Choose Love, Not Hate

Anger, coldness, bitterness and an overall lack of empathy seems to be the norm in today’s culture. It is becoming increasingly hard as a Christian to handle these situations in a way God would want us to.

I think it is important when you see someone behaving angrily towards you or something or someone you love that you pity them rather than becoming angry towards them. Don’t behave the same way as they are.

Their behavior is toxic and they need to establish a relationship with God. Pray for them and try to help them, if they are unreachable remove yourself from the toxicity and continue to keep them in your prayers.

Remember they deserve forgiveness just as much as you do.

You may see some that behave that way in the church. They will shout and proclaim who is on the path to Hell, criticizing the sinners of the world. Or maybe speaking out against all those who are “back sliding” from the faith.

I’ve heard many times about how it is up to us to correct other brothers and sisters. That is true but many use God’s word as an excuse to be angry and hostile to others. Tearing others down in order to build themselves up.

Don’t take the Bible out of context in order to fit your own agenda. Even atheists do that. Know the meaning of the Word, not just the words of the Word.

Paul wrote to the church on how to handle believers who need correction. He told us to do so with love not anger and hostility.

Remember the story of the prodigal son, God wants us to come back to Him, He will wait with open arms and restore the person who has fallen away.

Don’t be the road block on the persons path back to his Father.

We as Christians cannot respond to sin with hate, we need to do so with love. Just as Jesus did.

I am of course not perfect, far from it. I have spoken negatively and had negative thoughts about certain people.

Sometimes I see people criticizing God or mocking Him and I get angry and I think about what is going to be their consequences for what they’re doing. It feels good for a moment but only a moment. Then I feel sorrowful for having those thoughts.

Jesus loves those who mock Him just as much as He loves us.

Don’t get angry or be afraid of those who lash out at you about your faith. Fear Who can destroy both body and the soul.

It breaks my heart knowing what awaits so many.

That is why it is so important to choose love over hate. Show God’s love through our actions to bring others to Christ.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Advertisements

Hearing God and God’s Love

My wife shared a nice story with me about her Valentine’s Day commute to work. She told me right as she parked, she said, “Happy Valentine’s Day God, I love you.”

She heard a loud booming voice say, “I love you too.”

She told me she had to hold back tears as she walked into work.

I love that story and it is one I will always remember.

Many Christian’s want God to talk to them but can’t hear Him. The best advice I can give is the more you listen, the more God will talk, the more you talk to God the more opportunity He has to talk to you.

Go to a quiet place and pray, remember Jesus did this. Follow His example to get closer to Him.

The key is to calm your brain and listen.

Remember how much you don’t like it when someone won’t let you get in a word in? Let God get a word in and work through you.

Sometimes it’s better to pray in silence, or ask God to lead you in prayer.

The most important part is to listen.

To conclude this week’s blog, as I mentioned Valentine’s Day was last week so let’s talk about God’s love.

Love is mentioned 310 times, 131 times in the Old Testament and 179 times in the New Testament. That’s outstanding.

The new most famous verses about love in the Bible are famous for a reason, they fit God’s word and mission perfectly.

John 3:16, “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.”

AND

1 Corinthians 13:13, “13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Truly the Word of God is true. Love is the most important aspect in all of our lives.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Sources:
https://www.reference.com/art-literature/many-times-love-mentioned-bible-f8eb228f4fe0a4

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+3%3A16&version=KJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13%3A13&version=NKJV

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

God’s Birthday Gift To Me

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

That is one of the most important verses in the Bible. It is something I repeat to myself and pray about when I am scared or anxious or feeling depressed.

The only One who knew this was God, it was one of our special prayers.

However, recently  I have been feeling depressed about a few things, the biggest being my writing. I am trying to be a children’s author and the process of finding an agent is very difficult, you put a lot of effort in to querying and most agencies will only send a reply if they’re interested.

This can become frustrating and makes me question if I am good enough.

I have been struggling to even continue writing.

While all this is going on my birthday came and my wife did a great job throwing me a mini party, it was a lot of fun, yet nice and relaxing. She handed me one of my last gifts, it was a small box.

I opened it, it was a wooden pen with a Bible Verse,
Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I couldn’t believe it. I had never told her how special that verse was to me and haven’t  even opened up to her about my struggle lately.

How amazing is that?

It truly was a gift from God.

I am very blessed man, thank you God for everything.

Thank you God for my wonderful wife, she is the best gift I have ever received.

Have a blessed week,
Chris