Holiness Leads to Heaven

If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Would there be people who would step forward to say that you shared the Gospel, the plan of salvation with them?

Would there be people who said you prayed for healing or deliverance for them?

Would there be people who said you lent them a listening ear and a caring heart when their life was broken by the death of a loved or a gut-wrenching divorce?

Would there be children who would say that you touched or inspired them when you taught them a lesson in Sunday School?

Would there be a married couple who would come forth to say that you helped save their marriage when you imparted words of knowledge when they were deeply troubled or on the verge of divorce?

As you look back on your life, how will you be remembered?

Do you feel fulfilled because you have served the Lord and done what He has asked you to do?

Would you be at peace if you knew the Lord was calling you home to Heaven today knowing that you had fulfilled your mission?

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Heaven and Jesus

Jesus declared in Matthew 7:13-14

New King James Version 

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Here, Jesus made it clear that there would be more people who don’t make it into Heaven than do, which is a tragedy, because Hell was intended for the Devil and his demons, not human beings.  Tragically, too many people choose the way of destruction by the life that they choose to live apart from God.  They allow their pride to guide them rather than the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of everyone who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and chooses to live for Him.

Philippians 3:20-21 New King James Version declares,

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

All who know Jesus have a deep desire to live with Him one day in Heaven.  We are merely aliens passing through this earthly life headed for our ultimate destination.

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters Heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “really big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us.

This story became a book and a motion picture that touched the lives of millions of people. Granted, as followers of Jesus Christ, we already have the hope that we will one day go to be with the Lord after our lives end here on earth.  But when we hear of a story like this, it encourages us all the more in our walk of faith.

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Heaven’s Gates

When I was in college, I had a wonderful friend and roommate, Michael Garcia, who came from a Catholic home.  I met his mother on several occasions and she was a beautiful Christian-Catholic woman.  Michael and I roomed together in the dorms and eventually moved out together to live in an apartment together until we graduated from college. Following graduation, we lost touch for several years as we began our careers.

A few years later, I ran into Michael and he shared with me that he was heartbroken because his mother had died recently.  As I extended my condolences to him, he shared a special story with me.  He said he was unable to be with his mother when she died because he had to work.

But two of his mother’s closest Catholic female friends were by her side at the hospital before she passed away.  They would later share with Michael that when his mother finally died, her two friends saw angels come into the room and escorted her mother’s spirit to Heaven.  As I heard Michael tell this story, I was excited as my spirit leaped, jumping for joy because I knew His mother was escorted into Jesus’ presence in Heaven.

True stories like these are so encouraging because it reminds me that as long as we choose to give ourselves to Christ and dedicate ourselves to living a holy life set apart to glorify Him, we have the hope and the promise that we will one day join Jesus for eternity.  What a joyous celebration that will be!

(To be continued)

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Pray for Healing With Reckless Abandon!

Don’t let anyone tell you that they’re a lover of God if they don’t obey God’s Word through their life style. God sees right through you. Obey God’s Word, walk in His will and you will find happiness, peace and joy.

If you carry emotional hurts, you have to seek God aggressively for your healing. In the same way in which you immerse yourself in your job or workouts at the gym with passion, don’t expect to receive healing if you are not actively and wholeheartedly pursuing the Lord for your healing. Healing costs you something–hours spent in prayer, the Word of God, felllowshipping with God’s people, meeting with a born-again, Spirit-filled, Christian counselor or pastor, fasting, reading Christian materials, being accountable to godly people and obeying what the Lord has instructed you to do.

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Seek the Lord Fervently for Answers to Prayer!

You have to do something radical to let God know that you mean business in receiving your healing. Otherwise, you may wander in a dry desert for years. Time alone does not heal wounds. God heals wounds as you make sacrifices so you can change. And forgive, forgive, forgive or you will receive nothing from the Lord because God commands us to forgive.

If none of these things work, then you need to find an anointed man or woman of God who does deliverance because what may have you bound may be a generational curse that you have to be freed of. You need to be cleansed regularly from the evil influences that oppress you  daily in this dark world.

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Seek the Lord through Fervent Prayer!

Pursue the Lord, my friend, with reckless abandon and passionate love until He answers your prayers. Too many believers simply give up along the way. You must tarry in prayer, soak in God’s presence and be relentless as you tug on the hem of His garment until your prayers are answered.

James 5:16 New King James Version

16 Confess your trespasses[a] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man [or womans] avails much.

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Seek the Lord with a Passionate Heart!

God must be pursued the way two lovers pursue each other. So, rearrange your priorities, fast from food and other things that possess you (your cell phone, computer, the internet, TV, etc.), shut out unnecessary noise and hear from the Lord so you can be changed from within.  You must consecrate yourself–set yourself apart from the affections of this world.

And remember–those who pursue holiness with see the Lord!

Jeremiah 29:13New King James Version 

13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

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Single People Seeking Dating Relationships

Armed 4 Battle Remembers Single People

Are You Armed 4 Battle in the Single’s Scene?

Be Armed 4 Battle As A Dating Single Person

Armed 4 Battle commends all single people today who are pursuing a loving, meaningful relationship with a significant other.  In today’s world of broken relationships, rampant divorce, an unstable economy, and an uncertain future, singles face tremendous challenges in trying to put their lives back together and finding love again.  So many single people face the burden of shattered dreams, especially those who have experienced the pain of divorce.  Victimized by a wayward spouse, the victim has no choice but to put the pieces of their lives back together, find emotional healing, sometimes through the help of counseling, and pave a new path that is unknown.

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A New Beginning

And yet, anyone who has braved the pain of divorce, death of a spouse, or the end of a meaningful, dating relationship unfortunately knows sorrow.  Many people are not equipped when tragedy strikes.  It shows no mercy and has no limitations.  It wreaks havoc on the guilty and the innocent.  It doesn’t care who it takes as a hostage.  It only cares about causing destruction wherever it goes in the same manner in which a river runs wild and swallows anything that gets in its way.   Tragedy will devour its victims, especially when they are not prepared to engage the enemy.  That’s why it’s important to seek  professional counseling when you feel stuck and can’t make sense out of your world.

I commend all single people who have weathered life’s storms and lived to talk about it because not all survive, let alone thrive.  It takes courage to work through issues so you can secure your emotional progress for healing. Sadly, not everyone is willing to grow through their pain or seek counseling help so they can start a new life with a healed heart that is not burdened by damaged emotions that would dare to destroy him or her.

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Finding Love Again!

Press on, my dear friends with your dreams to find a new life partner. I  have experienced the same thing and am with you in trusting God for a new mate.  Everything happens for a reason and I am thankful to the Lord that He is faithful to grant us emotional and spiritual healing, give us new dreams and a new partner–all in His timing.  Dream a dream for God and your dreams will come true.

Sincerely,

Victor Torres

http://www.Armed 4 Battle.com

Armed 4 Battle

 

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Confront Your Hurts With Courage!

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Face Your Emotions

Gary Cooper was Armed4Battle
in the classic movie, “High Noon”

Bravely Confront Your Hurts!

Face Your Emotions: Face Your Pain!

Exercise Courage When You Hurt

Many times in our lives we are not Armed4Battle and are confronted with the harsh realities of having to face a crisis or tragic event.  This comes in the form of a major disappointment or loss, such as death, divorce, loss of employment or a home, or even seeing our children grow up and go off to college or go down a destructive path.  None of these circumstances are easy to face, but everyone is confronted with some of these events sooner or later.  So, what is one to do?  You must choose to face your pain.

As human beings, we often do what we did as children–we hide under our covers hoping the monster will go away.  Unfortunately, when we fail to face our pain, that stubborn monster refuses to stop tormenting us.  Part of our dysfunction is to live in denial and fear and often without knowing any better.  We often draw from the same coping mechanisms as adults that we did when we were children because we have not learned how to choose better ways of dealing with problems.  It is part of our dysfunction and we need to recognize that so we can become Armed4Battle to experience growth and leave our childish ways behind us.  If you have ever done this, know that you are not alone.  We all have issues we need to work through and the sooner that we address them, the healthier we will be and the better off we will be.

We all have different backgrounds and too many of us come from unhealthy homes.  Some of you know what it’s like to be abused, neglected, molested, rejected or even abandoned.  Others have experienced the ravages of divorce, the cruelty of a death of a parent or loved one at an early age, or even poverty.  Unless we were adopted at an age that we can remember, none of us had a choice as far as the family environment in which we were raised.  We were all dealt a different hand and you likely discovered early in life that it was all about survival. You can become free though by developing a warrior mindset.

As you focus on the positive side of life, it’s important to note that we learned necessary survival skills that have kept us alive to this day.  Without them we might not be here today.  So, I commend you for doing your best in finding a way to make it this far, despite how healthy or unhealthy your coping mechanisms were.  Now that you are an adult, though, you need to take a hard, honest look at your survival skills.  Ask yourself, are they healthy in that they benefit me and other people or are they setting me back and keeping me in a cage where no one can get in and no one can get out?  Can I do better?  Am I thriving and growing in love daily or am I just surviving and existing in fear?

If you’re existing in fear, you need to take a risk and ask for help.  You need to begin living an abundant life now!  Help is all around you.  It can be found in the local Christian church, divorce and celebrate recovery programs, programs that offer help for substance abusers, people who need help with codependency issues, parenting, victims of crime and abuse, and victims of spousal abuse.  Professional and pastoral counseling, and spiritual counseling where one has opportunities to grow in their faith are also available, if you will simply reach out and allow someone to help you.  This is one way you can choose to be Armed4Battle.

We were never meant to be lone rangers when hardship strikes.  We were never meant to be completely independent, but interdependent.  That means that when life gets hard we are to lean on our faith and good friends to pull us through.  We need to trust that God will give us the strength to face our heartaches as we earnestly seek Him.  I encourage you to bravely confront your hurts.  This will allow you to be equipped when life threatens to make you miserable.  You must bravely confront your hurts when they need to be dealt with.  God gives us courage when we ask Him for it.

Are you facing your pain when you look in the mirror?  If you find yourself displacing your hurt and anger on innocent people, please know that this is a warning sign.  When we do this it is often a sign that we are afraid to face our emotional hurt at the expense of others.  This is selfish!  Don’t allow any fear to rule over you.  It’s okay to be afraid, but it’s not okay to stay afraid!  Just remember to be strong and courageous.  Do not tremble or be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  “Courage” is yours for the taking when you ask for it.  So, take it and choose to be Armed4Battle!  It belongs to you!

Excerpts from this article are taken from Victor Torres‘ book entitled, “Armed for Battle and Destined For Glory!“  It is available through Amazon.com and Armed4Battle.

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