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

 

 

 

Overcome Fear by Keeping Faith in Our Lord and Staying Pure with His Holiness

There is so much fear in people’s minds nowadays mainly due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, or specifically COVID-19. Not only has the coronavirus infected and killed many people worldwide, it is also bringing down most forms of business or economic sectors such as tourism, investments and manufacturing.

Here in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte suspended classes in Metro Manila for the days of March 10 to 14 as the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that there are now locals infected by coronavirus.

Considering these mentioned developments are only a few of many negative developments related to the spreading coronavirus, they have still proven to drag down a lot of people deep inside. Instead of being optimistic, those who believe in the danger of coronavirus are feeling lost, scared, depressed and even panicking.

Even though the danger of COVID-19 is real, I am not scared at all and there is no good reason for me to be afraid and panicky. Why? Because my faith and trust in the Lord remains as strong as ever and I know for a fact that God will never leave us nor forsake us. It is faith in the Lord – not religion, not unbelief, not feelings and certainly not idols – that will spare us Christians from the danger and disasters of this screwed up world we live in. Instead of hiding or spending our time on our smartphones, we all should still be reading God’s Word in the Holy Bible and keep praying to Him no matter what happens.

To puts things into perspective, let’s look at key verses of Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 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 the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by the day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

Psalm 91: 1-10 (NKJV)

The scriptures above make it clear that our Heavenly Father is a caring, loving and protective creator and we, as His creations, need to be faithful to Him and keep serving Him. Remember that in emphasizing His love for us, God sent His Son Jesus who spread the good news, died on the cross, got resurrected and flew to Heaven. Jesus saved humanity! He redeemed us! He saved us! Jesus made people realize their true purposes as God’s creations!

Verses 9 and 10 of Psalm 91 emphasize the promise of divinely protected health. The passage promises protection from sickness as a blessing of the redeemed life. Always remember these details and for as long as you remain faithful and trusting in the Lord while applying His Word in your personal life, you will be protected from harm, poverty and disease. Not even coronavirus will bring you down.

It is essential to remember that fear is a weapon of Satan who never gave up in trying to neutralize Christians and make them fail in their relationship with God. Like past diseases, coronavirus struck fear into the hearts of many people around and those who panicked showed signs that their faith and trust in the Lord are weak. Coronavirus also made people panic and doing desperate acts like panic buying. What also come with panic buying are increased vehicular traffic on highways, increased physical presence of people in and out of the retailers (note: this incidentally would increase the risk of getting infected with COVID-19), increased air and noise pollution, and other risks of incidents.

The coronavirus paranoia shows how powerful fear is and why Satan is delighted to see people lose control of themselves and, at the same time, separate Christians from the Lord through their weakness. First of all, God did not just create us to be mere creations on Earth. He really wanted Earth to be filled with perfect beings which was what He planned with Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, Adam rebelled against God when he ate the fruit Eve gave him (which was the result of her getting tempted by the serpent to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). This rebellion (note: God specifically commanded Adam to never eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) committed by Adam gave dominion to Satan and cursed humanity with sin, and this led to a downward spiral for the human race thousands of years later as recorded in the Holy Bible. As we know by now, God had a plan to redeem humanity by sending His Son Jesus into the world. It was through the acts and sacrifice of Jesus that humanity was saved and He proved God loves and cares for us. Jesus Himself stated that becoming born again is needed in order to see the kingdom of the Heavenly Father (read John 3: 3 in the Holy Bible).

God’s plan for His creation is so great, Satan will stop at nothing to take it all away by exploiting human weakness. Fear is a favorite weapon Satan uses along with unbelief, religion, idolatry, doubt, greed, hatred, covetousness, homosexuality, deception, division and temptation. Fear leads to anger, hatred, panic, desperation, resentment and the weakening of faith in the Lord.

As Christians who were born again (accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior), we are targets of the enemy. Satan, who was defeated long ago when Jesus redeemed humanity, will strike against each of us through feelings, fear, pressure, symptoms and negativity. For us Christians, living in holiness with Jesus in our hearts becomes challenging due to our obligations such as careers, businesses, family matters and other worldly matters. As if that was not hard enough, our screwed-up world has lots of religion-blinded authorities who teach the wrong theology that God is in control of everything and allows bad things to happen to the innocent as well as to His own children (us Christians). And then these same authorities teach people to worship idols (both the living and those man-made objects like statues, statuettes, images and relics) which is sinful (refer to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10), to practice religious traditions and rituals, and to follow a bunch of rules that were not really part of the Holy Bible. Being religious is not the same as being faithful to the Lord.

As I mentioned before, we Christians need faith in the Lord, not religion, not idolatry, not traditions, not rituals, not sacraments, not feelings, and certainly not unbelief. By being faithful with Him, we each can establish a personal relationship with God which is strictly off-limits to others (even your own biological family members have no right whatsoever to interfere in your relationship with the Lord).

Let’s read these scriptures from the Holy Bible.

Therefore He says: “Awake you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5: 14 (NKJV)

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.”

Luke 21: 34 (NKJV)

The scriptures above clearly show that as we have been redeemed by Jesus, He warned against spiritual lethargy and wants us to be always ready for His return. To live in holiness with Jesus in our hearts, read God’s Word through the Holy Bible, pray to Him constantly and dedicatedly (which include praying in tongues), preach His Word around, help save the unsaved and lost souls, keep trusting Him and maintain strong faithfulness in Him are all part of preparing ourselves for Jesus’ promised return.

Next scripture…

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

2 Corinthians 4: 3-4 (NKJV)

The above scripture makes clear why there are many unsaved and lost souls around the world. In verse 4, Satan blinds the minds of people (including the ones who practice religion, idolatry, traditions and rituals) and the sad thing is that they choose not to believe which results their failure to see and realize the glory of Christ.

Once a man realizes the light of God and starts being faithful to Him, Satan gets defeated.

Yes, you read that right! Christians who are edified by God can defeat Satan and keep resisting him each time he tries to strike back. By having powerful faith in the Lord and following the examples of Jesus, we Christians can truly live in holiness and in victory over the enemy! Fear becomes nothing!

Having lived an old life of religion, idolatry, traditions, rituals and unbelief myself, I can say that I was hounded by darkness all the way. Since the day I got saved I realized that faith in the Lord is truly essential and true Christian living is simpler than I thought. My becoming born again is the greatest miracle in my whole life and through Jesus, I became a new creation free from the darkness of unbelief, religion, idolatry, traditions, sacraments and rituals that burdened me. I also realized that with the Lord, Satan and any other forms of evil can be defeated not once but multiple times!

The following scripture will compel you to be with Jesus.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NKJV)

Now let’s look at the Passion Translation.

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

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (TPT)

To put things in perspective, being a new creation means having a fresh, new start spiritually. By realizing your true purpose under God, you are in a race for holiness, a race to meet His High Call. To live in holiness with Jesus in your heart. This leads me to the next scripture.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12: 2 (NKJV)

We live in a chaotic and screwed-up world. As we live in the flesh, we are vulnerable to the trouble around us and that only means we need to resist the fear sparked by Satan that started the mess. The loser Satan thinks he can use this physical world against God by going after us and trying to defeat us spiritually. All the more reason why we should NOT be conformed to this world and we must focus always on maintaining holiness under God. We Christians have the Holy Spirit already in our hearts, and we should always be led by the Holy Spirit. We must live with purity under Jesus. The truth is that the path to godly living is not complicated, nor is it energized by our flesh. We the believers should always submit to God’s provisions and ways.

The next scripture will remind you of the battle with Satan.

Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

1 Peter 5: 8-9 (NKJV)

You are definitely not alone with your effort to resist Satan and living on as a Child of God. You are part of the Body of Christ (the church – refer to 1 Corinthians 12: 12-30) and it is essential for us to keep living in holiness, serving the Lord (who will never abandon us nor forsake us – read Deuteronomy 31: 6) and always ensure that the enemy will NEVER win. Satan can use unbelief, temptations or religion (with idolatry, traditions, rituals, sacraments and the wrongful theology) as weapons against you but as long as you know you were saved and got anointed by the Lord, and as long as you know your true purpose as a Christian, you will get to defeat Satan and beat him again on each and every subsequent attack he throws at you. Always maintain strong faith in God! God is the source and the following scripture explains why.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

James 1: 17 (NKJV)

James 1: 17 emphasizes that the Heavenly Father is not responsible for human sin. God is in fact the source of all good, He is also faithful, He is just and He always keeps His promises. God’s promise to Abraham of a son (Isaac) through his wife Sara is one of the most notable promises ever made and fulfilled. Behold the existence of Israel which not only has the Holy Land but also its own State. We Christians have a goal to support the State of Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Whatever promise God made to you, rest assured He will fulfill it in due time. Don’t let the devil or anyone representing darkness fool you. Don’t let fear overpower you. You definitely do not want to settle for less knowing that God has a plan for you complete with blessings coming.

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His Love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1: 12-14 (NKJV)

The above scripture emphasizes that we Christians are qualified to receive blessings from the Lord and this includes Kingdom Wealth. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we will each be rewarded according to our respective work. Lord Jesus Himself said in Revelations 22: 12And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.

Lord Jesus Himself pulled us out of darkness and helped us break the chains that symbolized danger, death, sickness, hostile situations, wickedness and other negative elements the enemy used on us. As Christians, we have been freed and saved by Jesus. We are new creations, citizens of God’s Kingdom and are living in victory under Jesus whom we worship directly (note: we are not hindered by a religion-led hierarchy which itself only exists to get in the way between a Christian and the Lord).

On with the next scripture…

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NKJV)

We Christians each have a race to endure and finish. The race, if you are imagining sports competitions like foot races, is obviously about our souls and the goal of achieving holiness. This means laying aside anything that would hinder the progress being made. Avoiding the committing of sin is a must! However we race, we should not focus on each other as contestants or competitors at all since we are God’s children and citizens of his Kingdom. Instead, when we race, we should always focus on Lord Jesus who saved us.

As part of living in holiness, we Christians should do more than just attending church every Sunday. For one thing, going to church on Sunday is to be done not as an obligation, not as a tradition but rather to prioritize our relationship with God by truly connecting with Him right in the presence of the many members of the spiritual family. Apart from Sunday worship, we need to attend, as much as possible, seminars and prayer meetings at church held during the weekdays. The learning of God’s Word is ever enduring and we need to keep on learning and applying the lessons into our respective lives. This is living in holiness! By doing these dedicatedly complete with strong faith in the Lord, fear as well as other forms of attacks launched against us by Satan will be futile! There is more to deepening our personal relationship with God. Let’s examine the next scripture below.

The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.

Psalm 145: 14-20 (NKJV)

It is clear in Psalm 145: 14-20 that God is gentle, loving, protective and caring for His children while remaining firm to punish those who are wicked. For us, His children, God really loves us and wants to bless us, and all we need to do is to keep submitting to Him, live in holiness and endure to honor, praise and serve Him. Those who sin and keep on doing what is evil and what pleases Satan will end up with doom. This should serve as a reminder that we Christians must make efforts to save the unsaved souls around the us by preaching God’s Word and magnifying the Lord to them. Eventually the unsaved souls will realize something and decide to reach out to God.

Going back to fear, we only need to fear God because it will lead to wisdom (read Proverbs 9: 10). All other forms of fear are to be rejected and resisted without question! This way, Satan is defeated yet again!

Another reason to constantly pursue holiness under the Lord is that God has a vision to make you and your church unstoppable and moving on driven by faith. God, after all, is the source of all vision, success, prosperity, progress and holiness. We Christians all need to humble ourselves to Him and to realize His vision for you, you need to tell Him to show it. For insight, read Jesus’ words in John 12: 26 and the Lord’s words in Jeremiah 33: 3.

Here’s one more scripture…

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)

God truly loves us. When we His children commit errors, He makes ways to correct us. When we His children are troubled, he comes to us to help and pave the way for the better. For as long as we His children remain faithful to Him, God’s plans for each and every one us will manifest in due time. Knowing that God’s plans are definitely good, there is no more reason for us to be fearful and weak. Satan has been defeated and will only be defeated again and again.

As of this writing, we in this chaotic world are living in the middle of the storm caused by coronavirus COVID-19. There are people who are suffering from coronavirus and there were those who died. Still no matter what happens, we the faithful Christians have no reason to be scared and lose hope because the Lord is with us. Always maintain strong faith in Him, keep trusting Him, honor Him and thank Him for all the good and the care He keeps on providing us.

We all need to pray to the Lord and trust in Him that coronavirus COVID-19 will fade away, that no more people will be infected and those who are already infected will be spared. Don’t limit your prayer into asking (note: also you should not beg), but believe that God will do it. Trust the Lord! The fear that has crippled millions of people worldwide has gone far enough and already economies have slowed down. The time to keep standing with the Lord on ending this time of crisis is now! The coronavirus COVID-19 crisis is the battle that only the Lord can fight and conquer!

The Lord is our refuge, our protector and provider! Fear and all other negative elements are nothing when we the faithful are with God.

Let me conclude this post with this holy scripture. This one will be remembered for a long time.

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.

Isaiah 41: 10 (NKJV)


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

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. 


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

Your Past Does NOT Define You For As Long As You Believe in God and His Plan For You

Some people out there cannot do anything but be stuck with the past, be panicky, be fearful, be frustrated, be trapped by religion or by unbelief and, even worse, drag other people down with them. It comes to show that we live in a physical world that is screwed up and chaotic. There are so many distractions (examples: politics, movements, entertainment) happening almost all the time people are being separated from Lord Jesus and God the Father.

And then there are others who say that for as long as you made mistakes in the past, you are automatically unworthy of God’s love and care.

That is not true! While it is true that none of us can change the past, we can live on to be better people for as long as we have faith in the Lord, trusting in Him and applying His Word for the rest of our lives. The truth is God wants us to have not just a future but one of peace and hope! Pay close attention to the holy scripture below.

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

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV) 

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Nobody has a perfect life. In varying degrees, people drift away from the Lord, knowingly or unknowingly, because of how society moves and affect its members. What is clear is that the more distant people are from God, the harder and more problematic their lives become.

The more people remain hurt or frustrated about their past – with the mistakes they committed, the bitterness they carried towards others, living with the mindset that there is no hope for divine change – the more they suffer.

I myself had frustrations over my past. I had religion which made my life directionless and frustrating. Later I lived with unbelief and even became antagonistic towards the Lord. Eventually, I met a very special friend who invited me to her church and there I saw the light from the Lord. A short time later, I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, repented to Him, received the Holy Spirit and became Born Again. My faith in the Lord is stronger than ever before and my true purpose as a child of God has been realized and I now have a true personal relationship with Him. Christian Living, not religion, is my path for the rest of my life.

My past cannot be changed nor could be erased. My sins, however, were washed away by the Lord because forgiveness from Him is true and I repented to Him plus I have forgiven others who hurt me. Forgiveness works three ways: be forgiven, forgive others and forgive yourself.

PART 1 – Forgiveness in the Holy Bible

Forgiveness from the Lord is real. Forgiveness is an act of kindness that helps people get healed under God’s light. Forgiveness also comes with responsibilities that are part of living with holiness afterwards. Forgiveness is not to be taken lightly and does not serve as a license to commit sin repeatedly with the expectation that you will be forgiven again. To be forgiven requires admitting our sins and there is no point of hiding them from the Lord who can see through us all.

For You, Lord, are good and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Psalm 86: 5 (NKJV)

But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent – not to be severe. This punishment which was afflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven the one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

2 Corinthians 2: 5-10 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 1: 9-10 (NKJV)

Within the Model Prayer cited by Lord Jesus (Matthew 6: 5-15) are key references on forgiveness.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

Matthew 6: 12 (NKJV)

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 6: 14-15 (NKJV)

Receiving forgiveness from the Lord should be valued deeply and remind you to change yourself for the better and refrain from committing sin again. As mentioned above, forgiveness is not a license nor an opportunity to commit sin again and again expecting to be forgiven again and again. Sin no more after being forgiven by Him, leave your past behind and move forward with holiness and strong faith (not religion) in Him. As such, there is a need to become Born Again.

Remember that God is a just creator. Clearly it means that sin, wickedness and evil have no place in His Kingdom. Evildoers will not go unpunished under the watch of God. As such, if you are wicked, constantly sinning, doing evil and you intend to abuse the Lord’s forgiveness thinking you can fool Him and sneak by Him to enter His Kingdom, then you will fail and you will be punished by Him in due time. Did your religious leader or a friend blinded with unbelief fool you? Read the holy scriptures below.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness. Nor shall evil dwell with You.

Psalm 5: 4 (NKJV)

Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.

Psalm 34: 21 (NKJV)

The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. The LORD laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish; and the enemies of the LORD, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.

Psalm 37: 12-20 (NKJV)

PART 2 – Letting Go and Moving Forward

It is naturally difficult to let go of the past, especially the errors you made, the acts of foolishness, being shortsighted and the like. This is why there is a need to become Born Again (read Jesus’ words in John 3: 3), repent to the Lord to receive His forgiveness and allow yourself to be led by Him (and not by the people and society around you).

Take note of this holy scripture.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12: 2 (NKJV)

Reforming yourself to be better requires the Lord’s involvement. You cannot rely on any single person or an object or any man-made inspiration to better yourself. Do not even think about engaging in idolatry (looking up to someone or something followed by worship) because that is a sin (refer to Colossians 3: 5, Isaiah 45: 20, 1 Corinthians 10: 7, and 1 John 5: 21). To change for good requires looking up to the Lord, worshiping Him, praising Him, trusting Him and glorifying Him. Once you achieve those, then holiness, positive reform and blessings will come to you. This is how you can move forward from your past! I know, because it happened to me.

As you pursue holiness, never ever fall for the constant lie that your past mistakes or disappointments disqualify you on your future under the Lord. Satan, who has been defeated long ago when Jesus redeemed humanity, continues to fool and deceive people with that lie. Satan, whose evil values influenced religious teachings and practices (note: idolatry is just one of them), does not want you to know that hope from the Lord exists. Satan does not want you to achieve salvation under the Lord who truly cares and loves us, and is merciful. Satan wants you to be stuck in this chaotic world we live in and he wants you to be apart from God and Jesus (and the enemy prefers to manipulate you to be rebellious, defiant and unholy). Satan does not want you to know the truth from the following holy scriptures – including Lord Jesus’ own words in John 16: 33 and John 3: 16-18.

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

2 Corinthians 7: 10 (NKJV)

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147: 3 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

John 16: 33 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have an everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3: 16-18 (NKJV)

Clearly, to move forward from your painful past, you need to be Born Again and no less than Jesus Himself declared it.

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

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

John 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

Once you are Born Again, you become a new creation under the Lord, a true child of God.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NKJV)

For as long as you are willing to submit yourself to God and His Son Jesus, you can reform yourself to be better, holier and be more blessed than ever before. By becoming Born Again, you can break the chains of the past that made you a prisoner of darkness, sadness and frustration. I myself have gone through these and left the past behind me as I persevere under the Lord. He has a High Call for me to live up to and a plan for me to follow. You will realize these and relate with these once you become Born Again.

Christianity is not about religion at all! It is about having an established personal relationship with God and living with holiness with the Holy Spirit in you and the teachings of Jesus always present in your mind. The Holy Bible – God’s Word – is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it. You will learn eventually that you will not only understand the Bible but also apply it on your life (read: living with holiness).

Don’t let your past define you and trap you. Never let religion and unbelief dominate you. Move forward with Father God and Lord Jesus! Follow the Lord’s plan for you!

Have faith in the Lord and praise Him always!


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: The Stand

Hi everyone! I got something nice to share to you in this latest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series.

Recently while attending Sunday worship service, our church musicians (who are very blessed by God with great talent as each of them is faithful to Him) performed a song that really engaged me and my fellow Christians. That song was The Stand.

Written by Joel Houston and released in March 2006 as part of the United We Stand album of Hillsong United, The Stand is a lively reminder that each of us was created by God. As His creations, we truly have a purpose to honor Him, serve Him, worship Him and keep on being faithful to Him. Along the way, the Lord loves us and He is so generous and merciful to us. Don’t forget how long and how much God has blessed the faithful. God is the source of all prosperity, opportunities and progress!

For your reference, here are the lyrics of The Stand.

The Stand

You stood before creation

Eternity within Your hands

And you spoke all life into motion

My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure

And carried the cross for my shame

My sin weighed upon Your shoulders

My soul now to stand

So what can I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

So I’ll walk upon salvation

Your Spirit alive in me

This life to declare Your promise

My soul now to stand

So what can I say

What could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

So what could I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours

(So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

And I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours)

So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

And I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours (Oh Lord I will stand)

So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours

So I’ll stand

(With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours)

So what could I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

Before the song was played during Sunday worship, the Passion Translation of Romans 12: 1 was displayed on screen and emphasized by the lead singer of the service. It read:

Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.

This particular holy scripture is related with the lyrics of The Stand. Truly, we should humble ourselves and submit to Him. We who have been saved should not let ourselves be dominated by religion and its idols (note: do not worship people, images, those carved figures and many other elements that keep you away from the Lord) so that our respective personal relationships with Him will not be affected negatively. Each and every one us should be mindful as to why God created us and we really have a purpose to live in holiness under Him.

Those who are unsaved (or even lost as souls) can be saved and the good news is that there is still time for them to willingly decide to be born again. Anyone who has sinned a lot before can still surrender themselves to the Lord directly for His forgiveness and acceptance. Anyone who does not want to remain an unsaved or lost soul anymore can still reach out to Jesus and make the major decision to accept Him as Lord and Savior. Truly to be born again means becoming a new creation of the Lord with a purpose to live in holiness.

If you are already a saved soul living with the Holy Spirit in your heart, try to reach out to the many unsaved souls out there and invite them to your church to the best you can. Saving the unsaved and the lost souls is a goal worth achieving again and again all for the Lord. Those who will be saved will not enter religion (which itself is unnecessary and deceptive) but have a genuine personal relationship with God. There is more to the relationship with the Lord than religion.

Back to the song, there is a clear message about gaining salvation through God who sent us His begotten son Jesus to save us all. We all struggle with sin, temptation, frustration, darkness and challenges before realizing that we were all created by the Lord who had been watching us all the time. These were emphasized in the first three paragraph of the lyrics of The Stand.

You stood before creation

Eternity within Your hands

And you spoke all life into motion

My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure

And carried the cross for my shame

My sin weighed upon Your shoulders

My soul now to stand

So what can I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

As I mentioned previously, Adam’s rebellion towards God recorded in the Book of Genesis marked the fall of humanity and in the many generations that followed, people struggled and sinned until Jesus came to spread the good news (as well as God’s love), died for everyone’s sins and returned from the dead. Jesus ascended to Heaven with a promise that He will return to us.

Clearly, as creations of God, we are destined to be saved and that can only be realized by believing in the Lord willingly and by practicing faith by the heart (not the mind). As I learned from our pastor, we have free will (which God gave us) and we can decide to authorize Heaven on Earth.

There is still time and hope for any unsaved soul to be born again (refer to Jesus’ words in John 3: 3 and the subsequent verses) to become a child of God, to stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the Lord, and truly be His. Now that you’ve read this, I encourage you to read the Holy Bible and apply what you learned into your life, listen to The Stand and let its holy lyrics flow in you, reach out to the Lord, pray to Him always and follow His plan for you!

In concluding this article, embedded below are YouTube videos of performances of The Stand. Enjoy these and move forward 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