Draw Near Through Christian Media

 j

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Maybe you are seeking God’s will for your life and are unsure how to follow His path. If you want to hear God more clearly, I challenge you to sacrifice some of the time you spend on non-Christian media and choose Christian instead. Imagine how much your relationship with God would improve if you began listening to Christian music, watching Christian television, and reading Christian literature.

People claim certain Christian songs helped them to overcome temptation when struggling against addiction. The Bible tells us to “make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation” in Psalm 95: 1. In fact, lots of non-Christians have come to Christ by listening to Christian music. Once you discover what a difference Christian music makes in your life, you will be ready to incorporate Christian television into your schedule. You will see how it is almost like Jesus is standing in your living room offering the solutions and guidance you have been praying for all these years. Another great way to draw near to God is through Christian literature. That term covers a variety of things including The Holy Bible, non-fiction books that teach us, fiction books written to touch our hearts, devotionals that guide our prayer and thought life, beautiful poetry books, uplifting magazines, and more! Remember this website offers lots of forever free ebooks (click here) including the latest: Spiritual Citizens (click here).

Once you are engaged in Christian media, you will be more prepared to share your own talent. Whether it is creative writing, art, photography, music, or something else, God wants you to use it for His kingdom. Don’t let fear or pride stand in the way. Gather up all of your patience, perseverance, and inspiration. I pray you will draw nearer to God when you take a step of faith and create like Him!

When a storm hits our life and shakes us, we wish God were near. Don’t wait for the storm. Draw near to the Lord now so you cannot be shaken when the heavy winds start blowing in your life.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Sexual Myths Exposed

heb

I hear lots of myths circulating among single Christians. Are you a single Christian who has been deceived by sexual myths? Keep reading to learn the truth about three infamous myths.

MYTH #1) MY FUTURE SPOUSE WANTS ME TO BE EXPERIENCED IN SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Christian men and women desire someone who is pure. Choosing to either watch pornography or have premarital sex muddles your heart, mind, and spirit. You are also distancing yourself from God when you engage in these sins. Plus, you run the risk of becoming addicted, contracting a disease, or getting pregnant. Your future spouse would prefer to discover this new activity together with you. If you are dating someone who wishes you were more experienced, I would question whether this person is really the right one for you.

MYTH #2) I NEED TO HAVE PREMARITAL SEX TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT I AM SEXUALLY COMPATIBLE WITH THE PERSON I AM PLANNING TO MARRY. Not only is this statement a myth, the concept of sexual compatibility is also a myth. Sex was designed to be an expression of your love for your spouse. Your major focus should be on bringing pleasure to the other person. Since people are unique, it requires time to learn the best way to give your spouse the most pleasurable experience. So good sex depends on knowing one another, and it also depends on the health of the relationship. If one person stops working to maintain the relationship, your sex life will could become less pleasurable even if it was fun at the beginning of the relationship.

MYTH#3) IF I HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ACTIVE IN THE PAST, I AM NO LONGER VALUABLE. The right person is going to love you no matter what. God has forgiven all of the sins in your life including any sexual sins you were engaged in. You can be completely honest with both God and your future spouse about your sexual history.

If you keep studying God’s Word and putting it into practice, you will be completely prepared for your future spouse. Don’t worry about a thing.

I hope you have enjoyed this Christian & Single blog series. I have not written from the high and mighty position of having done everything right. I have written from the humble view of having made mistakes and watching the Lord make everything work together for my good. God has great plans for you. I am praying for you to stumble onto that loving someone while clinging to the Lord.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Why Am I Still Single?

luke

Single Christians will often beat themselves up. They will ask, “What’s wrong with me, God? Am I unlovable?” The truth is that you are very lovable. There is nothing wrong with you! In fact, you are wonderful. However, you may be falling into a common trap.

As a fun way to communicate the traps, I created singles profiles along with a recommended verse, prayer, reflection, or practical advice. What type of single Christian are you? An unbelievers’s pal? One with skyscraper standards? A lonely angel? Or a waiter dater? Single Christians often fall into one of these profiles based on their personal choices and individual personality.

Profile: Unbeliever’s Pal -The Unbeliever’s Pal spends most of his/her time with unbelievers. This person is oodles of fun. He or she would probably be married to an unbeliever, but they know God wants them to marry another Christian. So they are suspended in singlehood…
Verse: 2 Cor. 6:14 states Can light have anything in common with darkness?
Recommended Reflections: Why do I choose to spend so much time with unbelievers? Am I double-minded or compromised in my actions or thoughts? Do I feel an obligation to save them or take care of them?
Prayer: Lord, please help me to limit the amount of time I spend with unbelievers. Send more Christians into my life. Fill my heart with a unique love for them. Amen.
Practical Advice: Attend more church and Christian events and home groups. Aggressively seek fellowship with them. Stop stooping to an unholy lifestyle for unbelievers. Instead, ask your unbelieving friends to stand upright with you.

Profile: Skyscraper Standards – Mr. or Miss Skyscraper Standards finds it difficult to find the right person. He or she is probably attractive and seems to have it all together. There is just something wrong with every person they date. So this person is perpetually single and searching…
Verse: Romans 9:21 states Or is not a potter authorized over the clay to make some formed things from it, one vessel for honor and one for dishonor?
Recommended Reflections: Do I love myself? Am I projecting my discontentedness with myself onto others? Can I focus on the good in myself and others?
Prayer: Lord, Give my Your loving eyes to see myself and others. Help me to remember You created us fearfully and wonderfully. Help me to focus on the characteristics you love in others. Amen.
Practical Advice: Take time to let go of your own imperfections. Be friendly to everyone and accept all date invitations. Give lots of chances. Accept 2nd and 3rd date invitations even if the first date did not go well. Focus on having a good time instead of finding someone.

Profile: Lonely Angel – The Lonely Angel spends most of their time either alone or hanging with Christians of the same gender. They have a great relationship with God, but they just aren’t really meeting anyone they feel connected to. They are caught in a routine of being single….
Verse: 2Samuel 6:14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might…
Recommended Reflections: How determined am I to become married? Am I allowing the passion for life to exhibit itself? Is a job or something else draining time and resources that should be devoted to finding my future spouse?
Prayer: Lord, Help me to seek my future spouse with passion. Guide me to be available and obedient. Amen.
Practical Advice: Convince a few of your single same-gender friends to do something the opposite gender prefers to do. If you are a guy, hang out at the food court in the mall. If you are a girl, go to a baseball game. Challenge yourself to start a conversation with 3 strangers of the opposite gender by the end of the night. Give one of them your phone number. Rejections are meaningless. Keep going. Tell your friends to set you up on a blind date with one of their Christian friends.

Profile: Waiter Dater – The Waiter Dater is always in a long-term relationship. This person is skilled in the art of relationships, but the relationship they are in never results in marriage. So they are forever single because they are always waiting for a proposal or the right time to propose.
Verse: Gen. 2:1-2 states Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing…
Recommended Reflections: Am I in a healthy relationship or a state of dependency? What is the real reason this relationship has not resulted in marriage? Do I have the courage to commit if it is right? Do I have the courage to end it if I know it is not right?

Prayer: Lord, please give me the courage to do all You have called me to do. Help me to trust what I feel You are telling me to do. Thank You that You always guide with wisdom. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Practical Advice: Guys, do not make excuses to delay a proposal. If she really is the one you want to marry, isn’t she more important than your next semester of college education? If the rest of the people in history waited until they were financially secure, imagine how many marriages and families never would have existed! Ladies, show yourself some respect and walk away from a relationship when you realize he is just not that into you. If he is into you, he won’t let you go.

I could write a few more, but it is likely that you see yourself in one or more of these profiles. It may be some combination of these descriptions. You may not fit neatly into any of the above profiles. Perhaps it would be better to create your own profile and make a strategy for resolving your stumbling blocks to marriage.

Remember God loves you. He hears your desperate pleas to find someone. He knows your longing to share love and start families. Are you willing to do what He is asking of you to make that happen? God is willing to help you especially when you make yourself available for your future spouse to enter your life. As faithful as he or she is, I doubt they are willing to walk up to your door and knock while you sit there on your computer and ask you on a date….or tell you to break up with that person you’ve been dating seven years…or well, you get it.

In the meantime, enjoy having the whole bed to yourself. If the loneliness gets to be too much, tell yourself, “I want to remember this loneliness so that when I marry the right person…I will have the good sense to stand by their side even when it gets tough.” God is always preparing you for your future and His kingdom. God bless!

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Is He or She the One?

ma

Single people walk around with a romantic notion in their heads. It is this idea that God has created a perfect match for them, and they should spend their lives looking for that person who will fulfill their every need. In a sense, that impression is true. The perfect match for all people is out there in the man called Jesus Christ. We should spend our lives discovering more about Him. It is only through Him we will find the wholeness we are seeking. You are probably still wondering who you should marry and how to find them though.

God tells us in Matthew 6 that we should not waste time worrying, but we should instead “Seek first the kingdom and his righteousness.” This advice applies to worrying about who your future spouse will be. Genesis 2:18 states God created woman to be a “helper” to Adam. God may bring someone alongside you to be your helper after you have thrown yourself into a focus on Jesus. An example of ways you can do this is to learn more about Christ by reading His Word and other Christian books, fix your attention on serving in a ministry, and learn to gain freedom from sin.

I once met a man and a woman that lived in the same town but did not know each other. Both answered God’s call to be a missionary and flew halfway around the world. In that faraway country, God caused them to meet and fall in love. Together, they worked as servants of God—helping one another bring souls to Christ. When you seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, God may send a helper to you.

If God has sent this helper to you, he/she will be a Christian. You will be attracted to one another. You will be interested in marrying each other. You will pray about marriage and in His own way God will approve of your decision. After you have married this person, you will realize this is the “one” God knew beforehand you would marry. You both can continue to rest in the fact that you have your perfect match in Jesus even if your marriage gets rocky.

“Do not worry” should not be misunderstood to mean “do not pray.” Persevere in prayer that God would send someone in your path if it is His will, and if not that He would remove your desire to be married. Also pray for patience to wait for your future spouse. Look around you! God may have already sent someone perfect for you. Don’t look back and regret though. Unless God has told you something different, assume old relationships did not work out for a reason.

You may know of some Christian that never married and are worried this will become your fate. Single Christians can and do have lots of fun and freedom. Plus they can relax in knowing they found their perfect match in Jesus Christ who fulfills their every need.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Contracts

hebr

God is a god of promises. He makes a lot of them, and He keeps them all. While God does not want us to put rituals before Him, we can read in the Bible that rituals have a place in our relationship with Him. He is a God of covenants and contracts and of written promises.

It seems right that as children of God we would also enter into contracts and written promises with Him. What kind of contract would You enter? I am thinking our contracts (or written promises) might include promises to give up certain sins like misusing alcohol, sex, drugs, food, etc. It might include taking a step to becoming more Christlike like promising to volunteer time, to tithe or be more generous, or to read our Bible more.

PURITY CONTRACTS

Hebrews 13:4 states, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…” Is God calling you to a life of purity? Maybe you are unmarried and tempted to have premarital sex although you want to wait….or maybe you’re someone who views pornography but wants to make a commitment to stop…or perhaps you have been cheating on your spouse and feel ashamed before God. Whatever your circumstance, God is waiting for you to make a real commitment to Him to stop.

Some families encourage their children to enter into a purity contract to refrain from premarital sex, then give them purity rings to remind them of their promise.

  • If you have decided to wait until you are married and have never entered into a contract, I encourage you to do so right now. Your written promise might look like this: I promise to God, my future spouse, and myself to keep my mind and body sexually pure until marriage.
  • If you want to promise to stop viewing pornography, you may want to make a slightly different promise like this: I promise to God, my (future) spouse, and myself to keep my eyes, mind, and body from sexual immorality and pornography.
  •  If you struggle with faithfulness, consider this promise: I promise to God, my spouse, and myself to stop all adulterous affairs, confess my unfaithfulness to my spouse, and never enter into another affair.

These are short samples of what your sexual purity contract could be. You can personalize your promise and include Scripture and details or keep it simple. Just remember to type, print, and sign your very own purity contract. It could be the beginning of something beautiful. I pray you will have strength and success on your path to purity.

MODERATION CONTRACTS

Moderation commitments are for areas of your life that need more discipline. Moderation contracts should not be used for known sinful behavior. Moderation contracts are for normal activities that may require more discipline in your life. Christians feel convicted by simple activities that are out of balance like overconsumption of food, drinking excess amounts of caffeine, and oversleeping.

  • Your written promise may look like, “I promise God and myself to consume food only for nutrition and not out of boredom or comfort.” It could contain more details like a promise to consume more fruits and vegetables or encouraging verses. (Serious eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can be life-threatening. Seek professional counseling instead of contracts for eating disorders.)
  •  Another example may be “I promise God and myself to enjoy a suitable amount of rest in my life to renew and refresh my body. I promise not to sleep to avoid problems. I choose to embrace joy and life by rising in a joyful mood and tackling the day with God.” It might include a goal bedtime and wake-up time or a limit. Your promise may include a promise not to be late to work by pressing snooze.
  • Over caffeinated? “I promise God and myself to drink only 2 cups of caffeinated coffee/tea/energy drink per day. I trust God to give me energy to do all of the things He wants me to do today.”

Your moderation contract may be something completely different. Listen and pray for what it is God is asking you to be more disciplined about. Just remember to type or write your promise and sign your name to it.

ENRICHMENT CONTRACTS

There are easy ways to enrich your life, the lives of others, and your own relationship with God. They could include decisions to become more generous with your time and money. Some examples would be to attend church more often or to give your time by volunteering your service or to contribute money to needy people.

Sometimes all we need to do is change our attitude around. Instead of thinking of some things as chores, we should consider them opportunities. Think of all the opportunities these promises would provide for you to meet people….people who could become your spouse or your best friend. I hope that motivates your attitude to change, but I hope your deepest motivation to enter a contract is love. Let it be love….love for God that you want to become more like His Son and love for His people that you want to help them realize there is a God through your generosity.

  • Your contract might read, “I promise to God and myself to attend church every Sunday that I am not sick or out of town.” If you already attend church, maybe you could promise to invite at least one person per month or season or year.
  • It might say, “I promise to God and myself to volunteer my service to at least one event per year.” It could be something specific like volunteering to act as a childcare worker at your church or in your community.
  • Your written promise might say, “I promise to God and myself to give to every person/organization who requests money…even if it is just one dollar.” Your contract may involve finding one organization where you give regularly. It may state something about giving things instead of money.

These are just examples. Feel free to write your own enrichment promise about whatever God has called you to do. Either write or type and print your promises. Just remember to sign your name. Then enjoy your new enriched life.

REMEMBER your salvation does NOT depend on your holiness. Jesus’ blood on the cross has purchased your salvation. These written promises only act as a tool to help you draw near to the Lord with an increasingly holy life. It is an outward display of a renewed heart and mind. It is a helpful reminder to our flesh to yield to the Holy Spirit as He guides us into a more holy life.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

About Judaism

deut

Who is Jewish? It seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? But it’s not! There is more than one basis for being called Jewish.

1. The first basis is ETHNICITY. People who have Jewish parents are referred to as Jewish. Regardless of their religious beliefs or practices, this group of people are still considered Jewish because they are ethnic Jews.

2. The second basis is RELIGION. Ethnic Jews who practice the religion known as Judaism are called Jewish. However, any person who can convert to Judaism and will then be referred to as a Jew.

In Genesis 12:2, the Lord said to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.Today, it’s easy for us to see that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham! Abraham’s descendants can be found anywhere in the world including the great nation of Israel. God always keeps His promises because He is faithful. 

With over 300 prophecies about the coming Messiah pointing to Jesus, it may be hard to understand why Jewish people do not accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Well, some Jewish people do accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. Jewish people practicing Jewish traditions that have accepted Jesus are called Messianic Jews.

Yet there are many more Jewish people who do not accept Jesus as their Messiah. Here are two major reasons why:

1. The first reason is CONTEXT. Jewish people think Christians take Messianic prophecies out of context. Christians argue the Bible passages that contain prophecy have a dual meaning.

2. The second reason is the JEWISH BIBLE. The Jewish translation of the Bible renders certain passages differently. For instance, Christian Bible state Immanuel will be born to a virgin in Isaiah 7:14. In the Jewish Bible, it simply says Immanuel will be born to a young woman.

There are whole books written on the subject, and the many words written do not apply to every Jewish person. However, I hope this blog has helped a little to unravel the mystery of why Jewish people are still waiting for their Messiah while the rest of us are waiting for His return!

In the Bible, we read God promised a chosen nation to Jacob’s descendants including the Promised Land of Israel. We know one major reason God set this nation apart was to bring forth the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to bring non-Jews into a reconciled relationship to God. Now that Jesus Christ accomplished His Father’s will, does it nullify God’s promise to Abraham’s descendants? Should Israel belong to the Jewish people in modern day times?

The belief that Israel should belong to the Jewish people is called Zionism. Many Christians support Zionism because they believe the book of Romans confirms the original promise stated in Genesis 12. Many Jewish people support Zionism because they have a continued faith God’s promise to them, which is stated in the Jewish Bible. Even people who do not believe in the Bible at all may support Zionism for political or other reasons.

What do you think? I see the existence of Israel as a miracle and a reminder that God has not forsaken us. As Christians, we know for certain God will one day call us to our own spiritual Promised Land in heaven where we can reside forever with Him.

If you are not a Christian, it is easy to become one with simple heartfelt prayer: Dear Lord, I believe your Son Jesus is the Messiah who washed my sin away with his suffering and death on the cross. I believe he was raised up from the dead. His blood guarantees me a place in heaven. I accept the gift of salvation. In Christ’s Name, Amen. 

If you prayed that heartfelt prayer, you are now an heir of God. Congratulations! Click here to read a poem on our spiritual Promised Land in heaven. 

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Praying the Bible

eph

According to Ephesians 6:18, we should “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” Besides praying dreams, thoughts, and lists, we can also pray our Bibles. Here are a couple of ways:

  • Promise Book. In this way to pray the Bible, you find a promise in the Bible to support your request. For instance, I pray for healing in my back because Isaiah 53:5 says, “…with his stripes we are healed.”
  • Conversationally. In this way, God speaks first. You read along in the book of Matthew and stop at Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Your prayer might sound like, Forgive me, Lord, for looking at people with lust. Help me to see with pure eyes. 

This is just the beginning. There are many more ways to pray your Bible. Click here to read an example of a beautiful and elaborate prayer using Scripture.
If you have kids, make sure they have their own Bible so they can know the promises of God and engage in their own prayer conversations with Him.

When you pray God’s will according to His Word, you put God ahead of your own desires. He will be eager to hear and answer these types of prayers because they have a pure motive. This is a wonderful way for you (and your family) to draw near to God.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!