Personal Relationship


Much is said about possessing a personal relationship with God. I believe anyone can realize this is much easier said than done.
With any relationship certain covenants exist that define the terms of that relationship. In the case of being a Christian, it requires, belief or faith and most of all, obedience which is subject to Christ who holds the Lordship over his church.
Let’s examine what this means in practical terms. For one, we’d all agree that Christ in the flesh is no longer with us. More importantly, we should agree that once Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross via his blood atonement, died was buried and was raised from the dead, as promised, on the day of Pentecost, he sent his Holy Spirit to dwell in us as his followers.
Hence, logic dictates to gain the full power of Christ, it is a corporate effort. In a word, it means we are subject to Christ’s body, his church that combines his spirit with ours with Christ as the head of that body.
Paul likens this as a marriage. In any marriage as defined by Paul, there is a mutual aim or purpose for existence.
The key to this is existence, for if your husband or wife were not alive, one or both are discharged from whatever covenant agreement that was entered. The same is true with Christ. Christ lives through his Holy Spirit that dwells in all his church Christian members and thus exists because of it.
This means if Christ is to be alive in this world, it should be a direct reflection from his church. That reflection is exemplified by the nature of his love. Thus, in following the commandment of Christ, we, through obedience personify the very nature of God himself as taught by his Son, Jesus.
It also means that the celebration of God through the world is done via his entire body, the Church and by that manifestation of His Holy Spirit, He is known to the rest of the world.
Summing this up: Christ exists in this world because we the church proclaim it, live it and give testimony to it by our actions and words that mirror each other to a perfection.
The personal relationship with God comes as a result of direct interaction of us, one to another as our Holy Spirit embraces others.
What is important about this mystery is simple enough: Attempting to believe in a God who was way up there: ethereal and away from us was impossible. The very fact that God Cared enough to send his only Son to walk the face of the earth for us, to live for us and also, to die for us separates myth from reality.
The same is true for the church, the Christian. If we walk on this earth with the same attributes, the identical qualities of Jesus, then today’s world also bears witness to God’s love for us.
Without this effort, without this witness, there is no Christ, there is no God and God’s kingdom remains elusive for those who seek his face.

God is NOT way up there. He is down here with us, through us: not because of us, but because of his Son, Jesus the Christ. Loving one another as we were commanded to do is why there is a personal relationship here with God and people. When we exercise those same principles to others, God also, through Christ becomes alive to them.

The Least of These


This is easy enough. Thinking of our safety, while walking the streets or something as innocent as maneuvering the parking lot of a mall or convenience store, we attempt to navigate around the bums, the hobos, homeless, wine-os, minorities or anyone else that fails to look like us.
Matthew 25:40
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me
Of course, we exclude from the brethren, the dirty, the mangy, those who beg where we think they will use the money for drugs or alcohol. We rationalize that those around us are in their predicament because of their own sins and ails.
This includes the felons, the murderers, Sex offenders, Sex Predators, the arsonist, extortionist, burglar, common thief and a host of others. In some way, we don’t feel they are quite ‘good’ enough for our assistance.
Jesus had a reply to this:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
These so-called scumbags are even possible angels. These dead-beats are always at least potential adoptees into God’s Kingdom. Many are even Christians already.
Sure, it is all the more likely that one of these beggers simply would like to have nothing more than a cold beer when they are actually in need of food. There is a good case to make that they would simply waste whatever it is that you give them.
Just as likely, or even more than likely, when you tell them you have nothing to give them, you sin by lying. You may have nothing more than some loose change, but you cling on to it, feeling you worked hard for your money and they should the same.
In short, we are all sinners. We have all fallen short of the Glory of God and should treat all people the same, with dignity and respect. Naturally, this is all but easy to do, but a goal in which we should strive.
So, the next time you see someone down and out, give them what you feel your heart will allow you. The person you give it to is none other than Christ himself.

More Than We Are


The promises of the Bible are magnificent, grand, and at times beyond whatever the human imagination can conceive. For one, we are promised a new nature, inheritors of the Kingdom of God and also, equally important, to be children of God.
In this continence, as children, we, through the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, are to reflect the identical characterizes, properties of God through his Son, the Christ. In like manner, then, we are to reflect, love, forgiveness, patience, service to others, kindness, long suffering and a host of other attributes.
In reality, anyone knows at many times, we are far removed from any of those particular virtues. The question then becomes as to why.
Where all of the above yet, is that yes, we are children. And as children we are still in the stages of growth. It simply means:: we are not there yet.
Basically, it is more than what we are.
It means that we are human, that we err and at other times grow apathetic or even at other times, ignorant of what to do.
It means that while we are not perfect, we are to strive to perfection even as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
It means our action and conduct should reflect the values of which we say we believe. And truthfully speaking, most times, we are not. Too, we continue to sin.
The difference should be that we are not lovers of sin, nor seek out to do so. It should be our desire instead to copy our Master, Jesus as he walked on the face of this earth. Using Jesus as an example of God personified, we then attempt, with his help to emulate his actions and conduct.
No matter what we do, it will never be unto perfection as we are not perfect in this world. Thus, we strive for that perfection understanding as humans no matter what we do, it will fall short to the standards of God.
In the meanwhile, our persona as Christians should be different from the world. We should not mirror actions of the world, but that of Christ. Whenever we cease to do so, we become hypocrites insomuch we can succumb to the world and get to the point where we do not care.
The order then is to obey: we are to attempt to obey that we Love one Another even as He loved us.
In the process of attempting to do so and as we evaluate what and who we are-we should realize that it is all more than what we are.

In The absence of the Scriptures


In the absence of the scriptures, we’d have only personal introspections of our Lord. We should be so grateful for we have what the apostles don’t have, the scriptures to keep us in line. No, the testaments aren’t perfect, but at least we get a glance of what our Lord said.

Even today, when all the evangelists say what they say, we have the scriptures to go back to.  Thank God, for the scriptures.

Because of the scriptures:

We know who Christ is.

We know what he said and what he did.

We know he was sent as the Son of God

And died for our sins, rose on the third day and walked among men.\

Because of the scriptures, we know right from wrong.

We know sin.

We know goodness.

More importantly, we Know Jesus, the Son of God.

Moreover, because of you, you have chosen to reveal Him.

For in the absence of the Scriptures, or you,

We have nothing.

Thank God for you and the Scriptures that give testimony to Him.

Two Unwritten Words in the Bible


On the last page of the Bible, two words should be inserted for the Christian believer.  These two words affirm the entire reason, the endurance trial of being a Christian at all.  For yes, in the very course of our lifetime it does appear that evil wins more often than not.  It appears that death conquers the last breath of the best of us and that the harshness of the day-to-day living travails dominate the souls of countless, endless saints for no good reason other than to suffer.

Where we pray for mercy we see serious injury.  Where we seek forgiveness among ourselves, we experience and endure strife, envy, jealously and mayhem. Sickness destroys entire families and then there is pestilence, more violence, disease, war, robberies, vengeance through hate and even more destruction when none was required at all.

Oh, the virtues of Christian living for we seek so high and examine all the lowly rewards produced by man.  It is often so opposite for which we have yearned. There is painful, hurtful words:  divorce, rivalry, greed, and of course, there is always rebellion.

We endure ridicule for more often than not we are less powerful than the rulers of this world.  Our words seem silly, callow and ring a hollow clamor about them.  And in the absence of self, we point to our Savior, the Christ.

It is here that we declare the open truth:  that death does not rule anymore, and that the rule of Christ, the righteous king will right all that was wrong.

Because of faith that one innocent man, the only innocent man shed blood on the cross for the salvation of our sins, proclaim another act, that this same man, the Son of God rose again from the death after three days and conquered the power of death, Satan and his kingdom.

Because of this, we should write two more words on the back of the Bible:  words that congeal with the promise of the Holy Spirit that we will enter eternal life as we believe in our Lord, Jesus the Christ.

In the end, it does in fact come down to two words:  as for me, I’m writing them down now and urge you to do the same.  In the end of the Christian Saga: the victory is stated by two words:

We Win!

Two powerful words promised in the Bible.  Only then is it over.

 

God Is Not An Attorney


 

While God is in fact the ultimate judge, he is not an attorney.  Okay, we can agree he does have a set of 10 mere rules, but that’s not exactly a law book.

And yes, we are expected to keep and maintain a set of rules, but this is also expected for our obedience out of the spirit of the law and not by the letter.

In reference to the law, we are all guilty as all have sinned and would fall under the penalty of the law (death) except for the fact we were ransomed by Jesus on the Cross who paid the penalty for us.

Anyone who attempts to do the right thing can easily be trapped within the confines of the law.  This is easy to do.  We become so regimental we forget the focus of our own actions.  More importantly, not only do we become focused on the do’s and don’ts we also zoom in on others and begin to judge them.  None of this is good, as our tendency is to think that we are the only people who are either saved or good and that others are somehow less that we are.

At this point, it is really good that God in NOT an attorney, for since he loves us he generally will correct us and once again steer us on the correct path.

As a result of sin, the breaking of God’s law:  we feel guilty or at least should feel guilty of unrepentant wrongs.

Often, the Holy Spirit will convict one of sin and always forgiving, directs the person toward the throne of God.

Striving above the law results in forgiveness.  Forgiveness is necessary for ourselves and for others.  To focus on the law—requires penalty.

In searching for God we are many times driven to ask for justice over whatever situation we are enduring.  Yet, when it comes to our own judgment, do we want justice or do we hope for mercy? Of course, our plea is for mercy and God’s loving heart is forever willing to grant it.

So therefore, in our petitions to God- we should always be thankful, we should recognize God’s Sovereignty and righteousness.  We should also be humble, always recognizing that thank Goodness, God is not a lawyer.  He is our Supreme Creator who intends not the exactness of the law, but that of forgiveness.

Not everyone should be a Christian


The consequences of being a Christian can at times be severe.  Attempting to conciliate ourselves with others on a gentle path can have unintended effects:  Luke 6:26  In essence this verse speaks of us as partners with society, spoken well of, well fed, etc.  Jesus warns that it was the same with the ancient prophets that were all betrayed by those of whom found grace within the community.

Then again, 2 Peter 2:21 also announces a caution:  We are warned that for those of us who found the path of righteousness would be better off not to have found it as opposed to finding the truth and then turning our backs on the gospel.

In a nutshell, Christianity are for those who love the Lord, love the reason he came on this earth in the flesh, died for our sins and arose after 3 days.  By our faith and belief, we believe we should attempt all the impossible tasks Jesus commanded us to do.

The truth of it is:  Often, many people are despicable, Some people are so horrible they seem impossible to love or to forgive, Some people are really self-serving, selfish pain in the necks and miserable to be around.

Some are liars, thieves, murderers, sex offenders, human traffickers, convicted felons, and the list goes on and within all of these confines, we as Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves.

It doesn’t mean we are going to be perfect in all of this or even in most of it:  it simply means were are to try with all that we have to bring this all to pass, knowing that Christ’s ultimate love for us surpasses any we could even possess.

Thus, knowing that our situation appears hopeless to the casual observer, many if not most peoples should never proclaim themselves as Christians. Nothing in life should be approached without first counting the cost.  If the cost is too high, then a person should stay away from it, and even perhaps run away from Christianity.