Tag Archives: theology

Love Everyone?

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Anyone who says they hate in the name of Jesus is deceived.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” James 6:27-28

Does that mean love the white supremacist? Yes. Does that mean love ISIS members? Yes. Love Donald Trump? Yes. Love Hilary Clinton? Yes. Love Democrats? Yes. Love Republicans? Yes. Love all races? Yes. Love those you disagree with? Yes. A follower of Jesus is called to love ALL in His name.

That doesn’t mean we agree with all. It doesn’t mean we believe the same way. It doesn’t even mean we never stand up for what we believe or that we never fight evil.

Having hate in our hearts is something else.

Hate destroys the one it abides in.

Jesus goes on to say in Luke 6:35-36, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

We all were enemies of God but He loved us anyway and sent Jesus to die for us. He shows us mercy every day. We are to pray for those who are caught up in hate and evil. We are to pray for our leaders. Having hate in our hearts won’t change anyone except to change us into bitter, angry people.

We can’t do it in our own strength but Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us. With His power in us, we can love all, even our enemies.

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What if There Were No Laws?

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S – “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25

“For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

O – Judges is hard to read. All the ugly violence and despicable acts are disturbing.  The last verse in the book explains why. When everyone does what is right in their own eyes, the result is chaos, pain, and war.

A – We seem to be leaning to this philosophy in present day. Everyone wants to be free to do what they think is right, what feels good but that does not work! As Judges shows, that philosophy ends in violence, immorality, war, rape, and destruction. To the point it is not safe to walk in the street at night. God have mercy!

Jesus paid a high price to redeem me. I want to live in a way that glorifies Him. Please help me Lord!

P – Father, you always know what is best. We may not be under the law for salvation but your laws are there for a reason. They protect us and guide us. We need boundaries. Please guide our nation. Guide our leaders. Help us to walk in submission to you and not to our own desires. You bought us with your life. Help us to walk in a way that glorifies You.

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Looking for the Garden of Eden

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“And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed…Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’…And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

Genesis 2:8, 18, 25 (ESV)

Aren’t we all searching for the Garden?

Deep in our souls we know that’s where we belong.

Walking with our Father.

Sharing our heart.

Worshiping Him.

Praising Him.

Knowing His love.

Love, perfect, complete

 

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”      Genesis 3:6 (ESV)

Yet, she was tempted.

She wondered if there was more.

She had everything.

No need unmet.

Unconditional love.

Complete acceptance.

Walking perfection.

Pure heart.

Untainted mind.

And she wanted more.

Perfection reached out for more.

“Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” Genesis 3:23

She lost the Garden.

She lost perfection.

She lost everything.

Except what was most important.

Unconditional love.

His love cannot be thwarted.

 

His Son took on flesh to mend what was broken.

His Son suffered and died to restore that walk.

Jesus restored what was lost.

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV)

By His grace we can walk with the Father.

Share our heart.

Worship Him.

Praise Him.

Know His love.

Not perfect but forgiven.

 

The tempter still comes.

He still whispers there’s more.

And we choose sin.

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” James 1:14 (ESV)

But those redeemed by Christ can never be snatched away.

Belief in Jesus seals us in Him forever.

We can walk with him in heavenly glory.

By faith if not by yet by sight.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV)

     I’m like Eve. Even though I have all I need, I still hear that whisper…Don’t you want more? More comfort? More stuff? First place? More time to yourself? More entertainment? More, more, more… just do what you want. Indulge yourself. Yet, what I truly need is always available. My Father is listening; He’s right beside me. When I walk with Him by faith and look to Him to fill the emptiness in my life…He’s enough.

We all want more. But what we need is Jesus. He’s right there waiting to fill our need if we’ll reach out in faith. Let’s reach out to Him and rest in our Father’s love.

Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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By Faith Not Works

“…a man is not justified by observing the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” Galatians 2:15-16

Paul emphasizes that we are not justified by observing the law. He repeats it 3 times in 2 verses. No one is justified by law but by faith in Christ alone! Faith in Jesus is everything! Jesus is the focus. If I focus on my behavior, on me, there will just be frustration. If I focus on Jesus, on faith in His power in me, then He works through me to produce righteousness. It is all about Him! Apart from Jesus Christ, I can do nothing.

Dear Lord Jesus, please help me today to focus on you. Help me take my eyes off of myself and focus on you and have faith in your grace and power. Thank you Jesus that you have cleansed me of all my sin! You are my justification! Praise your Holy Name!

 

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God’s Plan and Purpose will Prevail!

“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” Proverbs 21:30

The LORD’s purposes will prevail! People can make plans, wise people can make plans, insightful people can make plans, but ultimately none will overcome the purposes and plans of the LORD! I must walk by faith and not by sight. Even when it appears that evil people are “winning” or that their plans are succeeding, it is not reality! In reality, in view of all eternity (not the moment) God’s plans cannot be stopped.

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the East I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” Isaiah 46:10-11

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11

“Then Job replied to the LORD: ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.’ ” Job 42:1-2

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed.’ ” John 20:29

LORD, You alone are Lord and God! You own all things. You know all things. You are all-powerful! Nothing can stop your plans. As you have planned, so will it be. Praise your holy name! Thank you Father that I can trust all I am to all you are. I worship you as the one true God! Thank you for working your will out in my life. Help me to walk by faith and not by sight. 

When we finally see the whole picture of eternity, we will see how God brought everything together to fulfill His purposes.

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…” Ephesians 1:11

 

 

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He Gives Us Life, Breath and Everything Else!

“…because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’” Acts 17:25-28

Wow! Everything is about God from beginning to end. He gave us life, breath and  everything else! He determined when in history we would live and where. He put us where He did with  the intention that we would seek Him (and He is always close) In Him we live and move and have our being! We, our very existence, are all about God. When we forget Him, live as if we don’t know Him or deny Him, we deny everything about our existence and purpose. We exist each day only because God allows us to. We are able to deny Him only because he allows it. He chose when and where we would be born, what we would look like, the make-up of our DNA, our sex, our abilities, our talents…everything. The choice He gave us is to love Him or reject Him. He created us, gave us everything and planned for our redemption through our Lord Jesus Christ knowing that many would reject Him. We cannot comprehend the love He has for His creation.

LORD God, You created me. You gave me everything I have and am. In you I live and move and have my being. I owe everything to You! I submit to You my Father. I do not want to resist You. You see everything. You know everything. I trust You with all of me, all my family, all I love. May Your will be done and not mine. Thank You for your wonderful gifts!

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No Other Name

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Peter is taking another opportunity to proclaim the gospel. He teaches that salvation is found in Jesus alone. This is one of many, many verses that proclaim Jesus as the only way to salvation. How can  some claim to believe the Bible yet say they don’t believe Jesus is the only way to salvation? They say God has many names. How could the Bible be more clear? Do I make it clear in my life? Do  others see the message that Jesus is the way to life? This verse leaves no doubt that Jesus Christ is the only name.

Thank you Jesus for being the way to salvation. Thank you for your name that is above every name! You are the way! Thank you for allowing me to know you. I love you, Lord!

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