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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Love

Be Ye Kind One to Another Part 4

Ephesians 4_32

Luke 6: 27-38

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

In my personal Bible, I have this passage highlighted, underlined, boxed out with an outline, and even have stars up at the top and down at the bottom.I do my best to read it every single day at some point. If I fail to actually read it, I try to think about it and meditate on it some. Why you ask? Well, because left unattented and unminded I frankly tend to be a jerk. I tend strongly towards grumpiness, extreme seriousness, being overbearing, and being quite insistent that my way is the only acceptable way.

I am not, however, alone it this matter. In fact, my inspiration to do this came after attending the funeral of one of my favorite Uncles, my Uncle Billy. Now, my Uncle Billy and I were very fond of each other, and he always seemed especially fond of me. The Uncle Billy I know was the kindest, gentlest, and sweetest guy on the planet. Apparently, according to family lore, this was not always the case. According to family lore, provided by his siblings, Billy was just not that nice as a young man. It is reported that this was just not general run of the mill not niceness, but genuine meanness gravitating towards semi cruelty.

But, if you were to ask any person who knew him what they thought about my uncle, the answers would across the board be such: kind, gentle, always willing to lend a helping hand, loves everybody, and on and on.

What happened? First and foremost, I suspect Jesus happened. My uncle was, like everybody in his town, raised in church. At some point, however, he became very serious about his faith. More than that occurred; what we have here is a man who not only believed in God, loved His Word, but took actual measure to implement that Word into his life as a real force.

Like many believers, Uncle Billy had a favorite Bible, one that he had had for years. It was noted up, scribbled in, and underlined in many many places. This passage was one of those places, along with some other notes to himself about the passage in question. Apparently, this scripture changed a man’s life in this case. Of course, God’s word will do that to anybody willing to place in in their hearts, into their lives, and into action.

For the next few days, we will spend some time in this passage, break it down some, and maybe even chase some rabbits. Okay, for sure we will chase some rabbits, because I love to chase rabbits!

See you next time!

Be Ye Kind One to another Part 3

Ephesians 4_32

Being kind is NOT a Suggestion

Jesus had some things to say about being kind. Actually, Jesus had some things to say about loving one another, and being kind to each other would certainly fall under that umbrella. The point here is that kindness is not something we have the right to make a choice about. It is a commandment, period. Jesus said so. Enough said, right?

Matthew 22: 37-40

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

John 13:34

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Love matters to God: a lot. How much does it matter to Him? Well, just read the above passage. Jesus taught us that the greatest commandment is to love God with everything we have. And the second greatest commandment is like it: we are to love our neighbor like we love ourselves.

Jesus didn’t say these two were the biggest suggestions; He said they are the biggest commandments! These aren’t things Jesus would have us do if we don’t mind, or if we agree or if we like it.

We are to love our neighbor just as we love ourselves, which for most of us is fairly completely. God says so. If we choose to NOT love our neighbor, we are basically thumbing our noses in the fact of Almighty God! That is really not a good idea.

That was not the only instance where Jesus made it crystal clear that to love our fellow man is not something He would really, really like us to do, but is a commandment. Jesus feels strongly about the things He has commanded us to do. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” If we love Jesus, if we are one of His, we will strive to do as he says; in our devotional verse we learn that He commands us to love one another.

Isn’t that fairly simple? If we love Jesus, we will love one another.

How did God love us? John 3:16 tells us that:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

“The world” is from an obscure Greek word which means “everybody in the world.” Okay, it’s not really obscure; it simply means what it says. The point is, we are to love the world as well. Before anyone gets excited and starts telling me that The Bible says not to love the world, let me define. Loving the world means loving the people of the world, not the things of the world.

Just in case the point was not clear, let’s recap what Jesus had to say about His commandment to love.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

1 John 4:21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Got all that? Seems pretty clear.

Be Ye Kind One to Another Part 2

Ephesians 4_32

What does it mean to be kind as taught in the Bible? In the English translations  of the Bible, there are many words used that might be considered synonyms for “kind.” So, pinning down exactly what we mean by kindness may take some effort. Here are just some of the words used to describe what we might see as included in the topic of “kindness” : kindness, goodness, mercy, pity, love, grace, favor ,compassion, gentleness, tenderness.

One definition I found read as following

The quality of compassion and generosity, characteristic of God’s dealings towards the weak and poor, and demanded of believers. The kindness is also shown in the words and deeds of Jesus Christ.

Be nice; be kind; show compassion and generosity. We could go deeper into many meanings of this, and maybe we will. I never really know where these series are going until I get there. For now, however, we are going to keep it simple and just deal with kindness by believers as simply being…nice to each other.

So, over the next little bit(who knows how long?) we will take various Bible passages that address this subject and break them down some and talk about them. Enjoy the ride!

Here are some thoughts and questions to ponder as we tackle this subject. Feel free to add your thoughts and perhaps they will become topic for posting.

Who are we to be kind to?

That’s easy. Everybody.

So, I have to be kind to even people I don’t like?

Yes

What if they aren’t kind to me?

Too bad.

What if I am just not kind by nature?

Silly Christian, you have a NEW nature.

Can I just do it if I want to? What if I don’t want to?

Well, it’s not a suggestion, it is a commandment.

Does being kind mean I have to get walked on?

No, not really.

Does turning the other cheek mean I have to stand by and watch a brother or sister be assaulted?

Nope, not at all.

Does being kind mean I never tell the truth? Do I just have to do and say what makes people happy?

Not at all.

Is it okay for me to ever get mad at anybody?

Maybe, depends.

How do I know what I need to do to be kind?

Read the instruction manual. (That’s The Bible)

Who is my best example of kindness to follow?

Duh. Jesus.

Well, that’s a start and I hope the brain wheels are turning. Thoughts? Suggestions? Arguments(Arguments are ok…just be….kind)

See you all Wednesday!

Be Ye Kind One to Another Part 1

Ephesians 4_32

Hi readers. Last week, as perhaps you noticed, I didn’t post my normal morning posts. I had been writing on Zacchaeus, and thought I might continue, but honestly that train of thought has derailed. I would still like to write more about my Israel trip, but that has slightly fallen off of the tracks as well. The writing train is still wobbly on the tracks, so I am going to rework and republish some things I did on Christian kindness a while back, and I hope you find them useful!

Today, there is no real lesson, just some scriptures I have found I think are applicable to the whole topic of Christian kindness. If you have one of more favorites, feel free to add them!

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 

Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Acts 28:2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

Feel free to share your favorite!

No record

Great post on forgiveness by Stacy S. Blessings and enjoy!

cross_jesus_wood

 

True forgiveness starts from within.  It starts from within oneself and works its way out. If we wait for what we think the other side should or shouldn’t do that is not forgiveness.

We are to forgive others as He forgives us.

Christ’s blood poured out of His body before we were even born. Yet it is still powerful enough to continuously cover us for the sins of yesterday, today, and the days to come. Despite what we do, His blood keeps no record.

We must forgive, despite what we feel the other person is or is not doing. Why? Because Christ did and still does the same for us. We have no way of knowing what God is doing in someone else’s heart. We have no idea the layers one is fighting to tear down. Remember, we cannot control anyone else’s heart, only our own..…Read the rest of the post here: No record

Let’s Talk About Love-No Love? You Might Not Be His

love-like-jesus1

1 John 3:14

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.


We are continuing on with our devotional series on love. We have defined love, talked about what love is and covered ways love can be put into action. Today is not going to be a particularly uplifting devotional, but hopefully will be something to think about and consider.

The verse above clearly refers to Salvation. Salvation is when we pass from death to life, and to not be saved is to still abide and death. But there are two other key components of that passage we are going to briefly look at.

First is the statement that if we don’t love the brethren, we still abide in death. That is a harsh statement on the surface. If we profess salvation, and do not love our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, there are only two alternatives. One is that we are saved, but simply in full rebellion against Jesus’ command to love. In that case, we should certainly feel the conviction and chastisement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Option two is simple; our profession of faith may not have been real!

But, there is quite an upside as well. This we find in the statement, “we know.” When we talk about the Assurance of Salvation, we aren’t just talking about the fact that it is eternal and that we never lose it; we are also talking about the fact that we can KNOW we have salvation through Jesus Christ. And love is one of the tools God has so wonderfully given us to provide assurance. Feeling doubtful? We all have at times. Do you really, truly demonstrate love towards your Brothers and Sisters in Christ? Then, you are probably doubting for no good reason.

Turn lose of your doubts (the ones Satan so desperately wants you to hang on to), and get busy in your freedom in Jesus doing the thing or things He has actually called you to do!

Let’s Talk About Love-Love Walk the Talk

love-like-jesus1

1 John 3:17,18

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.


John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, asked a very pointed question in that passage: He basically is asking how, if one person has sufficiency to help a brother in need but does not, he or she can even claim to be Christian?

That passage is all about “Walking the talk.” We can talk all day about how we love; we can even make claims about how we feel about another person. But until we put legs on that love, John is saying we cannot make a legitimate claim to belonging to Jesus.

John’s guidance to us is that we stop just talking about who we love; the Holy Spirit is guiding us to put our love into action. We have already covered the fact that Christlike love is much more than a feeling; it is actions.

Specifically, this passage is talking about helping others when you have resources and they do not. It doesn’t necessarily mean just financial resources, either. We all have something in abundance that another does not. It might be money; it might be time; it might be a skill. Whatever it is that we have an abundance of, God tells us that we should share that abundance with someone in need.

What can we do today to actually show somebody we love them? Is there someone you can think of? If you can think of someone today, take the opportunity to actually do something for them!

 

Let’s Talk About Love-This Is How They Know

love-like-jesus1

John 13:35

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


In this simple verse, Jesus gave the world the authority to evaluate the quality of our Christianity by how we, as believers, love one another. He didn’t say they would know we are Christians if we go to church, read our Bibles, not drink beer or cuss or anything else. Jesus said the world would know we are His if we love each other.

The world cannot know that we love each other unless we show the world that love. As we have previously discussed, love has to become an action and an act of the will much more than just a feeling. People cannot see our feelings; they can only see the evidence of our feelings, whether bad or good.

What do people see when they come to our church? Do they see a group of people who rejoice in the opportunity to be with one another worshiping God? Or do they see a bunch of sullen people glued to pews? Are they themselves welcomed as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (unless we find out otherwise, and that’s another love topic), or do we ignore them at best or make them feel like intruders at worst?

What do people hear when they hear about our church? Do people report it as a place known for love and getting along? Or are we the church that always has some drama going on? What do we ourselves say about our church and the people in it? Are we kind and supportive of them in public or are we running around stabbing them in the back?

Are we ourselves showing every person we encounter the kind of love we are supposed to show to a brother or sister in Christ? We can’t go wrong treating everyone that way, really. Even if they aren’t, that might be the beginning of them becoming one.

Love is the key. We already know that everything God expects of us as believers flows from love. First from our love for Him, then our love for each other. And love is how we show the world who we are. Just ask Jesus.

Let’s Talk About Love-Laying Down Your Life

love-like-jesus1

John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


Of course, when He made that statement, Jesus was directly referring the the fact that He was about to literally lay down His life for His friends. Jesus was about to literally lay down His life for the entire world and its sins. Is that necessarily the application for all of us? In certain circumstances, it might be. Any one of us could encounter a situation where literally laying down one’s life might be an appropriate expression of ultimate love. What about the rest of us? What if we are never asked to literally sacrifice our lives for a friend? Are we just off the hook? Hardly! What, then, might it mean to lay down one’s life for a friend?

We live in a culture today where people won’t even lay down their thoughts, ideas and opinions for their fellow man, much less their lives. The United States, particularly, is a “me” culture. “Looking out for number 1,” “If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody will.” These are all reflections of the way we are. Yet, Jesus’ still said to lay down one’s life for friends is the ultimate expression of love.

We can do this by making others needs more important than our own. Jesus did that for us; He gave up his rightful place in Heaven to come here, live as a man, suffer and die just because our need for a savior was so great. Next time you have a situation where two needs are presented and only one can be met, meet your brother or sister’s need and let yours go unmet.

We can do this by forgiving. People wrong us; that is simply a fact. Scripture teaches us over and over that we are to forgive. Jesus asked His father to forgive the very people killing him on the cross in Luke 23:34.  We simply have to learn to forgive the same way; we need to forgive no matter the seriousness of the offense that is committed against us

We can do this by sacrificing for others. Not only might we be required to meet another person’s need and leave ours unmet, but we might actually have to give up something our our own to meet their need. Maybe you have plans but a brother or sister has a need; give up your plans and be there for them.

We can do this by meeting the needs of people who don’t deserve it and cannot or will not do a thing for us. Some folks don’t deserve help. Some are not capable of doing anything for us in return. Some are capable, but in our hearts we know they wouldn’t give us a fire extinguisher if we burst into flames. Help them anyway.

Laying down one’s life for friends is similar to Jesus mandate that we pick up our cross and follow Him. He didn’t mean for us to literally pick up a cross, and He probably didn’t mean, in most cases, for us to literally die for or friends. Jesus was setting a pattern for us here, and in our efforts to be Christlike, we should follow that pattern.

Who have we laid our lives down for today? If the day is just starting, who will we lay down or lives for today?

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