Do We Really Need Holliness

 

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Introduction:

Hello Friends,

 

So, the other day I was reading another bloggers post.  This person suggested that believers do not need to fear Hell.  While I agree with this, mainly because due to our belief we won’t be going there, I was left with the since that either Hell didn’t exist or that no one would go there.  At this point I cannot say for sure what this individual thought or intended to say, but I do think that these ideas exist and are worth talking about.

 

As I approach this topic or any topic regarding God, I am always interested in the why.  For example, if Jesus died for my sins, why would He want to do that.  If God says don’t kill, then why?  If God tells us to be holy, then why?  I don’t do this to put God on the spot, but because I want to know Him more, to perhaps grasp a little more of the thoughts and ways that are above my own, and to understand His heart more.  I truly believe that He knows best and is ok with me wanting to understand His commands.

 

What Does the Bible Say?

 

So, to cut to the chase; God does tell us to be holy.

 

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26, ESV)

 

You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.” (Leviticus 20:26, ESV)

 

but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”” (1 Peter 1:15–16, ESV)

 

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”” (Exodus 19:5–6, ESV)

 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9, ESV)

 

From the very beginning God has intended for us to be like Him.  We are made in His image and called to be holy as He is holy.  In the past I did a study of the word holy and looked at how it was used.  I noticed that the word “holy” was attributed to God or something that belonged to God.  At this point I am not ready to fully expound upon this word, which I will do in a future post “What is Holiness”.   But these verses demonstrate that God wants us for Himself, in the same what that I want my wife for myself.  We are His treasured possession (Exodus 19:5).

 

Why?

 

Since it is clear that God commands us to be holy, the question is why?  Why does God want us to be holy?  I think the following verses gives us insight important for answering this question.

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, ESV)

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 24:3–6, ESV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)

And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, ESV)

 

The first two verses tell us the requirement to be in God’s presence, clean hands, a pure heart, no deceit, and no idols.  The second two tell us that Jesus was given so that we may have eternal life, which is to know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent.  To simplify, God say’s this is what it takes to hang out with Me, and hey Jesus died so that you can hang out with Me.  Take a look at these two verses.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,” (Hebrews 10:19, ESV)

 

The throne of grace is easy to understand, God/Jesus’s throne, how cool is that.  Check out this description of God’s throne found in Isaiah 6

Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”” (Isaiah 6:1–5, ESV)

In this passage Isaiah is trembling before the King of the Universe, as he should, but we are told we can come confidently before Him.  Wow!

In Hebrews 10:19, the writer talks about the Most Holy Place.  Below I have provided links below for more detailed teaching on the matter, but essentially the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies, is the place in the tabernacle where God’s presences dwelled above the Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant.  This place could only be entered once a year by the high priest and only after following the proper protocol.  Even then he would enter with a rope tied around his waist just in case he died.  And now we can enter with confidence.  How cool!

 

The Problem

The problem with over playing the grace or legalism cards is that they both have fundamental misunderstandings of God.  The legalist focuses on the justice, righteousness, holiness, judgement and wrath of God, while the hyper-grace crowd focuses on God’s love, mercy, patience, grace, and kindness.  One side views God as a rage driven vindictive judge while the other treats Him as a permissive grandfather.  Both points of view are incomplete.   Both are focused on either the eternal punishment of Hell (to be escaped or not to worry about), and/or the eternal reward of Heaven, a place of eternal bliss or happiness.  These verses can categorize this.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”” (Revelation 21:8, ESV)

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”” (Revelation 21:4, ESV)

These are important verses and are not to be ignored and we can look forward to the time when pain, sickness, sin, and death are no more and are grateful that we were rescued from our previous fate, eternity in Hell.  But personally, I look forward to these verses:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3, ESV)

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:22–23, ESV)

At the end of the day there is one question to ask for us.  What motivates us, or what do we delight in.  Do we delight in the pleasures of this world, do we delight in our ability to follow the rules, or do we delight in the presence of the Lord?  Which of these fulfills the greatest commandment?

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37–38, ESV)

I think we get so short sighted, either we are too focused on enjoying the pleasure of life (whatever we believe that to be) or we are focused on avoiding the bad place, getting to the good place, and possibly getting a heap of rewards and a big shiny crown to show off.  The reality is that we have some access to God now, and when we do get to the good place the limits to our current access will be removed.

We can get caught up in the concerns of life and How Jesus make everything better or we are busy trying to be good.  But Jesus said:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:5–6, ESV)

Holiness cannot be attained by our own efforts.  It is something that comes from Jesus.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)

Jesus cleanses us, and then it is up to us to abide in Him.  Through this process, we are transformed into His likeness, we bear fruit: fruit of the spirit, fruit of righteousness, fruit of ministry, and so forth.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, ESV)

If we are partaking of the sinful “pleasures” of this world, then we are making a choice.  We are choosing something other than God to bring us pleasure.  And perhaps we are inadvertently saying God you’re not enough.  Life is only enjoyable with __________.  When in reality:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, ESV)

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13, ESV)

If we love the Lord our God with our entire being, then what are we going to be seeking.  Getting high/wasted, getting lucky, getting rich, climbing the socioeconomic ladder?  No, we will be seeking God and longing to be like our Daddy God.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, ESV)

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29, ESV)

Conclusion:

     I think I went on enough to make my point.  In the end, it is undeniable that the Bible tells us that God wants us to be Holy.  I believe the reason for this is because He wants to spend time with us, and holiness is the requirement.  In fact, He long to be with us so much that He sold everything in order to make it happen.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45–46, ESV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16–17, ESV)

What concerns me both for the legalist and the hyper-grace camp is this verse:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21–23, ESV)

Are we living our lives in pursuit of knowing Him, or is it something else?

 

I leave you with this question:  If God wants us to be Holy so that we can be in His presence, what is holiness?  I encourage you to follow my blog and to sign up for my email list so that you will be notified when my next post, “What is Holiness” is published (see the side bar or menue).

 

Link on the Most Holy Place

http://the-tabernacle-place.com/articles/what_is_the_tabernacle/tabernacle_holy_of_holies

Link on the Tabernacle

http://the-tabernacle-place.com/articles/what_is_the_tabernacle

 

 

 

 

A Picture of Worship

worship

Hello friends, I have a great post for you today.
Today I want to provide for you a picture of worship.  As we do this I want to provide the following definition of worship.
    Worship is any act of adoration, exultation, or praise.  For Christians this is expected to be directed at God but humans worship many things.  Some examples would be: athletes, musicians, celebrities, food, technology, or our significant other.  In most cases when we talk about worship you usually are referring to singing with music in a church setting., but it can incorporate a great deal of activities including but not limited to: singing, instrumental music, dance, painting, spoken words, spoken word poetry, sculpting, and so on.
     Worship is giving God the praise He deserves because He is King, because He is Holy, because He is just, because He is righteous, because loves us, because He saved us, and a whole slew of other things.
     Worship can be looked at as a duty but I believe the picture above captures the bidirectional nature of worship.  Before I talk about this some more I want to share a story about some time I spent reading my Bible one day.
     The other day I learned something as I was reading Song of Songs chapters 1 & 2 that really grated my intellect.  As I was reading I was thinking of it through to lenses that this interaction between a man and his betrothed signified: 1 a picture of romance for marriage, and 2 a picture of God’s love for us.  As I was reading I was noticing themes of mutual desire, delight, and adoration being expressed between this man and this woman.  It dawned on me that if this is a picture of God’s love for us (which marriage is and this is definitely a picture for marriage see Ephesians 5) then God desires, delights in, and adores me.  And He is expressing this through His word and probably in other ways I don’t notice as I rush through my day.  What I get here is that while we are worshiping God He is also worshiping us.  Worship is bidirectional.  This was a hard idea for me to accept.  God is awesome, He is holy, righteous, pure, mighty, and powerful.  It seemed wrong to say that He praises or worships me.  But think on the cross He was saying I love you this much, this is how valuable you are to Me.  He says that we are His masterpiece, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that we are His treasure and a pearl of great price ( Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 139:14,Matt 13:44-46)
     Another picture used in the Bible to help us to understand and relate to God is that of our Heavenly Father, Abba Father, or Daddy God (Romans 8:15 Galatians 4:6, Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 15:11-32, 1 John 3:1 and more).  As a father of 6 I can understand this in a much more powerful way than before I had children.  Currently I am going through OSL level 1 (Operation Solid Lives).  During the class time we are watching a series called “The Love of God” in which Jerry Dirmann brings to life how much God and Jesus loves.  The first session titled “Love From the Very First Chapter” talks about this beautiful world that God created loaded with things that are here simply for us to enjoy; the beauty of nature, sweet smelling aromas, colors, a variety of enjoyable foods, and so forth.  In the beginning He placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden and told them to have fun enjoy the delicious fruit and to stay away from the one tree that could ruin it all.  One day the Lord came walking through the garden to talk with them, and something was wrong they were hiding.  They had been tricked by the serpent (Satan) into eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the tree previously mentioned.  A curse came upon the devil, Adam, Eve, and all of creation, the ability of man to fellowship with God was severed, and the Heart of God was broken, as His babies were taken away in chains, doomed to an eternity in torment (see my post caged babies).  Unable to tolerate this God includes in the curse upon the serpent an allusion of the rescue plan to later be fulfilled.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15, ESV)
We know now that this head bruising offspring is Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)
 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3, ESV)
Jesus came and died in our place so that we can know Him and God.  He allowed Himself to be tortured, mocked, and killed in our place so that He could be with us forever.
What we see in this brief look at this is that God and Jesus really want to spend time with us.  In a healthy father child relationship we see this at work.  We see a child who is elated when daddy’s car pulls in the drive.  Personally I often come home to a bunch of smiling faces peering through the glass of the storm door when I come home.  There is a smile that comes across my face when they laugh or do something silly.  There are protective aggressive emotions that are activated when someone hurts them.  There is a sadness that comes when they are hurting or sick.  I shed tears when my daughter was so sick she was hospitalized.  My love for my children is a shadow of God’s love for us/me.
In the future I will write more on this, so, be on the look out for the upcoming post “In My Daddy’s Arms” for more about this.
As we come to a close I want to talk about this following verse.
You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11, ESV)
Jesus paid the price for us to have eternal life, to know God and Jesus, in whose presence is fullness of Joy.  When I hold my daughter and spend time with her there is joy.  When we spend time with God in worship, we are stopping everything else to be with Him.  And in those moments we often sense Him near.  One of the things I have learned is that we can use our imagination to help us visualize what we know to be true.
Hebrews 4:16 says, Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (ESV).  Also Hebrews 10:19, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, (ESV).
Do you not know that you[c] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16, ESV)
If we believe in Jesus He comes and lives inside of us and gives access to His throne room. Knowing this I would often imagine myself standing before Him.  On day while I was at church camp I was imagining as I worshiping a portal in the distance where I saw God seated on His throne with the six winged angels around Him (Isaiah 6, Revelation 4).  I’m not sure how it shifted but I was closer as if I was standing in front of Him worshiping.  What if when we worshiped we all did this or something like it.  I encourage you to do more than just sing, worry about life, worry about how you sound, or whatever and picture the truth, that He is there waiting eagerly to meet with you.
 I leave you with two things.  Another glimpse at the picture of me and my daughter as an example or intimate worship with the Father and the song “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin

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His Love Endures Forever

 

 I know I’m a little behind, but I just watched the first episode of NBC’s “A.D.” and there are few things I would like to say.  First I wasn’t taken back by any gross errors like when I watched the first episode of the “Bible” and “Son of God”.  Now to the good stuff, there were many times that I was overwhelmed not in my intellect as I had tried to make it to be but deeper within, a place I don’t know super well.  Overwhelmed to uncontrollable tears, something my “manliness” isn’t proud of, however I allow exceptions for Jesus.  However, my “intellect” had enough to add its piece.  For those who don’t know Tuesday April 14th, 2015 I had my tonsils removed.  My doctor told me to prepare for 2 weeks of horrible pain.  I wishfully hoped that my experience would follow the more favorable sounding ones on the web.  But the extent of my condition that has been brewing for at least 15 years hasn’t allowed that.  The pain I have experienced is definitely in the running for number one in severity, along with rotten teeth and kidney stones.  As watching this I began to wonder, God maybe you have allowed me to experience this, rather than a miraculous healing, to show me, to help me realize how great is your love.  Even now as I write I am overcome, but I cannot explain it much more than that.

 I had wanted to watch this since it aired and haven’t, and I wanted to be well on my way to recovery but I’m not.  This Monday starts the final week of the first class of the last part of getting my bachelors, and I now have to try to do last week’s work, this week’s work, and then final Library project that I haven’t started, all by Sunday April 26th, 2015, but it is at this point of stress, at this point of pain and discomfort that I watched it.  And I realized that all this pain I have experienced, is nothing compared to the pain he had at the end of the whip, under the weight of the cross, being nailed to the cross, and dying on the cross.  My pain didn’t touch His.  And He took it so willingly. (Please see my older post where I elaborate on this more along with the song.)  My wife asked me to get a Q-tip and I had to stop several times on this journey because of grasping some of this truth.

  I ask you take time to take all this in, reflect upon your own pain, watch the show, watch the “Passion: of the Christ” allow it all to sink in.  If you struggle with believes that God love you, this should put that to bed.  This truth will change your life.  This truth will not let me settle for the normal life, 9-5, evening with the kids, vacations every summer, bills paid in advanced.  I cannot sit by and watch the world burn, I cannot sit by while people are dying and going to hell, while people, including children, are cutting themselves thinking they aren’t worth anything, selling themselves like they are nothing, when my God, my King, my savior bleed and died saying otherwise.  The whole world must know His love, they must, and He wants them to.  He is crying out from the heavens, He has been crying out throughout all time, he is crying out to you now, “I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, over and over again.   Listen, stop trying to explain it away, accept it, and turn Him away no more.

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Revelation: The Nature and Authority of Scripture

This a paper I had to write for class.

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Jeffrey Reum

Dr. J. Wallace

Biblical Interpretation

3 May 2015

Revelation: The Nature and Authority of Scripture

         How we view the nature and authority of the scriptures, the Bible, determines the course of our theology, which is the framework of our faith and thus impacts strongly how we live.  To put into question these thing, the nature and authority of the Bible, is to question the very foundation upon which we stand.  This paper will briefly outline my position on the nature, authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of the Bible, which will demonstrate that it is inspired and coauthored by God, and thus an authoritative foundation in which we can place our trust and build our lives upon.

        The nature of the Bible begins with its source; is the Bible written by God or is it a book of human origins.  It is assumed by the general population that God is perfect and man is not.  While many want to paint man in a bright light, we all know that we are capable of great quantities of deceit and evil.  Therefore, it is generally assumed that if the guidelines of the Bible are from God then we should abide by them.  However, if the Bible is written by man then what place does one man have to impose himself above another?  We all have this instinct to be our own bosses and decide what is right on our own.  I myself have very strong inclinations to this.  Because I know that even people with multiple degrees and other credentials are human and capable of being wrong.  So based upon this principle, many people desire to undermine the divine authority and authorship of the Bible, which removes any say It has over how they live their lives.  It is simple another source of human philosophy that seeks to impose itself upon others.  In light of this we can better understand the motivation behind any questioning of the Bible.

         There is more to this thought then simply disproving the Bible.  For example let’s take the following example as reason to test if said book is from God.  The Islamic faith is based upon the teaching of Muhamad, a prophet of Allah, whom many equate to God.  How are we to determine if his book, the Koran, is from God?  We now have two sources claiming the same the thing, the Bible and Koran, but with radically different presentations of what God is like.  Is the Bible true just because it was first?  How are we to decide? The New Dictionary of Theology asserts that both those who are trying to rationally prove or disprove the Bible are both “…making human reason the arbiter of divine realities” (338).  In light of the situation I have presented I think this statement, while I initially agreed, is unfair.  What matters in this situation is motivation.  Have you set out on your quest of proving or disproving the Bible in hopes of giving license to your behavior or an honest search for truth?  Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (NIV).  I have noticed that those who are objectively searching for the truth, even if it is to disprove the Bible, come to the conclusion that the Bible is what it says it is, like Josh McDowell.  While we know the Bible to be true, for someone who has just been presented with that fact to accept it blindly without some evidence could be dangerous.  One, if they were presented with The Book of Mormon we would not want this, and two, often an untested faith is weak.  If is far better to wrestle with these truths and come out on the other side with your faith, than to have not been tested, which won’t happen.  I think it is better to get these things out of the way early, rather than to be blindsided by them later, be it at a secular college, the loss of a loved one, or one of the other many things that drive people away from the faith.

God’s primary route for convincing an individual of the divine nature and authority of His word is the Holy Spirit.  This is alluded to in many places; we find one example of the Holy Spirit confirming what is true in Acts 2:37, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do”” (NIV)?  Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (NIV).  Hebrews 2:3-4 says, “how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”  What these verses demonstrate is that Holy Spirit confirms His word as true both by speaking to the inner being of the individual and by miraculous signs.  While there is great merit in putting to bed the questions and criticism of critical Bible scholars, which may mislead some from the faith.  The real power of persuasion belongs to the Holy Spirit.

        While, we should primarily be seeking for the Holy Spirit to move and open people eyes to the truth, the Bible shows that we should not abandon apologetics.  Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV).  Paul Coulter list the following passages showing the Biblical case for the intellectual defense of the Gospel: Acts 17: 1-4, 22-34, Acts 26:24-29, Romans 2:15, Philippians 1:7,16, and 1st Peter 3:13-16.  Unbelievers, and/or believers who are struggling with faith in God and His word, are doing so with the influence of Satan’s lies.  John 10:10 states, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; …” (NIV).  If he can convince people of anything but the whole truth, he has accomplished this in some degree.  However Jesus says in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”” (NIV).  If we truly love our neighbors as our self, then we will be determined to refute any lie that Satan has fed them in hopes that they will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Apologetics is a labor of Love.

         The primary target of those who wish to discredit the Christian faith is the Bible.  It is the foundation of everything that we believe and teach.  Therefore is important that we spend a good portion and our time and energy in its defense.  The first thing we need to focus our attention on is who is the author(s) of the Bible?  Is it a book, as it asserts, written by God as it states in 2 Timothy 3:16, “ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (NIV), or is it the work of man designed to accomplish his own will in the name of God.  I argue along with many others that the authorship of the Bible belongs to God, who used men as the physical writers to convey His message(s), in order to accomplish His will.  Which, when boiled down is to reconcile mankind to Himself, establishing and intimate relationship (not sexual) with each individual.  God inspired through many means the human writer(s) to write His words.  “Inspiration can be defined as the process by which God directed individuals, incorporating their abilities and styles, to produce His message to humankind” (Hays 443).  This message given throughout time through many smaller messages can only be understood with this in mind, which dictates that we dive into the context of each of these smaller messages to understand it completely and draw what it means for us today.

         One of the factors that is at stake in this process is the creditability and correctness of the Bible.  The particular aspects we are interested is the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible.  “Infallibility signifies the full trustworthiness of a guide that is not deceived and does not deceive” (Ferguson 337).  While, “Inerrancy signifies the total truthfulness of a source of information that contains no mistakes…” (Ferguson 337).  There are many who doubt that the Bible is infallible and inerrant, for many reasons.  One would be is the Bible as we know it actually the word of God or has it been fouled in some way through the years?  I say yes it is the Word God, but my focus today will be on its inerrancy.  One thing that always comes into play is the use of seemingly imprecise information.  These claims are easily put to rest when we understand what is meant by inspired.  We as humans use language in order to organize our thoughts and communicate them and our wishes with others.  This language operates in the framework of the context and culture that we live.  Each section of the Bible is written in the framework of the human author and his literary style.  When I say to my son that he is taken ten years to clean his room, we both know that is an expression meaning he is taking way too long to clean his room and not that it has actually been ten years since he started.  An example this in the Bible is that Jesus rose three days later, this does not mean 36 hours, but it spanned across three days.  Many assert that this “imprecision” is equivalent to error.  The only error in this case is the reader forcing his/her own contextual cultural framework onto the text.  The use of rounding and approximations, loose quotations, or even poor grammar and literary style does not mean that the Bible contains factual errors.  But that in comparison to the readers framework of how things should be said it is considered an error.  However, when desiring to understand the meaning of the text intended by the author it is important that we understand the context, culture, and literary styles of the author (Hays 146).  When we approach these seemingly imprecise parts of the Bible in this manner, many of the objections of critical Bible scholars are put to rest.

        The authority of the Bible is dependent upon the fact that it is written by God and both infallible and inerrant.  Once we have accepted these facts, we must come to the conclusion that there is a God who has made the universe, all that is in it, and even us.  Then it would only be logical that He has authority over us, and thus His word has authority.  The rub is when we either reject His authority based upon the fact we don’t acknowledge the above facts, or think that we know better.  I am seeing some of this with my son.  He is very intelligent and thinks he knows best.  This creates a lot of friction, and it is and will be a long process in teaching him to trust me.  Much like it is when we set out to learn to trust God.  Even those who are attempting to do this set themselves over the text and accept the things that seem right and dispute the things that don’t some of this is the result of not understanding the framework in which the particular text of the Bible in question was written.  Other times is the result of conflicting values with the culture we were raised in.  Hays states that because of this, “… we miss one of the main points of the Bible, namely, that the biblical message is from God and is above culture.  The challenge is to critique our culture with the Bible and not vice versa” (Hays 143).  When we do this we are truly honoring the authority of the Bible.

         In conclusion, I restate the truth that The Bible is the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God, which was written through human individuals, and is the ultimate authority for all of our lives.  And despite this human element in the authorship the Bible, “says exactly what God wants it to say and has not been corrupted by human mistakes” (Hays 446).

Works Cited

Ferguson, Sinclair B., David F. Wright, J. I. Packer. The New Dictionary of Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity, 1988. Print.

Hays, J. Daniel, J. Scott Duvall. Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. Print.

Holy Bible, New International Version. Biblica. 2012. Biblegateway.com. Web March 27, 2015.

McDowell, Josh, Sean McDowell.. More Than a Carpenter. Carol Stream, IL:. Tyndale House, 2009. ebook.

Defining Discipleship

This is a paper I wrote for one of my classes

Defining Discipleship

The word disciple/disciples is used in the bible over 200 times and it always means the same thing, a learner or pupil.  A word that would be a great synonym would be student.  Most of the times it shows up in Mark, John, and Acts it is in reference to the disciples of Jesus.  A couple times it references Johns and once it is used when the Pharisees refer to themselves as Moses’ disciples.

THE disciples were students of Jesus.  They were doing more than trying to increase their knowledge.  They were learning how to live.  Being a disciple of Jesus isn’t a weekend project or an academic endeavor, it is a way of life.  What Jesus was teaching was to permeate every aspect of their lives.  These guys gave up everything they knew to follow Jesus and learn his ways.

So, why would anybody do that?  One of the main characteristics of disciple is that they believe.  From the moment they met Jesus they knew there was something special about him. Why else would these guys leave their professions to go roam around with some random person?  They didn’t just do it here or there like we do.  They spent three years of their lives with him on an everyday basis.  What they learned from Jesus wasn’t just shoulds and shouldn’ts, but attitudes; Attitudes like, love and humility that go against our very nature.  Jesus told us to follow him that we must pick up our cross and deny ourselves.

In John 8:31 Jesus say’s “if you abide in my word then you are my disciples indeed”.  So, in order for Jesus to consider us his disciple we must spend a considerable amount of time studying his words.  One of the things a saw a couple times during my study was the disciple would remember his words.  The disciples weren’t passive learners either, they would ask Jesus for clarification; they weren’t content with memorization, but sought to understand what he was trying get across.

As we spend time with Jesus he begins to rub off on us.  He changes us from the inside out.  Many people try to be disciples by forcing themselves to change their behavior to that of a disciple, but miss the key part, fellowship and friendship with Jesus.  Our actions are the fruit of what is in our hearts.  Good trees bear good fruit and bad trees bear bad fruit.  In John 13:35 Jesus says that people will know that we are his disciples if we love one another.  This is an example of fruit.  It seems any people think that fruit is success in ministry (building, bodies and bucks), and I think that is partially true.  However, I think that our behavior is more likely the fruit he is talking about.  He says that you will know a tree by its fruit.  I someone claims to be a good tree but their actions don’t match, so then they are really a bad tree.

Jesus’s disciples loved and enjoyed being with Him.  After Jesus’s death he showed himself to his followers.  On one such occasion the disciples were out fishing all night and got nowhere.  Sometime in the morning Jesus called out from the shore to inquire about their success and to give direction to help them.  John notices it was Jesus.  When peter heard this he put on his outer garment jumped in the sea and swam for shore.  He was excited and eager to see him.  A true disciple takes pleaser in the words and presence of God.

As a result of experiencing God and thus receiving His love for people, a disciple is compelled to testify to people of his goodness and the sacrifice he made on their behalf.  Their goal is to bring others to Christ and to train them to be disciples as well.  A disciple is willing to do this despite any opposition and consequence that may result.  They will stay by Christ’s side no matter what may come.  When others walk away because the teaching may be hard or require great sacrifice, a disciple stays, because he/she knows the value of the treasure that is Christ.  They know the cost is nothing compared to knowing Him, the God of the universe who loved us so much that He gave His life for us a wicked, sinful, rebellious people.

________________________

This paper was all about what we should strive for.  The disciple themselve did show some of these traits but they also screwed up a lot.  There is an epidemic in the American church where people classify christians into two categories.  One categorey have simply just prayed the sinners prayer and haven’t moved on from there.  The other category is the group that would recieve the title of disciples.  There is no distinction like this in the bible at all. Pastors are not the only ones called become disciples.  Discipleship is expected of everyone who want to be with God.  Does that mean that people who never really moved on are real discipleship.  However Matthew 7:22-23 says this.

 (NKJV)

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

With this verse in mind it makes me concerned.  I think that people who really accept Jesus and repent behave in a certian way.  And if you have not dedicated you life to discipleship then I am worried for you.  I can not say one way or the other where you stand.  Being a disciple does not mean your perfect or anything like that.  But it does mean you are making an effort and intend to become closer to and more like Christ.

My More Than a Carpenter Book Review

I had to write this for my Bib lit II class.  The book is one man’s search to prove Chrisianity to be wrong and his findings.  This a full Chapter by Chapter summary.  I hope this will wet your appetite to read the book or to at least go on your own journy for the truth.

More Than a Carpenter Book Review

There are lots of people out there who have some reason or excuse to not believe in God.  They have come with something that takes the Bible from the realm of truth to that of myth.  I wonder for how many of these people that their reason or excuse is a legitimate concern.  I think if people take the time to honestly set out to find out if God and Jesus are true and ask Him to reveal himself; then they will find Him and see that he is real and His word is true.  Multiple cases of this have been reported.  Josh McDowell and his book More Than a Carpenter are a great example of this.

As many people in history have done, Josh McDowell set out to prove his Christian friends wrong, that everything they believe is a lie and a sham.  He was so dedicated to doing this that he actually took time off school to travel to Europe and start digging.  “I decided to start with the Bible.  I knew that if I could uncover indisputable evidence that the Bible is an unreliable record, the whole of Christianity would crumble” (pg. 6).  Josh was very surprised by what he found.  “And I found Evidence.  Evidence in abundance.  Evidence I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes” (pg. 7).  The evidence he found didn’t tear the Bible apart in fact it did the opposite.  He came to this conclusion: “…If I were to remain intellectually honest, I had to admit that the Old and New Testament documents were some of the most reliable writing in all of antiquity” (pg. 7).

“And if they [the Old and New Testament documents] were reliable, what about this man Jesus, whom I had dismissed as a mere carpenter in an out-of-the-way town in a tiny oppressed country, a man who had gotten caught up in his own visions of grandeur” (pg. 7)?   Some people like to claim Jesus as a wise benevolent teacher, whom we can learn a lot from about being a good person.  However, Jesus made some lofty claims.  With careful examination of the Gospels you will see multiple times were Jesus either claims directly to be the Messiah or alludes to it in some way.  You can infer this to be the case from how the religious leader reacted to the things Jesus says; if he wasn’t making claims to messiah-ship than they wouldn’t have gotten their undies all bunched up.

Since Jesus claimed to be more than a teacher, we cannot take that as a viable answer to whom or what He is.  To claim to be the son of God is a big step.  There are only three possibilities here.  One it was true or, “… consider that his claim to be God was false.  If it were false then we have only two alternatives.  He either knew it was false, or he didn’t know it was false” (pg. 29).  Since the focus of Jesus’ teachings was that He was the son of God and equal with God we cannot call Him a good teacher unless we accept these claims.  We would not consider someone who teaches false information a good teacher.  “How could he be a great moral teacher and knowingly mislead people at the most important point of his teaching- his own identity” (pg. 30)?

Another way people try to disprove God is through science.  The main idea in science is that it is proven by reproducing the results.  And since we are unable to reproduce things in the Bible they must not be true.  Of course if scientist could replicate it they would say there isn’t anything special or divine about it.  Science cannot prove whether or not something happened or someone existed.  “We all accept as true many facts that cannot be verified by scientific methods.  We cannot scientifically prove anything about any person or event in history, but that doesn’t mean that proof is impossible” (pg. 42).  There is also what Josh calls legal-historical proof.  “Legal-historical proof depends on three kinds of testimony: oral testimony, written testimony, and exhibits (such as a gun, a bullet, or a notebook).  Using the legal-historical method to determine the facts, you could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you went to lunch today.  Your friends saw you there, the waiter remembers seeing you and you have the restaurant receipt” (pg. 43-44).

One of the groups out to show the errors of religion namely Christianity is the new wave of atheist.  “They believe that not only is religion man-made but that it poisons everything and therefore needs to be eliminated” (pg. 48).  These atheists believe you have to be a complete moron to accept God and the Bible as true, that there isn’t any rational proof for His existence.  The truth is there is plenty, and McDowell presents many good cases.  They also say that Christianity is a curse.  “The New Atheists repeatedly point to the maltreatment of Galileo, the atrocities of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem witch trials in past history, as well as the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priest in today’s world as evidence of the cruelty of Christianity” (pg. 59).  Yes these things were done by people who claimed the title of Christian.  But the truth is they were far from it.  There is no room in Jesus’ teaching for such things.  These actions are a result of the evil in human nature.  Their motives weren’t based on the teachings of Jesus, but of their own selfishness, fear, and lack of understanding.  The truth is if everyone lived out the teachings of Jesus our world would be free of all the things we hate about it.

There are many people who want to discredit the Bible and call it unreliable.  The problem with that is it stands up to rigorous test put in place to verify the accuracy of a historical document.  “Military historian Chauncey Sanders list and explains the tree basic principle of historiography: the bibliographical test, the internal evidence test, and the external evidence test” (pg. 70).  McDowell goes into more detail than I will.  The main point he makes is that the Bible far surpasses all other historical documents in these test.  Yet it is the only one that people try to claim as inaccurate.

Ok, let’s just say that somehow Jesus didn’t rise from the dead.  How do you think the disciples would have acted? The disciples along with all the other Jews were expecting the Messiah to be a victorious political leader, someone who would come in and free the Jews from the oppression of the Romans, much like the early Judges.  The disciples were crushed by His death.  All their hopes and dreams of freedom and being in with the Messiah were gone.  When news of the resurrection came the disciples were still reluctant to believe.  It wasn’t till Jesus revealed Himself to them that most of them were convinced.  If anyone would have known the truth about what happened, it would be the disciples.  If all this were a lie the body would have been produced, there would not be mass reports of people seeing Jesus after his “resurrection,” and the disciple would have probably fessed up to the lie rather than face death and torture.  “The apostles went through the test of death to substantiate the veracity of what they were proclaiming.  I believe I can trust their testimony more than that of most people I meet today.  I grieve to find so many who lack enough conviction in their lives even to walk across the street for what they believe, much less to die for it” (pg. 103).

There was a Jew named Saul who was a very zealous Pharisee bent on destroying this new sect of Judaism known as “The Way”, because it went against everything He believed to be true.  “The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the members of the new sect of Judaism calling themselves Christians struck at the essence of Paul’s Jewish training and rabbinic studies.  He became passionate about exterminating this sect (see Galatians 1:13)” (pg. 115).  At some point his name is changed to Paul and he becomes a major leader in what has now become known as Christianity.  The only thing that could explain this is that Jesus did rise from the dead and appeared to him in a vision.  “Paul states again and again that the living, resurrected Jesus had transformed his life.  He was so convinced of Christ’s resurrection from the dead that he, too, died a martyr’s death for his beliefs” (pg. 122).

There are many attempts refute the resurrection of Jesus.  They try to say it was a matter of going to the wrong tomb, they all had hallucinations, Jesus didn’t really die but merely fainted, the body was stolen, moved, or relocated or that it merely a copy of mystery religions.  All these explanations crumble under scrutiny.  “Dr. William Lane Craig concludes that ‘when you… [use] the ordinary canons of historical assessment, the best explanation for the facts is that God raised Jesus from the dead’” (pg. 138).  All these other theories jump through hoops at an attempt to disprove the resurrection of Jesus because they simply do not want to believe it is true.

Another major proof that Jesus is the Messiah is that Jesus fulfills 60 major Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah and 270 ramifications.  The odds of 8 of them being met in one person are 1 in 10^17.  These are prophecies that at best are written 400 years before He was born.

The major problem people have with Christianity is that it claims Jesus is the only way to God.  “In today’s open climate, people seem offended by the exclusive claims that Jesus is the only way to God and the only source of forgiveness of sin and salvations.  This attitude shows that many people simply don’t understand the nature of God” (pg. 151).  What people don’t get is that God is not only defined by His love; He is also holy and just.  He is perfect and must punish sin.  Fortunately, when Jesus died on the cross he took the punishment for our sins.  All we have to do to cash in on this amazing gift is believe He did so and turn our lives over to Him.  The exclusivity of Christianity isn’t a matter of trying to keep people out but a matter of natural law.  The fact is Christianity offers the only way of being absolved of our sins, which, allows us to come before God as righteous.  We are not trying to say we are better than everyone else but it is that we have the only solution to the human condition.

Even with all this proof in people’s faces they are still prone to looking for other answers there is something within us that wants to do things our way.  “But in spite of the abundant evidence, I felt a strong reluctance to make the plunge” (pg. 159).  To make a chapter a paragraph, Josh could not continue living in a manner opposite to the truth he knew.  He eventually trusted his life to Christ, and he is no longer the person he once was.  “You can laugh at Christianity; you can mock it and ridicule it.  But it works.  It changes lives.  I should say Jesus Christ Changes lives.  Christianity is not a religion; it’s not a system; it’s not an ethical idea; it’s not a psychological phenomenon.  It’s a person.  If you trust Christ, start watching your attitudes and actions because Jesus Christ is in the business of changing lives” (pg. 166).

This book is one man’s testimony of his search for the truth and what he found.  He didn’t find a list of rules to help play nice and get his ticket to heaven.  What he found was the truth, that there is a God who loves us and longs to be with us.  He even paid the price for the wrong we have done to ensure this happens.  My advice to those reading who are skeptical of this is to perform their own search for the truth, and ask God if He is real and to make himself known.  I guarantee that an honest open search for the truth will come back with a resounding YES.

Jeremiah 9:12-13

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart

Changed by the Spirit

I wrote this for my English class.  but I think applies to more than my teacher.

Change by the Spirit

Everyone on the planet wants to be happy, and they are searching everywhere they can to find it.  Many look to drugs, sex, relationships, jumping out of planes, and all kinds of crazy things.  This desire comes because we are made to live in the presence of God.  When God created man, he designed us to dwell with Him in the Garden of Eden.  The problem we face today is sin.  Sin has corrupted the world in which we live.  Sin is the barrier that keeps us from the presence of God.  Sin blinds us.  It keeps us from seeing the truth.  Fortunately, God has not left us in the dark.  He has revealed Himself multiple times throughout history and has trusted the church with the responsibility with relating this truth to others.  The Church is composed of those who have heard this truth and accepted it. The truth is that there is a God who created you, who wants to be with you, and who loves you.  It is the truth and the manifestation of the truth that for which everyone is longing.  The manifestation of this truth is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the essence of God.  God is where all things worthy of being called good come from.  He is love.  He is Joy.  Experiencing His presence is what we are longing for.

The Church has been given the responsibility of sharing the truth with the world.  In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of  all nations,  baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching themto observe all thatI have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Disciples are people who devote their life to Jesus.  They eat, breathe, and drink Jesus.  The goal of a disciple is to emulate everything Jesus did.  One of those aspects is how he served.  They serve with the idea that they are serving on behalf of Jesus.  This has come from the Church being described as the body of Christ.  God works through people, and we are his hands and feet.  Here in America, the Church has failed at making disciples and being the hands and feet of Jesus.  This is due to the lack of reliance on and saturation of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the presence of God.  It is our power source, our joy, our peace, our comfort and our hope.  Without it, Christianity is just a religion, a set of beliefs and rules to live by.  Without the Holy Spirit, God is only the all-powerful creator and judge.  While this is true, it is only part of the picture.  God is also close.  He is near, waiting for us seek Him out.  Most of the Church seems to view God in a manner that places him at distance.  It has made it our goal to please Him so that we don’t go to Hell.  If we do a good enough job jumping through the hoops, God will grant our wishes of health and wealth.  It is this misconception that has lead to the American Church’s failure.  It has turned Christianity into a check-list.  It has cut out the heart of the matter and focused on the tiny details of how it is lived out.

God’s whole goal is to restore the relationship that He and humanity once had, the one He originally designed; for whatever reason He longs to be with us.  It’s not just a matter of rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked.  We “church people” often think we are so awesome because we don’t drink, smoke, or fornicate, and those who do should be eliminated because they are bad and terrible people.  The truth of the matter is we are all bad and terrible.  Even our good deeds, our righteousness, are as filthy rags before God.  God is so holy that Mother Teresa looks like Adolf Hitler when compared to Him.  So, we need get any idea of superiority out of our heads.  Any good we do is because of the change the Jesus has caused in us.  Without Jesus, we would be in the same place as they are.  For those of us who “believe”, it is because God has opened our eyes and drawn us to Himself.

God doesn’t tell us not to do these things just because he wanted to make up some rules.  Every command He gives comes from the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all of your mind, and all of your soul….”  He then adds, “Love your neighbor as yourself…”  What we need to understand is God loves all of humanity.  Anything he calls a sin either harms us or someone else.  The people that are participating in “sinful” activities are often killing themselves.  They have bought into the lie that these things are going to make them happy.  What they are doing should break our hearts.   They are killing themselves, walking down a path that ultimately leads to their destruction, an eternity in Hell, separated from the love of God.  If we truly have accepted Jesus and His presence lives in us, then we should never look down on these people in judgment.  Instead, we should be filled with compassion and pray that the Spirit of God will soften their hearts and open their eyes to see the truth.

So, we have discussed how Christians shouldn’t be defined by a lack of substance abuse and bad behaviors, even though that is not a bad thing.  Our lives should be marked by the presence of God.  Our goal should be to spend as much time in his presence as we can.  Who/what we spend our time with decides who/what we become; it’s like a law of nature.  What you are around rubs off on you.  If you spend all you time watching or listening to things that are full of “bad stuff” then you become more and more like that.  If you spend your time reading the word of God, conversing with God, and singing songs that reinforce those things, then you are going to become more and more like God.  The word “Christian” was applied to the disciples as meaning “little Christ.”  There were not two groups of followers: one being the generic Christians who are like your average person and then disciples who are the people that become pastors and such.  They were all disciples.  The goal is for all us to become as much like Jesus as humanly possible.

The problem is churches aren’t focusing in on this idea of spending time in the presence of the God of the universe.  We are focusing in on the little details and rules.  This is creating dead and dying churches and people.  We are removing the power and the drive that made the original church so alive.  Churches in America are dying.  There is no growth; Christianity is looked at as something that doesn’t work.  It is because the average Christian does not spend time in the presence of God other than on the occasional Sunday.  It needs to be an everyday event.  Every time that Jesus did a miracle, the Bible mentions that the Holy Spirit was involved.  It was the Holy Spirit that empowered the first century Church to do miracles, and it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to storm the gates of Hell and set free the captives.

I once was your average normal Christian with good intentions.  I meant well and tried not to do bad things.  There are two main things that attribute to the change that has happened in me.  First it was the confession of sin.  I had a major relapse into porn, and it was around the time that I confessed that things began to change.  The other thing that changed was my prayers.  I began to ask God to teach me how to seek his face.  I began to pray out loud as drove in my car.  I did this because I believe God is real.  I believe that God is with me wherever I go.  I believe that there is power in the spoken word.  And I believe that I can speak to God like He is my friend.  Since then the frequency of having intimate time with God has increased.  And it is these intimate times with God that have changed who I am.  It is time for Christians everywhere to get to know the God of the universe as their friend, as their Abba Father, to be engulfed by His spirit.

He Loves Us

I’ve started reading the book “The Differaennce A Father Makes” by Ed Tandy McGlasson.  And made me think of this song.  I’m only a few pages into the book and even though is written to fathers I am finding some truth that everyone could use.  It hard for me to understand how much God loves me.  This book uses God as the standard for a father.           Galatians 4

1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces[a] of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[b] 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

God is our father, He longs for us.  The word “Abba, Father” is like saying Daddy God.  God is not a distant father, his not in constant disapointment of us, judging our every move.  When we mess up God is not condeming you, he is saying “I know you can do better, I am here for you, I will forgive you, I will help you, all you have to do is ask.  When we ask for God’s forgiveness, it is goned, it is obliterated He remembers it no more.  And we are no longer bound by it’s power.  All God want’s is to be with us, but our sin keeps us from him.  That is why Jesus came, that is why He allowed Himself to be tortured to death.  So, that he could take the punishment for us, so that we could stand before God righteous.  He did it to claim us as His grand prize. When I started writing this it was to mearly post my current prayer.  And that is that God will help me to not only know that He loves me but to KNOW that He loves me.  To know something in your head is one thing like 2+2=4, but to know it to the very core of my being is what I want and need.  And I think that how I approach things and my level of confidence will drastically change when I get it.
Please listen to I’m here waiting with all this in mind and then listen to “How He Loves us”  And I pray that all of you will know the love that God has for You

also listen to my song I’m Here Waiting.  I know its not the same quality but the message is powerful as well.
I’m Here Waiting Lyrics Continue reading “He Loves Us”

Commentary on I’m Here Waiting

God is alway in persuete  of you, even when you don’t want him to be.  Some people think that in order to come to God you have to get all your ducks in a row that you have to clean yourself up.  Well that’s not true.  In the song God says he is just one step away and that is the truth all you have to do is come to God and confess you sin and he will welcome you with open eager arms.  God does the clean up work not us.  We can’t do anything to help ourselves out of the mess we have gotten ourselves into.  Some people for some reason don’t want anything to do with God and will do everything they can to distance themselves from him.  But God doesn’t give up he relentlessly pursues you no matter how far you run away  And that is what I’ve tried to convey when I wrote this song.  God is waiting for you to take that one step, he is waiting to break the chains of sin death that have ahold of you.  Please read my post “Connecting with God” for more on what it is to have a relationship with God.

Read the Lyrics to “I’m Here Waiting”  http://jeffreyreum.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/im-here-waiting-new-song/

Listen to the song http://jeffreyreum.wordpress.com/music-and-videos/

Connecting With God

What or who is God. Is he an angry all powerful being bent on punishing our every mistake? Does he take pleasure in our misery? Is God distant and doesn’t care, just enjoying watching us run around? Or is God caring, compassionate, and close?
God is the creator of everything. (Stars, planet, trees, animals, gravity, us) Everything is created by, of and upheld by his word. He is all powerful and we have every reason to be scared of him. Because of our sin we are worthy of his wrath. The wonderful thing he has given us a way (Jesus) to be free from our sin and the punishment associated with it. If we accepted Jesus we are no longer God’s enemy, but are given the right to be called his children. This drastically changes our relationship with God and how can communicate with him.
The typical parent/child relationship is a relation full of love and respect. This is how our relationship with God should be, except parents are often flawed, and God isn’t. (In fact we often project our parents onto God, if we had a lousy father that is how we tend to look at God.) Anyway we respect God because of who He is. And we love God because of who He is. God is loving, just, compassionate, faithful, truthful, and i could go on for days. On the flip side we are petty, hateful, dishonest, and corrupt. And yet God still loves us, and still wants to commune with us. He even came and experienced all the pain and suffering that the human life has to offer, and died for our sins in order for us to be with him.
So how do we connect with God?
mathew7:7-12
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

mathew 11:27
27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

exodus 33:12-23
Moses and the Glory of the LORD
12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

So after all those verses you probably a little overwhelmed. The key factor in all these verses is seeking and asking for God. Usually, when people talk to God they are only interested in what miracle or provision the get out of the deal. God is searching for people who really want to know him. And if you want to spend time with him just ask, seek, and knock. God is not hiding; he’s everywhere all you have to do is start looking. Pray, read the bible, sing, do something. You will not regret it. It has been the best thing I have every experienced, you cannot spend time in God’s presence and not be change. You become whatever you allow to influence you. How are you spending your time? Spending time with God will make you more like God. If you only “meet” with God Sunday mornings then you probably won’t be that effected by it. If you make it an everyday part of your life it will have a much bigger effect. You will change, you will become better.

For more tips read my Worship post.