God Is Love

God Is Love

He first loved us.

Why I Believe In God, Blog #4

I was born again and started speaking in tongues when I was nine. As far back as I can remember I was taught about our magnificent God and his son, Jesus, and God's word, the Holy Bible. In grammar school I told people about Jesus. In Junior High School I took my Holy Bible to school and witnessed to my science and biology teacher's. In High School I witnessed to teens who needed hope and encouragement.

One day someone asked me to prove that the bible is true and that  God is real. I wanted to tell him that some of the prophecies in the Holy Bible have already come to pass. And that I personally know that God is real because I have seen miracles. I have been healed. I know peace, love, joy and other fruits of the Spirit. I speak in tongues. And I have seen how becoming a Christian changes people for the better and helps people stop bad habits. But how did I prove it? I just said, "Hey, look at me. I am alive because God made a way for me to live when I flipped out of a raft as my family and I were going over a small waterfall at Nantahala Gorge. And when I was little God healed me over night from excruciating pain and urinating blood." I left it at that.

But you don't have to feel like you don't have concrete evidence that our God is real and  the Holy Bible is true. A man named Frank Turek has written a book titled, 'I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist,' and he and his partners have a non-profit organization called Cross Examined. The website for Cross Examined is www.CrossExamined.com. On their website they offer many free videos which will teach you what to say to non-believers who question your faith from a scientific and historical standpoint. These videos offer a massive amount of information. You don't have to do anything or give any information to view the videos. You just click on media; and then click on videos; and then click on whichever video you want to watch and click play.

Just three of the videos, 'Evidence For God', 'Fingerprints of God', and 'Faith Is Not Enough' provide more than enough scientific and historical evidence that God is real and the Holy Bible is true than you will probably ever need.

Cross Examined also offers a Free Online Video Linked Flip Book, 'Gravity - True For You But Not For Me.' You can also view it at http://share.snacktools.com/58EEC9D9E8C/fznszl89. It is a very interesting flip book that I am sure you will enjoy. The Cross Examined Ministry will also, at your request, send someone to your school or college to hold a seminar teaching the same information that they offer on their website and more. If your church would like teaching  materials to equip our young people with enough information to stand up to non-believers, Cross Examined offers that also.

It is the mission of Frank Turek and his partners at Cross Examined to equip people with the knowledge that they need to defend their faith. We learn in I Peter why we should defend our faith. I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Don't let anyone trick you out of your relationship with God. God has already defeated the darkness that is in this world. All that we have to do is claim it through our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When faced with a big question that you don't know the answer to , put it in God's hands. I want to leave you with the following scripture. I hope that you will remember it when faced with non-believers. Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Written By: Lisa Collier Clewis on March 14, 2013.

Paul Blog #3

Saul, also known as Paul, was the great apostle to the Gentiles. Three elements of the world's life of that day, Greek culture, Roman citizenship, and Hebrew religion met in the apostle to the Gentiles. Saul was born of purest Jewish blood (Phil. 3:5). Saul was never ashamed to acknowledge himself as a Jew (Acts 21:39). Saul was the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6) and he was brought up in orthodox Judaism. At the proper age Saul was sent to Jerusalem and completed his studies under the famous Gamaliel (Acts 22:3; 26:4-5). Having been educated among the strictest of the Pharisees, we easily can see a reason for the persecutions he heaped upon Jesus' followers.

But God had a use for this persecutor. He was to be a chosen vessel of His ministrations to the Gentiles, and He was to convert him in a special and distinct way. We read about Saul bearing record of his calling in Acts. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (Acts 26:14-18KJV).

The new convert proclaimed the Messiahship of Jesus in the Jewish synagogues in Damascus, truths that had seized his soul (Acts 9:20-22). Saul left from Damascus and went to Jerusalem where he met Barnabas (Acts 9:26-27). Together, Paul and Barnabas spread the ministry of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. After fulfilling their ministry there Saul and Barnabas returned from Jerusalem. They went to Antioch and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day and sat down (Acts 13:14). After the reading of the law and prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on (Acts 13:15). Paul stood up and preached beginning with 'the God of this people of Israel chose our fathers' and ending with 'Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified through the law of Moses' (Acts 13:38-39). Saul boldly preached Christ everywhere that he went.

Saul's first missionary journey's took him to Asia Minor, where he first used the name of Paul. On the second missionary journey the faith was taken across the continental boundary into Europe. After the third missionary journey the Jews, who still hated him with consuming force, succeeded in getting him thrown in jail. His enemies almost killed him, but he was rescued by Roman soldiers, and for a time kept in chains.

Paul is one of the most remarkable characters in all history. He fearlessly and dynamically spread the ministry of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. For further reading on the life and missionary work of Paul, the main biblical source is found in The Acts Of The Apostles. Paul was also a writer and wrote several books of the bible. He wrote Romans and Galatians: doctrines of sin and grace; 1 and 2 Corinthians: moral and practical questions; Colossians and Philippians: person of Christ; Ephesians: the church of Christ; 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus: church government and pastoral care; Philemon: slavery; and, Hebrews: the eternal priesthood and sacrifice of Christ. 

The Duty of our Conscience

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord: and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time whe thou mayest be found; surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct the and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with thine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. Psalm 32 KJV

I thank God for giving me a conscience. I have learned a lot from guilt because my conscience bothers me when I do something wrong. It won't stop until I do what I can to make it right. Often that includes seeking forgiveness with a contrite heart from either someone that I have wronged in some way or from God, or both.

As much as I would like to say I am perfect and I have not ever sinned, I would be lying if I did. Unfortunately, I have done wrong many times, not meaning to; but wrong just the same. I do not hurt anyone intentionally or intentionally do wrong in any way. I am human. I am flesh and blood. But thank God, my spirit within me does not rest until I have made right my wrongs and seeked forgiveness from God.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matthew 5:23, 23 KJV

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive men not their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14, 15 KJV

I am so thankful that I  can go to somebody and go to God and ask for forgiveness and receive forgiveness from God. God gave us a conscience to make us aware of the things that we have said or done wrong. And he has given us a  way to be free from sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:1-5 KJV

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14 KJV

You might ask, 'How do I walk after the spirit and not after flesh?' We have to take one day at a time and keep our mind on God and his word as much as we can and pray as often as we can. The more you stay in the spirit in this way the less time you will have to follow after the flesh. Think about this, let's say that you are around someone who says, 'I know right' a lot. Eventually, you will be saying, 'I know right' because you have exposed yourself to someone who says that a lot. It is true of other things also. Just realizing this fact can help you be aware of who and what you allow yourself to be around. We have to constantly keep ourselvels in check and remind ourselves to renew our mind according to the word.

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceiful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore put away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:21-32 KJV

 

Peter

Peter was a fisherman who was called by Jesus Christ to be one of his disciples (Matthew 4:18,19).  Peter was the disciple who walked on the water with Christ (Matthew 14:28-31).  God revealed to Peter that Jesus was the messiah (Matthew 16:16-19). After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, Peter witnessed Jesus talking with Moses and Elias (Matthew 17:1-4). Peter denied that he ever knew Christ (Luke 22:51-62). Jesus knew that Peter would deny knowing him and yet he called Peter to be one of his disciples. Peter was a human being. Just like you and me. He boasted of his love for Jesus, however, at Jesus darkest hour Peter denied knowing him.  Jesus forgave Peter and Peter went on to boldly teach the things that he had seen and heard (Acts 4:18-21). What Peter needed to meditate on and realize in his heart was that Jesus loved him with a perfect love. All things were possible because Jesus loved him not because he loved Jesus. His love for Jesus was necessary but Jesus' love for him was the reason why Peter was blessed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told Peter by what death he should glorify God (John 21:17-19). Peter wrote in II Peter 1:13 'Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;' You will find in I Peter the scripture that Peter wrote on how to love God as obedient children. Peter tells us that we are a chosen generation in I Peter 2:9,10, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.' [All scripture was taken from King James Version of the Holy Bible.] 

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