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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Those Nights

 Before you scroll down, please listen to: Those Nights by Skillet

I remember when we used to laugh
About nothing at all, it was better than going mad
From trying to solve all the problems
We’re going through, forget ’em all
‘Cause on those nights we would stand and never fall
Together we faced it all, remember when we’d

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

I remember when we used to drive
Anywhere but here, as long as we’d forget our lives
We were so young and confused
That we didn’t know to laugh or cry
Those nights were ours, they will live and never die
Together we’d stand forever, remember when we’d

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Those nights belong to us
There’s nothing wrong with us
Those nights belong to us

I remember when we used to laugh
And now I wish those nights would last

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Those nights belong to us
There’s nothing wrong

From: Metrolyrics.com

Sometimes a song’s lyrics can describe my feelings more than my own words can. Especially songs that have that melody and instrumental component.

There are nights where I just want to cry. Sometimes I do, sometimes it feels like a dam is blocking the tears’ flow.

This isn’t the sort of post I normally do. It’s personal. I really am not one who expresses my feelings to people, though there are a select few in my circle of friends.

As of late, my life, well, let’s just say hasn’t been easy. I’ve done, experienced, and seen things that no one should have to go through. But that is the result of a fallen world. I know many people around me are struggling, suffering, trying, coping, and/or hurting. I know I am one of them.

This is going to be one of my longer posts, just to fore-warn.

An excerpt from my journal.

2/14/14

These past few months I’ve grown sick and tired. I can’t stand it anymore. The yelling, the drama, the list could go on and on.

This really should be spoken aloud, but for now, writing it down will have to do.

My brother, [Younger Brother 1] is almost out of control. He yells and blows up at the smallest of things. ‘Things’ is a broad term. I used it properly. He bad talks and back talks to everyone. He bullies [Younger Brother 2], but then again, somethings [Younger Brother 2] just asks for – baiting him and watching him take the bait. I’m not justifying my brother’s actions, if that’s what you’re thinking.

I am so. fed. up. I’m so done, irritated. Et cetera. I can’t handle it anymore. I can’t remember the last day where there wasn’t any yelling, arguments, people laughing and smiling.

I am torn. I cry almost as much or more than I genuinely laugh. I’m sick of drama. 

[Younger Brother 2] disses me and calls me awful names. I act like they just bounce of. But they hurt.

I set my alarm this morning for 8:00, but turned it off and slept in. Around nine I’m awakened by yelling slamming, and screaming. My door is closed. From the moment I woke up my day has been rotten, even considering it’s a snow day. There is no peace. I just feel tension. I just don’t known anymore.

I jump at the slightest of sounds, I cringe and almost crumple at the raising of voices. I’m afraid. Though, I hide it all away. I put on a facade and keep calm and try to carry on.

I act happy, like I’ve bounced back from a down mood. But I don’t.

I often sit in my room alone, door shut, music either plugged in or not. But I sit there deep in though. I try to think about all the ways I can help my brothers; help [Younger Brother 1]. What’s the psychological factor? His heart? Emotions/real thoughts?

Truth is: I’m desperate.

Yeah, I’ve been going to God more and more, which is a good thing. He’s drawing me nearer to him. I need that.

Through trials, there is happiness at the end. They can be long and tedious or short and over. We can be at the end of the rope and that’s when God seems to pull us out.

I’ve been at the end for awhile.

I’ve been done.

I’ve promised not to ever cut again – I slipped just before New Year’s, but after I said I said I wouldn’t cut myself anymore. My wrists are so far, as clean as they’ll be.

Relapse is real. Addiction is real.

If I said I wan’t angry at God, I’d be lying. I know I shouldn’t be, I feel guilty and like a bad Christian for saying and thinking it.

But he knows all my thoughts and actions even before I think them. He knows exactly what I’m going through. He has a plan for my life. A road that is hard, slim, and narrow, but in the end and grand picture of life, there is an un-explainable or indescribable reward and treasure waiting for me.

I often find myself trying to help others first and pushing my feelings off or not wanting to trouble people.

Sometimes you don’t realize you’re actually drowning when you’re trying to be everyone else’s anchor.

— Unknown

Despite his bad times, [Younger Brother 1] has the occasional happy moment (as of late he’s been better than just have the occasional happy moment). There’ll be moments when we both are laughing so hard we cry.

Those moments can change quickly. They are also forgotten fast.

I love my brothers, I really do. I try to cope, I try to help. I try to act strong and fine. But every argument, every tear, every yelling/screaming word tears me apart slowly. There’s a wound try to heal, but each time it’s just ripped back open, even bigger. 

Why do I tell you all of this? To have you pity me? Never. Worry over me?  Don’t even. Post this so all family and friends could see my true thoughts and land me with a counselor? Nope. Cause drama? Didn’t I say I hate drama?

I tell you this because I want to give encouragement out to people who are going through the same, similar, or just tough situations. I want to tell them that there is hope. I’m living, breathing proof.

Those nights? Well, it’s these sorts of nights that causes me to pray even harder.

Pray hardest, when it is hard to pray.

— Unknown

These sorts of nights are what deepens my faith and causes me to hold on, trust, and believe in Christ. These nights belong to us. These nights keep me alive. They keep me alive in God’s word and the Spirit. They help me get stronger, even though it may cause disruption in me for a time.

God is My Lighthouse in the darkest night. He never fails. He never leaves.

One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only
one set of footprints in the sand, is when
I carried you.”

— Mary Stevenson

I can make it through anything. Anything is possible with God (Matt. 19:26). I know that with him I can be strong and courageous, facing each day knowing he is by my side and he will never leave it; I’m not alone (Josh. 1:9).

For an ending:

7eventh Time Down’s song “Just Say Jesus

If you have any questions, feel free to drop an email, you can see the email on the Contact Us page.
If you want a list of encouraging or just plain good Christian songs, email or comment, I’d be happy to provide a list for you of my favorite artists and songs.

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“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:39 (NIV)

Isn’t it odd to think we’d lose our life if we found it? But that’s not so.
No, instead we are called to lose our life. This doesn’t mean dying for Christ – though in some cases people do lose their life for believing and following Christ – think of the Church in Asia and elsewhere. I think it means we need to lose our life in the way that we die to the ways of the world we live in; die to the society that so often tells us how to dress, act, look and even love. Die to the world’s twisted definition of love. Die to the comfort of our life as a rich American. Die to the broken world that calls us and says, “This is home. This is how it should be.” This world may be our home, but only for a short period of time; we are a people who move around, never staying in one place, as Katie Davis, author of Kisses from Katie, puts it, “I am somewhat of a nomad on this earth. Human beings long for a place to call home, a nest, a sanctuary of their own. I have many and none… But God whispers to me that I really have only one home, and that is with Him,” (128).

When we lose our life; our life in this lost world, then we find our life in our Savior, for how can we strive to follow our Father’s footsteps when we don’t even have an understanding of how he instructs us to truly live? We wouldn’t of ever been able to find life in Christ had it not been for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Jesus was dead to the world, he turned his back on society’s rules and blazed his own trail. He was a rebel, he was an essential outcast, he was radical.

Refering back to the persecuted church, I recently read a book called Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, and in the book he tells of his life as a Christian living in the Soviet Union, giving his own story along with others. He tells of how they were tortured by being burnt, starved, placed in freezing conditions that they when they were on the brink of death, that’s when the officers would pull them out and warm them up a little. They would beat them, whip them; it is unimaginable to us. The Soviet officers were trying to get them to renounce their faith. They had zero success. The tortured knew what it was like to die in the worldly way, they knew how what it was really like to know Christ. It’s in the situations of persecution, trials, hardship, and materialistic poverty that people have the strongest faith. They have died to their life and found life in Christ. They have picked up their crosses and followed Christ.

We have to ask ourselves, a people who have not really known what it is like to live in poverty, be tortured, or lose everything, the question, “Are we truly able to die to our life of comfort, pick up our cross and truly follow Him?”

Think about it.

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Dear Everyone,

I am sick of people trying to sit around and tell me that modesty has nothing to do with the way your dress- just the way you behave. Or that modesty is a ‘heart issue’ and what you ‘feel is appropriate.’  Someone once told me, ‘You can’t stop the guys from looking or thinking. that is their job.’ and that pretty much sums up what all my girlfriend’s say about their summer clothes.  Yet, as a sister in Christ to all of you whom are walking with God, let me say this:

There is no excuse you can come up with for wearing those short shorts, bikinis, tank tops (the ones that show your colorful bra or ride so low the only thing not showing is your nipple), or any summer items along those lines, that is Godly.

As brothers and sisters in Christ we are asked to help each-other in our walk with God. (Mathew 18:5-7) We are not to help each-other stumble on the fringes of sin without going over or blatantly walk straight into sin; we are to help each-other FLEE from it. God directly tells men not to lust after a girls’ beauty. (Proverbs 6:24-26) To understand what is modesty and what it is not, is not as simple as saying ‘what you feel in your heart.’. If it was, a girl could say ‘ I don’t think wearing a bikini is immodest because I am still covering my lady parts,’ just as easily as she could say,’ I think I need to wear what the nuns wear,’ the next day. ( http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey )

This is not saying we shouldn’t take care of how we look, but we do need to be more concerned about what’s on the inside and our walk with God; That includes helping one another with each-other’s walks. (Timothy 2:9-10) So is it just the guys problem to deal with? No. It’s also ours. Giving up what society says is fashionable for what God says is one of the simplest ways we, as girls, can show not only guys but God Himself how devoted we are. When we began our walk with Him, we pretty much said ‘Here I am Lord! Come into my heart and use me!’ But if we cannot sacrifice a few clothing items for Christ’s sake, then are you really allowing Him to dress you in His righteousness? We are suppose to portray a Christ like image- these scanty outfits are doing no good to that cause, they are hurting it. So please do not take this as a bashing or me knit-picking, but rather a thought to ponder on and research. Don’t think ‘oh, I’ve already done that. I don’t agree.’ and log off. You stuck by and read this whole thing for a reason, let God show you that reason.
(The link I posted above is a study done on what guy’s think of girl’s clothes)

~A

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WHY AM I A CHRISTIAN?

I wrote this title a while back, but since then I have come upon some new insights.

What I wrote on this last year is still very applicable, however, I want to appeal to a new side.

I wrote my last blog on faking Christianity, but now I want to let everyone know why I chose Christianity.

My parent’s both got saved a year before I was born. They both jumped head first into their new faith and brought me along on the ride. I have grown up hearing about Jesus and living in a very close Christian home. So everyone assumes, ‘she is a Christian because she was raised that way.’

Wrong.

Did you know that 70% of teenagers leave the church once they reach 18? a

Almost 80% of those teens who leave have already checked out of their faith while in still attending church.

So to say a person is a Christian because her family is, is unstable.

I do not think that a person should ever be something just because her parents have said so. I think that a person needs to find thing out for herself or himself. Listening to wise counsel of people you trust is always good, but at the end of the day it needs to be you.

Last summer I began looking around at other religions besides Christianity. I was searching for answers that did not come from the background I had been raised in. How was I to be certain I wasn’t being lied to? What if there is another religion out there that has truer answers? Was Christ the final answer?

I am a very spiritually in tuned person, which means the idea of there never being a God is impossible for me to imagine. I can feel my life at war, somewhere there is an invisible struggle being fought over me. Over what I should do, want to do, need to do, am supposed to do. This means there is a right and a wrong; if there was not a right and wrong, why would I struggle so choices?

It has been argued that there is no absolute right, nor an absolute wrong, because there is no such thing as an absolute truth… However, for that to be considered true, wouldn’t that be an absolute truth?

So if there is a right and a wrong, a high standard which every human almost instinctively knows, where does it come from?

‘Religion’ is the most obviously answer. We have passed down multiple religions throughout the generations. Some last, some die, but what we do know is we are never without it. So the truth must lay away in one of these many beliefs, otherwise religion would have died out long ago.

Dr. Norman Geisler suggested to pool the worldviews into seven simple possibilities: theism, atheism, pantheism, pantheism, deism, polytheism, and finite godism. Theism is the belief in a supernatural ‘First Cause’ who is incaused, one, personal, moral, and infinite in all His attributes including power and intelligence. He manifests himself in the universe, yet is also beyond it. Atheism says that there is no God. This universe just randomly showed up out of nowhere and the only authority that is real is the power of man. Pantheism holds that creation and the Creator are one and the same. God is nature and nature is God. Deism, which is closely related to Theism, suggests that God is beyond our world and not in it miracously, the trials and evil we face here are started by free choice and ignorance and can be won by both God alone and/or man alone. Polytheism, like the Roman and Greeks, states there are multiply gods, two for certain, however, there could be more. The evil and harshness of this world are merely the gods fighting amongst themselves. Finite godism is the idea that there is one God whom is both in our world and beyond it, the trials and evil that tortures us here is God’s internal struggle with himself and it can be defeated by God or man. Within each of these categories there are hundreds of different religions, but by breaking them down to the nitty gritty definitions, you can easily see which ones appear to hold truth and which ones seem more of a made up feel good fairytale to escape something deeper.

I cut out atheism fairly quickly with simple reasoning. Everything around us is so complex and unique that the possibility of it happening by chance is a bit too extreme. Humans alone are an organism we ourselves, actually being human, have yet to even master. So how could nothing making something so intricate? A big bang? We make big bangs all the time when blowing up stuff, yet for some random reason, that explosion never magically makes us a another living organism or house after the debris has settled. It just leaves a pile of dust.

Pantheism is a bit more real to me. It makes since in some form. Didn’t the Indian’s believe this? However, if God is nature… Is he good or bad? Nature is both. It can be good and healthy, but it can also be cruel and dire. I have a hard time grasping the reality that a God who cared to make us so special and with so much emotion would harm us so much.

Polytheism is fun to research, nonetheless it died out long ago as a major religious thought. If the truth can die then it was never true to begin with.

Deism… hmmmm…. This idea is as close to Theism as you can get, without actually giving ‘God’ any major power. If man can win any trial brought on him by both him and God or just him, or just God alone- why does man fail so often? If man can overcome evil without a god, then why are there so many broken and hurting people? Why do they cry out in the mist of tears ‘I can’t do this anymore!’? Evidently, they cannot do it alone. Deism doesn’t work.

Lastly is Theism.  This covers the most influential modern religions: Christianity, and Islam.

Islam has never been able to grab my attention as an actual steady religion, due to the fact that it is in consistent in the teaching (from the Quran) and their history does not match up with the rest of the time line of world history. Example?

”And they (the people of Noah’s day) said to each other, ‘Abandon not your gods: abandon neither Wa’dd nor Suwa, neither Yaquth nor Yauq, nor Nasr..’” S. 71:23

The problem primarily arises with the names given to the idols of Noah’s time. These are the names of the idols worshiped at the time of Muhammad in Mecca, nearly three thousand years later! How is it possible for Noah’s people to worship Arabic deities with Arabic titles several thousand years before these idols ever came into existence? The Muslims’ attempts to reconcile this obvious anachronism have failed so far. b

Christianity seems pretty fairytale like (miracles, turning water into wine, food sent from Heaven), except the whole Jesus thing. This guy does not only show up in the pages of religious books, but also in other historical documents that have nothing to do with religion. To disprove Christianity, you would need to be able to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. Seem simple right? Wrong. Many people have spent their whole lives researching the resurrection of Jesus as a hoax, yet it never adds up.

The whole New Testament is based on the life and preaching of one man, Jesus. This is where the whole story begins, so why not start disproving this man’s whole life? Because here is the deal:

If Jesus did rise from the grave, then everything he said must be true.

If He did not rise from the grave, then everything he said is a lie.

If we can just prove this area, we can conquer it all in one shot.

Since the NT is an old historical document, then let’s check its reliability first.

In the 19th century archaeologist took to disproving the accountability of the Bible, mainly the New Testament, by their accuracy and finding gaps in the writing that would misplace the whole timeline set up by the New Testament. However, during their search, instead of finding evidence against it, they found over 15,000 manuscripts to support it. Most of these papyri’s bridged the gap between Christ and the already existing manuscripts. Depleting the ‘missing gaps’ case. Sir William Ramsay spent 15 years of his life trying to undermine Luke. His wish was to undermine Luke credentials as a historian and in doing that refute the reliability of the New Testament. However, at the end of 15 years, he concluded, “Luke is a historian of first rank…. This author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”

So Luke is reliable huh?

Time and time again history has done more to prove the Bible’s reliability than it has to diminish it. In fact, secular history have never been able to weaken the Bible, only verify it. I will post some links down below for anyone interested in researching this subject (both Christian historians and secular)

If we are to count the reliability of an ancient document (which the Bible is) then it out shines every other accent manuscript we count as reliable times ten.

Work

 When Written

 Earliest Copy

 Time Span

 No. of copies

New Testament 

  A.D. 40-100

   A.D. 125

  25 yrs

   24,000

Homer (Iliad)

  900 B.C.

   400 B.C

  500 yrs

   643

Sophocles

  496-406 B.C

   A.D. 1000

  1,400 yrs  

   193

Aristotle

  384-322 B.C.

   A.D. 1100

  1,400 yrs

   49

Caesar (Gallic Wars)

 58-50 B.C.

   A.D. 900

  1000 yrs

   10

Do we question Homer? or Aristotle? no…

So the Bible has been proven reliable and Jesus did in fact rise from the grave. Not just in religious manuscripts, but in secular records as well.

This evidence was enough for me to dig deeper into Christianity. Its claims have been proven, so now it was a matter of what did God want with me?

~A.

 

a- LifeWay Research

b-http://www.faithdefenders.com/articles/worldreligions/Contardictions_and_Inconsistencies_Quran.html

c- studies from Josh Mcdowell, Mere Christianity, Jimmy Willaims, The Bible

http://www.bibleevidences.com/transmission.htm

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mirrored sunset

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

– Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)

We live in a time of war, not just physically like with the Iraq or Afghanistan war, but also spiritually. So many Christians lose faith because the Devil is able to creep his way in and take out, we must, in order to fight him off, put on the armor of God. There are four points in these ten verses. The first being the armor of God (10-12). The “full armor of God” is referring to the Psalm and Isaiah soldier; Ps. 59:17. It is only with the armor of God that we can defend against the Devil. When we try to do it ourselves it doesn’t work out so well and we end up losing the battle and seriously wounded. In verse twelve it says: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” It’s true. We are not fighting beings with flesh-and-blood, we are fighting dark forces; dark spirits that would love to ruin our lives and make sure we never see the light of Christ. In this day and age our modern war technology is amazing and deathly accurate, but it’s useless when fighting a war that one cannot see physically. We must turn to “old-world technology” and less advanced ways; we must put on the armor of God and arm ourselves with his word and prayer.

In the second point, the passage talks about the specific parts of the armor of God (13-17). Each part of the armor blocks major places we are vulnerable and replaces those weaknesses with God’s strength. There’s the belt of truth – for flesh loves to deceive and lie. The body armor of righteousness, to protect our hearts and keep them pure with good morals, for flesh likes to corrupt the good. The shoes of peace, so that we may be swift and well in sharing with others about God’s love and spiritual peace. The shield of faith is there to stop the arrows of the dark side (Devil) and keep them from burning our souls and turning them to ashes. The helmet of salvation, to protect our head so that we can make right choices and acknowledge our salvation and surrender in Christ. Finally, there’s the sword of the Spirit, which we use to cut down and vanquish the enemy and turn others to God, for the sword of the Spirit is God’s word; the Bible.

In the third point, I want to emphasize of blocking and extinguishing the Devil’s fire (16-17). When we block his fire, we don’t want to just bounce it off and let it burn elsewhere, when we block it, we need to them charge and suffocate it so that it cannot burn in the place it seeks to wreak havoc and destruction. To put that fire out we need to use God’s word, as well as prayer,  and speak the words of truth and justice. God’s word is like rain to the Devil’s fire – it rains till it’s out. Arming ourselves with verses for every occasion will prove us well, even if it seems like a waste of time at first, it’s not. At all. You’ll be thankful one day that you sat down, or while on a business trip, or on the school bus you looked at one verse and memorized it, adding it to your permanent memory bank, for you’ll be able to think and treasure each verse.

In the final point, it’s using prayer and the word of God in this spiritual battlefield – warfare if you will. We are told to pray at all times and on every occasion. At first it seems absurd, but once one does it enough, it becomes a part of life and we grow in our faith; stronger in it. Prayer is one of the biggest connections we have to our heavenly Father – it’s our way of communication to Him. When our connection isn’t strong, then our relationship with Him isn’t as strong as it could be. It’s like if you didn’t talk to your father often, your relationship would be poor and you wouldn’t trust him as much, and when you needed help, he wouldn’t understand well, because your communication was lacking. Of course God knows your every thought and feeling, but he loves when we talk to him and let out our frustration and troubles. We need to pray, too for each other. We are all in the battlefield – at school, our homes, or out on the mission field. We need to ask God to give us the wisdom and the words to speak to share and spread His word and the good news about Him. Even when we’re in chains (spiritually or literally), we need to still be bold and share. His word is like a wild fire – once it catches it spreads fast.

In conclusion, we need to though, understand that faith does not protect us, but it seeks to find a protector – God. To me, my faith is like a privilege. Jesus did not have to die to save us from certain spiritual death. He did not have to create us. He did not have to share about His wonders and amazing love and forgiveness. I am so glad that He did do those things… and more, much more. We cannot thank him enough. Reason alone will never figure out this world. We need the word of God to discern things in this world for us.

Some corresponding passages are Ephesians 4:1, which is one of the main points in this passage – it’s part of its context. Ephesians 4:44 also corresponds to this passage – it talks about putting on a new self, putting on these new weapons, and bracing to go out and share the Faith. In Psalm 88 it talks about wrestling with God, which is and can be a part of the spiritual warfare we endeavor and have to conquer with putting up a white flag and surrendering ourselves to God. Hebrews 12:1-3  talks about God and how He promises to bring differentiation to our lives because he loves us. Psalm 18 is about how we need to be trusting in God at all times, it talks of how there are perils, it seems, and how God is our solid foundation – a foundation that is never shaken or broken. Romans 13:8-12 is a great parallel to this passage, vs. 8 talks how we own no one anything, except loving each other, 10b talks how love is fulfilling, and vs. 12 talks about casting off darkness and putting on armor of light.

A Few Reflection Questions:

    1. How does this fit in with everyday life?
    2. Verse 10 is a continuation of verse 9, it is about family, work, etc. How does spiritual warfare play out in these places?
    3. In one of the corresponding passages, Romans 13:8-12, verse 8 and 10b talk about how we owe no one anything, except loving each other and how love is fulfilling. How do you think you could apply these to your lifestyle and seeing how true love is fulfilling?

Love moves towards people – it does not pull away.

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In the section of verse going to be ‘read” today is found in 2 Peter 1:5-11 (NIV) and it is this:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the first verse, verse 5, it makes conclusion that we have a responsibility to grow; supplement; increase our faith in a godly way. Some people think that Christians have a big “Don’t Do” list – don’t do this, don’t do that, blah, blah, blah. Others think that they should let go and “let God lead them.” Truth is: They don’t understand, they have a passive detection. What we mean; true followers (to say), when we say “let go and let God lead” is that we need to let him dictate our actions, not just “deject” like some. We need to think, and I mean think generously, “What would Jesus Do?”

The Greek word, “chorea” which is were “choreography” originates from, which means  to come together – it’s the the art of composing ballets and other dances and planningand arranging the movements, steps, and patterns of dancers [dictionary.com] – like a melody, we need to come together, to work, like a dance. Now, it’s not a “do the dance once and you’re perfect” no, you have to practice; work to get the moves right. Our inward character, we must build wisely. For when we are under another influence we lost that appearance, the pressure causes us to fall down. We must have a virtue, knowledge, and self-control – being steadfast in a time of wen all the odds are against us; you. What must we be steadfast int? Our relationship with our Heavenly Father; just like a married couple are steadfast (committed) to each other. “*Philadelphia” which means  our love of brethren. We must, even if we hate, show compassion, love, and kindness to those who hate us (and don’t hate us). We must sacrifice our own concerns for other’s sake.

There was this story of one of our presidents – **Abraham Lincoln. It went like this:

“Is there anything I can do for you?” asked the compassionate President. “Please write a letter to my mother,” came the reply. Unrecognized by the soldier, the Chief Executive sat down and wrote as the youth told him what to say. The letter read, “My dearest Mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty, and I won’t recover. Don’t sorrow too much for me. May God bless you and Father. Kiss Mary and John for me.” The young man was too weak to go on, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and then added this postscript: “Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln.” Asking to see the note, the soldier was astonished to discover who had shown him such kindness. “Are you really our President?” he asked. “Yes,” was the quiet answer. “Now, is there anything else I can do?” The lad feebly replied, “Will you please hold my hand? I think it would help to see me through to the end.” The tall, gaunt man granted his request, offering warm words of encouragement until death stole in with the dawn.”

When we show love to those who need help, etc. it opens a door, showing others our kindness and makes them wonder. We are the image of God, we potentially show what He’s like, if we show a bad example, people turn away like a magnet – with the ends negative to negative. Living a balanced life, it leads us to an effective life, one that involves Christ. It is our responsibility to increase our spiritual life to grow fruit – healthy fruit.

We also are led – through God – to a clear perspective on life. A person who’s become in the light cannot see past their stuck up nose. They don’t care, love, or allow their fruit to grow healthy; they are what we call nearsighted. Those who are nearsighted only see the world, they are stuck wandering. They are in need of a Savior, but haven’t found the “time.”

When we have a life full of Christ it leads to assurance. When we have an assurance in God, it leads to a godly-like life, knowing that when we die we aren’t going to be stuck wandering the earth, instead we’ll be rejoicing in heaven. If we are active in our walk with Christ, we increase the good fruit – we have more confidence in our salvation.  Even the greatest Christians known (Apostle Paul, King David, etc.) have started with regrets, but with Christ, they know they are forgiven and have a purpose in life; something to live for!

*brotherly love, a city of Lydia in Asia Minor, about 25 miles south-east of Sardis. It was the seat of one of the “seven churches” (Rev. 3:7-12). It came into the possession of the Turks in A.D. 1392. It has several times been nearly destroyed by earthquakes. It is still a town of considerable size, called Allahshehr, “the city of God.” – biblegateway.com

**The Daily Bread 2 Peter 1:1-11, February 12th.

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View part 1 here: Trust Governs How We Love

The passage we will be looking at today is a continuation of 2 John; 2 John 1:7-13 (NIV):

Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face,so that our joy may be complete.

The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.

Our God is holy and loving to much; everything isn’t good, it must hate something, right? Right, that something is sin. Truth governs the expression of love. In verses 7-9 (the few two) it shows that we must beware of those who deceive us. Satan uses works in the realm of the mind, shifting the image of God; the philosophy, just a bit so that we may become confused and not know the right works of God. He (Satan) and his ‘servants’ are masts actors – “clothing” themselves as righteousness, even though they not really have that relationship with Christ.

The false preachers teach that Jesus did nothave a body, instead they teach that he was just a spirit occupying a body. This means if you don’t believe, you do not accept that Jesus, God’s one and only son, came to earth in flesh, and died on the cross; otherwise they are saying he’s not a savior. They teach that the Bible, well, it doesn’t have the answer we all are “searching” for. – But see, they had this “vision” (etc.) and they know how we can get to heaven and all, cause they  know it.

– Now, before we go freaking out, you have to realize, this is reality. As Christians, in this world, is just time spent in this awful battle; the battle between good and evil; righteousness, salvation, and love against sin. It’s the world between the two kingdoms; the battle grounds. And we are the soldiers. –

Continuing on, now just because out enemies, false teachers, have a different belief doesn’t mean we treat them like crap (excuse my language). Instead, we need to love the truth more. How does this make sense? How does it apply? You may be wondering? Read on and you’ll see why… it’s because we need to watch ourselves, we need to be more careful not to stumble and suddenly loose everything in a snap. This is because if you lose that spiritual stability, you lose the rewards that follow, because there are actually rewards for those who continue to truly believe.

Warning: If you aren’t loyal in truth, you destroy the works God has done.

Through our pride and selfish acts comes our ruin.

Whoever believes Jesus came to the earth, took on sin, and smashed it, then we can only, and only then, say we understand.

Where the believers in Jesus’ time often fell was with people who were the outcast; “underdogs” (whatever you’d like to call them). Why? Because the feeling of empathy happened. Letting them in their home and then suddenly those people would be teaching them false words. They needed to boot them out! But also they needed to just get to know them, to teach them the truth. This applies to us now-a-days.

For those who you push away, are travelers, Jehovah’s witnesses, etc. they use the “excuse:” But you’re a Christian. You have to let me in, what would Jesus do?  to get in, to get to you. Right, they have that right don’t they? NO! Absolutely not. That’s no excuse. That’s them trying to sell you out. You must be prepared to defend yourself and the truth of which you behold. What do I do though? You may ask. Well simple. You tell them this:

“I am no Jesus.”

Simple. Smart. Leaves them shell-shocked (supposedly) .

People these days advertise false things, at first you criticize, but soon people send in money asking for that thing, and everything goes down hill from there. Satan tries to do the same thing, he tries to get us to spend our money on everything, instead of that which is right.

You remember the person John is writing this letter to? If not go back and take a second to read part one, it’ll tell you who the audience  is; the recipient of the letter. The recipient is a woman. John wants to give the woman more, to talk to her face to face, not formally from which he wrote this letter, but personally. He wants to teach her for hearing the truth governs the pure; true joy.

The application is this: When you aren’t believing that Christ dealt with sin, how he came, died, and vanquished sin, well I can tell you this: It won’t get you far, not far at all in your journey of life. You must not believe every word someone who claims to know everything, cause even though they claim to know everything, it doesn’t show that they accept Christ’s sacrifice, because they truly aren’t a believer.

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