UN issued a report last week that said the commitments established in the 2015 Paris climate accord, which are largely not being met, would lead to a 16 percent increase in emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. A cut of 45 percent by 2030 is needed to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century, it added.

Guterres continued to warn of the dangers posed by ongoing great power competition between China and the US, saying he fears the world is heading toward “two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technological rules; two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence, and ultimately, the risk of two different military and geopolitical strategies.”

“And this is a recipe for trouble. It would be far less predictable than the Cold War,” he said.

Amid the potential global split, Guterres said the UN’s powers remain too limited to address the globe’s challenges and need to be updated to ensure it could adequately address them.

When it comes to the climate change topic, the year 2030 is repeated yet again and as such it is important to point out that related climate change initiatives like the Green New Deal is a scam and renewable energy is itself unreliable as it depends on the cooperation with the weather (note: established energy forms like fossil fuels and nuclear power remain consistent, reliable and essential). It should be noted that climate change initiatives can be quite destructive to people socially and economically. Learn from the following videos below…

When it comes to the international community, the UN has a history of condemning Israel (click here and here) within its spectrum. Anti-Semitism is the norm for the UN for a long time now and there does not seem to be any movement from the UN leadership to stop it. As such, Israel has to keep defending itself. The lies that Israel is evil continue to circulate and I urge you readers not to be consumed by all the deception propagated by the enemies of Israel within the UN’s membership. As the UN cannot even solve its anti-Semitism problem within, how can they even prove their worth internationally with such developments like the what happened recently in Australia due to COVID-19 and Pakistan’s link with the Taliban in connection to the tragedies that happened in Afghanistan? Do we really need the United Nations at all? Learn from the videos below…

Finally, I want to point out that as the children of the Heavenly Father, we the faithful should follow Him, not the world. What is worldly is clearly not holy. Even world leaders are not immune to sin and the many temptations that come with the power they wield over people. The evil one – Satan – is clearly causing division worldwide using many methods and human pawns, and not a lot of people depending on worldly authorities and influences realize that. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction.

Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.

Luke 22:1-6 (NLT)

Thus says the Lord:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man

And makes flesh his strength,

Whose heart departs from the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (NKJV)

Lord, it is so much better to trust in you to save me than to put my confidence in someone else.

Yes, it is so much better to trust in the Lord to save me than to put my confidence in celebrities. Once I was hemmed in and surrounded by those who don’t love you. But by Yahweh’s supernatural power I overcame them all!

Yes, they surrounded me, like a swarm of killer bees swirling around me. I was trapped like one trapped by a raging fire; I was surrounded with no way out and at the point of collapse. But by Yahweh’s supernatural power, I overcame them all!

Psalm 118:8-12 (TPT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Very clearly, it is only the Heavenly Father, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit who can protect us, heal us, lift us up and protect us all from Satan and the screwed-up world. The United Nations cannot do the same for it (along with other worldly bodies out there) is vulnerable to sin and temptation, not to mention being influenced by the climate change extremists, the Marxists, the socialists, the secularists, the abortionists, the Communists, the liberals, the SJWs, the covetous, the religious extremists, the atheists, the fascist and the terrorists. Where is the spark for the UN to reform itself in and out? What we can do is pray to the Lord so that the worldly forces will realize their errors, stop doing Satan’s will, come to the Lord, repent to Him and submit themselves to His authority.

Any person of faith knows it is only the Lord anyone can truly trust wholeheartedly and worship eternally. It is only the commands from the Lord we should follow, not the commands of the worldly. As people of faith, we must always stand with the Lord and spread the Word of God to the countless unsaved and lost souls everywhere to help them realize that Jesus is Lord and Savior of all and He is truly the only way to salvation. True peace, stability, security and prosperity will be realized under the Lord, not under worldly forces.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Hidilyn Diaz wins the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines!

By the time you are reading this, you should be aware that what was once impossible for the Philippines became a tremendous breakthrough – national weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz (her official Twitter and Instagram) defeated her Chinese competitor in the Tokyo Olympics women’s 55 Kg. weightlifting competition and won for the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal the other night. The mainstream media of the Philippines went full blast with their coverage of the pioneering achievement.

The Manila Bulletin front page.
The hard copy of the Manila times.

That being said, we Filipinos should praise and thank our Heavenly Father for anointing Diaz to win the often-elusive Olympic gold medal for the Filipino people. Her victory is a clear reminder that with God, nothing is impossible. The Olympic gold victory is pioneering for Diaz and also marks the beginning of a new age in the history of the Philippines even as it remains struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. Before checking on the official news story, watch first these three relevant videos.

And now we can proceed with the official story of the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the excerpt of which is posted below. Some parts in boldface…

After 97 years, the elusive Olympic gold has finally been taken by the Philippines.

Hidilyn Diaz became the first Filipino athlete to win it all in an Olympic event after winning the women’s 55-kg. weightlifting competition at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan on Monday night.

Diaz, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, prevailed in a neck and neck showdown with China’s Liao Qiuyun in the clean-and-jerk lift as their battle for the gold went down the wire.

Finishing tied with Diaz in the snatch with a 97-kg. maximum lift, Liao lifted 126 kg. in her final lift, forcing Diaz to go for 127 to steal the top spot from Liao.

Diaz, however, smoothly cleared the 127-kg. lift to win it all, also setting an Olympic record in the process.

Her 224-kg. total is also an Olympic record.

I don’t know what to say. It’s a dream come true. I just want to say that we Filipinos are strong. We Filipinos can compete here at the Olympics. We can do it,” a high-spirited Diaz was quoted as saying by Xinhuanet.

The 30-year-old Diaz gave advice to younger Filipino athletes to “please dream high.”

“That’s how I started. I dreamed high and finally, I was able to do it,” she added.

Liao admitted that she was surprised by Diaz’s improvement.

“I feel good today. I can lift 123kg at most due to injuries, and never thought of a successful 126kg lift. I didn’t expect her strength like this,” Liao said.

China’s coach Zhang Guozheng echoed Liao’s thoughts.

“I didn’t expect such a situation,” he said. “Liao has gone all out, so it’s not a huge pity for her to lose the gold medal. It’s just because we did not expect our opponent (Diaz) to be so strong.”

Diaz has also assured herself of a total of PHP33 million from various people who pledged monetary rewards to the gold medal winners.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan claimed the bronze with a total of 213 kg. lifted.

Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan, despite setting the Olympic record for the snatch with a 98-kg. lift, missed out on the podium as she could only clear 114 in the C&J for a total of 212.

Malacañang joined the entire nation in celebrating the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal since it joined the most prestigious quadrennial event in 1924.

As you can see in the above PNA story, the first-ever Olympic gold medal won for the Philippines is tremendous and the good news is that, as of this writing, there are still opportunities for other Filipino athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics to win more medals (even gold) and help lift the nation in the medal rankings. Going back to Hidilyn Diaz (who was born in Zamboanga City in 1991), her pioneering achievement will earn her tremendous (and deserving) financial rewards from both the government and private sector. Check out the respective reports of the Manila Bulletin, GMA News and Nikkei Asia. To nobody’s surprise, a big welcome-back-home for her is being prepared.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people around the Philippines, notably public officials who enjoy the automatic mainstream media magnification, expressed their admiration for Diaz and congratulated her. Among the many acknowledgements and congratulatory messages for Diaz expressed by lots of people and organizations (both domestic and foreign), Planetshakers Church in Australia and the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines posted their congratulatory messages for her via their official their respective Facebook pages yesterday. Look at the screenshots below.

Facebook post by Planetshakers.
Post of the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines via Facebook.

Hours after her victory, Diaz posted a picture of herself and the Olympic gold medal on her Instagram as a picture story post. She thanked the people for their prayers.

National fame and Olympic achievement aside, Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal achievement shows that nothing is impossible with God. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”

Mark 10:27 (TPT)

Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!

Luke 1:37 (TPT)

I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through Jesus Christ!

Philippians 4:19 (TPT)

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.

Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT)

To our Lord is all the glory and let us praise and thank Him so much for anointing Hidilyn Diaz who not only won the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal but also all the many medals and honors she achieved in other international events as the representative of the Philippines. She truly deserves the financial rewards and the inevitable long-lasting fame that comes with being the nation’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist. Still you must always remember that worship is only for the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Never let idolatry dominate you for it is not only unholy, not only foolish but also will separate you from the Lord.

Let me ask you readers: How much of an impact did Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic gold medal victory have on you as a citizen of the Philippines? Did you ever doubt she would win the gold medal in the Olympics? Does her gold medal victory inspire you to improve yourself?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

In closing this article, posted below is a performance of the great Hillsong worship song King of Kings by Melody Hwang.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Christian Music Appreciation: Mercy on Display

Welcome back, my readers and fellow Christians! In this newest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we will focus on the worship song titled Mercy on Display written by Darlene Zschech and performed by the music team of Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC).

For the newcomers reading this, HopeUC is a Christian church founded in Australia. As of this writing, it is led by Pastor Darlene Zschech and her husband Mark. According the church’s website: Ps Mark and Darlene have a strong passion for the local church that exists to see the hope of Jesus Christ reside in every heart, across the Central Coast, Hunter Region and throughout the world.

Their desire is to see people living life out of the power that God intended for each and every one of us. Healing, wholeness and victory.

They believe in, and strongly support, mission works around the world and helping the poor by using what we have in our hands to make and be the change in this world.

They believe that the Church should be a people of faith and worship, who put God at the centre of their lives and that His Word is dependable and true for living successfully everyday, in every relationship, and situation.

To learn more about HopeUC, visit https://hopeuc.com/

Going back to the worship song, HopeUC premiered the official music video of Mercy on Display on their YouTube channel on April 14, 2021.

Before analyzing the Biblical relevance of the song, posted below for your reference are the lyrics of Mercy on Display.

Verse 1

I see the cross of Calvary

I see the pain you bore for me,

Your mercy on display for all to see

Verse 2

The earth grew dark and held its breath

As victory over hell and death was

Finished in Your perfect sacrifice

Chorus 1

The cross has made the way for us

So we can come and call upon Your name (Jesus)

And now oh death, you’ve lost your sting

As love has triumphed over sin & grave

Verse 3

For nothing now shall separate us

From Your love and from Your presence

Forever at the table of the Lord

Verse 4

Where everyone is welcome here

The veil is torn, the battle has been won

We worship You our God

Chorus 2

You Washed me clean as white as snow

I stand in awe, Your love won’t let me go, Jesus

I’ll Praise You now and evermore

You raised me up, Forever I am Yours

Bridge

You rewrote my story

I will ever praise Your name

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I am crowned with blessing

I will always sing Your praise

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

For analysis, let’s start with Verse 1’s lyrics – I see the cross of Calvary, I see the pain you bore for me, Your mercy on display for all to see. Calvary is the place where Lord Jesus got crucified at along with the criminals who were present with Him. For greater perspective and clarity, read the scripture below…

And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

Luke 23:33 (NKJV)

It should be noted that Calvary is derived from the Latin term calvaria which means “a skull.” The Passion Translation of the same scripture is read as follows…

When they came to the place that is known as The Skull, the guards crucified Jesus, nailing him on the center cross between the two criminals.

Luke 23:33 (TPT)

As Lord Jesus got crucified, He endured tremendous pain and He also paid for humanity’s sins. It was also there at Calvary where His cross was set up in full view of the people. At His cross, Lord Jesus told the Heavenly Father to forgive the people (grant them mercy). Refer to the scripture below in New King James Version and The Passion Translation…

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Luke 23:34 (NKJV)

While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

The soldiers, after they crucified him, gambled over his clothing.

Luke 23:34 (TPT)

With the above scriptures, it is clear that Verse 1 of the song is indeed biblically relevant in reference to the crucifixion (Lord Jesus’ paying the price for our sins) and the mercy from God (as Lord Jesus reached out to Him to forgive the people).

Moving on, Verse 2’s lyrics are as follows – The earth grew dark and held its breath, As victory over hell and death was, Finished in Your perfect sacrifice. Personally, I strongly believe that Verse 2 is directly related to the holy scripture below…

Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

Luke 23:44-47 (NKJV)

In the above scripture, the sacrifice of Lord Jesus was completed and the victory was realized not only for that point of time but for all time which paved the way for further generations of people to find Him and decide to repent to Him, submit to Him, become faithful to Him and receive salvation. The Roman centurion who witnessed His death realized that He was God, worshiped (refer to New Living Translation) and glorified (refer to the Passion Translation) Him. As we all know, Lord Jesus returned from the dead days later.

Moving on are the lyrics from Chorus 1 – The cross has made the way for us, So we can come and call upon Your name (Jesus), And now oh death, you’ve lost your sting, As love has triumphed over sin & grave. Those words remind me that not only is our Lord our source and salvation, He is also our protector and healer which in turn should remind all of you to come to Him. In any time of darkness or trouble, the Lord is our light and we need to come to Him and be faithful to Him. Learn more about coming to Him and reaching out to Him by calling His name wholeheartedly from the scriptures below.

God, hear my prayer. Listen to my heart’s cry.

For no matter where I am, even when I’m far from home,

    I will cry out to you for a father’s help.

    When I’m feeble and overwhelmed by life,

    guide me into your glory, where I am safe and sheltered.

Lord, you are a paradise of protection to me.

    You lift me high above the fray.

    None of my foes can touch me

    when I’m held firmly in your wraparound presence!

Keep me in this glory.

    Let me live continually under your splendor-shadow,

    hiding my life in you forever.

Psalm 61:1-4 (TPT)

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Acts 22:16 (NKJV)

in writing you this letter addressed to the community of God throughout the city of Corinth. For you have been made pure, set apart in the Anointed One, Jesus. And God has invited you to be his devoted and holy people, and not only you, but everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord, and ours also.

1 Corinthians 1:2 (TPT)

Lord Jesus, who overcame death, is truly the ultimate and definitive savior, and anyone who seeks salvation only need to reach out to Him and be faithful to Him. The above scriptures clearly reflect that and the lyrics in Chorus 1 of the song Mercy on Display are indeed holy. You want mercy from high above? Come to the Lord and get born again (read the words of Lord Jesus in John 3:3).

Movie forward, here are the lyrics in the Bridge – You rewrote my story, I will ever praise Your name, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, I am crowned with blessing, I will always sing Your praise, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. These words are a lively reminder that once you get born again and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a new creation. You also become a child of God, one who is faithful to Him, who follows His Word (the Holy Bible which is the ultimate written authority) and preach His Word to the rest of the world. It is also true that each of us has been created by God to worship Him, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit eternally. Learn from the holy scriptures below.

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (TPT)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)

Come and kneel before this Creator-God;

    come and bow before the mighty God, our majestic maker!

Psalm 95:6 (TPT)

Everyone praise the Lord God of Israel, always and forever!

    For he is from eternity past

    and will remain for the eternity to come.

    That’s the way it will be forever.

    Faithful is our King! Amen!

Psalm 41:13 (TPT)

Indeed, the lyrics analyzed confirm that HopeUC’s song Mercy on Display is holy. Mercy from the Lord is true and anyone who repents and submits to Him will gain it and move forward with the new life dedicated and filled with faith in Him. Musically, Mercy on Display is beautiful to listen to and it is a suitable song to be played at church during Sunday worship services or during church special events whenever there is a need to play something smoother or more solemn to the church attendees. Lastly, I can say that Mercy on Display was written to help deepen a person’s faith in the Lord.

In conclusion, posted below is the official music video of Mercy on Display performed by the HopeUC music team led by Darlene Zschech herself! While listening to it, remember to be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Always remember to realize the good life from the Lord, practice Christian habitsget yourself planted in a local church (be led by Him) and remember the truth that He rewards the faithful abundantly and He established plans for you even before you were even created! Continue to be people of the Word, seek God through His son Jesus, and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Why You Must Be Planted in a Local Church

Have you heard of the term church hopping? To put things in perspective, church hopping is the act of going from one church to another church to worship the Lord. Church hopping also indicates a believer’s inability to find a definitive local church to belong to.

As children of God, we are supposed to listen to Him and let Him direct us which church to be planted in. This means surrendering ourselves to Him, letting go of the hassles of our lives, and leaving up to the Lord to decide which church to join for the years to come.

As we live in this world filled with problems, challenges and confusion, it is natural for us to think of convenience about being part of the local church. Some people go to the church nearest to their homes. Some go to the church located in a community filled with lots of commercial joints to enjoy after attending services and activities. And some go to the church that has the least amount of problems with regards to traffic and parking spaces.

When it comes to joining a local church for the medium to long term, we must keep in mind the Lord who laid out plans for each of us. It is the Lord, not the conveniences and certainly not the other worldly factors that affect many, whom we must prioritize when it comes to being planted in a local church. Also remember always that the church is not just a building and certainly it is not an overgrown, corrupted worldly religion-led hierarchy…it is the community of people who believe in the Lord and live by the teachings of the Holy Bible (God’s Word) always pursuing Him and His holiness.

If God sends you a message (directly to you personally or by having one of His believers invite you to join the church) to join a local church, be assured that the said church is not only the right place for you but also has pastors who are very spirited in teaching His Word (the Holy Bible) and its members are sure to be welcoming, loving, caring and devoted as well. That being said, you should follow God’s instruction without question and do it without hesitation.  Learn from the holy scripture below.

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92: 13 (NKJV)

As you can see in the above scripture, God already laid out plans for you when it comes to joining a church whose community members will be your brothers and sisters in Christ! God always has good plans and He always keeps His promises for you. Once you get planted in God’s designated church for you, you will flourish! I know, because I myself experienced the love, direction and blessings of the Lord after getting planted by Him in a local church He chose for me. Church hopping has, literally, been buried in my past.

As mentioned earlier, whatever local church God chose for you is sure to be a really good one. Its pastor is sure to be anointed and in constant communication with the Lord, and this means he or she will teach you deep lessons from the Holy Bible as they are written. Their church members will welcome you with open arms, take care of you, help you in deepening your faith in the Lord, teach you how to pray in tongues, learn and perform the lessons of the bible and pray a lot with you. As the newly planted member, you will realize faith in the Lord is essential, having a personal relationship with Him is also essential. You will also learn that religion, unbelief, idols, traditions and rituals are unnecessary when it comes to having faith and the personal relationship with the Lord. Together with the pastor and church members, you will flourish and prosper with them. These I personally experienced.

That being said, it is notable that a good local church will teach you prosperity with ways to manage your finances in accordance to biblical principles. Not only that, you will get opportunities to tithe (give back 10% of your income to the Lord through the local church) and wait for God’s supernatural set-up for your prosperity to follow. Tithe, be patient and believe the promised blessings from Him will arrive. In other words, you sow (seeds) and you will reap under God. Learn from the scripture below.

Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Galatians 6: 7 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, Galatians 6: 7 emphasizes seed faith. God has a timetable for every seed we plant. His holy timetable is not the same as our respective timetables. With seed sowing in the local church, think of the way seasons move. You will want to wait for God and not lose patience because His timing is perfect and the promised blessings will come…they will be worth the wait! While you keep on pursuing the Lord in your local church, keep on tithing/giving, keep on sowing and NEVER lose faith and patience in Him. The holy harvest of the God will come! Trust in Him! Learn from the words of Lord Jesus in the holy scripture below in the New King James Version (NKJV) and the Passion Translation (TPT).

“Give, and it will given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6: 38 (NKJV)

“Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.”

Luke 6: 38 (TPT)

Luke 6: 38 clearly emphasizes that God truly gives in return after you give. It is the law of divine reciprocity and this also means the Lord’s abundance. Think about this example: you put money in the bank and in due time the bank returns interest. You give 10% of your income back to God through the local church, and you will receive His abundant blessing in due time. When it comes to tithing, never look at it as an additional expense on your part. Instead, tithing is truly essential as it is part of your responsibility as a child of God. The Lord expects you to receive a harvest from your giving. That being said, do NOT follow the examples of others who do not even give back to God and still expect Him to give them something. Again, tithing is key in receiving blessings from Him and your local church will explain to you why it is part of prosperity. Kingdom wealth is real and so is heavenly income.

Now for the next point about getting planted in a local church: The local church will help you on your relationships. Read the holy scripture below…

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92: 13-15 (NKJV)

The above scripture is another confirmation about God’s plans for each and every one of us. He made those plans before we were even created. In return for our unwavering faith and service to Him, God will bless us with prosperity, good health, happiness, love and a whole lot more. Going back to the plans He made, the restoration of our relationships with our biological family and other people in this world will manifest and the local church is part of the restoration process! In the local church, the pastor and other members can help you if you are willing to seek the Lord’s help through them. Do you have a strained relationship with your parents or your siblings? Did you break up with someone you once loved? Were you a victim of harassment or bullying? Do your classmates hate you in school? Whatever strained or trouble relationships you have, pray to the God in private, share the details and ask Him for help. In due time, the Lord will choose someone in the local church to help you. Trust Him on that and be ready to receive His help through a chosen instrument (someone faithful) of His.

Be aware that God does not want His children to live with strained relationships. For one thing, when one gets born again, he or she becomes a child of God and established a personal relationship with Him. Life for the child of God would not be complete without the restoration of relationships here on Earth. By simply being faithful and trusting in Him, restoration of relationships will transpire. Do not doubt, nor hesitate, let the Lord work on the restoration. With restoration, forgiveness, renewal of love, renewal of trust and peace between you and others will be realized.

God also does not want His children to be divided nor isolated. He is our Heavenly Father and the definitive creator. God also has His family and we the children who got born again, restored and blessed are the one who fill it. This is the spiritual family you will learn about. The spiritual family is God’s family, and the local church you plant yourself in is the spiritual family (on the local level, a branch of God’s family here on Earth). Being isolated, being self-centered, being filled with superiority over others and being filled with pride definitely will prevent you from earning your place in the spiritual family. Learn from the following scriptures below…

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good words, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10: 23-25 (NKJV)

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.

Proverbs 18: 1 (NKJV)

The confession of our hope written in verse 23 of Hebrews chapter 10 relates to hope of the future consummation of our salvation will never waver as long as it is grounded on the faithfulness of the Lord who promised (and always fulfilled His promises). Verses 24 and 25 emphasize the love for one another in Christ must manifest itself in works of love and gathering together in His name, especially in light of His Coming.

Hebrews 10: 23-25 reflects the truth that God uses His believers to reach you with the intention to help you, bless you, and invest in your life to become what God wants you to be. In the local church, your presence is need so the Lord Himself will guide you, command you and bless you. Be aware that – as a planted believer – when you attend Sunday worship services at the local church in the presence of the pastor and other members (note: your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ), you are not a mere spectator but are member of the spiritual family in attendance! This truth makes clear that church hopping will limit you to being a spectator than a true church member. You want your membership in the local church to validated with holiness? Be planted, be faithful, open your heart to God and be in harmony with your brothers and sisters in Christ! It is the local church that the Lord blessed before you get planted. As such, be committed to God in the local church and live up to your responsibilities as His child.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier about isolation and the related factors, Proverbs 18: 1 makes clear that being isolated will only lead you the wrong way and will lead you far away from God. If you are an isolationist, you certainly cannot commit yourself to the Lord in any church. Being an isolationist also makes you vulnerable to temptations by Satan and you will not even notice that. Don’t be an isolationist because being one will keep you out of the family of God.

As children of God, we go to church to please Him, not people. We follow His Word through learning and application. We humble ourselves to Him and open our hearts to Him. That being said, it is clear that we open ourselves to fellow faithful Christians in the local church who can offer spiritual assistance when needed. Learn from the scripture below…

As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27: 17 (NKJV)

Proverbs 27: 17 clearly emphasizes that it is beneficial and helpful for children of the Lord to be support each other as God is always watching us. If a certain member in the local church is backsliding (losing faith), another member can offer to provide support needed to strengthen the faith. If a member is doing Christianity the wrong way, another member can offer correction. If you are already a member of the local church and got problems with regards to faith and practices, do not hesitate to reach out the pastor or other members already strong and edified. That being said, the truth about these is made clear in the holy scripture below…

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6: 2 (NKJV)

In the local church, the pastor is you mentor. He or she is to be followed in accordance to the Word of God. The pastor is NOT to be worshipped for that constitutes idolatry which is unholy. Follow the pastor and all the biblical teachings, but always focus your worship exclusively to the Lord. We were created to serve and worship God, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Going back to the pastor, he or she will not only constantly study the Holy Bible, communicate with God and teach bible lessons to you. The pastor, along with the other members of the spiritual family in the local church, will pray for you.

Moving on, there is the truth that the local church will help you spiritually.

To put things in perspective, church attendance itself is great but it is not the definitive purpose because church is where we are planted to grow spiritually under the Lord. Each faith-led Christian and member of the local church has his or her own responsibilities to live up to, and spiritual growth is one of the requirements. You yourself want to be involved in the local church because your purpose is to grow spiritually, deepen your faith and establish your personal relationship with the Lord.

As members of the body of Christ (the church) and God’s family, we the children must come together to worship Him, learn His Word, do His will, and always maintain an unwavering faith in Him no matter what happens. The more you understand all the teachings of the Holy Bible entirely, the more you will understand the nature of the Lord and what He wants you to do in serving Him and helping Him save the many lost and unsaved souls around the world.

Understand that being planted is also about being obedient to the Lord. Keep on pursuing the Lord no matter what happens. Keep on tithing. Keep on being active in the local church with the goal of growing spiritually. Never limit yourself in honoring the Lord because in due time, He will allow something supernatural to happen to you. Great change will happen in your life. Learn from the final set of scriptures below…

If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.

Job 36: 11 (NKJV)

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.

Proverbs 16: 9 (TPT)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Matthew 6: 33 (NKJV)

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)

I hope you have learned why you must be planted in a local church through this article of mine. Always seek God’s kingdom, His righteousness and you will be blessed, protected, guided and go on to live holy under Him. Remember that church hopping is detrimental and won’t help you on establishing your relationship with God.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Realizing the good life from the Lord

We all want the good life. In fact, we need the good life! As we live in the flesh in the middle of a very screwed-up world that has long been ravaged by Satan, it is clear that without God, without the Holy Spirit and without Lord Jesus, we cannot survive both physically and spiritually. Unbelief misled many people to believe they can survive and prosper on their own but ultimately, they end up being unhappy, lost and unsaved spiritually. For its part, religion (along with its traditions, rituals and idolatry) misled people into believing they are Christians when in fact they end up wasting their lives following a whole bunch of rules from many man-made doctrines (described as blessed sacraments) which ultimately keep them away from the Lord. Religion also misled people into believing the falsehood that being religious, idolatrous, traditional and ritual-oriented is the same as being faithful to the Lord.  

As Christians led by faith, we all had to go through the process of conversion (getting born again in accordance to what Lord Jesus stated in John 3: 3), studying and living the Word of God (the Holy Bible), submitting to Him and establishing personal relationships with Him. We are His creations and there really is no other way apart from living in holiness and doing our responsibilities as Christians, as citizens of God’s Kingdom and as His children.

The Lord will not abandon us (refer to Jeremiah 29: 11) and He knows well we need to have a good life. We are His children after all. To live the Christian life here on Earth does not necessarily mean living an easy life but being blessed, guided, directed and protected by Him. It naturally means not suffering the emptiness, the sadness and hardship of the lost and unsaved people around us. They need help and saving. They don’t realize it but they need to know the Lord and start having faith in Him.

As I mentioned some time ago, the Lord blesses the faithful abundantly. God is our source and His promises of prosperity are true and He always keeps His promises (refer to Genesis 39: 2-6, Psalm 1: 1-3, Hebrews 6: 10-12, Deuteronomy 8: 18, Jeremiah 17: 7, Genesis 13: 2, Leviticus 26: 3-5, Psalm 35: 27 and Psalm 37: 3-11). As faithful children of the Lord, we can enjoy riches and luxuries and never feel ashamed nor worried as we know that the blessings came from the Lord who worked legally through the existing financial systems of this screwed-up world we live in. In short, God always finds a way and His timing always makes sense. We need to be patient with Him and still believe in His works to bless us no matter how bad or how good our situation is.

Of course, as blessed children of His, we must never ever let riches and abundance separate us from Him. God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit must always be prioritized. The Lord is our source and therefore we would not be enjoying the blessings without Him. As such, we must never ever fall into the temptation of covetousness which leads to greed. To be covetous means to obsessively acquire wealth and things that ultimately will not satisfy the lust of acquiring more than what is realistically needed. Covetousness also means the corruption of the soul and getting separated from the Lord. Earthly things that are acquired without prioritizing the Lord are clearly not blessings from Him. Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he loves abundance, with increase. This is also vanity

Ecclesiastes 5: 10 (NKJV)

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, not covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Speaking to the people, Jesus continued, “Be alert and guard your heart from greed and always wishing for what you don’t have. For your life can never be measured by the amount of things you possess.”

Luke 12: 15 (TPT)

“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Acts 20: 35 (NKJV)

As you can see, it is written in the Holy Bible that covetousness and greed are destructive. Becoming materialistic is bad! To be dominated by covetousness and greed means giving in to the love for wealth and material things which also means cutting yourself away from God, our ultimate creator and source! Lord Jesus’ words about guarding our hearts from greed clearly shows that we should not only be mindful of what is happening but always resist the temptation of acquiring too much and going beyond our needs. There are many people around us who believe in the falsehood that acquiring too much and obsessing for more all the time is part of the good life the Lord has in store for them. That is simply distorted and untrue! There are truly limits on what we need and how much in blessings we can receive. The abundant blessings we receive from God is great enough, and we certainly should not become covetous. God truly does NOT want us Christians to live in poverty (a curse from Satan) and He surely wants us to be disciplined with the way we live, the way we use His blessings and the like.

How to keep ourselves in check and be more responsible with the abundant blessings we receive from the Lord? You can start with tithing, the guaranteed giving back of 10% of your income to Him through your local church. Next, you can be a blessing to others by cheerfully giving something (in cash or in kind) to someone you are willing to share the Lord’s blessings with. If you know a fellow Christian at church trying to raise money for a planned bible-led outreach, then you have the opportunity to donate to that person so he or she can succeed in preaching the Word of God and saving lost souls. Cheerfully giving back to the Lord and blessing others are effective ways to prevent yourself from becoming selfish, greedy and covetous. Lord Jesus’ own words that it is more blessed to give than to receive is in reference to our time as well as our money, and that supporting the weak (the less fortunate) is something He desires for us to do for it is His nature to give. When we become blessings to others, we do it cheerfully and do it in accordance to the character of Lord Jesus. These ways are truly part of the good life from the Lord.

Of course, in opposite to the covetous and the greedy, there is a bunch of people out there who cannot help but be extremely obsessed with anti-materialism. These are lost and unsaved souls who do more than just tell you to avoid being materialistic. They will express their wrongful beliefs that money is the root of all evil (note: money itself is actually neutral and is a useful tool in receiving blessings from the Lord), that you are not meant to prosper (note: this puts them at odds with God and they don’t realize it), and that the only people to support (by means of donation) in the entire world are the impoverished (note: God’s provision is NOT exclusive to the impoverished).

I even encountered one of these anti-materialism fanatics. She is so obsessed with her wrongful beliefs, she seems willing to someday leave her children with not much left to survive with only because she believes money is cursed and wealth is immoral. She also made clear her personal beliefs that prosperity from God is not true and that poverty is not a curse. She does not know the truth written in the Holy Bible. This is the result of her living a life dominated by religion, idols, traditions, wrongful theology and rituals. As such, these lost souls and unsaved souls blinded by anti-materialism obsessions need saving and they need to be prayed for.

As such, being blessed by the Lord and being disciplined (rejecting fully covetousness greed) and being responsible (having our needs met and being able to give back to Him and bless others we could) with what we received are part of the good life from Him.

More on the good life from God, it is undeniably true that Lord Jesus offers us peace and joy that the world itself cannot match nor replicate. Pay close attention to His words in the following bible scriptures below.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14: 27 (NKJV)

“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)

John 14: 27 is about the ultimate form of peace that only Lord Jesus can give to those who truly believe in Him. By comparison, worldly peace made by governments, or a truce between rival factions, or special agreements made between powerful groups are all temporary, ultimately fragile and each are bound to break down in due time (which can lead to another bout of fighting, even wars). With Lord Jesus’ peace, you can be assured that the said peace is eternal and will never get corrupted. This is why we should not let our hearts be burdened with pain, worry and doubts under Him.

As for John 15: 11, it emphasizes that our joy becomes full through experiencing Jesus’ own joy within us. To be full of happiness, hope and rest with Him is easily connected with His telling us not to have troubled hearts.

Being born again, we Christians must always keep the Holy Spirit in our hearts and eternally be faithful to the Lord, living by His Word (the Holy Bible). What we study in the Holy Bible, we apply the lessons in our lives.

By comparison, a person who does not have the Holy Spirit in his heart is very vulnerable to temptation and evil. Satan knows this and he knows that for as long as people do not believe in the Lord or are living with religion (along with idolatry, traditions, wrongful theology and rituals) that prevent them from achieving true faith in God, they are easy to be manipulated to serve his evil purposes. The enemy knows how to cause chaos around people and then reach inside the lost and unsaved souls to bring out more wickedness. Satan obviously does not want people to know the Lord and he manipulates them to suffer and live the painful life instead of having a blessed, good life from God. Take a close look at the following bible verses below…

“Evil originates from inside a person. Coming out of a human heart are evil schemes, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, treachery, debauchery, jealousy, slander, arrogance, and recklessness. All these corrupt things emerge from within and constantly pollute a person.”

Mark 7: 21-23 (TPT)

What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other? Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own way and fulfill your own desires? You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it!

James 4: 1-2 (TPT)

A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!

John 10: 10 (TPT)

As you can see in the above scriptures, having the Holy Spirit in our hearts and dedicating ourselves to the Lord are truly essential. Without the Holy Spirit in us, we would have been very vulnerable to the temptations and manipulations of the enemy. Satan rules over people who are not edified under the Lord and it is easy for him to manipulate the unsaved person into giving in to wickedness, temptations, strife, violence, greed, immorality and destruction to name some. To put things in perspective, Satan gained dominion when Adam rebelled against God and, as written in the Holy Bible, this led to a downward spiral for humanity. Committing sinful and unrighteous acts became too common among people before the Great Flood happened.

Before gaining the Holy Spirit in our hearts upon getting born again, our hearts contained no holiness. We were vulnerable to wickedness, to the impulse and lust of the flesh, and we were too easy to be manipulated by Satan to commit sin. Now that we know the truth in the Holy Bible and we know better, we Christians can defeat Satan by having strong faith in the Lord and doing His Word in our lives. Strong faith and being a doer of God’s Word are essential for us to gain the good life from Him. Always remember that Lord Jesus is the definitive Savior of us all and He always restores believers who previously suffered from the darkness caused by the enemy!

Now pay close attention to the following holy scriptures below…

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

“Don’t keep hoarding for yourselves earthly treasures that can be stolen by thieves. Material wealth eventually rusts, decays, and loses its value. Instead, stockpile heavenly treasures for yourselves that cannot be stolen and will never rust, decay, or lose their value.”

Matthew 6: 19-20 (TPT)

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Matthew 6: 31-33 (NKJV)

About the above scriptures, let me declare to you – my readers and fellow faithful Christians – that becoming born again is truly the greatest miracle that happened in my life. In my old life, I gone through decades of pointless religion and even several years of being faithless. I responded to the Lord’s call when my dearest friend in life invited me to her church, and then weeks later I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. What He stated in John 3: 3 is undeniably true! My life has turned around for the better and I now know my true purpose under the Lord.

Matthew 6: 19-20 confirms the existence of wealth in the kingdom of God which we, His children, will inherit. What blessings we receive from the Lord while living in the flesh here on Earth are not only temporary but are just a fraction of kingdom wealth. Kingdom wealth is so much greater than all of the wealth of this screwed-up world. As such, Matthew 6: 31-33 confirms that the Lord is watching us all the time and He definitely knows our needs and in due time, He will keep blessing us. That being said, the very least we Christians must do is seek God’s kingdom and achieve holiness under Him. Pursue God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and then the good life He planned for us filled with peace, prosperity, stability and happiness will manifest.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family).  Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Never be obsessed with anti-materialism

There is no denying the truth that God rewards His faithful children abundantly. That being said, it is understood that faithful Christians who enjoy prosperity under Him have disciplined themselves and avoided committing sin, specifically covetousness which itself leads to greed, the corruption of the soul and wickedness.

Covetousness is specifically mentioned in the Holy Bible. Refer to the scripture below. These are words of Lord Jesus.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Luke 12: 15 (NKJV)

What Luke 12: 15 makes clear is that we Christians must always prioritize the Lord for He is the source. The economy is not our source, God is our source! The money you received did not provide itself, God provided it and He is still our source! The nice property and supply of essential goods you have now came from the Lord who worked His way through the existing economic systems to bless you. Prosperity in Christianity is real! Learn from the scripture below.

The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and all the blessings of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

Genesis 39: 2-6 (NKJV)

As emphasized in the above scripture about Joseph (who was sold to slavery by his brothers), it is clear that prosperity in Christianity is real. As long as we remain faithful to the Lord while keeping ourselves free from covetousness, greed and wickedness, we can always enjoy riches, comfort, favor and luxuries that He blesses us with. It is okay to be rich for as long as you are faithful to Him eternally. With God’s blessings, you are not only rich but also protected, favored and taken cared of. This is one specific truth of Christianity that a lot of people out there cannot understand. 

In this ravaged and divided world we live in, there are countless lost and unsaved souls everywhere. Among them are some people who are obsessed with anti-materialism. To make things clear, the anti-materialism mindset is the extremism some people have with economic materialism, specifically their extreme opposition towards the attitude of getting too attached with the importance of money as well as the uncontrolled desire of possessing a lot of material things. As it is already written in the Holy Bible that Lord Jesus told us to beware of covetousness and that it is truly impossible to worship both the Lord and mammon. The Lord made clear that it is He, NOT material wealth and certainly NOT sin, that we should always put first. As such, the anti-materialism mindset itself is unnecessary and defeated, even though its purpose was to fight materialism. For any faithful, careful and bible-following Christian, being materialistic definitely does NOT go together with being blessed by the Lord.

To make my point, here are my observations about the anti-materialism believers: they believe money itself is always evil; they believe that people are not supposed to prosper; and they believe that the only people to support (by means of donation) in the entire world are the impoverished (the poor).

Clearly things need to be explained here. Firstly, money itself is NOT evil at all. Money is actually neutral and it is a tool that we can use to pay our bills, to acquire things, make investments, to tithe to the church, pay for the education of children and help others via donation to name some. What is evil is the love of money which leads to covetousness, greed and wickedness. The truth below…

Loving money is the first step toward all kinds of trouble. Some people run after it so much that they have given up their faith. Craving more money pushes them away from the faith into error, compounding misery in their lives!

1 Timothy 6: 10 (TPT)

As such, when we prosper under the Lord, we should never prioritize money over the Lord. We certainly do not want to step into all kinds of trouble! Being receivers of His provision, we definitely should never abuse the blessings He gave us. The anti-materialism believers simply failed to understand the truth.

Secondly, it is wrong to believe that people are not supposed to prosper. As already mentioned above, prosperity under the Lord is real and those who continue to be blessed a lot by Him are those who proved to be faithful and have avoided covetousness and wickedness. It seems to me that the anti-materialism believers are obsessed with the endless debates about income inequality highlighted by their political idols and they seem to want to literally merge the impoverished class, the middle class and the upper class into one social class of forced equality. I also noticed that the anti-materialism believers are leaning towards socialism, Communism and Marxism, and they don’t seem to realize it. Unsurprisingly, those believers showed signs of opposition towards capitalism.

More importantly, the anti-materialism believers’ views that people are not supposed to prosper is very wrong, and it shows they don’t realize that God is the source, God is the provider and He blesses the faithful abundantly. It should also be noted that the Lord’s reward for the faithful is much greater than any other reward from others! The following holy scriptures below explain why…

Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.

2 Corinthians 9: 8 (TPT)

The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.

Proverbs 10: 22 (NKJV)

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it. And nothing can be taking from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; And God required an account of what is past.

Ecclesiastes 3: 9-15 (NKJV)

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)

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 (TPT)

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others. For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!

Colossians 3: 23-24 (TPT)

Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, You should be happy, and it shall be well with you.

Psalm 128: 1-2 (NKJV)

For when we were with you we instructed you with these words: “Anyone who does not want to work for a living should go hungry.” Now, we hear rumors that some of you are being lazy and neglecting to work—that these people are not busy but busybodies! So with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we order them to go back to work in an orderly fashion and exhort them to earn their own living.

2 Thessalonians 3: 10-12 (TPT)

Jesus said: And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.

Revelations 22: 12 (NKJV)

See? The Lord’s promise of prosperity is real and His reward for the faithful who labored, we avoided sin, who practiced discipline, who proved to be responsible and performed under His command has always been real! Truly nobody has authority to dictate life and prevent people from prospering!

When it comes to material wealth and capital gains accumulated here on Earth, the Lord rewards the faithful through the existing financial and economic systems because He is a just God. If God wants to bless you with profit and provision, He will do it the legal way and through the financial systems we have. More notably, there is also Kingdom Wealth…wealth in the Kingdom of God so much greater and unlimited compared to the wealth in this divided world we live in.

On the aspect of laboring and serving the Lord, faithful Christians are meant to be rewarded abundantly and accordingly by Him. This means that if your work for Him is great as you run your business, He will reward you in due time with a large amount of profit that you can use to grow your business, pay your obligations, pay your employees’ salaries, etc. Very clearly, the anti-materialism believers cannot justify imposing limits on the amount of blessings from the Lord.

Thirdly, it is wrong for the anti-materialism believers to declare that only those living in poverty deserve donations or handouts. For one thing, God’s provision is NOT limited only to those living in poverty. Poverty, by the way, is never part of God’s plan for His children. Poverty is wrong and it is something Satan wants to trap people with so they will remain lost and unsaved as souls. Poverty itself became essential for those who got trapped by religion and unbelief, and this makes them live life with a distorted view about who should receive financial or material assistance or blessings.

In order to receive provision from the Lord, one must have faith (not religion, not idolatry, not tradition and not rituals) in Him. Also it is part of Christianity to be a blessing to others (giving to others cheerfully) regardless of their background, their social class, their occupation, etc. Any faithful and blessed Christian has freedom to decide to share his or her blessing to others in some way or another, and the giving should be done not by obligation but from the heart and with decision. Remember the God is always seeing us on what we do with the blessings He gave us. You want to contribute money to charity, or help a friend dealing with a financial problem, or give money to a Christian ministry so it can continue to preach God’s Word to others? You are free to choose and decide what to give, how much to give, when to give and who to give. The Lord Himself will never forget to bless you in return for blessing others. The Lord loves cheerful givers! Learn from the following scriptures below…

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13: 16 (NKJV)

Those who live to bless others will have blessings heaped upon them, and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings will be saturated with favor. People will curse the businessman with no ethics, but the one with a social conscience receives praise from all.

Proverbs 11: 25-26 (TPT)

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 (NKJV)

God loves a cheerful giver! God loves it when His blessed faithful children give to others cheerfully. Just a day after I turned forty-three, I cheerfully gave extra funds (sourced from the earnings of a successful freelance project I completed for a client which was God’s blessing) to our church not on a Sunday but on a Friday. In recent times, I gave to help a brand-new Christian ministry grow as well as to a local motorcycle federation that continually gives back to the less fortunate. I also gave to help church friends who have been trying to raise money for a long trip home. Being a blessing to others is essential, and sharing should definitely not be limited to just one specific group or social class. In fact, being a blessing to others is a practice of generosity and this helps us Christians prevent ourselves from falling into covetousness, greed and wickedness. By being good and obedient to Him, Christians who get blessed can continue to receive His prosperity without ever becoming materialistic! Why the anti-materialism believers and the self-declared pro-poor believers don’t realize this is mind-boggling.

So why is it that there are believers of the anti-materialism extremism around us? Quite obviously, there are sinister forces that continue to poison people’s minds such as Communism, Marxism, socialism, unbelief, secularism and religion (with its idols, traditions and rituals). There are also those who think they are Christian but they do not study the Holy Bible and don’t apply its countless lessons into their lives, instead they end up following man-made rules (written by people who did not write the Holy Bible) which they perceive to be holy sacraments or holy doctrines (that contain derivative and/or distorted interpretations of the Holy Bible’s lessons). There are also those who have been indoctrinated into believing that money is the root of all evil (it is not!) and that capitalism destroys humanity. They don’t seem to realize that God is always watching us and there simply is no hiding from Him.

So what can we the faithful Christians do? We can start by praying for the anti-materialism believers and ask our Lord to enlighten them so they will realize what they believed or have done is wrong, and that they will have opportunities to change themselves for the better – by making the decision to stop moving and turn to the Lord, repent to Him and submit themselves to Him and accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. The anti-materialism believers still have time to decide to save themselves spiritually and we can help them in peaceful ways.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God. You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family).  Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible – the Word of God – is the ultimate authority to follow. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. You need an encounter with God!

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: The SUM International Virtual Campus Days session of May 30, 2020

My Observations: The SUM International Virtual Campus Days session of May 30, 2020

SUMlogo

Hey everyone! I’d like to share to you that I attended something special on the morning of May 30, 2020. It was an online event held via the now popular Zoom app and it was called the SUM International Virtual Campus Days session for that particular Saturday which I got invited to by nice friends of mine involved with SUM. SUM is in reference to SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary.

Before I begin, let me explain what SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is. SUM is a bible-based academic institution with a purpose to raise up Pentecostal ministry leaders through the Jesus Model of Leadership. It equips indigenous leaders from America and the nations of the world by offering an affordable theological education, combining academic instruction with practical hands-on ministry and personal mentorship. SUM’s mission is to empower these leaders to be instruments of change in their communities. The institution was founded upon simple biblical truths in reference to John 3:16, John 4:35, Ephesians 4:11-12, Luke 9:1-2 and Mark 9:35.

When it comes to accreditation, SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is highly credible as it has been nationally accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), the oldest Bible college accreditation agency, specializing in biblical ministry formation and professional leadership education. SUM is officially recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education. It is also one of the eight regional associations that make up the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), representing North America. SUM is also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). To learn much more about SUM, visit www.SUM.edu

Now that things have been explained, here’s a look at what I attended on May 30, 2020.

The SUM International Virtual Campus Days session summarized

Early in the session there was this very welcoming musical performance by SUM-uniformed men and women, and among them were my friends. After that, SUM founder George Neau delivered his welcome remarks and made a reference to chapter 6 of the Book of Isaiah in the Holy Bible.

SUMmusicians
SUM’s uniformed musicians delivered a fine and welcoming performance. (contributed photo)

As the presentation went on, SUM emphasized the Jesus Leadership Model, practical ministry and mentoring.

SUMpaulmata
SUM Visionary Leader Pastor Paul C. Mata on-screen. (contributed photo)

During his part of the presentation, Pastor Paul Mata (Visionary Leader) explained the online Christian schooling model of SUM and, more notably, he talked about empowering leaders for fivefold ministry.. The fivefold ministry is being done in line with SUM’s goal of bringing in a billion young people to Lord Jesus in His kingdom and this requires having thousands of pastors. That goal is undeniably global in scale.

Before the presentation ended, viewers from different parts of the world were invited to apply. SUM was transparent with regards on how to apply, how to pay, what courses are available and what the requirements are.

My thoughts

Considering the advancements of technology, communication and Internet access, SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary makes Christian, bible-based education more accessible than ever. It’s not just futuristic, it is the modern-day standard in more ways than one. Think about it…you attend a course of SUM online at the comfort of your home. No more having to spend so much time and energy traveling to and from the place of learning (note: I still remember the very stressful times I went through with traveling between home and school during my college days a few decades ago).

SUMscreen
At SUM’s website are the ways on how to apply. (contributed photo)

SUM’s model is very impressive and the bible-based education it offers means greater opportunities for learners to deeply learn God’s Word, find ways to apply the lessons in life and get to really know the Lord and be faithful with Him. SUM will also educate learners about the true meaning of being part of church.

Regarding future events, the next Campus Day of SUM is fast approaching. In fact, it will take place this coming Saturday (June 20, 2020) at precisely 9AM.

Before that happens, anyone who is interested to join must register now.

SUMgrad
At SUM, graduation is always special and memorable. (contributed photo)

Going back to the institution’s goal, the following powerful words are written in SUM’s Statement of Faith: the Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointment for the fulfillment of her great commission.

If you are serious about in-depth learning of Christianity, Lord Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit, then SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is the academic institution you should consider. Visit them now at www.SUM.edu

Welcome
SUM is always welcoming to participants and newbies. (contributed photo)

In ending this piece, here is a holy scripture from the Passion Translation of the Bible.

Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.

2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (TPT)


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved  and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

Christian Music Appreciation: King of Kings

King of Kings is one of my favorite Christian praise-and-worship songs right now. The first time I saw it performed was inside a Christian church in Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City and it resonated with me a lot ever since.

Checking out the song online, it is best identified with Hillsong Church’s musicians. To get things started, here are two YouTube videos about King of Kings embedded for you.

And now below are the lyrics. The song was written by Jason Ingram, Brooke Ligertwood and Scott Ligertwood. To make a point here, King of Kings highlights us Christians praising God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

VERSE 1:

In the darkness we were waiting

Without hope without light

Till from heaven You came running

There was mercy in Your eyes

 

To fulfil the law and prophets

To a virgin came the Word

From a throne of endless glory

To a cradle in the dirt

 

CHORUS:

Praise the Father

Praise the Son

Praise the Spirit three in one

God of glory

Majesty

Praise forever to the King of Kings

 

VERSE 2:

To reveal the kingdom coming

And to reconcile the lost

To redeem the whole creation

You did not despise the cross

 

For even in Your suffering

You saw to the other side

Knowing this was our salvation

Jesus for our sake You died

 

VERSE 3:

And the morning that You rose

All of heaven held its breath

Till that stone was moved for good

For the Lamb had conquered death

 

And the dead rose from their tombs

And the angels stood in awe

For the souls of all who’d come

To the Father are restored

 

VERSE 4:

And the Church of Christ was born

Then the Spirit lit the flame

Now this gospel truth of old

Shall not kneel shall not faint

 

By His blood and in His Name

In His freedom I am free

For the love of Jesus Christ

Who has resurrected me

Praising the Lord directly and very highly is undoubtedly essential. To truly live in holiness under God, we must reject all sins for they separate us from the Lord. Among those many sins that keep many from being saved is idolatry (refer to idolaters as sinners as written in 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 in the Holy Bible) which is still being practice worldwide by those living with religion and those living as unbelievers.

As I already wrote separate pieces about idolatry (click HERE and HERE), idols, both people and those man-made objects (paintings, statues, statuettes, relics, etc.) are forms of abomination to the Lord. We are supposed to worship God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit directly and exclusively. Forget about that human idol (who does NOT deserve worship at all) and get rid of those relics, statues, statuettes and images because all of those are Satan’s tools to separate us from the Lord. Religion, unbelief and idolatry are all tools of Satan against us and the Lord.

Our praise is only meant for the Lord and this involves faith!

Going back to the song, the chorus of Praise the Father, Praise the Son, Praise the Spirit three in one, God of glory, Majesty, Praise forever to the King of Kings is a very lively reminder of a key aspect being a real Christian. The Lord deserves ALL of our praise! Here are the holy scriptures.

I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

Psalm 145: 1 (NKJV)

Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His.”

Daniel 2:20 (NKJV)

Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For He has delivered the life of the poor From the hand of evildoers.

Jeremiah 20: 13 (NKJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 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.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one of all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on Earth-in Him.

Ephesians 1: 3-10 (NKJV)

He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.

Deuteronomy 10:21 (NKJV)

The LORD I my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

Exodus 15: 2 (NKJV)

Back to the song, Verse 2 emphasizes Lord Jesus’ sacrificing Himself to save humanity from sin, paving the way for us to get into God’s kingdom. Jesus paid the price for our salvation. Before His sacrifice, Jesus made clear that people need to be born again. Refer to the holy scripture below.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

Verse 3 of King of Kings refers to the resurrection of Jesus and this alone should remind you that idolaters, as well as those who make idols, often highlight Jesus hanging on the cross which easily distract people from realizing the truth that He conquered death and He ascended to Heaven alive. Jesus is really alive!

The resurrection of Jesus as well as his ascension to Heaven are meant to be strongly believed in. There is no exception to this! Refer to the holy scriptures below.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11: 25-26 (NKJV)

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here! See the place where they laid Him.”

Mark 16:6 (NKJV)

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 

1 Thessalonians 4: 14 (NKJV)

He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”

Luke 24: 6-7 (NKJV)

Verse 4 refers the start of the Church of Christ which was recorded in the Book of Acts which I strongly recommend you read from chapter to chapter. When you hear the words ‘the body of Christ’, it is not a reference to Jesus’ flesh but rather to the church which, in the most universal sense, refers to people who believe in the Lord. Of course, I’m not referring to any hierarchy nor an organization pretending to be the chosen authority of the Lord. People who truly have faith in Jesus, opened their hearts to God, allowed the Holy Spirit to occupy their hearts and then live on with the Word of God (the Holy Bible) are the definitive Christians. Definitely no place for idolatry, religion, unbelief and Satan here.

Here are a few more holy scriptures for you relating to Verse 4 of the song. After these, I highly recommend reading Acts 2: 1-47 in the Holy Bible to grasp and understand the beginning of the Church of Christ through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the response of the crowd and Peter’s sermon.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2: 1-4 (NKJV)

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16: 18 (NKJV)

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-where Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.

1 Corinthians 12: 12-14 (NKJV)

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Matthew 28: 18-20 (NKJV)

Ultimately, King of Kings is a very beautiful Christian praise-and-worship song and it is easily worth performing in any church activity (especially Sunday worship services) that needs music. It is the holiness of the Lord that makes the song beautiful and it is the faith in the Lord that makes King of Kings great!

Very truly, the Lord blessed Jason Ingram, Brooke Ligertwood and Scott Ligertwood who wrote King of Kings for the world and for Christians to worship Him with.

In ending this, here is an embedded video showing the wonderful performance of King of Kings (starting at 15:00 on the timer) by the musicians of Hillsong Church during its December 29, 2019 Sunday morning service. Thank the Lord and enjoy this! Praise the Father, Praise the Son, Praise the Spirit, three in one!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Beware of Covetousness

In previous times, I discussed that the Lord rewards the faithful abundantly in return for their faith and accomplishment of assigned tasks.

As I learned from our pastors during bible study sessions at our church, the Lord truly rewards His faithful followers and He truly wants each and every one to prosper. In His Kingdom, there is indeed kingdom wealth and this clearly shows that there is no lack and no poverty.

For as long as we put God first while we live in the flesh being faithful, we can enjoy riches, the good stuff, the luxuries and other forms of profit plus even more so that we can afford to give to others. As I discussed before, the profit, luxuries and good stuff we enjoy here on Earth is only a fraction of the kingdom wealth that awaits us in Heaven.

While we the faithful enjoy rewards from the Lord, we must never lose track of Him. It is a fact that it is impossible to worship both the Lord and mammon. At the same time, we the faithful must be aware of covetousness and its corrupting effects.

In the Holy Bible, covetousness is a sin directed towards the acquisition of more possessions. This means wanting to acquire more things (while living in the flesh) and this is ultimately self-defeating and futile. Earthly things that are acquired without prioritizing the Lord are clearly not blessings from Him.

Covetousness is clearly emphasized in Luke 12: 15 which states

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

To understand the whole story, Luke 12: 13-21 was about the Parable of the Rich Fool. Our Eternal Savior Jesus was speaking to a crowd when a man said to him “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus asked him who made Him a judge or an arbitrator over him, then he told the crowd about covetousness.

Jesus then spoke a parable to them…the parable of the rich fool. The rich man in the parable wondered what to do with his crops as he no longer had any room left for storage. Then he said he will pull down his barns and build greater so that his crops and goods will be stored. As he was focused on his possessions, he would say to his soul that with many goods laid up to last for many years ahead, take ease, eat, drink and be merry.

Then God said to him: Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? (Luke 12: 20)

“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 21)

God called the rich man a fool because he was so short-sighted with his life, he focused only on his wealth and possessions living in the flesh. Clearly that rich fool did not prioritize the Lord and only cared of his own interest. Covetousness will not only lead to a hollow life, it will also lead to greed which itself leads to conflicts, crime, being self-centered and carrying other negative things of life.

The acquiring of more possessions under covetousness is not limited to material things and wealth. To covet also means getting someone and this is made clear in the Ten Commandments. Here’s a scripture for you and the words are from God.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20: 17)

And then there is also the coveting of the false god or idols. Long ago, God warned the people of Israel to not covet the gods of other nations. The coveting in this case on the part of the Israelites was about them coveting the freedom to commit sin that other nations had incorporated into their worship of gods or idols of pagan origin. Heed the words of God below…

You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 7: 25)

So it is clear. Put the Lord first, be faithful to Him, accomplish the tasks He assigned you with (note: God has a plan for each and every one of us) and then you will enjoy riches and the good life. What could be greater than abundant rewards coming from the Lord Himself? Think about that!

Jesus said, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Revelations 22: 12)

You don’t put the Lord first, then you are not rich towards God, you will be consumed by covetousness, and you won’t really enjoy your life and even your accumulated wealth. Trust me. There are rich people, in different parts of the world, living a sad and empty life. Covetousness is to think about or desire something so much, you will go to unreasonable measures to get it. To covet tells the Lord that you are not satisfied with what you have been blessed with. This, of course, blinds you of good judgment and what really matters most in your life.

Look at the different societies around the world. Covetousness clearly and negatively affected the lives of people and it is not limited towards the rich. Look at those bank robberies in which the robbers armed themselves, threatened people and even used tactics to break-in, disable security and organize planned getaways with the goal of escaping with a large stack of money or very valuable metals? The sad thing here is that these robbers are determined to harm and kill just for money! Think about that! Armed robbers would disregard other people’s lives for the sake of coveting wealth that they don’t even deserve!

Look at impoverished people who, during night time, go to a small business joint (or a family home), break in through the windows (or through a vacant aircon opening on the wall) then steal whatever valuable items they find inside. I’m talking about trespassing, damaging property and then stealing involved.

And then there are those “crime-less” acts of covetousness that get committed. A person can strive hard to earn money and/or find ways to get discounts all for the sake of buying the most anticipated video games for his gaming console. A person can go as far as exploiting the discounts of a big online sale ordering so many items that are not even needed. Along the way, the people committing covetousness can also harm himself/herself with the next bad thing – overspending!

Covetousness, again, is about desiring something or someone so much, you will take extreme measures to acquire successfully.

Clearly the Lord does not want people to commit crime or commit any bad deeds to gain something. The Lord knows fully well that criminals and other people consumed by covetousness are indeed foolish and sinful. The Lord is watching us all on how we spend or use the blessings He gave us, how we react on what is made available for acquiring within the flawed world system we are living in and what we do with what was acquired.

To really enjoy rewards from the Lord, you need to have faith in Him, repent to Him, prioritize Him and accomplish His assignment for you. This means opportunities to become a Kingdom Investor which I will emphasize in the future.

Clearly, you can enjoy riches, luxuries and the good life that the Lord will bless you with for as long as you prioritize Him and be faithful to Him. Don’t forget to discipline yourself with the money and other forms of blessings you received from the Lord.

What I have discussed with you here is not religion…it is the Biblical Truth. In my old life, there was never a single religious leader who ever warned me about covetousness or how we should handle the blessings we receive from the Lord. Religion did not help me connect to the Lord.

Religion will trap you. Religion will frustrate you. Religion will even corrupt you and lead you to greed and covetousness. The truth from the Holy Bible and having faith in the Lord and worshiping Him directly will set you free. I know! Because I experienced these in my life. I have been saved by Lord Jesus through His Instrument (a very dear friend of mine). Religion in my old life was darkness. As I learned along the way, it is better to be faithful to the Lord than to be religious.

There is more to your personal relationship with God than religion. You also need the Holy Spirit. You need to be born again and become a new creation in Jesus. Those are all true and you will realize it all eventually.

Are you a lost soul right now? Have you been living in darkness? Were you corrupted by covetousness and greed? You can still be saved and you have the power to decide to truly reform yourself! Reform does not happen because of a pretentious idealist who rants a lot on Facebook. Reform truly happens with the Lord and with His Spirit in your heart.

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Clean yourself of the religious values that prevented you from connecting to the Lord.

Then pray the simple prayer in one of my past Christianity articles. It’s located at the end of my article Trust in God, Disregard those Idols and you only need to click here.

Remember that the Lord always blesses the faithful abundantly and He really wants us, the faithful ones, to prosper, be happy, be good and be able to give to others. Along the way, we ourselves have responsibilities to handle and we are still responsible over our circumstances just as we receive love and blessings from the Lord.

Resist the devil (whose tools include covetousness, lust, the frustration caused by religion and wickedness) by always being faithful to Jesus whose victory we should always remember.

With faith in the Lord and the Holy Spirit in your heart, you can be victorious, prosperous and happy eternally. Also never forget what Jesus said in Revelations 22:  12 in the Holy Bible.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com