Posts Tagged ‘hate’

Convicted

Posted: September 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Here’s a repost from Frank Viola’s Blog:

I’ve often said that good preachers leave you saying, “What a great sermon!” While great preachers leave you saying, “Wow, what a Christ!”

On that score, some churches have created a culture of guilt. Every sermon preached is judged by how guilty it makes the listeners feel. The more guilty, the better. And if there’s no guilt, the sermon was a dud.In these churches, the guilt is described by the term “conviction.”

Continue here: http://frankviola.org/2016/09/29/convicted/

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Jesus came to correct our misunderstanding of God. Not to make our standing with God correct.

Fear

Posted: March 31, 2016 in Uncategorized
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How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.  – John Newton, Olney Hymns

Peace, trust and love are the effect of Jesus not fear, anger and hate.

“You are the salt of the earth…”

This statement from Jesus is intended to give us direction, to help us understand our role in this world since “that which is perfect has come”. Few will disagree with what was just said. However we do see dramatically conflicting interpretations of how this lives out.

These opposing views begin when we determined which of salt’s two primary functions we’re going to emulate or follow. Are we going to apply salt to enhance the flavor or to act as a preservative? Most of us are taught to be the preservative spending much of our lives fighting to maintain things we can’t even be sure of, unaware that what we are stubbornly trying to preserve is the very thing Jesus came to transform.

Here’s the opening quote with the dots filled in, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” And another, “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

It’s quite clear that flavor is the attribute Jesus is suggesting for our “Salt”. And I’m certain that the essence or seasoning we are to provide is love.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”

That which is perfect is love; that which is perfect is Jesus. We need not operate out of fear or tradition. Love never fails!

I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before. Oh sure I’ve heard “Jesus is God” my whole life but never “God is Jesus” and lately I’ve been wondering why. My conclusion is that “Jesus is God” leaves us a whole lot more room to make god in our image. We can fall back on thousands of years of misconceptions, hold  to misunderstood traditions and discount the very teachings of Christ by thinking Him to be just some portion of God that we can’t really understand.

Jesus said, “When you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” And I think he meant it quite literally. One of (if not the) primary reasons for God becoming one of us was to show us who He truly is and to put to rest our wrong notions of Him. It’s very sad how soon we went back to them and created a good God/bad God rationalization. If you want to know God you need look no further than Jesus. He is the One and only God in totality.

A life focused on sin, especially other people’s, is a life eclipsed by death. A life focused on love, especially to those that are different, is a life lived to its fullest.

People who send death threats to a 5 year old. No He doesn’t! God doesn’t hate anyone in fact quite the opposite is true; He loves us all more than we can possibly imagine. It’s because of this immense love that He hates the things that harm us or keep us apart from Him. This is where some get confused thinking hating is okay. Hating a person or people is never right. Hating something hurtful for them can be if and only if it’s deeply rooted in love. This hate, Godly hate for lack of a better way to put it, should never become further evidence one is unloved or unlovable.

Scripture says, “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you. Rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” The wise man is one who has seen the love of God, the one who understands that they have faults and wants to overcome them. Identifying people’s shortcomings is something we need to be invited into if we want them to hear. Correction only works if it’s backed up by love.