Posts from the ‘Motives’ Category
“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.” ~George Washington~
“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”
(May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge)
“The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest of purposes.”
Moral Principal is no longer a mutually forgone conclusion, and no longer frames healthy debate to the degree that our politicians can agree on anything enough to affectively govern.
Without a clear definition of right and wrong there is no basis for healthy reasoning.
Right and wrong look more like shades of gray instead of black and white.
Instead of civil discourse, power struggles, gridlock, and underhanded dealings rife with slander have become the means of politics of our once great nation.
Hollywood no longer has a clear definition of right and wrong and therefore finds it difficult to effectively tell a good story. Every artist knows contrast gives definition, be it photography,paintings,storytelling, and movie making.
And the church, not the Bride of Christ whom God alone can confirm, but the small ,”c”, institutions church in America, have turned many away through not proclaiming Christ above all else. And moralism drives those seeking genuine compassion away, and likely never to return.
If you want to view a true reflection of what Christianity should be, look at the life of Jesus in the Bible.
You will find nothing wrong with Him.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Cruising the blogosphere or Twitter can be very revealing.
It seems you can always find a comment or article by someone expressing concern for an apparent lack of focus on works and holiness on the part of Christians. They almost always quote James 2:17.
“Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.”(James 2:17)
And then you have another group who only wants to quote about love.
“ If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:3)
Both are true. The Answer is in closing the theological loop of the Faith and Works Debate.
Faith without Works is dead.
Works without Love is Nothing.
The only question is; “How do we find this LOVE we need so our works will amount to something instead of nothing?”
This is how,…
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. He is God in flesh and He came here just to save us and make us His own.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His cross. Jesus was born to die there. He took our sins on Himself. He was perfect and Holy. Christ alone was worthy to pay our debt.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. He conquered death so He alone could give life to all who come to Him in faith, believing Christ died for them and accepting Him as Lord and Savior.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
“We love because he first loved us.”(1 John 4:19)
Archibald Brown was C.H. Spurgeon’s successor.
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
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.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is John 5:39-42.
“You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
“But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
“I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.”
I like that verse because it reminds me of me when I was a young Christian and believed all I had to do was read and memorize the Bible and I would be fine. But what I really like about this passage is how Jesus contrasted knowing the Word to knowing the Word Made Flesh, Himself. I think this is something that a vast number of Christians also need to have an awakening to.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
I stocked my head full of scripture, as all Christians should, and I started to notice a theme. That theme is God’s love for mankind through Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah / Savior.
So after a Sunday sermon that focussed on how terrible sin was and was meant to guilt us into right behavior, I asked the Pastor this question:
“Pastor, do you think the problem with Christians is that there is too much worldliness in the church?”
“Absolutely!”, was his immediate response.
To which I replied,”Well I think the problem with Christians is that there is not enough Jesus in the church.”
A quote by Martin luther king illustrates this principle well:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
The path of least resistance for all mankind is to assume we can earn all or some of our salvation, and our pride will also keep us from an intimate relationship with God. Knowing scripture, rules and principles, and correct doctrine are all great, but we should take care we don’t make the same mistake as those Christ was speaking to in our text by becoming pridefull about what we know and letting self righteous knowledge of the Word take the place of faith in Christ alone for our righteousness.
The Jews that Jesus spoke to in John 5:39-42 could have just as easily been me when I was younger, and many of my Christian friends and pastors today.
When a person realizes his or her predicament without a savior, they are typically afraid of death and suffering without Christ.
Thats why its called “salvation” or “saved”, so it makes sense at that point. The problem comes from not growing into a close relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
The goal is for us to become accountable to love for God and our relationship to Him through Jesus Christ His Son.
Our love for God will replace our fear of God as we realize the depths of God’s love for us.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Why do we love Him?
“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
How did He love us?
“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. 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.” Isaiah 53:5-6
Why does it matter?
Because motives matter to God.
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5
I used to read the Bible just because it has power to change me.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
Now I read God’s word in anticipation of getting to know Him better and for what a His word has for me to grow closer to Him.
“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 passes knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, but love for God is our destination.
Because motives matter.