Wednesday, October 18, 2017

God's Mercy and Grace! ~ 1 John 4:19

Did you know that the sayings, "what goes around comes around" or "what you do (good/bad) will come back to you in equal measure," originated in Hindu philosophy/religion. Its not Christian! Jesus Christ did not give His life for our sins because he measured out salvation for only the right people who rightly measure their behavior at all times. He came for sinners!  

Jesus never said anything like that and such eastern philosophy completely violates His sacrifice on the cross. Really, you ask. Yes, really. Christ asks us to repent... He never asks us to suffer for our sin though we may. He never asked us to suffer from our mistakes or to be made righteous by our deeds/works. It is by Grace that we are saved so that no one can boast! Yes, some immature Christians think that the commandment to love thy neighbor is equal to that kind of eastern philosophy but it is not. Nor is what we read in Matthew 7:12 ... "in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you".

Firstly, to love others as yourself means just that. To treat others as you would treat yourself means just that. It is out of love for yourself that you can love others (knowing you are loved by God). It is not because you should love but because you can out of love for God and love for yourself which exists because He loved you first.

Neither of those scriptures mean that what you do good or bad will come back to you in equal measure. For what would mercy and grace be and the love of God mean to us if you had to measure out your behavior in every moment? In saying this, knowing of God's Mercy and Grace, we do not think to run out and sin. No, we think to run/turn to God when we sin. And, in doing so, we thank God for His Mercy and Grace because it is so great and beyond any and all human measure.

 We love because he first loved us ~ 1 John 4:19

The Woman Who Fears the Lord ~ Proverbs 31:10-31

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

1 Timothy 2:1-15

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Many Christians today don't fully grasp this scripture; they ask, " how can or why should a woman submit like this?"  First, one must accept the social hierarchy put in place by God which serves a purpose in this fallen world which is to keep us from sin, though we sin. It keeps us from complete corruption and sets up the program for redemption and salvation.

A married woman submits to her husband as he comes under the authority of the Lord God. His wife comes under him and he 'her husband' stands for her. In the protection of him, her redemption is secured by him as he her husband treats her like the church.

An unmarried woman submit also. The only difference is that she is directly submitting to the Lord. She chooses not to and does not marry to satisfy her own ideas of single needs or preferences to be single and independent. By not marrying, she chooses a more direct and intimate relationship with the Lord God first and foremost.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Be as little children ~ Yet mature Christians!

Living to Please God

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified...that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable! ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3...and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody! ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

 "Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ~ Mark 10:15.  If we are living to please God, as read in 1 Thessalonians 4, then what about being a child? 

Aren't children dependent upon parents? Aren't children carefree, uninhibited and even naive? Yes.
And, as Christians, we can be dependent upon our Father in heaven, we can be carefree knowing that He will take care of us even in the darkest times, we can be uninhibited in our worship of the Lord and even naive in that it could bother some people.  

Mature Christians are those who feed on the meat of scripture, God's Word! They are stronger in their walk with the Lord for it. In that, they are dependent not upon themselves but on God and carefree in their trusting Him, uninhibited and naive as children who are in the world but not of it. This is how it was when you were a child... in the world but not of it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Concerning Marriage/ Married Life ~ 1 COR 7:24-40.

In Genesis 2:15 we read that God put man in the Garden of Eden to work it, and take care of it. Then God says (v18): “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (The Hebrew word here translated as “suitable”, literally means “like opposite him” like him but opposite of him  a good description of the complementary characteristics of men and women). 

When reading Genesis, we understand that marriage was/is instituted by God so that human beings can fulfill the creation mandate. Marriage is necessary to help the human race do the jobs it is meant to do: to work, to be stewards of creation, to have children and to raise them to be productive. And so, marriage is foundational to all this human activity. This last part is very important for Christians to grasp; which is, that marriage is foundational to all human activity which is not always godly activity - Lord's affairs.

In scripture, we read - each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them into a spiritual life. What does that mean? It means that if they were married when called, they should remain married. If they were unmarried when called, they should remain unmarried.  In other words, if you feel that your first and foremost call is to serve the Lord, it is better not to marry. If you feel you can serve God (the two become one) by marrying then marry. Just remember, marriage is not self serving.

In Corinthians, we are instructed further, Paul said that it is wiser to be free from worldly concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided.

An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

Again, to reiterate, it means that if you feel called to be devoted to the Lord, you should not marry. But, this does not mean that marriage is wrong or that it is not foundational to human activity... it still is for those who want to be and choose to be married. And, that in marriage they ' a man and woman' become one and should together be devoted to the Lord God.

Thus, according to the will of God, when it comes to married life, a man leaves his father and mother and becomes one with his wife...and each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband ~ Genesis 2:24, 1 COR 7:2. 

*Additional Source ~

Friday, October 6, 2017

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" ~ John 14:6.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one 'individual' comes to the Father except through me ~ John 14:6.

You see, the individual person is of infinite importance. God deals with, saves and judges individuals. The masses have no real essence. Only in The Single Individual can we find the ultimate and absolute truth as Soren Kierkegaard repeatedly asserted; for Kierkegaard the "crowd is untruth". That is why Kierkegaard used the subject of politics to get his point across. It is the best illustration because in politics there is only representation of the masses.

Though that seems fair, it is not perfectly or absolutely fair because in every democratic 'win' there is loss. Not every one is going to be happy or feel justified. Therefore, there is untruth even in a democratic society. Ironically, that is as fair as we can be in this fallen world. That is why, we must remember that politics emphasizes the whole, while Christianity, as proffered by Kierkegaard, emphasizes the individual before God.

Do not expect man's justice to be done...we are to wait in joyful hope that His Kingdom come!  In that time of waiting, we will produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith ~ Galatians 5:22. Our strength to do this comes from Jesus as He said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives" ~ John 14:27.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Philippians 2: 3-18 ~ May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you...

Being at peace in the place where we are as Christ was we understand what it means to have the attitude of Christ... Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" ~ John 14:27.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.