Love

I’ve written about 1 Corinthians 13 a few times but I think it’s more relevant than ever both in the world and in my personal life.

So here we go…

How often do you hear someone say, “This comes from a place of love.” Or “I love you to death but…”

A lot of times what is said following that opening line is something far away from love.

We see people that behave in a manner that comes off the opposite of love while claiming they’re acting in love.

On the flip side some behave in a manner that is enabling wrong behavior.

So how do we love properly?

Instead of me speaking on this, let the Word of God speak instead.

1 Corinthians 13…

The Way of Love

“13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have (A)prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, (B)so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 (C)If I give away all I have, and (D)if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 (E)Love is patient and (F)kind; love (G)does not envy or boast; it (H)is not arrogant

5 or rude. It (I)does not insist on its own way; it (J)is not irritable or resentful;[b]

6 it (K)does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but (L)rejoices with the truth.

7 (M)Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, (N)endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

9 For (O)we know in part and we prophesy in part,

10 but (P)when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

12 For (Q)now we see in a mirror dimly, but (R)then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as (S)I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Have a Loving Week,

Chris

Daily Readings:

Monday – Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Tuesday – Psalm 45:1-2,6-9

Wednesday – James 1:17-27

Thursday – Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23

https://www.openbible.info/topics/love

Labels Can Be Burdensome

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people view the world, primarily how Christians view the world and it’s on going issues.

Despite all of us in the faith following the same Bible and the true and living God we seem to have a lot of different views points on things.

This leads to a lot of anger, frustration, resentment and even sadness in the Body of Christ. We get divided on these worldly topics and even claim that others are less Christian for taking the other side.

Now they’re some clear cut views on issues that as a Christian you should have but I’ve heard some outlandish accusations by Christians against other believers on issues that are not so clear cut. Often they will take scripture out of context to try and fit it into their world view or situation. That is both wrong and dangerous.

Specific examples of this would just be distracting from the point of this entry so instead I’ll focus on why I think this is happening.

It’s because of labels, labels can be burdensome.

Think about it, I’ll use myself as an example.

I’m a white, male, American, Christian who is mostly conservative.

Think about what comes with each of those labels, thoughts, behaviors, opinions. Some of them will contradict with each other and I will most likely look at things differently than someone of a different race, sex, nationality, political ideology or religion.

That’s not even going into upbringing, environment and other factors.

So what do you do about this? How do you not contradict yourself while you try and understand other people who are different than you?

You shed your labels and focus on the Kingdom of God. That may sound easier said than done. Believe me, I know it’s hard. Reading the Bible has convicted me many times, causing me to question my opinion and views.

As hard as it may be, think about how rewarding it would be to try and see the world like God does. How much a relief it would be to be able to have the focus on God?

What if instead of all those labels you can look at things as a child of God?

Redefine yourself. I’ll go first.

My name is Chris, I’m a child of God, a Christian who just happens to be white, who is also a man, who currently lives in the United States.

God help see the world like you.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Readings:

Monday – 2 Samuel 18:5-9,15,31-33

Tuesday – Psalm 130

Wednesday – Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Thursday – John 6:35,41-51

Trust

Proverbs 3:5 ESV:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

In all moments both good and bad we must trust in the Lord.

In your struggle, pain, heartache, anxiety and grief we must trust in Him.

When you feel overwhelmed by problems lay them at His feet in prayer.

We may not understand why something is happening but God knows why and He knows all things. He is with you through all things, He is with you to the end.

While we don’t know all like God, we do know what happens in the end.

At the end of our race, at the end of our life, we will be with the Lord eternally.

Knowing this we can trust in God and when we do so we find true joy and true peace.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

Tuesday – Psalm 48

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 12:2-10

Thursday – Mark 6:1-13


Bible Verses on Trusting God
https://www.openbible.info/topics/trusting_god

The Importance of reading the entire Bible.

Throwback Thursday 6-3-21

The Good Word

Often times as Christians we get confused. We are uncertain on an issue so we go to a Pastor or watch a video or read an article to figure out the answer to questions.

Sometimes though the Pastor’s view differs from the article you just read. Both the Pastor and the author of the article quoted scripture, so who is right? This can led to more confusion, frustration and even anger. Sometimes people even fall away from the Church or God because they don’t know what to believe anymore.

It’s very easy for someone to manipulate scripture to fit their idea. Many times its unintentional, they saw a verse and ran with it. But God doesn’t work that way.

You have to read the full Bible not just one verse. It can seem overwhelming but don’t let that effect you. Call out to the Lord for help with your reading.

View original post 375 more words

Lies Are Lies and That’s the Truth

People will always make excuses for telling lies, they call them white lies but lies are lies. Lies are not only sin but they’re just like sin, both lying and sin just lead to more and worse lies and sin.

The Bible calls Satan the “Father of Lies” don’t be his child be a child of the Good Father, be a child of God who not only speaks the truth but is the Truth.

I have a story to prove the goodness of truth and faithfulness of God.

A man was in prison unjustly, a prisoner of the faith. He and his fellow prisoners decided to attempt to stage an escape, the prison itself was on an island so they decided to little by little find wood and build a boat. After a long time they finally had a boat ready that they hoped could get them to freedom.

They managed to sneak out but when they came around a corner there were two guards. One of them asked, “Are you trying to escape?”

The man knowing it was a sin to lie decided to be faithful to God’s word and said, “Yes.”

The guard said, “Good, so are we. Let’s go.”

The two guards led them out of the prison. They got on the boat and fled.

However the story doesn’t end there. You see when they got out to sea, a storm came and began to knock the little boat around But as it turned out the two guards were also sailors. The guards navigated the storm and they made it to freedom.

The man said if the guards weren’t with them they would not have survived.

All glory to God.

You see the truth can and will set you free (in some instances in more ways than one). 

So be in truth, be in God and have a blessed week,
Chris  

Links:
https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/John%208%3A44

Easter 2021: He is Risen!

He is Risen — First Baptist Church Madisonville

Luke 24 (ESV)

The Resurrection

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them. 44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

The Ascension

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

The Full Easter Story Can Be Found Here:


https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/the-easter-bible-story.html

God Asks For So Little

The world will attempt to put God in a bad light and act like God asks us for so much but when you think about it God asks so little of us.

Think about it.

 How much money does the government tax you? Not just your wages but in everything? Sales, bills, housing, here where I live there even is a “rain tax”. It’s crazy.

How much did God ask the Israelites for? 10%.

How many are called to dedicate their entire lives to ministry? Sure we are called to further God’s kingdom but how many are called to be a Pastor or a ministry leader? To wake up every and devote their work each day to the Lord? Not many.

However what God does call us to do entirely is rely on Him and listen to His word.

In the end it is not to benefit Him, He doesn’t need us but instead to benefit ourselves to know joy and to know Him, to spend eternity in His love.

All He asks for is our faith and faith alone.

The world wants you to dedicate your lives to them not for your benefit but for selfish reasons, they want your money, body and your mind. They don’t care for you, the world wants to use you.

The world is always changing yet always telling you to follow it.

But God He never changes, His path is the same and He just asks that you follow that path. While it is narrow, He will guide you on the path, steady you, pick you up and bring you back if you drifted away. All He asks is if for you to let Him guide you.

God knows you to be a sinner who isn’t worthy of His grace but He loves you and offers it you to anyway.

There is no cost just acceptance.

The world can’t wait to tear you down as soon as you make a mistake. There is no grace or mercy.

God gave us so much, in His creation, Jesus even died for us and we will share in His inheritance and rule and reign with Him by His choice.

He asks of us so little.

Yet just because God asks so little doesn’t mean you can’t give more.

You can give generously in your time, money, in your work.
 
You can represent Him in everything you do, at work, in school, any and everywhere you go.

Be the example, let the world know you’re a Christian by your love.

The truth is you can never love God like He loves you but you can put Him first in your life. Follow Him, listen to Him, honor Him even if it feels hard because deep down you know you owe everything to God, because He gave you everything.

But do remember this even though He may ask little of most of us, you are not little to Him.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service: Third Sunday of Lent

What Does It Mean To Fear God?

It is very commonly discussed in the Bible and in churches that you should fear God.

This often sometimes scares or confuses Christians and more often is used by atheists to criticize God and the Bible.

The truth is you should “Fear God”.

But you may ask, “What does that mean?”

Fearing God is about respect and reverence. Knowing what God is capable of while being joyous in His grace and deep devotion to us.

But how should we fear God?

Fear Him not just like a father but the best Father.  

Remember God is our Father look at a common opener to a prayer. How often do you hear, “Heavenly Father” start a prayer? Jesus opened the Lord’s Prayer by saying, “Our Father…”

So that obviously means we can look to God as our Father.

Because of this we can look at ourselves as His children.

A good father is loving, kind and cares for His children. He teaches and instructs. He also disciplines. This causes a child to fear a good father in certain ways but not just by his presence but because of the consequences of our bad behavior.

Since God is not just a good father but The Best Father, He loves us, is more kind and cares for us more than any other human father, which means we should love Him more than any human father or anyone else in general.

This also means we should fear him more than any human father or anyone else in general.

His presence should cause joy while His anger trembling.

However know this God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. For that we can remain joyful because He is good in all things. Greater in mercy, in compassion, in kindness and love.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service:

What Is Love?

Depending on your translation the word “love” is mentioned in the Bible between 442-759 times!  

Love is vastly important to the narrative of the Bible.

But what does the Bible actually say love is?

1 Corinthians (13: 1-7)
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

So what is love?

A better question would be WHO is love?

God Is Love.

Have a Blessed and Loving Week,
Chris

Links…
Love Mentioned Source
https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/how-many-times-is-love-mentioned-in-the-bible.html

Bible Verse Link
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2013&version=ESV

Story of St. Valentine
https://www1.cbn.com/st-valentine-real-story

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service

Tips On Theology

Theology and biblical study can be overwhelming. I am the furthest thing from an expert but I do want to share with you some tips on how to form your theological opinions.

Truth is a lot of times we can form opinions on scripture prior to even reading scripture. We hear someone take a position and tell us why that is true in the Bible and that version sounds good so we resist anyone else’s take on scripture because our mind is made up already. 

Don’t put any theologian on a pedestal no man has it exactly right, only God has full knowledge. You can be a Lutheran or a Calvinist or a part of any other denomination while disagreeing with the person who started the denomination or the person the denomination is named after. As a matter of fact you should disagree with them on occasion as they’re a fallible man.

It is very important when you hear a scripture verse used in an argument to cross reference that verse with the rest of the Bible. Scripture doesn’t contradict itself if you find a verse that seems to do so then find another interpretation of the original verse from scripture you were cross referencing and see if that view makes more sense.  

Read those who you disagree with, you can still learn from your brothers and sisters even if you disagree with them.

Learn what heresy is, it is not just something you disagree with, true heretical doctrine should be spoken out against in a different manner than a non-heretical stance that is different than your own.

It’s okay not classify yourself, you can hear all sides and form your theology. For example when it comes to soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), I don’t classify myself as anything. I have my opinion (I will not share it because soteriology is like the politics of theology it cannot be brought up without a big argument ensuing). I listened to all sides of the argument and read the scripture and came to my opinion on salvation. I am sure it may fall in a category but that doesn’t really bother me. I just want to focus on being a Christian first and a category within Christianity second.

Most importantly read scripture on your own and let the Holy Spirit be your teacher.

God is the ultimate teacher, He can teach through man but it is His Word not ours.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Links:

Holy Spirit As Your Teacher
https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/The-Holy-Spirit-As-Teacher

Cross Referencing Tool
https://www.blueletterbible.org/

Heritage Baptist Church Service