Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘commandments’

I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that I do not want to be someone who is always against something. Seems so many christian people today speak out more about what they are against and who they are against.

Whatever that may be, against this sin or that sin, against particular lifestyles, against a particular denomination or Bible version, all the different subjects we Christians can think of that end up taking away our main focus….loving God and loving others. We will take the bible and twist interpretations and meanings or use verses out of context trying to prove our point.

WhatAreYouAgainst

Jesus told us in the New Covenant that His commands were to love God and love others. We do not have to agree with everyone to love them. We obviously all have our convictions of right and wrong and we are not going to agree on every one of them. We do not have to focus on those convictions or try to push our views on others. We are told to love others no matter what. We are not responsible for converting people, that is God’s job. We are told to love them.

When Jesus walked the earth He did not spend a lot of time with the religious people. He was out with the sick, poor, the neglected, and those the religious people did not want to be around.

I know I did it for a long time. I thought I was better than others because I went to church. I felt I had to stay away from those who did not believe because their sins would rub off on me. I would always hang out with my church friends and stay away from the “worldly” people.

I would spend more time trying to prove my points and my beliefs, telling people what was wrong and what to stay away from, rather than spend time with God and others.

Obviously God calls us to follow Him and that is going to be in different ways for each of us. Yet to spend more time arguing, condemning, trying to prove our views on the Bible, pointing out people’s mistakes and shortcomings does not do anything except turn people away from us.

When we begin to understand the freedom we have in Christ and start living through grace that Christ provided, we can be free to love and accept all those we come in contact with each day even in our differences. We can show the love of Christ to all by allowing the Spirit to live through us.

Do not worry so much about who is right and who is wrong. Do not always be against something. Be for Jesus. Be for love. Be for others. Follow Jesus and let him love through you. Let him be the central focus of your life and allow his love to flow out of you and touch those around you.

Read Full Post »

Have you noticed how we Christians want to legislate morality?

We have our pet doctrines and think that if we could get the right people into office, or the right laws passed, the world would be a better place.

We think if we can get the democrats out and the republicans in, or the other way around, things will improve. If we can just get Roe v Wade overturned, get the 10 commandments posted on the courthouse wall, put prayer back in school, or keep ‘In God We Trust’ on our money, things will be better.

morality

The trouble with this way of thinking is, it does not work and it is not right. We cannot legislate “Christian” values or what we consider to be morally right.

There is no political party that is going to make everything OK. It is so aggravating at times to listen to people condemn one political party or the other, when neither party is going to have the answer that makes everything better. If one political party was replaced by another political party, the only thing that would change would be the people who are complaining.

We get so caught up on what ‘man’ can supposedly do, when no human is going to come up with the answer to solve all our problems. Only by trusting God and allowing Him to work in each of us, will anything change in our world.

Nothing will change until we come to realize that Christ is within us, and it is by his power that we live and love others. We are not of this world, but of the Kingdom of God.

kingdom of god

The Kingdom of God is where we as followers of Christ actually live….now. It is not something in the future, after we die. The Kingdom of God is within us, and it is for the here and now. I think we miss a lot of the complete Gospel message when we only focus on the salvation part of it and forget the Kingdom of God aspect.

We need to forget the allegiance we seem to think we need to political parties and seek first His Kingdom.

We should be praying for our leaders, no matter which party they belong too. Although we pray for them and respect their position, we should not be placing our hope in any political party. Political parties are made up of human beings who are imperfect, and truthfully, most often only looking out for their political agenda and financial well-being.

Seek first the Kingdom of God. Realize the Spirit of God lives within us and we are actually living in the Kingdom right now. Listen for the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and love others no matter who they are or what they think. We are not going to change people by voting in politicians and making new laws. Only by loving people, accepting them as they are, and showing them the love of God by our actions, will we make any real impact on our world.

Read Full Post »

It’s hard accepting the fact that God lives within us. We’ve been taught to live our lives trying to follow the commandments and do good things, and one day we will go to heaven and live with God face to face. We have an image of God sitting on a throne way up in heaven, and here we are, far, far away down on earth.

We talk about going to a meeting and the Spirit showing up, or being at a specific place because God is there. We pray and talk with God, yet we wonder if our prayers are even getting to Him.

The more I read, I’m finding that we really have the whole thing backwards.

The Old Covenant has been fulfilled in Christ and we are living under a New Covenant. We no longer have to try to be good enough. The law was a tutor that led us to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we no longer need a tutor. We are free from the law, and children of God through the gift of his grace.

Jesus came to live among us and show us the love of God. When Jesus left, he said he would send us the Spirit. God has now come to live within us. Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we have the mind of Christ. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one with God, just as he and the Father are one.

Sounds to me that we are missing the main point. We do not have to wait to die and go to heaven to enjoy kingdom living. We do not have to wait to be united with the Father. We no longer need to look to a human guide, teacher or preacher. We have the living, powerful, perfect Word of God living inside us, the Spirit of Jesus.

There is nothing wrong with listening to others, getting their thoughts and ideas, and being encouraged by other believers, but we do not need to rely on other humans. We have the Spirit within us, teaching us and guiding us in the way he has for us.

We do not have to look up in the sky to some far-away place and wonder if God is listening. We can turn our thoughts inward and realize the Spirit is right there within us, listening, loving us and ready to teach us as we begin to hear his voice from within.

We are all at different stages along the path we walk with him, and we need to remember none of us have it all figured out. We so often want to fight and argue from the understanding we currently have without realizing that we have not reached completion. There is more the Spirit wants to teach us as we become ready to accept it.

For my wife and me, we have changed a lot over the past few years, but we realize we have not come to perfection. We will change over the few next years also. So why argue over doctrine, interpretations and beliefs, as if we had it all figured out and everyone else is wrong. We all have a lot more to learn as we walk with the Spirit each day.

We should come to accept each other where we are currently, realizing what we know and believe today will more likely be different a little further down the road. We can love each other, learn from one another and accept each other as we are, just like Jesus loves and accepts us just as we are.

We should be looking deep within ourselves, listening for the voice and guidance of the Spirit, rather than putting all hope in others, and to those we think are more spiritual because they have been trained, educated and paid to do so. Remember, we are all kings and priests and have the same Spirit within us. Each of us are equal and important parts of the body, with Christ as the head. His Church is not a building, not a denomination, but a people.

This is not saying we are all God, but the Spirit lives within us and we are one with our Father. It would do us all good to start focusing on this fact rather than what we have been taught in the past, that being one with God is a future event after we die. Kingdom living is now. Listening to the Spirit, being taught by him and living day by day in communion with the Father is a reality that we all need to realize.

Read Full Post »

A lot of us grew up in organized church and were taught that we needed to live by the 10 commandments to be pleasing to God.

Fortunately, I have come to realize that this just isn’t true. Many well meaning people over the years taught this, but I am finding that they were mistaken. Christians today still want to combine the New Covenant with the Old Covenant, and that just don’t work.

There are a few places in the New Testament that refer to following Christ’s commands, but we need to take a look at just exactly what are His commands. We find that Christ’s commands in the New Testament are something different from the 10 commandments of the Old Testament.

Another thing we need to remember is that the New Covenant doesn’t start where men have divided up the Old from New Testament. The New Covenant starts at the death and resurrection of Jesus. For the 33 years that He lived on this earth, He was following the Old Covenant laws, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law ” Galatians 4:4 (NASB). I think this is where a lot of us get confused.

Once Christ lived and fulfilled the Old Covenant, He became the perfect sacrifice needed to provide forgiveness to us. We were unable to live up to the standards set by God, and we still cannot do it. It is by grace that we are saved, and because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we are new creatures in Him. We now have an inner man that is righteous in God’s sight because of grace. We are no longer required to try and live up to the 10 commandments and all the law, rules and regulations of the Old Covenant. In fact, under the New Covenant we are told that if we try to follow the law, we are under a curse, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” Galatians 3:10 (NASB)

The Old Testament Commands have been fulfilled in Christ. The New Testament Commands we are told about are John 6:28, 29 “They said therefore to Him, what shall we do, that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent”;  John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another”;  John 15:12 “This is My commandment that you love one another, just as I have loved you”;  and John 15:17 “This I command you, that you love one another.” (NASB)

Jesus Commandments continue in 1 John 3:23 “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us”.

The commandments of Christ are based on the grace He provided for us at the cross. We never could live up to the Old Covenant with its rules and regulations. Christ did live up to the law and fulfilled it. He is the only one who could ever do so. It is because of His grace that we no longer follow the Old Covenant teachings. Once we accept Him and the grace He provided, we become new creatures and no longer have the sin nature controlling us. Our inner man is now perfect and righteous in His site, we have become the righteousness of God, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB).

Enjoy the freedom you have in Christ. We don’t have to worry and strive to fulfill any law other than the law of loving God and loving others. Don’t worry that this freedom with lead you to sin. We have died to the law and the power of sin. We now live for Christ out of love, not out of obligation, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13, 14. (NASB). This gives us a new freedom from the sinful lifestyle. We are new creatures in Christ.

Read Full Post »

The 10 Commandments, tithing, church attendance, do this, do that, don’t do this, stop doing that….we Christians like to make things so much more difficult on ourselves. We have the mentality that in order to be approved by God we need to obey the law and be busy doing things for Him. Maybe by doing these things we feel better about ourselves and more spiritual because we are doing something for God.

Galatians 2:16 and 20 (NASV) make it plain that we are not justified by the works of the law. We are justified by faith in Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life here on earth. He lived up to the Law, the rules and regulations that God required for a person to be perfect. By doing so, when Christ died on the cross, he was qualified to be the perfect sacrifice that would forgive all our sins. When He died, He fulfilled the Law, or the Old Covenant. He said ‘it is finished’, meaning the old agreement was complete and done.

When He died and rose again, he paid the penalty for our sins. We were spiritually crucified with Him. Now all our sins are forgiven, dead and buried. We are now raised up as new creatures in Christ and live as the righteousness of God because of the free gift we received through Christ.

We no longer live according to the Old Covenant and trying to live up to the law. We are now free in Christ and we live each day by faith in Him. We live out of love for God because of the grace that was given to us by Christ. When we continue to try to follow the 10 commandments and Old Testament Law, we are saying that the death of Jesus was not enough to pay for our sins.

Enjoy the freedom Christ purchased for you. Don’t bind yourself with all the rules and requirements of the law. Live a life being free in Christ, and live it out of love for the one who purchased our salvation.

Read Full Post »

The Hippy Chic

Highlighting the meanderings and musings of my life in recovery

Life of a Prodigal

Searching for Truth outside the church walls

Salt, Light, Wash Feet Ministry

Loving our neighbors, forgiving our enemies, washing the feet of our brothers and sisters. We are self supported ministry devoted to being followers of Jesus Christ.

Welcome To The Party

All are invited

True Life Christianity

Offering Hope, Encouragement & Inspiration Through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:21)

Serendipitydodah

A place of unexpected discoveries and fortuitous happenstance

Standing on the Side of Love

A fine WordPress.com site

synchroblog

Diverse voices writing monthly articles about theological and spiritual topics.

LifeWalk

______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

tiahisaword.wordpress.com/

The Issue at Hand is a word, and that word is "gospel."

Light-bites For Your Heart

Seeing God's wisdom shine through every circumstance

The Sons are Free

Matthew 17:26

Love Fueled Church

Moved by Love to Serve the Body of Christ

Grain of Wheat

Jesus said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it produces much grain."

Matthew Winters (Honest Thoughts from a Pastor)

The life, ministry, & thoughts of a Christ-follower, husband, dad, & minister

Red Letter Publications

Trade in your religion, for a relationship.

What God May Really Be Like - Misbeliefs About God

To non-religious spiritual pursuers and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

%d bloggers like this: