Catholic

Does your life reflects Christ?


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As one who strive to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, I try to focus on the big picture–the crown that awaits me at the end of my journey. Still, I realize it is a steep climb, and I cannot do it on my own. Therefore, to be successful, I must pay close attention to Jesus’ teachings, and the things He stood for, and most importantly what He did on the cross at Calvary.

Hence I most certainly cannot allow myself to get distracted by trivialities, like, what is right and what is wrong. Instead, I should attempt to let my life be a mirror that reflects Jesus Christ.

Too often Christian folks get embroiled in social fights that result in heated exchanges. And sometimes these back and forth arguments and name callings get so out of hand that it is hard to differentiate the saved from the unsaved.

The apostle Peter says Christians should

Be tender-hearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it (1 Peter 3:8-9).

I especially like what Paul wrote in one of his letters to the Church in Philippi:

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining as bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, you will be proud that you did not run the race in vain and that your work was not useless (Philippians 2:14-16).

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There is power in the Name of Jesus


Acts 12:1-11

New Living Translation (NLT)

James Is Killed and Peter Is Imprisoned

 King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison

The night before Peter was to be placed on trial; he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.

So Peter left the cell, after the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.

 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”

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Have you been changed?


Every Christian strive to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, but I often wondered whether that is ever possible for many of us. It seems one cannot begin to walk in Jesus’ footsteps without first learning to walk in His shoes. The problem with that though is this: Too many of us who profess Christianity have not been changed. How do I know this? Many of us continue to hang on to bad habits, old culture and tradition long after we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Let’s be honest–the old man cannot walk in Jesus’ shoes. The person must go through a transformation process. The writer of 2 Corinthians 5:17 puts it this way:

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Saul, the notorious tax collector and Christian persecutor, never went back to his old ways after his transformation. As a matter of fact, he has some very good advice for us:

“Therefore, since a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith surrounds us, let us strip off every weight that slows us down especially the sin that so easily trips us up. Hence, let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Face your giant head-on–Don’t cower.


At times the problems we face get so big that they seem to tower over us like an aggressive giant. In the midst of trouble, fears stirred, understanding becomes darkened, and joy evaporates. Yet, rather than look to God for solutions, one leans on his or her own understanding; and as a dark shadow looms over us–we either run away or cower and fold.

In fact, if we learned to face problems like young David confronted the giant Goliath, no one would become paralyzed by fear,  and cower just as the Israelite soldiers did before Goliath and the Philistine army.

On the whole, it was David’s faith and trust in an all-powerful God that allowed him to view his opponent in a different light. Therefore, instead of seeing a giant, David saw an uncircumcised Philistine, whom he defeated.

In Psalm 121 David writes the following:

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore

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How close can you get to God?


The closest anyone can get to God is to have Him live within your heart. When I was a child we used to sing: “Don’t try to tell me God is dead, He woke me up this morning. Don’t try tell me He is not alive, He lives within my heart.” But before He can take up residence in yours or my heart, we must be born again. When an individual is born again, he becomes united with Christ and one with Him. The Holy Scripture says: “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17).

Therefore, if  we are one with Christ, we are close to Him. He has even promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. So, this notion that He is far off is a trick the enemy use to convince us into believing that we have to do more to get closer to Him. Christian author, Gregory Dickow, calls this the ‘Illusion of Separation.’

Consequently, there is no separation between you and God. Jesus fill the gap created from the downfall of Adam and Eve. Therefore, if you bought the lie that God is far off,  and you have to do more to get closer to Him, you are actually saying you can earn God’s favor. And when you think you can earn God’s favor–you try too hard. Then, when that doesn’t work–you get discouraged until you either give up or assume your relationship with God is distant. This mindset ultimately affects your peace, your joy, and your confidence in prayer.

Brothers and sisters, your closeness to God is not earned, it’s a gift–made possible through the blood of Jesus. So, if we recognize that God lives within us, it will change how we look at ourselves and ultimately change how we live.