Monthly Archives: August 2010
This topic has been on my mind for quite some time, since there are people that I care about that are gay. I have avoided talking about it, because I don’t care much for politics. The majority of Christians have long stood against gay marriage. My question is this: should we take a stand against gay marriage in society?
When homosexuals are denied marriage, they are forced to have sex outside of marriage. What does this achieve for Christ, accept bitterness towards Him. In addition, sin is multiplied. Instead of one sin, homosexuality, there are two sins, homosexuality and fornication.
Should Christians require people who don’t believe in Christ to follow the Law of God, which Christian’s themselves are no longer under. Will following rules lead to faith in Christ? Christ has come and fulfilled the Law. We should not force people to follow it. Instead, we should testify to the riches and wonders that are in Christ. We should give them the opportunity to surrender their homosexuality to Christ, and live a new life through Him.
Christians should not practice homosexuality, because it is not of Christ. In God’s eyes, there is one Husband and one Wife. Marriage was created to show the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church. A marriage between same-sex individuals does not show the glorious relationship between Christ and His Church.
Lastly, homosexuality has proven to be a stumbling stone for many Christians. If you accept homosexuality as part of the freedom that is in Christ, then you should lay it down for the sake of your brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a stumbling stone that causes many children of God to stumble. Do you love the other members of the Body of Christ, in a such a way that you are willing to give up your homosexual life for their sakes?
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
(Heb 4:12-14 ESV)
The Word of God is not the Bible, though it was breathed out by God. The Word of God is Jesus Himself. The Bible is powerless in and of itself. The Spirit is the One who reveals Jesus to us through Scripture and the testimonies of others. Jesus is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
It is obvious that this verse is not speaking of Scripture, because of the verses that follow it. The verses that follow it reveal to us that it is none other than Jesus Himself, who has such power. Some have made Scripture an idol, that takes the place of Christ. All Scripture speaks of Him, but it is not He.
On the other hand, Scripture is still important in a Christian’s life for several reasons. But, it should not take the place of Jesus.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
(2Ti 3:16-17 ESV)
One thought of mine, is that if you think what I have said is blasphemy, then your god is the Bible. For my words only point to the greatness and power of our Lord Jesus.
Today, on the day of my birth, I am reflecting on my anticipation of death. I look forward to death. Though, it may be painful, the joy of putting off this body will be more worth it than is imaginable.
Now, I am limited in my sight of Jesus. I can see Him through my brothers and sisters in Christ. I can see Him through the Holy Spirit, who declares His greatness and riches. I can see Him through the testimony of those who physically saw Him. I can see Him by faith.
Someday, I will see His fullness. On that day, the joy in my heart will be complete. I will be at home with Christ. No more pain, no more sorrow. I will spend all eternity in utter bliss, reflecting the image of my Creator and my Lover, with my brothers and sisters in Christ. What love there will be on earth! All of our deepest needs and desires will be met in our Beloved. He will enjoy us and we will enjoy Him. There will be such a holy passion among us, that we cannot yet understand it.
In this life, we get just a mere taste of the life to come. We are still hungry and thirsty for righteousness. We are still hungry and thirsty for Jesus. Though we taste our Lord now, and He satisfies us. Someday, we shall feast on Him, and know His fullness.
I feel sorrow for the sadness, that my death will cause in those who love me. But, I am convinced that the One who has comforted me, will comfort them in my absence. It is better that I am removed from anyone who relies on me for anything, so that they may utterly rely on our dear Father. I don’t think that my death will be soon (by earthly standards), for God has much work to do in me still.
This is a picture drawn for me by Nathan Brown. Nathan Brown creates prophetic works of art for God. His website is Dancing for Jesus with a Paintbrush.
You may ask: what is prophetic art? Judy Ross explains it on her website, Breakthrough Art, like this:
“Prophetic painting is expressing through paint and canvas what God is revealing by the Holy Spirit to me. There is the act of worship while painting inspirational art and prophetic art. They are both valid expressions, but prophetic art has a unique message and impact.”
One important lesson that I have learned in my walk with God, is that we should never dismiss anyone’s experience. Especially, if it may be the work of the Holy Spirit. I am not an artist, but I have been given visions and dreams and I can understand the desire to put those visions and dreams into art. I especially appreciate the picture that was drawn for me. I can hear God’s voice in it.
The gospel is Jesus. Jesus is the good news. There is nothing that can be added to Him. He lives in us and through us. We have died with Him, and we share in His divine life. We do not follow a list of rules, because He has written His law in our hearts. We can’t help but love Him, because He is constantly pouring His love out on us. Everyday our love for Him increases. We can see Him in everything. But, most of all, we see Him in each other. He fills us with so much love, we must share it with each other. None of us can fully show the image of Jesus, but together we show Him to each other, and the world. We are in Jesus, and Jesus is in us. Jesus is life itself, everything else is death. He is our joy, our hope, and our love.
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
(Psa 8:4 ESV)
Who am I that the eternal God, should care about me? How can a few years of life on earth compare to eternal knowledge and wisdom? How pathetic are we to think that God is not taking care of the world properly.
Why does God who possesses everything, care about me? I have nothing, but what He has loaned to me. When I die, which could be at any moment, I don’t get to take anything with me. It is all left behind for the next person. What fools we are to question God.
We should be happy to be the poorest servants in His house. Instead, He has made us the crown of His creation and chooses to identify with us. He has chosen to make His home with us. He has chosen to call us His Bride, like we are equal to Himself. I cannot comprehend these things, but He assures me that they are true. I trust Him.
“The vulnerability of Christian girls to sexual assault in Pakistani society emerged again last month as a Muslim landowner allegedly targeted a 16-year-old and a gang ofmadrassa (Islamic school) students allegedly abused a 12-year-old in Punjab Province”.
Rapes of Christian Girls in Pakistan Reflect Hidden Trend
I thought about glossing over this because of the horrendous nature of it, but I can’t. There are Christian girls enduring rape for their faith. The pain of death does not last long, but this torture can last a life time. These girls need our prayer. Let’s pray that God heals them of the horrible physical and emotional wounds that these evil men have inflicted upon them. Let’s pray that God holds them close and so fills them with His love, that the people around them will see the glory of Jesus living in them.
We must stop focusing on what we don’t have. Instead, our attention should be on what God has given us. One leads to bitterness, the other leads to thankfulness. God is always faithful to give us what we need. If we are a child of God, everything that happens in our lives is for our good.
Through our difficulties, God is drawing us ever closer to Himself. He promises our rewards for our sufferings will be greatly worth all of our pain. The question is: do we truly believe God? Do we believe that He is faithful? Do we believe He is good? Do we believe that He is just?
Offer up your life as a living sacrifice to God. Give Him your possessions, desires, family, friends, health, and everything else that you hold dear. Let Him do with them as He pleases. All of it is loaned to us and we do not own any of it.
If you lack anything, ask God for it and be satisfied with His response. If you are asking for something good, then you can have full faith that He will give it to you. God always gives His children good things.
Give thanks to God for what you have. Find contentment and satisfaction in Him. Count all as loss, for the joy of knowing Him.
This was a comment in response to a post called Small Views of God.
It seems like you take from Scripture what you want. You like the God of the New Testament, but not the God of the Old Testament. But, the God of love and the God of justice are the same God. You cannot accept the God that Jesus and Paul described, unless you accept the God of the Old Testament. Much of what Jesus said and much of what Paul wrote are quotations from the Old Testament. Jesus even applied the Old Testament to Himself when He said:
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
(Joh 5:39 ESV)
You say God in the Old Testament was quick with judgments and tantrums, I disagree. I think He always showed that He is a God that is longsuffering and gave plenty of time for repentance. Even when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God made them clothing so that they would not have to go naked and ashamed. I hope that you will come to know the power and majesty of Jesus in your search for God.
We must be careful not to form a God of our own making. The author of this article wanted to address those that have a small god, but I think he just went to an opposite extreme of a small god. God is who He is. Our beliefs about God don’t change Him. When God opened my spiritual eyes to His majesty, I dropped all my preconceptions of God. I wanted Him to show me who He is. He is still revealing Himself to me day-by-day. The foundation of my knowledge of God is Jesus, and without Him we can’t know God. He is the stairway to heaven.
We should not expect God to work the in same way that He has in times past. Sometimes we think God is going to rescue us in our circumstances the same way as He has before. From reading the record of God’s acts in the Bible, it seems that He does not often use the same ways to save His people. This can also be seen in the myriad of ways that men and women come to salvation in Christ. We should drop our expectations of how God will or should act, and have a simple trust that He will act in the best way, according to His infinite wisdom.
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
(Num 6:26 ESV)
As the world’s troubles threaten to consume us in fear, our Father speaks peace over us. He is always near to us, even when we can’t sense Him. In these dark times of fearfulness, even the smallest acts of faith are loved by God.
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
(Mat 17:20 ESV)
It doesn’t take much. The smallest act of faith in Jesus, is great in the spiritual realm. At the appropriate time, according to His wisdom, our dear Father speaks peace over us through the Spirit that dwells with us. He assures us of His love and faithfulness. He holds us in His arms and gently rocks our hearts to peacefulness. These trials test our faith, and draw down great graces upon us.
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
(Jas 3:5-6 ESV)
Too many Christians let their tongues run amok. Under the guise of caring, gossip is spread. People make jokes at the expense of others. Our words carry a lot of weight. We should always take what we say seriously. We should be careful before we talk about another person. We must check our hearts and ensure that we are truly speaking out of love. Are we speaking with malice? Does that person want us speaking about him or her? Does the person we are speaking to have the right to know another person’s private life? Do we actually need to speak about another person’s circumstances?
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
(Mat 12:35-37 ESV)
If your treasure is in Jesus, Jesus is what you will talk about. We must surrender our words to God. Everyday we should pray that God’s Spirit will lead our tongues to say only what He wants us to say. Let’s speak often of the greatness of Jesus, and the love with which He has filled our hearts.
I wish that every Christian would read The Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross. In my own experience, when I first tried to read The Dark Night of the Soul, I got bored very quickly. When I went through a dark night of the soul, I found myself unable to bring myself to read it. I lacked the energy or the will to read it. Since I have come out the other side of this dark night, I have found the book very interesting. In hind sight, I wish that I had understood what I was going through in more depth. I hope that others will read it before their dark nights, so that the words therein, will be of assistance to them.
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
(1Jn 2:5-6 ESV)
Christians are “little christs”. We are created anew in Christ, and we bear the image of the living God. If we are truly in Christ, we will walk in the same way that He walked. None of us can show the entire image of Christ. The entire Body of believers comes together to show the full image of Christ to the world. Our hearts should be set on being like Jesus. If we aren’t growing more and more like Jesus, how can we claim to belong to Him? Chris Sligh, in his song, sings, “…empty me of me so i can be filled with you”. We desperately need God to empty us of ourselves, so that we can be filled with Him.
How wonderful God’s Spirit is! Everyday He continues to show me the wonders of Jesus Christ. He shows me the riches of our great King and He shows me the surpassing love of the Bridegroom. He keeps my heart enraptured with the One, whom I await. From all that the Spirit has revealed to me, I feel as if I already know my Beloved. I haven’t seen Him, but still I love Him. Each day, I look forward to seeing Him, more and more. I know the Spirit still has much to show me. I feel that I still have a long journey before I arrive home. He will continue to testify in my heart to Jesus. May we always pray for God to give us greater and greater revelations of our great Lord, Jesus Christ.
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
(1Jn 2:3-5 ESV)
I suppose the question we must answer is: what are the commandments of God?
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
(1Jn 3:23-24 ESV)
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
(1Jn 5:2-3 ESV)
Many people will say that the commandments of God are this or that. The ten commandments of the Old Testament are often suggested as guidelines for our lives. The Christian life is one of simplicity, not one based on a multitude of rules. We are to believe in Jesus and love each other. Take a look at your heart. Do you truly trust Jesus with all that you are and all that you have? Or is your belief in Jesus only skin deep? Likewise, are you growing in your love for God’s children? Is your love for them true, or are you faking it? We must examine ourselves to know that we are in the faith. If we are true Christians, our lives will show the evidence. We believe in Jesus because of the testimony of His Spirit inside of us. Let’s offer all that we are and all that we hold dear to our beloved Lord.