Archive for the ‘Message’ Category

First off, let me just say sorry about the last post that was sent out. It was done by mistake. This is the post that was supposed to be sent out.

Yes, yesterdays post was more of a fun thing. I received this in an email and thought “why not”. So I posted it. But then today, I started to think about what God’s Valentine to us really was.

You see, many of us have a valentine from God. We have it hid away, in a drawer or on a shelf. We don’t read, but we know that when we need to see it, it is close by. But for many of us we claim that we don’t need it. If we do have it out it just sits somewhere collecting dust.

Would we treat a letter from our loved ones this way? Would we keep an email unopened from our spouse or girl/boy friend? Or another family member? Of course not we would read it with joy. Knowing that while we read their words they have us on their minds. This letter or email makes us feel special.

We all like knowing that there is someone thinking about us all the time. Shoot, many of us are thinking about someone else all the time. Someone that has captured our hearts or whose heart we would like to capture. Yet we disregard a love letter to us of one who has us on His mind and heart all the time. He looks at the palms of His hand and sees a picture of you and me there. So what is this letter? The Bible.

God's love letter to the world

God's love letter

The Bible shows us the love that God has for us. The Bible shows us His devotion to us. God told us in His letter the depths He would go to “win” our love and devotion. He fights for us. He woos us to himself. He is our strong tower. He is our strength. He is our wisdom. He records all this in the Bible. He gave it to us, so that we can know what we need to about Him in order to love Him.

Instead, those He loves choose to ignore it and Him. Maybe we should take time now to read the greatest valentine that the world has ever seen or been given. Then we can get to know the One who would do whatever it takes or took to get our attention.

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         In my last post To Love or Not To Love I talked about how we can push away people by how we act towards them. Or how they see us treat others. We do need to be careful what we do. If only for the reason that a picture is worth a thousand words. It seems all too often what we do does not match up with what we say. People will only see our actions and not listen to our words in many cases. The reason? We can lie with our mouths but not with our actions. At least for very long. Therefore we need to make sure that our walk matches our talk, at all times.

         But this also means that we need to remember where we ourselves come from. We can’t come across as being better than others. We need to remember that we are no better than anyone else. We need to remember where we have come from. That is, we are sinners, saved by grace through the mercy of someone else.

        But let me define what I mean by the terms grace and mercy. GRACE = unmerited favor. MERCY = not getting what we deserve. From a biblical standpoint or Christian viewpoint I am saying  that I am a sinner, saved by the unmerited favor by not getting what we deserve. We who have been a Christian for quite awhile tend to forget that. We forget that God showed us grace and mercy when we first came to him. What we need to do is extend that same grace and mercy to those around us.

          I am not saying that we need to turn a blind eye at everything a person does. There are times when love says that we will need to confront others. But we need to remember that we have come from similar backgrounds. Doesn’t mean that we can’t come against what they are doing wrong. I am saying that patience is needed and sometimes grace and mercy is needed instead of the firmer hand..

          Patience was extended to us by God. Which we should be very happy for. God could have taken us any time He wanted to. Instead, He chooses to extend His patience to us. Why? He has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” If he was to get angry with over every little thing we do, eventually he would just get of us. Instead he shows patience and has his hand out to us. He wants to give us grace and mercy and not His wrath.

          But he also expects His children to do the same thing. Extending a hand in patience in order to bring them to same grace and mercy that we have from God. He to show His love to the world through us. All we have to do is change the way we see things. Take a look at others through His eyes and not our own.

            I will approach the subjects of grace and mercy at a later date. Just remember that we are not perfect. Which also means that those we are supposed to go to are the same way. Remember  where you have come from and allow the things learned from then to now help you draw others to Christ as you had been.

Hate and Death

Posted: 02/27/2011 in Message
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Matthew 5:21-24

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not kill: and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without just cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring the gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you; Leave your gift at the altar and go your way; first to be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

Anger is very dangerous to a Christian. Anger can destroy your testimony in front of others. Especially when you think of all the things that can get you angry. Needing to be somewhere ten minutes ago and finding your tire flat. Driving down the road behind someone driving slow and you are in a hurry. Saving up money for something that you want and having to buy something to replace what just broke. In today’s world there are many things that can make us go off.

There are times when anger is appropiate and when it is not. Being angry in the middle of a dangerous situation can cause you to save someones life, yours or someone elses. Anger is able to give you just what you need to make a dangerous situation not so dangerous. But being angry at a person is not appropiate no matter what. Even if that person allowed or caused that dangerous situation you are in. Verse 22 of this passage says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without just cause shall be in danger of the judgment…”

Jesus bore this out near the end of his life. He could have been angry at Judas for betraying him to the religious leaders and authorities. He could have been angry at Peter for betraying him three times. He could have been angry those that whipped him and mocked. Even the guy on the cross beside him did this. He could have angry, but he was not. He still loved each of these men.

He showed the very love he wants us all to show. He showed the love that he taught his followers to show. “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, do good to them which hate, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28) He told his followers to love those that hate them. As a follower of Christ that is a lot of people, especially today.

Many times when we get angry at someone, we say that we hate them. Is this alright? Of course not. 1 John 2:9,11 says this about hate. “He that says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now…. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not where he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes.” This seems to be pretty clear cut. Those that profess to God are really in darkness if they hate their fellow brother. It also says that they are blind. Verse 10 of this passage says this, “He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in them.” Why? Because they are not blind. They can see.

The Bible gives other clear cut warnings about hate. 1 John 4:20 says, “If a man say , I love God, and hates his brother, is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he hasn’t seen?” The answer is he can’t. And if he says he can the scripture calls him a liar.

The Bible also says that “We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother is a murdurer: and you know that no murdurer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:14-15)

But didn’t Jesus kick out all those people selling goods in the temple? He was angry when he did that, wasn’t he? Yes, he was angry. But would it not be more accurate to say that he was angry at what was going on and not angry at the people?

What about the verse that says that “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and yes even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” ? Well when we get married we still love our parents. Our love for them does not change. But, we love someone more than them, but our love for our parents does not lessen. In this case, we love our spouse more than our parents. So hate in this context means that we are to love Christ more than anyone or anything.

We are also allowed to hate sin. Hating sin is ok. God hates sin and cannot even be around it. He even expects his followers to be the same way. The problem is when we hate the person that is sinning because we equate the sin with the person. We have to be able to look beyond the sin and look at just the person. This is what Christ did. If we were to hate the sin as well as the person then what Jesus did on the cross was useless. It does not amount to anything.

He came here to reconcile us to himself. He didn’t come here to hate us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He hated no one. He showed his love to his friends. Who are his friends? All those that love him.

We must, as Christians, begin to see people the way God does. We need to be able to separate the person from the sin. We can only do that by looking with eyes that God gives us. A different pair of eyes. Ones that are spiritual. We need to allow God to begin to work through us. We have to pass from death to life. Are you able to love others as Christ loves you? Or are you wanting to stay a blind, lying, murderer? Allow Jesus to change your heart and mind. He is holding out his hand as a gift. Accept his gift and allow him to bring you into the land of the living.