Sunday Praise: Putting Effort in God’s Grace


Pasto JJ Lopez (princesdailyjournal)
Sunday praise: Putting Effort in Grace. “Carry God’s grace without condemning. We are here to love humanity. Love everyone and not condemn everyone. Like Christ, we are here to accomplish God’s law.”
— JJ Lopez, Minister of Music
Matt 5:17; John 8:1-11

JJ Preaching the Testament of Christ’s purpose in the law of Moses. Jesus set out to love humanity and not bring down destruction to the world. It’s Religion that brings destruction not Christ. The relationship that we have with God is Christianity! One thing to note is that JJ has lost his sight but he walks and sees clearly in the spirit of The Lord. Amen!

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Weekly Spiritual Digest: God’s Time is Beautiful


prince's daily journal: god's time is beautiful

What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭9-12‬ NLT)

This verse reminds me of my darkest days in High School, when I did not believe myself to be intelligent or competent–or even handsome–to accomplish the dreams that I have set out for myself. Left and right, my peers would put me down for anything I said or done that they didn’t see as “cool.” I struggled, for 5 years, to find my identity; more so God’s “wondrous” plan in my life, which I thought at the time was non-existent. But I am here to say that it does exist and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The moment that I realized God’s beautiful timing, was when I reconnected with Dr. Cornel West in Boston, Ma,–a place where I have called my second home. When I saw him, I cried because of what I have done since his phone call: I graduated from High School; obtained a college degree; traveled to Oxford and Washington, D.C.; established an apartment of my own in Boston; created my own career path; and attending Law School.

For 8 years I endured pain and disappointment. But when I saw Dr. West that night (from the time I heard him as a teenager, to that night I saw him as a man) I realized God’s Timing–and there are still great things to come for me.

Each accomplishment (and each failure) of my life were like music notes to a symphony. But when God strung them together and conducted them like he did that night (in Boston), it was just beautiful. It was one the greatest symphonies I have ever heard. And it would not have happened without God’s Timing.

So when times are ugly, remember that God’s time is always beautiful. You may think that you are suffering now, but remember that God has a trick up his sleeve to show you personally that His time is always beautiful.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Be Golden! Let the Fire Refine Your Faith!


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So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

(1 Peter 1:6, 7 NLT)

This verse came to me on May 18th, 2014, when I was listening to a word of God from my pastor Jaime Perdomo at my church, La Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vida. My Pastor, preached to me and to the congregation (in Spanish) on how our faith is like gold–but far more precious.

At first I could not fully understand his words, but when he so passionately repeated, over and over, on how necessary it was to put our faith over the fire–the trials and tribulations–so it can become Gold in Christ, I was totally floored. And it was at that moment that I finally understood his sermon and God’s plan in my life. For the first time, everything became clear:

The many fires in my life (or the trials and tribulations) were not there to torture me. The fires in my life were there to REFINE my faith, so it can BECOME GOLDEN–so I can become strong and pure in Christ.

Thank you Pastor Jaime for reminding of God’s plan, for showing me that the fires in our life are there to refine and purify my faith.

So this week and beyond, see the fire (or trial and tribulation) in your life for what it is: a tool which you can use to refine your faith and Be Golden in God’s Eyes!

Sunday Praise: Your Faith is Like Gold! (Pastor Jaime Perdomo)

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Be Happy In All Things!


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Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭16-18‬ NLT)

There’s no time to complain. Count your blessings and be grateful for what you have. When we give ourselves to Christ, we are in his complete care. Life will always bear down on us but never lose faith in Christ or stop praying to HIM. His will is for us to be happy in all things!

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Plant Seeds of Everlasting Life in Heaven


Flickr, "soil" by theresa wallis

We Harvest What We Plant

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. (Galatians 6:1-10 NLT)

The Book of Galatians, which is found in the New Testament, comes from a letter written by the Apostle Paul. Paul writes to the Galatians to help settle a divided issue in the Galatian Church: If the Galatians should give up their freedom in Christ in order to serve the Law of Moses once again? And in doing so, Paul uses the story of Abraham, who was alive during the time when Law of Moses was administered, to show how his faith in Christ was more justified than the decrees in the Law of Moses.

In this verse, Paul tells the Galatians (as well as us) that we harvest what we plant. In other words, helping those who have sinned, through humility and kindness, without falling into temptation, we are fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives. Not boasting about our work, because we are not that important than anyone else, makes us responsible for our own conduct. And most importantly, not getting tired from performing good deeds will reward us with a harvest of blessings in our lives.

There are benefits from each act, which Paul describes!

When we help one another, shouldering each other’s burdens, while pleasing the Lord, we are actually planting seeds of everlasting life in Heaven. So, when it does come time to harvest our crops, we will reap a harvest of blessings for ourselves and for others too. Remember what Paul says,

“Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”

So this week, plant seeds of everlasting life in Heaven. Help one another, so your harvest will be filled with blessings!

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Weekly Spiritual Digest: Do Not Criticize & Continue To Live For the Lord


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Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.

Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants?

Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.

If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, 

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God. ’”

(Romans 14:1-4, 6, 8-11 NLT)

In this scripture, Apostle Paul reminds us of Jesus’ teachings: “Do not judge others and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged”  (Matthew 7:1-3 NLT)

As children of God we serve only one Master. And as such, we only answer to HIM for our mistakes and our sins. Don’t act as Lord or Master of others just because you feel the need to correct their mistakes or beliefs. Who gave you divine rights to be master of men and women?

So don’t waste your time and energy; judging and condemning those who don’t share your beliefs or morals. Our time and energy is better spent on HIM. God has already accepted those who eat and pray differently than us, so don’t worry about it and enjoy Life! Like a servant to his master we must also learn to respect the wishes of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Be loyal and faithful to HIS teachings because HE has given so much onto us–and HIS love is eternal.

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Weekly Spiritual Digest: Do Not Fade Away w/ the World


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Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17 NLT)

Why does the world offer us things that we crave most (love, lust, power, etc), when really they bring detrimental damage to the mind, body, and spirit? And why is it we put so much pride in worldly possessions (such as a car) when really it isn’t made to last?

For months now, I have written these type of posts, shedding light of this terrible phenomenon, but it seems as though that my peers and the people around me have not yet come to grips that world is actually fading away–along with everything in it.

Enjoy life and the things that God has given unto us– the trees; the water; the air; the warmth of a fire; people; natural landscapes; exotic places; beaches; the holy spirit; faith; etc.–and stop pursuing things that we know in our hearts are wrong. If we stop craving for everything that we see on a daily basis, then the world can actually heal and grow–and we can once again cultivate the fruits of our labor.

The World is fading away so it’s high time that we stop investing in worldly desires; and start investing in Godly desires. The rewards of man, and the world, are limited compared to the rewards that are stored up in Heaven!

 

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Be Good In All Things


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“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”(Ephesians 4:25-32 NLT)

The Book of Ephesians was actually a letter written from Apostle Paul, to the Ephesians inscribing a vision for their church, while imprisoned in Rome. And in this letter, Paul does not only give an overview of God’s works in the past (and present where God is saving and transforming people who believe in Christ) but gives practical directives of how Christians should live their life–which can be applied to every aspect of culture and life.

There is no debate that lying is wrong and that evil behavior destroys relationships and lives. “Being Good In All Things” means letting go of evil behavior, and acts that does harm to others. As this verse says, “we are all parts of the same body” and as such we must do our part to keep it clean–an unbathed body is never a clean body.

So this week, practice being good in all things. Cleansing your mind; your body; and your soul from evil is like cleansing your body from unwanted dirt. Using slander or harsh words is like, not brushing your teeth in the morning.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Golden Rule


rockwel

The Golden Rule

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12 NLT)

Unlike the parables and riddles that Jesus uses to demonstrate the magnificent wisdom of God, Jesus tell us as it is: to respect one another–there is no hidden agenda. The Golden Rule is self-explanatory and it does not need a scholar to explain its significance.

In a world that is blinded by jealousy, envy, hate, greed, competition etc., we sometimes forget how precious the Golden Rule really is. It is the answer to all of our problems, but yet we are too timid to apply it because of egos and ignorance. Until we remember to cherish and practice The Golden Rule (as Jesus points out), we will never solve the problems in the world (such as poverty) nor save the relationships with the people that we love in the world.

So this week, cherish and practice the Golden Rule with the people you surround yourself with and the strangers that you interact with. There are no exceptions to The Golden Rule; it applies to all cultures of life. There is a reason why it is Golden.

    

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Logical Reasoning Behind Love & God’s Commandments–Owe Nothing Except For Love


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“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” (Romans 13:8-10)

The Book of Roman demonstrates Apostle Paul’s legal mind for understanding the broad scope of the gospel in his letter to the Romans. And the one of basic understanding that he establishes to the Romans, is that all human beings are sinners. However, it is through his strategic reasoning that he explains how the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the belief of the forgiveness of sins through Christ, is a way to gain new life in the Holy Spirit. And so what we see here is logical reasoning at its finest.

In his argument, Paul establishes that Love fulfills the requirements of God’s Law because Love does no wrong to others. He proves this by showing how sins such as adultery, murder, stealing, coveting etc does wrong to others.  If God’s Commandments says to not commit these sins, then it implicitly shows that these sins does wrong to others. Therefore God Commandments equates to Love because Love (or Loving thy neighbor as yourself) “does no wrong to others.”

So owe nothing to anyone except for the obligation for loving others. Loving others does not do wrong to others and it fulfills God’s Commandments: do not commit acts that will harm others!

Don’t Forget To RATE PRINCE AS “VERY” GQ at www.gq.com

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Endure So Your Faith Will Be Stronger


English: Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve M...

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT)

Like weights in the gym, Life bears down on us with each new trouble of the day. And instead of allowing life’s troubles to push us down into the dirt, we must push back; and make life’s troubles our bar bells to make us strong. The same way that people go to gym to make their bodies strong, we must also look at life’s troubles as an opportunity to make our faith strong in Christ.

So this week, exercise your faith and make it strong in the face of life’s trouble–sweat if you have to. Endure the pain, so that your faith can be stronger. People who exercise their faith once a week (Sundays), expect their faith to be strong; but that is a misconception. Like physical exercise, faith is a marathon.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Set Your Sights High; Wake Up and Live!


Heaven

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” (Colossians 3:1-10 NLT)

This verse, along with others, are the teachings of Apostle Paul. And in this verse he instructs us all that the real treasures are stored in Heaven; not on earth.

What I love most about this verse is the philosophy of material wealth and how it can not be compared to the wealth stored in Heaven. We are so easily distracted by the things on earth that we forget to look up to the sky. We work so hard to obtain material wealth that we forget how little work it takes to obtain everlasting peace and rewards from Heaven. Why is that?

Why do we attempt to please the world, when the world does not please us? God gave us the world to live and to enjoy his creation– not to worship it.

We are so enslaved to the rewards on Earth [“Material Wealth”] that we force ourselves to do unsatisfied labor. And then, there are those who would commit wicked deeds (lie, cheat, steal, slander, and back stab) to gain the rewards from Earth. Until we break free from this “mental slavery,” we will never enjoy what life [or Heaven] has to offer.

So this week’s spiritual lesson is to set your sights high and stop looking down to Earth and ‘quarrel everyday, for you are saying prayers to the devil I say’ [Bob Marley].–Bob Marley even knew that Heaven is not on the Earth [“Get Up, Stand Up“]

Let go of the things that are Earthly, for it breeds evil and wickedness, and humbly receive (and perform) the things that are Holy and righteous.

Break free from mental slavery; wake up and live!