The Relief of Grace

One of the saddest things to hear is when an atheist describes abandoning their belief in God as a relief.

Truly if that is your belief than you really missed the God of the Bible.

If someone has caused you to feel this way whether a member of church or your family, you must remember that is not God’s intention.

Trust the Word of God, not words from man.

Read and study the Bible and you will see that despite everything people did, God was always there to save them. He took extreme measures to save us out of love.

God is not wearing you down, that is your own mind that has been conditioned into believing you have to be perfect or face Hell.

God’s commandments are not anything abnormal, the majority of countries laws follow the same standard.

One big difference, is grace. Try committing a crime, then apologizing and see how you the police and court handle you. Will they absolve you?

But with God if you accept Jesus’ sacrifice you are forgiven of sins, that doesn’t mean you won’t face Earthly consequences but you will obtain the Kingdom of Heaven.

How amazing is that?

Is that a God who is overbearing and cruel?

Grace is love, Grace is relief.

Accept God’s grace and you won’t want to sin. Of course you will stumble but when you do, go right back to God.

When you see how much God loves you and you love God you aren’t afraid of going to Hell, rather afraid that you will hurt the One who loves you more than all.

To my Christian brothers and sisters, we must remember to not abuse that grace, don’t sin knowing He will just figure you anyway. That is what people do in abusive relationships. They know the one they claim to love will continue to love them no matter what, so they continue to do wrong as a free pass. Don’t do that to the Lord.

This next sentence may come off as a bit harsh but I feel like it needs to be said. I want to emphasize don’t use the Word of God as a weapon to bully others or make yourself feel powerful. God is the powerful One. He sees your own sins and tells us to worry about them before we begin to try and remove other peoples.

Jesus came to save, He spoke of Hell as a warning not a tool to force belief.

God is love.

Thank you God for you love and grace.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

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The Circle of Forgiveness

Forgiveness in the Christian Doctrine is like a circle, it all connects and if any part of the circle is broken it loses its shape and meaning.

The first step to forgiveness is to ask God to forgive you of your sins, He will always forgive you. That is the most important and crucial part of the circle. In order to enter it you must first ask to be forgiven, God is there waiting for you to join Him inside.

Salvation comes from forgiveness from God, without asking you cannot receive it.

It is also important to continue to repent after you’re saved. God knows what is in your heart but showing obedience by praying to Him after a mistake shows Him that you love Him.

Remember your salvation is not a license to sin, don’t abuse your relationship with the Lord. Show Him the same love He shows you.

The second part of the circle is to forgive yourself. That is a very difficult task, forgiving yourself for all you have done. Just last night I laid awake thinking about things I did in High School.

But remember God is more important than yourself, if He can forgive you. Then you can forgive yourself.

It is very similar to loving your neighbor as you love yourself, if you don’t love yourself how can you love your neighbor the same? Well if you can’t forgive yourself how can you forgive your neighbor?

Which brings us to the third and final part of the circle, forgiving others.

God calls us to forgive others it’s included in the Lord’s Prayer and in many verses throughout the Bible.

In Matthew 6:14-15 we read, “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.”

Also in Luke 17: 3-4 it says, “3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

I will include a link to 20 verses on forgiveness in the Bible.

Once again I must emphasize we are not greater than God so if He chooses forgive others than you should too.

The circle of forgiveness goes like this…

God forgives, your forgive yourself and then you forgive others. God will always forgive you so the circle can only be broken by yourself. It is also up to you to keep the circle flowing so you can get back to God.

The Lord is waiting on you to enter the circle.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/forgiveness-bible-verses/

My Dad’s Death

We are coming up on the anniversary of my Dad’s passing. He died last year, September 18th 2015. He was battling cancer, it was terminal but his prognosis was that he had a few years left. He came and visited me from St. Louis a week before he started his chemo-therapy. He looked so well and we had a great time, he was the same with me as he had been before he got sick. We both said our goodbyes and that we look forward to seeing each other again.

It was the last time I ever saw him.

It wasn’t the cancer that ended his life on Earth but a heart attack. It was shocking and extremely painful for all of us, his new wife who he had married just a few years prior. My Uncle and Aunt were very close to their brother. It didn’t make any sense, God is the ultimate healer, we prayed for a miracle and he abruptly dies before we were all ready?

I was angry with God, I lashed out on him. I didn’t understand how this could happen, so sudden.

But we must remember God is in control of the big picture, he did however give us free will to live our lives. Tragedy will occur but God will be with you in your highest highs and your lowest lows. Call on him to help you deal with your pain. Time on earth is a blink of an eye compared to eternity.

After my anger subsided I asked for forgiveness and prayed for wisdom to understand.

Then I remembered we didn’t just pray for a miracle but for my Dad to no longer suffer. God granted that wish. You see my Dad was struggling very much with the chemo, he was in horrible pain and the doctors were at a loss on how to help him. Then one day he was in the dining room, eating dinner with his dog next to his side, when it happened. He had a heart attack and a couple days later went with the Lord. No more pain, no more suffering.

God gave me that last visit with my Dad, he was exactly how he had always been when it was just us. I realized that it was all part of God’s perfect plan.

I stand by what I said, I still look forward to seeing my Dad again and I will see him, along with the Father and his Son.

Have a blessed Week
-Chris

God’s View of Us

 

We are very hung up on each other’s views on God. We ask each other about our religious views or if we believe in God. But rarely do we ever talk about God’s view of us. Usually people that do that focus on pointing the finger at others, telling them that they are going to burn in hell. They want to scare people into faith. “Be condemned or join us!”

But that is not the message God sends. Everyone knows John 3:16 but what about John 3:17? “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him”

I know that in the very next verse it says those who don’t believe will be condemned but the most consistent message in the bible is not condemnation but love. God created the World out of love, He created us out of love, he forgave us out of love. The Lord’s focus is on love so why are we focused on hate?

When someone tells me they do not believe in God, often I think, “That’s a shame because he believes in you”. He believes in us enough to allow us to have free will, to love on our own, to manage the World on our own.

Some ask “Why hasn’t Jesus returned? When is enough, enough?” Because God doesn’t want to send Jesus back yet, he is still waiting on us to do better. He wants more people to be saved. He wants us Christians to DO BETTER, to show more love, compassion and care.

God’s view of us? He loves us, forgives us, helps us, and remains with us through everything. Are we Christians (Christ-like) If we hate, condemn, turn away from those in need?

Let’s all try to view the World like God does.

Have a Blessed week
-Chris

Guilt

I have had a lot of trouble dealing with guilt, many people do. It seems when we become Christians, rather than accepting the fact that our sins have been forgiven we want to remember them, and feel not worthy of God’s gift of salvation. Other times we end up feeling guilty for small things. I often feel guilty for missing Church, or not reading the bible enough or even not posting on here for a while.

We have to remember guilt is an open door to Satan. He wants your past defeats to drag you down. Even a victory can drag you down if you let the enemy inside your head.

You have to remember, you will fall, be humble as you get up. We can’t comprehend God’s love, he said he will cast your sins as far as the east is from the west.Take him at his word. You can’t focus on being the hands and feet of Christ when you are hiding your face with your hands out of shame.

Most important thing is remembering God’s love and that we all fall short. Many people are struggling, if you focus on your guilt rather than salvation you are wasting God’s sacrifice. When you sin, repent, keep going after God. The Lord is not ashamed of you, he loves you. We hear love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Well if we learn to love ourselves like God loves us, we can turn that same love around to others.

Have a blessed week

-Chris

JOB: Is God the villain?

I was watching a movie called, “A Serious Man”, it was very critical acclaimed and was nominated for Best Picture. Many people have called it a modern day tale of JOB. However many critics seemed to believe the Coen Brothers were attempting to show God is a heartless, evil, deity. The Coen’s never said that but many critics and viewers alike took the opportunity to angrily rant about God and religion.

To me this is a common problem in society, people want to find one part to a problem to magically fix everything. They blame the gun, not the attacker, the alcohol not the man who decided to drink it then drive, and of course God. Taking the dangerous things I mentioned away from people will never stop the Evil, only God is the answer to that. Take God away and there is no stopping the evil.

In the story of JOB, Satan is the villain, not God, God loved JOB and believed he would stay loyal through everything. At the end God told JOB that he had no right to question him because he is the creator, he is our father. Even though JOB did question him, God gave him double everything he had. God loved JOB and he loves us.

He didn’t intend us to go through this pain, Adam and Eve rebelled and we continue to do so through sin. The Old Testament is filled with laws and punishments because that is the society that people created. All of these laws and punishments did not come into place until people disobey God.

God did not want us to suffer, so he sent his son, Jesus who redeemed the World. Our debt is paid, no more judgment for those who accept the lord, he has forgiven us.

Can’t we all do the same?  How can we judge others when God no longer judges us? How can we tell people to be thrown in jail for the rest of their lives because “they will never change” or be killed for their actions when we have been forgiven for ours? We must remember Jesus said in Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you will be judged” and in Matthew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.”

So is it worth to throw away Jesus’ sacrifice over your own anger and hatred? Let’s do everything in our power to continue to show love to others, forgive, don’t judge. Show that God isn’t what these people claim he is. Show his love and compassion. You as a servant of God are representing his image to them, if you behave the way they view God, you will be justifying their arguments.

Have a blessed week

-Chris