Do you truly love God?

And so the Lord says, “These people SAY they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13, NLT)

Now this post is going to be a little different because I’m just going to let us examine our own selves in light of the scriptures. But before I leave you with a few scriptures to consider, I just want to bring something very important to your attention.

Idolatry is a work of the flesh..

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

So just because you go to church (and are all up the pastor and his family’s butt!) doesn’t mean that you love God. The flesh wants to worship something (and to be entertained!). So you could just be worshiping the bible and the idea of Jesus Christ in vain. Jesus told us that God is spirit, and that true worshipers will worship Him in spirit and in truth. This is why we have so many false believers. Because we can not love or worship God in the flesh (with our carnal minds and physical senses).

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

A lot of people have deceived themselves into believing that they love God because they’re all in their emotions and they FEEL like they do. But according to Jesus Christ, we truly love him and his Father when we willingly obey their commands.

So, here’s a few scriptures to consider. Let us take heed and let us truly examine ourselves.

With nothing but love,

Brandi

As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way. (1)

 

(John 14:21-24) “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them. Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, ‘Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?’ Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.”

(1 John 4:20) “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?”

(1 John 5:1-5) “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”  

(1 John 2:15-17) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

(John 15:9-14) “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.

(Luke 9:23-26) “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

(1 John 4:17) “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” 

(James 1:22-25) “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:22-25)

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Forsaking worldly entertainment

 

Now I’m sure that the average professing Christian would think that I’m a bit extreme because I don’t have a TV in my house or listen to the radio.  Also, my husband and I just got through reiterating to our children (as we showed them pictures of basketball players wearing nail polish and purses!) why we don’t even follow professional sports anymore.

You see, the celebrities of this world are being used by satan to manipulate the masses into being (or accepting) everything that God hates. And this isn’t some illuminati conspiracy theory. It’ the truth. Even unbelievers know that the entertainment industry is Antichrist. Yet and still, we have professing Christians out here claiming to be so deep but they’re just as obsessed with Beyonce’ (and Obama!) as everyone else.

I would like to believe that true believers (especially in these end times) would have nothing to do with idol worship but the fact of the matter is that most of us are lukewarm. We love this world! We love it’s movies, and it’s music, and it’s fashion etc. But I’m here to WARN you that if you don’t forsake this world, you will be in danger of HELL FIRE. This world (and everything it values!), is not only Antichrist (in opposition to Jesus Christ) but it is going to burn in the fire of The Most High God’s WRATH.  So it’s time to come separate. We have to make a decision— Are we going to love (obey!) the Lord and His ways or are we going to deny Christ? Which in reality is what we’re already doing with our lives when we emulate these ungodly celebrities and pursue the pride of life. Don’t you know that your covetousness (which is idolatry) and your  guilty SINFUL pleasures are making you an enemy of God!?

“You adulteresses [disloyal sinners—flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, AMP)

Here’s another one:

“Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17, AMP)

We really need to start reading our bibles (and actually start applying it to our lives) because we are living in the Great Deception/the end of time. Everyone, including these celebrities are claiming to be of God but you can tell by their fruit that they are NOT. These people (and their followers) love money, they hate God.

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” (Matthew 6:24, NLT)

So I just wanted to remind you of these things. I could go on and on forever but the point is to guard your heart. Stand strong in the Lord, and on what the bible teaches.

With nothing but love,

Brandi

_Add For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world_ and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith._ (1 John 5_4)

Purifying ourselves

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Blessed are those who wash th (1)

True religion, accepted by God, according to the bible, is keeping ourselves from being stained (or corrupted) by this world (James 1:27) . But there is a great deception (and a falling away from sound doctrine) that causes people to believe that everything isn’t necessarily a “Salvation issue”. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. God is concerned about EVERYTHING we say and do.

There are so many of us fighting for the things of this world (like makeup, “Fashion”, Beyonce’ etc.) when we should be fighting for eternal life. And you may think that the things you love are innocent but that’s the thing, you LOVE the things of the world! Period. And by the way, nothing of this world is innocent. If it isn’t specifically addressed in the bible, that’s because it falls under the categories of unclean or profane. And just in case your pastor never told you, no unclean thing (including a covetous idolater) will enter into the kingdom.

But nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed shall ever enter it, nor anyone who commits abominations (unclean, detestable, morally repugnant things) or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:27, AMPC)

So we’ve got to purify ourselves. Being holy isn’t optional (it’s a command!). I know people like to scoff at righteousness but all it means is living right, according to God’s standards. So let’s not be self righteous (having our own standards of what’s right or good enough) but obedient AND FAITHFUL in ALL things.

With nothing but love,

Brandi

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A few scriptures to consider:

(1 John 3:1-10, NLT ) “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.  Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

(James 4:4-8, AMP)  “You adulteresses [disloyal sinners—flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says to no purpose that the [human] spirit which He has made to dwell in us lusts with envy? But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but [continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].” So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people].

(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, NLT) “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LordDon’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

Being a Glutton

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So now that I’ve proclaimed the simplicity of the gospel, I think it’s important that I also start sharing some of my own personal struggles. And although It’s embarrassing and shameful, I know that there is encouragement and power in our testimonies.

See I want ya’ll to know that I’m not just running my mouth on the internet. I am also working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. And so with all that being said, I’m going to start by confessing that I am a glutton.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

A glutton is someone who eats excessively and voraciously (in an insatiable manner). To me, being gluttonous depends on what we eat, when we eat, how much we eat, why we eat and how we see food. So even though I am a vegetarian, my restrictions from eating meat (personal conviction) and dairy products (due to breastfeeding) has caused me to want to gormandize. I mean, I think about food ALL of the time. Whether I’m thinking about eating it, cooking it or buying it (I love grocery shopping!). And I have become extremely health conscious over the years which in addition to food has become a form of idol worship. 

Now, all of this has just been revealed to me. I never knew I had a problem until I couldn’t control myself (or change my eating habits) as I began to see and feel my health deteriorating. And you may be thinking, “How can a vegetarian be unhealthy?” but a vegetarian is just someone who doesn’t eat meat. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t scarfing down Doritos and Little Debbie cupcakes! But anyway, God, in His love and kindness has given me the grace, wisdom and strength to overcome this if I will swiftly repent. So even though I am just beginning my process, I want to share what has been helping me in case any of you are also struggling.

1. I began to acknowledge gluttony as the SIN that it is

Overeating is just as bad as smoking and drinking (and fornicating!). It’s a lust of the flesh which always leads to death and destruction. It’s idolatry. And it is an addiction. And it will ruin your health just like the other things I just mentioned.

2. I’m praying and fasting

We need to petition God for help because we can’t do what’s good or right in our own strength. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit. And remember, our weapons of warfare are not carnal.

3. I’m slowly eliminating unhealthy foods from my diet

I’ve started by first eliminating unnecessary foods from my menu. The way to do this is to decide what you actually like to eat (that is real and nutritious!) and eat those same things everyday. For instance, I really like lemons, pears, avocados, romaine hearts, tomatoes and red onions so I just eat that. And whenever I start craving other things I just remind myself that I have sin to deal with therefore I ain’t got time to be picky or fancy! And I know that eating the same (or simple things) seems boring in this day and age but quite frankly, as Christians, we shouldn’t be caught up in the hype of food blogs and eating extravagant meals all day, everyday anyway (and especially not if we’re having problems!).

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT)

4. And in relation to the previous passage,  I take it one day at a time.

(continuing with Matthew Chapter 6, verse 34, NLT) “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Another thing I struggle with is perfectionism. It all starts with being unrealistic or a little bit too ambitious. So focusing on one day (or even one meal!) at a time has really helped me not to get discouraged or overwhelmed.

So I hope that this post has been helpful. If anything, I hope that it reminds you to pray for me. God has blessed us with so much beautiful, textured, aromatic, delicious and nutritious real food. And there’s no doubt in my mind that He intended for it to be pleasurable. But the problem is, we’ve gone to far! We’re either eating any and everything or we’ve made real food and good health idols. So let’s repent and get it together.

With love, Brandi

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Since I’m still nursing my daughter, I usually just fast until dinner. But juicing is another great way to bring your flesh into subjection.

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Kale, Spinach, Celery, Cucumbers, Apples and Lemons

 

 

 

Obsessing over demons and conspiracy theories

Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them [by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character];  for it is disgraceful even to mention the things that such people practice in secret. (Ephesians 5:11-12, AMP)

Now I purposely shared the amplified version because I think that in “exposing” evil or in being “enlightened” we can get a little too caught up and miss the whole memo.  YES, demons are real and things like population control and the New World Order are obviously not just theories. But as followers of Jesus Christ, revelation and understanding are given so that we can overcome. People of the world are also interested in these things but the difference is (or should be!) that we aren’t afraid or obsessed with these things. The entire world is under the trickery and wrath (TRIBULATION) of the devil. IT IS WRITTEN! Therefore we know these things ARE and WILL come to pass (happen).

So, the point of this post is just to remind you not to get lost in the rabbit holes. Studying demonic entities and governmental conspiracies (or ungodly celebrities etc.) is as Solomon would say, ALL VANITY. At the end of the day, these things are not edifying. And I know from personal experience that they produce more fear (and idolatry!) than anything.  So, if we must, let us simply expose these things by living out the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not by telling any and everyone who will listen to our fascinations. The bible says that it is a SHAME to even mention what these occultic people are doing.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)

So again, we need to just simply accept the truth about these things and move on. Not being ignorant of satan’s devices. And remembering that knowledge puffeth up but true wisdom (and understanding) will cause you to fear God and live right in the midst of it all. I hope you understand what I’m saying.

With nothing but love and lots of prayer,

Your sister, Brandi

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13)

♥♥Side note: I created an additional page to the blog where I will be simply reading through the New Testament. If you’re interested, be sure to check that out. I would LOVE for you to join me!

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

When desires become idols

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For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Matthew 6:21)

Writing this is bittersweet because I feel like I’m constantly dethroning idols that have infiltrated my heart. And publicly sharing my understanding of this will not only hold me accountable but leave me with no more  excuses.

See we can not seek (or love) God with all of our hearts, when part of it is seeking other things (including someone else). We have to beware of what we set our hearts on because even good and godly desires can become idols.

An idol is anything more important to us than delighting in or serving God (alone). They are our deepest longings. Whatever we are lusting after. Some common idols that I have personally worshiped were things like Control and perfectionism, Prestige (recognition and validation from this world), Beauty, Natural health and wellness, organic food etc. Beautiful homes, My children, My husband (and marriage in general), Entrepreneurship, Ministry, Happiness.. Just to name a few.  And what I’ve learned is that through convictions and restlessness, God frustrates my ideas making it nearly impossible for me to pursue my idols. This is how we know that (or when) a desire has become an idol.

If you (or I!) want something (or some things!) so bad that we begin to sin when we don’t get it (or to attain it), then we have a MAJOR problem and it’s called an idol.  Even if what you want is good! Because I’ve learned that in reality, what I personally desire is only as good as my patience and trust in God for it. If I can’t continue to love and to EXALT God in the meantime, and I become discontent and miserable then I  am not committed to (or delighting in) the Lord. In fact,  I am sinning because my affections, and appetite or cravings shouldn’t be on anything but Him, His Son and their coming kingdom.

Everything (and everybody!) will always be competing for our affections. Especially in this era of technology and consumerism. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with genuinely wanting a house or a child. It’s not the end of the world, but will it be to you if you never get them? Becoming angry (especially toward the things of God ), frustrated, manipulative, covetous or full of self pity are all results of idolizing our desires. So is rebellion. I was notorious for seeking temporary comfort and relief from God’s chastising. In my pride I would turn to things like food, sleep, shopping, TV,  Social media etc. And I don’t know if it’s just me but it’s like I can not worship anything other than God. Of course it’s sin but it’s also tormenting spending all of my time, energy and money daydreaming about, planning for and longing after idols. And the worst part is that they don’t even truly satisfy! Once conquered, we’re always wanting MORE—Bigger or better!

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. (Proverbs  27:20)

So, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you . May we all just delight solely in the Lord in obedience and in hopes that He’ll find our hearts “empty” enough to start storing up His own perfect desires♥♥

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4-5)

Your sister,
Brandi