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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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love

Bible Verses to Pray for Your Marriage

Enjoy this great collection of Bible verses from Heather at Room to Breathe.


From the post:

MAY WE LOVE….

  • John 15:12-13 ESV
     “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
  • Colossians 3:14 ESV
    And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  •  1 John 4:7-8 ESV
    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Read the rest of the post hereBible Verses to Pray for Your Marriage

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Just a Thought

1 john 4.8.JPG

God is love. If God the Holy Spirit is in us, should we not also be love?

Just a Thought

love your neighbor

We cant throw love into a pot and then distribute it out to people. Love can only be given by individuals.

Inspired by Oneta Hayes

Justice? Wait, I thought God Loved Me!

This is a slight reworking of something I posted  a long time ago. Blessings and enjoy!

justice-love-scales

All powerful

All Knowing

All present

Grace

Longsuffering

Love

Mercy

Creator

Sustainer

What is all that you ask? Well, those would be just some of the many characteristics, roles, or attributes of God. He is all of those things. He is all of those things, all of the time. He is all of those things in equal measure(that measure being infinite, of course). But that is not all. God is also the following:

Lawgiver

Judge

Jury

Administrator of Justice

We don’t like the idea of justice so much. We love love. We love grace. We love mercy. We don’t so much love law, judgment, or justice. Well, that is not really true. We do love justice, just not applied to us. Don’t we all scream for justice constantly?

That’s not fair!

Someday THEY will get what they deserve!

I deserve better than that!

They are going to pay for that some day!

Hey, where’s mine?

And on and on and on it goes.

So, we all have an innate, and generally very well developed sense of justice. After all, we spend big parts of our lives demanding it. Did we evolve into this almost universal sense of justice? Well, of course not. We were given our sense of justice. When? Back in the Garden of Eden when God scooped up the dirt of the Earth, created a man, breathed life into his nostrils, and man became a living soul.

We were created in God’s image; we have a sense of justice because the One who created us also has a sense of justice

I have taken a sort of round about trip to answer a common question:

If God loves us, why can’t He just forgive us and move on? Why doesn’t He just “Let us all go” so to speak?

 I don’t really want to over complicate the answer to that question, so will answer it with some short scenarios and questions of my own. If any reader decided to pay a visit to the local court day in their town and saw the following occur, what would the reaction be?

What if before court even started, the presiding judge stood up and proclaimed the following:

I really, really, really love you all! I know you are all guilty as charged, but I really, really love you all. So, even though you all did your particular crimes you won’t be punished for them. Everybody go home!

What if the local auto thief came before the judge:

Thief: Yeah, Judge I stole that car, but I am really, really sorry!

Judge: Ok, great. Thanks for the apology. You may go home.

What about the guy who stole the radio from that car?

Thief: Yeah judge, I stole the radio. But at least I didn’t steal the whole car like that other guy!

Judge: Ok. Hmm. Good point. You may go home.

The armed robber?

Robber: I did it judge sure I did. You know all the charity stuff I do, right? How am I gonna do all that in jail?

Judge: Good point. Go home

If any of that actually occurred, what would our reaction be? At the bare minimum, we would quit electing that Judge, or work to have such a judge removed from the Bench. Why is that? Well, obviously the conduct described above violates any sense of justice any normal, rational person has.

We believe in Justice

We are in God’s image

God gave us our sense of justice

God is just Himself

Why do we demand He behaves differently?

Remember earlier when we talked about God’s attributes? He is all the things listed, all of the time,  in full measure of each. Since being unchanging is also one of God’s attributes, He can not stop being any of those things. This is just simple fact as He has revealed to us in His Word, the Bible. We know these things because He has told us.

Another attribute of God is perfection and Holiness. Simply put, our transgressions large or small, are less than perfection and separate us from Him.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Big, or small. Shoplifter to a mass murderer.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

So in the eyes of a perfect and Holy God, we are all guilty as charged. If this was our local courtroom, we would demand justice. Well, so does God.

Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death………

That’s right, the penalty prescribed in God’s Law for violation of that law is the death penalty. The penalty is not penance, or purgatory, or a monetary fine or any sort of good works to make up for what we have done. The penalty for our sin is death. What does this mean? Well, after the first sin, it meant physical death. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, they would have lived forever in their physical forms, in harmony with God. Their sin brought into the world all the sickness and death as we know it today. Death also means spiritual death.  Even though we all eventually die physically, we are are all eternal in our spirits. Our spirit or soul will exist for all eternity.  So, again, what is it to spiritually die? Spiritual death is eternal separation from God in a place called Hell. It’s really that simple. When God says the wages of sin is death, that is the death of which He speaks.

Justice demands this. So, now what? Well, there is more!

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God has given us a gift. Even though we owed the penalty of death for our sin, He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ as a way for that debt to be satisfied. God became flesh, in the form of Jesus Christ and became incarnate on this Earth for that very reason. Jesus Christ was fully human so He could pay the price humans owed for their sin; He was also fully God so He could pay the infinite price of the sin of all humanity past, present and future. Despite how He hates sin, God loves us deeply and completely.

John 3:16 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.

It is a gift, we do not pay a thing for it; Jesus paid it all. We do not deserve it and we do not earn it.  All we have to do is accept it. How do we do this? Let’s look at what the Bible teaches about this:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

It’s the meeting of the attributes

Justice

God demands it

Love

God has it

Mercy and grace

God offers it

Will you accept it today?

Love Walk the Talk

1 John 3 17.18

1 John 3:14-18

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!

This Is How They Know

John 13_35

John 13:34-35

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.

What Is Love Anyway?

John 21.15

First of all, this devotional is not going to be a deep theological dissertation on all the various meanings in the passage above. Someday perhaps we will do that, but not today. I am only using it to illustrate what love means.

Both of the types of love mentioned in the Bible can be found in the above passage. The Bible commonly uses two different Greek words, with quite different meanings. The two words from the Greek which are translated love are, “agape” and “phileo.

The above passage goes something like this:

  • Peter, do you agape me? Yes Lord, you know I phileo you.
  • Peter, do you agape me? Yes, Lord, I phileo you.
  • Peter, do you phileo me? Peter, mildly put out, replies, Lord you know I phileo you.

As I said, here we are not going to analyze that passage; it just works well for what we are going to do briefly, which is explain just what love is.

  • Agape love is the kind of unconditional, sacrificial love which God the Father has for us. It is not based on feelings or based on if the recipient deserves it or not. It is the kind of love that is willing act and sacrifice even when another is totally undeserving. It is the kind of love both God the Father and Jesus Christ displayed when God sacrificed His Son for us, even though we did not deserve it. Agape love is the kind of love we are commanded to practice towards our fellow humans.
  • Phileo love is the kind of love we might have for a friend, or brother or anyone who we are fond of. This love is feeling based; in other words, this is based on whether we actually like a person or not. It might be sacrificial in some circumstances, but only insofar as it meets the needs of the person sacrificing.

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. The kind of love He commanded was not phileo love, but agape love. Because we are not commanded to love just those we actually feel something positive for; we are commanded to love our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Stay tuned for a future post on that very subject!

It All Hangs On Love

Matthew 22 37_40

Yesterday we discussed the same passage as we will briefly discuss today. Today our focus will be on the last sentence of the passage. What does it mean that all the law and the prophets hang on those two greatest commandments?

It’s a pretty visual and simple illustration Jesus used, really. Just picture a rack entitled, “love.” On the rack there are two pegs, “The Law” and “The Prophets.” Now picture what happens if there is not a rack entitled “love.” Got that? The pegs fall to the ground if they are not attached to a rack. Jesus was just illustrating that all of God’s expectations concerning His moral law can be met if we just do two things: Love God and love each other.

We can take a look at the Ten Commandments to illustrate how loving God and loving one another roll everything up within them. These are paraphrased in a short form, incidentally.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy
  5. Honor your Father and Mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

If we love God with everything we have, then the first four Commandments will be the natural result. If we love our neighbor, then the last six will be the natural result.  If you carry this to its ultimate conclusion, there is really nothing God expects of us which could not be found in one of the Ten Commandments; we could say they have many unspecified subcategories. And The Commandments can be further reduced to two: Love God and love each other. Love.

All of God’s moral law does hang on Love. If we really do love God with our all, and each other with our all, then the natural outflow of keeping those two commandments will be doing the things God wants us to do. If we fail in either of those two areas, then we will be unable to meet any expectations God might have of us.

Love It Matters To God

Matthew 22 37_40.JPG

Apparently, I still need some teaching on the subject of love. Since I have already written on that some, I thought perhaps re running these were appropriate. I suppose I must be slow, because I have actually re run this particular series more than once.

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.

Today begins a devotional series on some of the things God’s Word has to say about the topic of love. The Bible has many, many things to say about love; there are so many that if we discussed them all this would become simply the Daily Love Devotional. So, we are just going to look at some of them.

The key take away for today is going to be to take note of the fact that 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.

Stay posted for more about love over the next few days!

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