To All Single Parents, Be Happy Because God Loves You And Has Plans For You! (Part 1 – Hagar the Single Mother)

Long ago here in the Philippines, I noticed there were negative vibes against single parents. Specifically I’m talking about the individuals who became parents without getting married and also those who became parents (having at least one child while being married to a spouse) who became widowed (losing the spouse).

Decades ago, I noticed that there is this expectation within many families that getting married and raising a new family is a traditional goal which is expected to be fulfilled by the children as they grow into adulthood. This expectation, in my observation, is for the most part the result of religion-based traditions and rituals that influenced Philippine society for many generations.

As a result, there is a side effect caused by those religious traditions and rituals that emphasize marriage – discrimination towards individuals who became parents without getting married.

For the people who became single parents as a result of losing their respective spouses, they (as widowed individuals) often encounter expectations or suggestions from others to get married again.

In my experience, I noticed single parents get questioned harshly, get viewed with skepticism, and even get discriminated by others because most people got indoctrinated by the religious influence and expectations related to marriage. Of course, I am not saying that marriage itself is bad.

I personally know people who strongly believe in religious views of marriage and carry in their minds the false belief that single parents and their descendants are cursed and will always be treated as lower-class people. This belief, of course, adds to the discrimination against single parents. As such being a single parent is often challenging not only here in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world.

If you are a single parent reading this, fear not about your status. Do not let others put you down because what many of them do not know is the truth that God loves, cares and has plans for all single parents! That’s right! God values single parents and for as long as they keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, they will be blessed by Him!

The good news here is that it is all recorded in the Holy Bible and in this article, we will focus on the true story of Hagar!

Let’s look back at the Book of Genesis.

Hagar the single mother

Some time after God established the first blood-sacrifice covenant with Abram (Chapter 15), his wife Sarai had no children with him (Chapter 16). She told her husband, “See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” (Genesis 16: 2 NKJV)

Sarai took her Egyptian maid Hagar and gave her to Abram to be his wife. After getting involved with him, Hagar conceived. Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar who fled from her presence. An Angel from the Lord found her by a sprint of water in the wilderness.

The Angel, who called her by name and her occupation as Sarai’s maid, asked her where she came from and where she was going to. Hagar replied that she was fleeing from Sarai.

“Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” (Genesis 16: 9 NKJV)

The Angel’s message did not just end there. He further said (Genesis 16: 10-12 NKJV):

“I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”

“Behold, you are with child,

And you shall bear a son,

You shall call his name Ishmael,

Because the LORD has heard your affliction.

“He shall be a wild man;

His hand shall be against every man,

And every man’s hand against him.

And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

It was made clear to Hagar that God really has plans for her and her son with Abram. As she was not married to Abram and her involvement with him was the result of Sarai’s intervention (which symbolizes the dangers of taking God’s promises into our own hands), Hagar was illegitimate but God did NOT abandon her nor cursed her.

God really cared for Hagar and even before the birth of Ishmael, He made a plan for him as well. Eventually Hagar bore Abram his son. Abram, who was already eighty-six years old, named the baby Ishmael. At this stage, Hagar became a single mother.

Some time after Sarah (formerly Sarai) gave birth to Isaac, her son with Abraham (formerly Abram), Hagar and Ishmael’s time with them came to an end.

According to Genesis 21: 8-21, Isaac grew and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast on that very day. Then Sarah saw Ishmael. She told Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.”

This displeased Abraham. Eventually God said to him, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”

In case you got lost, Hagar is referred to as the bondwoman. The single mother’s challenges continued but God still cared for her and Ishmael.

The fateful morning came when Abraham gave bread and a skin of water to Hagar, then he sent her and Ishmael away.

So did the single mother and her boy just get lost and died shortly after? Absolutely not! There definitely is more to the truth about them in the Holy Bible. As recorded in the Bible, the land promised to Abraham became Israel which was passed on to Isaac and Jacob. While Abraham’s line went on to become highly significant as God fulfilled His promise to him, this does not mean that Hagar and Ishmael ended up empty and abandoned by God. Now we go back to them.

Together Hagar and her son wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. Eventually the water ran out and she placed Ishmael under one of the shrubs.

Hagar went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot. She said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.”

Then she sat opposite him and lifted her voice and wept.

The God responded to the voice of the lad and He sent an Angel to Hagar!

“What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”

Then Hagar’s eyes were opened by God and she saw a well of water. She went to the well, filled the skin with water and gave Ishmael a badly needed drink.

As God had plans for him, Ishmael grew up and dwelt in the wilderness where he became an archer. He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran and Hagar took a wife for him from her native Egypt.

Lessons learned

Hagar’s story in the Holy Bible clearly showed that God loves, cares for and made plans for single parents like her. This also means that blessings from God were extended to their children as seen through Ishmael.

While Ishmael did not inherit anything from his father Abraham, he still went on to live a life as an archer and as a husband as God fulfilled the promise he made to Abraham regarding his son with Hagar.

Along the way, God made clear to Abraham that He would establish his covenant with Isaac.

As recorded in Genesis Chapter 17: 18-20, Abraham mentioned Ishmael to God stating that he (son with Hagar) might live before Him.

God responded, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”

Going back to Hagar, the single mother in the Holy Bible symbolizes the person who has been unfairly treated, deserted, and cut off with little provision. But even so, the Lord intervened with provision (both spiritual and physical) for her. She and her son went on to live longer as God fulfilled His promise of making a great nation out of Ishmael.

When Hagar was desperate and struggling to survive in the wilderness, she called out to God crying. Even in the worst of times (being put down by Sarah, getting banished by Abraham and the like), she still believed in the Lord and trusted Him. From Heaven, God sent an angel to her and the well of water that suddenly materialized right there in the wilderness was only the beginning that led to the realization of His blessing for Ishmael. This proves that God will never abandon nor forsake His children. All it takes is having faith in Him and putting our trust in Him no matter how bad or how challenging life becomes.

To put things in perspective about God’s love and care for ALL of us (including single parents), here is a scripture from Deuteronomy 31: 6 (NKJV)

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

In John 14: 18 (NKJV), Lord Jesus (the Son of God) said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

In Isaiah 41: 10 (NKJV), God said, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

To put into perspective God’s love, mercy, care and plans for all of His children, heed this scripture from Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV).

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.

Going back to the topic at hand, it is obvious by now that for as long as we keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, God will always love us, provide for us and accept us into His Kingdom. All of these apply to single parents and the story of Hagar and Ishmael is the biblical truth that can be lived with.

God’s love and provision for the single mother Hagar and her son easily kills the false belief that single parents and their children are cursed. If you know someone who still lives by that false belief and looks down at single parents and their children, tell that misguided person to read Genesis 21: 8-21 in the Holy Bible. The truth should set that person free!

If you are a single parent who has suffered a lot and you lived a life of religion or unbelief, and you truly want to establish faith and a relationship with God, then you must realize that you need to be born again because Lord Jesus said so (refer to John 3: 3 and the subsequent verses).

It is indeed true that by nature, religion is mean, it will frustrate you and prevent you from establishing a relationship with God. You may not realize it until now but you really do not need religion at all. What you need is faith and relationship with the Lord. I know! Religion and its believers frustrated me and kept me in prison (literally) and it even pushed me away from God and made me a lost soul for a number of years. After that, thanks to the Lord and His Instrument (my dearest friend in life) I repented, submitted myself to God and I willingly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have been saved and been blessed a lot, and my life has moved forward a lot in a short span of time.

You have the power to decide to be born again. This includes repenting to God for all the sins you committed, submitting yourself to Him and then accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is never too late to be born again and never too late for you to break the chains of religion (along with all the idolatry, rituals and traditions it comes with) or unbelief that has hindered you and your child (or children) for so long.

Think of the truth in the Holy Bible. Apart from the truth of Hagar and Ishmael who got banished by Abraham, there is also the truth of Adam’s rebellion against God which caused chaos and brought humanity downwards. Even with all the chaos that happened, God sent His Begotten Son Jesus into the world to spread the good news, died to redeem humanity (caused by the Fall of Man and Adam’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden), came back to life, made His resurrected presence felt and ascended to Heaven with the promise of His return.

If you seek salvation right now by becoming born again, be prepare to repent to the Lord, submit to His authority, let go of all the elements that hindered you from connecting with Him (the idolatry, traditions and rituals of religion and other unholy elements) and be ready to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. No more worshiping people and idols in any form. It is only the Lord you should always worship from this point on.

Ready? 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, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you. As such, I encourage you – the born again single parent reading this – to read the holy scripture in Acts 16: 31. Grab the Holy Bible to read it as your first lesson and whatever new lessons you learned afterwards, do the Word of God by applying it in your life.

In the near future, another article about single parents and their situations in the Holy Bible will be discussed. Remember that God is not a tyrant and therefore nobody living in the flesh has the right to put you – the single parent – down. God is a loving, caring and providing father to all of us who believe in Him and have a personal relationship with Him. It is true that single parents like you who have faith in Him are welcome in His kingdom.

In closing this, here is a Christian music video for your reflection and faith in the Lord.


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

With regards to Christianity, if you are within the BF Homes or Alabang areas of South Metro Manila and you are spiritually lost looking for someone to talk to or to join a Christian church that will welcome you, please feel free to contact me by mobile phone at 09053350831 or by email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com to schedule a meeting.

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Beware of Covetousness

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

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

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

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

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

Covetousness is clearly emphasized in Luke 12: 15 which states

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

 

 

Praise The Lord and Be Faithful To Him Eternally

Today is Sunday, the day the Lord made. Every Sunday, we go to church with our family members and our friends. We gather together not merely as a community of people but as faithful worshipers as well as a large spiritual family dedicated to praise and worship God and His Son Jesus.

Why go to church every Sunday? Is it because we do it as a tradition? No! Is it because we do it as an obligation? No! Is it because we practice religion? Absolutely not! We go to church on Sunday to praise and worship the Lord, learn the lessons from the Holy Bible (the ultimate authority filled with holy scriptures!), realize our true purpose as members of God’s Kingdom and be always faithful to Him! The praise and worship to the Lord are meant to be eternal!

Being faithful to the Lord is different from being religious. Religion, by nature, will frustrate you, will trap you, will limit you and will hinder you from truly connecting to God and His Son Jesus. I know! Because I experience that in my old life! To end the darkness and break away, I decided to truly reform myself by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Truly there is more to your relationship with God than there is to religion. To realize your true purpose under God, you need to be born again (read John 3: 3-7). You need to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and only then will the Holy Spirit come to you and place Itself in your heart. You have the power to decide and make it all happen. What could be better than entering the Kingdom of God and be recognized as one of His children and be blessed with Kingdom Wealth, love and peace?

If you are a lost soul or a religious person whose soul remains unsaved, it is not too late to be born again and truly receive the Holy Spirit. Upon realizing your true purpose under the Lord, you will become a new creation. You will learn to pray in tongues (praying with the spiritual language), read the Holy Bible and understand it and live with it, do tithing, singing praise to the Lord with Christian worship music performed by the church band (complete with drums and electric guitars), engage more with members of your spiritual family (as Born Again, you are all children of God and members of His Kingdom), learn more from the pastor (who communicates with God), learn a lot from the ministry, and then you will realize how essential praising and worshiping the Lord directly really is.

As a new creation, you will realize how unnecessary religion truly is. You also will realize the futility of worshiping idols, both the living and the man-made non-living idols. You don’t need religion to connect to the Lord…you need faith, be born again and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. You can break the chains of religion and get rid of all those idols! Get rid of those statues and those images of the living and non-living idols because they are not worth of worship. Certainly those idols are not worthy of praise!

If you want to be saved, refer to the prayer at the end of my faith article Trust in God, Disregard those Idols (published April 17, 2019).

Going back to praising the Lord directly, learn from the holy scriptures of Psalm 150 (Let All Things Praise the Lord) I prepared for you below.

Psalm 150: 1-6

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary!

Praise Him in His Mighty firmament!

Praise Him for His mighty acts;

Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet,

Praise Him with the lute and harp!

Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;

Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

Praise Him with loud cymbals;

Praise Him with clashing cymbals;

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,

Praise the Lord!

In concluding this piece, I embedded below the YouTube video of You Are Holy performed by Hillsong Worship. This is an example of praising the Lord with the performance of Christian worship music done by a band with singers playing with true holiness.

May you have a very blessed Sunday and keep strong faith in the Lord.


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