Monday, January 9, 2012
Today I am going to attempt to write a blog that I believe to be the single most important information you must know before you die. Sounds dramatic I am sure, but really its good news!! I take a risk at offending some "Christians" and others of faith by blogging this.. but it must be said. If Jesus is in their hearts those of you will know that what I write is truth.
Recently here I have come to understand some interesting things about God and Jesus. How I know, I really cant explain.. its just like I know I know and am in the know.
I have talked to many of friends and family about God, of course there were the talks before I walked that sounded like this.....
" Sure I believe in a God.. I dont think all these rules and traditions really have to be followed out. Nor do I believe that I have to go to church to know God. I think God knows I know him." and " I have faith.. but Im not crazy to think I or any man can walk on water." further " most things in the bible can pretty much be explained one way or another by science, we cant deny that." ~ The believer yet naysayer!
When I first started going to church again as an adult my talks sounded more like this.....
" I'm going to church, and it feels good." plus " Church is a great place to be surrounded by positive energy, and more positive people.. my family can only benefit from this" finally " I go to a church, but I'm not totally convinced. I still have MY own opinions that I think are still very much valid, still its nice to go and talk with others about their views, but I'm not going to just follow what others think... I dont think I can call myself a Christian" ~ The believer yet knowsitallbetta!
Today I sit in confidence of my abilities through Christ and I am fully in "the know". Today I am born a new, I am washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Today I am REDEEMED! My talks go on and on just like that! No added script given to me through imagination... just proclaimations from the heart!
Still , talking to friends and family and even some fellow church goers I have noticed one very big similarity in quite a few of these people. They don't get it! Some have said they don't get the bible, they don't get the church, they don't know which "religion" is best.. and most importantly... They don't know where THEY FIT IN to all this. Now I don't know exactly what Jesus would say about all this.... but if I could take an educated guess from the heart.. it might sound like this "Ay ay ay!" or if you prefer " Oy vey" .lol.
Seriously though... God has put into my heart this very important message. What God really really wants you to understand above all things.. is he LOVES YOU. What he wants from YOU... is your WHOLE HEART! Jesus wants to LOVE YOU with an abundant never ending kinda love! And He wants you to love HIM above all others.Matthew 22:37 To believe in your heart that Jesus is your Lord and savior!! That He paid the price for all our transgressions. That means ALL. Ok?!
God wants you to understand what Jesus did for us!John 3:16.
Many people, including some of my family, feel like they have to "be right" first in order to start fully loving Jesus and God and calling themselves a "Christian" or going to church. I know cause I did the same. Some of us think... well I am not ready to give this up or that up or believe everything that is in the bible....
Well, ya know what.. I would bet my life, yes you heard right.. my life! That Jesus is saying... THATS OK! Just start by believing in me! Jesus wants to be in your heart! He wants to love you from the inside. All that other stuff, all that mumble jumble is not even enough to compare to what really matters, and that is the LOVE of GOD and the Love for CHRIST JESUS.. He suffered for you so that you may have Mercy and Grace. The best news is you dont have to do anything to gain the kingdom of heaven but ... BELIEVE IT! Wow, tell me that is not amazing!?!
That's not to say that the BIBLE and all its contents aren't important. So my fellow brothers and sisters don't start writing me nasty letters of complaint.lol. The bible contains some of the most important lessons and weapons and super natural gifts that I or anyone on earth has ever seen,there is no denying that in me!
But I say this again, the most important thing you must have is JESUS IN YOUR HEART!
So what does it mean to have Jesus in your heart? It means just that. Only you know whats in your heart of hearts.. only you know who you love most. And God said to love him first and above all others. Actually I have come to understand God is Love ( See "Oh how I love the ,.let me count the ways"). God is the "feeling" of love but its more than a feeling its beyond that, He is LOVE. Think of it like this..whenever in your lifetime you have ever felt that wonderful, unexplained, un-manufactured , non-duplicatable feeling of LOVE... Rejoice my friend cause you just experienced a slice of GOD within you. Cause God is Love! (going to leave it there cause that is a whole different topic that I can write a more intimate blog piece on in the future).
So lets keep on.. Here are some things that JESUS said:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Jesus said: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
Jesus said: "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17)
Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" (John 10:11).
Jesus said: "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit," (John 13:10).
Jesus said: "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" (John 10:16).
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Now, I could try and give you a brief lamen's explanation on the above bible verses.. but I wont. Because really it all comes down to the heart! I cant say it enough! So hear this...
If you're Catholic or Christian
If you're Protestant or Baptist or Pentecostal or whatchawantstal
If you're Spiritual or Religious
If you're a church goer or not
If you go to a mega church or a small 10 member church
If you understand the Bible or not
If you get the stories in the Bible or not
If you eat pork or not
If you rest on the Sabbath
If you sing along with the church Choir or not
If you partake in the saltine cracker and shot of grape juice Or not
If you confess your sins to a priest or not
If you wear a dress or pants to church
If you grow sideburns, long hair or sport a tiny black cap
If you speak in tongues or not
If you raise your hands while worshiping or not
If you remember to pray at night before bed or not
All that is second place to the number one thing you MUST BELIEVE and DO... and that is LOVE JESUS and BELIEVE He is the messiah that has been sent to us so that we may be forgiven of our sins by His blood shed! He and only He alone is the only one that walked the earth and died for our sins so that we dont have to! THEN He did RISE 3 days later and is the LIVING SAVIOR! Trust in the Living God! Trust in your heart that GOD loves you this much sooo soo much! That he sent Jesus so that we may be saved!!
Most of you may think... You heard all this before. Then I say GREAT!! Now do yourself a favor.. put it in your heart!! Put Jesus there FOREVER!! That is the first most important step to the whole big picture!! All else..ALL ELSE will follow once you turn your heart toward God!! He is right there waiting for you!! He loves you and wants to be number one in your life, cause you are number one in His!! This is the Truth!!!
Seek Him with your whole heart and he will meet you there with an abundant LOVE like you have never known! ~ Deuteronomy 4:29
May the Lord touch you and bless you all your days!
Thank you for reading!
Monday, January 2, 2012
So here a lot lately I have been reading up on the topic of Love. I have found some interesting things out, in my heart and then in proof. So how does love apply to Christians? What kind of love are Christians to have? Before I "knew" the answer, I knew the answer....in my heart.
On my way home from driving my children to the airport 3 hrs away, I had a lot of time to think and reflect on my relationship with God. As I was driving I listened to my worship music and just allowed my heart to open up to the music, the words, and to the awareness that GOD IS LOVE. All around me I felt his love, I felt it in the songs that made me smile, in the sun that warmed my face, in the formation of the clouds that looked so fluffy and white. I saw Gods hand in everything and in everyone. I couldn't believe how in love I was with loving God. As I sung out the lyrics to songs, I wept and smiled and wept some more...
I LOVE YOU GOD.. I LOVE YOU!
I had an awaking to the reason why I loved all these things before me, and the people in my life.. I love because God is LOVE. He is in all things and in all love. I started to think of it as this... My children are gifts that GOD himself constructed for me to raise and enjoy, LOVE and teach LOVE to; so naturally I love them! But all people are creations of GOD ( weather they acknowledge it or not). Our DNA was skillfully handcrafted by GOD himself.. therefore he is the artist of our existence. He is the creative genius that makes all things, from the oceans vast to the smallest atom and its components. GOD has sketched it all. Which explains why I love it all. I love looking into my families eyes and seeing the hand prints of GOD. So therefore because I am so over the moon in love with loving God, I can easily love all of Gods creations. AMEN!
Need proof God is in all things???
Here are a few videos I think can help. The first is a scientific approach to explaining that science can only explain to the limits of their understanding. The ultimate answer leaves us with one conclusion. Bare with the video and try to grasp what they are saying here.
The second a simple way to show how complex and unique God (not evolution) made even bugs!
The third..explains how vast and complex our DNA is, and suggest there must have been a creator.
I know so... but you check it out for yourself.
Let me not fool you, love isn't always easy. Sometimes its difficult to see the God in all things, in all situations. Why is that so?? Why is it on one hand I can be so over the moon about the creation of things and people because of God.. then other times I am so dismayed by it all. What kinda of love is that anyway.
For example, have you ever had a close friend that you loved so dear.. and for one reason or another, something goes wayward between you two and now your not so close.. you love them less or not at all. How is it that your love didnt last? Let me even get more personal on you.. are you married or in a long committed relationship? Do you sometimes feel you have fallen "out of love" with your spouse. Some seasons come and things spark all the romance, and then the changing moon takes a turn to a not so sparkly place in your relationship and you're wondering.. do I still love em? What is different? what changed? What kind of love goes Hot then cold? Is it supposed to stay "hot" all the time? Why do people fall in and out of love with others? What kind of love is this?
You might like to know that this is very common, not only that.. but that there is actually 4 types of LOVE. Let me list them below with explanation from a few different sites:
Affection (storge, στοργή) is fondness through familiarity, especially between family members or people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance. It is described as the most natural, emotive, and widely diffused of loves: natural in that it is present without coercion; emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity; and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed "valuable" or worthy of love and, as a result, is able to transcend most discriminating factors. Ironically, its strength is also what makes it vulnerable. Affection has the appearance of being "built-in" or "ready made", says Lewis, and as a result people come to expect, even to demand, its presence—irrespective of their behavior and its natural consequences.
So we see Storge is a "need" kind of love. Think of Mother to child Or kitten to its parent cat. Need to nurse, need to have the affection and care.
Philia (φιλία philía) means friendship in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
We recognize philia and its meaning from the name Philadelphia, that is, the city of brotherly love. This is the love of friendship, best friends, and the fellowship of being with those people you enjoy.
Although philia is wonderful, it too is not reliable since it is also held captive by the sifting sands of situation as well as by ours and other's perceptions and expectations. Unfortunately, we probably all know of a friendship which waned or was severed because of time, distance, harsh words, how someone interpreted another's actions, etc. When the New Testament commends love, philia is the not the word which is used.
Eros is a multifaceted mixture of anger, sexual urge, joy, and jealousy. It is consummated in searing ecstasy.
Eros (ἔρως) is love in the sense of 'being in love' or loving me. This is distinct from sexuality, which Lewis calls Venus, although he does spend time discussing sexual activity and its spiritual significance in both a pagan and a Christian sense. He identifies eros as indifferent. It is Venus that desires the sexual aspect of a relationship, while Eros longs for the emotional connection with the other person.
Eros is probably what most people mean when they announce with a smile, "I'm in love." This type of love covers everything from queasy stomachs and warm fuzzy feelings to strong sensual passion.
There are a couple of very interesting characteristics about eros. First, in order to exist eros is dependent upon the situation and circumstances. As long as a couple is enjoying a romantic situation, eros can thrive. But, as soon as hurtful words or actions appear, eros simply evaporates.
Second, eros is also held captive to each person's perception. For example, if someone perceives a particular quiet evening dinner with candles to be romantic, eros will thrive. However, passion becomes squashed for someone whenever he or she interprets the current situation to be undesirable. Eros thus grows strong and then wastes away based upon our perceptions.
Although eros at times might make us feel like we are on cloud nine, it can not provide a reliable basis for building a deep and meaningful relationship since it is so fickle and dependent upon perception and circumstances. Because of such things as accidents, diseases, and the fact that someone can choose to doubt or despise you regardless of your actions, it is clear that we can not determine how others will perceive us nor are we masters of our own circumstances.
Although eros is exhilarating, this is not the Biblical word used for love.
Statistically this is the type of love most marriages start with, ironically this is also the type of love that spouses in marriage also feel that if there is a lack of Eros there is NO love. However this might not be entirely true, there is another type of love above all these. Agape!
Charity (agapē, ἀγάπη) is the love that brings forth caring regardless of circumstance. Lewis recognizes this as the greatest of loves, and sees it as a specifically Christian virtue. The chapter on the subject focuses on the need of subordinating the natural loves to the love of God, who is full of charitable love.
Unlike the previous two types of love, agape is not limited to being held hostage by its environment and someone's perception. The reason why agape can soar above these is because it is based upon the commitment of a decision. It entails the decision to proactively seek someone's well-being. Since it is not a knee jerk reaction nor just a responsive feeling to how I've been treated, agape is capable of acting in a hostile environment where there are no warm fuzzy feelings. For example, Jesus' teaching that we should agape our enemies is intended to show the boundless nature of the Christian commitment toward seeking another's well-being. Luke 6:35
The New Testament is full of examples and teachings illustrating the nature of agape as well as teaching designed to train the disciple's heart to be shaped by agape. A few examples illustrating the active nature of agape include:
• Knowing that sinful man would kill His Son, but also knowing that without Jesus we were doomed, God loved (agape) us by sending his Son. John 3:16• Those who love (agape) Jesus will do what Jesus taught. John 14:15,23• If a person has material resources and the love (agape) of God within him, his heart will take care of his brother who is in need. 1 John 3:17• Just as Christ through love (agape) acted on behalf of the church, so too the Christian husband is to be motivated by love (agape) to act on behalf of his wife. Ephesians 5:25-29
If it were not enough that the proactive nature of agape has the power to rise above its environment, it can also empower passion and friendship! For example, when a spouse chooses to speak and act toward the mate with agape, this creates the loving environment in which eros and philia can thrive! Although the proactive spouse might even perceive the other spouse as being unkind or rude, additional problems can be prevented by responding out of agape while the power of agape works at nurturing the growth of the other forms of love!
Jesus taught his disciples that the world would know that they his people if they would show agape toward one another. John 13:35