SERMON OF THE WEAK: “Living Eternally by Francis Chan”

Hey yall! This weeks sermon is by Francis Chan on living for eternity. Sometimes I don’t think we fully grasp the brevity of life… That the word of God tells us that our days are numbered. You and I don’t know the “number” of days God has predestined us to live. As believers God has called us to live in light of eternity. Death is uncomfortable to talk about but its a reality that we’re all going to face one day. And on that day, NONE of the things and pursuits we aim for will mean anything. In light of eternity, there are very few things that matter. Only what we do for Christ will last! Xo
Love yall!
Watch here!

Sermon of The Weak – “Modern Spirituality and Your Mind by Voddie Baucham”

As I stated on my IG page (@SaphinaCarla) I’m starting something new called “Sermon of The Weak”. Every week, I’ll be posting a theologically sound sermon that has helped me grow and that I believe is edifying to the body of Christ. No matter how “mature” we are, we are on a never ending process of sanctification and growth. Feel free to comment, share them, and exchange sermon notes! Heres this week’s sermon..

I’ve listened to this several  times. Once a few years ago when I was somewhat immature in my faith.  I’m going to be honest. The first time I listened to it, I didn’t get it. In fact, I kind of wasn’t really “feeling” it.. Why? Because it completely contradicted everything that I believed about discerning the will of God and hearing His voice. I was more so taught to look for signs and wonders as opposed to prayer and scripture. I was use to trying to “feel” my way through discernment as opposed to concrete biblical wisdom. In this sermon, he breaks down WHY a lot of our ideologies when it  comes to discerning Gods ways are completely unbiblical. I could see why a sermon like this would make us uncomfortable mainly because it goes against what many of us as Christians have been taught. I encourage you to listen to it, pray and allow God to use it to renew our mind!

 

love y’all!

The Capitalization of Christian “Purity”..

Love y’all!

xox

Protect Your Fire…

 

 

candle-flameWe often start off on fire for God. Our lights are ablaze and our lamps are burning brightly. We’re excited about the things of God. We desire His word more than entertainment. Prayer and fellowship isn’t seen as a chore or an obligation but rather something to look forward to. We’re hungry, thirsty, and desperate to see His will unfold. We long for more and more intimacy. Our hunger for righteousness begins to outweigh our desire for sin. We’re on fire and it’s  easily detected by the people who we encounter because fire consumes and lights up whatever it comes in contact with.  Whether it was through the comfort or conviction of the holy spirit in us,the people we were around  were effected by our fire.

But life goes on and without us even realizing it, we begin to allow things to slowly douse our fire. We slowly but surely allow things like sin, un-biblical thinking, and disobedience to gradually draw us away from the One who set ablaze in the first place. There’s a transition from on fire to luke-warm that takes place. We no longer seek out the “wood” found in His prescience to keep the fireplace in our hearts going. We stop praying like we use to. We stop studying His word like we once did. We begin to find a false sense of peace & security in other things that eventually will prove to be un-reliable. We start letting culture become our bible. We allow the tongue that  we once delighted to use as a tool to spread the gospel and share the truth, to now be used to  participate in petty, fruitless, useless, statuses and debates online. We allow our faith and our flame to dwindle and we start to treat the things of God as common. Boredom has now stood in the place of our zeal and divided loyalty has replaced what was once a wholehearted devotion.

And none of us are ABOVE letting our spiritual lives get to this place..

Here are just a few avenues that can lead us there.

  1. OFFENSE and UNFORGIVENESS

We were hurt by another Christian. Rather than dealing with the offense in humility,  we rather just separate ourselves from “the church” all together. We often fail to realize that Christ can’t be dislocated and that you cannot have His head without His body. We need Jesus and we NEED other believers. God has put in place a body of believers, a family of God, meant to build up and edify one another. If you are saved, you are apart of the body and therefore NEED other body parts to walk this walk….

If we’re not careful, we can allow bitterness to take root in our heart because we refuse to forgive or even deal with conflict with another believer the BIBLICAL WAY which is by approaching them privately first. We think we can separate our love for God and our attitude towards our brothers and sisters in Christ, failing to remember that WE are not an ONLY child. God has specifically commanded us to forgive one another and anything short of that is disobedience. Forgive as you’ve been forgiven.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.“. – Colossians 3:13

    2. Unrepentant Sin

God tells us to go right. We go left. Sin is deceitful and often we allow it to deceive us into thinking that it’s temporary pleasure is better than God’s eternal satisfaction. The thing about sin is, the more and more you dwell in it, the less and less you see it for what it is. A destructive cancer that brings about spiritual death. (Romans 6:23)  Our hearts become hardened towards Him  and our reverence begins to dwindle. We begin to minimize His words to just philosophical suggestions as opposed to commands from a Holy God in heaven. Keep your fire ablaze by being obedient.

     3. Dumb Distractions

I remember being a kid hearing  my mom cook all the time. I would be hungry, waiting for the food to be ready. I would want  to have a snack because the food was taking too long, but she would always tell me not to. She knew that nibbling on a snack would make me lose my appetite for the main meal that she had been preparing.

When we begin to nibble on the things of this world, we begin to lose our appetite for God. We lose our hunger for His prescience because we’ve already fed ourselves with words that came from the worlds kitchen. We lose our thirst for prayer because all week we’ve drank from the well of distraction. When we’re already full, whether it be from healthy food or junk food, we’re no longer looking for something to eat. Oftentimes, we’re so full off of everything but God that by the time we’re done, we don’t really have an appetite for spiritual things. Cut off every distraction keeping you from eating at His table.

These are just a few things that many of us struggle with and can be the culprit behind doused fires. If we are saved, God has given us His holy spirit meant to lead us, guide and teach us. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are now able to have this close relationship with God. Throughout scripture, God makes it clear that as His children we are to have wholehearted devotion and loyalty to Him and Him alone. In the book of revelations, Jesus condemns luke-warmness; being neither hot or cold but sort of in the middle. He makes it clear that we cannot serve two masters. My prayer is that God would re-ignite our fire for Him. That we would start with prayer and His word and that we would protect the light that He has given us to shine so brightly for His glory.

 

Love,

Saphina

xox

Remember What You Prayed….

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Remember when you were at the altar during that one church service and you begged God to break you? Remember when you sang about the spirit of God leading you “where your trust was without borders?” Remember when you cried out to God and told Him to lead you and guide you according to His will? Remember when you prayed and asked God to protect you from anything or anyone that wasn’t sent by Him? Remember when you prayed that God would help you to love people better? Remember when you ask God to hide you and to destroy any relationships that pulled you away from Him? Remember when you cried and asked Him to use you for His glory?

While we may have forgotten the prayers we’ve prayed in those moments, God hasn’t.  And while we often think it was our “deepness” and spirituality that caused us to utter those prayers, it wasn’t. It  was the holy spirit interceding on our behalf giving us the words to pray …

Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
(James 5:16) but God is the One who determines how He answers those prayers. And I want to encourage you to not throw in the towel just because God hasn’t answered you in the way you EXPECTED Him to. We can’t pray for “brokeness” and just expect to wake up “broken”. We can’t pray for patience and just expect to wake up “patient”. We can’t pray for God to remove what isn’t His will, and than question God when doors close and people leave. Answered prayer often comes through the form of PROCESSES. Fruit doesn’t just appear, it needs to be cultivated under the right conditions. God has implanted the seed which is the word of God in our hearts, He waters that seed and He allows us to endure trials and tribulations to help bear fruit.

Often times, (especially as women)  we want everything to always be cute and pretty all the time. We don’t want the tears, the sacrifice, or the pain. None of us do. And if we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the emotionalism of Christianity and not the reality of Christianity which is a calling to die to ourselves. If we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the APPEARANCE of crying out to God for more of Him but deep down refusing to go through the proccess in which God may lay out for us to go through. Though crying out to God at an altar is great, understand that there needs to be an altar that we go to daily in our hearts. Understand that when you pray for God to break you, use you, mould you, change you, He will use life and it’s many trials to answer your prayers….

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 1Peter 4:12

So I encourage you to remember what you prayed for. Remember when you asked God to make you more like Him. Remember when you told God that your life was His. Remember when you asked God to hide you. Did we really mean it when we prayed it or was it just our emotions in that moment?

Know that it will get extremely difficult at times, but there is a future glory awaiting us if we do not faint…

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…2 Corinthians 4:17

Idolatry In Womens Ministry…


“Idolizing a minister doesn’t make the SIN of idolatry any less of a sin…”
Social media makes it ridiculously easy to idolize people and their lives. We often look at the lives of others or should I say the POSTS of others, and begin to idolize their IMAGE. The world does this with celebrities and unfortunately, many of us Christian women do this with other women in ministry whom we may admire.. So instead of WANTING the God that she serves, you want the LIFE God gave her. You want the image and you view Christ as a vehicle to help you attain it.. We begin to idolize THEM and their gift and not the Lord. We start to want to be like “them” instead of wanting to be like “Christ”. We’ve become hardcore followers of a PEOPLE instead of hardcore DISCIPLES of Christ.

If our relationship with the Lord is soley dependent on the quotes of a Christian leader and NOT the word of God, that’s an issue… If we know more of their quotes MORE than we know actual scripture, that’s an even bigger issue. Yes God uses teachers, leaders, ministers to edify the body of Christ.. But the main substance of your edification SHOULD NOT be their Instagram page, it needs to be the holy spirit, prayer and the word of God. It needs to be you and Him. As much as they may be being used by God, their words are NOT the gospel and neither is their opinion. 
Our first question shouldn’t be “what would so and so say or do?!”.. Our first question needs to be “Lord what are YOU saying? What does your WORD say? Lead me to the scripture that you want me to read”

Teach Me

I guess you can say, I “preach” a lot on Social media. I do use it as a platform to speak whatever the Lord lays on my heart but I NEVER ever want people to hold onto MY words more than THE WORD. Yes that minister may have blessed you and helped you in your walk, but they ain’t die for your sins. They are not Jesus and let us not dare worship them as such. They are HUMAN just like you and the same spirit dwelling in and teaching them is the same spirit dwelling in and ready to TEACH you. 

“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.- 1John 2:27”

…And if you are a leader, please do not let people prop you up on a pedestal and worship you. It is YOUR job to correct them, not feed into it.

I’m reminded of Acts 14, where Paul and Barnabas were together. There was a lame man ( a man who couldn’t walk) whom Paul had directed to “stand up and walk” and he did. The people were amazed and began to worship them, claiming they were gods. They quickly ran into the crowd and yelled (verse 14)’“Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news,telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them

Paul and Barnabas didn’t smile and say “thank you sis” as people claimed that they we’re GOD. They made it CLEAR that only God is to be worshipped and they were ONLY humans who just served God. This needs to be our heart’s posture ALWAYS.. That we are humble servants of the Lord and His spirit in US is what makes us special. 
Worshippers By Birth

Idolatry is merely misdirected worship. It’s part of our sinful nature. Since the beginning of time, man has sinned against God by worshipping His creation more than the CREATOR (see Romans 1) We love putting things and people on the throne of our hearts. It’s what we have a tendency towards naturally, so it makes sense that we often find ourselves even idolizing ministers in the church. Submission and respect to leadership is biblical, but 1) leaders are there to help lead you towards Christ and not themselves 2) a leader is your LEADER, not your savior.

No matter how holy spirit filled, sanctified, anointed “they” are, they are only human. Keep your eyes and on the Lord. Study the scriptures for YOURSELF and keep God on the throne of your heart, not “them”. ❤️

The Self Righteous Christian Girl….

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I know I’am not the only one who often looks back at their old Facebook posts and cringe at some of the things I used to post on that thing. You couldn’t of told me that i wasn’t “preaching the truth”. I very well may have been but my “truth telling” was drenched in self-righteousness. It was pride and arrogance cloaked in “just keeping it real”. I thought I was better because I knew bible. I thought I was better because of my decision to wait until marriage. I would of never verbalized it at the time because even I was blinded to my own sin of pride and self-righteousness.

Here is my disclaimer: As believers, we are called to BOLDY preach the truth of Gods word no matter how offensive it may be to some people. We are called to preach the gospel, to edify the body of Christ with our gifts,and to sharpen, rebuke and encourage one another. It IS biblical to correct each other as the holy spirit leads us to. (The bible gives us instruction on how to go about this)  But what is NOT biblical, is being self righteous, stuck up and prideful when it comes to our walk with Christ. Often times we feel like because we’ve been saved for (x) amount of years and know more bible verses than another believer, we are now in the forefront of this spiritual competition when there is none. We look down on the baby believer whose fruit still hasn’t fully developed rather than stepping up to the plate and discipling her rather than judging her. We often write people off or deem people as not as “saved” as we are because we read the King James version and they read the NIV. We set up these subtle standards in our hearts that many times aren’t even biblical and we use that to judge other believers by.

Misplaced Judgement….

The phrase “only God can judge me” is a phrase often used and abused by people who want to do them and not be judged for it. (There is a problem when we as believers use that phrase to justify our sin but that’s another blog for another day) But truth be told, it is not our place to judge people who never claimed to be a Christian in the first place. 1Corinthians 5:12 – “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning”…Often we spend more time judging the world than going into it and simply preaching the gospel. We often have our nose up at those who are lost rather than showing them where to be found. Mathew 9:36″When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

LOVE

I’m not going to lie. I do believe the word “love” has been perverted not only by the world but even by the church. We’ve take “love” to mean tolerance, passivity and agreement with everything someone says or does. That is not love. We can love people and not agree with their lifestyle. We can love people and still check them BECAUSE we love them. Love speaks truth because love cares more about your soul than it does your feelings but at the same time we can’t forget the very basics of love.

Love is patient and love is kind.

We’ve probably heard this scripture so many times that we fail to really digest and pay attention to what it truly means but I ask you this. Yes you know the word of God back to front. Yes you love the Lord, but do you love people? Are you PATIENT and KIND towards those who may not yet have a certain understanding of things? Do we have the heart of Jesus when we see people who are lost or are we anxious to cast people into hell and write them off because that makes us feel better about ourselves? It should grieve us to see people broken. It should grieve us to see women who feel the need to degrade themselves for useless approval. It should bring us to our knees in prayer and not to our mouths in condemnation and judgement. I say this with love and sincerity: Don’t forget where the Lord brought you from. It is the grace of God and NOTHING but the grace of God that has saved us. It’s not our church attendance. It’s not our social media pages full of Christian quotes. It’s not our purity ring. It’s not our knowledge of theology. It’s not our cute Christian t-shirts. It is the blood of Jesus. You are where you are because of Him. I am where I am because of Him. I pray that God will give us the compassion of Jesus and take away the condemnation of Satan that we often find spewing out of  our lips often disguised as “ministering”. It is Gods will that EVERYONE be saved. Though there will be some who won’t be saved because of their outright choice to deny Jesus whom He sent, let us never forget our first and foremost duty.. to tell the world about who He is.

1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 

Love y’all so much! xox