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HOW TO MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT

                                HOW TO MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT

                                        Antonio Baldovinos | Christian Life

 

EVERY DAY YOU ARE WRITING YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

That statement may sound odd but its so true.

You and I are writing history. I’m regularly reminded of what Winston Churchill once said, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”

And Mr. Churchill did. He wrote history and he’s looked upon today as a wise leader that saved Britain.

Our life’s story is written by the choices that we make in the midst of all the seasons of our life.

Another important aspect of writing our autobiography is that we oftentimes exaggerate the Past, Overestimate the Future, Underestimate today.

I can reminisce about something in the past and it becomes glorious, bigger than it really was.

We overestimate what our futures will hold but we really minimize our present day.

God is inviting us to take a hold of today. Writing our history in such a way that will impact eternity.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says “See then that you walk wisely, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

This verse is speaking about taking responsibility for our time. Walking wisely with the time that we have in the midst of evil days.


THE VALUE OF TIME

Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish or live without restraint.”

Without an intentional, organized approach to time management, the gift of time can be easily squandered, leaving us with regret and a lack of fruit in our lives.

Where there is no vision, people cast off restraint. We need Clarity of where our life is headed. Undisciplined people have a vision problem, not a discipline problem.

I remember a few summers ago, we had a weed problem in our yard. I tried getting my three older sons to help me weed our yard.

We had thousands of dandelions due to being gone for several weeks.

Someone had cut our yard but the weeds were left untreated.

My sons lasted 10 minutes, then the complaining began, “it’s too hot”, “our backs hurt” and “I’m thirsty”.

So I tried something else, I offered my boys 10 cents for each weed pulled. As they looked at the the 1,000’s of weeds, suddenly they were motivated.

They had vision.  

They got to work.

Vision is a picture of a preferable future that will motivate you to perform today.

When I speak about vision, I’m not talking about when I’m old I hope I’m rich and happy. I’m talking about something much bigger than that.  

If you don’t have something to die for, you won’t have anything to live for.

Let me help us make a Life Vision and take a hold of not only 2016 but something that we can live for that affects eternity.



LIFE RESOURCES

God has given each person valuable life resources. There are four main life resources:

1.   Your Time

2.   Your Affection

3.   Your Finances

4.   Your Talents

Money is powerful and makes a great impact, but time is life.

To squander time is to squander destiny.

You loose your destiny by squandering hours.

When making a life vision we need to have a focus on all the areas of our life, to have balance.

SEVEN AREAS OF YOUR LIFE

1.   Spiritual: Prayer, Bible Study, Worship, Fasting days, etc.

2.   Relational: Family (Immediate, extended), friends, co-workers, etc.

3.   Vocational: Marketplace calling, etc.

4.   Ministerial: Your ministry gifts and calling within the Church, outside the Church, etc.

5.   Financial: Including giving, saving, investing, spending, budget (income and expenses)

6.   Physical: Exercise, health, nutrition, food plan, etc

7.   Recreational: Rest, vacation, sports, fun, etc.


To manage your time, you have to develop it like character. You get better at it by practicing and focusing in on it.

Its very, very common to never connect time with your destiny. However, an aggressive approach to fulfill your destiny is done by managing your schedule. People talk about their dreams and about their destiny but they don’t connect it with their time.

To close, I want to end by leaving you some homework. I have done this with my own family. Even my nine-year-old daughter was a part of this assignment and we did this as a family and we loved it.


I want to invite you to take time today and write some things down.

1.   Write 3 things you would like to redo from 2015.

2.   What would you want your relationships to be like? Are there any relationships that need restoration? And which ones do you want to invest in?

3.   What do you want your heart to be like with God?

4.   What do you value? Person, Place, Things, Vocation, Ministry? Group?

5.   What would your ideal life be like?

6.   What would you want said at your funeral?

Take a hold of your life and make history!

SEX IN MARRIAGE

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                                            SEX IN MARRIAGE

                                          By Antonio Baldovinos

 

I have heard the saddest news and reports about sex in marriage.

So I think as we are writing about Marriage and Family it is important to talk about sex in marriage.

So much of our worldviews about sex comes from secular media; our pornified world and unbiblical sources like friends and family members.

CONFUSED AND SHOCKED

While in a Barnes and Noble bookstore on a Daddy and daughter date last year with my daughter I was shocked to see some of the books on the stands.

While grabbing a hot chocolate and a coffee and leaving, I noticed four full aisles of sensual soft cover books of endless types of Romance novels.

This is what I noticed and which I further researched:

  • Many romance novels have the word “Love” in the title.
  • There are requirements from publishers that there must be a minimum number of sex scenes allowed and a minimum of crisis points allowed.
  •  Romance fiction is the largest share of the consumer book market.
  • They are full of fantasy where the imagination is invigorated.
  • They are unrealistic.
  • Sex with full details and beyond.
  • They are porn for women. Romance novels can be as addictive as pornography. I would include girl and guy magazines to this.
  • In 2012 estimates found that romance novels was the single biggest money making genre, with sales of $1.44 billion a year.

  

NEED A DRASTIC CHANGE!

We can’t talk about sex without talking about pornography. It is one of the greatest crises of our time.

Pornography is one of the most destructive obsessions of our society, as it dishonors God, degrades and harms women and children, and destroys lives and families. Christians need to acknowledge the lust of the heart beneath the physical act and follow biblical counsel in order to kill sin and live in purity.

  • A total of 69% of all boys experienced first exposure between the ages of 10 and 14 while, 68% of all girls faced first exposure from ages 13 and up, and over one-third of those girls, or 39%, never saw porn until after their 16th birthday.
  • Pornography is a 13.3 billion enterprise in North America- Lets put it in context- pornography makes more money a year than the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB combined.
  • 91% of teens, Ages 8-16 years old are viewing pornography- most of the time while doing homework.
  • 72% of men view pornography and 28% of women.

You didn’t need me to share all those statistics of romantic novels and viewing pornography to know there is a problem.

I simply wanted to point out to you the extent of the war we are in for true purity and intimacy and how important and needed sexual intimacy and purity in marriage is. Our enemy, the devil wants to break a part marriage with this powerful weapon.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Deuteronomy 32:30 says, “One can put 1,000 to flight but two can put 10,000 to flight.”

It’s a multiplying affect. God created desires for intimacy, oneness in marriage, for a multiplying affect. God does not work with addition but multiplication. We multiply not add, that’s why division is so tragic.

LETS LOOK AT HOW TO STRENGTHEN SEXUAL INTIMACY!

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

Love is built by giving and receiving in unselfish pleasure. The more we can find how our spouse in pleased, the more satisfied we become.

(Genesis 2:25) “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Both Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed. Both Man and Woman have an inherit desire to be known for who they really are. All people want to share his or her life with someone else, knowing fully and being fully known.

Marriage of transparency where husband and wife know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, victories, and defeats is one of greatest pleasures. A side-by-side marriage is unsatisfying & self-preserving.

A covenantal, friendship-based, face-to-face marriage is what God intended marriage to be, a covenant between a man and woman, and before God. It’s a fierce struggle but the ultimate reward.

One of God’s purposes for marriage is that a man and a woman come to know each other, which is not temporary but ever growing. It is not merely intellectual, as we normally understand knowledge. Nor is it merely sexual—you can lay sexually with a man or a woman but not truly know them. You can have intimacy without sex and you can have sex without intimacy but as soon as you have sex and intimacy you have lovemaking. You have an explosion!

In a good marriage you sometimes will have sex without intimacy. And other times you will have intimacy and sex together, neither is wrong or right, but ultimately you want to build a legacy of growing together in building a legacy of intimacy.

Knowing your spouse means completely, unreservedly opening up each other’s personalities. It embraces every area—physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. There is so much to know of the other person that it is also endless searching of each other.

God designed marriage for oneness, sharing, interchanging, bonding, growing, enjoying, all of this equals: relationship. The bible calls this “one flesh”.

The way God created our brains is that we are to grow with our spouse over time. By the time you reach old age, the most comfortable person is your spouse. We have experienced this in only 18 years of marriage.

Christelle and I are beginning to sit the same way, finish each other’s sentences, think the same thoughts and enjoy the same things. Yet we have extremely different personalities. Why, does this happen? Studies show that your brain grows together. “One of the great discoveries of our era: that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life.”

BOTTOM LINE:

Here are some helpful things to implement into your marriage for strengthening your sex life:

1.    Sex and intimacy is more than the “act” of sex. Its what happens throughout the day. This includes words toward each other, thoughts towards each other, touches that lead to intimacy and lovemaking. I’ve heard it said that sex begins at the breakfast table.

2.    Have lots of sex. Regular occasions are so very important. God gave women the gift of sex but God gave men the need for sex. The couple has to figure out what best fits them. I would recommend defaulting on more and not less.

3.    Ask each other questions of what pleases the other and do that. Love is built by giving and receiving in unselfish pleasure. The more we can find how our spouse is pleased, the more satisfied we become.

4.    Create your bedroom as a place for each other, like a hotel room or a retreat. Not a work place, but an atmosphere that will serve intimacy, friendship and relaxing. This could be candles, music, etc.

5.    Date each other regularly. Making this a priority in your schedule and finances. If finances are an issue than be creative.

6.    Dress for each other. We are so trained to dress for others outside of the home but when dating each other finishes, we dress less and less for our spouse. Dress for each other in and outside of the bedroom!

7.    Please each other. A side-by-side marriage is unsatisfying & self-preserving so find ways to please your spouse. This is much more than what takes place in the bedroom but overall in your lives together.  

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                        # 1 GOAL EVERY MARRIAGE SHOULD HAVE

                             Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

The most important day of your marriage is not your wedding day.

People put all this energy into the first day of marriage by getting ready with invitations, dresses, venues, dinners, videos, etc. Though this is fine, it does not have any lasting impact on a marriage. We need to put far more effort on that last day than on the first day—the last day is the most important.

A marriage has to be built for a 50, 60, 70 year run, not a 50-yard sprint.

It’s safe for me to say, and you would probably agree with me, that marriage is under attack from every side.

Our culture bombards our minds with the idea that our aim in life is to make us happy. Marriage is looked upon as no more than simply dating; it is not viewed as a covenant relationship. Even the concept of one man and one woman in marriage is under attack. This isn’t news to you.

Why do I say this?

We would not dream of going through a battlefield in World War II with bullets whirling past our head and bombs and mines exploding around us, and simply stroll through hoping we not only survive, but win.

No! We would train, exercise and study the battle plan, study the enemy’s tactics, and most importantly we would be alert and ready!

When we build a good foundation in marriage we build a great foundation for our children and the generations that follow.

Marriages don’t necessarily choose to grow apart, but husbands and wives stop fighting and choosing to stay together.

It’s the second law of thermodynamics: things are naturally pulling apart; things are naturally going into ruin.

It is so easy for this to happen in a marriage through parenting, vocation, and your own avocations and hobby’s. This is not even taking into consideration our worldviews and what culture preaches.

 

THE LONGEVITY OF MARRIAGE IS FOUNDED UPON ONE THING


Friedrich Nietzsche once said “It’s not a lack of love but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Without friendship in marriage, you live a lonely life.

Marriage is two imperfect people walking face to face by the grace of God. It is the greatest and only strength a marriage can have to thrive, and it takes God to have this!

You’ll find countless volumes of books on romance, intimacy, and passion in marriage, but not much on the simple act of being good friends as husband and wife. It seems friendship is secondary to romance in the minds of many. 

FRIENDSHIP IS THE ANSWER FOR LONGEVITY

I can’t emphasize enough the only thing that will be the glue in your marriage is a lasting friendship.

Many in years past used to stay married for the sake of children when they went through struggle. But what happens when the children are gone?

It’s increasingly become more common to “gray divorce.” Meaning, the 50 and older population has increased in divorce by 52 percent in the last several years.

As soon as kids leave the nest it wrecks havoc on the loneliness the couple feels because there was no friendship established within marriage. The glue that kept them together was the children, and when the children leave it seems there is no reason to stay together.

I’m not endorsing divorce for the reasons people are getting divorced today—the reasons are ridiculous and unbiblical.

Today’s mindset (and main goal of marriage) is to enhance personal happiness rather than seeing marriage through the eyes of Biblical love.

However, to strengthen long-term marriage the couple has to be committed to building a lasting, deep friendship; a marriage that is planted by streams of water, that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither; you will prosper in all seasons of marriage (Psalm 1 paraphrased). 

HOW TO CULTIVATE FRIENDSHIP


Cultivating a friendship will take time, labor and attention.

Most relationships go through highs and lows.

At the beginning of all relationships, especially a marriage, it begins with some kind of infatuation. But Infatuation doesn’t last longer than 2 years. When the honeymoon settles, then what?

Friendship.

If there is no friendship, there is no root system.

Friendship takes focus and attention.

It begs to ask, what makes a good friendship?

A couple should be best friends.

Best friends talk.

Best friends share thing with each other, both good and bad; there are no secrets.

Best friends look for the interest of the other.

Best friends sacrifice for the other, with no strings attached. And, sometimes they do things they don’t necessarily like.

They work out their differences.

We are talking more than just any type of relationship. We are talking about the lifelong, till death do us part; the kind of relationship made in blood, covenant blood, under heaven and before witnesses!

The number 1 aim and goal for every marriage to have lasting fruit is to build it on friendship, not on children, a mission or any other thing.

After all, the reason why God created marriage in the first place was because it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18). Tons of other benefits overflow from this friendship, but the base of a lasting and strong marriage is friendship!

REDISCOVERING BIBLICAL MASCULINITY

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                                    REDISCOVERING BIBLICAL MASCULINITY

                        Antonio Baldovinos | House on Fire: Revival Begins in the Home

 

 

I am saddened by the state of affairs in marriage and in family.

Never before in history have so many children been voluntarily abandoned by their fathers. Never before have so many children grown up without knowing what it means to have a father.

I believe that fatherlessness is the leading cause of the decline we see in a child’s-well being in our society. The result is a tremendous loss of self worth and identity.

There is an aggressive attack on boyhood and manhood: masculinity, and girlhood and womanhood: femininity.

 

Here are some others issues I see:

  • Maturity compromised: Men having adult bodies but really immature.
  • Fathers who are only friends: Men who wanted a father to be a friend lead in the same way. Their efforts at parenting are like their efforts in high school—to be liked and accepted rather than to influence and guide.
  • Men marry later and later: The average North American man is getting married at 29 years old.
  • Fantasy life: Men in extended adolescence engage others in an artificial world (pornography, video games and social media).


This epidemic is not necessarily men’s fault. The devil has worked overtime through various ways to destroy masculinity and bring confusion so that men don’t lead but become weak.

The reason why this is so important is because everything reproduces after its own kind (see Genesis 1).

GOD CREATED MALE & FEMALE COMPLEMENTARY

God created male and female. We are both of equal value in His sight, with equal dignity and equal status, but we are different, with different roles. God made us complementary, not just within marriage but for life. In every part and aspect of male and female.

God made man to take the initiative. In sex for example, it is he who penetrates the female. Her body is built to respond to his initiative. He takes the first step and she responds. Her body, her soul, and her spirit respond.

In reproduction, it is the male sperm that takes the initiative. The male is active and the female responds. This tells us that the male is responsible and the female is responsive.

Even when the original sin occurred, Eve sinned first and Eve was held responsible, however Adam was held responsible first. Men are held responsible for the state of their GARDENS (homes).

MASCULINE MANDATE

Let’s look at God’s original intention and mandate for man:


“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Gen. 2:15)

 

Man’s initial mandate was to tend and keep. What does that mean?

“Tend” means: to cultivate, care for, manage, look after and attend in making something grow.

“Keep” means: Take charge, to guard, protect and sustain the Garden that God has created.


MAN’S EXAMPLE IS JESUS – THE GOD-MAN

Let’s look at the example of Jesus through the book of revelation. John gets taken to heaven:

 

“But an elder said to him “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. 6 “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns, seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God.” (Rev. 5:5-6)

 

We see Jesus as a lion, and we also see him as a lamb.

LION: Aggressive, strong, and it conquers. It’s a Fighter, a protector. A lion is admirable for its ferocious strength and imperial appearance.

LAMB: Meek and a servant. A Lamb is sheared for wool. Harmless. Kind. A lamb is admirable for its meekness and servant-like provision of wool for clothing. Sacrificed.

Throughout scripture we also see Jesus’ example of being tough yet tender.

TOUGH: protecting, working, fighting for their family.

TENDER: gentle, serving leader, cherishing his wife and children.

A man should be tough FOR his family and tender WITH his family.

Mature Biblical masculinity expresses itself not in the demand to be served, but in the strength to serve and to sacrifice for the good of woman and family. Jesus said, “Let the greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:26).

It’s time to rediscover this original intent for men—all men, single or married. Even through sin and generational curses this is still the original mandate for men: to serve and to lead.

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To Learn More Go to: www.antoniobaldovinos.org

THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS

 THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS

Antonio Baldovinos | Christianity

 

 

“I looked up to see before me a very shiny ladder that had appeared to come down from my ceiling into my bedroom. Stunned I looked as hundreds of what seemed to be angels came down from the ladder.”

This is a realistic, in person vision that our second son Gabriel encountered a couple years ago. He would say it was more than a vision but a real in person encounter.

 He went on to describe the following:

 “Suddenly I saw angels numbering in the thousands wearing silver armor, which had great detail on every piece of the armour.”

 I heard loud screams, I was not sure where they were coming from, but I seemed to instinctively know they were fighting and winning against demons. I could not help but think they were fighting a battle over me. It felt like they were saving me. I knew it was happening below me, but I was too scared to look down.

I then saw a huge angel about 10 feet in height, to me, looked like a giant, wearing gold plated armor. He was the tallest angel of them all. And on every joint of his body, even on his fingers, he had gold plated armor, about an inch thick that moved easily with every movement. It seemed as if he was in charge of the large group of angels.

I had a mixture of fear and excitement rose in me, the angel then came directly to me and placed a weapon in my hand and said; “Here is a weapon. Every person that knows my God has one. But every person’s weapon has a different purpose and not everyone uses it. Your purpose for this weapon is to tell people of the experiences and dreams encountering the supernatural.”

I felt like I was still holding the weapon, cause my hands were very tightly gripped.”

“He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth with it’s top reaching to the heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it”. (Geneses 28:12)

 

DIVISIONS OF HEAVENLY CREATURES

There are five divisions of Angels and Demons that I would like to describe for you that we see in Scripture:

 

1.      SERAPHS: Means “Burning Ones”. Highest ranking. We find them in Isaiah 6:1-6: “Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying…”

2.      CHERUBS:  Protectors around the throne. They have “many eyes” due to their unceasing contemplation (theoria) of God. The word Cherubim is Hebrew and means “abundance of wisdom;” it symbolizes perfection in knowledge of God. 

3.      LIVING CREATURES: They worship. The angels do not have the feeling of jealousy and competition between them; they all have one will, which is to serve God; the angels of the lower ranks obey in love the angels of the higher ranks as if in obedience to God.

4.      ARCHANGEL: Warring angels, Like Michael and Gabriel- “At that time Michael, the great prince (archangel) who protects your people, will arise.” Daniel 12:1.

5.      ANGELS: Ministering Angels, who do God’s work upon our prayers.

 

DIVISIONS OF THE ENEMY’S ARMY

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Heavenly places here in Ephesians refers to the second heaven. This is where they govern and rule. This is their domain with delegated authority. Gabriel is described as ‘flying swiftly’ in Daniel 9:21from one location to another then in 10:13 is physically detained by the prince of Persia.

Here are the five Divisions of the enemy:


1.      UNCLEAN SPIRITS: (demons). They are bound to earth. Demons are disembodied spirit beings that have an intense craving to occupy physical bodies. They want to express their sinful nature through human beings. 

2.      PRINCIPALITIES: (GK: ARCHAS) Chief rulers, highest ranking under Satan.

3.      POWERS OR AUTHORITIES: (GK: EXOUSIAS) refers to those demonic rulers who supervise.

4.      RULERS OF THE DARKNES: World Rulers of darkness.

5.      WICKED SPIRITS:  Evil angels over Provinces or areas. They cannot be overcome without God’s angels overcome them.

Even though demons and supernatural evil powers are there to steal, kill and destroy us, there is more said in Scripture about God’s angels than the Devils subordinates.

ANGELS MINISTER & HELP US

“Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation”? (Hebrews 1:14)

There are millions of angels: “innumerable (myriads- a great but indefinite number) company of angels.” (Hebrews 12:22)

The Bible calls them ministering “spirits” (Hebrews 1:14). They do not posses a physical body, although they may take on physical bodies when God appoints them to special tasks.

Angels can appear and reappear.

God uses angels to work on behalf of destinies of men and nations.

God made man “a little lower than the angels” Yet his angels are “ministering angels sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” (Hebrews 2:5-7; 1:3-14) Men are lower- but eventually higher through redemption. Man is lower than angels in respect to their bodies and to their place while here on earth.

Angels are there to protect us (Psalm 91:1, 11, 12)

Some Christians believe that an angel is assigned to watch over them, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

Angels bring us strength, messages and fight on our behalf. (Daniel 10)

There is a tremendous unseen world all around us.

What my son experienced that day is only a glimpse of what is taking place all around us today and God has sent His angels to help us, strengthen us and to minister to us! What a glorious reality!

3 QUESTIONS EVERYONE SHOULD ASK WHEN ENGAGING SCRIPTURE

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  3 QUESTIONS EVERYONE SHOULD ASK WHEN ENGAGING SCRIPTURE

                                       Jonathan Anderson | SpiritualGrowth

 

My brother in law, Jonathan Anderson, a young man that I highlyrespect, has written this practical and simple way to engage the Bible. Continue to read…

Have you ever desired to FEEL scripture as you engage it?

As Christians, we understand that the Bible is not just another book on your shelf collecting dust. It is living, breathing, and active, able to penetrate the hardest of hearts and to renew the most depraved of minds.

I know this. You know this. But if we our honest with ourselves does our external lifestyle match this internal belief?

I challenge myself with this question often. Many times I meet this challenge, other times not so much. One day you could find me weeping as I meditate on a single phrase of scripture… and the next day you may find me drooling on 1 Thessalonians (which on one occasion actually happened) fast asleep.

But one thing I have discovered… An explosion of God’s word in our hearts does not come by coincidence.

Did you know that only 10% of the Christian world has had the privilege of reading this book even 1 time through?

Did you know that if you read 1 hour a day for only 72 days you could finish the entire Bible?

This will take time, sacrifice, & endurance, but let us ENGAGE THE WORD!

3 practical questions to ask yourself as you dive into Scripture:

           1)    What will I study? – (Decide beforehand what books, chapters, or sections you will be reading).

          2)    When will I study? – (Set up a sacred time every day. This time must take priority in your schedule. If someone asks if you’re free during this time tell them you are busy. Being flippant in this area will lead to inconsistency.)

           3)    How will I study? – (Reading, Highlighting, Summarizing, etc. Strategize specifically which ways you will approach scripture in study).

Get a piece of paper. Answer these 3 questions and dive into ocean of God’s Word.

HOW TO BE TRULY GREAT

                                          HOW TO BE TRULY GREAT
                                        Antonio Baldovinos | Leadership

 

God invites everyone to be great in His kingdom. He put within each of us a longing to be great and successful. We cannot repent of this longing, but may have to repent of seeking after it in a wrong way.

There is much confusion, pain, and disillusionment related to what a great and successful life is. We need a biblical definition of success. Our humanistic culture defines success in terms of receiving recognition from people and being in a position of influence with great finances.

Many need to expose the fantasies and vain imaginations about how big their individual impact will be in man’s eyes and how much recognition they will receive.

God invites us to greatness without regard to our outward achievements or the size of our impact. It is based on the development of our heart in love, meekness, and revelation.

           Principles For Biblical Greatness

1.     Focus on being great in God’s sight rather than in the sight of men.

2.     Based on our heart responses, not on natural gifting’s and resources.

3.     Will not be fully seen until eternity.

ASSIGNMENTS

People get discouraged if they have a wrong perspective on what they are supposed to be doing. They are told to pursue greatness in their life and they often misinterpret it in terms of having a large individual impact. This causes despair to those envisioning only a big outward venture.

God gave each person an assignment that will lead to his or her greatness with eternal rewards. This is based on the mental, physical, emotional, and financial capacities that He gave each. We will be rewarded according to what God entrusted to us. We are not accountable for what we do not have. Some have despair over what they do not have and neglect to use what they do have.

If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. (1 Cor. 3:14)

 

The definition of a great and successful life is found in doing God’s will and in hearing Jesus say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). All can succeed in their God-given assignment.

Greatness is within the reach of all in the grace of God. Jesus is committed to our long-term greatness. He has a tailor made plan for our eternal success; we need to cooperate with it.

A SUCCESSFUL LIFE: KEY AREAS TO FOCUS ON

God is focused on the size of our heart responses whereas we are usually focused on the size of our impact. Our individual impact may not be large numerically, but we can be successful before God by growing deep in love, being faithful, and walking with a servant heart.

 This is the best place to start or to get back to. It truly is the safest place to be and stay. No matter the size of your influence, your influence will always be great in God’s sight as you set your heart to please and honor Him.  

HOW TO DESCEND INTO THE DEPTHS OF KNOWING GOD

HOW TO DESCEND INTO THE DEPTHS OF KNOWING GOD

Antonio Baldovinos  | Excerpt from Living from the Inside Out

As we begin this year I am believing that we would encounter God in greater ways than any other time in our life.

You and I have a longing that only God will satisfy. That longing is to know God; to know Him in a real way.

I can remember being a young boy wondering so many things about God. Do you remember? I wondered who He was and what He was like.

Then at 14 years old I experienced Him, heard His voice for the first time and started a real relationship with Him.

I am most intimate with those whom I know the most; it is also true of you. Therefore, the more I know about and relate to a person, the more intimate I am with them. This is not a purely academic knowing.

When I speak of growing in the knowledge of God, I am speaking of growing in the intimate knowledge of how He feels, thinks and acts, through encountering Him, experiencing Him and not just memorizing facts about Him.

We study and grow in the intimate knowledge of God like we would a flower or a sunset; we observe, we drink in. And even more than a sunset or flower we can talk and communicate.

HERE ARE THREE STAGES OF GROWING IN INTIMACY WITH GOD:

1. The Invitation (menu): God desires for dynamic relationship with us at a deep heart level (see Mk. 3; Jn. 15:16).

2. Growing in intimacy requires substance or knowledge of Him and responding to the invitation: At the “heart of intimacy” is the relational knowledge of a Person (see Jn. 14:23; 16:13).

3. This deep interior pleasure and fascination will overflow and produce lasting character development and radical selflessness.

DIVING INTO THE DEPTHS OF GOD

I have gone to many oceanfronts around the world. We can go to the same ocean and yet have a completely different experience than someone else.

Observing

One person may visit the ocean, see the waves from afar and take photos. I have seen many who experience the ocean like this. For this person, it is true that they went to the ocean.

Experience

Another person may go to the same oceanfront and take walks on the beach, collects shells and feel the water on their feet and sand in their toes. They also went to the ocean.

Equipped to descend

Yet another person, invests their time, money and energy to get equipped, so they can descend into the depths of the same ocean and experience the wonders and beauty of what lies beneath the waters for themselves. The same is true of knowing God.

Some are content to merely read and memorize the scriptures, knowing things about Him. Others remain content to simply feel the benefits of God in their life (healing, prosperity, and salvation), but fail to descend into the depths of knowing God. Yet I want to say there is so much more and we have an invitation to descend into the depths and really know Him, and to do this we must live from the inside where God has taken residence!

 

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