A Mature Faith? Or Not?

Romans 14:11

“It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’””.

Sometimes personal opinions get in the way and cause problems within the body of believers, within our churches don’t they? We tend to have this ‘I’m right, your wrong’ attitude when it comes to how we should live our lives and put our faith into action. In our verse today, Paul addresses some of these issues because Jewish custom and culture was very different than Gentile culture and it showed in their manner of eating, and in other areas as well. Some were looking down their noses with contempt at others of the faith, who saw things very differently. Paul’s point here, is that these things do not matter in the big picture, because faith isn’t grounded on these issues. True Faith is grounded on the pure and simple gospel message of the cross , the Lord and the Christ who died to make atonement for our sins possible and bring salvation to the lost. It is God, who is the true and righteous Judge, who will deal with the flaws and shortcoming of His people, when every knee bows before Him and every tongue confesses Him as Lord. God will deal with it as He sees fit. Paul reminds the believers that each brother and sister in the Lord, is responsible for themselves personally, before God and judgment from others is unnecessary and uncalled for. In other words, we are not to judge! Plain and simple!

However, because of pride, we get caught up in this haughty mindset and take judgmental authority upon ourselves in order to straighten every one out. We begin to rebuke, criticize, condemn and even cry ‘hypocrite’ to new or even seasoned believers, for not adhering to our self – made ‘laws’ that we govern our own lives by. Such non – graced action quickly leads to dissension, quarreling and divisive behavior, when it’s really no concern of ours, how others, who profess their faith in Christ, live their lives. Paul makes it clear that we are not too look with scorn on those weaker in faith or on those who live out their faith in the Lord differently than we do.

Have you been judged, criticized and ridiculed for something? Has it hurt you or made you leave the unity of the body of believers? It’s the enemy’s tactic for causing strife and bitterness. It’s sad and it shouldn’t happen! Or maybe you’ve been the judge and held the gavel over someone’s head while pronouncing them guilty as charged. That’s pride and is also the enemy’s tactic for causing division. It’s wrong and Paul says we have no business doing that! Instead, we need to take account of ourselves before God and make sure that our own hearts are right!

Now it can get really personal and this is where our true colors of the faith show. It’s where our mature, strong faith in Christ will show up or not! If our behavior causes others to question and doubt, then, we, who are strong in the faith, need to put the questionable behavior behind us and act in such a way that it will glorify Christ and speak lovingly to others. Why? Because as mature Christians, we need to take responsibility for our actions. Forgive and receive forgiveness if need be and put our self righteousness behind us. Our main goal as a Christ One is to win the lost and be excellent representatives for the Lord and His work. If something we do, hurts someone, then we have a responsibility to own up to it and stop it! It’s our responsibility is to maintain peace and share joy, compassion and love within our circles of influence. Let’s heed Paul’s words of wisdom and quit passing judgment on our brothers and sisters because they don’t live like we do, and let’s make sure we don’t give others any reason to question our testimony for the Lord. Friends, if we could all live in such a way, our world would be wonderful and our churches? Well…they would not be divided, for each one would settle their accounts before God, give grace where needed and maintain peace and unity within the body of believers.

Blessings for your day!

The Earth And Sky Proclaim His Majesty!

Romans 1:20

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

God has given us a magnificent creation that proclaims His name and His power. The whole universe shouts His majesty, glory and brilliance! He is a God of order and perfection. He has set the heavens in place and adorned the sky with the sun, moon and stars! Endless galaxies hang suspended in space, that our trivial, finite minds can not even begin to fathom. He has designed the earth and adorned it with exquisite and intricate beauty. His vast grace has filled it with every living thing. Every birth is His miraculous work and every person, His masterpiece.

God says “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Hab. 2:14 KJV. Just as the waters abound to the depths and line the sea, from shore to shore, from boundary to boundary leaving no dry place, There is no place on earth left void of the knowledge of our awesome God. Wow!

Yes, God speaks through His creation, if we just open our minds and our hearts to His creation power displayed from sea to sea, and from continent to continent. Not one individual has an excuse to not ‘get it!’ “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s armies. The whole earth is full of His glory,” cried the mighty seraphims Isaiah 6:3.

Blessings for your day!

The Powerful Word!

1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4.

” Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”.

Paul has been busy preaching the Gospel of Christ and there were some in the church that had doubts about a future resurrection of the dead. Maybe we could call them skeptics. Can you relate? Are you familiar with any such doubters? Can you imagine the questions they might have had for Paul? Here Paul took opportunity to reassure the wavering by answering their skepticism and summarizing the Good News of the Gospel; the very heart of which is the atoning death, burial and victorious resurrection of Christ our Redeemer and Savior. Christ died for our sin, yes, but we can’t leave Him on the cross or there is no Hope of salvation, no reconciliation, no redemptive work and no victory. Oh He rose again, and there is redemptive power in His resurrection. Paul exhorts these believers of the Faith to stay true to the message they first heard and received of God and remain true to the heart of the salvation message. Those who continue to stand firm will be saved. Doubts are as sure today as they were in Paul’s day. When they tantalize and tease, remember your day of salvation and the past victories that the Lord has given.

Cultures, doctrines and theologies are many and they come and go with the winds of time and change, but God’s Word stands sure and true. It stands all by itself without need for argument or defense on it’s behalf. It has stood the test of time! Nothing can destroy it! It’s truths are treasures for our life and precepts to live by. It’s heart is the message of salvation: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. It’s a book like no other! God’s power dwells in it to save, transform and renew. Stand on it! Study it! Live by it! Trust it! Believe it! Speak it! Preach it and Teach it! Christ died for our sin and rose victoriously.. Spread the word it’s life changing.

Building Bridges?

Romans 5:10

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

In our natural, human, sinful state, we don’t love God, nor do we even like Him. As a matter of fact our sin makes us an enemy of His. What a drastic situation and what a wretched pit that sin hurls us into. It’s a pit of despair, destruction, ruin and death and our ‘selfish pleasures’ lead us all the way down. There is no hope at that dead end street. However God, in His perfect, divine, sinless state loved us, and loves us still, even though He can’t look upon the sin that we harbor in our hearts. Imagine that! God loves His enemies! God loved and loves His enemies, so much so, that He made a way for them/us, through the death of Christ, His Son, to make things right with Himself and be forgiven, cleansed, justified, redeemed, and healed. We so often burn bridges in our relationships don’t we. We don’t want anything more to do with our offenders, once they’ve hurt us. We say we forgive as we light the match and watch the bridge burn behind us. How we deceive ourselves with such drastic action. How sad when we go to that extreme measure and say we’ve forgiven. How hardened our hearts become! God doesn’t burn bridges but rather, He constructed one and made a way for all of us to cross over and restore fellowship with Him. Oh He sacrificed hugely, in order to do it though! The death of His Son! What an extreme reconciliation and example He has given to us.

It’s a reconciliation that only begins a brand new relationship of sweet communion and fellowship between us who were once enemies and God. Remember, as you feel the pain of your sin and catch a glimpse of the wrong in your life that there are no burned bridges with God’s forgiveness. He offers it freely to you and when He forgives, make no mistake about it, He forgives the truly, repentant and humble heart. He heals and He restores fellowships with us! He sacrificed lots to make it possible but yes, Christ is the one and only bridge and the mediator for us to reach God. The cross is a beautiful thing where Christ’s blood and God’s love reach down to the us who are at odds with Himself to cleanse, and lavish us with a sweet grace, even though we don’t deserve it. It’s a grace that permeates through to the core of our being and we know that we have be given mercy and love beyond compare.

We have to meet Christ at the cross, but we can’t stay there because Christ didn’t stay there! We have to visit the tomb to find it empty because you see, Christ didn’t stay there either! What an awesome God we serve! He defeated death! He came to die in order to bring life to us, through His death and when He defeated death He gave us victory over it as well. Wow! the final enemy was defeated and it doesn’t get any better than that does it? If God sacrificed so much for His enemies, how much more will He give to those who live for Him and live to bring glory to His name? Our lives can be so abundant and full, in our service for the Lord, as we persevere in our faith, claiming His promises, knowing His grace, motivated by His love and spurred on with the Hope of eternal life.

It’s a defining moment isn’t it, when we find Christ for the first time or enter back into sweet communion with Him after we’ve gotten off track? It’s a moment of transformation when we cross the bridge of reconciliation to meet God in our cleansed, forgiven and renewed state. Have you burned your own bridges and find yourself feeling lousy. lonely and sick at heart. Take a lesson from our creator God who made the earth and everything in it. It’s He who builds bridges and restores relationships. Meet Him at the cross for cleansing. Move on to the empty grave to find His presence indwelling within you and find His sweet grace to help you in your time of need. Find forgiveness, forgive others and cross over into sweet communion with the One who came to die so that you might live and live abundantly.

Be blessed in your day ♥♥░ (¯`:´¯)░♥ ♥ ♥
░.(¯`•.\|/.•´¯)♥ ♥ sending You
░(`♥•.(۞).•´¯)░(¯`:´¯)♥ ♥Love
…░ (_.•´/|\`•._)(¯_`•.\|/.•´¯)_ ♥ ♥Joy
…░_ ░ (_.:._)♥♥(¯_`•.(۞).•´¯)♥ ♥Blessings …