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Saturday, March 1, 2014, 9:44 PM
Many people talk about love without really conceptualizing what it truly is. If you truly love someone, do you feel for his feelings? If they hurt, do you hurt to see them hurt? Do you feel a desire to take that hurt away from them? If you truly love someone, and they hurt, then it makes you hurt to see him hurt, and trying to ease their hurt is likewise an effort to ease your own hurt. By hurting because someone you love hurts, then the less they hurt, then naturally the less you will hurt. If you love someone, you want to see him (her) happy. Seeing that one happy makes you feel happier, so you would naturally wish to make that other one happy.
If you truly love someone, and you see them having anxieties, then you feel anxious yourself, and you wish to ease his anxieties. If you truly love someone and you see him carrying a heavy load, then you wish to help him bear that load. So when you examine what you call love for another, does it include you being there for him when he is in need and sharing in his load, burden, hurt, etc.? If you truly love another, then you do not wish to make yourself to be better than the other is, but you wish to make the other a better person.
If you think your love for another is based on what the other person does for you, or how the other makes you feel, or what you can get from the other, then your love is focused on yourself, and you are a lover of your own self. There is another type of lover of his own self- the one who does for others so that he can attract attention for himself, or so he can ‘put on a show’ of being a loving person. If your psychological make-up causes you to do for others, and then you like to walk around being proud of yourself because you are known for doing for others, then you are really doing for yourself. True love wishes to do for others, and make the others feel important, not yourself.
Jesus (Yahshua) wishes us all to live in love. By living in love, we can all carry one another’s hurts, burdens, and needs. We would all live in love doing for one another. We would have no greed, but we would have no need, because as we did for others, others would be doing for us as well. In genuine love, you would never want to force or push your love on others. You would only wish to give that love to those who accept it in a spirit of love that would likewise return that given love. This is why Jesus doesn’t push Himself on us. He wishes us to desire that love and come to Him of our own will, and experience that love that came from Him, to be shared with others.
Jesus created us, and in His love for us, wishes to give us an eternal home with Him. Unfortunately, many will not come to Him, and by that fact, they will be eternally separated from Him. Back to the first paragraph- you should realize that if you love someone, then it hurts you to see him hurt. Do you ever consider for the love that Jesus has how much it hurts Him that so many will not accept to live in His eternal love? Do you ever consider that if you truly believe that Jesus loves you, that it truly hurts Jesus to see you hurt? Does it often seem that we live in a world that is filled with so much hurt? Then could we imagine how happy it would make Jesus to see us all come to live in His world of love that would never know hurt again? But until that world is fully realized, can we see how much it hurts Jesus to see those who will not accept Him and come to live in His eternal home?
Friday, February 21, 2014, 10:50 PM
Some selected words from Jesus. They speak much of ‘giving’ even to enemies, but especially to the needy. They do not teach giving to the rich, but say that any who are ‘rich’ in this worlds standards have their rewards in this world, and have traded a Heavenly home for an earthly one. This is why He said in Luke- “… woe unto you that are rich!” All verses from the KJV.
Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?
6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
7:21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
22:37 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. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Pay close attention- the ‘punishment’ is ‘everlasting’. Are you rich in this world’s goods? Do you tend to those in need?
Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. 34 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. 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. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. 49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Observe- there are servants who ‘knew’ what to do, that will be ‘beaten with many stripes’, but also the servants who ‘knew not’ that would be ‘beaten with few stripes’. The people of this world are not considered servants of YHWH (Yahweh- our Creator). By not accepting Yashua (Jesus) as Savior, they are doomed for everlasting punishments (not being burned up, as in ‘ceasing to exist’). But even the servants of our Creator will be judged according to their works. This is also taught in other places in the New Testament.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 10:57 PM
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (KJV)
Being justified does not mean that we are without any guilt or purely innocent, but that our guilt has been absolved and we are declared innocent. This is done by God’s grace that we have found through faith. Yet the ruler of this world (Satan/Lucifer) does not want us to enjoy this grace, and he is working to destroy our testimony through tribulations. It is demonstrating our faith in these tribulations that we gain patience and experience and our hope (expectation) in our Heavenly home is matured. This is possible because of our Savior’s self-sacrificing love demonstrated on the cross. The ruler of this world had no power to take Christ’s life from Him on the cross, but Jesus submitted to Satan’s fury voluntarily to lead us into becoming conquerors of the ties of this world that enslave us to this world’s ruler. From this we learn that we are spared God’s ultimate wrath in the eternal separation of this world from His kingdom.
2nd Timothy 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (KJV)
Persecution is suffered because this world, led by Lucifer, is against God’s plan to deliver those who come to our Creator, YHWH (or Yahweh). But through faith that works patience, experience, and that glorious hope we learn more deeply the love of Christ for us, and a deeper appreciation of the suffering He endured for us.
2nd Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)
Here Paul is speaking to his beloved brother in Christ, Timothy. A few verses earlier he mentioned how Timothy had learned the Scriptures from his mother and grandmother. This is what he was referring to when he said, “… from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE THEE WISE UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS.” This was from a time before the New Testament was written and the Holy Scriptures would be the Tanach, the Jewish version of what we call the Old Testament. The Old Testament promised the Messiah, which means ‘anointed’ and in Greek is ‘Christ’. “All Scripture …” is now spoken of as the Old and New Testaments combined, but in that time it referred to the Tanach.
1st Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (KJV)
All people at some time experiences suffering for various reasons. This is the result of sin in the world. Though a saved person (Christian) may not be perfect, and therefore is prone to sin, then ‘the ungodly and sinner’ spoken of above refers to the unsaved. Christians may suffer as all people on earth are subject to suffering. Christians may also suffer as the direct result of personal sins, as the Scriptures clearly teach in Old and New Testament that the Father chastens and scourges whom He loves to bring them into conformation with His will. Next, Christians may suffer because Satan/Lucifer, the ruler of this world attacks Christians to try to bring them down and minimize their joy in their salvation and to minimize their witness to others.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 11:53 PM
Is it reasonable to say that life just happened or that life was created? One may believe one thing, and another something else. Still, consider the complexities of atoms coming together into molecules and molecules coming together to form different organs, different organs coming together with different functions to make life happen.
What is expected from life; or what is its purpose? For those who do not believe we were created, then there needs to be any reason. For those who believe we were created, then it would follow that there must be a reason. Could the reason be that our Creator created us just for His amusement? That would be a lot of complex work for simple amusement. For those who believe the Bible, then we were created for a life of good works which our Creator prepared for us. What works? Would our Creator wish us to be good (functional and creative); or would He wish us to be bad (dysfunctional and destructive)? Being creative doesn’t mean that we could ‘create’ in the same sense or the same scope as He. But if you consider ‘creative’ as ‘building up’ as opposed to ‘tearing down’, then should we build up one another?
The Bible teaches that our Creator (YHWH) is love and His law is love. Would He go to such meticulous care to create us if His motive were anything contrary to love? So would He not expect us to live with that love for Him and for one another? If we were created for a life of good works, then would not love impel us to do good towards one another. If being creative means to ‘build up’, then wouldn’t love impel us to ‘build one another up’?
Even so, do we not all have a tendency to find that love for one another difficult? Do we not tend to want others to be ‘what we want them to be’ as opposed to being who they feel themselves to be? If someone feels worthless, would we ‘build them up’ or make them feel loved if we asserted ourselves to be better than them? To put it another way, if you felt you were not as good as someone else, would it encourage you to think that someone else acts as though he is better than you are? Yet, at least to a certain extent, do we not all seem to want to assert our own worth rather than building up the worth of others? At the same time, are there some who want to put on a show of their own worth because they are proud and arrogant; and also there are others who want to put on a show of their own worth because they feel they are viewed as worthless, and they want to ‘show’ others that those others are wrong? So who could see into our hidden motives better than the One Who created us?
There are some that we can seem to naturally and easily love, and some who seem to make it difficult to love, and some who make it seem impossible to love. Do we suppose that sometimes there may be things inside a person that seems difficult to love that make him seem so difficult? If a person seems to be pessimistic, is it possible that person had so often been torn down rather than built up, so that he only sees it the way he sees it? Is it possible that a person has been so mistreated that he thinks treating others harshly is the natural way it is supposed to be? Even one who treats others harshly may realize that this isn’t right, but if it is all he’s seen or experienced, perhaps he doesn’t know how properly to treat others.
So understanding love and learning how to love may at times seem a daunting challenge. I’m a firm believer that humans have such a natural inclination to be lovers of themselves rather than lovers of others that we could not truly begin to understand love without coming to know our Creator, and His love. Yet it is our own natural inclinations that seem to keep us from coming to know Him. That is why I believe that He sent Jesus to teach us how we have strayed from the way that He intended into our own ways, and to offer Himself as a sacrifice to teach us that we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves for others to demonstrate the love that He wants us to have. In learning His love for us, we can learn to show others that love in sacrificing ourselves for others. Then people could learn more about love from one another.
Though in a world where we so naturally tend to love ourselves, then I’m a firm believer that study of the Bible can teach us His pure and perfect love, our lack of that pure and perfect love, and how through Jesus we can learn that pure and perfect love. A lot of religions may have a lot of people that talk about ‘love’, but I believe that the Bible is the only true teaching from our Creator that teaches us His will for us in creating us, and shows how far we have strayed from that will, and the only way to reconcile ourselves to His will. I believe that the only reconciliation that mankind has to his Creator is through the blood of Jesus as is taught in the Bible. Jesus, as our Creator come to us, has said that the only way to that reconciliation was through Him. Many religions may have a lot of pretty words and teachings, but only Jesus can bring us to our Creator’s will.
Sunday, February 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
Without Jesus, people have no choice between this world and Heaven, because we have no hope of Heaven without Him. Because of Jesus, those who believe in Him have that hope in His promise that He is preparing a place for us apart from this world. This world is full of hardships, heartaches, and suffering. Jesus told us to choose either this world or Him and believe in His promise of the place He is preparing. Jesus gave us the option either to enjoy our rewards in this world or to store them up in the place that He is going to prepare. We do not deserve a place that Jesus is going to prepare for us. We cannot work our way into the place Jesus is preparing for us. We cannot buy our way there. It is only by believing in Jesus, believing Who He is and what He taught, and in that belief, accepting and trusting that in our hearts can we truly find the Way to our eternal home with Him. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Satan is the ruler of this world. He has the power to give rewards to those who serve him. So if you see someone who is successful, do you suppose that person’s ‘god’ has rewarded him? So Satan can reward many who follow false ‘gods’, because he is at war with our true Creator- YHWH.
Jesus said that Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. He has the power to deceive people by showing them things that will make them think they are serving God, but they do not see the whole truth. It may be in dreams, visions, signs, wonders, or coincidences that seem to work just so. People can read the Bible, go to church, and do all sorts of services and think they are serving God, but truly they may not be. God looks into people inner motives. If people think they are good enough, or can start living good enough to go home with Jesus, then they are deceived. If people think they are working hard to earn a way into Jesus’ home, then they are deceived. If people think they can work some sort of magic, or cast some kind of spell to bring them to Heaven, they are deceived, because magic is a forbidden art. If people think they can pay enough money to the church or to good causes, they cannot find their way home. Satan has many people deceived into thinking they can find their own way to Heaven. Only through accepting Jesus into your life can you find your way to His place prepared for you. So people can read the Bible and go to church, and give money and do all sorts of good works, but if they are doing that because they think they are ‘showing’ God or people what a good person they are, or if they think they are earning their way to Heaven, then it is all empty. Jesus reasserted God’s divine law of “LOVE”. If you truly believe in Jesus, then His law will be in your heart. Then you should pray, study the Bible, give and do for others for the true motive of that love.
Jesus taught that teachers have a higher accountability for themselves before God. It is because by ‘teaching’ one is implying that one has the knowledge and/or authority to do so. (This is one reason I am often fearful in my posting- it is because I know I am so far from perfect, and in that imperfection, it is fearful to think that a ‘mistake’ on my part may lead to a wrong ‘teaching’ to someone else.) Yet there are many ‘false’ teachers out there. The Jewish leaders when Jesus walked among them taught the Scriptures, but they were false, because the Scriptures taught about their Messiah, and the Jewish leaders didn’t recognize Him when He was there. So many people can take many teachings from the Bible or from many books from other religions and find ‘beautiful words’. But simply teaching ‘beautiful words’ does not necessarily mean teaching all of the truth.
Still people love to listen to ‘beautiful words’. Reminds me of Ezekiel 33: 31- 33- the people would come and listen and show much love with their mouths, but their hearts would go out after their own desires. The New Testament teaches that people will have ‘itchy’ ears that will go out looking for someone who teaches what they wish to hear. So when people are willing to pay people to tell them what they wish to hear, then they will teach what people want to hear, and leave out the part the people don’t want to hear. Jesus said, “Woe to those who are rich, because they have their rewards.” This goes with His teaching that people should decide if they are looking for their rewards in this life, or in the next.
Jesus taught that we are to choose His realm instead of this one. Yet when people are so excited about getting rewarded in this life, then they are choosing this world, above His kingdom. Jesus taught that we were to take up our cross. Jesus taught that if this world loved Him, then they would love us. We know that this world crucified Jesus, so how do we expect this world to treat us? The New Testament clearly teaches that we are to endure trials, hardships, and tribulations. That is because Satan is the ruler of this world, and Satan is the enemy of God’s children. Satan doesn’t want people to hear the truth, but Satan likes it when people with itchy ears will pay teachers to tell them what they want to hear. This is why many can get filthy rich teaching the Bible- they pick out the words that people want to hear, but they don’t teach the whole truth and leave out the words people don’t want to hear. So they teach people, “See all these blessings that God has given me? Much money, fine homes, great cars, fine clothes, and the best dinners? Sure I’m going to enjoy them.” Remember, even Satan can make his servants rich with the riches of this world. But they forget that Jesus said not to treasure your rewards in this world. (KJV says to ‘store up your treasures’ but accurate ‘language’ translation and the use of euphemisms makes well the meaning ‘treasure your rewards’.)
Teachers are held to a higher standard, and will be accountable to a higher judgment. But remember, those with itchy ears are also accountable for deciding whether they accept these ‘perspectives’ or if they are sincerely searching for the truth. People may not always agree on every detail of the truth, but there are clear differences between sincerely searching for the truth, and simply accepting ‘perspectives’ that satisfy the itchy ears of those who want to hear what they want to hear. So for people who ‘like’ the idea of relishing their blessings in this life would do well to remember the one in Hell who lifted up his eyes to Abraham, and Abraham responded that he had received his rewards in his earthly life. Do you search for the sincere truth?