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From the Archives: Jesus Was Not Religious

During his lifetime Jesus was an observant Jew.  But doing more and more religious things is not the same as living a life that is being transformed into the image of Christ.  The following was originally published June 22, 2009.

I’ve said before that the problem with religion is that it’s easier than following Jesus.  It is usually a given that something is wrong with us, wrong with the world, perhaps critically or else just a little off, but most people agree that something must be done because all is not right in the world as it is.  Religion, in most cases, offers us the chance to do something.  If we read the right book, say the right things, act right, talk right and treat each others the right way we can “fix” what is wrong.  Religion, as such, is worthless.  But what could I mean that Jesus was not religious?

This a great article written by Clark Bunch over at The Master’s Table. Jesus is all about relationships, not rules and legalism. Being religious is missing the whole point of Jesus teachings, being in a right relationship…ahhh now you have it.

Please head on over to http://themasterstable.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/from-the-archives-jesus-was-not-religious/ to be blessed.

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Love Has a Face

Love has a face, a real face that someday we will be able to see. Do you believe this?

1 John 4:8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Note in the text of the above verse that it says “God is love”, it does not say God represents love, or gives love, (though He does do that) it says God is love. Being that God is in Himself the embodiment of love…then love has a face.

Just as God is the author of our faith, so He also is the creator of our love.

In 1 John 4:7 we read; Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. True love comes only from God. The bible speaks a lot about love, about loving God first, and then each other next.

Love has a face, that face left the throne room of heaven and entered this world as a baby.

That baby grew up and taught the people. In the end, the face of love died on a cross alone…Jesus our Savior. Love itself, God in the flesh, suffered and died to pay our penalty for sinning. This is love on a scale that we cannot comprehend.

Someday, each one of us will gaze into the face of love. What will we see? That will depend on the state we left this life in…one who accepted Jesus, or one who denied Jesus. To each will be given their place according to their belief in life. One will be judged for their sins and receive the penalty of such…an eternity of suffering. One will escape that judgement and instead be judged on what he/she did with the new life he/she was given, and the appropriate reward will be given.

The judgement that leads to hell seems harsh, but a few things need to be remembered here.

1.     God Himself came here to this earth and died to pay for each person’s sin in this world.

2.     It is each person’s choice to accept or deny forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ; that leads to the gift of eternal life.

3.     Eternal life is freely given to everyone…if you do not accept it; that is not God’s fault.

Accept Jesus as Lord today, and be welcomed into the family of God today! You need not be good enough to be “accepted” by God…no one is good enough no matter how good they are. You can be forgiven any sin you have committed, just ask with a sincere heart, and you will be forgiven.

Confess your sins to God; admit you are sinner. Believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins, and that Jesus lives today. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, meaning you will commit to living the way He wants you too. Pray this to the Lord with a sincere heart, and you will be saved.

If you believe, if you trust, if you pursue Truth…someday you will gaze into the actual Face of Love.

Can I get an Amen?

 

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Our Daily Walk

Most of us are so full of fervor and ambition when we first turn to the Lord for salvation.  We want to go out and conquer the world for Him.

But as time goes on, we may lose that drive to do all for Him.  We may become so involved with the other aspects of our life that we soon find ourselves buried in other pursuits.

We don’t realize what we are doing until one day we look up and see how far we have traveled away from Him.  It is then that we realize that all those other things in our lives have moved in and taken our time and attention away from Him.

This an excellent article by Christian Blessings author Drusilla Mott. For an encouraging article on renewing your walk with Christ and why we should do so, please visit Drusilla over at Christian Blessings. You can read this post here, http://ptl2010.com/2012/02/26/our-daily-walk/

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Do you hunger and thirst after Righteousness?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

As you navigate your Christian journey, you’ll face trial and tribulation; partly because you love Jesus and partly because the enemy is upset that he has lost a prized possession. He will use every trick in the book to win you back, and if you are not careful, you will be right back where you had started—living in sin.

It is very easy to get distracted in today’s world. Lifestyles are presented in magazines and on television that seem so appealing.

This another great article by Noel over at This Blogging Thing . For some wholesome encouragement on following God, head on over to http://prhayz.com/2012/02/18/do-you-hunger-and-thirst-after-righteousness/

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God is Not Like Fast Food

Sometimes life happens, and supper as planned is not happening. Or it is going to be a really busy week. Or the refrigerator decided to die…goodbye food. Whatever the case may be, sometimes it is great to be able to drive in to a fast food place, and order what you want, and be on your way in minutes. Why, because it is fast and easy.

God on the other hand is not like fast food! Do you ever wonder why God won’t just take away what is troubling you? Or why God seems to be so slow to answer a prayer, or bring about the change needed in your life or someone else’s? I need this God…right now please.

Why in the world can’t God be like fast food? You know…fast?

We live in a culture where everything is fast, at least a lot of us do. I am guilty of this fast paced life quite often. The microwave is not fast enough, the traffic light takes to long, and for sure my computer is too slow! I work with computers and the Internet for a living, so I always want the customer’s computer to work faster. The point here is that we tend to want everything to be fast, right now…what do you mean I have to wait? Young people today are especially bad this way, not all but many, (remember I pointed the finger at myself first)

God does not work fast, not normally anyway. I wish God would make many things happen faster, but God works in His time, not mine. God’s ways are not my ways, thankfully.

Lets look at some reasons why God does not do “insta-fix”,

  1. Patience, God wants us to learn this. God’s Word tells us that lack of patience is a sin. Things done in haste without proper planning and thought often don’t work well.
  2. Appreciation, if things are just handed to us for free, we don’t tend to appreciate them. If however we have to put some effort into things, then we appreciate them.
  3. Learning our lessons, if life’s troubles are all fixed for us, (like the parent who mistakenly steps in to “fix” everything for their child) we don’t learn anything. God gives us the tools, shows us how to use them, and then we need to put in the work, this way we learn and the lesson sticks with us.
  4. Character building, the fastest way I know of to build character is to go through some trials in life and come out on top having learned some valuable lessons.
  5. Teaching moments, how can we teach and model what we have not experienced?
  6. God’s Glory, if we have suffered through adversity in our lives of any kind, and have through the experience become better Disciples of Christ, this glorifies God.
  7. God’s love for us, as His children, God wants the best for us in everything. God says we must be patient, therefore He is not going to do “insta-fix”. He is not going to just step in and take care of it, we need to fall down and hurt ourselves on occasion and then call out to our Father for help. We do the same for our kids, why would we think God would do any different? Just where do you think wise parenting started anyway?
  8. Our love for God, as we go through life and experience all manner of things, especially the negative events in our lives…we move closer to God. After all…if life was always good, would you call out to God as much or need Him…honestly?
  9. Choice, we have two options in our trials, embrace God and do what He tells us to in order to bring about healing, or we can go our own way and hope things work out. Choosing God’s way is always best, make no mistake…God is watching how we choose. God wants those that choose Him and His ways and put aside the world’s ways.
  10. Obedience, God desires our obedience…if everything in life was given to us without cost on our part, or our mistakes were all nullified with no effort on our part…why be obedient? After all, Daddy would just fix everything, so go ahead and do whatever you want. There are no consequences, so why worry? If however there are consequences for our actions, we learn to obey God, and therefore avoid those unpleasant negative consequences.
  11. Our wills, God gave us a will. So…we want to be in charge, it’s only human. Problem…God wants our wills to be in submission to His. Read the above reasons why God does not do “insta-fix”…they are how we learn to submit our wills to His. God’s will is always better than ours!
  12. Allegiance, God wants our total and complete allegiance to Himself, no other. Total commitment to our God. If you have lived life with Christ for any length of time, then you have hopefully learned that Christ is the answer to the problem; any problem, at any time, in any place, in any circumstance. God wants us to choose Him by our own free will, not because He made us do so. Willing allegiance to God is powerful, forced allegiance would be no allegiance at all.
  13.  Dependence, God desires that we be dependent on Him, not ourselves. Why? Because we as human beings have only limited vision, our vision is not all inclusive like God’s is…so we need to depend on Him even when things make no sense at all, especially when things make no sense. When your human brain and heart can make no sense of what is happening in your world…God can make perfect sense out of it, trust Him!
  14. Growth, if we are to grow in any meaningful, substantial way…it takes time and life lessons. We don’t come to Christ as mature believers, we come as babes and progress through teaching, life experience, mistakes, and often yes…lessons learned the hard way.
  15. Wisdom, God desires us to obtain wisdom and not be foolish. Only through life experience combined with our learning of God’s ways do we attain wisdom. Very few are wise at a young age, although they think they are. (I was guilty of this!)

God is much more like that meal that takes all day to make! Actually, we are that meal, and God is the Chef. Let God prepare you properly, so that when you step into eternity, you will hear, “well done good and faithful servant”.

gth                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2/22/12

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THE FORK IN THE ROAD – a short story

Two young men walked shoulder to shoulder, talking quietly under the hot summer sun.

“I don’t know,” Harry said.  “I just can’t accept the idea that there is some sort of being that is in control of everything.”  He looked at his friend and raised his brows in challenge.  “And I don’t think there’s anything when you die.  I think you just die and that’s the end.”

“But,” argued John, “why are we here then?  What’s the point of this life if we just waste it away and then die without ever doing anything important?”

“I think we are here to have fun, to do what we want to do.  I mean, it’s my life; why can’t I do what I want when I want?”

John thought about that question, knowing there should be an answer, but he didn’t know what it was.

This is a great short story by Drusilla over at Drusilla Mott. We all have to make a choice where God is concerned, and not making a choice is making a choice…against God. If you like short stories, this a great read.

To continue reading please head on over to http://drusillamott.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-fork-in-the-road-a-short-story/

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Can We Be Christlike?

We are commanded to be like Christ.  We must imitate him and be conformed to his image; we must “put on” Christ.  These are New Testament directives.  But we will never really become exactly like him.  So what is the goal? I use artificial sweetener in my tea.  It’s not the same as sugar, but I have tried and failed to drink unsweetened tea.  Diet pop, Mrs. Dash and Smart Balance butter-flavored whatever that is are all examples of products made to imitate the real thing.  While we endeavor to become like Christ…

This is a great article by Clark Bunch over at The Master’s Table. We all need to be working on our walk with Christ, and giving ourselves to Him. To read more about this wonderful process, please head on over to, http://themasterstable.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/can-we-be-christlike/

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