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When we say we love Jesus, it is the agape love. The Greeks have three words for love. Eros is the sensual, philo is the brotherly and agape is the sacrificial. That’s the love that sent Jesus to sacrifice Himself for us. That’s the love we have for Jesus when we live our life for Him. Agape is the highest form of love. It's the love a mother has for her baby. She would do anything for her child.
Satan is just fine with your helping people feel good about themselves as long as you're not pointing them to Jesus.
Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is not like adding a Jesus room to your home. It's more like being willing to tear down the whole house and rebuilding it with Jesus as the foundation, cornerstone and architect.
Refinement of a previous post:
Why does the Bible say the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom? Because if we believe we all shall someday have to stand before God and give an account for all our actions and decisions, it will cause us to live our life according to the Bible, the text of God's wisdom to us.
Just saw a bumper sticker that said Happy Heathen. I believe when enough people in a nation lose their fear of God, there comes a point when God removes His protection and blessings on that nation. It's not just those who don't believe in God. It's also those who believe in a god or higher power that doesn't have any serious negative consequences for disobedience. At least Muslims fear Allah.
New King James Version:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
If tough times made you "strong" instead of making you run to Jesus, you missed it.
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Jesus rebirthed our spirit and took upon Himself God's wrath against our sins. Jesus did not change us so we can't sin. That would violate our free will. However, Jesus does provide us with the tools to fight sin. Such as studying the Bible, learning to hear from the Holy Spirit and yielding our ego and desires to God. It's what Paul called "crucifying the flesh." I don't think God will be too happy if we don't avail ourselves of these tools.
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
The “God of the gaps.” What does that mean? To a non-Christian the gaps are those questions that science has yet to answer. To a Christian the gaps are where God’s supernatural power alters life’s normal flow and science will never find an answer because it is spiritual. How and when God intervenes is an interesting question. God is very careful how and when He uses supernatural power. But it all ties in with preparing the earth for Jesus’ first coming, which has happened, and now preparing the earth for Jesus’ second coming. I believe a lot of God’s activity has and will be unrecognized. God maneuvers nations and events that seem normal but are not. For example, I believe God had the Greek language ready by the time of Jesus so that it would be sufficiently rich and popular to make the letters of Paul most effective. I believe the same holds for individuals. I think God has moved supernaturally at least some in my life that I may never know about unless God chooses to tell me. The same may hold even for non-Christians where God is giving them opportunities to see and respond to the living Jesus, not the Jesus who is in a picture in a Bible. It’s the gaps where you want to look. It’s there where you will find God at work in the lives of men and women.
We're all hypocrites. We all have a cost beyond which our selflessness becomes selfishness. And we like to look down our noses at those whose cost is less than ours. You care about how the Native Americans were treated? Enough to move out of the country and give them back their land? Cost too high? It's what happened when Adam disobeyed God and basically became responsible for his own care. It became the law of the jungle. Only the strong survive. We've put a veneer of civility over it but scratch a little below the surface and it will come out full force. It's the survival instinct that I'm beginning to think Adam may not have been created with. He had nothing to fear before he disobeyed God. Afterwards he had everything to fear. Rightly did God say The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Rightly did God say all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Rightly did God say all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Mankind is not evolving up so war and social injustice will someday become things of the past. You wish. They are the result of sin in the earth. Bible says this world is controlled by Satan and he ain't going nowhere.
Being a Christian doesn't mean you don't sin. It means your sins are covered by the blood of Jesus when standing before God after you die. But it does give you the tools to address not only your own sins but society's sins. But like any tool, it depends upon how often and how effectively they are used.
Bottom line: be realistic in your expectations. Use your spiritual tools (Bible and Holy Spirit) but don't get discouraged by what happens in the world. And come out from the world and point people to Jesus. If you do these things then God will show you what He wants your part to be in helping those caught in war and social injustice.
Here's the sum, so far, of how I evaluate belief systems. No belief system can be proved by the scientific method. This changes the game. It becomes which belief system has the best answers to life's most important questions. Belief systems are like jigsaw puzzles. There should be no missing pieces and every piece fits. Below I list five questions I feel are most important. Feel free to disagree. They represent a five piece puzzle.
The true belief system:
1. Must still be around;
2. Must have a paper trail like the Bible that started from its inception and explains its God (if any) and beliefs;
3. Must have many followers across multiple nations and cultures;
4. Must have answers for these five questions:
a. How the atom and living cell came into existence;
b. Why people do bad things;
c. Purpose of life;
d. Why DNA is programmed to die;
e. What happens after death.
It’s true that one has to take the answers by faith, but it’s better in my opinion to have faith in the belief system that best satisfies all the above conditions.
How to deal with negative thoughts and emotions:
Give them to God. Give Him permission to teach you something from them that will help you. Leave them with God and move on.
The purpose of prayer for a serious situation is not to get God to intervene but to get you to where you can trust God with it unconditionally.
To those who resonate with this, and I think you will know who you are:
I occasionally meet people who I feel could be so strong in God if they ever threw their own life to the wind and got on fire for Jesus. The Bible says the eyes of the Lord search to and fro throughout the earth for those in whom He can show Himself strong.
It's funny. I get accused of having no proof for my beliefs by those who have no proof of how the atom or living cell came into existence but believe science will eventually fill in all the gaps, an assumption that also can't be proved.
There is a critical need for spiritual discernment in God's people today. But that's always been the case. The biggest danger for a Christian is not understanding what God is doing. God is shaking America in ways we need to know why so we can move with Him and not be confused and shaken. Those who can hear from God can discern what is beyond the surface. With discernment comes purpose. You know how you are to handle what is happening. For me, things God speaks often go contrary to the way I see things. And they calm my thoughts and emotions as I replace how I see things with how God sees them. Seek to sense God's presence and touch and words in your spirit and mind. God just prompted me to encourage you to do internet searches on hearing the voice of God. If you are truly seeking, our God is big enough to ensure that you will find.
Any illness or condition that can be seen under a microscope or scan or blood profile is a result of sin in general and only a miracle from God will bring healing. God can and does do such miracles, but usually not. But we are still commanded to pray.. For illnesses and conditions not observable through science, and these fall mostly in the category of mental, I believe they will respond to realizing who God is, what He can do, seeing ourselves as He sees us and trusting Him with how things turn out.
Bottom line: live in such a way that you can say as Paul did, if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Being born again is not so much about avoiding Hell but about meeting Jesus face to face. If the idea of meeting Jesus doesn't fill you with joy and happiness, it should. Doesn't mean you aren't born again but may mean you need to spend more time with Him. Bible says we can know Him now, though as through a glass darkly.
Science, especially with advances in genetics, has made a good case for evolution. But science has made a terrible case for how it all first came into existence. For several reasons I don't believe the book of Genesis is allegorical. Bottom line: there is a way evolution and Genesis are both true because God was the author of both. He just didn't say how in the Bible.
I see posts about what is consciousness, time, now, the moment, etc. While I know Christians are to live for the next life, I propose the now is defined as "being in the will of God," or at least striving to do so. There is a peace within doing the will of God. If you honestly and diligently seek His will for you, He will show and lead you into it.
Towards the end of his life, Billy Graham said America had changed. I think he was referring to the fact that his audiences were no longer responding to his messages as they had in his earlier years. I believe what he was seeing was that there was no longer a fear of the Lord in the land. Many people no longer believed, or at least had a lurking suspicion, that they would someday stand before God and have to give an account of their actions while they were on earth, specifically their actions in regard to Jesus. When a person doesn’t fear God, there isn’t much hope for that person. When enough people in a nation don’t fear God, there isn’t much hope for that nation. I don’t care so much what political party a person favors, or what their stance on social issues is, as long as they have a genuine fear of God. But I am concerned about those who don’t believe in God or those who say they are Christians but their image of God is someone not to be feared or those whose “god” is one not to be feared. This is the real danger facing our nation individually and collectively.
A thought on separation of Church and State and the efforts to ban religious organizations from state funded campuses: our government was obviously structured by the Founding Fathers to prevent the Church from controlling the State. But there was enough concern by enough people of the opposite danger, that the State would control the Church. Hence, the First Amendment. To me, state colleges are violating that amendment by trying to curtail religious organizations on campus.
Saw where Nancy Pelosi said to vote for what will make your life better rather than religion. She doesn't understand the spiritual world. You can't vote against the Bible, no matter how it looks on the surface. We don't know the full consequences of not following God's truth, but He does. That's why He wrote His truths in the Bible and said if we follow them then we will live. Our nation will continue to die spiritually if we vote as Pelosi suggested. I think she's sincere, but sincerely wrong. She claims to be Christian but she obviously doesn't understand spiritual matters.
A person can be a social equality activist and a born again Christian if they believe Jesus came to die for their personal sin and not for society's inequalities.
Listen to no one about Death unless they have faced it with Jesus by their side.
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