Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Of what use is my faith if i don't love? If i love, i will share my faith out of compassion. If i don't share it, i don't love; if i don't love, i gain nothing. Faith is nothing if not shared.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How do we achieve holiness? Short answer: We don't. Having Jesus in our heart achieves it for us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Be Transformed

Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

We are not to look around at the world and set our standards relative to what we see.
If we catch ourselves saying "But they've done worse," we've already made a mistake. We are not to be led or influenced by what this world has to offer. We're to be blameless; "good and acceptable and perfect" to God. This doesn't mean we must be infallible, but that we must strive to be God-like in our ways. Doing all things that we do for the glory of God.
If someone of the world steals, say, a $300 phone from a store, that doesn't make stealing a $0.20 package of gum less wrong for us. If someone of the world gets angry and kills someone, that doesn't make holding a 'harmless' grudge less wrong for us. If someone of the world cusses profanely, that doesn't make a minor slip of the tongue less wrong for us (i don't necessarily believe cussing to be a sin, but if we feel we shouldn't, then that makes it sin--at least that's my interpretation of James 4:17). If someone of the world is a habitual liar, that doesn't makes make a dishonest answer less wrong for us. If has relations with a dozen people, that doesn't make an inappropriate glance any less wrong for us.
Sin is sin; what sin is greater than another, if all have the power to condemn us? No, it's us condemning ourselves by letting ourselves sin.

So don't look around to find your moral compass; the poles have shifted and you will find no definitive "north" in this world. Look to the Bible, find the absolutes. Then look inside and find what you convict yourself of as well. Only by living by standards of the Bible and piling our own convictions upon ourselves along with the Biblical ones can we live a good and acceptable and perfect life.

For musical accompaniment, there's a song called "Not The Same" by a band called Disciple (that's a link to the Youtube video of it, by the way).
I don't recommend it unless you like heavy music . . . Like, really heavy music. Great, relevant lyrics, just and unappealing musical styles unless you have an aggressive taste in music.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Positive thoughts . . .

Think positive, think positive, think positive . . . Christianity is not a series of "happy thoughts". It's important to keep our minds active and positive, yes, because life is not a cakewalk. It's one step above Hell, and that's it. That's why we have to think positive; not so life will be better, but so we can alter our perception to accept the good with greater joy, and meet trials more graciously. Unless i'm mistaken (and that is likely), Paul was the one who wrote about thinking of things that are good, to keep our thoughts on the joys in life . . . The same Paul that was haunted by his past as a murderer of Christians, and he was imprisoned much of his life for sharing the gospel . . . What good did thinking of positive things avail him? Well, it certainly didn't make life easier, just easier to bear.

In fact, he had a "thorn" in his side that Jesus wouldn't remove; "So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

To be a Christian in our demeanor regarding our outlook on life isn't to walk around with a fake smile on your face, saying "Everything's okay" every day, no matter what's going on. It's not stubbing your toe and laughing instead of saying "Ouch!" It's not grinning when the doctor informs you of bad news.
It's saying, with thanksgiving (Eph. 4:6) "God, the circumstances are tough, i can't always handle this alone, and sometimes life is simply coming apart at the seams, but i know Your grace is sufficient; Your grace covers me; Your love, patience, wisdom and power are emphasized by the trials i face, so i will face them knowing You are with me."

So yes, think positive, but don't expect it to make life easier or for blessings to pour into your life because of it. If Satan isn't attacking you while he can (which is in this life, or in Hell; he can't touch us in Heaven so he will attack the elect as much as he can while he can), something's not right. If he's not testing you, test yourself to make sure you're saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and fighting the battles that need to be fought.
Don't lead me to the cross, don't lead me to the empty altar where Jesus died for me; instead, lead me to His throne, lead me to the risen King.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seek God, Work For Love

Love won't pay the bills, nor will it put food on the table, but it will satisfy the soul.
What good is it to gain the whole world but lose your soul? Work first for love, for if we have riches yet no love, we have nothing.
Seek, above all things, the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and your needs will be met/supplied (or are we so vain as to believe that His grace is not sufficient for us?).

Seek the kingdom of God, seek His righteousness, and you will not know need.
Work for love, and you will not toil in vain.
In these two things, the body is nourished and the soul fulfilled.