For the love of Jesus


For some Christians, emphasis is placed on their particular denomination.  This can be so much so that other denominations are castigated and demeaned.

Anyone with even a casual knowledge of the early church knows such divisions did not exist or at least was not taught by the mainstream body.

I know some people who hold that a Catholic can not even be a Christian due to the church structure:  the same is said if other church denominations as well.

You have the KJV only group, those who believe in the literal view of the Bible and those who believe the scriptures contain the world of God and then again we have those who hold that Jesus only and those who believe that the trinity, the three persons of God is the only way to think and believe.

Personally, I find all of this as detestable to a degree for I think it really all boils down to whether or not we love Jesus or not.

It is the same with a natural family.  A child may break the rules of the household, but the love for the child bonds the family together.

The parable of the Prodigal Son brings this to a highlight. The awaiting Father didn’t make a point of breaking out the bad in his son. No.  Instead, we see a father eagerly awaiting his son and why?  He was eager for he LOVED his son.

The same is true with our Father in Heaven for us and the love of the Christ, Jesus for us.

As a family member we should possess the LOVE of Jesus.  With the love of Jesus we naturally have the love of the Father and if we have that, then we must also love each other.

And we love each other for Jesus commanded us to do so.  His new commandment he gave us.

But, and this is a big but.  It all starts with Jesus.  And as we state what we believe and what we don’t, somewhere along the line it will be revealed.  Truly it will be revealed as we express our love for Jesus.

 

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Some are easier to Love than others (Some are simply a pain in the butt)


 

 

In some Christian circles you’ll hear the proverbial adage that ‘We love you all.” That is good enough for whatever it means, but truthfully, some people are simply easier to love than others.

I will admit:

I have a difficult time loving murderers, liars and thieves.

It is extremely hard for me to love ISIS or others who intentionally and systematically kill others for terror.

In fact, a snotty nosed brat is difficult for me to love to include others.  The truth is:  I really don’t love all people.  I’m simply not there yet.

No, I don’t mean for harm to come to other people, but for some, let’s just say that I don’t lose sleep over in their demise.  Bin Laden comes to mind on that for on his death, I wasn’t exactly upset.

Once again, as I maintain in other posts, it’s really a matter of being accurate and honest with our personal spirit.

Don’t say that you love all people when you don’t.

For if you say you love all: it means…well, it simply doesn’t mean a thing for there’s nothing to give manifest to its true identity. In other words, since no action is involved it’s merely loose and empty words.

Yet, when brass comes to tacks, we do love some.  Some we love more than others and some we simply don’t even think about and for still others we detest.

So then, our attempt then should be to reach out just a little more than we did the day before in attempts to love the unloveable.  We should strive and pain ourself to the point where we go beyond who we are to yield the love Jesus taught us to love.

Face it.  We aren’t exactly easy to love either and Jesus loves us anyway, loved us first while we were yet still sinners.  Thus we are to copy his example and extend ourselves outward in the aim and goal of bringing more people into the company of those who are easily lovable.  And we do all that with the love in our hearts that we have for Christ.  In that way we can in fact do unto others the same.

 

Praying Against what another’s for (Imprecated fervor)


At times we face the tendency to pray for things that are in our favor and end up being against the desires of the other.

We could see this as an example of two Christian soldiers of opposite camps praying for victory and then again in other circumstances we could envision our own prayers begging for justice against the bad guys on the other end of the sphere.

Then again we can examine Psalms where David actively prayed against his enemies and remember that David was said to have a heart after God Himself.

Where are we in the midst of this?

Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them.  Jesus has but one real approach to life and that is LOVE.

Now then, I’m not saying that it is all that easy one way or another to know what is right in all situations or occasions.

However, I believe the correct approach is not to insist on OUR WILL but on the will of our Father and for the purpose of truth and the Justice of God.

Friend, we can dance around the issues all we want, but we avoid addressing these critical problems with our sainthood.

If we have members in the military we certainly are backing their efforts to ‘fight’ those against  us here in the states.

Sure, I know we love to quote Paul where he says that governments are installed by God and this then somehow gives us the right to take up military arms, but in the long and short run of it that is NOT what Jesus said.

He said to love our enemies and to bless and pray for them.

Sorry, my own personal response in not as good, but Jesus tells us to obey it nonetheless.

We can wiggle out of it all we want, but we can either obey our Lord or not.

My reason for this post is not only to address it, but also to be honest In our shortcomings.

In viewing Jesus as the model for our own heart and actions, we clearly have a long way to go before we can go anywhere near Jesus in our approach to Him.  Even our prayers which are or should be innocent enough are amiss miss the point: instead our prayers sink or at least miss the mark into sin.

 

Return to Biblical Principles (We can’t do it)


I have used this phrase myself in terms of expressing how people should reverend values and our God. In fact, I know all of us have heard this term as we hear it a lot.

However, I’m addressing what is more or less never actually expressed:  Just what are Biblical Principles?

Are we going to wear out the THOU SHALL NOT KILL commandment when in many places in the scriptures God tells His people to kill almost anything that moves?

Will we jump on marriage and fidelity and then examine Abraham, David, Solomon and others?

Just what part of the Bible are we going to focus?  What Biblical Principles are we speaking in terms of returning?

Finally, we can look at Jesus.  Which one of His commandments are we going to return?

Are we going to give all our stuff away or sell it and give to the poor?

How about the idea of deserting our parents, taking up our cross and following Him?  Is this the route we will take?

Are we going to be washing feet, or visiting prisons or the homeless or servicing orphans and widows and forgiving and blessing and praying for those who hate us?

My argument is:  how can we return to a place we’ve never been? How can we return to God when we have never been there in the first place?

The fact that the Jews could NOT practice Biblical principles is exactly why Jesus came to this earth and sacrificed Himself for our sake.  We can NOT go to God, lest Christ steps in for us.

Yes, there is NO returning.  There are no Biblical principles we can follow or have followed, all we have is Jesus.

Through Jesus we can have forgiveness and hope and forbearance and mercy and peace and justice and truth and comfort and patience and faith and love.  WE can have all these things through Jesus but nothing by principles as man is too weak to follow anything other than a God who has the capacity to continually forgive.

 

The lie of the Importance of SELF


In the United States, the first push for the importance of Self began with Benjamin McLane Spock (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998) Baby and Child Care (1946).

Dr Spock taught that children should be cuddled, were of primary importance to the family and that their egos had to be protected from criticism.

This first wave of Dr. Spock and his philosophy spilled over with the baby boom era that produced the brat-hood era of the 60s.

While some good came out of the 60s the bad was a mixed-bag of a sense of entitlement from little rich white kids, proliferation of drugs, wild music, free-love/sex and a general sense of victim-hood.

The emphasis focused on children over adults, where family size narrowed to only 2.2 children per family from a family of 6 and more only years before.

Next, God and prayer was removed from the schools followed by people’s removal from church.

Suddenly the women’s movement demanded attention over race relations and more laws were changed.

The fragile EGOS of the baby boomers sank into despair with more drugs, divorce and decadence and even advanced with Roe vs. Wade granting abortion.

As everyone has experienced, now everyone is considered a victim, the church and the Bible is described as a joke and America has dipped into a morass of moral decay with daily multiple shootings and other crimes.

Sure, Dr. Spock later admitted that all he did was succeed in raising a nation of brats and that he was wrong, but by then, the damage was done.

Now then, we can see what happens when biblical principles and the scriptures are removed from a society.

We see broken people, broken homes, broken institutions, broken business and a nation unable to function due to sickness and decay.

We have succeeded in teaching the importance of self where others on earth simply don’t matter.  The ever-present ego “I” is there and that is all.

And the ego demands gratification by whatever means it can obtain it.

Naturally we have sex and drugs and videos and music and robbery and theft and killing and lying and cheating and distrust to the point where most people in this society are down right sick and a bore to be around.

The obvious duty of Christians is to induce a counter-attack to the attack to Christianity and to God.

The counter-attack comes and should be promoted by example, by teaching and by refusing to capitulate to the demands of a mutated society that is falling due to it’s own ills and woes.

If there were any good time for Christians to place assault on society it is now.  Now is the time to claim ownership of the good news of Jesus so that America can return to the roots of it’s Christian heritage and serve again under the auspices of God.

 

I can Read  You can Read Too


Celebrating 500 years of the Protestant Reformation, we now live in an age of instant information in reference to the Bible.

At our fingertips and in a flash we might explore any scripture, Strongs definition or endless myriad of translations.

In yesteryear it was understandable that people were ignorant of the Bible. Whereas most people couldn’t read, and prior to the Reformation, people simply did not have access to the Bible.  When a Bible was available, it was not in a native language, yet was provided in Latin.

None of this is true today.  We can read and examine the Bible even in video or in pure talking versions:  almost any version conceivable.

Since this is the case, then why do we as a whole still look to ‘preachers’ to tell us what the Bible says and mean?

Even Paul encouraged his listeners to search the scriptures to verify what he said.  To wit, they did NOT have a copy of the New Testament as it didn’t even exist at the time.

In fact, for 1,500 years the church as a whole did NOT possess a bible at all as we know it today.  More or less, it wasn’t until 1611 that the Bible was available to English speaking people and to the masses, thanks to the invention of the printing press.

Yet, we continue to listen to others for what we think we should believe.  And when listening to others, we develop doctrine and creeds:  often, tenets that don’t even exist in the Bible.

Since most Christians refer to the Bible as God’s Word, why then don’t Christians go FIRST to God’s Word?

I am baffled to Christian response and behavior.  We in fact have right of privilege to the Bible to thousands of online and hard copy resources and still depend on others to tell us what we should understand and believe.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said;  “Make love a crime and we shall lust.” And in keeping with that adage, if we wanted the Christian to read the bible then perhaps it should be made against the law to own a Bible or read one.  In the final analysis for those seeking the truth:  I can read and you too can read the Bible for yourself.

 

Demons and Devils (An unpopular version)


Popular discourse on demons and devils are that they are part of the unseen underworld at the command of the devil.

However, Jesus depicts them a little differently that usually described.

He describes them as MEN !

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

In fact, these guys were the religious leaders of the day, not some weird unseen force that jumps from body to body and one that takes over souls.

I could go on much more into this but most would be nothing more than speculation, but yes, with Biblical roots.

However, my emphasis here is that while the Devil is not exactly a good guy, where we place all blame on HIM, the fault of our own properly belongs to us.

That means, that men may attempt to guide and educate us, it is our proper role to assume responsibly to our self.

Those dark unseen forces are at least the lusts and desires of the heart which are mostly unseen to the ordinary man.

However, our own nature is more or less inclined to yield and to follow those evil desires as the basis of our flesh is about the same:  it is centered in sin.

Thus our task is to resist the devil, but also to make sure our own heart is in order and in alignment with God.

Our inclination to blame the devil for all our woes and behaviors are erroneous and clearly Jesus stated they were nothing more really than the words and pleasures of MEN.

God’s Name is NOT GOD


The word ‘God’ is a position and not a name.  Such as is the case of our president.  The position of President is just that.  It is not a name in itself.

Okay, now I’m not going into the history of how or why it changed, but for all practical purposes, God’s name was changed due to translation.

God’s Hebrew translated name is of course, Yahweh.  By Jewish custom (and law) God’s name was not spoken as it was considered forbidden due to the fact that God was holy.

Our God’s name is probably better positioned as:  Yahweh Elohim.  And yes, I realize that the spelling does vary from group to group.  Also in translation, God’s name was changed over and over again to “LORD” or “THE LORD” where the Hebrew states Yahweh.

Why does this matter?  In some ways perhaps it doesn’t.  But in other ways I see it as extremely important.  Think about the personal aspects of it.  What if someone or even God referred to you with a generic name?  And too, how are we to call upon the name of the Lord if we don’t even know His name?

The same is true with Jesus whose real name is: Yahwasua.  How are we to ask anything in His name if we don’t even really know His name?

Really, what I’m asserting is that for those of us who go to church at least our teachers should teach us what our Father and His Son’s name really is.  This should be fundamental.

God is dead Nietzsche


The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche first said that “God was dead” in 1882.  Of course, Nietzsche wasn’t really saying literally that God was dead, only that the inhumanity of society had killed his influence.  How much more is it said today that God should step aside when God has been pulled from our public school systems and the ongoing fight between church and state in contemporary times?

Consider your own life.  Is God dead to you in your day-to-day living?  Is God dead because you killed him, prevented Him from entering your personality?

Perhaps a more careful examination would reveal that in fact, God is not dead at all.  A more introspective analysis would clearly state that rather than God being dead, it is we who are dead to God.

More than likely we are the ones who have become beaten down by society, the pressures of being an adult, by our egos leading us astray.  Some of us have even become bullet proof when it comes to emotions.

We deny our wrongs, deny our emotions and go after the pleasure zones within our minds as a safety net.  In short, we attempt to buy time.

In buying time we point our fingers at others and all their wickedness.  Over and over again, we wail at injustice, envy, greed and deceitfulness while all the while, denying our own.

Those few moments when we do approach God, what is it we ask?  Do we ask for justice, demand justice or do we beg for mercy?  When the injustice involves others, is that when we demand justice and only ask for mercy when our name is on the line?

The logical approach is to fully surrender to God.  Instead, we continue to kill God over again many times until we don’t even recognize the honorable trait of goodness at all.

We have cloaked and disguised our voices, our personalities, and motives. While walking with others, we put on the appearance of being good and in the same breath curse those who are immediately at hand, claiming how much smarter we are then they are.

Isn’t it great to seem so noble to ourselves and to others?  Isn’t it grand that we live a lie and deny our very creator and the laws He taught us.

If God is to remain alive in this world it will be because of the reflection people see in us.  If God, through his son, the Christ is to prevail it is because of just Christians who go out on a limb to proclaim it and also to actually live it.

How else is God to be alive to this world?  How else are those who disbelieve to believe that which is real and that which is not?

If God is real as we proclaim it through the teachings and belief in his son, Jesus, then it is only by the living example he has in us.  I am afraid to this effect, most of us, to include myself, have failed.

There is a time to either put up or shut up.  That time is always.  It is never too soon to act on our beliefs.  The net conclusion should be is that God is alive, vibrant and promising to all who reach out to him through us, his church.

I’d Walk 1,000 miles for You


 I’d Walk 1,000 miles for You

One popular song attests that he’d walk 1,000 miles for a girl.  Another such song states they’d walk 500 miles.  The sad fact is probably neither singer would even walk across the street, much less hundreds of miles.

Imagine for a moment that you were the winner of a cash award of $100,000 and the only catch to the prize was that you had to walk 35 miles to retrieve it.  You only had 24 hours in which to act and thus, if you failed to retrieve the cash, you’d lose the award.

It doesn’t take much of a guess to suggest that most people would take up the offer of this cash award and would indeed walk the 35 miles.

The real question I have for you though is:  Would you walk 35 miles to visit another person?  Do you know anyone, anyone at all that would do that for you?

Isn’t this a shame that for most people, money is far more important than people? Yes, people, most people who certainly walk the 35 miles for the cash; in fact, most would do it for far less than $100,000.

How much more important are people than money?  Better stated is people SHOULD be so much more important than money.

Over 2,000 years ago, a man walked more than 1,000 miles for us.  In fact, Jesus walked thousands of miles to proclaim the gospel of who he was.

King David remarked about the wondrous creation of man that God had presented to us in the form of life.

And when it comes down to it, what could be more important than your own life?

Christ said:  I have come that ye may have life and have it more abundantly.

In this sense, by accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are cashing in an award.  Jesus presents us with something far more precious than mere money.  He awards us as a child into his household and the promise of eternal life.

Popular songs may be fun and expressions of hyperbole might get us through a tough night, but the real staying power of God is through his Son, Jesus, the Christ.

This gives us cause to think:  Just how far would we walk for another person?  How much money would drive us to desperation?  And finally, do we surrender, yield to Him who gave it all that we may live?  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  Walk after HIM!