When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong - Part One

Hello HHLL Readers!

Sometimes life is too real.  In fact, it is so real that it’s wrong.  Our life gets too real because for a lot of reasons (or excuses), the lifestyle we have been living is all we have come to know.  For other reasons, it is so real that we get stuck and forget what is really happening.  

Usually we like to function just for the moment- with or without a substantial goal.  We generally focus on worldly things that are insignificant in the long-run while we avoid the spiritual things we need to do in the short-run that will prepare us for the long-run.  Again, we focus on our desires that will satisfy us immediately but run away from the tough choices that will give us complete satisfaction in the future. 

As a society, we do this because we don’t want to wait for any satisfaction.  Our culture is like this because we have been conditioned to seek instant gratification.  When it seems everyone is doing the same things you aren’t too sure about committing yourself too but would like to join, eventually your mind can persuade you to find the thing acceptable prior to your submission, not knowing the future consequences. 

Due to this, we hurt ourselves by taking in everything that appears to us- that which looks good- hoping it will in turn save us by filling the hole of incompleteness some of us feel in our hearts.  Mysteriously, that hole does not get filled and the pattern of needing to fill it up starts again.  Unfortunately, this is our world’s addiction.  This is partly because a lot of people still have no knowledge of God, who He is, or what He decrees.  And others, who call themselves Christians, say they believe in God but they do not do as he says.  The atheists as well deny God’s existence but at the same time they exercise their free will.

Perhaps, though, if you are reading this blog you may have read what was written in James 4:14- “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (NIV)  What then is the meaning behind the verse?  And what, exactly, is a mist? 

A mist is something suspended in the air; particles of water floating in the atmosphere.  It is a phantasm… an illusion.  It is unsubstantial and transitory.  A mist, or vapor, is temporary as it is short-lived.  In effect, our lives are like this mist or vapor.  It exists, but only for a short while.  Also, during its brief existence it can be hard to tell what is in fact happening- as sometimes, one cannot see through the cloudy mist.  So, the mist is there for a moment and then in the next one, it has vanished.  Well, what happened to the vapor?  Did it evaporate without a trace?

The point of this verse, though, is to remember what we have forgotten.  We must remember where we came from; namely, our roots.  Our origin came from God, and we must remember him.  God gave us his word and covenant of eternal life.  Although our lives are vapors that can evaporate in any moment- the time of which we cannot predict- God still gave us his word and we should abide by his commandments.  Overall, God’s word is a help for us.  Even if we are here briefly, for a moment, shouldn’t we keep God in our lives?

However, following God’s commandments are difficult for people to adhere to because they want to follow their own directions and make their own paths.  These types of people are “keeping it real” because Earth is real to them.  These people do not see life apart from Earth.  They see life as a process from birth to death, and nothing afterwards.  They do not understand that God’s commandments are simply instructions that will give your life order.  But they are also God’s decree, and His word is final, and as such, they should be taken seriously.  Since our lives are in fact a mist, we must be diligent and have a sense of urgency.  This is because we do not control the time we are born or the time we are to die.  Hence, God gave us the commandments- although our lives are a mist- so we can remember God.  The commandments are also a heavenly requirement, as Heaven is orderly.

If we do not see the sense of urgency in God’s commandments, then they are of no use.  Not obeying them will not be of any benefit.  As well, we will not receive a personal invitation from God that will allow us to enter Heaven.  But just as the vapor appears for a short time, so do our lives.  Our lives are the appearance of what others make of what they see.  The key word though is “see.”  We are talking about perception.  God, however, does not look at your appearance as people do.  God can see past the outward appearance and therefore looks inside of you.  He wants to see your heart.  He is looking there in your heart to see if you have kept his commandments and not strayed from them.  Likewise, our job is to share the Gospel, but we cannot make someone believe if they are always perceiving what is on the outside.  God is dealing with an internal matter and He alone can change perception by opening the hearts of people to see Him for Himself.  So even when people are “keeping it real”, are they keeping it real with God?

What I am writing should not be a scary thing to understand, but it is something that one should be reading in a serious manner because I hope it will bless you.  The purpose of the bible verse I selected of James 4:14 is to highlight the overall theme of the chapter, which is to obey God by humbling yourselves.  Specifically, submit yourselves to God and his orderly plan for your life- which is God’s will.  Please don’t let the appearance of the world justify your decision to turn away from God’s commandments.

What are the 10 commandments of God?  (Find them in Exodus 20)

Remember them and do them.  Keep trying until doing them becomes a daily habit like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, or drinking water.  When you remember the commandments, you are remembering God, and God will remember you.  The devil will flee from the one who is putting their spiritual life back in order because that person will be dedicating everything about themselves to the Lord.  As before, we were in bondage- in spiritual slavery in Egypt.  Our God delivered us out of Egypt.  Let’s work on our spiritual connection to Him by remembering him.  By doing so, please share your story so others will start to remember what really matters in this vapor of a life- which is God, who gave us the life, but who also gave us free will to come back to His will.  So, I’m asking you to not “keep it real" with your life.  I am suggesting that you “Keep it Right.”

The Ten Commandments (Source: Wikipedia)

1.    I am the Lord thy God, thou shall not have any gods before me.

2.    You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.

3.    You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

4.    Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

5.    Honor your father and your mother.

6.    You shall not murder.

7.    You shall not commit adultery.

8.    You shall not steal.

9.    You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

10.  You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, or property.


Opening Your Mouth: A Matter of Life or Death

Hello Readers!

Life is both hard and good but you either tell the truth or you lie.  When you lie, you are in fact hiding.  You could be hiding your persona, your actions, or hiding a situation.  On the other hand, telling the truth makes life easier to bear (in the open).   And, when you tell the truth there is no need to hide (hence, lie).  But, do tell the truth in love.  Without love, the truth will be harder to accept.  When you love yourself, you can accept truth told by anyone.  As well, when you love yourself, you know how to discern between a truth and a lie. 

Therefore, the opposite of love is hate.  We often seek love, but hate seems to come to us easily- although it was not sought.  But how can you seek love when you seek it through hiding, lying, and fakeness, which is away from your true self?  Also, how do we know when someone is lying or being truthful?  If we are to choose love wisely, we ought to watch our mouths and despise hate.  Additionally, we must observe people over a period to see if their behavior matches their beliefs.

Did you know that our words have the power to speak life or death into lives?  For example, our word comes from God who is our Heavenly Father.  He spoke life into us here on earth with one breath.  As such, He is a living God; the only God- the one and only true God.  There is power in God’s word.  Therefore, since God created you with His breath, there is power in your speech and word (which uses breath).

A truth is a blessing so that means that a lie is a curse.  So, when you speak in truth, you’re giving life to the person who hears you.  Subsequently, when you speak a lie you are killing anyone who hears the lie, including yourself.  A lie cannot be the truth and the truth cannot be a lie.  Yet, humans desire to welcome a lie over the truth, just because a lie is easier to believe and is more comfortable than a truthful thing that is uncomfortable to bear- which sits well in the spirit of sinners.

Although the truth is not easily accepted in certain situations, learn to commend yourself for doing a good thing.  Don’t stop telling the truth because someone does not want to accept what was spoken.  Likewise, do not convince yourself into lying for the benefit of others so that they may be comfortable with hearing a lie.  It would be far better to bless someone through your words instead of condemning them to eternal death by cursing them with lies because you have power every time you speak.

News flash!!!  Everyone has a sin/problem to get over.  These sins/problems are bad, not only because God tells us not to do them, but because they hurt us.  God does not want us to be hurt.  But to teach us about himself, God lets us be hurt so that we can know His love.  If we are to love God and ourselves, we need to speak His language.  His language is love.  His being is also love.  He is living, and his language gives us life.

Although God is deity (divine), he is also our Heavenly Father. He is unlike our earthly parents in the respect that He loves us but grants us mercy and grace.  Only He can provide grace and mercy through his power.  And since He is our father, He likewise will love us unconditionally as our earthly parents should naturally love their children.  Because He loves us, He wants the best for us.  That is why He wants us to speak life with our words and not death.  Our earthly parents should do the same; they should want us to speak life and not death.  Parents must lead by example to protect each generation with love and life.

God, therefore, teaches us to be like him by being fruitful in the Spirit.  Speaking like God will bring us the fruits of the Spirit.  Speaking from the flesh will bring us death and sinning.  But don’t fear!  Yes, you have power!  God gave us the ability to speak, just as He placed the Holy Spirit within us, who is constantly at work in our bodies with its power each day. 

Also, with the power of the Holy Spirit, some of us have been gifted with the ability of language (tongues).  This world has many languages.  Some people are talented in speaking, interpreting, translating, and others are skillful in teaching languages.  Yet, to speak a language successfully, the context must first be understood, which takes much practice, patience, and building our command of words, grammar, and comprehension, etc. over time.  Furthermore, when learning to speak a language other than your mother tongue, that language’s culture cannot be separated from the language-learning experience.  Culture and language always go together. 

So, we must interact with people who speak the language who come from the culture where the language is mainly used and/or derived from. (*This means find a conversation partner to practice your language abilities!)  Thus, we must study God’s language, which is love.  And, God’s culture is love.  Studying God’s word will bear us fruits of the Spirit.  By studying and acting (a.k.a. “doing”) we will become disciplined in this language of love and life- which both gives and sustains love and life.

In conclusion, do not lie.  Tell the truth.  If you tell lies, you will be eternally dying.  If you tell the truth, you can live.  But to live eternally, you need God.  Your soul is the most important thing at stake, so that is why we speak life through love.  God is love and He is the one that offers us eternal life.  He used His mouth to give us life at the beginning, He is giving us life now, and He will also in the end.  It will be prudent of us to study the fruits of the Spirit and test ourselves according to them daily to see if we are worthy of God blessing us with eternal life on the last Day.

I encourage you to become disciplined at reading God’s word, seek help in its understanding, apply it to your life, and start producing results.  In fact, speak the fruits of the Spirit to manifest into your life.  You have the Spirit, as do all peoples on the earth.  It is inside you already.  You are a fighter.  And you have been fighting every day.  But, please do not give up.  This I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

(*See previous blog for the list of the fruits of the Spirit and the list of the fruits produced from the flesh.)

A Believer’s Character Is Apparent

Hello Readers!

A believer’s character is apparent, that is through adorning the Gospel of Jesus.  The bible states there are two kinds of fruit a person can bear: one is of the Spirit; the other is of the flesh.

When you are a believer (of Christ Jesus), the fruit of the Spirit blooms the following traits in you:

§  Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control

And, the opposite traits of the Spirit- what we call as the fruits produced by the flesh- are as follows:

§  Sexual immorality, Impurity and debauchery, Idolatry and witchcraft, Hatred, Discord, Jealousy, Fits of rage, Selfish ambition, Dissensions, Factions and envy, Drunkenness, Orgies (and similar things)

It is clear to see by the above characteristics which fruits are being nurtured in a person. The desires of the Spirit and the flesh are battling against each other.  They do not mesh well together.  Yet, it is better to follow the Spirit than give in to the flesh, because when you act in the ways of the flesh, it is acting against the Spirit and taking you farther away from God. 

We need to let the fruits of the Spirit grow, paying careful attention to the word of God and cautioning ourselves from dangerous acts, but it is really hard to do so in this fallen world.  The way to combat the devil’s evil snares is to build up our personal relationship with God.  This means truly focusing on the best way we can get to know God. 

Make sure to devote your time specifically to Him.  We need help to do this.  It seems simple enough to decide to read the bible, pray, and go to church.  However, sometimes life gets in the way and stops us from accomplishing those things- because reading the bible, praying to God in the name of Jesus, and attending church is something that the ruler of the earth (Satan- for now) does not want you to be doing.  

But let us never fear the devil.  God has a plan and help for us.  There is also a church that calls you to learn from them and to serve with them.  A little-known fact: Satan doesn’t mind you going to church.  But, Satan’s plan is to twist God’s word against you to make you head towards acts of the flesh.  (Never mind about him but keep going to church and reading up on the bible and praying.)  Perhaps therefore when we pray to our Father God in Heaven and read the Gospel of Christ Jesus, it reinforces the bible-based lessons we learn in church so that we can stand against the devil’s temptations and attempts to destroy our lives.

I am probably preaching to the choir, but we the elect know that the world we live in will continue to accept a people complacent with less courtesy, less etiquette, low morals, no standards, and no quality.  Our society will continue to be complacent with entitlement, lack of empathy, and inequality.  Nowadays, we are too agreeable with lies, with too few fighters for justice- not only in the legal sense but in relationships with the people around us- at home, at our jobs, at schools, in our communities, or whatever our case may be.  When we are a society built up of people who are bearing the fruits of the Spirit, then shouldn’t we all be blessed? 

As it stands, the world has left the believers in a tough spot.  Therefore, believers should not falter, because we ultimately know beyond a doubt that we have a savior in Jesus Christ and we have been forgiven of our sins that we made through our acts in the flesh, because we do them every day, although it is hard to avoid them.  Yet, we continue to work on ourselves in the hopes that the Spirit will bear fruit in us and make us stronger than the day before.  If God could turn Saul into Paul, the Apostle- a man who delighted in the murdering of believers before he fell at the sight of God and turned to praising Him and preaching the Gospel- don’t you think that God will forgive you for the sins you’ve committed and let you start fresh each new day?

What I would like to say is that as a human being, relationships and communication are important to live.  These things contribute to our growth, personality, how we handle certain situations and how we treat people.  Overtime we develop a way of life, sense of standards, and a type of spiritual health- which can be in good or poor standing- due to the choices we make by living in the Spirit or by acting from the flesh.  But how would our walk through life appear if we did not have God as our guiding Father and Jesus Christ faithfully walking by our side, even when we don’t have faith in ourselves?  Jesus never-ever loses faith in himself.  Moreover, when you humble yourself and your ego in action, deed, and thought, you will without a doubt gain more access to God.  This is because God communicates well with those who pray and read the word- which has been passed on through the bible. 

Let us stand still and bear fruit with God.  Allow ourselves to grow.  Let’s be courteous to all and proudly blossom in full view of everyone.  Our growth will be clear and cannot be denied by anyone, and this will put them to shame.  Your growth in the fruits of the Spirit will have others wanting what you have and asking how to be like you.  There are people, though, who will be afraid of you and intimidated by your gifts so much that they may try to provoke you.  Just know that they are acting in the flesh.  Although they act with evil towards you, do your best to not repay evil with evil, so as not to lose your cool.  Either come up with a way to relate with them as best as you can bear or remove yourself from the toxic people and/or environment- as it clearly states in the bible to avoid such people- so you will not take on their habits.

Fight back?  Don’t fight back?  Turn the other cheek?  Well, this is what we do as believers: we fight by humbling ourselves to God first.  We pray for God to divinely intervene.  Then, abiding in God’s word and He in us, God will fight for us.  God is our Heavenly Father who loves us always, even when the world is tough, and we can’t see past it or love ourselves enough.  So, we must give God a chance to love us by showing him we love him and are thankful for showing us His mercy and for that, we seek to communicate with Him and have a genuine relationship with Him.  He is waiting to prepare a place for you and will pour out His Spirit, and then, you will bear plentiful fruit- the kind that there is no law against and will not lead you to death.  Therefore, the one we should all be concerned about getting to know personally is God through acknowledging Jesus Christ and his death to be our savior.  For he is risen and has forgiven us, and his mercy is upon us now.  We must bloom in the fruits of the Spirit and he will not withhold his blessings from our harvest.