Christian, Inspirational

Past, Present, and Future

I’ve heard a lot of evangelists proclaim that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present, and future. This is true, but those evangelists often neglect to explain God’s full plan for forgiveness and tell you the whole truth.

Our past sins are forgiven at baptism. It’s more than just a figurative ritual. With belief you truly are washed in Jesus’ blood at baptism. At baptism with belief and repentance you are washed in the blood and become a member of God’s family.

After baptism the idea is to walk in the light and quit sinning. Future sins should they happen are only forgiven by the act of confession. 1 John 1:9

Proverbs 28:13 KJV says, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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Christian, Inspirational

Discernment Part 2

I think that a lesson I learned in my first year of law school could be applied to learning or teaching spiritual discernment and development.

When writing an essay on exams first year law students are taught to use IRAC. IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Analysis, and Conclusion. The question, usually a hypothetical with various facts determines the issue. When the issue is identified you determine the Rule or the law that applies to the facts of the situation. Analysis takes the law or laws into consideration and you provide discussion on how they may relate to the hypothetical facts. Finally your conclusion, how do you think the issue should be resolved.

Dean was wondering if he should lie to his girlfriend about meeting another girl at the bar last night.

Issues: How serious is the relationship with his girlfriend and is the relationship approved of by God’s law? What are his intentions to the girl he met last night? What was he doing at a bar? Should he lie? What are his motives for lying?

Rule(s): Fornication is sin. Hebrews 13:4. Lust is sin. Matthew 5:28. Drunkeness can lead to damnation. Galatians 5:21. Thou shalt not lie. Exodus 20:16

Analysis: Knowing the law, Dean should develop a Christian relationship with his girlfriend in consideration of marriage. Dean should not go to bars and drink too much. Dean should not look on a woman with lust and Dean should not lie.

Conclusion: Following God’s word can be hard. Knowing his law is key. If you know the rule you let the rule govern. Keeping God’s law is crucial to Christian living. The result of keeping his law is strong and healthy relationships on Earth and the promise of a future in Heaven.

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Christian

Discernment Part 1

Can you learn discernment between right and wrong, between good and evil? I believe the answer is yes.

One easy way to learn and/or teach discernment is with a game of what’s worse? It’s a game we’ve been playing since the time of creation. What’s worse, lying or murder? What’s worse, murder or stealing? Societies have developed their moral codes over the centuries. If you’re wondering what the correct answer is, which is worse, Google the average sentence for murder in the US, the average sentence for theft in the US, the average sentence for perjury in the US. The general consensus or public idea of justice and judgment are reflected in the sentences of convicted offenders. To see what other societies think, google the offense in the country in question.

I think God is the ultimate judge, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t develop our own sense of justice and judgment.

Here’s one example of what’s worse: not understanding baptism or believing that people go to Heaven immediately when they die. I believe the answer is not understanding baptism. Understanding and being baptized properly are critical to ones salvation. Mark 16:16. Beliefs of what happen to people when they die, whether they sleep awaiting judgment or go immediately to be judged, are not in my opinion necessarily critical to a person’s salvation.

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Christian, Inspirational

Courageous Women

Fear is a killer. Both men and women fall prey to it. People don’t confess their sins according to 1 John 1:9 for various reasons, one of them is fear of what others may think.

Don’t die in your sins. Read 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 and follow them.

Courageous women overcome peer pressure and the fear of what others may think, everyday, but can they do it in Church. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 tells us unequivocally that women should remain silent in Church.

Simply attending church exposes some problems that women may encounter. They need to be courageous in order to keep God’s law. As soon as you walk in the door someone is saying hello to you. You need to ignore them or maybe arrive right at the start of the service. Perhaps wave, but if you keep God’s word on this matter you surely will be talked about. It’s even possible that ignorant preachers will bid you to talk to them or to the people seated next to you. Again you need to be separate and remain silent. Men can’t alter the law of God which is why when a preacher asks women to speak in church I have dubbed it a call to shame.

Women can truly be courageous, but it helps if they know the law. Hosea 4:6 KJV says, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge … .

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Christian

Ribeye

1 Corinthians 3:2 KJV
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

My favorite cut of steak is Ribeye. Each cut however is not always the same. If undercooked it can be tough or it might have too much fat or grizzle. The ideal cut in my opinion is tender and best grilled around medium rare to medium. It needs to have a little fat marbled in and a little pink is just right.

The main problem with the word of God is not taste. The truth is palatable enough. The problem is digestion.

I’ve heard the word of God. Can I do and keep it? If I’m a woman can I remain silent in church? If I’m a man can I pray with my head uncovered.

When we face tradition or honor tradition too much it can create problems with us actually doing. Will  I cover my head with a talit or beenie or will I assume I have rights I never possessed?

Sometimes doing is the crux of the word of God. The doing or digesting is the problem.

Truly the word is sweet. But will we follow it or will we puke up or reject the word.

Strive to do. May the Bible be like your favorite cut of meat and may it be pleasant to your stomach.

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Perfection

I just heard another preacher say “no one is perfect, only Jesus was perfect”.

Is this true? No.

We find our perfection in Jesus. In baptism his blood washes us of our sins. After baptism he willingly forgives us in response to our act of confession. 1 John 1:9. Strength to walk in the light and remain sin free comes from Jesus, in him we trust.

If we could not be perfect why would Jesus have said in Matthew 5:48 KJV,
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

In Job 1:1, God calls Job a perfect and upright man. Just as Job was perfect so can we be perfect. It’s not only a matter of actions it’s a matter of faith.

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Christian

A Pure Language

A while ago I heard someone say the following verse was a prophecy concerning the renewal and resurgence of the Jewish language, Hebrew.

Zephaniah 3:9 KJV
For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.

What if God was prophesying the KJV, the King James Version Holy Bible. Far more people speak English than Hebrew. In my opinion I think it’s a real possibility, English is a plain and straightforward language.

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Christian, Inspirational

Rust

Have you ever heard a preacher read a Bible verse and then proceed to say the opposite of the verse? Something like reading 1 John 1:9 and then saying, Does this mean you actually need to confess your sins, no, you can just ask God for forgiveness.

I was trying to think of examples because I’ve heard others. One that comes to mind is Matthew 5:29-30. The preacher says did Jesus really mean for you to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand – of course not. I tell you Jesus meant it – as he said it.

I think most of us are smart enough to pick up on a preacher saying the opposite of a verse or watering down Jesus’ words. I think there’s something inside of us that tells us – what I just heard was wrong, maybe it’s the Holy Ghost dwelling inside of us. If you’re mind, or your heart, or the Holy Ghost tells you that didn’t sound right – it’s worth further investigation and study.

Rust kills.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Future

Do I have a future in Heaven?

This question is rightfully followed by am I forgiven?

The answer is yes, you can be forgiven and have a sure hope. Read 1 John 1:9. Today, I heard a television preacher say this doesn’t really mean you have to confess. Of course it does. You cannot confess to God – he already knows. You can ask God for forgiveness, but to fulfill the requirements for forgiveness under 1 John 1:9 you need to confess.

It can be scary, but once you get past the worst ones(sins) you may find it gets easier. Here’s the thing – confession is made to another. The person you confess to may be the person you wronged, it may be to your best friend or spouse, if you committed a crime it may even be to the police. In my opinion it could even be to a stranger, but then perhaps you lose a factor of accountability.

What’s the point. If you do your part and confess, Jesus has promised to forgive. Confession is the only way to be forgiven after baptism.

And yes, that scary factor of confession is designed to cause you to sin less.

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A Vow Not Made

Lately I’ve been watching Loveworld along with other religious television stations. Anyways they were recently promoting making a vow of money (or promise of donation) to their network. They were kind enough to point out that God does not look favorably on a broken vow. But what didn’t they tell you:

Jesus said don’t make a vow.

Matthew 5:33-37 KJV says, Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: [34] But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: [35] Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. [36] Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. [37] But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Italics for emphasis).

A vow not made is a vow not broken.

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