Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Crooked & Perverse Generation

When I first became a Christian I noticed how sinful I was in need of a savior to make me clean. I remember feeling very bad for my sins because I knew I was disappointing God. I literally felt like I would die if I continued to live an immoral lifestyle against God so I surrendered to Him to help me to become pure and Christ like. As I allowed God to cleanse me and make me new I began to feel free from bondage and I no longer wanted to do the things that were displeasing to God. Of course I had to remove things from my life and people from my life to stay on track, but the fact of the matter is that we can live a life worth pleasing to God and we can live righteous.

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. – Romans 6:13

See my post here on Is it Possible to Stop Sinning?

So once I got saved I was on fire for holiness and righteousness because God had put His Spirit within me. I quickly began to notice that the world around me hated God and most of all they hated living the way God required of them to live. Many people like to make excuses for their sins and say “God will forgive me, stop judging me, etc.” I’ve pretty much heard all of the excuses used for a person who claims to be a Christian to live in sin, and it doesn’t surprise me anymore.

Many people carry the title of a Christian, but the sad reality is, most aren't. It’s by faith that we are saved, but just like I mentioned in my previous post, faith without works is dead. We have to live out what we believe as Christians.

As I browse the internet each year I see the world getting more and more wicked. Things which were once an abomination are now being deemed as acceptable. But when I read the Bible it already foretold that things like this were bound to happen, but we as children of God must remember to always stand for righteousness even when everyone around us maybe standing for unrighteousness. If we are truly a child of God we will believe what God says versus what the world says is right.

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; – Philippians 2:15

So you see as children of God we have a duty. A duty to be blameless and pure.
When you look up blameless in the dictionary that means to be free from guilt or shame. Synonyms for blameless are faultless, clean, pure, innocent and perfect.

Despite what it may look like it is possible in this crooked and perverse generation to be blameless unless God would have never commanded us to do so. God would have never given us so many morals or standards to live by unless it were possible to do so, and it is possible to live God’s way by using God’s strength.

As a person who loves God with my whole heart and desires to please Him in all of my ways I know I will say things that may offend people. But the point of me saying those things are not out of hate, but out of love. Just like a parent warns their child of something that will harm them, God’s people are messengers to warn others that sin leads to death, sin leads to hell.

I read an article today that affirms all the more that this world is only getting worse before the return of Jesus Christ. The article was about how an unnamed woman would be marrying her father soon and that they would be having children together. Crazy huh!? If you would like to read the entire article you can do so by clicking here.

As I read it I couldn't help, but to feel the need to speak more about Christ and the awesome freedom he offers from sin and death. I think somewhere in the future it will be OK for this woman to marry her father, as long as both parties are consenting adults right? Same sex marriage is already making that a reality because sin opens doors to even more and more sin.

Although Christians today are called homophobes, gay haters, and other childish names because we believe in the Biblical definition of marriage we must still stand for God’s truth in love. People who are gay just like any other sinner can be delivered from their innate desire to sin.

The world may get darker, but God’s light remains the brightest and we are kept by His love and grace as long as we remain in His truth. So I encourage all my brothers and sisters out in the world to remain strong even in persecution.

Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present ageTitus 2:12

Always remember to be a light in this dark world. You can do this!

God’s Grace is limitless,

Shaniqua Snowden*

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dead Faith

In my previous post I talked about my goal to having a more self-disciplined lifesyle. And you better believe a test came right after I declared that it was no more of me being lazy and putting off things this year. The very next day I posted my goal I woke up that Sunday morning very tired and with a sore throat. I didn’t feel like going to Church at all and I told my husband that he would be going to Church alone. But as I laid down about to go back to sleep God spoke to me and this is what He said.

God: Why aren’t you getting up to go to Church?

Me: Lord I’m tired and on top of that I’m not feeling well.

God: But if you believe and have faith that you can be more self-disciplined you are going to have to get up and put works with your faith. If you just get up (works) and believe (faith) I will empower you to succeed in your efforts by My strength.

I continued to lay down and think about what God had just said to me. As I thought about it more I suddenly began to gain more strength. Then I came to the conclusion, God is right! As God always is right of course! If I truly believed that I could be more self-disciplined I was going to have to make those steps in every area of my life to achieve that.

I knew that if I was to go back to sleep I would sleep the rest of the morning away and fall right back into my same slothful routine because I had already started off on a bad foot. I wouldn't have been exercising my faith. So I got up and went to Church and there was a reward for my obedience. The service at Church that day was very encouraging. Not only was it awesome, but the message was confirming of what God was teaching me.

The Lord spoke to me confirming to me that the change started now! I was reminded that I must continue to make the steps to get to where I’m supposed to be going. If I keep making backtracks then I was just prolonging my goals and would never reach them.

Don’t get me wrong I’m still a work in progress in this area, but the point is that I’m making those steps to get where I need to go and I can’t go back, I must continue to go forward. Although some steps maybe small, sooner or later those steps are going to add up and I will soon be to the finish line of this particular race of self-disciplining myself with my time.

So in all of this I’m learning the importance of having faith that is alive! Having a faith that produces fruit, because in the end real and authentic faith will produce works and that will show. On the other hand dead faith is the opposite.
What does dead faith produce?

No works
James 2:17 Even so Faith, if it hath no works, is dead, being alone. - KJV

When our faith is dead we don’t want to work for those things which God has for us. We may have heard God say something in the past that he has for us, yet we don’t see it manifested in our lives yet, but it could be due to the fact that our faith is wavering. You may say well I believe what God says He has for me is for me, I have Faith, I do believe, why isn't it here yet? I've been waiting and waiting…

But Faith is not just about waiting for God’s promises to manifest in our lives, we also have to have works with our Faith. God may have something for us, but first He wants us to be equipped and ready to receive what He has for us. Just like Jesus had to be prepared first before he did his ministry, hence him fasting for 40 days and 40 nights and being tempted by the devil in the wilderness.

In order for us to be trusted with the gifts and great things God has for us we must first be tested and tried. We are no better than Jesus. If Jesus had to be cultivated first then we will have to do the same as well. Faith and works go hand and hand with one another, so if we have real faith then we will put action with our belief and it will be shown.

It’s the same for when we become Christians. If we now believe by Faith that we are children of God, we are going to start behaving like children of God. That means we are going to get rid of the sin and bad things in our life that we know is not pleasing to God. When we put works with our Faith, God’s strength will empower us to be victorious in our walk with Christ, and in our life as a whole.

We need to constantly examine ourselves to see if we are living that real and authentic faith that the Word of God speaks about. That goes for every area of our lives. Don’t allow yourself to never see God’s promises in your life because you were just sitting down waiting for God to do something. He’s already empowered us to do it and trust Him in the process. You can do this!

God’s Grace is Limitless,


Saturday, January 3, 2015

What Are You Doing With Your Time?

It’s 2015 and I decided that it would be a great opportunity for me to reflect on areas in my life that need to be perfected by God. If I’m honest with myself the greatest area I struggle in is self-discipline, in particular self-discipline with spending the time God has given me the best way possible.

When it comes to everyday plans and activities I admit I can choose laziness vs. hard work quite often. It’s not something that I’m proud about and I believe this has caused me to miss out on many opportunities that God has for me. For example I published my first novel “Leaving Jade” in May of 2014. By now I was hoping to have novel #2 already available, but due to my lack of disciplining and managing of my time book #2 has been delayed. Lack of self-discipline has also caused me to put on hold other goals that I have set out to achieve, but as I write this post I am declaring that “it’s no more!” It’s no more of me wasting time and putting off what I know God has called me to achieve.

As I pondered this subject, dealing with what I’m doing with my time the Lord lead me to some very convicting yet encouraging scriptures to get me on my way to a more disciplined lifestyle.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. – KJV, Luke 9:23

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. –KJV, Proverbs 13:4

Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger. – KJV, Proverbs 19:15

So as I read and studied God’s Word I’m reminded that my life is not my own. When I may want to lay on the couch for a brief rest or search the internet, I should stop and be more focused on the things God desires for me to do that day. I’m not saying that it’s not OK to have a rest once in a while, but first we need to be concerned with the responsibilities we have and get those successfully completed first.

Instead of putting things off, it’s time to get those things accomplished now. It will certainly pay off in the long run. If we desire a certain goal we must put action with our faith. We can’t accomplish anything by doing nothing.

My goal for my entire life, not just a year, is to remain focused on God’s plans for me and not my own plans. In order for us to attain what God has for us we have to show ourselves as good stewards, not just by being a good Christian, but also good stewards over our precious time on this earth that God has blessed us with. Before God blesses us with more He wants to be sure we can handle the little that we have. It’s time for me to stop just saying and start doing!

In future post I will be giving practical tips and documenting my own journey to a self-disciplined life. I know it’s possible because God has already freed me from so much! I’m praying that you all have a great new year’s. Be blessed and know that whatever your goals or visions God can see you through it, as long as we obey and put forth the work as well.

God’s Grace is limitless,

Shaniqua Snowden*

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And the fun continues! Five important things I've learned from 2 years of marriage so far.

So my husband and I  recently celebrated our 2nd year anniversary on November 30th!To be honest it feels like we have been married for much longer, it's just so super being married to him. On being married for 2 years with the love of my life I've recapped just 5 of the most vital things I've learned so far that helps to maintain a happy marriage.

      1.       Prayer
Since being married I have noticed I pray a lot more than when I was single. This is true because not only do I need to constantly pray for the Lord to guide me, but I need to pray for my husband as well. There is no greater thing a wife can do for her husband than to constantly be praying for him. I pray for my husband when he’s at work, when he’s on the road and I also pray for my husband in general as he leads our household. Also if I’m feeling aggravated with my husband concerning an issue I go to God about it and ask Him to help me relieve me of my negative emotions. It’s nothing worse than acting out on your emotions in the heat of the moment. It will create an argument that can 100% be avoided if we go to God about it first instead of reacting immediately. Through prayer I've learned when to be quiet during disagreements and leave it in God’s hands to sort it out. This way my husband and I have learned how not to argue and instead talk things out with respect towards one another.

      2.       Selflessness
When you decide to marry a person you are now agreeing to become one with them physically and spiritually. This means that their problems becomes yours and you can’t think of yourself first anymore. It’s really a beautiful thing when you can put someone before yourself. It’s similar to how Jesus tells us to lay down our lives for God. When you become selfless it’s much easier to become that spouse you need to be for your other half.

      3.       Patience
Some of the things your spouse does may aggravate you, for example leaving their dirty socks laying around or snoring at night. But in all these things it’s important to be patient and not lash out on them about it. Learning patience has kept me from getting easily angered at my husband. Instead it makes me reflect on myself and how I can make the situation better and not worse.

      4.       Romance
I've always been a romantic ever since I could remember. I knew when I got married I wanted a husband who did romantic things. My husband is a pretty practical guy, but lately he’s been doing these really sweet things for me J! Doing romantic things for one another keeps the spark alive and it adds to the tenderness in the marriage. Don’t forget to treat each other like the time when you were first pursing each other. Romance is not only for the husbands to do, but I also do romantic things for my husband as well, which shows him how special I still feel to be his wife!

      5.       Love
Last, but certainly not the least is that I've learned to love another more than I ever thought that I could. My love for my husband is beyond words. There's a oneness I feel with him that is truly beautiful. As I continue to love him and go through this journey of life with him I become a better person. God definitely gets the glory, because without God we wouldn't know what true love was. If you love your spouse you’re going to do anything in your will power to keep the marriage happy and flourishing. I love my husband so much and I’m excited for the many more years to come of being married to him!

God's Grace is Limitless,

Shaniqua Snowden*
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