Christian Music Appreciation: All Things

God truly knows the best for us and He knows when to act when we the faithful and the righteous make errors or go the wrong way. As clearly stated in Hebrews 13: 5-6, Deuteronomy 31: 6 and Psalm 55: 22, the Lord will never abandon us, He will never forsake us because He loves us. The Lord is our redeemer, reformer, protector, provider and our Eternal Father.

Truly the Lord knows how and when to work on all things for our good…each and every one of us. This brings me to the next worship song for this latest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series…All Things.

All Things was performed by Covenant Worship and it was part of their 2017 album Sand and Stars. The song itself is beautiful and also ideal to stir up the hearts of Christians praying to the Lord during Sunday worship service. It is also ideal for other church activities that will involve the use of music.

That being said, below are the lyrics of the worship song All Things, followed by an analysis of its relevance with the Holy Bible.

This heavy load

Was never mine to bear

So I cast my cares upon You Lord

This weary road

I’ve traveled for so long

Would You take my hand and lead me on

You are working all things for my good

You are working all things for my good

When I cannot see it

God, I still believe it

You are working all things for my good

When troubles come

And nights are filled with tears

I will fix my eyes upon the One

Whose perfect love has conquered every fear

Hold me in Your everlasting arms

I see it breaking

On the horizon

The dark of night

Giving way to the dawn

The day is coming

And hope is rising

Your joy will be my strength

Your joy will be my song

I know You’re working

I know You’re working

In all things, in all things

To begin with, the following lyrics – This heavy load, Was never mine to bear, So I cast my cares upon You Lord, This weary road, I’ve traveled for so long, Would You take my hand and lead me on – means that under the Lord, we are taken cared of and even though we each have our own challenges and responsibilities as a result of our respective circumstances, we Christians are still part of His family and kingdom. Being a child of God does not necessarily mean to have an easy life while living in the flesh. No matter what happens, we Christians must never lose faith in Him. If you are troubled, come to Lord Jesus and believe in Him always. Truly as Christians, there is no reason for us to worry or to live in pain because the Lord is our protector, provider, savior! As such, the mentioned lyrics point to the following holy scriptures for relevance.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11: 28-30 (NKJV)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5: 6-7 (NKJV)

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4: 6-7 (TPT)

The next lines to examine are as follows: You are working all things for my good, When I cannot see it God, I still believe it, You are working all things for my good. To begin with, we are all creations of God and before we were even created, He made plans for each and every one of us. As such, we must live with His Word (the Holy Bible) and apply His lessons into our lives no matter how complicated living in the flesh in the middle of our screwed-up world is. We must never lose faith in Him. We have to keep trusting Him, honoring Him, praising Him and thanking Him! Whatever plans God made for us – good plans and lots of hope – we must keep believing in those plans even though it has yet to manifest. Never lose patience because God keeps His promises always, and when the time comes, the manifestation of His plans will be greater than you can imagine. As such, the most fitting holy scripture for the above lyrics is presented below…

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8: 28 (NKJV)

The next lines to examine are as follows: When troubles come, And nights are filled with tears, I will fix my eyes upon the One, Whose perfect love has conquered every fear, Hold me in Your everlasting arms. As it is clear that the Lord will NEVER abandon us nor forsake us faithful Christians, keep believing that the Lord always works to spare the faithful from trouble and danger. As seen around the world, there are mobs causing trouble, terrorists attacking people and places, criminals victimizing the innocent, people living in deep poverty and the like. Trouble, danger, wickedness, fear, hatred, destruction, evil, poverty, curses and senseless deaths around the world are all works of Satan who was granted dominion by Adam very long ago. It was Lord Jesus who redeemed the world and defeated Satan, and this is proof of God’s plan for His faithful children to be freed from the curse (of Adam’s rebellion) and live on to be faithful to Him. Do not forget that God will punish severely those who persecute His children. Truly God hates injustice and wickedness! The above lyrics can be pointed to the following holy scriptures below.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10: 13 (NKJV)

But the LORD is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3: 3 (NKJV)

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 12: 19 (NKJV)

The next lines to examine are as follows: I see it breaking, On the horizon, The dark of night, Giving way to the dawn, The day is coming, And hope is rising. Lesson? The Lord truly loves us and He will always be our provider, our protector, our Father, and lead the way for breakthroughs for as long as we are faithful to Him and live by His Word. Under the Lord, we the faithful and righteous children of His will be blessed, be defended, be guided, be prosperous and be filled with His peace. Any trouble happening in your life right now is only temporary and the darkness will be overwhelmed by His light in due time. If you are living in darkness (of religion or unbelief, idols, traditions and rituals) then it you can decide to get born again and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Refer to the following holy scriptures below…

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15: 13 (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)

“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

Deuteronomy 8: 18 (NKJV)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.”

Jeremiah 17: 7 (NKJV)

So there you have it! All Things is truly a very holy worship song, and I highly recommend it be played by your church musicians.

In concluding this CMA article, embedded below are YouTube videos of All Things in the forms of a lyric video from Integrity Music, a live performance by David and Nicole Binion, and a live performance by COG Worship (starting at 24:42 on the time). Enjoy these videos and remember that the Lord is not only watching us all but also working and taking care of us. The Lord is truly working on all things for our good! 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

Christian Music Appreciation: In Jesus’ Name

Hey everyone! Welcome back to the latest piece of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series. This time around, I’ll be reviewing and analyzing another Christian worship song which carries the ultimate name of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

The song featured now is none other than In Jesus’ Name, a very beautiful and popular worship song around the world written by Darlene Zschech and Israel Houghton. The said song is best identified with Darlene Zschech as the performer. Before getting to the lyrics, let’s start with the official live performance video below. Watch and enjoy the song, and remember to praise Him always.

Now below are the lyrics of In Jesus’ Name.

God is fighting for us

God is on our side

He has overcome

Yes He has overcome

We will not be shaken

We will not be moved

Jesus You are here

Carrying our burdens

Covering our shame

He has overcome

Yes He has overcome

We will not be shaken

We will not be moved

Jesus You are here

I will live

I will not die

The resurrection power of Christ

Alive in me and I am free

In Jesus’ Name

I will live I will not die

I will declare and lift you high

Christ revealed

And I am healed

In Jesus’ Name

God is fighting for us

Pushing back the darkness

Lighting up the Kingdom

That cannot be shaken

In the Name of Jesus

Enemy’s defeated

And we will shout it out

Shout it out

Before analyzing the lyrics, let me start by stressing that the name of our Lord Jesus is not only eternal but truly the holiest and above all names! Learn from the holy scripture below which should help you realize why Lord Jesus’ name is highlighted in the song.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2: 9-11 (NKJV)

In the above scripture, the exaltation of Lord Jesus is in consequence of His humbling Himself by means of His redemptive work. His exaltation is absolute and His lordship is universal although it will not be universally recognized until His promised return.

Now I can start analyzing the lyrics starting with: God is fighting for us, God is on our side, He has overcome, Yes He has overcome, We will not be shaken, We will not be moved, Jesus You are here.

As written in the Book of Genesis, God created all of us and everything. In Genesis 1: 26, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

When God created man and woman (Adam and Eve), He blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and have dominion over the creatures in the different realms. Through Adam and Eve, God intended to manifest His character and authority (image), and express His dominion over the Earth and display His indisputable power over the works of darkness and subdue His archenemy Satan. As such, God is not only omnipotent but also good natured, a just creator, a very organized planner and a very loving and caring father to His children. Through Adam and Eve, He blessed them and trusted them to take care of the Earth (which points to Him giving them dominion over it). Refer to Genesis 1: 26-29 for context.

As we all know, Adam rebelled against God (the Fall of Man) and this led to a downward spiral on the lives of many on earth. Sin became so common among the people. Idols and idolatry spread. Slavery was part of the societies’ systems. Traditions, rituals, unbelief and religion hindered people from realizing faith in God.  

Through the generations, people who proved to be very faithful to God and became willing instruments of His received His guidance, blessings and protection. I’m referring to Noah, Abraham and Moses before the arrival of Lord Jesus. Ultimately, the Lord sent His only Begotten Son Jesus into our world to live among people to spread the good news of faith, died on the cross to redeem everyone, came back from the dead and made final personal interactions with those who believed in Him, and ascended to Heaven (to join our Heavenly Father) with a promise to return to Earth. It was also Lord Jesus Himself who stated that one must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God (read John 3: 3) and as such, becoming new creations under the Lord was realized (read 2 Corinthians 5: 17).

All of these details make sense with the first section of the lyrics and the truth is clear: our Heavenly Father will always fight for us (we His faithful children who got born again and became new creations), be on our side, be victorious in battles we cannot fight (which is why we must always be faithful to Him), and along the way we will never go down for as long as we remain very faithful and always remember and honor Lord Jesus who redeemed us all. And then there is the truth in the holy scripture below…

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Deuteronomy 31: 8 (NKJV)

Next are the following lyrics: Carrying our burdens, Covering our shame.

The words Carrying our burdens in reference to our Lord sparing us from hardship is directly related to the holy scripture below which carries the words of Lord Jesus…

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11: 28-30 (NKJV)

The words Covering our shame is related to the times when God covers His people and proves His compassion when dealing with their guilt. Refer to the very notable holy scripture below. It’s the first of multiple scriptures of the same nature.

Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

Genesis 3: 21 (NKJV)

Genesis 3: 21 showed how compassionate God is towards Adam and Eve after the Fall of Man happened. Because they sinned, Adam and Eve realized they were naked and made coverings composed of leaf to hide their shame from Him but God went on to provide them with garments of skin which were more protective, thick and provided them warmth. The said garments were symbolic of God providing cover for the shamed. Under the New Covenant, we are required to be clothed in Christ rather than with our good works (refer to Galatians 3: 7).

Next are the following lyrics: I will live, I will not die, The resurrection power of Christ, Alive in me and I am free, In Jesus’ Name. In my honest view, these words from the lyrics are related to the following holy scriptures from the Book of John. Each with words from Lord Jesus Himself.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

John 10: 27-30 (NKJV)

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)

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)

When people get born again, it means they have decided willingly to submit themselves to the Lord, repent to Him, receive the Holy Spirit into their hearts and start new lives as Christians as well as children of the Lord. They also became new creations of the Lord, free from sin and the past of darkness or emptiness. With Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are also spiritually alive (related to the mentioned eternal life). Eternal life is more spiritual and is not limited to living in the flesh. Too many people who are living as lost and unsaved souls obsess with the concept of immorality being about living in the flesh, not realizing the eternal life they can have with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As such, the lyrics I will live, I will not die, The resurrection power of Christ, Alive in me and I am free, In Jesus’ Name do make sense with the Holy Bible.

And now we can go to the final batch of lyrics from the song which read: God is fighting for us, Pushing back the darkness, Lighting up the Kingdom, That cannot be shaken, In the Name of Jesus, Enemy’s defeated, And we will shout it out, Shout it out.

Not only is God on our side and fights the battles that are too great for us – His children – to handle, He will ensure victory which will be symbolized by His light overwhelming the darkness that hounded many. It is through powerful faith in the Lord in which we can be secured by Him, worry nothing, fear nothing and enjoy the eventual victory coming from Him. Really, no matter how hard or how easy life gets, never ever lost faith in God. If you are feeling disoriented, go back to God’s Word by reading the Holy Bible, praying in tongues to Him and edifying your spirit. We can also help Him in other sensible ways like preaching His Word to others who don’t realize they need spiritual saving. We live in a screwed-up world and there are many lost and unsaved souls who believe that Satan is very powerful and has an army of demons working against them and their loved one. The truth of the matter is that Satan is actually a loser and he only looks powerful through deception, lies, manipulation and trickery. The lost and unsaved souls don’t realize that being faithful children of God will enable them to resist Satan and defeat him. Satan lives eternally only because Adam gave him dominion as a result of rebelling against God in the Garden of Eden.

Of course, Adam’s error has already been corrected by Lord Jesus’ redemption of humanity which paved the way for the establishment of His Body (the Church), the truth (with the Holy Bible), the restoration of humanity (getting born again and becoming new creations) and the realization of the Kingdom of Light (God’s kingdom) which we the faithful can help Him establish here on earth. The moment Jesus redeemed the world, He defeated Satan and a new standard was set! A standard involving faith, not religion, not unbelief, not idolatry, not traditions and not rituals. This holy truth is sadly not realized by the many, many lost and unsaved souls around the world but we the children of God can help them get saved in the name of Lord Jesus. Let us remember His words from the scripture below…

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with the louds and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the LORD, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1: 4-8 (NKJV)

As such, the song In Jesus’ Name is truly holy and I strongly recommend Christian church musicians (and their musical directors) reading this to make it a point to play the song not only during Sunday worship services but also on other church activities whenever applicable. In Jesus’ Name is not only a beautiful song but also very biblical.

In closing this piece, below are performance of In Jesus’ Name by the musicians of City Harvest Church and by COG Worship of Church of God World Missions Philippines (performance specifically starts at 8:30 on the time). Enjoy these and always be very faithful to Lord Jesus. 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 ultimately 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

 

By accepting Lord Jesus, the youth will be protected from suicide

Suicide is defined as the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally (source – Merriam Webster Dictionary). For so long has suicide affected societies worldwide and left a lot of families very hurt.

If the World Health Organization (WHO) is to be believed, roughly eight hundred thousand people die worldwide due to suicide every year.

What is disturbing in the survey of the WHO on the said topic is that the age-group of 15-29 years saw suicide as the 2nd leading cause of deaths in 2016. To break down the 2016 statistics, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 among both genders and the females. Among the males, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death.

While varied organizations and researchers have their own definition of the age group for youth, the Jesus Global Youth Day organizers defined it verbally as below the age of thirty, which I personally witnessed during the 2019 Jesus Global Youth Day held here in the Philippines. As such, the 15-29 age group would be counted as youth at least in this article.

Back to the topic at hand, the menace of suicide affecting youth right down to the local level of Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City made its presence felt when I interviewed Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairwoman Mariel Tumang twice in 2019.

During the first interview (published here), she told me that suicide among the youth in the local community was present not just in the form of committed suicide (confirmed death) but also in the form of thoughts (suicidal thoughts or suicidal thinking) inside the minds of young people.

Then, months later, in another interview Tumang confirmed to me that a tragedy happened when a 21-year-old man living in the depressed community of Masville hanged himself to death because he broke up with his girlfriend (click here). The victim was a loss not only to his family, his friends and the neighborhood, but also for the economy (note: he was already working in the private sector). Tumang stated that their definition of youth is 15 to 30-years-old.

Along the way, Tumang and her SK kagawads (Youth Councilors) attended seminars on dealing with suicide through the aspect of psychology and behavior. Whatever topics and skills they learned, they made ways to make their community youth aware of it by holding seminars locally.

The sad trail of youth suicide also goes a long way back in the form of archived news reports. In January 2014, a 16-year-old boy killed himself inside his house in Cebu City because of his failure in school (click here) and his school adviser confirmed to his mother that he would not be going to fourth year high school.

On April 2016, a 15-year-old girl was found dead hanging from a mango tree (click here) in Talisay City, Cebu. According to the archived news report, a suicide note was left behind by the victim (a stay-in student of a school) and she reportedly told one of her superiors she wanted to kill herself and no reason was given. Before the tragedy happened, her superiors at school found it disturbing that she (the victim) was very silent. Included in the news report was a police officer who revealed that the victim lost her father to insurgents while her mother (who was then linked to another man) was later killed in a vehicular accident with her live-in partner.

What cause young people to commit suicide? There are several factors related to society, economics and psychology. Here are the factors I narrowed down.

Failure to deal with fear early in life

Depression

Physical abuse

Loss of purpose

Peer pressure

Gender confusion

Lack of parental guidance or counseling 

Being misled by pop culture or online trends

Internet addiction

Being misled by fake news or distorted news

Getting bullied

Being misled by rumors

Living with negative vibes in his/her local environment (note: in the Philippines, most barangay youth councils have presence in economically depressed communities dubbed as developing communities)

Shame or embarrassment

Being misled by those living with unbelief 

Temptations

Obsession with people, images and things they idolized

Becoming addicted to something dangerous

Being trapped by religious traditions, rituals and other restrictions

Having selfish desires or very high expectations

Lack of focus on the Lord

While taxpayers’ money is being spent by government bodies of different levels to develop the youth and help prevent suicide, I honestly believe that the menace of suicide can be solved more effectively by having the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God. It is by having faith in the Lord that young people can truly become strong, stable and more knowledgeable with their lives. It is by having a personal relationship with the Lord that the youth can truly move forward with. If the youth can be educated to reject all forms of hindrances that prevent them from truly establishing faith in the Lord, they would be better off and youth suicide would be reduced dramatically.

Sadly, government programs for youth development remain insufficient to bring the youth to God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

What I noticed is that the Christian faith and spiritual approach to solving and preventing youth suicide is missing among the key development programs of barangay youth councils.

Ironically in 2019, in the city of Parañaque specifically, there were barangay youth councils that organized their own beauty pageants featuring local homosexuals as candidates which most likely added to the suicide factor of gender confusion. This is sad because not only was taxpayers’ money most likely used to fund such events, it gave the youth the false message that homosexuality is legitimate. In truth, homosexuality is an abomination and certainly Satan loves it when people are fooled into believing that homosexuality is good and accepted as normal in society. Let’s read a holy scripture confirming that homosexuality is wrong and evil.

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, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

As a whole, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 made clear that people trapped by sin will never make it in God’s kingdom. As such, the youth today still have time and opportunities to turn away from sinful behavior, submit themselves to Lord Jesus for forgiveness, accept Him as their Lord and Savior to start a new life with dedication to live under His holiness. This is the good news that the youth, whether they are still trapped by the darkness of unbelief (read: atheism and secularism) or religion (read: idolatry, wrong theology, traditions and rituals) should know.

To help the youth understand their true purpose in life as God’s creations, they should be taught with the following holy scriptures (apart from teaching them they need to be born again as written in John 3: 3):

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, will all your mind, and with all your strength.

Mark 12: 30 (NKJV)

If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3: 1-2 (NKJV)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 (NKJV)

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

Colossians 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

By becoming Christian, the young one can start a new life free from the sins and youthful lusts of the past. As part of getting reformed by Lord Jesus, the new life youth should learn to strongly reject the many form of lust like gratifying sensual cravings (example: losing his or her virginity in exchange for sexual pleasure), desiring the forbidden (example: taking illegal substances), longing for evil (example: bringing down other youth to bring yourself up just to feel good and proud), and engaging in experiences that are contrary to God’s will. These are emphasized in the holy scripture below.

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2: 22 (NKJV)

The Christian youth living the new life should learn to conduct himself or herself in an exemplary manner. This is expected because once someone gets born again, he/she is under the Lord and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit. Because really, under the watch and care of God, age does not matter and this also means being youthful as a Christian is NOT a disadvantage. It also does not matter if people will find Christians a peculiar people because this is expected. Learn from the next holy scriptures.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4: 12 (NKJV)

The LORD has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

Psalm 118: 18 (NKJV)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special peope, 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 not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2: 9-10 (NKJV)

Conclusion

I believe that involving Lord Jesus in the lives of the youth will spare them from suicide and all other factors that lead to self-destruction. I honestly believe that no amount of taxpayers’ money spent and no sophisticated government program can be more effective on preventing youth suicide (and suicide in general) than emphasizing faith in the Lord, believing in His Word (with the Holy Bible as the main reference) and applying biblical lessons in life.

Please take note that the dreaded presence of secularism is still in the minds of many government officials (note: there is a so-called separation of church and state in the 1987 Constitution).

If the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God, then it would be great not only for the local community but also the whole world. An enlightened youth, as children of God, definitely would not even think about suicide nor give the devil any room into their lives. The youth should realize how essential it is for them to study the Word of God (the Holy Bible) and prioritize it as their ultimate authority among all reading materials. With the Lord on the youth’s side, the menace of suicide and Satan can be defeated and the youth can grow in holiness as they grow into adulthood. Christianity, not feelings or earthly matters, should be embedded into the minds and hearts of the youth. Because really, everybody needs Lord Jesus and the youth need Him. With more youth believing and trusting in Jesus, cases of youth suicide will be much smaller!

As such, I highly recommend that Christian teaching (complete with studying the Holy Bible) should be included more in youth development programs and suicide prevention programs of youth councils. The youth who are spiritually unsaved must be taught the truth that they need Lord Jesus and have faith (not religion) in Him.

At this point, I’d like to reach out to the unsaved youth reading this…if you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then 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! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion (and the idolatry, traditions and rituals that come with it). Your new life under the Lord has truly begun!

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in 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. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. That personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! You are a youthful Christian right now, and you can keep growing spiritually for the rest of your life. Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

As a new and young Christian with the Holy Spirit in your heart, never allow yourself to get involved in youth movements that involve unbelief, religion, idolatry, traditions and rituals because those are not holy. The only youth you need to get involved with are your fellow Christians (those who got born again like you), and the only reference of authority you need is the Holy Bible. Once you get involved in a new Christian church, you can always ask the pastor if they have a youth ministry you can join in.

Remember to overcome fear, never let your feelings (and the feelings of others) weaken your faith in the Lord and now that you have been born again, your sins have been forgiven and your past is way behind you. As a Christian, you must always be fearless and aggressive for you are now part of the Body of Christ (the church). We Christians are the church of Lord Jesus!

In ending this piece, feel free to enjoy these Christian praise-and-worship YouTube videos plus a few ones featuring the model Christian youth herself, Sadie Robertson! Hallelujah!!!


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 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

Declare Your Love for God

For months now, people and governments around the world have been struggling with fear, anxiety, uncertainty and even death due to infectious microbes. No matter what happens, we as Christians who accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior should never lose faith. It is faith in the Lord that spares us from disaster, poverty and evil. Of course, we Christians each have our own respective challenges in life to overcome and the ongoing crisis is the newest, major challenge for this particular time of the 21st century that happens to affect a lot of people around the world.

No matter how bad and depressing life becomes, we Christians must always put God first in everything we do. This includes constantly reading the Holy Bible (the Word of God), praying to Him, deepening our relationship with Him and applying His Word into our daily lives. We keep strong faith in Him and in due time, we will see God’s continual blessing in our lives.

Being faithful Christians, we certainly should never let religion, unbelief, idolatry, tradition and rituals hinder us from living with God’s Word and holiness. We are members of the Body of Christ. We are the church! Refer to 1 Corinthians 12: 12-30 in the Holy Bible.

Therefore, as Born Again people, we should declare that God’s love is with us and nothing will separate us from Him. We must always declare our love for Him in addition to thanking and honor Him! We are not mere mortals for we are God’s creations with a holy purpose. We are tasked to spread God’s Word and help the Lord save the many, many unsaved and lost souls around the world. Remember, true faith in the Lord does NOT include force nor coercion nor shaming nor idolatry. As such, we emphasize God’s Word to others gently and always let them decide on their own whether to accept the Lord or not. After all, each and every person has a personal relationship with God which is strictly off limits to everyone else (even the biological family).

Moving on, let’s read a scripture from the Holy Bible.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3: 13 (NKJV)

We all know that Adam’s rebellion towards God marked the downfall of humanity which lasted for many generations as recorded in the Holy Bible. Even though humanity was sinful, God never wiped humanity away because He planned for grand redemption and restoration to happen. In His greatest expression of love for us all, He sent us His only begotten Son Jesus. When His time came, Lord Jesus never despised the cross and went on to die for us all for redemption. It was Lord Jesus’ work, not ours, that removed the curse upon humanity. To express it in a different way, it was the blood of Jesus that cleansed us all! Satan was defeated! Jesus got resurrected and spread more of His holy enlightenment to those who witnessed His return. Then He ascended to Heaven to join God, our Heavenly Father. A promise was made by Jesus to return. Jesus is alive, always!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 35-39 (NKJV)

Romans 8: 35-39 makes clear that as children of God who were saved, we have no reason to despair, no reason to live in fear and no reason to be defeated. We have the love of the Lord that lasts eternally and also the Holy Spirit is in our hearts! Even in hardships that we are experiencing now personally and globally, we can be more than conquerors because we are God’s children! We are faithful and we can excel in life as long as we put God first, we remain faithful to Him and execute His Word to save all the unsaved souls around us! We have a relationship with God and nothing can separate us from Him.

To you who are reading this, if you are living with darkness (caused by unbelief or religion or deep ignorance), it is not too late for you to be born again. No less than Lord Jesus emphasized the point of being born again in John 3: 3 in the Holy Bible. You can become a true Christian and an actual child of God by getting born again and willingly accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Now we go to Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in both New King James Version and the Passion Translation.

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from perilous pestilence.

Psalm 91: 2-3 (NKJV)

He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse.

Psalm 91: 2-3 (TPT)

The scriptures above point out that God, who is the Creator, the Source and Provider, is our stronghold (refuge) that we can always rely on and never worry about anything. Not even a global financial crash, nor a plague nor a major natural disaster nor someone very evil could crush us spiritually for as long as we are faithful to Him. We are God’s children and He will always protect us, deliver us from trials and He will fight and defeat the enemy for us. Remember that contrary to the teachings by religion-minded authorities, Satan has always been a loser and with God on our side, we can keep on defeating and rejecting Satan. That being said, always let the Holy Spirit lead you.

One more scripture.

Keep you heart with all diligence. For out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4: 23 (NKJV)

It is essential for us to keep our hearts. This mean valuing and protecting our minds, emotions and will. We all live in a screwed-up world with lots of problems plaguing people all around us. Even with all the hassle and problems, we should never lose faith in the Lord.

Now let me address the unsaved readers among you…

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Never be fooled into believing that your past defined you and your future. With Jesus, you become a child of God and a whole new creation! A true Christian with a holy purpose!

Once you are ready, 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! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion (and the idolatry, traditions and rituals that come with it). Your new life has begun!

Always read the Holy Bible, apply its lessons into your life and pray in tongues regularly to Him. The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! Declare your love for God!


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 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

Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) Ends 2019 with Celebration of Achievements and Service to Local Youth

Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) Ends 2019 with Celebration of Achievements and Service to Local Youth

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The Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) posed for me. From left to right were SK Kagawads Jerry Dalmero and Alma Galindo, SK chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang, SK Kagawads Kelly Haboc, Roselyn Regis, Irene Juanico, Stephanie Sebullen and SK treasurer Jefferson Ching. 

For the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK), a lot has been achieved in the year twenty-nineteen (2019) and that alone was worth celebrating during their special event called the Katipunan ng Kabataan: Year End Gathering which was held on the evening of December 28 at the Phase 1 gym along Pilar Banzon street, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City, Philippines. It was attended by a total of close to two hundred guests.

Before focusing on the event, let’s take a quick look back at some of the achievements of the BFSK under the leadership of their chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang.

They organized multiple events of Waste for Rice (rice grain released to local residents who turned over to them 1.5-liter bottles filled with silver-coated sachets) throughout the year plus seminars on teenage pregnancy and reproductive health, organized a seminar about suicide, organized Zumba sessions, organized the Mutya ng BF Homes pageant (plus one other) and most notably they had a highly successful Linggo ng Kabataan celebration that attracted MORE than 300 youth participants.

The BFSK also had a well-attended general meeting highlighting what they achieved in the first half of the year. Another major achievement they made was complying with the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Joint Memorandum Circular Number 1 which includes the opening of a bank account doing the fidelity bonding, the 3-year plan, the annual investment plan and the year’s budget.

For this past year, the SK of Barangay BF Homes became independent from the main barangay in terms of financing and management. This is a milestone highlighting the reformed SK system of the entire nation. The BFSK budget for last year was over P6 million.

The event

Once I arrived at the Phase 1 gym, I saw BFSK chairwoman Mariel Tumang and some of the SK kagawads welcoming the early guests.

Afterwards dinner was served and more local youth arrived to join the celebration. By this time, music was playing and the photo booth was being used. The SK Kagawads became complete with the presence of Alma Galindo (who was dazzling with her white dress), Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre and Stephanie Sebullen plus their treasurer Jefferson Ching.

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BFSK Kagawad Alma Galindo.

“We have prepared for you games and the raffle draw of varied prizes,” BFSK Kagawad Alma Galindo announced on stage. “We take this opportunity to thank our key supporter Congresswoman Joy Tambunting.”

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BFSK Kagawad Irene Juanico.

BFSK Kagawad Irene Juanico reiterated to the guests that they should just forget about the problems, reflect on what the youth council provided them and have fun to gain optimism for the new year. Other SK kagawads took turns with the microphone.

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BFSK chairwoman Mariel Tumang delivered her remarks to the many guests who attended.

“We the SK are very grateful to you for attending this special event of ours, the Katipunan ng Kabataan Year-End Gathering,” BFSK chairperson Mariel Tumang said. “Come the year 2020, be assured that the SK will strongly support you and will visit your local communities with projects and activities that you will benefit from.”

After the speeches, music played again, the games finally took place and varied prizes were raffled off. The many guests who attended went home happy and satisfied.

Here are other pictures I took for your viewing pleasure. None of the local community print media publications of BF Homes have these and, at the same time, they are not authorized to use these images (as well as pictures shown earlier).

If you see any of the photos or content of this article used by the BF Homes local community print media publications, please inform me ASAP. Thanks.

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BFSK Kagawad Jerry Dalmero explains something. 

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Dinner served to the guests.

20191228_204956.jpg
Getting ready for a game.

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The BFSK with a group of prize winners. BFSK Anne Corre seated leftmost.

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The photo booth.

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Winners of the raffle draw being called.

For this year, be assured that I’ll keep posting updates about the BFSK.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

+++++

To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business/special event or project to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

Press releases/statements and photo releases are also accepted.

If you need to promote  yourselves or your event or special projects, please check out my varied marketing services (including Twitter boosting) right here.

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


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

Christian Music Appreciation: Goodness of God

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade to everyone reading this! We are now living in the twenty-twenties (2020s) and for as long as we keep faith in the Lord, He will guide us, love us and take care of us. Keep the faith in the Lord always, no matter how good or how hard your situation is right now. Whatever decision you make in your life, never drift away from the Lord who is generous to offer us opportunities or options that we could use to move forward in life. Before making a decision, keep declaring Jesus as your Lord, Savior, Healer and Victory with a lot of heart. Your decision, by the way, is needed to authorize Heaven here on Earth.

For this new decade’s first Christian Music Appreciation (CMA), I chose the song Goodness of God written by Jenn Johnson, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Ben Fielding and Brian Johnson. The song was performed by Bethel Music.

Let’s start with the song and its lyrics now.

Lyrics:

Verse 1

I love You Lord

Oh Your mercy never fails me

All my days

I’ve been held in Your hands

From the moment that I wake up

Until I lay my head

I will sing of the goodness of God

Chorus

All my life You have been faithful

All my life You have been so, so good

With every breath that I am able

I will sing of the goodness of God

Verse 2

I love Your voice

You have led me through the fire

In darkest nights

You are close like no other

I’ve known You as a father

I’ve known You as a friend

I have lived in the goodness of God

Bridge

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

The song is about God our Heavenly Father being faithful, loving and caring for us (His children who willingly became faithful to Him). In other words, this song examines the personal relationship between the faithful Christian and God. It is a relationship that is strictly off-limits to everyone else and there is no room for intervention by another person (including the most misguided, self-righteous person blinded by religion, rituals, idolatry and traditions).

More on the title and subject matter of the song, God’s goodness is not only about His generosity but also His enduring generous attitude towards his faithful children. As I learned in church, God is not a tyrant (He punishes the wicked) and in fact He is gentle and caring, and He has plans for His faithful children to prosper. Of course, we the children of God who have been saved must keep on persevering with living in holiness under Him. The blessings from the Lord will come but that does not mean we can be lazy and just wait for blessings to land on us. We still have decisions to make and personal circumstances to handle on our own. As mentioned earlier, keep faith in the Lord, pray to Him and read His Word (the Holy Bible) before making decisions. When things are done properly with our Christianity, God’s goodness will manifest.

God’s goodness is emphasized in the Holy Bible and her are some scriptures for you.

The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.

Psalm 145: 9 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16: 34 (NKJV)

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.”

Mark 10: 18 (NKJV)

Psalm 145: 9 and 1 Chronicles 16: 34 show that God is full of goodness and mercy. What we Christians can at least do is remain faithful and dedicated to Him, thank Him in return, and give back (tithing) in return.

Mark 10: 18 emphasizes that true goodness is the prerogative of God. However, the man called Jesus “Good Teacher”. If Jesus was only a teacher, then He did not deserve to be called “good”. On the other hand, if He was indeed good, then He was God. The lesson here is that Lord Jesus directed the man to pay attention to God who is the Heavenly Father, the Creator, the Source and the ultimate standard of goodness!

The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

Nahum 1: 7 (NKJV)

As mentioned earlier, no matter how good or how hard your situation is right now, always keep faith in the Lord. This means keep on trusting Him and endure with Him. God is undeniably the stronghold for those who trust in Him. Because He knows His faithful children who remain trusting and faithful to Him, God will NOT abandon them! This is a powerful look at God’s goodness.

He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Psalm 33: 5 (NKJV)

Psalm 33: 5 emphasizes that God’s goodness also refers to unfailing love, lovingkindness, mercy and steadfast covenant love. As we the saved Christians live in a very screwed-up world (read: anti-Semitism, Marxism, liberalism, socialism, idolatry, religion, sacraments, murder, crime, abortion, theft, corruption, secularism, atheism and the like), we must persevere living in holiness under the Lord, remain faithful to Him, preaching His Word to others and finish our respective efforts to meet God’s High Call. Our Heavenly Father loves the righteous and He is a just creator!

In closing this, and going back to the song Goodness of God, I encourage you to check out Bethel Music’s album Victory which carries the song. You can check out the album by clicking here.

Goodness of God is more than just a great Christian praise and worship song. It is a very lively reminder about our Heavenly Father’s goodness which cannot be matched by others. All the more reason to stay faithful to Him!

Remember, you don’t really need religion and unbelief. You need faith in the Lord and once that has been established (by repenting, submitting to Him and becoming born again), His goodness will manifest in your life.


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

Christmas is Truly All About Lord Jesus, Nothing Else and Nobody Else!

Christmas is always truly about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. He was born on December 25 (Christmas Day) and His earthly mother Mary served as God’s chosen instrument to conceive and carry Him. As we the faithful already know, Jesus went on to spread God’s message to others, taught many meaningful and holy lessons, provided the best guidance and, ultimately, He suffered and died to redeem humanity entirely. Jesus came back from the dead and made His presence felt to many witnesses before finally ascending to Heaven with a promise that He will return.

As I personally witnessed and experienced in life, the celebration of Christmas, at least here in the Philippines, is not too focused on Jesus Himself. This is because others are distracted by earthly developments, social trends, the Internet, selfishness, materialism, covetousness and other factors.

For one thing, idolatry, which I previously explained is a sin as recorded in the Holy Bible, continues to keep people away from Jesus when celebrating Christmas. There are still a lot of people out there who instantly think of Santa Claus instead of Lord Jesus whenever Christmas is discussed. Look at all those paintings, drawings, decorations, statues and other visual forms of Santa Claus, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, the elves and the like which many believe in. Idolatry’s menace is still present during the Christmas season. Christmas is all about Lord Jesus who is real and alive above us, high up in Heaven. Santa Claus and the related characters are all just pieces of fantasy!

There is also the distraction that comes with financial bonuses, the free meals and drinks served during Christmas parties, the dancing, the music, the gifts (which are often linked with Santa Claus), the Christmas-themed movies, the video games, the out-of-town vacations and the like. All those enjoyable elements should not be viewed as the main purpose of Christmas but rather as blessings from God who is the source of blessings, happiness, prosperity and opportunities. It’s okay to enjoy gifts and riches but always remember the Lord and thank Him for them.

Making the celebration of Christmas meaningless, hollow and complicated is secularism. Already secularism distorted many people’s ways of celebrating the season of Christ by excluding Him, by brainwashing people to express “Xmas” (or “X’mas”) instead of “Christmas”, and by making people focus on gift-giving as the main purpose of the Lord’s season instead of celebrating His birth. Be mindful that secularism, atheism and other forms of resistance or denial towards the Lord lead to unbelief.

And then there is also the presence of religion which really hinders people from being faithful to the Lord by deceiving them into practicing idolatry (true Christianity means worshiping God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit mainly and directly), practicing religious traditions (which take people away from the Holy Bible), being burdened by the many man-made rules of religion, and doing things that involve little or nothing about God’s Word (the Holy Bible) at all! As if these were not bad enough, the so-called leaders of the hierarchy of religion-driven churches wield tremendous power over the people who don’t realize they have been trapped by religion (and were even manipulated to worship those so-called leaders). Lastly, religion also hinders people from easily realizing the truth about celebrating Christmas.

With these things expressed, I would like to help you realize that Christmas is truly all about Lord Jesus, nothing else and nobody else! Please pay close attention to the following scriptures from the Holy Bible.

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)

Isaiah 9: 6 emphasizes peace and Christlikeness. Peace comes from God (read Romans 1: 7) and is evidence of the rule of the Messiah whose character as the Prince of Peace waits to instill the settledness of His own rule in our souls. To be faithful to the Lord requires repentance, submission and becoming born again (refer to Jesus’ own words in John 3: 3) which includes living in holiness with Lord Jesus as the one to follow. Christianity involves faithfulness, absorbing and understanding God’s Word (the Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close), doing God’s Word (applying it in our lives) and living the Christian way no matter how chaotic our world is and matter how many people will challenge or harm us (all the more reason to remain faithful with the Lord).

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 8: 9 (NKJV)

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

2 Corinthians 9: 8 (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 8: 9 emphasizes that the greatest and most inspiring example of generosity is the grace of Lord Jesus. His richness does not refer to material wealth during His time living in the flesh, rather it is recognition of His eternal status as Lord of both Heaven and Earth. Lord Jesus became poor through the total giving of Himself in the incarnation and the Crucifixion (refer to Philippians 2: 5-8). That scripture shows how much Jesus would give and how far He went to lift people up. Contrary to the teachings of some practitioners of religion (who were even worshipped by people trapped by religion), the Lord does not want His faithful children to be trapped with poverty while living in the flesh. Continuing further, 2 Corinthians 9: 8 is about God’s ability to meet all the faithful children’s needs (spiritual, financial, and others) and increase their resources so that they can meet their needs. As mentioned earlier, God is the definitive source we the faithful must always look up to and continue to thank and honor Him in return. It is the Lord (not those idols and not people) who rewards the faithful abundantly!

This brings me to the next holy scripture with the words of Lord Jesus Himself. This one is very true and undeniable!

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Revelations 22: 12 (NKJV)

I love those words from Lord Jesus who truly loves us. We the faithful each have a personal relationship with God and that relationship is strictly off-limits to everyone else (not even the head of any over-sized religion-driven church has the right to intervene in a Christian’s personal relationship with God). At the same time, God made plans for each and every one of us and that includes assignments or tasks that He will assign to you and me. After doing the assigned tasks we got, the Lord will reward us according to the work we each fulfilled. Don’t expect the exact same reward, expect the proportionate reward and only the Lord knows the values of each task He assigns to us. The Lord knows best! Remember this whenever you think of Christmas – that Jesus was born to not only save us from sin but also to reward each and every faithful Christian who performed the assigned tasks from Him.

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–

1 Corinthians 1: 30 (NKJV)

1 Corinthians 1: 30 is about righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Righteousness is God’s judicial determination to right every wrong and His gift to the guilty which removes all condemnation and puts them in a state of justification (including full acquittal from all charges made against them). Sanctification is about the need for cleansing from pollution and this includes renewal by the power of the Holy Spirit which allows acceptable living before God, and points to our ultimate perfection in His presence. Redemption speaks of freedom and final deliverance from all aspects of sin, including the resurrection of the body.

Are you still a sinner? Do you believe that the real-world justice system has been corrupted and blind to you? Look up to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit instead! It is never too late for sinners to become born again (to be saved), dedicate themselves to the Lord and live not only a new life but a holier life. Never forget that true redemption is from the Lord! Jesus was born into our world as the Redeemer! Jesus defeated Satan and He also saved humanity which suffered a lot since Adam rebelled towards God.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.”

Isaiah 48: 17 (NKJV)

Not only is Jesus the Redeemer, He is also God in the flesh! Instead of making our own plans (which lead to selfishness, covetousness and other unholy elements in life) thinking of pulling God to make them come true, we should do instead is submit to the Lord and repent, let the Holy Spirit come into our hearts (this is part of becoming born again) and let the Lord guide us and lead us. We in turn must follow the plan God made for each and every one of us. Those plans were made by Him even before we each got created.

Speaking of plans from Him, we each need the Holy Spirit. Take note of the following scriptures.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go to pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

Jeremiah 29: 11-14 (NKJV)

Verse 11 emphasizes that God indeed punishes His people in order to restore them to a proper relationship with Him. While there is hope for sinners to reform themselves to be good (righteousness and holiness), the sinners who are truly wicked and always deliberately sin for their own agenda (or keep doing the work for Satan) and satisfaction (examples: covetousness, greed, murder, destruction, lying, idolatry) will truly be punished by the Lord (refer to Psalm 94: 23, Psalm 83: 17, 1 Timothy 6: 9, Jude 1: 10, Psalm 28: 5 and 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10). All the more reason to be repent, submit to God and become born again (John 3: 3). Verses 12, 13 and 14 are about seeking the Lord who truly listens and responds (with action) to the prayers of those who are faithful to Him. To realize Jeremiah 29: 11-14 in your life, you need to have the Holy Spirit (receive Jesus in you) and live in holiness. Being born again means leaving your old sinful life behind and live on as a new creation of the Lord. Live in holiness with faith, not religion and not unbelief. Going back to remembering Lord Jesus for Christmas, always also remember His Holiness.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be gloried in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwels with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

John 14: 12-18 (NKJV)

Those words from Lord Jesus are truly powerful and undeniable. Verse 12 refers to His earthly ministry that lasted only a few years. However, after the Resurrection and Pentecost, Jesus’ ministry was and continues to be multiplied through Spirit-empowered believers. We the faithful have work to do that includes preaching the gospel, resulting the blessings of justification, reconciliation, and the gift of the Holy Spirit coming to humankind. These are post-Resurrection manifestations of the reign of Lord Jesus. Verse 13 is about prayer offered in Jesus’ name in accordance with His revealed nature and purpose, complete with the full weight of His authority backing it. Verse 15 and 16 clearly shows that our love for Him should always come with following His commandments, and Jesus will pray to God the Father who will respond by sending another Helper (the Holy Spirit, also referred to in John 14: 26) to us as we, who live here on Earth, wait for His return. Verse 17 is a reminder that there are a whole lot of people who do not believe nor understand the Lord, and therefore they cannot relate with the beliefs of faithful Christians. This is about the many unsaved souls and lost souls who dwell all over the Earth, the many who don’t realize their true purposes under God. Verse 18 is about Jesus referring to His coming and in the Person of the Holy Spirit. For as long as we believe in Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, we the faithful will not be abandoned.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

John 14: 26 (NKJV)

Those words by Lord Jesus goes back to Verse 16 of John chapter 14 with regards to the Helper from God which is the Holy Spirit. This particular verse goes further explaining that the Holy Spirit will teach the faithful Christian what to say yes to (acceptance) and what to say no to (denial). Instead of relying on our own thinking, we the faithful should allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, and remember to always enforce the boundaries that the Lord gave us. With the Lord as our ultimate teacher and guide, nothing and nobody else comes close! Don’t be misled by the idolaters and other sinners, always follow the Holy Spirit in you! Pray for the unsaved souls and lost souls that they will realize their true purpose under God and willingly decide to return to Him with repentance and submission. The unsaved and the lost don’t realize it yet but they really need the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, and they also need to be born again. Religion, idolatry and unbelief have kept them away from the Lord for so long.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Jeremiah 33: 3 (NKJV)

Jeremiah 33: 3 reminds us that God is open to anyone who seeks Him and His guidance. As such, with all the many activities happening during the Christmas holiday (partying, feasting, shopping spree, out-of-town vacations and the like), we must always make time for the Holy Spirit. This also means making time to pray to the Lord, reading the Holy Bible and continue to implement the many holy lessons into our respective lives. This is about living in holiness in a world that has been screwed up and divided.

In concluding this, I embedded below videos of Christian praise-and-worship songs that strongly emphasize the Lord. They are not exactly Christmas-themed songs but they are still great to worship the Lord with.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas! Remember that no matter what happens around you, always make time for the Holy Spirit. Enjoy the Christmas holidays but never leave and never forget about Lord Jesus. Remember to always praise, honor and thank the Lord forever. 


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