A MUST READ for 2019: What We Should Expect From God’s Love this Year.

INTRODUCTION:

I wish I can say I was a “best-selling” Christian book author, however, that title somehow does not accurately represent what being a “Christian” is all about.

I truly don’t believe that God would endorse anything that we “SOLD” that was given to us freely. Jesus wasn’t angered much, but there was an account of Jesus really making a scene at the Temple, specifically because they were “buying and selling”. What was suppose to be a house of prayer in uniting God with the believer, man had turned it into a market-place where it pushed the believer further away from God. Simply, we found a way to take what was free, and turned it into solely a money making entity.

Now, I am not against making money, but simply on what Christian churches emphasize the most. Put it this way, when Christians know Malachi 3:10 more than they know what Acts 2:38 is, then we have our priorities out of order and this is where we failed as elders of the Church. Give the people what they came for freely, and that is the free gift of the Holy Spirit.

What is a greater promise?

The promises of Malachi 3:10 or the Promises of Calvary via receiving the Holy Spirit?

Isaiah 55 CEV

1 If you are thirsty, come and drink water! If you don’t have any money, come, eat what you want! Drink wine and milk without paying a cent. 2 Why waste your money on what really isn’t food? Why work hard for something that doesn’t satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and you will enjoy the very best foods. 3 Pay close attention! Come to me and live. I will promise you the eternal love and loyalty that I promised David.”

This is why the Apostle Paul, who was the specific messenger to us Gentiles, didn’t allow people to rob him of this boast to preach the gospel freely and to solely rely on the people’s love to give cheerfully vs. traditional means of “buying and selling” or with a heart of exchange.

1 Corinthians 9 NIV

13Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

15But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.”

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the psychological and legalistic reasons why we must “buy and sell” things, or why we all should have “skin in the game,” or why people need to place fifty cents in a shopping cart to return it, but let us call it what it is, and may we simply desire to end or quit playing these immature psychological games of deception in the church, to push maturity, and to live by what is pure and true.

The simple truth is that God paid all sacrifices IN FULL by offering his only Son on Calvary for us. And ALL DEBTS were paid in full, all healing, marriage issues, addiction, illness, diseases, cancers are PAST TENSE.

“By His stripes we WERE healed”.

Romans 13:8 NIV

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

If we do anything outside of love, then the Cross be emptied of its power.

There is nothing that me or you can give as a sacrifice to God or to anyone in our lives that was not already made complete in Christ Jesus our Lord via Calvary.

Hosea 6:6 NLT

“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

Once again, outside of the church, those tactics are expected, however among the elders of the church, we should be able to see the need to mature past these “guilt trips” that organized religion resort to to achieve an outcome.

Now if you are a child, then maybe it’s age appropriate measures, but when do we grow up?

When do we push maturity?

18?
21?
33?

Because I am 46 years old now and I’m long over due to move past the mythological stories of Santa Claus and the Easter bunny.

It’s the same parallel of how the Greek God’s were to Christianity, it’s time for us to see clearly how faith in those mythical characters were just a stepping stone to pave the way for our faith in Jesus Christ who is the author and maturer of our faith.

The very core values of Greek wisdom via Aristotle Socrates, and Plato predated Jesus Christ by about 1500 years?

And via Apostle Paul and the gospel of Jesus Christ, this core Greek belief system is now called Greek MYTHOLOGY?

Why is that?

1 Corinthians 13:9-10 NIV
“9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.”

In fact, Hinduism is the oldest of all beliefs, which predates even Greek beliefs, but if you studied Hinduism, there are a striking resemblance of Greek and Hindu beliefs.

The 9 Similarities Between Greek and Hindu Beliefs.

Now in defense of the Gospel, God sent the Apostle Paul to Greece and the disciple Thomas to India. Not that Thomas was any less of a believer, but a matter of order and at that time, Greece was and became the very fabric of infrastructure contributing the design of what a democracy is, to the power of unity via the Olympics.

So it was likewise that God send someone who possessed the very qualifications or credentials that this Greek audience had faith in.

The Apostle Paul was a very learned man and gravitated to a lot of very wealthy, intellectual, and well educated people. Apollos and the physician Luke to name a few.

This is why I believe the Apostle Paul was so important to further the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is a God of order and the priority to be led by truth is always aimed at our leaders.

The leaders of our homes, communities and churches. Now a change can start from the ground level, but let us learn from Jesus Christ.

Let us learn that a healthy change starts from the top-down vs from the bottom-up which is often mistaken as mutiny, anarchy or a rebellion.

Once again, neither way is right or wrong, but there is an order.

And I believe that through the Apostle Paul, God had an obligation to minister to the leaders of this world more intimately than ever before.

Isn’t God awesome? He done found a way to preach to the wise and learned so that no one is without excuse.

So The Apostle Paul literally took the HIGH road and The Disciple Thomas took the LOW road. Once again, not a competition, nor it is about right or wrong but of order. You send soldiers to all regions to defend the gospel.

Here is the rest of the 1 Corinthians 13, it was too good for me to leave it out.

“8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

So now, hopefully I have your attention, so let us move forward to what God placed in my heart today.

So you may have heard me say before that “love” has no expectations, however allow me to clarify this, because what we do out of love does come with a healthy expectation.

Now this healthy expectation however does come with an order and biblically it’s often referred to as a “reward” from God.

And this “reward” or expectation for our good works should always be placed on God before any expectations on people or creation.

This is how placing God or the Kingdom of God first in our lives looks like. For when we seek Him first, then the “rest” will follow.

We are “selling” ourselves short of the full measure of God’s blessings if we simply look first to superficial validation alone either from God, family, friends and people.

May we have learned from Esau, and desire NOT to give away our birthright for a mere bowl of bean soup!

Because God’s reward is far greater than the euphoria that ten thousand “likes” or “followers” can ever provide or the temporary hunger satisfaction of one hot meal.

It’s so far more greater than all the luxuries in this world can offer that Jesus even turned it all down when Satan offered it to Him.

God’s reward is simply the peace and confidence it provides in our hearts to live with ourselves and with others despite our failures and constant struggles interpreting the knowledge of good and evil.

It’s aka “forgiveness” for ourselves and then for others. It’s being able to look back and to finally say, “it is well with my soul my Lord.”

You see, what defines a “blessing” is anything that reminds us of God’s unfailing love and that draws us closer to God vs. pushes us away or further from Him.

We often say that our jobs, marriages and children are blessings from God, but I don’t know about you, but all these things were keeping me away from God and his Church than drawing me closer!

So how can we have the confidence to say that these are all blessings when it is keeping us distant from He that blesses us? How can we receive the healings and deny the healer? Receive the gifts, but never know the giver of these gifts, and lastly be well versed on His scriptures, but never know the author?

Ironically, true blessings are often disguised as “good” and “evil”. This is why it was NOT God’s will for us to even try to interpret or “eat’ of this tree in Eden.

Isaiah 45:7 KJV

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

We didn’t have the maturity that God possessed to look upon these “good and evil” things and for it not to sway us into anxiety, depression, and anger.

We were suppose to live like children, child like faith.

Children run around with no shame or guilt, they don’t worry about their next meal or the logistics of things, they just live and live life abundantly. A mature parent teaches their children this order of living by our faith in God first before dipping into the knowledge of good and evil.

Knowledge will always complement FAITH, but FAITH will never complement knowledge.

This is why we need the Holy Spirit in us. This is why I lead an Acts 2:38 ministry. An Acts 2:38 Ministry is simply making sure the believer understands what God requires of us to be one with Him.

It is not enough to have God merely above us or with us, or simply around us. Don’t be content with an external relationship with God. This is why the disciples all failed, this is why Jesus died on the cross. So that WE may have what He had. He was the first born of many brothers and sisters, He was the prototype to desire the most INTIMATE relationship of the TRINITY and that is the symbol of a marriage between a husband and his wife as Christ loved the Church.

Its more intimate than a Father’s love, more intimate than that love of a friend in Jesus as He was called Emmanuel meaning “God with us”. It is about “God being in us”, a marriage between our body, soul and Spirit is what constitutes a rebirth. Not just simply an Altar call, although that is where it begins, it surely does not end there.

God’s Spirit in us makes us ONE with God and it gives us the mind and heart of Christ to have the maturity to now look optimistically on the knowledge of good and evil and to finally be at rest or peace with life. A rebirth cannot be defined any other way.

1 Corinthians 2 NIV

14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

God’s WILL was this order, to live by FAITH in God first and then the “knowledge of good and evil” complemented our Faith in God.

No special theological training needed, or works, or dues that needed to be paid, it’s a simple diagnosis and a simple treatment plan. So simple that uneducated shepherds and fisherman understood it. So simple that Jesus not being a sinner was obedient to a sinner’s baptism conducted by John the baptist which specifically was a baptism of repentance.

Once again, no special trained or educated or certified professionals or counselors, NOT by might nor by power but by God’s Spirit alone!

He is “THE” COUNSELOR and He alone is the GREATEST PHYSICIAN. He will diagnose and heal your body, soul and spirits.

Romans 8 28 NLT
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

So do we love God?

And if your answer is “yes” like me,

Then what are we worried about then?

Now can you find healing through those professionals?

Sure, that is the only downfall of grace, that many will find there healing but will never find there healer. Once again, never a matter of right or wrong, but of order. You may want to save your soul before you desire to save your life.

Mark 8:36 NLT

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

And if you ever get the blessing to learn this early in life, you will notice that ALL these professionals and experts in “healing” literally preach the gospel. Satan just found a way to re-badge and re-label God’s precepts and teachings, and has found a way to SELL YOU what God has already given to us freely.

If Satan found a way to sell us bottled water, he can find a way to sell you anything that was already free.

We should desire in life a measure of maturity for every measure of blessing and with every adversity that God had entrusted unto us. Yes, you heard me correct, God had trusted us with all the adversity that we experienced.

Now sadly, I have failed the majority of these tests, but this is what love is. It is about facing your fears and not avoiding them.

Its about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and not going around it. It is about God consistently giving you the same questions that you missed earlier on the test, but rewording it, throwing it back at you again, and to see if you answer it the same or differently. To see if you are genuinely founded on His Word or if you are just simply guessing.

It’s the measure of wisdom and peace that He gives us for past, present and future circumstances.

To fully grasp the order or God’s will on what creation can offer and what it cannot.

To appreciate the gifts but to also desire greater gifts.

To simply quit looking at superficial validation on things solely and to aim higher.

God’s reward is best described as what Peter said about baptism.

1 Peter 3:21 NIV

“and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

It cleans the cup from the inside. It provides an atmosphere around others that is unmatched by any man-made philosophy, Creed or belief.

It’s the drawing power of the Cross.

It’s the product of God’s love. And once we feel this love in us, then now we possess the maturity to truly appreciate creation and it’s superficial validations whether it is from one or one hundred thousand.

And those that truly love us with God’s same love, will encourage us, because they too recognize the order and power of validation from God and through His people.

We are in debt, this country is in debt, this world is in debt because we are trying to give what we DO NOT HAVE.

Because of Calvary, there is NO MORE DEBTS remain outstanding other than the DEBT to love one another and we cannot love others in the capacity that God wants us to love them if we are NOT in UNION with His Spirit.

This year, may we be reminded continually that He is our Shepherd, and that He is what we fix our eyes on and that WE LACK NOTHING. Because through Him I see His blessed assurance everywhere.

Desire to repent and to be baptized everyone of you specifically in name of Jesus Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I cannot emphasize this formula any stronger.

Prior to the Passover, Moses gave his people specific instructions on what preparations they must observe so that the Spirit of death would pass over their home. It was simple instructions with simple ingredients commonly found in everyones lives. Make the connection people, we cannot offer God anything more or less. Jesus gave the keys of the Kingdom of God to Peter alone and said He would bind on heaven what Peter bound on earth. Peter made it clear that the way, truth and the life was via baptism in the name of Jesus Christ as our only way to remit our sins and to unite the believer with God’s Holy Spirit.

“The Word of God has to first be a love letter to us before it can be a book of rules and regulations. Obedience without love becomes religion.” – MMA

Your brother in our war against sin.

Ray Evangelista

As 2018 Comes to a Close.

1 Samuel 16:7 CSB

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the LORD sees, for humans see what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”

Good morning to our humble family of believers which are bound by a name that Jews to this day, would never say aloud in fear of the 3rd Commandment of using it in vain.

But we know now, by revelation that UNLESS we use His name for uniting the believer with the Holy Spirit in baptism, then all other uses are in vain.

Now we can use His mighty name for other things, however we will be avoiding the sole purpose on why His name was given.

Because when we have studied all the scriptures and all the biblical stories both Old and New, we should have come to a conclusion that it was never a teaching of what was right and wrong, but of order.

And the “believer” may want to use His great name in receiving the greatest gift of God, the Holy Spirit via Acts 2:38, before attempting to desire lesser gifts.

1Cor 12 ends it’s last verse 31 that we should “desire greater gifts, and I will show you the most excellent way”,

And then Chapter 12 ends and Chapter 13 begins on what “love” truly is.

As 2018 closes, remember the scripture above, because we often look at the outside of things more than what God is doing to our hearts. And the inside of the cup is where it starts.

In honor of King Solomon, there is no sense in having all the nice external things in life, if we DO NOT have the wisdom nor the maturity for it all.

Circumstancially, Jesus and his disciples were a mess, if you disagree you haven’t been in a life group with a dozen broken men in it! Lol and we had 40!

Man, we were a mess, BUT regardless how much we looked like a bunch of misfits, we made lots of noise and guess what?

It worked! And it continues to work!

Not by man’s intellectual STANDARDS, but by the FOOLISHNESS of God.

So meditate on how God humbled your heart this year.

Also meditate on how God trusted you with adversity and how your heart has matured and lastly, how much we have drawn closer to the Creator than to Creation.

The things of this Earth will only become strangely dim, if only a greater light, comes into our hearts and life. As the MOON 😉 yields to The SUN/Son every morning as a testimony of this.

So let us be CONTENT and NOT COMPLACENT as this year closes everyone.

For this is not only the day, but also the YEAR God had made and let us likewise be glad and rejoice in it!

To the Author and Maturer of each of our faith, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Your brother in our war against, fear, depression, anxiety and everything left brained.

Ray Evangelista,

Amen.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV

“The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.

WAIT!

One question for you all!

For 2019, will you give God and others FULL CONSENT to “USE” you?

By answering “yes” we understand that we will be “used” in the worse scenarios possible and used without NO expectations of receiving anything in return other than the joy it solely creates in our heart to bless and love someone.

My 2019 “Knew Years” Message.

First of all, thank you all for the votes for moving forward with a NEW YEARS DINNER @ Midtown.

I will get the deets out here in a bit.

Some of y’all know that my word for 2018 was MATURITY. Our culture recognizes numerals consistent with pushing maturity. (18, 21 and 33) and if you are Mike Gundy, 40 is when you should be a grown a$$ man. Lol

As another blessed year goes into the books, let us embrace the “New Year” with what we learned from the year we already knew aka, The Knew Year.

Now if we based our success of 2018 solely on what was external or simply on our circumstances, then sadly we will always feel defeated everytime.

Because we CANNOT beat Satan at his own game and schemes. We CANNOT out Psych the Curator of Psychology and we truly cannot counsel the devil away.

However, if we could be led by FAITH and be reverend with what God is doing to our HEARTS more than what He is doing with our LIVES, we would see a DIFFERENT story.

We would have seen a story of our REBIRTH. A story where God is creating a NEW heart with new paths with new people and with new ways of living.

What did we anticipate, think or picture what a REBIRTH was going to bring us?

I don’t know about y’all, but I am no woman, but giving birth and it’s whole pregnancy process looks miserable!

Sorry mom’s!

Our new story is a story of God molding us into MATURITY, simplicity, meekness, reverence and a drawing closer to God and the ones that truly love us with a genuine unconditional love.

We need MATURITY more than ever before in the history of this world simply because we have a lot more distractions.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but IT IS about God separating us from the things that we DID NOT have the MATURITY for because we did not possess the maturity to address them properly.

Because IF we had the maturity to address these issues, then we would have “fixed” it ourselves. Amen?

Surely we would not need to quarrel, or hire an attorney to settle these simple matters.

Now if you need a mediator other than God, then call it what it is and let us REPENT of our immaturities.

But just know without a doubt that it is IMMATURITY that we struggle with and not with others or with flesh and blood!

Apostle Paul speaks of this quite a bit. I personnally believe that the Apostle Paul personally struggled with maturity as evidence by his past, his blood line as a Benjamite and his frequent imprisonments.

And lastly by evidence of Phillipians 3:12 NLT

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

Notice the use of “perfection” which in Greek is “Tilos'” meaning maturity.

So by faith, our new road IS about God isolating us TEMPORARILY , so that we may remain with Him for a season so we may discipled in His ways in love and maturity.

I don’t know about you, but my definition of a surrender is raising a white flag. And when we say we surrender our lives to God, ALL NEGOTIATIONS ARE OFF.

Like in the Old Testament, there was a time for negotiations. But now, NEW LIFE calls for a FULL TRANSPARENT SURRENDER to God without terms or conditions.

Embrace the new year with a “Knew Year” heart. And embrace the coming New year with a RECEIVING heart and the desire to clean our cup from the inside first, then our outside will be made clean and this is the beginning of living a life that is God’s will.

In His most Holy name, Jesus Christ.

Your brother in our discipleship to Maturity,

Ray Evangelista.

Amen.

Here is the “rest” of Phillipians 3:12-21 NLT

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,d but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

15Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

17Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.”

Amen brother Paul, I will not forget and will carry on the desire of your heart and love for our God. Your suffering will not be in vain. I accept the task in Jesus’ name.

Ecclesiastes, a message to the “Church”.

Happy Son-day family!

By definition, the keyword in Ecclesiastes is the word “ecclesia” which simply means “Church”. So to me, it is a solid message to the “Church” from a King who could have asked anything from God, but yet chose to have wisdom.

So this morning, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I rarely quoted anything from this blessed book of Ecclesiastes, so as my heart always seeks for rest and love, I opened this book to Chapter 7 for rest and looked for my blessed verse 13 for love and what I found was a clear message of maturity.

“13Consider what God has done:

Who can straighten

what he has made crooked?

14When times are good, be happy;

but when times are bad, consider this:

God has made the one

as well as the other.

Therefore, no one can discover

anything about their future.

15In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:

the righteous perishing in their righteousness,

and the wicked living long in their wickedness.

16Do not be overrighteous,

neither be overwise—

why destroy yourself?

17Do not be overwicked,

and do not be a fool—

why die before your time?

18It is good to grasp the one

and not let go of the other.

Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.”

So as I close, I too noticed a pattern under the sun. That when mankind seeks for rest and love, God pushes maturity.

This blessed book that is aimed wholeheartedly towards the Church or to the believer, ends in this;

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (notice the order)

13Now all has been heard;

here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

for this is the duty of all mankind.

14For God will bring every deed into judgment,

including every hidden thing,

whether it is good or evil.”

Once again verse 13,

“Fear God and keep his commandments,

for this is the duty of all mankind.”

Truly the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.

Praise God.

In His most Holy name, Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Your brother in our quest for maturity.

Ray Evangelista.

Introduction to The Promises of Malachi 3:10 vs. the Promises of Calvary.

Now if you cannot recall Malachi 3:10 by memory, then this note is most likely not for you. lol

However, if you recall Malachi 3:10 by memory, then you have had a desire in your heart to stay reminded of the Holy Tithe in your life.

Now as long as I can remember, the Holy Tithe has always came with a condition. At least with the churches that I have been associated with that is. Some place guilt trips, some say you are stealing from God and some will argue about the tiniest issues of whether it should come from the net income or the gross. lol.

A pastor once said that a church member asked if a certain attire was okay to wear to church and the Pastor’s gentle response is that if you question anything on whether it is appropriate or not, its probably not appropriate.

And to me, that goes with the heart of giving. Love is the fulfillment of the law. What is given out of love, does not need to be understood, just received and given with thanksgiving and compassion.

But for all of us who are “left brainers” that need to understand how it all suppose to work together for the good of them that “love” God, let me give you a biblical break down on what any giving, including the Tithe was suppose to produce.

So the big question is if the Old Testament laws still apply?

Yes, the only thing that changed post Calvary was that these laws moved from being written externally on scrolls and tablets of stone to that internally of human hearts. It changed from an era of “having to” to “wanting to” be obedient. Because obedience without love becomes Religion.

2 Corinthians 3:3

“Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.”

Proverbs 3:3

“Never let loving devotion or faithfulness leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Jeremiah 31:33

“But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

DEUTERONOMY 15:10

“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.”

DEUTERONOMY 16:17

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you.”

1 CHRONICLES 29:9

“Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.”

MATTHEW 17:26

24After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” 25“Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” 26“From others,” Peter answered, “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27“But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

MATTHEW 6:3-4

“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

2 CORINTHIANS 9:7

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

1 CORINTHIANS 16:2

‘On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”

2 Corinthians 3

The Glory of the New Covenant

1Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in oura hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

4We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

7The old way,b with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!

12Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

Summary:

So in summary, the promises of the Old testament including Tithing were great but the promises of Calvary were even greater.

Old Testament Laws and promises came with expectations. However post Calvary, God’s love became NON or un-conditional, because this is how “grace” is defined.

The sacrifice God made where He gave us His Son PAID all debts in FULL.

In fact, if there is any debt left outstanding, it is only the debt to love one another with this same un-conditional love.

If we address each others heart, then the works will eventually follow.

If obedience has not come, then don’t push for it more than we push for love. We wait on love because God is love.

Finally,

Tithing will NOT unlock more grace. However loving others will and by this same love, we had fulfilled and surpassed any expectations that God’s Laws were suppose to produce.

There is so much more I will post on this blessed topic, but felt that I needed to post what I have so far.

Remain blessed, your brother in our war against sin,

Ray Evangelista

My Father’s Day Reminder for 2018.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY EVERYONE!

Thank you all for your faith in reading what God has placed in my heart for this Father’s Day, 2018.

As always, I write my letters as short as I possibly can and I only intend to achieve no more than what a good theatrical trailer would give its audience about an upcoming movie.

My hope is that my notes will be a simple catalyst in a believer’s heart to allow others to step into God’s presence.

I am not the light, but simply a reflection of it. The Holy Spirit, whom I gave consent to speak through me, has complete revelation of all things and may His wise counsel and comfort be with us always.

Now what reminded me this morning of a Father’s love was the Lord’s Prayer.

The Lord’s prayer is my prayer every morning when I awake because it places all things in order and in perspective for me.

So let us go to Luke 11,

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

Now it was appropriate that Jesus asked them to address God as “Father” in this blessed prayer because the relation mankind had with God was limited to that of a Father’s love up until the Word became flesh in Jesus.

Now among all who lived at that time, God revealed Himself more intimately to us than times prior. For He was no longer that disciplinarian type fatherly role, nor was He “God above us”, anymore, for now He was “God with us” and soon later He would become “God in us” via the Holy Spirit.

Since our fall in Eden, God desired to draw nearer to us. And as God drew closer, the least threatening he became.

Many at that time were perplexed that the Son of God came as a simple blue-collar carpenter.

But this is what one does out of love. It becomes as NON-THREATENING as one can possibly be.

It was never a lesson on what poverty can do, but what humility and love can do. It was a lesson on love and gentleness and going out of our way to defend each other vs. offend others.

Jesus always addressed Himself to us as “friends”. Like the old Baptist Hymn, “What a friend we have in Jesus”.

John 15:15 NIV

9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17This is my command: Love each other.

So as Jesus referred to us as “friends”, He was not only ushering in a new era but also preparing a way for the next.
Sadly, this new era was prophesied 700 years before Christ’s birth. But when it finally arrived, many still could not let go of their old traditions and accept the fresh manna

of their day.

So as God appeared to us as a friend, regretfully, even to His own disciples he remained a stranger. Because friends DO NOT abandon friends in times of trouble or of need.

So if we can re-evaluate the TRINITY, we can all agree that we have known the love of a Father and that love of a Friend via the Son of God.

However, there is one more LOVE that we lack to experience, and this love is the love of a spouse via the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus spoke so much about yet the church now knows so little.

This love is the foundation of the Church where the two become one.

John 3:29 NIV

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

Ephesians 5 NIV.
31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”

The physical marriage should parallel the spiritual marriage that Christ had for the Church.

It’s a foundation of forgiveness and accountability. The coming of the Holy Spirit was also prophesied by Isaiah centuries prior to this day yet people still choose to ignore it and remain in darkness.

Isaiah 54:5 NLT
For your Creator will be your husband; the LORD of Heaven’s Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth.

2 Corinthians 11:2 NIV
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.”

So your question may be;

Is it possible to have the benefits of the Holy Spirit and NOT have the Holy Spirit?

Well, the answer is simple.

Can one have the benefits of marriage and yet not be married?

Now if you read on in Luke 11, you will see that Jesus

speaks of “friendship” and how it still remains somewhat conditional, however via persistence, a good friend and a good father will eventually give you what you ask.

Lastly,

It is true that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom, and although it may start there, it did NOT end there.

For when “perfect love” comes, it drives out fear because it removes our fear of punishment as should a good husband would do for His bride as Christ did for His Church.

So in summary, a good father will make the decisions that no one else is willing to. It is still love, however it’s a love that does NOT spare the rod. If a father has done his job well, his child would not rely on his friends or wife for this legalistic/disciplinarian type of love.

If I only understood the roles of the TRINITY, early in life, I would have been a better Father, friend and husband. It is truly a mystery.

But it is never too late if there still remains forgiveness among us and this is my prayer.

I close with these scriptures in Luke 11,

11“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

God will never stop being a father to us, nor will he ever stop being a good friend or a loving husband, but it should be our desire to draw nearer.

And once again, if you are unsure whether you have received the Holy Spirit as God has provided for us via Acts 2:38, allow me to speak to you about it.

Do not be deceived simply by the benefits of the Holy Spirit. For this grace period will end one day via the rapture and those NOT identified with the Holy Spirit will be left behind for the tribulation period.

Yes, it is by grace we are saved, however grace is a narrow path with an experation date and few find it.

With a Father’s love,

Ray Evangelista

A Foundation of Forgiveness.

Why we need forgiveness in mankind:

Just as we believe that it was one sin that was the root cause of all sins, we also understand that there is not enough good deeds mankind can do to reverse this one sin.

Which now brings us to Calvary. It took love, it took someone who lives beyond the labels of good and evil, success and failure to break our curse and to usher in an era of grace.

So let us be reminded of this love, because this also applies to us and our relationship with others.

As forgiveness is the foundation of our spiritual marriage with Christ and the church, may it also be the foundation of our physical marriages as well. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

When we are offended, there is not enough good deeds that someone can do to reverse it.

Our soul treats these offenses as if someone stole, killed or destroyed what we value the most. So unless we can forgive, unless we can love, then the law remains in our hearts.

For the glory of Jesus Christ alone.

Your brother in our war against sin,

Amen.

Ray Evangelista.