Do Good

Galatians 6:10

10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

do good

During the Christmas season, it isn’t hard to see and hear positive phrases and statements all around us. Some of these include the following: ‘Tis the Season; Merry Christmas; Merry and Bright; Peace on Earth; Joy to the World; Peace, Joy, and Love; and Making Spirits Bright. We teach that it is better to give than to receive, and many of us volunteer at soup kitchens or homeless shelters. Even more, we preach the real reason for the season – a Savior is born [Luke 2:11].

Yet, I cannot help but make an obvious observation. This “do good” season fades and life reprioritizes if you will. Schedules are flipped on end and life becomes more about checking off the to-do lists instead of “ministering to His sheep.”

The passage above does not suggest that believers should “do good” only at Christmas time. No! This passage clearly states…”Whenever we have the opportunity.” That statement alone is what you call soul-piercing. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools, hospitals, and the widow next door need you all year round. It’s time that we stop making fitness goals for New Year’s resolutions. Instead, we should make spiritual commitments.

The second part of the passage above tends to sting a bit as well. Just as the enemy would have it, we, as a faith family, tend to be really good at judging one another and tearing each other down while the world sits back and observes. In our technologically advanced world, we can even judge in “silence” and not feel so guilty. This is true modern-day hypocrisy.

Instead of taking every opportunity to do good – especially to those in the faith family, we spend precious time strategizing how to delete friends from social media platforms or spending hours criticizing someone’s social media status. We turn anger and bitterness into false wisdom. The scariest part of it all is who is actually whispering in your ear!

It’s time that we take this passage to heart and ask God to stitch this deep within us. I encourage you this Christmas season to meditate on this “do good” passage in two parts: (A) “Whenever you have the opportunity, do good to everyone” and (B) “Especially to those in the faith family”

I know the Holy Spirit has prompted me to challenge you just as He has challenged me. May the Christmas season continue in and through us all year long, and may we not only do good to everyone but truly live in love with those around us. May your efforts be filled with peace, love, and joy. This takes active work and doing things that most certainly go against the flesh. Be encouraged, and I’m looking forward to hearing how the Holy Spirit speaks to you!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Embracing Shadows

Romans 12:10

10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.

hand shadow

[Interpretive Vision]

Selective attention has caused an irrelevance while I still dance around you. Affirmation, confirmation, and praise flow like milk and honey powering your soul but the engine is the silent prayer filling the war room. Spiritual warfare unleashed repelling spirits causing hypocrisy, pride, and gossip rotting the soil beneath your feet while the Promised Land remained in plain sight. Some will see the glory while others choose to remain enslaved.

We walked hand in hand until the land became more visible. Did the giants frighten you? Why? Don’t let go! I only see milk and honey. The giants cannot harm you. Please keep walking and hold my hand. The excuses are generic and strengthen the enemy’s cause. Time is but an illusion as the sun stands still over the horizon. Distance is but a mirage as both forces attract closing the gap.

Two forces are observed as we reach the divide. Angels are heard worshiping the Lord as the battle for souls intensifies. Satan lifts his baton and draws human praise to prepare for the battle. Personal accolades are his armrest; prideful commentaries are his footrest; and bitter hearts are his crown. You turn around and remain in the desert.

I’m left embracing shadows.


Dear friends,

Continue in love just as our Savior, Jesus Christ, loved us and died for us while we were still sinners. I am burdened, and have been lately, over the hypocrisy and lack of love we demonstrate to our fellow neighbors especially those we call brothers and sisters in Christ. I am beyond thankful that Jesus left the ninety-nine to find the one that was lost. Sadly, our flesh encourages us to do the complete opposite – even as believers.

When wounded, inflicted, and/or oppressed, we leave the one and cling to the ninety-nine wrapping ourselves tightly in gossip and pain. Bitterness finds yourself doing the complete opposite of Romans 12:10. Excuses pave the wave for increased distance and a darkened heart. Expressions of love are replaced with irritation, fear, pride, comparison, anger, disappointment, resentment, and excuses. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He gave us the greatest example of “outdoing one another in showing honor!” The very men who would deny and run away were the very feet being honored!

I firmly believe that one reason the disciples continued in the ways of the Lord was because their feet were honored and blessed by the Savior. He “outdid” them in perfect humility and loved even though Jesus knew they would disappoint Him at one time or another.

So…it’s time to outdo in love and bless those around you. Bless the hands, feet, mouths, ears of those around you. We must stop cursing one another by our actions and words in the name of excuses and bitterness. There may be some in your life that release your hand while speaking death as they turn away; yet, I will always be embracing shadows in love. The power is in your hands. In fact, it’s in your mouth; speak life and love as Jesus does!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Faulty Filter

Hebrews 6:13-20

Inheriting the Promise

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself:

14 I will indeed bless you,
and I will greatly multiply you.

 

15 And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. 17 Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

listen up

After finishing Seedtime and Harvest by Charles Capps, I am more aware of words. Yes, I’m listening! Do you know why?…I’m listening, thinking, evaluating, and assessing because the enemy is doing the same.

Our greatest enemy is waiting for you to employ his fiercest ally which happens to be housed in your mouth. Yes, your tongue has the power of life and death. Sadly, many of us choose to live in the harvest of death. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I am also beginning to understand that you have believed the lies of the enemy far too long, which have conditioned you to repeat exactly what has been spoken over you. As children, we even learned this “simple” concept in computer science. The term garbage in, garbage out has stuck with me since then! This computer concept gives us the idea that nonsense or faulty input data will result in nonsense or faulty output; this is termed garbage. This sounds way too similar to spiritual warfare.

Trust me, the same applies to words! If you allow the things of this world including all the lies to “input” into your soul then you’ll most certainly “output” the same. The output in spiritual terms typically is a greater harvest. So, we have a choice! Do you want a greater harvest of joy and peace or fear and failure?

I’m here to speak truth and disrupt the enemy’s lies by the Word of God. Let’s start out with a bold truth. Satan is the father of lies. In fact, John 8:44 says it clearly.

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

In contrast, our Father, the King of Kings, is incapable of lying as noted in Hebrews 6 above. In fact, God has spoken many promises in His word yet we use our weapon of choice in the form of our words to come against those on a daily basis. If we want a greater harvest of love and joy then we have to speak God’s truths. Stop speaking the lies of the devil each and every day.

~Therefore, when God the Father calls you a child of the Most High King, why do you say you’re worthless? You have a faulty filter!

~When Jesus said that he will be merciful and that he will never again remember your sins, why do you sit in constant shame? You have a faulty filter!

~When God said that He desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, why do you say that you’re too far gone? You have a faulty filter!

~When God said that He so loved the world that He sent His only Son, why do you say God must hate you? You have a faulty filter!

~When God said that He is for you and not against you, why do you see Him as your foe? You have a faulty filter!

~When Jesus said that He came to give life and to give it more abundantly, why do you feel abandoned? You have a faulty filter!

~When the Lord said that He will fight for you, why do you feel beaten up and alone? You have a faulty filter!

~When God said that He didn’t give us a spirit of fear, why are you afraid all the time? You have a faulty filter!

You speak lies because you’ve allowed lies to be spoken over you far too long. It’s time to take back what is rightfully yours! It’s time to step out of the harvest of death and destruction and allow the Holy Spirit to plant a new fruitful land. You have a big part to play in this my friend.

First, fill your heart with God’s Word daily and not the word of the world; remember God cannot lie so bathe in His promises. Secondly, don’t accept or receive words of death or destruction from those around you. Sadly, this may even come from those closest to you.

Challenge: It’s time that we use our words exactly how they were intended – to bring life, to heal, to save, to love, to preach, to teach, to encourage, etc. Remember, God cannot lie, so if you are speaking God’s truths over your life and you hear condemnation or anything opposite from the Word of God, you have a faulty filter and his name is satan…and to that I say…NO!, not today!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Words & Worship

Psalm 19:14

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

sky praise

I just love this passage! God draws me to this verse when my thoughts do not match His and when my words begin to get out of line. This is so important to me that a dear friend from college framed this verse for me decades ago as a graduation gift; it remains on my desk at work to this day.

I am reminded of a very important truth each day when I walk into my office and see this verse staring right back at me. First, my words and thoughts must line up with the God I say I love. As a believer, we are most certainly called to a higher standard. This means that my thoughts – the things I meditate on – must truly be God-honoring. Secondly, my words have eternal impact; they can speak life or death. I must make sure that the words that spring forth are filled and laced with love so that others may be drawn to the Father instead of repelled.

Sadly, some of us appear to understand how to worship the King but fail to love his brother or sister with our words and thoughts out of the same mouth and heart. We are good at raising our hands in worship and lifting our voices but gossip taints the entrance to the throne room. We are good at saying eloquent prayers but the outline of our hearts are burning with bitterness and a haughty spirit. We are good at asking for personal forgiveness while we continue to accuse and imprison our neighbors.

The problem is…this doesn’t match! This is a heart problem. James 3:10 says, “Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers, this should not happen.” This pains me greatly especially when it comes from fellows believers.

Often times, we are looking for attacks to originate from the other side of the battlefield; however, do not be surprised when the fiery darts come from your own camp…aimed right at your back. This is why it is so important to pray a hedge of protection around you along with Psalm 91. Specifically verse 5 says, “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.”

This is also why it is very important to be a part of a community that you can trust and who will always go to battle for you; life groups are a great way to build this kind of true support. I encourage you to find a group that you can build strong relationships, take off those masks, and build chords of trust. Trust is critical when it comes to the foundation of these groups. Gossip and failure to hold confidence have the potential to create lifelong relational fractures. Spiritual integrity is paramount. 

Finally, I strongly encourage you to always filter your thoughts and words through the Holy Spirit. May you think and speak encouragement and never gossip. May you marinate your words and thoughts with love instead of bitterness and revenge. May you walk in humility and dance in the freedom that being a true servant provides. May you marry true acts and words of worship with your daily life so that freedom may spring forth around you.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Sacrificial Community

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Friends and Family Give Strength

Two people are better than one.
    They get more done by working together.
10 If one person falls,
    the other can help him up.
But it is bad for the person who is alone when he falls.
    No one is there to help him.
11 If two lie down together, they will be warm.
    But a person alone will not be warm.
12 An enemy might defeat one person,
    but two people together can defend themselves.
A rope that has three parts wrapped together
    is hard to break.

side huge and love

I’m going through a video series with a small group currently that has both reinforced and challenged our way of Christian living. I am only on video number two and it has completely wrecked me! The speaker, Lisa Harper, made sharp statements that spoke directly to my soul. [Side note] Lisa is a powerful warrior and anointed by the Holy Spirit; I encourage you to look her up.

Lisa reinforced the need for community. I speak about this as much as I speak about spiritual warfare. Honestly, they go hand-in-hand! She said, “We need community. We need to surround ourselves with Jesus loving friends. Those watching the video with you will be the first ones to dive in front of you and take a bullet the next time the enemy fires a round of temptation your way. It would be a good idea to give them a hug.”

This struck me to tears. I know this deeply, but it also reinforced a common theme – sacrificial community. As believers, we have heard this topic of “doing life together” plenty of times. Yet, have you truly thought about your sacrificial responsibility? What a beautiful reminder from Lisa Harper this morning. True community makes an effort, a point and a sacrifice for an intentional relationship. You cannot “take a bullet” for someone if you aren’t sacrificing for others.

We know Satan is out there seeking someone to devour. This is where Ecclesiastes 4:12 hits home for me! 12 An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves. The only way you can defend together is if you are actually together. I truly believe we’ve missed the point as the body of Christ. I’m not interested in Sunday morning hellos, masked smiles, and overly used excuses – no! True community means sacrifice.

I’m here to challenge your current way of thinking. Actually, I’m here to sharpen you. May the Holy Spirit melt your heart into seeking sacrificial relationships. Earnestly seek the guidance from the Holy Spirit this week and put on sacrificial, relational glasses. If you spend a lot of time saying “I/We” then I challenge you to lay these thoughts at the Father’s altar of forgiveness. Sometimes we confuse many things of this world with the largest root of pride. However, pride sprouts the tiniest buds that are meant to deceive and destroy everything around you.

Question: What do you need to sacrifice in order to pour life into those around you?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta 

No Greater Defense

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

under God's Wing

I have a few places of pure peace and sanctuary: my whisper spots where I pray daily [yes I have more than one spot because I am in more than one place in a day]; an altar praying and worshiping; and on a long road with running shoes laced and earbuds tuned to my favorite praise and worship songs. Honestly, when I look back at this list, I would probably say my favorite time to worship, listen, and speak to God is when I’m running [gasp – I know!].

For some, this sounds more like a punishment; yet, for others this is about as close to God as we can get. Granted, this message is not a reinforcement or advertisement for running [even though that WOULD be a good one!]. No, this message came straight from the Holy Spirit today while running down a dusty road, worshiping, praising, and praying.

I found myself pulled into one song – Your Love Defends Me by Matt Maher. Granted I’ve heard this song many times, and it is most certainly on my favorites list. Yet, today was different. Don’t you just love how God points out something you’ve heard before, seen before, and maybe even done before and makes it…NEW! Ah…the God of wonders! Well, this is exactly what He did for me today.

If you have never read or heard Matt Maher’s heart behind this song, I strongly encourage you to read it. Here is an excerpt: “To put it simply – evil is in the business of accusation but God is in the business of raising up testimony – of who He is and what He’s done. This song talks about how God is a defender.” ~Matt Maher

[click below]

Matt Maher: Behind the Song

 


Trust me, this hits home!

When seasons change and persecution commands a mighty front:

~Your Love Defends Me

When closet faces find their prettiest mask to shield the evil behind:

~Your Love Defends Me

When hidden lies create spiritual craters in the souls of the innocent:

~Your Love Defends Me

When pride and bitterness corrode strands of unity one piece at a time:

~Your Love Defends Me

When the snarls of the devil are masqueraded behind the elite:

~Your Love Defends Me

When enemy forces catch the tunes of the worshipful seconds after vocal escape:

~Your Love Defends Me

When accusations replace affirmations:

~Your Love Defends Me

When personal opinion ruptures Godly wisdom:

~Your Love Defends Me

When excuses strangle the sin of judgement:

~Your Love Defends Me

When the tongues of the Pharisaical lash endless assault

~Your Love Defends Me


I’ve been on a deep spiritual journey that has taken me along the highest mountaintops and some of the deepest valleys that I’ve ever been on in my entire life! Nevertheless, I am learning each and every day that God’s love defends me and He never leaves me.

Trust me, I would love to “try” to defend myself, but I’ve learned that NEVER turns out well [ha!]. It would almost look like young David putting on King Saul’s armor trying to defeat a giant – that would be David trying to defend himself. That wasn’t the plan. He let God defend him, and we know how that turned out – victoriously! What did David do? He showed up and let God do the work with a sling and a stone. I expect to do the same then! So, I do pray Psalm 91 over myself, my family, and my friends. Yet, today it reached a deeper meaning. So, be encouraged today! His love defends you too!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Interpersonal Engagement

Job 2:11-13

11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

Engagement

During a recent quiet time, this passage popped up and it truly made me stop and think. Most of us know the story of Job, but we honestly fail to give more than five seconds of credit to his friends for their initial reaction to Job’s suffering. Let’s all understand that when these three friends heard about Job’s suffering, they set out from their homes and went to be with Job to offer sympathy and comfort.

What I love about the emotional engagement flow picture is that when Job’s friends saw him from a distance, they transitioned from sympathy to empathy. These friends could barely recognize their dear friend; they began to weep aloud and even tore their robes in complete mourning.

Let’s make a very clear statement: The only way you can move from sympathy to empathy is if you make an intentional step to see someone’s pain.

These men had to literally leave their homes to go visit their friend. Those that know me well know that I speak of encouragement just as much as I speak of spiritual warfare.

Let’s make another very clear statement: If you are seeing from afar then you are not truly seeing at all.

What does this mean? If Job’s friends would have stayed in their homes, they would have never seen Job’s suffering for what it really was and would have never emotionally moved across the interpersonal engagement flow.

Another good example of showing interpersonal engagement is offering your physical presence without saying a word. Often times we feel as though we have to offer immediate advice, suggestions, and personal opinions. Yet, this is not warranted in many situations. We see from this passage that no one said a word for seven days. I love this!

Here’s yet another very clear statement: Sometimes the hearts communicate when the mouths cannot.

Now granted…the moment these friends started talking, things went off course. Just because you have a word does not mean it’s from God nor does it mean it’s good advice. In fact, Job 42:7 says, After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”

Sadly, I know I’ve done this a time or two in my life. In full transparency, I can be too quick to offer advice, and just because it “sounds good” doesn’t mean it’s from God. I won’t get into all the other components of this book. I simply was pierced after reading this passage.

However, I most certainly wanted to challenge you with looking at how you fit on this interpersonal engagement flow. Some fall immediately to pity and never move because of pride, resentment, and judgement while others have a spiritual habit of landing right on compassion every time.

Questions: Where do you land? Do you move by making an effort?

Challenge: Where do you fall typically on the interpersonal engagement flow? How can you make this an exercise this week?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

 

Unraveling

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

warrior

The devilish storms collide as I watch pieces of faith unravel around me.

~Hard pressed on every side but not crushed.

My eyes see your squall filled with your venom but my ears only hear silence.

~Perplexed but not in despair.

Norms are replaced with abnormalities to persecute, pierce, and punish.

~Persecuted, but not abandoned.

The evil grip punctures my heart and your forked tongue relentlessly plants lies.

~Struck down, but not destroyed

Abandoned and deserted while pride, hypocrisy, and judgment rise all around.

~The life of Jesus may be revealed in our body.


Before walking out of my house each morning I pray that God would help me put on the full armor of God. Honestly, I imagine Him dressing me as I pray over each piece. This image brings me both strength and joy.

However, no matter how old I get or how “seasoned” of a believer you are, you are truly never prepared for an all out war! This is why I like the picture of the warrior who dropped his sword but his eyes have not moved while he is picking his sword back up! They are firmly planted, and trust me…the only way we can survive is to not only put on the full armor of God but to also keep our eyes firmly planted on the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-3

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I pray that you are courageously wearing your armor. I also pray that you are fixing your eyes on Jesus while you run this difficult race of life. The war is real and some seasons are more difficult than others.

I had a dear friend recently tell me that the hard pressing will result in “diamond-faith” if you allow Jesus to use it for His purpose and stop fighting it. “Diamond faith” is created under extreme heat and pressure! We often want to fight God and yell, “TIME-OUT!” Yet, He just wants you to stay in and rely on Him – the result – perfection! I am thankful for this word as it encouraged me and renewed my faith.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Vapor

James 4:14

14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Vapor

Dear friends, I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. I was blessed to spend my time with my family most of the day on Sunday. There is nothing sweeter than worshiping our risen Savior together followed by a wonderful meal and hours of fellowship and laughter. However, not all families experienced such bliss and excitement.

You see, some families were experiencing heartache, separation, resentment, and even death. My spirit is heavy today because I have witnessed so many emotions these past few days. For the most part, we continue to live our lives in complete spiritual apathy.

~We rob God of the greatest gift of worship because we are prideful and rebellious humans. Sounds very reminiscent of the Israelites in the Old Testament.

~We expect tomorrow to present itself in the same way today did and the days before that because – well – we are the kings and queens of our world and the sun will always rise on our watch.

~We fill our cravings with artificial satisfaction because we are ultimately trying to fill a hole that only Jesus can seal.

~We sit in rebellion in the presence of the Almighty because frankly tradition tells me you are to entertain me.

~My hands were made to create money to fill my pockets; they surely won’t be seen lifted high for the Lord.

~We witness a beautiful soul sing for the last time with failing human breath; however, in less than twenty-four hours, she is singing with endless tone in the presence of the King!

If only! My prayer is that everyone would truly encounter the living Savior. Trust me, you wouldn’t be sitting if you did. I do not apologize for my boldness in Christ Jesus.

~Would you sing for Jesus like you had twenty-four hours to live?

~Would you dance for Jesus like you had twenty-four hours to live?

~Would you share your faith like you had twenty-four hours to live?

I ask these questions because this just happened to someone we know; it’s shocking; it’s unfathomable. Yet, it’s exactly what Jesus teaches. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, but we are walking around in our little kingdoms expecting the church to glorify us, praise us, minister to us, entertain us.

May your soul be pierced today.

~Live everyday like it’s your last!

~Love others as you love yourself.

~Lead your family into deeper relationships with Christ.

~Disciple those around you and continue reaching.

~Be on fire for the Lord.

~Don’t stop until He says to you face-to-face, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Challenge: Change your apathy into an unquenchable appetite for the Lord. Don’t stop! Always remember – you do have a choice! Your life is made up of millions of choices.

Question: What choices will you make to glorify God in this life?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

The Love of Hate

1 John 3:7-10

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

warfare

This is how we know! John doesn’t beat around the bush when he talks about demonstrating love for one another in this chapter, and I’m smiling from ear-to-ear because I love a clear picture!

You see, The Bible makes it very clear that true Christians do not remain in sin because as John stated in verse 9, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.”

Let’s not miss the next verse, “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother or sister.”

Let’s get the obvious statement out of the way: Yes, even Christians sin because we are human and still waging war in fleshly bodies. This is where God’s grace comes into play. However, true Christians should not remain in sin or even promote various sins (e.g., socially acceptable, culturally acceptable) because true Christians have God’s seed planted in them.

We must look at the entire chapter of Romans 6 for great clarity [read below]

Romans 6 (NIV)

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.


To be completely transparent, it pains me to see brothers and sisters professing the love of Christ on one hand but spewing hate, gossip and lies as fast as they can turn around [ie., hypocrite]; this is deceitful, dishonest, and the work of the devil. It is not for me to judge who is a child of God or not. However, true Christians should be bearing fruit and dying to self daily.

Some of us are planting “bitter kisses” on the cheeks of our friends, relatives, fellow believers and strangers just as Judas did to our Savior long ago. There is no difference. This might sound harsh, but I do not apologize for God’s truths. John states is very clearly when he said in verse 8, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.”

I do want to encourage you! God is the ultimate deliverer! You do not have to remain in bitterness, anger, addiction, ______________[fill-in-the blank]. Remember, sin doesn’t have to be “your master.” Allow God to fully transform you! This requires fully surrendering your life.

Jesus doesn’t care if you’re ten, sixty, or ninety. Heaven rejoices anytime someone comes to the Savior! Do not let pride prevent you from receiving this freedom. I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve been in church my whole life. I can’t tell anyone that I really didn’t know Christ!” I’m here to tell you that you must rebuke Satan from telling you those lies. I strongly encourage you to evaluate where your heart is today and this Easter weekend. Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for you and me. This sacrifice means living our best life for Him!

Challenge:

(A) If you find yourself living in sin, I strongly encourage you to go speak to a strong Christian mentor; this could be your pastor, minister, or a really good Christian friend whom you trust completely. Pray together and begin an accountability relationship where God can protect and fight for you.

(B) If you find yourself being a stumbling block to those around you because of your own personal sin, I encourage you to seek God’s forgiveness and lay those burdens down at the cross. Again, I encourage you to develop strong accountability relationships with Christian friends that will help you on your walk.

(C) If you find yourself lost, seek the assistance of a pastor, minister, or good Christian friend. Even if you are the person who has been “in the church” for decades but realize you are the Pharisee and not the disciple. Don’t let pride get in your way of your eternity.

(D) If you find yourself the hypocrite – the person who claims to be a Christian but your fruits are that of the world, I strongly encourage you to ask God to cleanse your soul. Seek assistance from strong Christian friends or even a minister who can encourage you daily and help you in your Christian walk.

The point – 1 John 3:10, “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother or sister.”

Thankful,

Christian Armetta