Sunday, September 30, 2018

Lies and Confusion Abound, but God is a God of Truth and Peace

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Earlier tonight, I watched as a news anchor and a former congresswoman discussed the "innocent until proven guilty" assumption.  This is the assumption we are supposed to live by in our country.  We are supposed to assume that someone is innocent of an accusation until they are proven guilty of said accusation.  I sat in disbelief as I heard the former congresswoman state that the burden to prove someone's innocence is only valuable if the person accused of a crime or some kind of terrible act is in jeopardy of losing his or her freedom.  In other words, truth is only valuable if the accused is in danger of going to jail.  She went on to say that in any other situation, such as a job interview, it is only the accusation that matters, not the truth.

Lies and Confusion Abound, but God is a God of Truth and Peace
Image Credit:  Abdulhalim Yusuf - Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos
By her standard of truth, if I am applying to teach in a local school and someone FALSELY accuses me of harming a child, I am to be considered guilty and should be turned down for the position.  As a result, I would be stripped of my teacher's certification and would never be allowed to teach again.  All this simply because someone SAID I did it.  The truth doesn't matter.

We live in a society where boys pretend to be girls and girls pretend to be boys.  People want to "identify" as a person, race, gender (or someone or something else) that is different from who or what they actually are.  They are pretending because the truth of their real identity doesn't matter to them. 

We have become a people who would rather live in the confusion of lies.  We would rather live a lie than live in the joy of the person God created us to be.  We would rather believe lies about good people than demand the truth be uncovered so that men and women of integrity can redeem their reputations.  We would rather believe the lies being spewed out all around us than demand that false accusers be held accountable for the hurtful lies they've told.  All this because truth is no longer valuable.

God is a God of Truth and Peace

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that "God is not a God of confusion, but of peace."  If God is not the God of confusion, then who is?  Satan - and he's dishing out a whole lot of confusion, resulting in the opposite of peace.

What are we to do in the midst of all the confusion?  We are to be the salt and the light.
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. - Matthew 5:13
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 5:16
How to we be the salt and light?  By representing Truth.  What is real truth?
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. - John 14:6
Jesus is truth.

We point people to Jesus.  When people know Jesus, they know Truth.  The more they know Jesus, the more they will want to be like Jesus and truth will be valuable to them. 

The Bible tells us in John 14:6 that no one goes to the Father except through Jesus.  

In the midst of all the fighting, confusion, and lies, I can rest assured in one absolute truth.  It is a truth that was true yesterday and all the days before yesterday.  It is a truth that is true today.  It is a truth that will be true tomorrow and all the days after tomorrow.  This is the truth of God's love for me.  It is the truth of God's love for you too.

If you would like to know more about God's love for you, more about the God of peace as mentioned above in 1 Corinthians 14:33, then click here.  

It is my prayer that you will know that God is a God of truth, not lies; that He is a God of peace and not confusion; and that He loves you utterly.  It is my prayer that you will know Him and know Him fully so that you too will be the salt and light in the midst of a very confused world.


Christ's Love is Long (Christ's Love Series)

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This is the second installment in my pastor's series titled "Christ Love."  You can find the first one here.

The scripture passage is Ephesians 3:17-19.
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know that the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:17-19

Christ's Love is Long
Image Credit:  Tim Mossholder - Public Domain Image - via Pixabay

Christ's Love is Long

It goes on forever. 

Long means endless, patient, everlasting, permanent, full-length, outstretched, and infinite.

We usually measure length with distance and time.  How do we measure the length of the love of Jesus Christ?
The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness." - Jeremiah 31:3
Christ's Love is Long
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When we think of the love of Jesus, we should think, past tense, present tense, and future tense.

God always was so love has always existed, even before time began on Earth as we know it.  In eternity past, God was.

In eternity past, Jesus was.

In eternity past, love was.
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. - Ephesians 1:4
Christ's Love is Long
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Now Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was. - John 17:5
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you. - 1 Peter 1:20
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. - John 17:24
God does not change.  His love does not change. 
Of old You founded the Earth,
And the Heavens are the work of Your hands.
Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of the will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing, you will change them and they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end. - Psalm 102:25-27
 Jesus loves everyone.

There is not a person or a home that Jesus will not go to.

He was the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. - Hebrews 13:8
Christ's Love is Long
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Christ's love is not conditional.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
Christ's love is not based on height, weight, race, etc.

Christ's love runs all the way through eternity future.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us that we would be called children of God; and such we are.  For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. - 1 John 3:1-2
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."   And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
His Word is trustworthy and true.

1.  Christ loves me without conditions.  His love for me is endless.  It does not fail.

2.  Christ's love is so long that I can't outrun it.  You can never be so far away that Jesus' love cannot reach you.  His love is always behind you, beside you, and ahead of you.

Consider the story of the prodigal son.  If you've never read it or you are not familiar with it, you can read the whole story in Luke 15:11-32 here.

3.  Christ's love changes me.  The more we dwell on His love, we become selfless.  We learn to love others unconditionally because His love for us is unconditional.  We begin to sacrifice .  We give.  We share.

When we realize Christ's love for us, we can't stop loving others.

For the Lord is good and His love endures forever.  His faithfulness continues for all generations. - Psalm 100:5

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  His love endures forever. - Psalm 136:1

Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is Your Faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22-23
You'll find all my posts about this Bible stud series here.

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Friday, September 28, 2018

God's Love is Wide (Christ's Love Series - Measuring the Dimensions of God's Love)

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God's Love is Wide
Image Credit:  Public Domain via Freely Photos
Featured Scripture Passage:  Ephesians 3:17-19

The following are my notes taken during my pastor's sermon titled, "God's Love is Wide."  

 Wide - Long - High - Deep:  This is how far love goes.

It's something we can experience and believe, but we'll never fully understand.  Why would God send His perfect Son to take our place, to pay our debt?  How can we explain that kind of love?  It spans all of time.  It stretches across continents, cultures, and generations.  This is strong love.  This is true love.  This is Christ's love.

God's Love is Wide

It's for everyone.

Wide means vast, extensive, inclusive, far-reaching, sweeping, spacious, and fully open.
 . . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to the fullness of God - Ephesians 3:17-19
The Lord appeared to him from afar saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. - Jeremiah 31:3
But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
Jesus Loves Me
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Christ died for us.  Personalize this verse:  But God demonstrates His own love toward ME in that while "I" was still a sinner, Jesus died for ME.

*Christ's love is so wide that it is for everybody.  God never made a person He doesn't love.
For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. - John 3:16.
 God loves every single one of billions and billions.

*Christ's love is to be expressed.
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 13:34
If God's love is so vast, why is my love so small?

This is not referring to a soft love that loves sinfulness as in sinful lifestyles but a "hard love."  Love them because God loves them. 

*God's love is to be experienced.

Know His love for yourself.  Have you experienced God's love?

God doesn't send people to Hell.  People choose this destination when they reject the love of Jesus.

Will you accept Jesus' love for you?  Learn more here.

The Lord loves righteousness and justice.  The Earth is full of His unfailing love. - Psalm 33:5

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. - 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God!  People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  Psalm 36:7
You'll find all my posts about this Bible study series here.

Monday, September 10, 2018

God's Word is Living and Active in Those Who Believe

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God's Word is Living and Active in Those Who Believe
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 God's Word is Living and Active in Those Who Believe

We have started a new ladies' bible study at my church.  We will spend the next 6 weeks in the Faithful, Abundant, True Bible study by Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore.  I'll be sharing some of the things we learn in the study, but I highly encourage you to go through the study yourself.  Otherwise, you will be missing out on a huge blessing.

I have always heard others refer to the Bible as God's "living Word."  I know the Bible is inspired by God, but I'm not sure I've ever thought about the fact that God's word is ACTIVE and LIVING in me.  I mean really active and living.  This week, the Lord revealed to me deeper understanding of what it means when we refer to the Bible as the "living Word."
For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12
For this reason, we also constantly thank God that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the Word of God, which also performs it's work in you who believe. - 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Did you zero in on those words describing the Word of God:  living, active, performs.

I'll admit that I've never been the best at memorizing scripture but this knowledge of the living and active Word of God which is performing a work in me makes me want to start trying much harder.

I'm reminded of a verse I leaned many years ago.
Your Word which I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against you. - Psalm 119:11
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It seems to me that the more scriptures I have hidden in my heart (memorized), the more I will be aware of the living, acting, and performing work that God is doing in me.

Go back up and take a look at the end of 1 Thessalonians 2:13.  This is very important so make sure you go back up and read it again.

Who does the Word of God do all this living, acting, and performing?  Those who believe.

Are you a believer?  If you are, then I would love to hear about all the great things God is doing in your life.  Tell me and everyone who reads this post all about it in the comments below.  If you answered "no" to this question, then I encourage you to click here and learn more about what it means to believe.

Note:  I looked up Beth Moore's website so that I could provide you with the link.  This is her banner today!  How's that for confirmation?!  I hope she doesn't mind that I took a screenshot, but I wanted you to see it before she changes it.  Go visit her site.  There's lots of great stuff there.
Beth Moore Website Header


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