Posted in Christian Life, tagged baptism, Bible, Christ, christians, faith, grace, guilt, Jesus, law, love, punishment, rules, ten commandments, works on July 27, 2011|
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Galatians 2:16 – nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus…….
We Christians sometime spend our time trying to obey the 10 Commandments and trying to do the right thing, when in actuality, we don’t need to be trying to keep the law at all.
We will go to church every time the door is open, tithe our 10 percent, we will not smoke, drink, dance, go to movies, we will look down and condemn those who do or do not do what we feel the Bible commands. We feel guilty every time we mess up and think God is going punish us if we do not do everything we know is ‘right’ to do as Christians.
What happened to grace? What happened to being saved through faith in Christ, and Him alone. Not Jesus and baptism, not Jesus and doing this or that, not Jesus and refraining from doing certain things. We are saved through faith in Christ and to be quite blunt, we do not ‘have’ to do any of these things or do not ‘have’ to avoid certain things to be a child of God. We have a freedom in Christ that was bought and paid for with the death and resurrection of Jesus. That does not mean we just live our lives doing whatever we want, but we living in the freedom we have through grace. We do things out of love, love for God and love for others. It is no longer out of obligation or trying to follow any law.
Let’s stop putting all the rules and regulations on others that we think will make them better people and love them with the love of Christ and let God lead them in the way He wants them to go.
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Posted in Acceptance of Others, Christian Life, Community, The church, tagged church, community, congregation, follower of Christ, Gay, hope, Jesus, living word, organized church, pray, religion, Spirit, sunday, welcome on July 19, 2011|
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Have you ever passed a ‘church’ building and saw a sign out front that says ‘Everyone Welcome’?
When I see one I always wonder if they really mean what they say. I’ve seen so many congregations over the years get set in their ways and enjoy the people who are “regular’s”, but what would happen if ‘everyone’ did come to their church?
What would the thoughts and feelings be if a gay couple walked in, or a few prostitutes decided to come in for a service. What if a group of homeless people walked in to hear the Sunday morning sermon? Would everyone be truly welcome?
We know that Jesus welcomed everyone, literally, and mostly those who the ‘religious world’ didn’t want to have any association. Jesus met with and cared for the people who probably wouldn’t go to church, either because they wouldn’t be welcome or because they just didn’t think they would fit in.
Maybe that says something about our ‘organized church’ of today. Maybe we’ve become so involved with religion and the proper way of doing things that we’ve lost our first love. Could we be so caught up in the trends of modern religion that we forget our relationship with the God of the universe?
Maybe we need to concentrate more on living in fellowship with Christ on a daily basis, loving Him and loving others, and not worry so much about what building we go to on Sunday morning….if we go at all. The true Church is not a building, and it does not matter which day we meet or where we meet. The Church is a community of believers who live for Him each and every day. We should not be focused on a building, but on a daily walk with Him.
To love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love others as ourselves fulfills the law. We no longer need to worry about obeying the law and the rules and regulations. We now live under a new covenant which went into effect at the death and resurrection of Jesus. We now have the Living Word within us through the Holy Spirit. We no longer need any man to teach us the ways of God, because now the Spirit is our guide.
It is time to put our focus back on our first love, Jesus. It is time to live out our relationship with God on a daily basis, not only on one day. If you are a follower of Christ, it is a daily way of live of loving God, loving others, and being prepared to give an answer of the hope that is within us to those who ask us. I pray we are all letting the love of God show through us so that others will be drawn to Him.
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Roman 6:10 – For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God….
Most of us ask for forgiveness at least once a day. Is it really necessary?
When Christ died, He died to sin ONCE for all. Jesus doesn’t die daily, He doesn’t need to come back and die once a year for our sins. Jesus died once and it was for our sins past, present and future. In God’s eyes, we are now righteous and seated in heavenly places with Christ.
Unfortunately we will continue to sin, but we don’t need to continually ask for forgiveness because we are already forgiven. What we should do is tell God we are sorry that we messed up and thank Him for the forgiveness He provided us through Christ.
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Romans 12:16 — Be of the same mind toward one another, do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
To be of the same mind to me means to think of each other on the same grounds, not one better than the other, but equals. To be haughty is to be proud and snobbish. We should not be this way, but we are to associate with the lowly, the everyday people and the ones that others might look down on. So many people spend their time trying to be noticed by people who they think are someone important, or someone who can do something for them. We aren’t to treat others like that. We are to treat all with love and respect, as equals, and not as better than another.
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2 Corinthians 1: 3,4 — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Our Father loves us so much. Just as a parent will look over their child and suffer in troubled times with them, our Father does the same for us. He comforts us in our time of trouble, no matter how small and minor, or how overwhelming, He comforts us with His mercy. Just as with money and riches, we are not to horde them or store them up, but we are to give them away to help others. So we are to do the same with the mercy and comfort we receive. When we come across someone who is hurting and going through troubled times, we are to share with them the love, comfort and mercy we received from our Father.
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Acts 4: 13 — now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
In our present day where everyone emphasizes a college education and so much specialized training, we need to remember that this is all man-made thoughts and ideas. It was obvious that Peter and John were uneducated and untrained in spiritual things, they were mere fishermen. They didn’t stand out, had no confidence in themselves, and felt they could not have any impact on their world. So many of us feel the same way today. We couldn’t afford college, we didn’t get into any specialized training of any kind, and we feel insignificant in our world.
The difference in this verse, and the difference in our lives is if we have been with Jesus. On our own, we really can’t do much. Some people do great things in life and make somewhat of a difference in man’s eyes, but when talking about eternal purposes and making a real difference in the lives of others, only those who accept Christ and spend time with Jesus have a noticeable difference to them that impacts others. In Christ we can have a confidence and a spirit of love that makes us different, loving and caring of others.
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1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God
People can be persuaded to do certain things or believe certain things by the power of suggestion from certain people. Of course, this isn’t what is being talked about here, because our faith needs to be in something more than just a belief. Our faith is in our living God. Paul tells us that when he spoke, it was not by natural, wisdom of men, but by power and demonstrations done by the Holy Spirit.
Even today there are many people who can talk and persuade others by the power of their message. We don’t need more powerful man-made messages or the opinions of others to guide us. Now more than ever, we need to seek and listen to the powerful message of God presented through the Holy Spirit. The powerful and life changing guidance of the Holy Spirit is the only thing that will make a difference in our lives today.
We need to be careful who we listen to and what message they are presenting. There are to many people with their own agendas and who are way off base from the message the Holy Spirit wants to give. Remember, God’s word says that (1 John 2:27) we have the Holy Spirit living within us and we have no need of anyone to teach us what is true.
Abide in Christ and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit within to lead you and guide you in truth.
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