Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Religion of Love

Some religions attempt to propagate what they ain't. But that is not so with true Christianity. First, let's look at, "What is true Christianity?"  Some are led to believe today that Hitler was a Christian. Those who believe that are not really Christians themselves, nor have any idea of what true Christianity comprises. It has been said there are three types of believers -- the Believer, the Non-believer, and the Make-believer. Only the true believer has made Jesus their Lord and Savior.

Jesus said we would know them by their fruits. An apple tree doesn't bare lemons, nor does a lemon tree bare apples. He went on to say, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Then He said something both startling and amazing -- He said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who despitefully use you." Whereby we might say to that, "Wait a minute Lord, I can deal with the love your neighbor stuff, but love my enemy? You don't know what he did to me Lord -- You don't know the names he called me and how he assaulted me when my back was turned. How Lord, can you expect me to love this person?"

Well, loving your enemy is another characteristic of the true believer. In another place; Jesus said, "If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses." The Apostle John reported in 1 John 4:7, "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."

Why all this about love? The very next verse in 1 John 4:8 declares, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." Jesus displayed the ultimate love for us in that He died in our place so we might spend eternity with Him in heaven. The Church is the reflection of Christ's love to others while we remain here on earth. To become joint heirs in eternity with Christ begins with how we love and treat others, even our enemies. By the way, 1 Corinthians chapter 13 is called the Love Chapter. If you get a chance, it would be worthwhile to check it out. Till next time -- remember, a religion of love does exist, but if you are confused which one it is, just look at its fruit -- may God bless.

                                                                                                                      George T.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Do You Do What They Do?

Today it seems everyone wants to do what everyone else is doing. When I was young and wanted to go or do what my friends were doing, I remember my mother asking me--"If they all jumped in a lake, would you jump in also?" After hearing that several times I vowed to be my own person and not do what the crowd did or said. Now that I have grown and have a good knowledge of the Bible, I realize Momma was right. Today, a great majority have fallen away from God to follow the crowd. The crowd is telling them things that in years past were shocking and unthinkable. Today those same unthinkables are both applauded and considered normal.

The Bible tells of a time coming when men will be without sound judgment, having their conscience seared as with a hot iron, falling away from the truth, giving heed to seducing spirits, without natural affection, all the while the love of many will wax cold. Certainly we have delved deeper and deeper into sin without even giving consciousness to the fact.

 In this hurry up and wait, instant gratification mentality society we live in today, many live their lives in the fast lane without realizing where their life has gone until it is too late. The good news is--it is not too late to wake ourselves up before we take that last breath.

God is a God of love and of second chances. He never gives up on us no matter what we go through. However, the first move is up to us. God gave us a free-will to choose. We have two choices-- to follow after the ways of the world (the crowd) - or to follow after God. If we follow after the ways of the world, the Bible declares that the ways of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are not of the Father. The ways of the Father are summed up in these two commandments - love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. The important thing about those two commandments is that you cannot keep them by yourself. The only true way anyone can keep them is by making Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of our lives. Then we become reconnected or reconciled back to God (the Father), our creator. You will no longer want to follow after the crowd again, but your desire will be to follow after God and His Word. Take the time to do it now while it is fresh on your mind. You will be glad you did.

                                                                                                                       George T.