I did it!! Seriously, y'all have no idea how proud and happy I am to have read the Bible in its entirety in 365 days. This has been a goal of mine for quite some time and to be able to mark it off my list is definitely an accomplishment. I took a HUGE risk writing about my faith and my thoughts on God's word here on the blog. You hear all of these dos and don'ts for bloggers when you first start out and usually the first two things on the list of things NOT to blog about are faith and politics.
And honestly, that's just sad. It's disturbing to think that because I want to share my views and beliefs that I would be labelled a blogger to avoid or not follow. Well, I stand firm on what I believe in. Furthermore, at the end of day this is my blog. As such, I deem the right to talk about any and every thing that I want to. I follow and read blogs of other people who aren't Christian and don't believe in anything. That's their right. I don't pass judgment on them in the least.
Now, this week was all about the detailing the return of Christ, the purging of the evils from the Earth and Heaven and rebirth. We get to read about what signs we need to be on the watch for, how the Earth and those who have renounced God will be destroyed and more importantly we get an inside glimpse of what Heaven is really like. We've seen movies try to recreate it but reading about how Heaven will look just leaves me in awe of the opulence and luxury that God is surrounded by on a daily basis.
I've learned to "[b]e merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh" (Jude 1:22-23). At the end of day we have the power to lead to others to Christ. And I think a lot of times, we as Christians do ourselves a disservice by not showing mercy to those we consider sinners. We're all in their face with it's my way or the highway, when it really should be God's way! The saying tells us that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Likewise, we can lead and entice more followers to try to at least read the Bible by extending a merciful hand to help save from a life wrong living and eternal damnation. It's all about approach people. Also, we need to look at ourselves and "[c]onsider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place" (Revelation 2:5). Remember to let him who is without sin cast the first stone. See what's in your closet that you need to repent for before even attempting to condemn someone else.
"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown" (Revelation 2:10). Always trust in God. Always keep the faith. People ask me how can I stay so positive in the mist of everything I have been through and this scripture is it. God is with me no matter what I'm going through. These trials on Earth are worth the rewards I reap later on here on Earth and definitely in Heaven.
God has assured me that "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8). Better days will come and for now I choose to hold on to the thing and one person who is forever with me-my faith and God. It's always my hope that no matter what material blessings God gives me in the future that I will stay humble and never adopt the mindset that I can buy way into Heaven or that I don't need God at all (see Revelations 3:17).
"Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil , or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him" (Revelation 12:7-9). Honestly, it still puzzles me as to 1) how could Satan turn his back on God who created him and gave him life, 2) think he could defeat God and take over heaven and 3) convince other angels to join in on his foolish and clearly not well thought out scheme?
I mean seriously, Satan, you tried to go to battle against God who's immortal and can't be killed. He's all powerful remember? So, even if you and your angels had killed all of the good angels and other hosts of heaven, with a wink God would have been able to destroy and defeat you and your army.
Revelation 21:19-21 describes Heaven as have wall "made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls each ate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass." You got yourself thrown out of the most loving, peaceful, wonderful, luxurious, comfortable, compassionate, joyful and righteous place ever!! Like really y'all was trippin' fo' real!
Trust me, when I make it to heaven, I'm not even trying to sneeze wrong and get kicked out of there. To be able to be in a place where sickness doesn't exist, where I will be safe and where I won't have any needs except to continue giving thanks for God and all he's done is a dream I'm working hard to achieve by following God's commands. If you think not living right isn't fun or worth the effort then you need to read about the seven wraths of God in Revelations 16.
There's the wrath of sores, the wrath of the sea turning to blood and all the sea animals dying (bye bye seafood), the wrath of the fresh water turning to blood (bye bye drinking water), the wrath of the sun (got sunblock because you're going to need it and them some), the wrath of the beasts's defeat, the wrath of preparation that dries up the Euphrates and unleashes three demonic spirits and last the wrath of the world's worst and most destructive earthquake ever!! Nope, I don't want to have to experience or suffer through none of that. I rather live like I'm supposed and getting ascended into Heaven along with his other faithful servants.
At the end of the day I try to remember this "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars- they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Revelation 21:6-8). We have the power to determine where we end up. God has given us free will, He has sacrificed His son and now He's shown us what we have to look forward to if He keep our hand in His and repent when we fall short. I hope pray that each of us chooses well!
I've been humbled and grateful by the support that I have gotten for my Bible 365 posts. I've said this a million times before, but thank you, thank you, thank you for reading and commenting. I can't properly put into words how much your support has meant to me. I hope that in some way if you're a Christian, I have inspired you to become closer with God. And if you're on the fence, I pray that I inspired you to at least see what the Bible and being a Christian is really about.
Also, Happy New Year's Eve!! I'll be posting a recap of how I did with my resolutions/goals from this year tomorrow. And then Friday, I will post about what I will be working hard to accomplish in 2014. Hope to see you in the New Year!