Tag Archives: Jesus

Live with a Vision!

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On the surface God’s power is not always visible, but the person of faith knows that God is there, no matter what!1

After all…

 

His glory covered the heavens,

And the earth was full of His praise.

His brightness was like the light;

He had rays flashing from His hand,

And there His power was hidden.

Before Him went pestilence,

And fever followed at His feet.  

(Habakkuk 3:4,5)

One can persevere by living with a vision1. If you had a vision of a savior that could do this: 

He looked and startled the nations.

And the everlasting mountains were scattered,

The perpetual hills bowed….

The mountains saw You and trembled;

The overflowing of the water passed by.

The deep uttered its voice,And lifted its hands on high.

The sun and moon stood still in their habitation;

At the light of Your arrows they went, At the shining of Your glittering spear.

(Habakkuk 3: 6, 10, 11)

But then, when you heard the voice of the almighty this happened:

My body trembled; My lips quivered at the voice;

Rottenness entered my bones;

And I trembled in myself,

That I might rest in the day of trouble.

(Habakkuk 3:16)

“Looking back at how God brought me through”

But I remembered how you have brought me through before so I declared: 

Though the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail,

And the fields yield no food;

Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,

And there be no herd in the stalls—

 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength;

He will make my feet like deer’s feet,

And He will make me walk on my high hills.

(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.

Love, Ms. B

1. Goldstein, C.R. Remembering God’s Fame. Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.Pacific Press Publishing Association, Idaho. p.68.2013.

The invitation

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Beep… Beep…. Beep…

It was so regular, that beeping that meant he was still alive. It wasn’t supposed to end like this, she thought. No, not “end”. Don’t think like that!

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It wasn’t a typical Friday night. She wasn’t at home eating alone. He asked her to come with him.

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“You’ll like it, it’s a surprise!”

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She hadn’t had anyone care enough to surprise her, at least not a good surprise. They put lard in her locker at school. They put discounts for camping stores in her bag with accusing yellow post-its: “Tent is the only size you wear”. They nicknamed her Shibo. It was a pretty creative insult, she thought. Probably someone into anime coined it.

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He picked her up. He didn’t comment when the car dipped as she got in. Instead he said “You look nice”. He drove for what seemed like 30 minutes and then he stopped in front of a small chapel. The lights were on. She could hear singing.

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He said “We’re a little late, but better late than never”.

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He opened the door, they walked up the aisle to the front. People from school – there’s Shannon, the paraplegic, and Brent the geekiest guy ever, and Catherine. What is Catherine doing here? She sells herself to guys. She doesn’t belong here. What is this?

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The singing stopped and the leader started to speak.

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“I asked my youth group to be fishers of men. I said to them, invite someone, anyone that they probably never even said more than “hi” to. Just walk up to them and ask them to join us tonight for Bible study…”

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Her mind wandered… The Bible? There is nothing in there for me. I’m fat and ugly and unforgivable… look at him, he’s so handsome… intelligent… perfect.

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The leader continued “Most of you believe God exists, but don’t think he has anything for you…”

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Does he exist? What God would give me this life…

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“But God sent his Son Jesus to die for anyone that will accept him as their Saviour and Lord…”

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Anyone? Even me…

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“Let us sing…”

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He leaned over and whispered to her “Surprise!”

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He’s so close to me. Is this a trick. Why would anyone care for me?

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On the way home he asked her what she thought. She didn’t make a commitment but she was willing to come back next week. She had a tract clutched in her thick fingers.

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“That was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. Thank you.”

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Beep… beep… beep

How did this happen she thought to herself. It was four weeks since that Friday night. Tonight was the night she accepted Jesus Christ as her saviour. She had just stepped out his car, before not even thirty seconds passed when she heard the crash.

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She prayed simply : Lord, I…  I don’t know what this means. You said not one sparrow will fall unless it’s Your will…. Lord, he is so much more than a sparrow to me… please … help…

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Beep… beep… beep

-~-:-~-

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Hey everyone, 

This is my first try at some fiction. I hope you liked the story. Thanks for reading.

Angie

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It’s been three months, three months of bliss – three months of pure undefiled happiness. Each moment reminds me of a day spent in paradise, and every time our eyes meet, I cannot imagine a day without you in my life. Slowly it grew, like a vine creeping and crawling, slithering into the heart and mind. A fondness, a feeling, a flame so famed by its well known alias ~ LOVE… but was the feeling and flame the same.

Was it truly love?


I sure thought that it was. A love that formed its roots within the deep recesses of my heart, a love so unexpected, so unique, that I couldn’t tell the end from the start. It certainly was something of an enigma – unknown, uncontrolled, uncanny, unmatched. From sweet slumber I’d rise feeling inexplicable delight knowing that you sir was a part of my life. Smiling every day, feeling no pangs of pain, numb to disappointment, in fact there was no hurtful thing to come my way and if it did, I wouldn’t know its name – for to me before you, life was just mundane.

Oh such a sweet romance, gently idling by the phone listening for your special ring tone, hearkening to your heavenly voice, everything you said was gold, blocking out the world’s noise. Plans made creating pockets of time that could only be shared with you, these would soon become memories to reflect upon when we’d say our “I do’s”. It’s been three months, three months of moonlit walks, and candle lit kisses, savory foods and delectable dishes. It’s amazing how much we’ve connected over the meals shared in spots that are now more to us than just the places that supplied our fare, yes much more, they’ve become a notch on the timeline of our love.

It’s been three months, three months since our first kiss shared in the dark of the universe where there was only us, and I knew, I knew it was true because for me, you were more than a dream, you were the epitomy of what it meant to be a soulmate – you were a soul-me. Three months, three months since I first noticed the way my legs twitched every time I felt your lips. It’s been three months, three months since you showed me what a gentleman truly was, a man who would lift me off my feet just so they wouldn’t have to touch the scuzzy streets. It’s been three months, three months since I first knew what it felt like to be wrapped in the arms of a man who truly knows how to love… three months. Three months and you wait till the clock is about to strike midnight less two on the eve of the new year that crashes through, and you say as you look into my eyes and hold me tight in your arms, “Will you be my boo?” and I respond “Yes” but was I just unleashing the storm all because I chase after the one?

Is he “the one?”

All that’s been said without a mention of God, not a gentle prayer whispered or a request for guidance whistled, no… just an uninterrupted spiral of sentimentalism over the man who seems to glisten. Is he truly the one when there’s no time left to consult with God about the one whom the heart He (the creator) gave you, craves for? THE ONE who made you, who knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), THE ONE who knows what’s best for you, is  THE ONE whom you deprive of telling you whom you should allow into your life.  God is THE ONE who can help you choose, who knows the inner workings of “the one” you claim is for you. Without His direction, this connection is destined to fail, so save yourself the heartache and please let God’s will prevail. Do not make the mistake of the many before you, mistaking “THE ONE” – Your heavenly Father, for the “the one” – a mere man. Let THE ONE true God lead you to finding “the one” i.e. the helpmeet Jesus-picked and chosen for you – that’s when you will experience true bliss –pure and undefiled happiness. This is the only way you will know a love so true!

Here are  some great articles  you should check out!

~How to Find True Love~

~Grain of Faith Blog~

Love well

Always,

Ms. B

T.H.E O.N.E Part 2

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Have you ever heard the phrase…”Parents just don’t understand”…. I am sure it is fair to say that “Men just don’t understand!” Sometimes I feel as if I am screaming at the top of my voice and no one (especially the one I’m talking to) can hear me. Why is it that men just can’t hear what you’re saying. I mean after all, you call yourself my better half and yet it seems that when I think something – you do not, and when I form this thought into words, you speak a different language. Of course you must be thinking I’m crazy, how can I possibly expect him to know what I’m thinking? Well I don’t, BUT I do expect that we will communicate in such a way that our thinking patterns and understanding of each other’s needs and wants coincide. Unfortunately expectations are funny that way, because while I thought my better half and I would share no language barriers, the harsh reality is when women speak, men hear dogs barking, birds chirping, cats meowing, or donkeys braying…cause they sure don’t hear what you’re trying to tell them. Many of my educated sisters may say “I am at a loss as to what to do because I have tried to dumb it down or intellectually spice it up but it just does not seem to work!” “I could even say it in the three or four different languages I know, but it is no surprise that these attempts to communicate the simplest of things prove futile.” Can you feel the frustration?

Scene: Jane and John sit on the couch, Jane rests her feet on John and says 

“Honey I’m stressed out!” John gently touches the soles of her feet. 

Jane thinks it is the beginning of a wonderful massage, however it stops there. 

Jane is not satisfied and wants more so she gently touches him and says “Can I have a back rub too?” 

He responds with a pat on the back, two strokes of her feet and 

a touch of four of the five toes God blessed her with. 

Jane is left dissatisfied, and stumped as to the disconnect between 

the words that left her mouth and those which entered John’s ear.

 

Lost in translation much?

It seems that in relationships it is truly important that when partners attempt to communicate with each other despite the apparent language barrier, they need to be fully connected to God as were the apostles during the day of Pentecost. When the apostles were preaching to men of different nations who literally spoke languages different from their own, this audience of foreigners was able to understand the apostles perfectly. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, when these apostles who were Galilean spoke, the men in the audience heard these things in their own language (Acts 2:4-12). The apostles through their relationship with Christ received the Holy Spirit who then made their Aramaic/Hebrew words comprehensible to the hearers who spoke Latin, Persian, Arabic and perhaps more. How much more then can the Holy Spirit do for us in our relationships? If we would but commit and consecrate our lives to God and seek to understand His will, what a blessing we would receive when our mouths are opened or our ears are perked. God has the power to give us great depths of understanding and eloquence of verse just as He did for Moses who was fearful to speak before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:10-12).

 

Daily, we rely on our mobile phones as a constant means of communication, but there are times when we call our significant others and misunderstandings result due to dropped calls or poor reception. No fault of yours of course, but your patience wanes and the decision is made to switch phone services. Well people you should leave  AT&T and Verizon, Bmobile and Digicel, and switch to the most reliable communication service there is – ‘Jesus Mobile,’ for there is no service provider more efficient, reliable, and inexpensive as when you dial with or to a Jesus line. Calls are crystal clear, all cell towers function optimally without interruption, dropped calls are non-existent, and an in-service interpreter is always there. When it’s time to communicate with your spouse, significant other, friend, relative, and even your foe, just call on your Jesus mobile because only He can soften the edges of our would be sharp tongues, and improve the acuity of our faulty hearing. Only He can allow us to speak, hear, and listen in love. His is the best intepretation/translation service, whose capabilities surpass Google Translate and Rosetta Stone. He is the only one who can make our relationships stronger via clear, comfortable, communication because He is the one who works on the heart, improves the mind, teaches us love, and cleanses the soul. Listening to, and learning our partners is linked to loving our partners, and the better we love them, the better we can communicate with, and listen to what they say, even when no words escape. 

 

So ladies…. Is it that men  are deaf or they just don’t understand or is it that we simply need to switch our lines of communication?

Here’s an interesting link which describes how we ourselves can become language barriers and how we can improve on this ~ Communicating God’s way ~

Hopefully Clearly Speaking,

Ms. B

Oblivious or Obtuse?

Dealing with death

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One Saturday night last year, I got a call from my sister.

Sis: Hey, do you know where your parents are?
Me: No. I didn’t see them on Skype or anything.
Sis: Okay, I’ll call you back.

I thought nothing of it but ten minutes later my phone rings again.

Sis: Hey, what are you doing?
Me: Nothing much. What’s up?
Sis: Can you sit down?
Me: Ummm okay… what’s wrong?
*Pause*
Sis: There was a bad accident…. and…. he didn’t make it….

This is how I found out my only brother, who had turned 25 just days before, died.

Where do I start? I felt disbelief, shock, grief, out of control. My legs physically buckled… I couldn’t even sit up in the chair. I felt deserted by God for a few seconds. Until, for some reason, all I could keep saying, almost mindlessly, was “Thank God, thank God, thank God…”.

But why was this my response? Unfortunately, many people would blame God, ask why He would allow this, wonder what we did to deserve this punishment.

Well let’s look at Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians:

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.
1 Thes 4:14.

Paul also advised for us not to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope:

God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thes 5:18.

It is hard with our limited minds to understand God’s plans but he has promised us a “hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).

Months later, and lucid, I know now what I was thanking God for:

  1. For allowing us to grow up in a Godly home and for giving us the gift of His son; my brother had given his life to Jesus (i.e. become “saved”) at a young age so I was assured of his fate.
  2. For sparing my brother, his wife, and my family from a life as a vegetable. I saw pics of the accident online (regrettably) and heard the autopsy reports; if he had lived, he would have been severely brain damaged.
  3. For granting my brother 30 years filled with true love, amazing travels, a dream job, and unique experiences.
  4. And selfishly, for letting me talk to him one last time on his birthday.

So for those dealing with the death of a loved one, meditate on the above verses and take comfort in knowing that our multi-faceted God is Jehovah Rowi (our shepherd), Jehovah Shalom (our peace) and Jehovah Raffa (our healer). So lay all your grief at His feet, embrace His peace, and let Him heal your pain.

Finally, give thanks for the time you had!

God bless!

Angie

The Christian fast

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Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

Proverbs 25:28

English: Mahatma Ghandi The centrepiece of Tav...

Well the Lenten season has just started, and for a lot of Christians this means they are taking part in an annual fast. I’ve fasted a few times before for Lent, whether it was giving up meat, chocolate or biting my nails! However, last year was the first time I actually thought about what fasting meant and what God wants or intends when you fast.

What is fasting?

According to the CARM Dictionary of Theology, a fast is “the act of depriving oneself of food for a period of time for a specific purpose, often for a  spiritual need”. Fasting is also defined in the book of Esther (4:16) in this way. The purpose of fasting in the Biblical sense is to draw closer to God. Isaiah 58 says that when you fast in an acceptable way you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and he will say: Here am I” (Isaiah 58:9). By drawing closer to God, we allow him to come near to us (James 4:8).

Fasting is also a part of our faith walk as it helps us to practice self-control:

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8)

The point of fasting is not to punish yourself, but to give up some worldly indulgence so you can focus more attention on God and his plans for you.

How do we fast?

Before you fast, it is a good idea to pray to God that you have a successful and effective fast. Dedicate your fast to God and thank Him ahead of time. A simple yet effective prayer you can use is in the words of David when he was in the Desert of Judah (Psalms 63:1):

 You, God, are my God, 
   earnestly I seek you; 
I thirst for you, 
   my whole being longs for you, 
in a dry and parched land 
   where there is no water.

Secondly, remember that your fast is a private agreement between you and God. You don’t have to announce it on Facebook or Twitter and you don’t have to go around moping about how hungry you are. In fact, this kind of hypocritical behaviour was admonished by Jesus (Matthew 6:16-18).

Most importantly, while fasting, you should spend some extra time talking to God and studying his Word. There are many examples in the Bible that show fasting should be accompanied by prayer:

Luke 2:37 The prophetess Anna (an 84 year old widow) never left the temple but worshipped night and day “fasting and praying”.

Acts 13:2-3 Barnabas, Simean, Lucius, Manaen were at the Church in Antioch “worshipping the Lord and fasting” and  in verse 3 they “fasted and prayed”.

Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 Jesus told his disciples that faith as small as a mustard seed would make nothing impossible and this would not happen except by “prayer and fasting”.

Daniel 9:3 Daniel, while asking God to spare Jerusalem from their ongoing punishment for their unfaithfulness, pleaded with “prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes”.

Why should we fast?

Sometimes a more specific purpose than becoming closer to God may compel us to designate a period of fasting. Perhaps you have been blessed with two job or school offers and need to make a decision on which one to accept. Perhaps you have a huge exam or presentation coming up soon. Perhaps you are trying to decide whether or not to move to a new place to fulfill your dreams. Perhaps you want to quit smoking, break up with your girlfriend or buy a new house. All of these are examples of huge decisions where a fast can be beneficial. Many people in the Bible fasted before making life-changing decisions or undertaking important tasks:

Exodus 34:27-28 Moses fasted for 40 days and nights while talking to God and before delivering the Ten Commandments to the Israelites.

Acts 14:23 Paul and Barnabas fasted before appointing elders to their Church.

2 Chronicles 2o:2-4 King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for Judah while he consulted God on the army that was coming to make war.

Ezra 8:20-22 Ezra proclaimed a fast amongst the Israelite exiles returning to Jerusalem so that they would be “humble before God” and have a safe journey after 70 years of captivity.

Unacceptable fasting

I’ve already hinted that unacceptable fasting is the type undertaken to show-off your “righteousness” or when it is done outside of seeking God. A lot of people fast as a way of seeking forgiveness for their sins or punishing themselves. There are examples of fasting for repentance in the Bible:

1 Samuel 7:6  The Israelites sought forgiveness and fasted after they gave up their foreign gods.

Nehemiah 9:1 After returning from exile the Israelites confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors and fasted.

Joel 2:12 The Lord asked the Israelites in Judah to return to him with fasting after a divine judgement (an invasion of locusts) threatened starvation.

What we must realize is that these examples are in the Old Testament, before the coming of Jesus. If you are saved, your sins are already forgiven through Jesus’ death, and no amount of fasting can make them “more forgiven” (Hebrews 7:25). If you feel the need to fast after you have sinned, keep in mind you are already forgiven and your fast should be about coming closer to God so that you can avoid making the mistake again.

Furthermore, obligatory fasting to observe Lent is not true Christian fasting. Every year on Ash Wednesday, many self-proclaimed Christians (I was one!) give up something for Lent because their church/priest dictates it. For many years I followed the tradition mindlessly, not thinking about what the meaning of fasting was, not getting any closer to God, not praying or reading my Bible any more than usual and just going through the motions. It was not fasting, it was just dieting. As a warning against mindless and vain fasting we must remember the apostle Paul’s words to the Colossians:

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Finally, fasting does not only have to be giving up food. For example you and your significant other could fast from each other (1 Corinthians 7:5). In fact, you can fast from anything that you feel is distracting you from God. You could deprive yourself of television or youtube for the week and use the time you would have spent watching to do a Bible study. The point is to spend more time listening and talking to God. Who knows what life-changing aspect of God you could discover in that week!

So if you are fasting for Lent, or on your own, don’t forget the purpose and don’t forget to take the time to pray and meditate on God’s Word.

Have a blessed fast!

Angie

Check out a prayer for fasting

I love him … but he’s not a Christian

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Hi 3G readers!

Marriage Day

I am a firm believer in only dating guys that I can see myself marry. This saves me and them from unenjoyable relationships of convenience, and from investing in something with no long-term future. Further, if you’ve read my Valentine’s day post you will know that I believe a true loving relationship is defined by God, so it begs the question: can we really have a romantic relationship with an unbeliever?

A long time ago I met a guy who I really liked. We were totally compatible: we liked similar things, we were both ambitious, we could agree to disagree without getting defensive or aggressive, I could talk to him about anything, our parents were friends, and we had fun when we hung out. He was perfect… except he was an atheist. The truth is, he is still one of my best friends. But I knew we could never be together romantically unless the Spirit of God moved him.

The Bible says:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

A lot of people, believers and unbelievers alike, find this text difficult to swallow. I can even understand if one thinks this command sounds almost elitist. The truth is that God is saving us from a lot of pain by instructing us in this way. Relationships are commitments. Commitments ALWAYS involve compromises. Let’s say you and your unbelieving significant other decide to get married. Do you get married in a church or on a beach? Who will perform your ceremony? A priest or a justice of the peace? When you have kids, do you raise them in the Church or not? Do you pray openly before meals or out of respect for your lover, pray silently in your head? These are not trivial questions. As a believer you should strive for all of your life decisions to be in line with the Word. There will be compromises in relationships but are you willing to compromise the Word of God for your husband  or wife?

What about people who have different beliefs? For example, I have always admired the devotion that my Muslim friends have shown to worship. Praying many times a day, fellowship with other Muslims, studying the Koran from very young and truly living their life in line with the tenets of their faith. And even though a lot of their moral beliefs are common to Christianity, the same compromises would be evident in a long-term relationship with them. Can you truly pray together? Which faith would you teach your children? How would you deal with contrasting beliefs? I grew up in a household where I attended two churches because my parents belonged to two different Christian sects. It was difficult as a young person deciphering which “side” to take. And this was a cause of dissension for me as a teenager. When I chose one church over the other, this resulted in a strained relationship with the parent whose religion I chose to forego. I’m definitely not saying I wish my parents never got married – I thank God that they did! I just want to illustrate the problems that can arise from simply disobeying God’s instructions for your life.

Now I must highlight that I DO NOT believe that this text means we cannot be friends with unbelievers. Paul says it best:

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. (1 Corinthians 9:19)

How else can we expect to spread the Gospel and win souls for Christ if we do not befriend unbelievers! Jesus himself was a friend of corrupt tax-colletors and sinners but Jesus was unwaveringly secure in his mission. God does not forbid friendship with unbelievers BUT he does not leave us without warning:

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Beware of immoral and obscene friends and friends who encourage you in activities that are unholy, unBiblical and sinful.

Now the acute reader will ask “Why can’t we be in a relationship with someone and just convert them to Christianity before we get married?” Isn’t that a little backwards? The Bible didn’t say “Yoke with unbelievers and then convert them” nor can you yourself “convert” someone. Only the Spirit of God can make someone a Christian (1 Cor 3:6-7). Be honest with yourself. Are you using your “spreading of the Gospel” as justification for being with this person? Further, if your relationship is the only motivation for the conversion, this is not a true conversion. Beware of the person who professes to be Christian just to be in a relationship with you. It’s on you to observe their behaviour over the course of time to see if the words on their lips match the thoughts in their heart.

So to wrap up, God has given us basic advice on who makes an appropriate mate for our own good. Remember God sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) and knows the consequences of our every decision before we make them. He only wants the best for us and counsels us with this in mind.

Let me know in the comments your experiences with dating unbelievers, advice you can add, or any other thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

Love,

Angie