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.

Advertisements

Christian Music Appreciation: The Potter’s Hand (August 11, 2019)

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the latest installment of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series which puts focus on songs that are not only great to listen to but are also holy and worthy of praising the Lord with.

Today, we take a close look at the song The Potter’s Hand which was released in 1998 by Hillsong Worship with words and music by the great Darlene Zschech. This is truly a beautiful song and at the same time, its lyrics are very meaningful and should make you reflect about your purpose and your existence.

Here are the lyrics…

Beautiful Lord, wonderful Savior

I know for sure all of my days are held in Your hand

And crafted into Your perfect plan

You gently called me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

 

And I’m captured by Your Holy calling

Set me apart, I know You’re drawing me to Yourself

Lead me Lord, I pray

 

Take me

Mold me

Use me

Fill me

I give my life to the Potter’s hand

Call me

Guide me

Lead me

Walk beside me

I give my life to the Potter’s hand

 

You gently call me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

So what does the song mean?

In my honest opinion, the clearest meaning behind the song relates to the creation of humanity done long ago by God and the purpose He prepared. In the song’s title, the word potter was used to symbolize the creator. The potter is the one who creates pots using raw materials and special skills (molding, timing, estimating, shaping, etc.). It was God, not some accidental phenomenon of science, who created the human race. As such, we need to go back to the very beginning in the Holy Bible starting with the Book of Genesis.

It was written on Genesis 1: 26-28 (NKJV):

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Take note that on verse 26, God’s words were “Our image” which turned out to be the Holy Trinity as explained in the New Testament. “Our image” most likely refers to such qualities as personality, reason and intellect along with the abilities to hear, see, speak and relate. In short, the human race was created with God’s characteristics and He really had a plan on establish the earth as a world filled with His creations that carry His traits. This truth alone is worth reflecting when we ask ourselves why God created us in the first place.

Part of humanity’s creation was for man to be God’s kingdom agent on earth. Man was meant to rule and subdue the rest of creation, including the aggressive satanic forces. God said, “let them have dominion,” which gave man the authority to execute and maintain His rules on earth. In return, it was expected that man be always obedient to Him for He is, after all, the Creator of everything. Man’s power to reign in life will extend only as far as his faithfulness to God’s law.

God’s creation of man and woman formed the foundation of the house of the Lord. Through them, He intended to manifest His character and authority, express his dominion over the earth, display His indisputable power over the works of darkness, and subdue His archenemy Satan. It was clear all along that God had plans for humanity. Those plans were created before each and every one of us were even born!

From the song was the line I know for sure all of my days are held in Your hand followed immediately by And crafted into Your perfect plan. These two lines strongly reflect what God intended when He created the human race. As such, evil human traits like racism, extremism, discrimination, killing, idolatry, unfaithfulness, destruction, rebellion and abuse are clearly wrong and completely in opposite to God’s plans for humanity.

As recorded in Genesis chapter 3, humanity failed when Eve was tempted by the serpent (the evil one) into eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which she gave to Adam who ate it. Adam, who was specifically commanded by God to never eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2: 15-17), committed rebellion against Him which led to an enduring series of chaos (wars, genocide, fascism, murder, crime, abusive governments and the like) in our world even until now.

Generations later, God sent to us His Son Jesus. It was Jesus who performed miracles, made people aware of God’s plan and love for them, set examples in accordance to God being a just creator, and ultimately redeemed humanity from Adam’s rebellion (refer to Hebrews 2: 14-15, Romans 8: 38-39, John 11: 25, Romans 6: 3-5, Galatians 3: 13 and Revelation 20: 6).

Clearly God had planned to save the flawed human race with Jesus! His own Son was sent to not only bring hope but also give humans the good news that God cares, loves and is willing to welcome them into His kingdom…and all it took was having faith in the Lord!

Jesus, who died for people’s sins, came back from the dead, made His return felt to several people and eventually rose to Heaven, achieved the most tremendous victory for humanity through redemption. He truly is the Messiah, the Redeemer and the Son of God whom we should all be thankful, faithful and obedient to. Jesus is the one we all should look up to for all time in our lives. Jesus is also God in the flesh which alone makes it important for us to reflect upon our creation. Creation itself is what The Potter’s Hand reflects.

To truly connect with Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, it is essential to be born again (this includes receiving the Holy Spirit into your heart) and this means breaking ourselves free from the chains of religion (along with its idols, teachings and rules that hinder people from establishing relationships with God) as well as the chains of unbelief. Being religious is NOT the same as being faithful to the Lord. Christianity is not religion but a way of life complete with faithfulness and a living relationship with the Lord. There is more to the personal relationship with God than there is to religion, and this is the truth that religious people don’t realize or have refused to accept as they allowed themselves to be trapped by religion. By becoming born again and receiving His spirit, you will truly become a child of God as well as a saved soul.

Trust me. I know! In my old life, religion ultimately led me to ruin and becoming lost. I was even hostile to Christianity during my lost years. After becoming born again, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and then a series of positive changes plus blessings (including love) followed. Thanks to Jesus, my life has moved forward by leaps and bounds! My true purpose in life has been realized and my faith in the Lord will never fade away. I have been saved, reformed and redeemed!

As Lord and Savior, Jesus is the true reformer and redeemer for humanity. Reform to be worthy of becoming part of the Kingdom of God is only possibly by having faith in Jesus. Reform led by Jesus is way beyond what any man could ever achieve. A man living in today’s age of social media and smartphones can arrogantly present himself as a reform-minded savior (or “reformer”, a fake one at that) and attract some fans (some of whom become obsessed by his charm and even commit idolatry) by using technology but ultimately he will NEVER match the impact of Jesus! People who seek salvation don’t need idols, don’t need to worship people and don’t need religion. They need Jesus!

Remember these very powerful words Jesus said in John 3: 3 (NKJV)

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

Going back to The Potter’s Hand, take note of the following lyrics.

You gently called me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

 

And I’m captured by Your Holy calling

Set me apart, I know You’re drawing me to Yourself

Lead me Lord, I pray

As His children, God called us and He has plans for each and every one of us since before the beginning of time. The true purpose of being Christian includes humbling ourselves, submitting ourselves to the Lord, learning and re-learning His lessons with deep dedication (this means intense learning from Him through the Holy Bible), realizing His plan for each of us, repenting our sins directly to Him, being faithful to Him, following His lead and meeting His High Call. The above lyrics symbolized these elements.

Truly God created us all with very solid purposes. By realizing our true purpose as Christians, we acknowledge the Holy Bible (not rituals, not traditions, not idolatry and not religion) is the ultimate authority as it is the true path to Lord, having faith in the Lord is sufficient for salvation, having a personal relationship with God is essential, spreading our Christian faith to help save the many unsaved souls.

All these lessons as confirmed by Holy Bible make The Potter’s Hand truly a very holy and meaningful song. As such, The Potter’s Hand is worthy of praising the Lord with, especially on Sunday worship at church.


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

Trust in God, Disregard those Idols

In this world we live in, it is too easy for us to allow ourselves to be distracted, to be swayed, and even worse, to be lost.

Look around you. People are so attached to their smartphones they spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital stuff it affects them tremendously making them addicted to technology. There is also the constant presence of cable TV news that somehow manipulate viewers to become news junkies (people addicted to the news) and the sad thing is that most people addicted to the news do not realize the fact that corporate media turned journalism into a commodity as they conspired with political forces and some advertisers behind the scenes.

And then there is the wide selection of entertainment from TV to mobiles games, the movie theaters, the radio and the like. There are those entertainment figures who become idols to their respective legions of followers. These are the famous actors, the famous singers, the famous fashion models, the famous media personalities and more. Apart from entertainment figures, there are also varied politicians who, because of democracy, developed their own respective legions of followers (voters) and they themselves become idols.

As if that was not bad enough, there is also religion which comes with the worship of idols (idolatry) along with traditions, rituals and repetitive prayers that actually hinder people from establishing a true relationship with the Lord.

As I mentioned before, I am a geek and I love entertainment. I play video games, I watch movies and read comic books. I also pay attention to some news coverage of political news since it is an undeniable fact that public service affects a lot of people. However, I learned to restrain myself, stop the entertainment addiction, stop being indoctrinated by the news media and focus more on my job and other priorities. I also rejected religion and became Born Again.

One of the top priorities of mine is keeping faith in God and His Son Jesus and constantly learning lessons from the Holy Bible as well as applying those lessons on my daily living. I learned to avoid worshiping idols, both living and the non-living ones (in the form of man-made art). Trust me. When it comes to faith, I felt very relieved by getting rid of those statues and other man-made figures that were never truly worth worshiping. Those objects are not holy! I also stopped worshiping people (both the living and the ones who passed away). At the same time, I am no longer constrained nor hindered by religion. My worship is is direct to God and His Son Jesus and that is how it will always be for me forever more.

Today I would like to discuss Psalm 115 from the Holy Bible and the lesson will be about the futility of idols and the trustworthiness of God.

Let’s start reading Psalm 115 with my explanations.

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,

But to Your name give glory

Because of Your Mercy,

Because of Your truth.

Why should the Gentiles say,

“So where is their God?”

My take: Psalm 115: 1-2 opens with the prioritizing and trusting of God who is the all powerful creator who is not a tyrant but is actually a loving, caring, forgiving and just God who wants His faithful followers to spread His truth to others, to prosper and be happy. As God is in heaven, he cannot be easily seen on Earth by mortals who do not know Him, do not believe in Him and have limited themselves to what they perceive as real while living in the flesh.

But our God is in heaven;

He does whatever He pleases.

Their idols are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Noses they have, but they do not smell;

They have hands, but they do not handle;

Feet they have, but they do not walk;

Nor do they mutter through their throat.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

My take: Psalm 115: 3-8 clearly describes the idols that humans (who don’t believe in God) invent out of nothing (or out of a very false belief) just so that they have something to worship. While God will always be real to His faithful believers, the idols are simply non-existing even though the people who keep on idolizing them live on with the lie that their idols are real, living and responding to them. There definitely is a contrast between the spiritual God who reigns omnisciently and omnipotently, and the man-made idols who are limited to the space of a carved object. In other words, idolatry is absurd, worthless and a terrible waste.

Can these man-made idols perform miracles like God? No! Can these idols send real messages to the people who worship them? No! Can these idols impact people’s lives? Absolutely not and the fact remains is that the people who worship the idols are living a lie and wasting their lives away. An idol is worthless and its followers become worthless as well.

Oh Israel, trust in the LORD;

He is their help and their shield.

O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD,

He is their help and their shield.

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;

He is their help and their shield.

The LORD has been mindful of us;

He will bless us;

He will bless the house of Israel;

He will bless the house of Aaron.

He will bless those who fear the LORD,

Both small and great.

My take: Psalm 115: 9-13 emphasizes the fact that God is real and therefore can always be trusted even though He cannot be seen through mortal eyes. He is in heaven, after all. Even though He is far away from, God has always maintained great awareness of His faithful believers and in return for their faith and purity, they will be blessed.

It is also essential to know that fearing the Lord leads to enlightenment. As such other forms of fear – fear of the unknown, fear caused by unrestrained emotions, fear that the worst will happen, fear of hopelessness, fear caused by interventionism, fear caused by brainwashing, fear caused by being self-centered, fear generated by religion and more – should be disregarded. Faith in the Lord is all what a person needs to have in order live better, to be blessed and to prosper. Having fear of the Lord is part of practicing faith in Him.

The non-believers meanwhile will only struggle and experience hardship. These are the people whose souls need saving. (refer to John 3: 3)

May the LORD give you increase more and more,

You and your children.

May you be blessed by the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s;

But the earth He has given to the children of men.

The dead do not praise the LORD,

Nor any who go down into silence.

Be we will bless the LORD

From this time forth and forevermore.

Praise the LORD!

My take: Psalm 115: 14-18 emphasizes further that God is loving, caring and will keep blessing faithful believers. In return, faithful believers keep living their lives with purity, maintain an unwavering faith and praise the Lord always.

On earth, people were born in the flesh as naturally flawed beings (lost souls) who have to struggle growing up, figuring out life the hard way while dealing with the unpredictable moves of nature and local society. The struggle, however, can end by believing in God, realizing He is real, praising Him and being faithful to Him. This also means that a person must be born again (refer to John 3: 3) in order to be saved and to see God’s kingdom.

People who were born with lost souls, lived life worshiping idols (or completely ignoring them but still failing to realize God’s existence) and later died without being saved truly end up failing  to see God’s kingdom. That is a very sad outcome indeed and not enough people realize that.

In this world we live in, countless forms of distractions hound us all the time. Among them are the idols, both living and non-living, that people seem to be captivated with. The sad thing about following idols in the modern world is that the followers (of the idols) tend to forget and/or ignore God and His Son Jesus. These people don’t realize they became lost souls.

Worshiping idols is futile. None of those idols will ever come close to the power, the love and care of the Lord. Here’s a passage from Psalm 86: 8.

Among the gods, there is none like You, O Lord;

Nor are there any works like Your works.

The gods mentioned above refers to the idols and myths that pagans refer to as gods. David is not acquiescing to polytheism (refer to 1 Corinthians 8: 5-6)

And then there are these powerful words from God from Exodus 20: 3.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

And then there is the passage of Deuteronomy 5: 7-10 which is connected to the Ten Commandments.

You shall have no other gods before me. 

You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

God is the one true god to worship and very clearly idols are not meant to be worshiped. God’s character demands loyalty while idols are worthless. You worship an idol, then you will be lost! Do you really want to waste your life hailing an idol and ignoring God and His Son Jesus? Do you really want to live as a lost and unsaved soul? You may not realize it but you need direction and you need to be born again. You can start reforming yourself to find your path to Lord Jesus by getting rid of those idols (both living and non-living) and focus on Him.

We should all read the Holy Bible and remember that Jesus came to this world and dwelt among people thousands of years ago. He came and spread the good news of salvation and those who believed in Him received the free gift of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit received, the faithful believer will understand the Word of God as well as the nature of God, then develop a genuine heart of worship and become a new creation.

This is not about religion at all. Religion itself will frustrate you and prevent you from truly connecting to the Lord. Rather this is about your personal relationship with the Lord. Any person – including you the reader – needs the Holy Spirit, needs to be born again and needs to become a new creation in Jesus.

As such, if you have been idolizing someone or something, you have been living with frustrations and you really want to be reformed deep inside, then immediately you must decide to stop worshiping idols and look up to God and trust in Him! You have the power to decide for yourself and the good news is that it is not too late for you to be saved.

You have the power to willingly reject religion as well as all of its idols, rituals and traditions that prevented you from establishing a true relationship with the Lord. 

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you.


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

Don’t be limited with hearing. Do the Word!

In the local society we live in, many of us mistake hearing with learning and making a difference with it. Take for example someone heard a rumor that there was gun shooting incident at a certain part of the local community but he never bothered to investigate nor verify how true it is. Worse, the hearer believes in the rumor and starts thinking he knows a lot about it and then he talks about it to his neighbors sounding like it is factual. Think about how many people he misled with what he only heard. Think about the danger of unverified allegations passing from one neighbor to another.

The truth of the matter is that hearing itself is insufficient when it comes to making a difference in life. Hearing only can be misleading if the information heard is false or just a piece of fiction or an exaggeration meant to mislead people. Hearing only gives a person the false idea that he/she learned something valuable. Hearing only is not the same becoming enlightened. Hearing only is not the same as verifying the facts.

In the spiritual life, hearing is not good enough and as believers in the Lord we have a responsibility to not only learn about the Word of God but to act with it starting with applying it in our lives. As believers, we must stop being hearers and strive to be doers. Doers of the Word specifically!

Here’s an excerpt from the Holy Bible.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

James 1: 21-25 (NKJV)

Verses 23 to 25 of James Chapter 1 refers to God’s Word, the purifier of holy living. Purity of life is not a quest for perfection as much as it is a quest for liberation from those things that may inhibit effectiveness and reduce power-filled living. The Word of God is expressed as a means of reflection – a mirror into which we are to look and see ourselves. The Bible has a corrective instruction and also an unwritten lesson. We should avoid the temptation to see (and judge) others in the Word, analyzing what they ought to do, instead of what we need to do.

Moving back to hearing and doing, it is clear that we are better off as doers than hearers. What we learn from Bible Study sessions or learning from the biblical lessons emphasized by the pastor to us during Sunday worship service, we must apply into our lives. We can also spread the good news of the Lord to the many unsaved souls out there and free those who have been trapped by religion. We must emphasize to the unsaved souls that there is more to the personal relationship with God than there is to religion.

Along the way, we should not forget to humble ourselves and do things properly. We can also stop living with the beggar mentality when praying to the Lord. We can also get rid of religion (along with its idols, rituals, repetitive prayers and traditions that have little or nothing to do with the Holy Bible) which has too long been hindering people from establishing a true and living relationship with God.

How to do things properly? Learn again what was taught to us and grow with it. Learn from this passage from the Bible.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of us have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 5: 12-14 (NKJV)

Once we grasp what we learned and do things properly under the guidance of the Lord, we can take action to deepen our personal relationship with the Lord, save the unsaved souls and make a tremendous positive impact on the world. That is an achievement worth doing!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be 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.