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Kindness is something you do not find much of in our world today.

The Bible speaks about kindness many times. Kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22.

The dictionary says kindness is being considerate, or helpful. I think the world be a better place if everyone treated each other with kindness. I am talking about all people, even those you do not agree with in life. Those who have different interpretations, lifestyles, sexual orientations, political stands or religious beliefs.

It usually doesn’t take a lot to be kind. Sometimes I think we make it so hard, when something as simple and easy as a genuine smile can brighten someone’s day. Being polite and kind to others can sometimes be just what they need to make their day. Holding the door for someone, letting them go ahead of you in line, smiling and saying hello… you never know.

Kindness

Simple Kindness

The little, everyday things we can do to show others kindness can be a seed planted in their lives that will one day grow and help lead them to Christ.

These days it seems we even have a hard time with Christians treating each other with kindness. We want to fight and argue over our views and interpretations and forget that as Christians, we all have the common ground of faith in Christ.

A friend of mine recently talked about relationships and how they seem to come to an end. He said it is based on what the relationship is about. If it is based on some thing or some activity, once we get tired of that particular thing and move on, the relationships based on that activity usually come to an end. I have noticed the same thing among those who attend an organized church. You may spend many years there, making many friends and being involved in all the activities. Yet once you leave, either to move to another church or to have communion outside the walls of the organization, all your friends from the old place seem to disappear also. Our friendships and relationships should be based on the common ground of faith in Christ and His grace. This should not change no matter where you go or how you participate in life as the Church.  Our love of the Father and for one another as His children should be the one thing that can hold together a friendship.

Let’s see if we can make a point of doing at least one act of kindness each day. You never know where it may lead.

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A recent mishap the other day made me think about objects, things and relationships.

Those of us who have lost a loved one know how objects or things that belonged to our loved one has special meaning. The person is gone and all we have are the special items that used to be theirs.

sugar bowl

On Mother’s Day, I got up and was making coffee for my wife and myself. We have always kept my mom’s sugar bowl and used it each day. When I was putting it away, I hit the bottom of the cabinet and it slipped out of my hand and shattered all over the counter. I felt so bad, it was like another piece of my mom was gone.

This brought to mind how we get so caught up on things. It makes sense in the human aspect, the loved one is gone and all we have are the things that bring to mind good memories. These things are not the person, but they help us think about the person.

Spiritually speaking, we seem to do the same thing. We have been taught that God is up in heaven, separated from us and we are waiting for some future day when we will be united. Because of this, we get caught up on the things of God more than on God directly. We look at things about God that help us think about Him, learn about Him, remember Him, yet they are not Him.

We start looking to the Bible as the only way to hear from God. Sometimes we go so far as to make the Bible part of the God-head and worship it, not seeing it as a book inspired by God. We look to a building we call the church for a place to go and meet with God and his people. We pray for God to show up or the Spirit to fall when we meet in ‘God’s house’.

The truth of the matter is the living Word of God, Jesus, actually lives within us through the Spirit. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, we are God’s house. We are one with God as Jesus prayed in John 17: 20-22: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.

Humanly speaking, when a loved one dies, all we have are things that were from our loved ones. All we can do is use those things for pleasant memories of the relationship we once had with that person.

Spiritually, we do not have to focus on the things of God, we have God right here within us. We can enjoy reading the Bible and seek truth as the Holy Spirit guides us. We can attend services together in a building, or anywhere else two or three gather, but we do not have to look to another human being as our spiritual guide. We should not make the things of God the main and only way of knowing our Father. To do this is to miss the most important part, which is a daily relationship with the living God who is within us.

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I contribute to the Synchroblog site on WordPress, and this month’s topic is about renewal. When thinking about the word ‘renewal’, I had always considered it a time when I realized I had drifted away from God. It was a time when I decided to make things right and get back close to Him.

The dictionary describes renew as: 1. to revive, reestablish. 2. to recover (youth, strength); 3. to restore to a former state, make new or as if new again.

renewal

When I really think about it in regard to these terms, I wonder if renewal is even a correct term.

God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, he will never leave or forsake us. After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, the Spirit was given and God came to live within us. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you, and Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Since God is within us and never leaves us, why do we feel the ongoing need for renewal?

I understand from our end, we think we drift and get away from God, and we think we have to do something to revive or restore the former state we were in with our Father.

The only thing wrong with that thinking is, we do not have to do anything to be restored. God never left us. There are times when we feel we have left God, but that is not the case. Jesus did everything necessary for us to have a continual, lasting relationship with the Father. We cannot do anything anyway. It is grace through faith, and Jesus already took care of everything necessary.

Many couples, after many years of marriage want to renew their vows. There is nothing wrong with doing this, but does renewing your vows make you any more married, any more a couple in love than if you did not renew your vows? Same with God, we are children of God because of grace, and Jesus only had to die once to provide grace for all time.

Another aspect of renewal is the idea of renewal of membership, or our vows to God. We feel we have to renew those every once in a while or we may no longer be a part of God’s family. We have our renewal weekends or renewal (revival) services and think we are going to make a new commitment to God and do so much better. God does not accept us one moment, then get frustrated with our actions and disown us. No, God accepts us forever. We are holy and righteous because of Christ, and children of God for all time… no renewal necessary. It was his work that made us holy, not our works. We are saved by grace through faith, not of works.

I truthfully feel our thinking is wrong. We have always been taught that God is up in heaven, and if we do the right things, he will hear us and be happy with us. That idea is wrong. God is within us. We are holy and righteous because of what Jesus has done. God loves us and accepts us no matter what we do or do not do.

There is no real need for renewal in our relationship with God. It does not make a difference how we feel, God is right there with us each and every day. In the story of the prodigal son, the son certainly felt a need for renewal. He had a speech all prepared to try to get back in good with his father, but it was not necessary. His father never saw his son as anything other than a son. He watched and waited for him each day. As soon as he saw the son, he ran to him and loved him. He took him in as a full-fledged son, no questions asked.

That is the way our Father sees us. There are times when we get away from the Father in our thinking because we are basing our relationship on our actions. Only thing is, our actions do not affect our relationship. God is right there with us every day. Jesus provided everything for us, and the Son/Father came to live within us. Jesus asked the Father that he and we would be one as he and the Father are one. A time or renewal is no longer necessary from God’s point of view.

If anything, it is time to renew our minds to the fact that God is within us all the time. Through Christ, we have been crucified and resurrected as new creatures….the ultimate renewal. This renewal was a one-time thing. It is not necessary as in the Old Covenant, to continually come to God seeking forgiveness and renewed relationship.

The only renewal we may need is in our thinking. Talk to your Father constantly, trust what Jesus has done, once and for all, and stop thinking you have to renew your relationship with your Father. He loves you continually, he lives within you daily, and he will never leave you.

 

This post is part of the February synchroblog “Renewal”

Abbie Waters – It is Well with My Soul

Mark Votova – 30 Ways the Church Can Find Renewal

Jeremy Myers – I am Dying … (So I Can Live Again)

Phil Lancanster – The Parable of the Classic Car

Susan Schiller – Renewal by Design

Glenn Hager – Repurposed

Wesley Rostoll – Why I no longer pray for revival

Clara Ogwuazor-Mbamalu – Renewal of the Spirit

K. W. Leslie – Those who wait on the Lord

Lisa Brown – Momma’s Kick Off Your Shoes and Stay For A While!

Jenom Makama – …Like An Antivirus

Leah – Renewal!

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Kindness is something you don’t find much in our world today.

The Bible speaks about kindness many times. Kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22.

The dictionary says kindness is being considerate, or helpful. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone treated each other with kindness?

It usually doesn’t take a lot to be kind. Sometimes I think we make it to hard, when something so simple and easy as a genuine smile can brighten someone’s day. Being polite and kind to others can sometimes be just what they need to make their day. Holding the door for someone, letting them go ahead of you in line, smiling and saying hello, you never know.

The little, everyday things we can do to show others kindness can be a seed planted in their lives that will one day grow and help lead them to Christ.

These days it seems we even have a hard time with Christians treating each other with kindness. We want to fight and argue over our views and interpretations and forget that as Christians, we all have the common ground of faith in Christ.

A friend of mine recently talked about relationships and how they seem to come to an end. He said it was based on what the relationship was about. If it is based on some thing or activity, once we get tired of that particular thing and move on, all the relationships based on that activity usually come to an end. Only the common ground of faith in Christ and His grace is what doesn’t change and the one thing that can hold together a friendship.

Let’s see if we can make a point to do one act of kindness each day. You never know where it may lead.

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Why is it that we Christians can’t seem to accept one another?

My wife and I grew up in the organized church, and we have many friends who are part of the four-wall system. Yet, after many years of feeling uneasy, questioning, thinking there has to be more than just sitting in a pre-planned service every week, we decided to look for fellowship elsewhere. We feel sitting in a service every week, listening to someone else tell us what they think God is saying is really not very biblical.

The Bible talks about the priesthood of ALL believers. 1 Peter 2:5, 9. It talks about when we assemble, each one has something to say. 1 Corinthians 14:26. We say we are going to the Lord’s house, yet the Bible says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19.

Truthfully, how much fellowship do you get sitting in a service, looking at the back of someone’s head? The most fellowship I remember in a situation like that was when the pastor told us to get up and shake somebody’s hand. I don’t call that fellowship.

We are finding more fellowship outside the walls of organized church when we meet with other Christians during the week. We meet in houses, cafes and restaurants. We talk about what God is doing and what grace means to us. We are getting to know one another, we pray for one another and care about each other. Open discussion makes more sense to us rather than just sitting, listening to one person talk.

People say by not going to church, we are disobeying the Bible where it says to not forsake the assembling of yourselves together. We always ask where it says that it has to be in a particular place on a particular day in an organized service. It doesn’t say that, and meeting anytime two or three come together, talking, praying, enjoying each other is a more meaningful assembly to us.

I say all of this to ask this question, why can’t we accept each other at the place we are currently in our walk with God. It doesn’t make a difference if you go to church or not, if you think of Sunday is a holy day or not. It’s OK to think of every day as the Lord’s day and not just Sunday, or to realize church isn’t a building you go to but a people, saved by grace, living their lives for God daily.

If we could realize God is working in each of us in different ways. We are at different stages in our walk with Him. We all aren’t going to be the same. Let’s accept each other and not try to force our way of thinking on everyone else.

God is our focus. Loving Him and loving each other is what we are commanded to do under the New Covenant. Other than that, we should let our way of doing things be just that…our way. We should not expect everyone to agree with us.

None of us have it all figured out. None of us are right on everything. Many interpretations and ideas in the Bible will never be known this side of heaven, yet we get mad at other Christians when they see things differently. Let’s just accept each other in the love of Christ, realizing that He is in control and He will lead us into His truth in His timing. It isn’t our job to force others to see things our way. It is our job to love each other, accept each other and pray for one another. God will do the rest.

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Have you ever sat down and asked yourself this question….who am I? Not necessarily the ‘who am I, why am I here’ question, but who is the real me.

A couple friends and I were talking recently and we got on this subject. We were asking each other who truly knows us, the real us.

Most of us really aren’t known by those whom we have a casual relationship, and really, most of us aren’t deeply and truly known by those few people we consider close, intimate friends.

We are good at putting on the proper mask to hide the real us when we are around others. I do it, you do it, pretty much all of us do it. There is something down within us that feels if people knew the real us, they wouldn’t like us or accept us. I’m not sure why that is, other than a natural feeling from way back when Adam and Eve tried to hide from God.

Fortunately, our Father isn’t like that. He truly loves us. Even if we aren’t completely open with Him, He knows more about us than we know ourselves….and He still loves us.

If we could just get to the point to not worry about what everyone else thinks about us and know we are loved by God no matter what, I think our relationships with each other would actually improve. We could be ourselves, open and honest, and not store up all the frustrations, questions, lonely feelings and junk we all think.

If each of us could be more like our Father and love each other no matter what, our fellowship together would be so much better. No more putting on masks, no more covering up things we don’t want others to know.

Now truthfully, if that will ever happen this side of heaven, I don’t know, but it certainly is a goal to shoot for. I am so thankful we have a Father who loves us no matter what. We don’t need to put on a mask and hide our true self from Him. He knows us and loves us just as we are. Now, if we could just be the same with each other.

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John 15:5 – I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

We’ve read this verse many times, but it is so easy to pass over how important this verse is. Jesus is our life source. It is in Him that we live, move and have our being. He supplies all we need. He provides us daily with the requirements for life and what we need to truly live. We cannot do anything worth doing or that makes a real difference apart from Him.

AbideinChrist

Jesus has done all the work that is needed for us to be forgiven, made new and have a loving relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. All the spiritual things we think we need to do to put us in right standing are so unnecessary. Jesus is the one who has done everything needed to fulfill the Old Covenant and put us in right standing with the Father. All we need to do is accept his work and rest in Him.

Our main focus should be on Christ not on things about Him. He is our life, He is to be our all in all. We need to give Christ the preeminence in all things. He is the Vine, we are the branches; apart from Him we can do nothing.

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Welcome. My blog is a place where readers will find writings of personal experiences, thoughts, and the peace that the Lord provides throughout my walk. I intend to bring inspiration and insight, as well as providing a very personal and transparent view into my life, in order to help others see their own lives in a different perspective. I strongly believe that we all need a different view at times, in order for our own personal growth to take place.

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