Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘synchroblog’

by Jim Gordon

War in our world has been a constant companion to mankind. It becomes more and more the way of life but the effects seem to be worse and worse.

Growing up in church we were taught that God is love and that we should love our enemies, yet we heard all the stories about God telling the Israelites to go to war against their enemies and kill them all. That always confused me as it seems so contradictory.

It seems like you can find wars going on anywhere in our world today, many of them are over matters that seem so unimportant. Kind of like the fighting and arguing that goes on within the organized churches. People fight over such insignificant reasons, over difference in doctrine or bible interpretation. Yet we are supposed to be known for our love for one another. Something seems odd about that to me.

I personally believe the best way to calm a hostile situation is with a loving, calm and peaceful attitude. I also know we live in a world that is not under God’s command. We live in a very hateful, stress-filled world where people are only concerned with their own goals and interests and they will do whatever it takes to accomplish those goals.

In a perfect world we would have no need for war because we would all being loving one another, caring for one another and be more interested in the needs of others. Obviously, we do not live in a perfect world and war is going to be an issue.

PeaceWar

I feel that most wars are needless and so many people fight and die over issues that are really not important. Most of it boils down to money and power, just like everything else in a world without God.

Yet there are times when I believe war may be necessary. It is still terrible and still not the first or best choice but there will be times when wars will need to be fought. In our world where money, power, hate and selfishness rule, there will be times when people, ideals or causes will need to be stopped. Unfortunately, that means sometimes there will be wars or else the innocent will be walked over, taken over, tortured and killed.

This is not the plan of God. This is human nature running rampant in a godless world. War is mankind at its worst even when there is a necessary reason to fight. Those necessary times when the ideals and goals of the Hitler’s and bin Laden’s of our world need to be stopped.

I honestly believe that many of the stories in the bible about God commanding war and killing of people is a misinterpretation of God. We know that Jesus displayed what God is really like. He said that God is love and that we are to love our enemies and love our neighbors. I do not believe God ever caused the killing of people because God never changes. It was people of the time telling about life as they saw it and they attributed their actions to their God. Actions and killings that really were not ordained by God in the first place.

As followers of Jesus, our allegiance belongs to Christ. He is the head of the Kingdom of God in which we live. We are citizens of heaven and we live by a different code than the world. Yet we still live in this world which is under a different ruler, a ruler of hate, power, money and selfishness. Although war is not our first choice and not what we feel is right, there are going to be times when it is necessary to stop the evil being done towards the innocent.

I pray for wisdom for our leaders that wars and fighting will not be started over issues that are not about the safety and concern of the innocent. I pray that more diplomatic ways of love and acceptance can prevail and we can live together in this world without all the hatred, wars and killing of innocent people.

 

This post was part of the July 2018 Synchroblog on the topic of Just War and Pacifism. Here are links to others who contributed this month. Go read them all!

Read Full Post »

Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

fruit of the spirit

We hear about the fruit of the spirit and how we should produce fruit, but what does it really look like to have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives?

Letting God live from within us and His Spirit producing the fruit is the only way for us to manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It is not by our strength or actions. We usually want to produce fruit by our good works. Unfortunately, that does not work. We cannot product fruit, only abiding in the vine causes the branches to grow. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. Apart from him we are not able to produce any fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit of God living within us produces the fruit, which will be a natural by-product of His life within us.

Also notice that we have the fruit of the spirit, not the fruits. When the Spirit is allowed to live through us, each and every fruit mentioned is active and working through us. It is like one gift of fruit of the Spirit manifesting in nine different ways. We can’t pick and choose which fruit we like or think we need, we have them all.

That does not mean that life is always perfect and we will not have problems. It does mean God is within us and never leaves us. He produces love for others that we cannot give in our own strength. We can have peace and patience when things are going crazy around us.

In the world we live in, most people are not used to being treated with kindness or seeing goodness in others. God’s spirit within produces both, which will make a difference to others when they see us being kind and good to people. How many of us, in the stressful situations we find ourselves in during a day, can be gentle with others? Certainly not in our own strength.

Being faithful to our Father is not even in our power, but as He gives faith it becomes a reality in our lives. Even self-control is not actually self-produced. What it boils down to is Jesus is everything. He lives within us and He produces all the good fruit that grows and manifests through our lives. When the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in our lives, I think it will look a lot like the life of Jesus.

It is the fruit that God produces in us that others see. It is the fruit that looks good and is becoming to others. The fruit will help others know that our Father is good, loving and kind. Stop trying to produce the fruit of the Spirit, and rest in God. Allow Him to cultivate the good fruit in us so others will see Him.

———-

This article is listed on Synchroblog as the theme for April. Following are others who also posted this month:

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

It is a good thing to take a look back sometimes. Looking back can bring encouragement, but it can also bring remorse and guilt.

When looking back, we need to remember the past is forgiven and over. We can learn from the past, we can see where we’ve been and how far we’ve come, but we need to leave it there.

For my wife and me, looking back certainly shows us how much has changed. For many years, we were feeling something was wrong with us and our ‘church’ life. We had an inner stirring that there was more than attending a weekly service, listening to a few others doing all the talking.

We read about the first century church and many verses about everyone having a voice, everyone being a necessary part of the church. We read how Jesus is the head of the church and how each of us are equal parts he is using to build his Church.

We became so frustrated seeing such a difference in the modern-day church from what we felt church was to be, that we felt it best to move on. We are now outside the four walls; we are now being Church rather than going to church.

Looking back, there have been many changes in thoughts, interpretations and beliefs. Even though we aren’t in a church, we feel we are learning to depend more on our Father for guidance and truth. We are ready to show God’s love to everyone we come across during our day.

We no longer ask people where they go to church, we no longer worry about what denomination they belong to, or if they go to church at all. We want God to live through us daily and love people, without thought or concern of who they are or what they believe.

During this time, we’ve had more fellowship with other believers than we ever had attending a weekly service. Whether it involves meeting for coffee or dinner, or just sitting and talking, we learn more about people and are encouraged hearing how God is working in their lives.

Obviously, moving forward is the main goal. As Philippians 3:13, 14 says, ‘brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (NASB)

Looking back 2

Looking back can be a real encouragement to us when we look at it in regard to what God has done and where he has brought us. It we look at the past negatively, or with shame and guilt, then we need to forget it and realize that our past is done and forgiven. We need to move forward following the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit which is within us.

 

Synchroblog Bloggers looking back and looking forward this month:

Read Full Post »

Having grown up in church all my life, there are many things I used to think and believe that have changed over the years. If there was one thing I could go back twenty years ago and tell myself then, it would have to be something that involved my beliefs and interpretations. Although the one thing would be the matter of understanding my beliefs, it would be broken down into a few different areas.

The first thing I wish I had known sooner is the New Covenant didn’t start at Matthew Chapter One. I never thought about Jesus living his earthly life under the Law. The New Covenant didn’t start until His death and resurrection. When we start reading in Matthew, we are reading about the life of Christ here on earth, living under the Law. He came to fulfill the law because we were unable to do so in our own strength. We are saved and we live by grace, not by any good work we do.

I never truly thought about the fact that the Spirit of God lives within us. I always thought God was way up there in heaven, sitting on a huge throne looking down on us. I now realize God is within us. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to communicate with our Father. He is within us, just as Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you. We are not God, but we are one with Him, just as Jesus prayed in John 17. He is with us each and every second.

I always went along with the church being a building. I was told that we go to the Lord’s house to worship. I never thought about us being the Church, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Christ is building a church made without hands, a Church made up of His followers. We no longer have to wait until Sunday and go to a building to meet with God. The Spirit lives within us each and every day. We have fellowship with one another anytime two or three gather in His name. That can be in a living room, a restaurant, a pub or café, and it can be on any day, because every day is the day the Lord has made.

I used to look to the Bible as the word of God. I felt it was where we got all our information and all leading from God came through the Bible. Now I know the Bible is the written words that God inspired men to write. The true, perfect, powerful Word of God is Jesus. As John 1:1 says, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Jesus in the one we worship and follow, not the Bible. We learn from the Bible, it is good to see how God provided a way for us to have access to Him. It is good to read how others acted and reacted and how God dealt with them. It is good to see the plan of salvation and the way of grace explained. Unfortunately, too many of us want to make the Bible part of the trinity and worship it. The Bible is not part of God. Jesus is the word. The Spirit of Christ guides us. Study the Bible, learn from it, but do not worship it and look to it as our guide when the Spirit is our guide.

The Christian life is an ongoing, daily learning process. Sometimes we get to thinking we can’t question what we’ve been taught over the years. The Holy Spirit lives within us and He is fresh and current, and is our teacher and guide. Our interpretations will change over time as He leads us into truth. It is not wrong to question. It is not a lack a faith to wonder and seek truth. In all honesty, if we aren’t changing, growing, questioning and learning, I would have to wonder if there wasn’t something wrong. I just wonder what it will be in twenty years that I will wish I knew now.

 

This article is part of the June 2014 Synchroblog – ‘If I could tell myself one thing’. http://synchroblog.wordpress.com/

Following is the list of other contributors this month:

Read Full Post »

It’s sad that Christianity is divided into so many different groups. We all have a little different interpretation of the bible and a little different understanding of doctrine. Obviously we are not going to agree on everything, but we certainly should be able to love one another and accept each other even when we differ on these things.

It’s hard to understand why this is when God tells us we are to be one, as Jesus and the Father are one. Yet, we understand that we are human and it is easy to lose sight of our first love. If we could only stay focused on Christ, listening for his voice and the guidance of the Spirit, loving God and loving others as God intended, then we could look past our differences.

The problem seems to be that we are unwilling to see any other viewpoint other than our own. There are those such as my wife and I that do not attend an organized “church”. There are those who attend a “church” every time the doors are open. Some attend a house church, some meet with fellow believers at cafe’s, parks, restaurants and others meet in their homes over dinner. We should accept these differences and love one another rather than argue over who is right and who is wrong.

There really is not a right or wrong way to assemble together and we need to stop expecting everyone to do things exactly the same way. We should respect others viewpoints and focus on loving them rather than expecting them to see things ‘our way’.

Things will not change until we start focusing on what is common in our lives rather than the differences. The common focus should be on Christ, the head of the body. After that, we should focus on loving others rather than arguing about the differences in interpretation.

We also need to keep in mind that we are all constantly changing as God brings new truth to us. We are all learning and changing as we are ready to accept new truths. The interpretations I had five years ago are completely different from some of the interpretations I have now. I’m sure in another five years they will change again as God leads me into more truth.

Sometimes we are afraid to accept others interpretations because we feel if we do not hold to our way of thinking, we are compromising and not standing up for what we believe. We do not have to give up how we interpret the bible, but neither should we think everyone else is wrong. Besides, we really are not responsible for convicting people of sin, or leading them into truth, or even saving them. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. We are told to love God and love others.

When we realize we are each equally important functioning parts of the body, and Christ is the head, we can start to change how we feel about those who don’t see things exactly the way we do. We can begin to accept our brothers and sisters in Christ as they are, as we realize we are walking as one with God together.

________

This post was a Guest Post at Gods Leader
You can view it at http://godsleader.com/healing-division-in-the-church/

________

Here’s a list of bloggers contributing posts related to ‘Healing the Divides’ for April on Synchroblog:

Read Full Post »

Blind Injustice

In this blog, I talk about injustice that we struggle to recognize and/or blindly commit.

Sophia's Essays

This is where I post my essays, primarily about LGBTQ+ issues, politics, and Christian theology.

My Journey

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.

Hazy Divinity

Welcome To The Party

Candice Czubernat

A leading voice in the LGBTQ and Christian dialogue

Rum and Cola for the Soul - Posts

Living for God Outside the Walls of Religion

Ally's Notebook

Thoughts To Share

The Grace Cafe Blog

Rediscovering Grace Apart From Religion

Life of a Prodigal

Searching for Truth outside the church walls

Red Letter Publications

Trade in your religion, for a relationship.

What God May Really Be Like - Misbeliefs About God

To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

Christy Lynne Wood

Looking for the real God

Confessions of a Recovering Churchboy

What I bought before, I just can't sell

To the Saints Radio

...let us press on to maturity...

Intermission

Reflections in the midst of life.

The Curious Atheist

Freely Seeking Truth

The Wild Frontier

The Truth will set you free.

Chris Kratzer

Grace // Jesus // Life

Stephen Bradford Long

Religion, Esotericism, Skepticism

A Wilderness Voice

"The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, says the LORD of hosts." (Hag 2:9)

Outside the Goldfish Bowl of Christian Religion

by an 83 year old agnostic questioner

Entering the Promised Land

by walking in the Spirit

TruthForFree.com

What You Won't Find In A Christian Bookstore

Jesus Without Baggage

For those attracted to Jesus but not to the baggage often attached to his message.

Beyond Church Walls

Living for God Outside the Walls of Religion

Escape to Reality

Exploring the wide open spaces of God's amazing grace

%d bloggers like this: