Posts from the ‘God is Love’ Category

The Complete  Incompatibility of Islamic Theocracy with Democracy – Islam’s 1400 Year Quest to Fulfill Muhammad’s Prophecy to Dominate the World 

John Quincy Adams, President of the United Sta...

John Quincy Adams, President of the United States, served on the Board of Trustees in 1832. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6th President of the United States of America John Quincy Adams on Islam: 1824-1829

“In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, […..] Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST.- TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE…. Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant … While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.”   

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the Unite...

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. Deutsch: Winston Churchill, 1940 bis 1945 sowie 1951 bis 1955 Premier des Vereinigten Königreichs und Literaturnobelpreisträger des Jahres 1953. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winston Churchill on Islam:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.”

“A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.”

“Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.”

“No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”

— Sir Winston Spencer Churchill (The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899)

These were not uneducated men who knew nothing of their subject and had simply spoken recklessly. 

Rather, both of these great leaders of the free countries of Great Britton and of the United States of America spoke the real truth.

The word Islam means ,”Submit”. (Choice is ultimately not respected, and force is doctrine).

Qur’an (3:151) “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve”

In America we do not understand that Islamic doctrine demands NO SEPARATION between church and state. All Muslims believe Islam must advance until all the world submits to Allah, that apostates must be killed, and what the Quran says must be followed. Unlike old Testament violence in the Bible only in a couple of special circumstances, the Quranic verses that call for violence in the name of Allah do so under all circumstances, even today.
There is no new testament in the Quran.

But in the Bible Jesus said, 

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”(John 8:36)

“He,(Jesus), stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. 

The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 

He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

(Luke 4:17-21)

One religion will bind you, the other resonates, defines, and inspires freedom.

filled in your hearing.”

(Luke 4:17-21)

One religion will bind you, the other resonates, defines, and inspires freedom.

One rules by fear, the other by faith and love.

These representations are based on the central tenets of the religions compared here and not the misrepresentations of said core beliefs. In short, it is when Christianity is misrepresented that violence is perpetrated. Islam is genuine when violence is perpetrated. The confusion comes when we mistake the natural tendancy for evil in human nature with religion in general. Islam is specifically designed to appeal to the darkness in men’s hearts. Genuine Christianity displaces the darkness.

One rules by fear, the other by faith and love. 

http://www.salon.com/2015/11/14/it_was_probably_not_the_amish_bill_maher_urges_liberals_to_wake_up_about_islam_after_paris_attacks
http://wikiislam.net/wiki/The_Story_of_Umm_Qirfa

80+ dead’ after truck crashes into crowd at Bastille Day celebrations in Nice ‘terror attack’. http://tiny.iavian.net/b8cx

Inseparable, Unchangeable, Irrevocable – The Magnificent Love Jesus Christ Has for Us

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Do you know Christ has always loved you?

His love is the most powerful force in the universe.

He loved us so much that He came to us to pay for our sins on the cross.

He loved us so much that He defeated death for us by dying and then coming back to life.

Now Christ gives life to all who choose to receive His love.

Simply ask Him.

He is listening now.

The following passage is from the Bible, God’s Holy Word.

“What then shall we say to these things?

If God is for us, who can  be against us?

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,

how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long;

“We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers,

nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth,

nor any other created thing,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Rom 8:31-32 ) ( Rom 8:35-39 )

Discovering that God is Love While in a Nazi Concentration Camp – Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl Deutsch: Viktor Frankl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vitor Frankl was a psychologist who was trained in Vienna.  and was imprisoned in Auschwitz, and other Nazi Germany death camps, as well as his wife and family.

Even though the Nazi prison camp meant facing death, and surrounded by constant threat and hatred, Victor Frankl found the meaning of life there.

From  “Man’s Search for Meaning”- Experiences in a Concentration Camp”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words,

“The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”

Viktor Frankl

1 John 4:10

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Ethos,Pathos,Logos – The Image of God

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a ...

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippos from 330 BC; the alabaster mantle is a modern addition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God created man in His image.

Aristotle identified three primary areas of influence and response that comprise the mind, heart, and soul of mankind.

He called them Ethos, Pathos, and logos.

God is sovereign and all Powerful- this is Ethos

God is the author of wisdom and is all knowing- this is Logos

God is Love and so loved the world He gave His Son – this is Pathos

The Psalms puts it this way;

Psalms 139:1-4 “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways. For there  is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

God knows us, understands us, comprehends us altogether because He loves us.

His pathos brought His ethos and logos to our rescue.

His pathos / love bridged the gap between us and God through Christ.

God wants our love as well.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6)

The most remarkable thing about what God requires from us is that He gave all of himself for us in Christ first.

He expressed all His ethos, pathos, and logos for our benefit through the cross.

Is God not worthy of all our love in return?

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – from “The Bible” Series on the History Channel – 4 Minute Video- An Easter Reflection

This video from the History channel series ,”The Bible”, depicts Christ’s sacrifice and death on the cross.

It is my hope and prayer that each of us can see God’s love through the suffering Christ endured for us.

He died so that we can live.

But death could not hold Him.

Sunday is coming.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16 , The Bible)

Pascal on Mankind and God

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“Man would desire to be great and sees that he is little; would desire to be happy and sees that he is miserable; would desire to be perfect and sees that he is full of imperfections; would desire to be the object of the love and esteem of men, and sees that his faults merit only aversion and contempt. The embarrassment wherein he finds himself produces in him the most unjust and criminal passions imaginable, for he conceives a mortal hatred against that truth which blames him and convinces him of his faults.” ~Blaise Pascal~ (Pensees)

Share God’s Gift With Others – His Grace

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

Grace is its own reason for doing good to those deserving the opposite.

We did not and cannot earn favor with Holy God.

God’s very nature, which is love and righteousness, satisfied our sin natured disconnect with Him by personally bridging the gap between us.

The only reason for this given in the Bible is ,”God so loved the world.” (John 3:16)

The sacrifice of God’s Son on the cross 2,000 years ago for the sin debt of all mankind was purely motivated by a God whose nature is love.

God’s righteousness stood in stark contrast and condemnation to the imperfection of mankind.

The love of God satisfied what was lacking for each of us to know God by the gracious gift of Christ’s imputed righteous nature in all who believe in Christ as Savior.

This year, in a world that is growing increasingly dark, let God’s Gift of love through Christ shine in you and through you in the same way God’s love came to us,.. even though we were undeserving and in desperate need, He came to save us.

 “Freely you have received, freely give.” ~Jesus Christ~ (Matthew 10:8)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8,9)

God Bless, and Happy New Year

Christ Centered Teaching and God Came Down

The First Christmas Gift – God Came Down To Us

 

Immanuel

 

The First Christmas Gift – God Came Down To Us

Click on this link above to watch an amazing Christmas pageant by Kensington Church in Troy Michigan.

The humorous intro includes NFL ,(American), Pro Football Detroit Lions players Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

Following that is ,”The Christmas Song”, an original Jazz/Rock piece by the Kensington praise musicians that about blew me away.

Most or all of this stage performance was recorded live, so the video includes a 1 minute intercession after the initial song.

What follows is an amazing  theatrical story that illustrates how when God came to be with us , He brought life and light into our dark and dead world.

The Bible says that we didn’t understand who Christ,why He came, or what He was doing.

When the story begins, everything is in shades of black, white , and gray.

Interestingly, the color red is used, the color of blood, to symbolize how Christ gave His life in order to give us life.

Then everything bursts into vibrant color to symbolize new life through Christ.

The video is 86 minutes long but can be started or stopped at any point.

If you wonder what Christmas is all about, or if you feel like you have lost the joy for Christmas, this video will help you find your joy.

The pageant is filled with amazing original music and a simple yet profound message.

I recommend watching this regardless of your condition in life.

Whether alone or with family,..

this message is meant for each one of us no matter where we are in life.

God came down to us!

The first Christmas gift was to us!

These Great Minds Believed in The God and Father of Jesus Christ

There is no shortage of great minds professing belief in God. Let no one insult your intelligence for joining the ranks of these men: Paul of Tarsus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, John Damascene, Origen, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Boethius, Erigena, Anselm, Abelard, Aquinas, Bonaventura, Scotus, Ockham, Nicholas of Cusa, Cajetan, Luther, Calvin,

ThomasAquinas

Thomas Aquinas

copernicusgod

Copernicus

johanneskepler

Kepler

English: Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. R...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonardo Da Vinci

J

 Michelangelo

BlaisePascal

BlaisePascal

galileo

 Galileo

SirIsaacNewton

Sir Isaac Newton

LouisPasteur

Louis Pasteur

Tolstoy

Tolstoy

FyodorDostoyevsky1

Dostoyevsky

chesterton

G.K.Chesterson

CSLewis

C.S.Lewis

TSEliot

T.S.Eliot

TimKeller

Tim Keller

Kepler, Bacon, Ignatius Loyola, Dante, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Berkeley, Copernicus, Newton, Kierkegaard, Newman, Pasteur, Jaspers, Marcel, Galileo, Tolstoy, Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis and Tim Keller.

https://www.facebook.com/Logical.Faith/posts/412949245438955

Come to Jesus and Obtain the Fullness of Love and of Grace

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“The best way to come to Christ is to come meaning to get everything, and to obtain all the plenitude of grace, which he has laid up in store, and promised freely to give. Some poor souls who come to Jesus Christ seem as if they wanted a little relief from fear, a hope that they may just get saved, and a fair chance of going to heaven when they die. Pray do not come in that way, my dear friend. Come intending to obtain the fullness of love, the uttermost of grace.” C.H.Spurgeon

Ephesians 1:13,14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

The Very Best Place To Live

 

 

heavens

heavens (Photo credit: Mystic Musings…)

 

“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

 

Heaven.

 

Think of it.
Living with God in God’s city!
Streets paved with pure gold.

 

Jobs- Don’t need them. Everything is God’s and all who received Christ are His royal family! We will have no want or need except to be with God.
Crime rate – eternally zero.
Climate – always perfect, never storms or cloudy, never too hot or too sunny, in fact, it is always day time because Christ is always there and His glory is it’s light!
Health- Our bodies are totally changed into perfect bodies when Christ returns to take us home. No more illnesses or death, weaknesses or bad health ever. Our new bodies will be incorruptible.

 

Ethnic diversity- People from every kingdom,nation, and tribe on Earth.

 

Things to do- Basking in the full and continually abundant love of almighty God. Worshiping God in His presence will be a natural response.

 

The ultimate best place to live is literally out of this world!
But we can have our citizenship to that city now.
The price of our residence in Heaven has been paid for already by a generous benefactor, God.

 

” for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16)

 

In fact, if we decide we want to go there, God will personally seal the deal.

 

(Ephesians 1:13,14)” And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

 

If you want to be sure now of where you will live for eternity, ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior now,…He’s listening.

 

We Will All Stand Before God, And Adore Him

“Look unto me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”(Isaiah 45:22 45:23)

To behold God is to behold Perfectly complete beauty.

To behold God is at once to be amazed in rapture and awe.
All of nature’s glory combined can’t come close to the glory of the one Creator.

We will see God.
Everyone will behold His glory and splendor, and will desire nothing more than to bask in His presence forever.
We will kneel before Him and His perfect majesty.

I personally believe that even the unquenchable torments of the fires of Hell will not compare with the eternal torment of having witnessed God in all His splendor, and not being able to partake in His eternal presence, but being eternally cast from Him whom we were created to adore.

The Book of Life will be opened, and all who’s name are not written in it will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
But I can’t help but believe that the thing that will be even worse than Hell’s fire will be the experience God’s presence and then being torn away from Him and His perfect love,perfect beauty and glory forever.

John 1:12
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

His name is Jesus

What does Christ Centered Mean?

What does it mean to be Christ Centered?
It means to give all the focus of all your faculties to Christ.
All your heart.
All your mind.
All your strength.
All because He so fully ,and completely loved us with all He is.
Even to suffer and die for us.

Fókuszban az Ige / The Word in Focus

– by Samuel at Gilgal

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones szavaival:

“Ha hisszük, hogy a názáreti Jézus valóban Isten egyszülött Fia, és hogy ebbe a világba jött, és meghalt a Golgotán a mi bűneinkért, és feltámadott, hogy megigazítson bennünket, s hogy új életet adjon, és hogy felkészítsen bennünket a mennyre – ha valóban hisszük ezeket, akkor mindezekből az a szükségszerű következtetés jön, hogy Jézusnak akkor igenis teljes joga van az egész életünkhöz, bármely korlátozások nélkül!”

ENGLISH: 

In the words of David Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“If we believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God and that He came into this world and went to the cross of Calvary and died for our sins and rose again in order to justify us and to give us life anew and prepare us for heaven – if you really believe that, there is only one inevitable deduction, namely that He is entitled…

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A Muslim Convert To Christ Tells How To Share The Good News of Jesus

 

This is a must read in today’s world-An Example of How to be a Christian Witness to a Muslim, even online..

 

Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world? A Audio Sermon By Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.

Suffering is one of the biggest questions facing the human race.

Why does God allow evil and suffering?

The why of suffering is also the biggest accusation for atheists who claim God is indifferent to the plight of mankind.

The cross of Christ proves that God cares and has intervened on our behalf through Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins and save us from an eternal state of suffering.

The book of Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible, yet it is about suffering and loss, and the struggle to maintain hope and belief that God really does loves us despite loss.

The biggest question we should ask is, “do I love God for what is in it for me?”

Or do I love God regardless of if I get anything out of  the situation?”  Isn’t that how God loved me?”

Unconditional?

Isn’t that Grace ?

So suffering is the worst kind of teacher, but also the best kind of teacher, because if we can say that even after suffering the bitterness of loss that we still love God, then our love is truly mature and free, and full of the deepest meaning.

We love Him because He first loved us.

Click on the link below for a 30 minute sermon on this subject by Dr, Tim Keller.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

God is a Father to the Fatherless

 

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. “( Psalm 68:5)

To anyone and everyone who ever had a father and for whatever reason he is no longer present,

To all who never knew what it was like to have a father there for them when they needed him,

To all who did have a father there but he only made them wish he was not there because he was not a good father,…

God is a father to the fatherless.

No matter if you are young or old, God will be the father to you that you need.

He is love,

He is ever-present,

He is all-knowing,

He is all-powerful,

Nothing is too hard for Him,

He has provided our greatest need,

He will never forsake you.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6,7)

Final Events – The Signing of a Treaty With Israel Reveals The “Beast” and Day One of the Great Tribulation

 “because they did not receive the love of the truth”

 “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that  Day  will  not  come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

The coming of the lawless  one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

(II Thessalonians 2:1-12)

Adrienne is the 50th follower for Christ Centered Teaching!
In honor of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it is my sincere pleasure to reblog this post by Adrienne.

Thank you Adrienne!

Passing moments

Every day I look around at this great big world and I smile. God has given us so much! The trees, sky, grass, the ocean, family and friends. When I stop and look around I’m inspired. God has inspired me by His creation. This inspiration allows me to create stories and songs, and posts. I hope that I can inspire others. 

       God and His beautiful Creation and the family and people He has put into my life is what inspires me. What inspires you?

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Greater Love Has No Man Than This

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

To all who live with the burden of the horrors of wartime, and to those who grieve the loss of loved ones to battle, thank you for your sacrifice.
May you find a measure of comfort in knowing that because of His great love for you,God also knows the pain of sacrifice. Amen

The best preacher of the gospel by Theodore Cuyler)

Az evangélium legjobb hirdetője (The best preacher of the gospel by Theodore Cuyler).

” I believe it is without exaggeration to say that the cross, and the passion of God that is bound up with it, are more immense and profound than anything we have ever imagined them to be.” David Bolton

Christ-Centered Christianity

[Listen to post here.]

~ ~ ~

Have you ever woken up from a vivid nightmare in a cold sweat, your heart beating out of your chest, and your mind and emotions reeling from the intensity of the ordeal you just “lived” through?  I have, and it is one of the worst experiences in life.

For some people who have lived through real traumatic life experiences, this can happen somewhat regularly.  The nightmares they tend to have, however, relate not to some subconscious fantasy but to what they have actually lived and suffered through.  This is especially traumatic as they emotionally and mentally “relive” actual events they had previously endured.  How powerful dreams can be in creating and recreating experiences, and to bring us into genuine emotional and mental engagement with them as though they were real.

Memories also work this way, though often they are not quite so…

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God’s Word Must Be in Your Heart To Have Affect on Your Mind

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovere...

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovered in 1827 by Josef Chmel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Your word I have hidden in my heart,

That I might not sin against You.

Psalm 119:11

Has God’s word migrated from your mind to your heart?

The truth is that thoughts are guided by desires and desires come from the heart.

The heart will compromise the integrity of the mind for that which it refuses to accept.

Herein lies the supremacy of love, and the benefit of Loving God with all that we have.

Loving God to the fullness of our capacities means having nothing left with which to love anything contrary to Him.

“O Shepherds, Hear The Word Of The LORD”

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

(Jesus Christ  in the Book of John 10:11)

“Woe to the preacher who would continue to preach the Law to a famished sinner!”

C.F.W. Walther

Ezekiel 34

Shepherds and Sheep

 1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

 7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

 11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

 17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

 20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.

 25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety.26 I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. 31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’”

“Come to Me” – Jesus Did All the Heavy Lifting

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus Christ, from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 11 verses 28-30

Jesus paid it all.

He did all the heavy lifting for us.

He bore our burdens and our sins on the cross for us.

Burdens we would could never have borne ourselves.

Then He gives us His Holy Spirit in our hearts to comfort and guide and as seal of Promise for Eternal Life.

All these are gifts Christ gives to anyone who will receive Him as Lord and Savior.

Now that’s an easy yoke and light burden!

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
 Ephesians 2:8,9
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,  who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
 Ephesians 1:13-14,

A Letter from A Loving Father to His Son.

http://blogs.palau.org/archives/the-secret-life-of-a-fool-a-letter-from-father-to-son

An excerpt from Andrew Palua’s book. A very good read for anyone regardless of your history or worldview.

Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us as He Opened The Scipture? – He is Risen! – Easter Morning Celebration

The Meeting, by Lelio Orsi, 1560-65

The Meeting, by Lelio Orsi, 1560-65 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
As a Christian, I understand what the question proposed in this passage means.
When you know Jesus and you encounter Him, you experience a love that only He generates in your heart.

Luke 24:13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 24:14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 24:15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 24:16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 24:17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 24:18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 24:19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 24:20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 24:21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 24:22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 24:23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24:24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 24:25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 24:26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 24:28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 24:29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 24:32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 24:33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 24:34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 24:35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples 24:36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 24:37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 24:38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 24:40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 24:41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 24:43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 You are witnesses of these things. 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Christ’s Crucifixion According to The Prophet Isaiah – 700 Years Before It Happened

wpid-360px-svouet.jpg

 1 Who has believed our message 
   and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, 
   and like a root out of dry ground. 
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, 
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 
3 He was despised and rejected by men, 
   a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. 
Like one from whom men hide their faces 
   he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he took up our infirmities 
   and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
   smitten by him, and afflicted. 
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
   he was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, 
   and by his wounds we are healed. 
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
   each of us has turned to his own way; 
and the LORD has laid on him 
   the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, 
   yet he did not open his mouth; 
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, 
   and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, 
   so he did not open his mouth. 
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. 
   And who can speak of his descendants? 
For he was cut off from the land of the living; 
   for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, 
   and with the rich in his death, 
though he had done no violence, 
   nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, 
   and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, 
he will see his offspring and prolong his days, 
   and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 
11 After the suffering of his soul, 
   he will see the light of life and be satisfied; 
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, 
   and he will bear their iniquities. 
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
   and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death, 
   and was numbered with the transgressors. 
For he bore the sin of many, 
   and made intercession for the transgressors.

Better Than Miracles – An Audio Sermon By Dr.Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan, NY.

“The Essence of God is not His power but His love.”

Tim Keller

Redeemer Church Synopsis – 1 Corinthians 13 seems sweet, but in the context of the entire book of 1 Corinthians, it is a sober warning against straying from the Gospel. If a person is gifted—as many of the Corinthians were—then it is frighteningly easy for that person to mistake their spiritual gifts for spiritual fruit. When we serve others in the church, are we serving Jesus or are we serving ourselves? Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Acts 18:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Matthew 7:21-23.”This sermon is remarkable in that the Pastor identifies the main target audience as his own church staff. That in itself is not so remarkable, but the subject makes it so; that of their own salvation. Keller wants Christians, and those who are trying to understand Christianity, to know who easy it is to place our faith in our own giftedness and the successes we often realize because of them. The real mark of a Christian and Christian character is love. (John 1:17)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

This sermon embodies so much of what I desire for Christians and non Christians to know.

 Quotes from this sermon;

“Not giftedness but grace, not our accomplishments but Christ’s on our behalf.”

“If you are godly and loving everyone will follow you.”

“Love is the miracle above all miracles.”

“Love, Christian love , is more miraculous than miracles.”

“Don’t get your identity from your ministry instead of Jesus.”

“Love is the essence of faith.”

“The grace in your heart has unlimited potential.”

“What you really need is to give your heart to the Gospel.”

“Love drove Jesus down to us.”

“The more you see the love He showed , the more love will grow in your heart.”

This is another sermon that is worth listening to several times over.

Free to stream online and also downloadable to listen at your leisure.

Click the link below.

Enjoy!

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/better-miracles

Should I Not Love that Great City? -An Audio Sermon By Dr. Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbytarian Church Manhatten New York – 4 Weeks After 9-11-01

CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the ...

CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the World Trade Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Redeemer’s Synopsis – “Many recoil at the thought of being called to reside in a large city. Jonah felt the same way when God asked him to go to Nineveh, and he made every attempt and excuse to avoid the great city. Like Jonah, we may see crime, pollution, greed, and moral decay as deterrents to living in a city; but in God’s eyes its peoples are precious, and his grace and mercy are available to all. Once we glimpse the heavenly eternal city, the city of God, we will share God’s view of the lost and will be able reach out in charity and love to a broken world.”

Preached just four weeks after the 9-11-2001 attack on the World Trade Center and our nation, Dr. Keller delivers this sermon to his congregation who are still reeling from the attack. At the time we were all waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak, and 11 years later we still are in a state of constant vigil.

Dr. Keller parallels the events recorded in the old testament book of the Bible, Jonah,and the city God sent the prophet to, as the platform from which he takes us through history in regards to Christian Citizenship and God’s love for people.

Keller takes us back to another global tragedy which shook the confidence of the entire civilized world, the Fall of Rome, and to the wisdom and truth conveyed by Saint Augustin in his book,The City of God”, written during that era.

Then Keller goes well beyond that.

This sermon was easy to listen to repeatedly because of the richness of content and I learned more from it with each review of it.

As citizens of Heaven, The Eternal City, we are to be the very best citizens of any city on Earth as we follow Christ’s example of love and selfless sacrifice for the sake of others.

Click on the link below for the audio sermon.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/should-i-not-love-great-city

The Centrality of The Gospel – Bible Study Outline by Dr. Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan New York

Three crosses mountain. Szydłowiec near Radom,... Three crosses mountain. Szydłowiec near Radom, Poland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The truth of the Gospel does not fit in any category that preexisted in the human mind.

We think in general terms to varying degrees of God’s provision for our redemption or our own works to hopefully merit our own redemption or some kind of blend of each.

Malcolm Muggerage  said that if God be not God then mankind will worship either power or pleasure, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.

Tertullian said that even as Christ was crucified between two thieves, the Gospel is subject to two world-views that are each born out of mankind’s self-centered tendencies toward power or pleasure.

We call them Legalism and License.

Both are similar in that they are self-centered instead of Christ Centered.

(Tertullian was one of the earliest post Apostle Christian theologians, (160 – 225 A.D.)

This Bible study outline is from one of Keller’s sermons ,and is created by Keller for his church in New York.

The following are excerpts from the full outline.

(The entire outline is available free online at the link at the bottom of the page.)

“The gospel is not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make all progress in the kingdom.” Tim Keller

“We are not justified by the gospel and then sanctified by obedience, but the gospel is the way we grow (Gal.3:1-3) and are renewed (Col.1:6). It is the solution to each problem, the key to each closed-door, the power through every barrier (Rom.1:16-17). It is very common in the church to think as follows. “The gospel is for non-Christians. One needs it to be saved. But once saved, you grow through hard work and obedience.” But Col.1:6 shows that this is a mistake. Both confession and “hard work” that is not arising from and “in line” with the gospel will not sanctify you–it will strangle you. All our problems come from a failure to apply the gospel. Thus when Paul left the Ephesians he committed them “to the word of his grace, which can build you up” (Acts 20:32)”

“The main problem, then, in the Christian life is that we have not thought out the deep implications of the gospel, we have not “used” the gospel in and on all parts of our life. Richard Lovelace says that most people’s problems are just a failure to be oriented to the gospel–a failure to grasp and believe it through and through. Luther says, “The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine….Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” (on Gal.2:14f)

“The gospel is not easily comprehended. Paul says that the gospel only does its renewing work in us as we understand it in all its truth.

“All of us, to some degree live around the truth of the gospel but do not “get” it. So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or application of the gospel–seeing more of its truth. This is true for either an individual or a church.”

The two “thieves” of the gospel.

Since Paul uses a metaphor for being “in line” with the gospel, we can consider that gospel renewal occurs when we keep from walking “off-line” either to the right or to the left. The key for thinking out the implications of the gospel is to consider the gospel a “third” way between two mistaken opposites. However, before we start we must realize that the gospel is not a half-way compromise between the two poles–it does not produce “something in the middle”, but something different from both. The gospel critiques both religion and irreligion (Matt.21:31; 22:10).

“Tertullian said, “Just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so this doctrine of justification is ever crucified between two opposite errors.” Tertullian meant that there were two basic false ways of thinking, each of which “steals” the power and the distinctiveness of the gospel from us by pulling us “off the gospel line” to one side or the other. These two errors are very powerful, because they represent the natural tendency of the human heart and mind. (The gospel is “revealed” by God (Rom.1:17)– the unaided human mind cannot conceive it.) These “thieves” can be called moralism or legalism on the one hand, and hedonism or relativism on the other hand. Another way to put it is: the gospel opposes both religion and irreligion. On the one hand, “moralism/religion” stresses truth without grace, for it says that we must obey the truth in order to be saved. On the other hand, “relativists/irreligion” stresses grace without truth, for they say that we are all accepted by God (if there is a God) and we have to decide what is true for us. But “truth” without grace is not really truth, and “grace” without truth is not really grace. Jesus was “full of grace and truth”. Any religion or philosophy of life that de-emphasizes or lose one or the other of these truths, falls into legalism or into license and either way, the joy and power and “release” of the gospel is stolen by one thief or the other.”

“They are both based on distorted views of the real God.

“The irreligious person loses sight of the law and holiness of God and the religious person loses sight of the love and grace of God, in the end they both lose the gospel entirely. For the gospel is that on the cross Jesus fulfilled the law of God out of love for us. Without a full understanding of the work of Christ, the reality of God’s holiness will make his grace unreal, or the reality of his love will make his holiness unreal. Only the gospel–that we are so sinful that we need to be saved utterly by grace–allows a person to see God as he really is. The gospel shows us a God far more holy than the legalist can bear (he had to die because we could not satisfy his holy demands) and yet far more merciful than a humanist can conceive (he had to die because he loved us)”

They both deny our sin–so lose the joy and power of grace.”

 

Related articles

Our First Love -God – Whom We All Remember Though We Never Knew Him

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

Bono-U2

“Our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off , to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

C.S.Lewis

God-Our First Love.

Mankind was created by God for fellowship with Him and only a relationship with God will complete us.

We were created in the image of God, and we have a part of us that remains un-satiated by anything but God.

Our problem was that God’s perfection is called Holiness, and His Holiness requires holiness from us as a condition to be in His presence.

But all men were imperfect and none could save us, until God came down and inhabited flesh and bone to live a perfect life and be our Savior.

So God came to personally came to make a way for us back to Him, through His sacrifice for our sins.

And three days after allowing His crucifixion , Christ rose from the died and defeated death to show that He can give life to as many as receive Him.

Our ultimate hope can be fulfilled in a promise that cannot be broken , lost or taken away ;God.

God initiated this event because He loved us.

God offers eternal life as a gift because we could not be the perfect sacrifice.

You need only receive it by faith, just ask with your heart and believe.

 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9,10)

Christians and seekers take note at what God’s word says,“believe in your heart,” and , ‘It is with your heart that you believe and are justified.

It all starts with the heart.

But don’t make the mistake that after that the honeymoon is over.

The fact is that you can know God’s love in an ever-increasing way for the rest of your life.

He is our first love who reunited us to himself by the single most incredible sacrifice in all of history; One man died for all the world.

The God who became fully man while remaining fully God ,(Nothing is too hard for God).

God’s has always love us and desired for us to know Him. 

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”(Deuteronomy 6:4,5)

Then God gave us the ultimate reason to love Him with all our heart, mind and strength.

He became one of us and sacrificed Himself for us, releasing us from eternal death and separation from Him.

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

You can know Him, Just pray to Him to save you and to live in your heart as the scripture says, “with the heart you believe and are justified.”

Christ is our first love.

We really were made for each other.


God is so good

This is a wonderful Song of Praise by fellow Christian Blogger David Bibee.

Powerful Praise indeed.

click on the highlighted link below.

God is so good.

Legalism, License, and The Love of God

Rembrant's "The Three Crosses"Rembrandt’s “The Three Crosses” Courtesy of British Museum

Just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, Legalism and license oppose the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The two thieves rob power from the message of Christ’s complete and finished work on the cross.

I’m in awe with the thought that God himself came down to save us and gave Himself on the cross for you and I.

God Himself is the Gospel. Such an incredible thought!

And even more, I think this truth holds a key to something that is holding the church back from revival.

Here’s what I mean…

Legalism and license oppose the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Self righteousness, moralism, legalism, at various levels and degrees in the hearts of Christians robs the church of power and keeps those who would enter from doing so.

I know license is present in the world, but legalism is the Christian man’s primary problem.

Christianity ascribes all truth to the Bible and the keys to renewal are contained therein.

License is pleasure based and legalism is power based.

Both are self-centered.

Both devastate our world by misrepresenting the truth of the Good News of the Gospel.

We need to distinguish between license and legalism in order to recognize them.

License is based on the idea that God is only love, that Jesus died for us, and now we can take grace for granted and sin willfully by doing whatever we want.

License is also known as relativism because absolute truth is usually denied  in this belief.

Legalism takes undo pride in works of righteousness and in pride looks down on others, thinking that works merit favor with God.

 “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 

    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

   “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”(Luke 18:11-14)

Legalism is also known as moralism.

The best example from the Bible was written by the Apostle Paul .

He wrote the letter to the Galatians addressing Christians to defend them and the Gospel from legalism, the idea that we attach our own works to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Legalistic religious leaders were the primary enemies of Christ and orchestrated the crucifixion as prophesied in the old testament of the Bible.

Legalistic religious leaders also tormented Paul his entire ministry.

I believe legalism is still the primary threat to the purity of the Gospel today.

Pastor Tim Keller seems to believe this as well.

Keller thinks that a moralistic view of the Gospel is the norm today.

What do you think?

Do you agree that a moralistic view of Christianity is the norm today?

Far too often we Christians try to honor God by emphasizing His Holiness or His Sovereignty or His Justice, as if to cull favor with God by associating with these attributes of God, while ignoring His love, His mercy and Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us on the cross.

The writers of the new testament centered their claims on Christ,relating their claims back to Christ 27% or more of the total words they wrote on average.

Almost one-third of everything in the New Testament is specifically about Jesus or centers on His personage. The point is it is all about Jesus. If you have the Son you have the Father, if you don’t have the Son then you don’t have the Father.

Do we even come close to giving Christ preeminence today?

I fear not.

God’s great love is the only one of God’s attributes that makes us worthy subjects to honor all His other attributes. His love is His Grace by which we are saved.

Only His great love which He personally expressed on our behalf on the Cross of Christ can save us.

We Christians make the mistake of thinking the primary reason God sent Jesus to die for our sins was because He is Holy and Righteous and His justice had to satisfied.

God is all those things but that is not why Jesus came to save us.

God’s word tells us why.

It says God so loved! (John 3:16)

GOD SO LOVED!

God so loved that He became man.

God so loved that He paid for our sins, the just for the unjust.

His motive was to save you because He loved you.

I have found that most people and perhaps most Christians too, do not have a heart that is awakened to the love of God and its full meaning to them.

Fellow Christians often take issue with those of us who emphasize God’s love as, “The Greatest of These.”

Time and time again I have heard angry responses such as, “God is not just love, He is Righteous and Holy too!”

That was when I finally understood why one of the greatest sermons ever was titled.”Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God.”

(This sermon was preached by Jonathan Edwards.)

In that sermon, the hand of God is the only thing keeping us from falling into eternal fire.

I personally know God is love, because it is written and portrayed throughout the Holy Bible.

If all God wanted was to satisfy His Holiness, Righteousness and His Justice; then God would just send everyone to Hell.

The verdict was already given and only death prevents that sentence from being carried out on all who have not received Christ as Savior.

The only thing that can prevent what had already been determined to happen was provided to us because God so loved.

Legalism, license and the Love of God.

We need to know the difference because only one of them can save us and the others are apostasy,( they deny the fullness of faith in Christ alone to save).

Only the true Gospel that starts and ends with, “God so loved”, will save.

Any other gospel is not the one true, pure work, because they deny Christ’s finished work by adding to it or by watering it down.

Both views of the Gospel, moralistic legalism and relativistic license, rob the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and make it null and void to save and change us.

 “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:10)

We have nothing else like God’s gift of love and must create a new category in our hearts and minds where Christ’s gospel resides uniquely.

If you need to settle that in your own heart, just tell God you believe Christ died for your sin.

Ask Him to save you, and He will. Because He loves you so.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Related articles –

Barna Research – Majority of People who call themselves Christian are more like Pharisees than Christ like.

http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality/619-are-christians-more-like-jesus-or-more-like-the-pharisees

“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”- Tertullian

“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”- Tertullian

“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”. ( 1 Corinthians 6:20)

The Greatest of These is Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 

1Cor13.13 

St. Francis Of Assisi’s Radical Love For Jesus – The Huffington Post ?

Saint Francis in the Parish church of St. Ulri...

Image via Wikipedia

I am commending The Huffington Post on a great article about the radical reformer St.Francis of Assisi.

(who says miracles never happen?)

St. Francis engaged his culture in a way that we could all learn from.

He reflected the love of God in order to,”overcome evil with good.” ( Romans 12:21)

It worked back then and it still works today.

God’s love is supreme in power and influence to change our hearts.

Click on the link below.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/jamie-arpinricci/st-francis-of-assisi-religious-radical_b_1332912.html

Enjoy!

About The Author of Christ Centered Teaching – www.godcamedown.com

About The Author of Christ Centered Teaching – www.godcamedown.com.  A little about me and a lot about God’s love!

Dare to Contemplate the Universal Sense of Meaning in A Flower – Nature Communicating that God is Love

Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 “nature is red in tooth and claw,”

Charles Darwin

Many today deny that nature reflects the Loving Creator written about in the Bible.

Some say God is silent and does not speak to us at all.

Why then do we give flowers to communicate romantic love?

And as a comfort, we give bouquets of flowers to show love to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

In times of grief when mere words are insufficient, flowers are given by those who wish to express their love and to comfort and console others.

Virtually every culture and nation interprets the message of flowers with the same meaning.

If we contemplate natural beauty long enough, we can hear it calling to a deep longing within our souls.

It is God saying,”I love you.”

The following story is told by Victor Frankl, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps of WWII.

“Some details of a particular man’s inner greatness may have come to one’s mind, like the story of the young woman whose death I witnessed in a concentration camp. It is a simple story. There is little to tell and it may sound as if I had invented it; but to me it seems like a poem.”

“This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. “I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard,” she told me. “In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously.” Pointing through the window of the hut, she said, “This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness.” Through that window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree, and on the branch were two blossoms. “I often talk to this tree,” she said to me. I was startled and didn’t quite know how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. “Yes.” What did it say to her? She answered, “It said to me, ‘I am here — I am here — I am life, eternal life.'” …  Victor Frankl

It is God, creator of all that is, calling us back to Him through His attributes that are reflected in His creation.

So when you look at a flower, try to take it all in.

Try to let all its meaning fill your soul.

Consider the fact that God made it for a reason, and that you see something in each flower that resonates meaning to you.

Such beauty defies our ability to describe it fully.

Add to that the cent of the Rose,  Gardenia, or that of many kinds of flowers, and we are well beyond a logical description of the purpose and reason for the existence of flowers.

The purpose for the beauty and fragrant cent of the Rose is for you to know that our creator is calling each of us to Himself.

God is love,  and flowers are a universal way for mankind to communicate our love to others with flowers.

We have already made the connection.

We already know the message and meaning for why flowers exist.

God made them as a means to communicate a message to each of us.

The message flowers convey to us is, God is Love, and He longs for you to know and Love Him as He loves you. 

As the flowers pedals beckon, so God’s arms are open wide and He beckons us to Him.

He has shown the full measure of how much He loves us in the Cross of Christ.

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

The link below is a perfect example of the natural message communicated to us through creation.

Go ahead, Dare to Contemplate the Universal Sense of Meaning in A Flower.

Watch the remarkable the Video below,..and here God saying,”I love you.”

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>href=”//vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>”>

 

Infinite Love – Christ’s Sacrifice To Save Us Was The Ultimate Expression Of Love To An Infinite Degree

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. “ (Ephesians 3:14-19)

“to know this love that surpasses knowledge”.

That seems like an impossible  statement because it is.

The love of God is infinite and our minds are finite.

Faith becomes logical when we consider that God is limitless in all virtue and strength and that we, His creation ,are limited in our capacity to grasp ,”this love that surpasses knowledge”.

But we are curious by nature and intrigued by the unknown.

Yet our text says we can by God’s indwelling Spirit grasp this love that passes knowledge.

His love is infinite love.

Love for God – The All Consuming Fire the Burns Away All Other Passions

wpid-2013-06-24-19.56.36.jpg.jpeg

 “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;

they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.

Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!

But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!

He is filled with fury,because he knows that his time is short.”(Rev12.11.NIV84 )

Courage.

Can there possibly be a more masculine word? (Ladies, I’m speaking primarily to the guys in our culture who seem to have a problem with the word love. Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding).

How about Love? Could love be more masculine than courage?

Consider what the Bible says about believers who are tested by fiery trials.

“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Rev. 12:11

The believers in this text obviously loved Christ more than their own lives.

They loved God with all their heart and all their soul, and all their mind.

This text reveals the root and heart of courage.

Courage is when we love someone or some higher purpose more than we love our own lives or circumstances.

Such was the courageous love of Christ sacrifice for us on the cross.

God’s love through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was not weakness.

When God came down to save us in the personage of Jesus Christ and gave himself as the only perfect and worthy sacrifice that could pay for our sins, He did not display weakness as it may appear.

The All Powerfull Creator and One God of All that is and all that live could have sent ,“ten legions of angels”, yet for His great love for us He suffered and died, the just for the unjust.

He suffered for our benefit and withheld retribution though it was justified because of His limitless divine love.

God showed more than courage, God is love!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

God’s love is the flame that feeds the fire of courageous believers,…

because He first loved us.

I say this because Christianity is suffering from a serious disconnect in a loving delivery of our message.

I think men typically think of love as a liberal, mushy, soft,sentimental feeling without any rational basis or theological application.

God’s love is the strongest force there is.

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