What Do You Do? You Pray

I see many questions about God from atheists who have anger in their hearts.

They want evidence, they want proof and they demand answers.

Now the truth is I have seen many Christians ranging from your average person to highly educated apologetics present many different types of evidence from archaeological to scientific to historical to even personal accounts but they are never believed.

Often times when you do present your views they become angry and say harsh things and take a nasty tone to God. Many are upset that we even had answers to their questions.

They call their views “rational” and say they have “logic” and “reason”.

Which even in a polite conversation when you use those words to describe your atheist views we can assume since our beliefs are the opposite of the atheist that they believe our views are, “irrational”, “illogical” and “unreasonable”.

I have personal experience with this but there is no need to get into those stories.

I heard a quote from a former New Ager named Steven Bancarz he said, “Atheists have two beliefs when it comes to God. First that he doesn’t exist and second that they hate him.”

If you encounter a person like that you may ask yourself, “What can I do for them to know the love of God?”

Well the truth is their heart is hardened and their mind is made up.

They have created a barrier to protect themselves from outside views.

So then what can you do?

You Pray.

Pray to God for their heart to be softened.

Pray to God for their mind to be opened.

Pray to God for them to see the Truth, The Way.

You Pray.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Links for Steven Bancarz…
https://reasonsforjesus.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3g3LSHLqOm4HnsWi20uumg

The Love of God

It is so important to know the love of God.

It’s easy to get angry with others who mock God or take the Bible out of context in order to portray God and religion as evil.

But really it’s sad.

Some of these people will never know the love of God.

Even sadder some people go church their whole lives and don’t know His love.

They will behave in a way that is the opposite of God’s teachings. Judging others, turning away from the poor, acting bitterly and angry at those around them, closing the doors to their hearts and sometimes to the churches, in order to keep certain people out.

Because of this non-believers may reject God because what they see in us as a church.

We need to be the bridge to God, not the barrier blocking the bridge.

Remember a church is God’s house, not any person or peoples. We serve Him in the church.

God’s love can be defined in the  most famous speech from Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5-7 New International Version 

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e]28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[f] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]

Eye for Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h]39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Giving to the Needy

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Prayer

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[j]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[k]

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Fasting

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[l] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[m] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[n]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Generosity, trust, compassion and most importantly love is the message.

Show that Love today.

Have a Blessed week,
Chris

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5-7&version=NIV

 

God in three relationships: Introduction

The Holy Trinity, one God in three separate yet equal forms, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is clear yet also mysterious in nature. Many have read about the Trinity, written about the Trinity and of course prayed about and to the Trinity.

But today I want to start a series about God not in three forms but in three separate, yet equal relationships.

Next week’s blog entry will be about God as a best friend, He is with you through everything, He is there for you when you need him, in big situations and in small. He is with you always. There is no better best friend then God.

The second blog entry will focus on the family of God, how we all are a part of His family and the relationship we are to have with our fellow Christians.

The final entry will discuss our relationship with God as God. How He is not just our God but the true living God of the World. We must trust in Him and realize all of His power and the beauty of His love and compassion. Knowing this will help us bring others to Him so they can be saved.

I am hoping that this series helps others get a better understanding of the importance of a relationship with God.

I hope you all have a blessed week and if there is anyone out there that needs praying please comment.

-Chris

The Common Denominator is people

Most everyone has a bogeyman or men that they blame all their problems or the problems of the world on. Sometimes its one particular person in their life, or a world leader. Sometimes it is a group of people based on their political beliefs, religious beliefs, race, gender or any other difference.

They say all the trouble and problems in their life or the world would be solved if only that person or group of people would change or be gone.

Well turn on the news, you will hear stories of people killing others, robbing others, hurting others, attempting to destroy all that is good. These people are from all different races, religions and backgrounds. Men, women, sometimes even children.

What’s the common denominator here? It’s people.

People are the ones who do the evil, evil does not discriminate, it does not chose race, gender, political affiliation or even the religious. Evil can infiltrate the heart of anyone.

Truth is we have one enemy, it is Satan, he is the one ruining the hearts of these people. But their is good news he was defeated by Jesus Christ.

Now there is many good people in the world, who do wonderful things but the truth is no one is sinless.

In order to be saved we must accept the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. His death on the cross gave us  salvation and reconciled us with God.

Once saved we have to remember to be the light of the World, don’t let yourself or Christians in general become the own personal “bogeyman” of someone.

Remember the wonderful good deeds that we Christians do can actually be done by non-Christians, we have to show the world the light of God in our lives. We have to show what makes us different from others.

Show the love God has shown you.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Toxic Environments in Christian Culture

I really wanted to write a Christmas blog this week but this has been on my heart.

Why are so many Christian discussions like comment sections so toxic? It makes me sad. Where is the love? Just because you can quote scripture doesn’t mean you know scripture.

So many Christians take a few scriptures and use that as a license to judge.

Didn’t Jesus tell you not to judge?

Stop taking a few verses out of context in order to behave like you are God, you are not.

All you’re doing is pushing people away from the Lord, your job as a Christian on Earth is to bring others to Jesus and take care of the needy. Not tear down your brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s okay to go to other Christians and attempt to reconcile them with God. But it seems that many only wish to “expose” false preachers or pastors. They’re obsessed with certain scriptures and want to comment on every video that doesn’t go along with their beliefs. I notice many people like this also mock, laugh and insult others. I see people like this say, “LOL” at someone’s response to them or call them a bad name. I have even seen people curse as they argue.

This leads to the other side becoming heated as well.

Watching Christians argue over the Lord in such hateful ways is really heartbreaking.

Others see it to, imagine if you weren’t a believer and go to check out a video sermon and see Christians behaving this way?  How does that make the church look?

Unfortunately many are leaving the faith not because of God but because of a toxic environment they’re experiencing. It’s up to us to show the Light of God to those who need it, not cover that Light up and let darkness take over.

Read Paul’s letters, when speaking of correcting the peoples ways he did so in a loving manner, not an angry, judgmental way.

Speaking of Paul, after reading some of his letters recently, it hit me. We are still dealing with the same problems in the church 2,000 years later. In Paul’s day people argued over scripture, some were abusing their grace and letting the outside world influence them, while others were still holding on to the law so harshly that there appeared to be no grace at all. People were arguing over who they followed, saying they were followers of Paul or Titus or Peter or James or another, the predecessor to all the denominational differences of today. Some were complaining about giving any money to their church and didn’t want to tithe. Believers didn’t know what do believe so it was chaos and bickering.

Does this sound familiar?

Paul addressed all these issues. Now in this day and age people take a bit of Paul’s letters and other scriptures out of the Bible in order to win arguments but they don’t realize they are behaving in a way that he spoke out against.

What it all comes down to is you have to pray to God, you have to LISTEN to God, if you can’t hear the voice of God that is a problem. But fear not, you still have the Bible.

WWJD is not just a bumper sticker or a bracelet. Know how Jesus would have handled a situation, don’t just look at one situation, but follow His entire story. Jesus was the most loving and forgiving person to ever walk this Earth. Try to show the same love and forgiveness God does, He knows best.

I am not going to be a hypocrite and judge those who lash out in comments sections or any other platform. I have run theories in my head to why they people behave that way but I am not going to entertain those thoughts and tear those people down. I don’t know what is truly in their hearts, only God knows.

I just pray that we all do God’s will.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

The Importance of Knowing the Bible

I watched a video once of a group of Atheists tricking Christians to attempt to “open their eyes” to show how horrible God is. In reality the goal really seemed to just humilate these people and gain viewership in order to make money.

The trick was they told the unsuspecting Christians to read a verse from the Koran but in reality it was a verse from the Bible.

The wanted to show God in a horrible light. Many in the video were shocked by the truth.

I was very angry with the Atheists but then I realized God will take care of them. They’re just being foolish.

Forgive them Father for they don’t know what they’re doing.

Truth is shame on those Christians. They didn’t know the Word.

Shame on me. At the time I was just as ignorant as them if not more. I still have so much to learn.

And shame on me for even watching the video and giving them more views.

We must know the Word and understand it.

They were just taking selected verses out of context to manipulate scripture.

But aren’t us Christians guilty of that too? How often do we take a verse out of the Bible and run with it to fit an argument or belief? How often do you see a person take one verse and speculate on it to justify their own actions or beliefs?

You have to read the entire Bible. The whole Word and pray to understand it.

When someone tells me God is judgmental, cruel and unfair. I point out how he waited hundreds of years to punish nations who were immersed in sin. And all they needed to do was repent and He would have relented.

Try breaking one law and just tell the police that you’re sorry and see what happens. After you’re in jail, the same people that call God judgmental, cruel and unfair would tell you that you got what you deserved.

That’s just one example.

The Word of God is your armor, don’t leave yourself vunerable.

Remember satan quoted scripture to Jesus in the desert. Even the enemy knows the Word of God.

If you need a quick answer I would suggest Bible Study Tools.
https://www.biblestudytools.com

For example, want a scripture on the immigration debate? See what God says by looking it up in the search and you will find out what the Bible says.
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-immigration/

Easy just like that 30 verses about Immigration.

Are you up to the challenge to live in the Word? It won’t be easy. Many are so focused on changing others but reading the Bible might force you to change your own view points. Your views may differ from God’s.

Get in the Word and see what happens.

If you not only know God’s word but follow it, your life will be so fulfilled.
Have a blessed week,
Chris.