Recently I was listening to Apologetics Dot Com (ADC) podcast where the conversation of the attributes of God where discussed and love being one of many attributes that God possess was part of that discussion.
God’s love is often misunderstood by all of us and if not truly defined Biblically it can twist and pervert quite quickly.
Best way to define God’s love, at least for me anyway is to look at this way. If you had a child that took a metal knife and ran to the electrical socket hoping to see what happens when they jam that knife in, what would you immediately do and what also would you do to convey to that child why jamming a knife into an electrical socket is bad.
Now I can’t speak for any parents in general but I would stop my child very harshly to keep them from hurting them and then I would do what it took to convey that sticking anything in a power socket is a bad thing.
That is what God does for the us, he did it for mankind during Noah’s time, he did it to his chosen people the Jews in their time and he will do the same to you and I in our time.
The question is will we know when he is doing this and will we know how to respond when he does it or will we just chalk it up to a bad day, karma or just bad luck?
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Contrast to how we define love in today’s life. Love is pleasure, love is lust, love is desire, love is what I want regardless of what others want, love is me.
This is where we go wrong, we either truly don’t know what love is or our wants and desires get in the way because we either deny God or just conveniently disregard who and what God is.
You wonder why our society is crying right now, why it feels like people are emotionally and morally bankrupt.
Well it’s because we have love wrong and we tend to pervert it at every angle. We pervert it for money, for our own desire, for our own lust and eventually that extends beyond the barriers of our own homes and starts to expand in life outside those who indulge too much.
If you break down 1st Corinthians you get a stark punch in the eye of how we get God’s love wrong.
Love is patient: We lack patience, we want our lust and desires now. US News 2013 reports nearly 48% people 15-33 years of age live together before they get married and 75% lived with their partner at some point in their lives before marriage yet divorce rate of 50% still remains the same, we simply want more than we should because we are inpatient and we think we know more.
Love is kind and not jealous: How many of us get this wrong, we want what we want regardless of whom and what it affects and how kind is that. Jealousy can break you and break a relationship. Again we put our lust and desires ahead of what is best for us and most of all God
Love does not brag and is not arrogant: Do you enjoy those parades that show off love, the TV programs that teach a different kind of love you know or is it just lust for our entertainment that is being showed off.
Arrogance is choosing to ignore what God has described what is best and doing what you think is best. Bragging to everyone about your conquest to the point it’s the norm and not shameful, letting that conquest define you is not love.
Are we so arrogant that we brag we know more than what God has given us; we can define love better than God?
Love does not act unbecomingly: Love is not dishonoring one’s self or someone else; it is not unsuitable or indecent.
Dishonoring our society, or family doing indecent acts against what God has created and described and demanding it to be good or at least tolerated. It is done time and time again, lust and desire trump honoring God, oneself, others and self control.
It does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered: My desire is what I want, love does not do this. I will do what I want to get what I want no matter who gets hurt.
Love does not provoke to get what it wants, love does not get what it wants it is given freely because it’s love.
If you hurt me I won’t love you, if you judge me I won’t love you regardless of what I do or what I want. Love is there regardless of what happens no matter what happens it gives compassion when we make mistakes but firmly reminds to give compassion as well.
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth: God made laws, wrote commandments, and describes his love, the contrary is unrighteous. No matter what we do we cannot rewrite what God commands and descriptions but instead we should seek his truth in these matters not excuses to make them okay.
Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things: Love takes on hurt and heals it, it trusts us when we do not deserve to be trusted, it gives hope when all hope seems lost and because of this God’s love endures all things no matter how much we pervert or distort his love, God never stops loving us.
If God is love then 1 Corinthians 13 verses 4-13 is who and what God is. With this kind of unconditional love, can we not try our best to do the same for each other in the name of “God is Love”?
THE FOUR DENOMINATIONS OF ATHEISM: 1st DENOMINATION
Over the past few weeks I have compiled what I view are the 4 denominations of atheism. Probably at one time atheism was just more of a thought and a concept associated with science and Darwinism but through the years it has grown into a religion and like all religions or beliefs it too can have break offs or fractures within the faith so I have classified them as denominations within the religion of atheism.
Since this can be a long and descriptive note I have decided to bring it out in small sections one denomination at a time so as to proof read all four before making a final publish this is the first notes of what I call the 1st denomination of the religion of atheism.
Now an atheist might disagree that they belong to a religion like a devout Christian considers themselves in a relationship not a religion but face facts Christianity is a religion it is how we classify ourselves and atheist have inadvertently done same but I am not sure they see the different denominations they have created and maybe to be fair I should use the word evolve I’m sure they would like that wording better.
The first denomination is what I call the non acting atheist or detached atheist. The non acting atheist is your neighbor, maybe the owner of the local gas station. They are conservative in nature. These people know there is a God but choose for whatever reason not to follow or believe in God.
Most will except and acknowledge that Christianity is not bad and that morality and ethics are based on a Christian template. They do not get in the way of Christian progress most don’t care. These are not the people that call the local supervisors or the governor’s office to have a nativity scene or a cross removed from the local fire or police department property they are non active and sometimes detach themselves from the atheist religion and want no part of being labeled as such for the most part.
Some will deny they are atheist but just do not want to get involved with organized religion, there are those who have this scattered opinion but I went ahead and put them in this denomination in a sense they are on the fence of who they want to be.
These people believe in the American way and strive to be better and deserve not to be judged by Christians based on 1 Corinthians 5:12.
I personally knew a man like this and called him a friend, he never disrespected my belief in God, never disrupted a prayer, he may of thought my belief system was stupid or meaningless but never told me to my face. He respected people enough to let them do or worship what they believed. My friend held these beliefs until he died and whether or not he accepted Jesus in the end only God knows the heart.
What can set the 1st denomination apart from the other denominations is their non willingness to continue to teach their children about atheism, maybe due to the fact they are detached from the religion. Most will state they want to allow their children to find their own identity.
More often than not the 1st denomination will have an unequally yoked spouse. One might believe in God while the other chooses not to express a belief. These denomination children will sometimes likely split on beliefs and some will suffer in not having a foundation to understand not only God but life in general.
It is because of this exact nature that as a Christian we pray for the families that belong or have a family member that belongs to this denomination
Do not fear a 1st denomination atheist but keep them in your prayers, be kind show the love Jesus teaches.
Let them ask the questions if they have any. Any question they have is a step in the right direction. Be there for them but don’t force your will on them they have to want to know God and more often than not will resist a forceful person. Just be kind and let the Love of Jesus do most of the talking.
Last week Pope Francis invited gay Catholics to the Vatican giving them the VIP treatment, the concept that many Catholic and Protestant hierarchy has been homosexuality is not a sin only the acts of homosexuality is. Basically calling yourself gay is not a sin much like saying your a alcoholic, drug addict or a swinger the name is not the sin but the acts are the sin in motion.
I get the idea of what Francis is doing, bringing the outcast front and center and showing them love instead of condemnation and judgment I believe it’s what Jesus would have done if homosexuals were a big part in his time.
You might say “ well homosexuality was in Jesus’ time” and yes it was even before his time but homosexuality was considered a fringe deviance in most eyes of the Jews. It was condemned by God and in Old Testament law. I believe Jesus was sent here to save us, sin would always be in and around us but God needed to send us a way out give us through his grace salvation.
At first my question was is Pope Francis and other pastors condoning homosexuality by putting groups like New Ways Ministries front and center giving them the VIP treatment or a pass, promoting the gay movement? Then I thought what would Jesus do?
Remember Zacchaeus he was a tax collector a very hated group of people. Tax collectors were disliked by everyone since they not only collected from the poor but the rich as well and were well known for skimming off the top and pocketing a little for themselves everyone disliked the tax collectors they sinned with no remorse.
I believe this is why Jesus put much compassion with Zacchaeus, he saw a man who was looking for Jesus and did anything it took to hear him speak, even climbed a sycamore tree. Jesus went as far as inviting himself to Zacchaeus house for dinner out in the open a known sinner. This act by Jesus cause Zacchaeus to repent and change his ways and become saved Luke 19 verses 1-10
Now the contrast to what not only Pope Francis is doing here but other pastors that fall into the same idea of accepting and bringing in the homosexual movement into the church is that Jesus always accepted people for who they were but never accepted or condoned their sin.
Jesus walked and talked to sinners but he never asked them to continue to sin and always told them there was a better way to follow him which basically meant repent and follow God remember the Samaritan woman at the well John 4: 1-26
There is nothing wrong with Pope Francis inviting New Ways Ministries to the Vatican, I would expect any pastor to invite anyone whether they be gay, strait, drug addicted or you name it to church but I would not expect a pastor or church leadership to condone and accept the lifestyle but to counter the sin with God’s love and the chance to repent and live the life Jesus would want us to live.
We have to understand that yes Christianity has different doctrines but all healthy doctrines holds true to one way and point to the same direction. Sin is in all of us but God expects us to strive for a sinless life, and with the death and resurrection ofJesus forgiveness is now obtainable John 3:16
What Christianity cannot have or ever condone is the watering down of God’s word, the altering of his natural law and the callus acceptance of sin as not a sin. Jesus said in Matthew 7: 15-20 to basically watch out for people that give the wrong Gospel and the Holy Spirit confirms this another way in Revelations 3: 15-22.
What am I getting at is basically we can’t change or water down Gods word and many groups like New Way Ministries are doing this. When God commands something in law and the Holy Spirit continues to reiterates and confirms the same concept we cannot we dare not change or tinker with God’s word.
I get what is going on here but men of God in leadership positions have to understand what I’m trying to spelling out. These groups are seeking to change God’s word, they want the sin part to be gone or have us look the other way but we can’t.
We can have compassion, we should and need to but people that struggle with these issues have to know what they are doing is sin and the Gospel cannot be changed to justify sin.
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
Written by King David this is a very relevant quote that can use today even if we struggle with the idea that there is a God. One has to understand that God cares not only of your body but your mind and David knew this.
This is complete trust and faith that David is writing about, long before Jesus was even born David and many like him trusted in God.
Whether it was through profits, signs of wonder or even allowing God to guide his thoughts, David trusted God would be in control of his life and the situations that he would come into contact with.
You don’t have to sing like King David but know God is strength and love; he will protect you throughout the day not only with your physical self but with your well being too.
What do I mean when I say that tuning and getting our bikes ready for racing or riding is the same as tuning, and staying in tune of God’s will and be able to walk with him daily.
I’m kind of a off road motorcycle and race junkie and well I believe there this a direct correlation between the two, whether it’s your race bike or trail bike it does not matter having a properly tuned and handling bike is no difference than having our lives in tune with God and and being ready to do his will.-Jeremiah 12:5
First off what do we know about race bikes or motorcycles in general in this day in age? Horsepower, it is in abundance we have plenty of it whether it’s a 450 or 125 today’s motorcycles have plenty of power.
Horsepower is sort of like information on God, these days he have tons of information. Bibles in print on your tablet on the computer, I’m a big fan of Biblegateway.com there you get every Bible translation known to be at a click of the mouse. Bible bookstores, churches online bookstores there is a lot of resources out there and what does that tell you.
Too much information is like too much power on a bike. Having the right amount of power and having the right kind of Godly and Biblical information is important.
The wrong kind of information can lead you astray, into hard times or discouraged, the wrong kind of power or not knowing how to use that power can cause us to ride too slow, too timid or crash all the time.
So what do we do about too much power on a bike, racers I know and trail riders sometimes will add devices to their bikes to help manage the bikes power.
Recluse auto clutches are the big thing right now that helps give you better power delivery better traction; this helps smooth out the power. Riders that have smaller bikes will add better less restrictive exhaust pipes, port the cylinders adding better fuel delivery devices help the bike with power issues.
Same goes with the information we have for a better spiritual life, finding the right Bible translation that helps explain God’s word to us, trust me on this I have many years of reading and listening to Bible teachings and it was not until one day I listened to a different translation (a different way of explaining the word of God in the Judeo – Christian fashion) that God’s word really started to come to life and things really started to make more since to me and stick to my mind better. Ecclesiastes 1:13
Reading the right books or commentaries on God’s word is important; we can get stuck in a rut reading the same feel good information that does nothing for us. It’s like having the power of a 500 cc bike but since it may be too much or the wrong kind of power for us in our current relationship with Jesus we never are able to go faster, rider better or gain information about God to help us grow.
Since power is in abundance then what is really the more important thing for us to have on a bike and in our lives? Handling, it’s so important to have a bike that handles and is very important to be able to have a better tuned spiritual life with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Racers know that just because you have a powerful engine does mean anything if you don’t have a good handling bike.
A good handling 250F with properly tuned suspension, the right sag adjustment and good tires can outperform a 450F any day when the right rider is on board.
Having the correct Biblical and spiritual information and applying it to our lives is similar. Reading our Bible, learning from lessons by way of Church or Sunday schools is like tuning our forks and rear shock on our bikes. Proverbs 18:15
If we don’t know how to respond to daily life by not understanding God of the Bible and what Jesus teaches us then we might get thrown on the ground or have to just settle for not being able to perform to God’s expectation in everyday life.
Maintenance is also a must when owning a race or trail bike, we all know if you neglect your bike sooner or later it will fail on us. Sometimes small things will happen and sometimes catastrophic things can happen.
I once know a guy that had and older Honda CR 250 1989 model I believe, when I had met him and got to know him I asked when was the last time you changed your piston in the engine. He told me never, it’s a 250 why would need to change the piston.
A month later we talked on the phone and in good spirits he told me his bike blew up. The piston literally blew up; he had piston bits in his exhaust and lower end.
The bike finally got stressed enough and the piston got loose enough that it catastrophically failed him and it took him over a year to get the money and time to rebuild the bike.
Our spiritual lives are the same, if we don’t do maintenance with our relationship with God we can lose that relationship with him and some people will catastrophically loose their way from God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit not something I recommend to do or try. Luke 8:13
Going to church, Sunday school, reading the Bible or healthy and Godly commentaries of how God loves us and how we follow his will is the maintenance we need to do to keep from failure and to keep our hearts and minds on God’s heart and mind.
Just like how we would get ready for a race or trail ride we should do the same with God, we should study his word like we ready our bikes. Trust and know who Jesus is and what he can do for us and how we can serve him just like we trust our bikes to start and how it serves our enjoyment if we take the time to keep it maintained.
This is an article that I briefed over on Mondayfrom NPR, normally NPR would do more of a liberal spin on such an event but with this one it’s hard to change the facts. This is about a young man who resisted his own wants and desires to follow God and believe that Jesus will direct his will.
Allen Edward is a Presbyterian pastor that occasionally has had an attraction to other men. Now you can read the NPR article for more info but Allen chose not to pursue his carnal desires or wants he chose to ask God first for help.
Mind you he fights an uphill battle in the Presbyterian church since they have been publically allowing membership and leadership to homosexual’s for some time now and for a person like Allen to fight these desires and publically say this is not what Jesus would want is a big leap of faith and spiritual growth.
What makes this a great story is the hope that anyone can overcome his or hers desires addictions and afflictions with God’s help. Allen studied his problem and studied it on how it lined up with the word of God and instead of trying to find a way to justify his attraction he grew closer to Jesus and felt even more willing to obey Gods will both Biblically and spiritually.
Allen eventually gets married to his wife Leeanne where she is aware of Allen attraction. To Leeanne this is no different to any of us having outside attractions and I agree with Leeanne.
This is no different to craving alcohol, drugs, pornography other women they are all problems that can trip us up and stop our progress to know God and follow Jesus. Even the best of us have something that stifles us but its how we deal with these issues that define us. Do we embrace them and make them apart of our lives regardless what the consequences are or do we ask for Gods counseling and discernment. James 1: 13-18
When you read this article you get the idea that Allen knew deep down this attraction was not normal and it is not what God wanted for him.
Allen resisted and continues to resist this temptation 1 Corinthians 10:13 gives a clear knowledge God will not let you be tempted beyond what can bear so be strong believe and trust in God to deliver you.
You do not have to follow your desires and temptations you can resist but do you want to? Do you want to follow God of the Bible do you want to be guided by the Holy Spirit and trust in Jesus if so you will have to surrender those wants and desires to God. I’m not saying it’s easy but you have to surrender otherwise you are just laying in your filth. Proverbs 26:11
This story is awesome and shows anyone with help can change you don’t have to except your current behavior; we can change but we need Jesus to help us don’t expect to do this alone. Allen has God, Jesus, his wife and I hope his church to keep his eyes and mind on Gods will and I hope you will do the same it can be done.
I have seen this post before and I heard this saying before I think at one time all of us have said this a time or two. For some of us it was just something we said because we were mad at a situation or mad at somebody. Maybe our parents punished us for some dumb reason or another so we got mad and either said it or thought it I know I have.
But for some this is a real idea, some people really think about this and wonder. This is no joke for some it’s real and they mean it. When you get to know somebody you hope to know and understand them when they are serious and when they are just blowing of steam. I know some people take this idea to heart and it’s real this is not something to just wait it out and it will pass; it matters to the person thinking this.
What I want to do is tell you about me or the people this saying is talking to, this is the anyone that would miss you and we are listening. First of all I know you’re serious when you think this but it is a kind of selfish idea to think. You have to understand you are a valuable person to us you do mean something to me and most of all you mean everything to God the one who created you. To disappear thinking no one would miss you is one sided because you already impacted our lives the day God breathed life into your soul.
Matthew chapter 6 verse 26: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?: One of the more powerful words that Jesus had to say about you his beloved creation; you mean something.
The important thing to wonder is not will anyone miss you but the impact that you make in our lives that would be lost. One has no clue what kind of impact they make, the average Joe like myself goes everyday not realizing I make a difference I just don’t know to whom or what. I know we all want to see the results of what we do but as you know we don’t always get what we want. It’s a conceivable idea to think if we knew the impact of everything we did and everyone we came in contact with we might change our own and somebody else’s destiny something God cannot allow because he makes our destiny
God plans our lives out but remember he plans other lives out as well so the impact we make is like an intricate maze of nerve endings each one sensitive to the touch of the other. If you pluck yourself out of that maze then the sensitivity is lost. Have you ever felt a part of your body that was num or lost some sensitivity in your fingers well that is how the rest of us would feel if you disappeared; there would be a loss and if one has ever lost sensitivity do to nerve loss or damage then you know it does not get better very fast and sometimes it never gets better; you do matter.
1st Peter chapter 5 verse 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Just know that not only does God your creator care but we the anyone care and you would be missed.
I was reading an article in Charisma online magazine a day ago great E mag by the way Charisma is great with social, political and Christian information I highly recommend reading their stuff.
The article I read was “are the Biblical end times rushing in a rise of natural disasters”, in my opinion no they are not. While I do believe God can use disasters to shake or get our attention and it does work from time to time I don’t believe we have had a rise of natural disasters.
Tornados on average are 300-400 a year from 1973-2011 with 2012 having fewer than 300, there have been years of spiked averages but 350 is the norm. In the last 20 years the world averaged 18 good sized earthquakes and that average is up from previous decades. Hurricane storms in the long range from 1880 to 1900 averaged 45 then again averaged 45 storms from 1990 to 2000 seems more like a pattern to me.
I don’t feel like we need to look at the weather or climate to try and gauge end of times but we should look at ourselves instead. What I mean by that is look at mankind and what he and society is doing to more determine end of days. Mathew 24:6 talks of wars and rumors of wars will happen but that is not the sign of the end. Luke chapter 21 Jesus talks about the destruction of the temple and whether some feel he was prophesying about the disciple’s future or end of days is up for debate but he said earthquakes, famine and great signs of heaven will happen but even that won’t be the end. Luke Chapter 21 goes on and talks about how people will be persecuted because of their belief in Jesus and that my friends I believe is our gauge.
As morality sinks and disappears from black and white to just a dull shade of gray, our leaders slowly lose their ethics. Gods natural law is overlooked, things that once where obviously considered wrong are now questioned. Biblical sin is questioned in the name of tolerance or used to twist God word by “is that truly the love of God”. We make exceptions as not to offend our sinful fellow man.
No I don’t think we need to look at the weather, to me it’s just another way we try and justify doing nothing. We think God is displeased by making an earthquake happen our having a hurricane flood some city. More likely God is displeased that we are just doing nothing, sitting in our chairs watching the news and doing nothing. Yes they will hate us for being believers but we have do to something and God bless those who do; God will have a special place for you when the end happens. We cannot allow sin to win and overthrow our society and whether society likes it or not God expects us to try and guide mankind to the good and right.