Friday, December 30, 2011

The End of This Year

As I look back over the year of 2011, I find myself wondering who lived my life this year. I did very little that I had planned to do at the start of it.  I just did not seem to have ANY motivation. My life borders on a disaster in many ways. There are many things left undone, and it bothers me.

So what does this have to do with a Blog based on Christianity?

God is still on the throne, and despite my failures, He loves me still! Jesus came to heal and to help us. He came to restore our relationship with The Father, the Creator of the universe.

What makes this relevant to the end of the year?

Easy, as we end a year, we begin a new one. Personally, I plan to make 2012 a much better year, and to do a better job of fulfilling my obligations and responsibilities. And who knows, maybe the Mayans are right, the world will end, or change, or maybe Jesus will come back.

The bottom line is that Jesus loves us all and will continue to love us this year, next year and always!  He does not give His love or forgiveness conditionally, with the exception of our acceptance of them.  Christianity is different from all other religions because all other religions focus on man's seeking God or gods, and Christianity focuses on God seeking man.

God bless us all!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Start of a New Year

On the radio today, I heard a comment about how to start the New Year right.  It had to do with letting the old one go, including the past hurts, problems, et cetera.

Kaleidoscope picture
This is true, not only at the New Year but every day as a Christian.  Jesus forgives us, and throws our sins as far away as the east is from the west. We too are required to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us. In fact, Jesus warns us that if we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven either.

One of the main differences between Christianity and all other religions, is that Christianity teaches that we cannot ever be good enough to be forgiven or earn God's love and a place in heaven. Instead, Christ paid the penalty for my sins and yours, when He died on the cross. We cannot and do not have to earn forgiveness or the love of our God.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus each year on December 25th and this is a great place to start thinking about the New Year, new start and new life brought to us by our Savior. He entered this world as a baby so that He could experience life as a human, and sacrifice His life in our place.

So as we close the chapter on one year of our lives, and begin another, let us put past hurts, mistakes and problems behind us, and begin a new year, new life and help bring healing and grace to ourselves and our fellow man.

Just as a kaleidoscope is different every time we look in it, let us continue to change and bring glory to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ this New Year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Christian God and the evil we do!

One of the biggest questions among many people Christians, and non-Christians alike, is "If God is good, how can He allow so much evil in the world?"

The answer to this question, and many others like it, although on the surface is simple, is actually quite complex.  So let's look at it in detail from the position of orthodoxy.  If you read this, and have comments, or questions, feel free to leave them on the site.

God IS good, and allows evil, so that we CAN CHOOSE good.

Now that I have expressed the simple, lets dig a little into the complexity.  If God is truly good, and All powerful, why would He allow people to hurt others when He COULD prevent it?

God is a father, not an inventor of robots.  He has chosen to give His children freedom of choice.  We are free to choose to do good, or harm.  Unfortunately, this means that people get hurt.  A wise man once said, "If we are careful enough, we can miss sadness, and happiness." We cannot truly choose good, if we do not have the opportunity to choose evil.  So God allows His children to hurt others.  Does He like it?  Absolutely NOT!  But He HAS to allow it.  Could He stop it? Yes He could, but He can't and still allow choice.  As a father myself, I have seen my children hurt each other many times. This pains ME, too, but I do not stop them ALL THE TIME ! I could, but then they would not have the opportunity to learn from the tragedy of harming another.  Sometimes I do stop them, when it is truly dangerous, or excessively hurtful, and I subject them to a lesson on why they should not act that way!  At other times, tho' I let them hash it out, and then they end up making up, and learning for themselves why they should not act that way.  They also learn how it feels to hurt, and to be hurt.  This actually serves to improve their character.  The Bible reminds us that if we, as imperfect as we are, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more, does our HEAVENLY FATHER Who is perfect give good gifts to His children!  (based on Matthew 7:11) Does this mean that it is good for us to be hurt, or to hurt others?  God forbid!  Of course not, but we CAN learn from it, and the learning to humble ourselves, and apologize, IS good for us.  God being both All-Powerful, and All-Knowing, could stop us, and prevent us from harming each other, but again, there is that whole freedom of choice thing. God is also the pure essence of Love, and does not wish any of His children to be hurt, or to hurt others.  Again, very complicated, because it is difficult for us to understand how a GOOD, LOVING GOD, could allow such evil, hurtful behavior.  It doesn't seem to make sense.  What makes even less sense is that this same God, came down from heaven, to live as one of us, to die for us, to make up for the hurt we caused!  He created us for love, and fellowship.  We turned our backs on Him, and were disobedient.  He died to pay the penalty!

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice forb our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
b Or as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). 1 Jn 4:10-11.

I know, this still does not completely explain the original question!  The thing is, a God Who is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Loving, and Perfect allows us to choose, because He wants us to choose to do what is right, even though He knows what we will do, before we even do it.  He even already paid the penalty for what we will do!  Does this make it ok to do the wrong thing?  Absolutely NOT! It just means that He has already also made provision for healing for those who have been hurt, as well as those who hurt others.  We just have to CHOOSE to LET Him heal us, and our relationships, and continue to Love Him to the best of our ability.

Thank You, Jesus!  My Savior, My God, My friend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Creation and us...

Many people read the Bible and do not believe it, because of what looks like contradictions within it. One such example is the story of the Creation of the Earth and all that is in it.  People say that there are two different accounts of the creation. This is actually not true.  There is only one story of creation, but it is told two different, yet complimentary ways.  First, we have the orderly account in Genesis 1 - 2:4. Second, we have the focus on the creation of man. This second perspective is not a separate view of creation, but rather shows the preeminence of man over all other parts of creation. Man, after all was created in God's image and likeness. God put man in charge of the creation, and told him to fill the earth and subdue it.

People also get wrapped around the axle on the issue of wives for the first people. The Scriptures tell us Adam and Eve had 3 sons (Cain, Abel, and Seth), then mentions that after Seth was born, Adam lived another 800 years and had other sons and daughters. But it does not talk about where Cain and Seth got their wives. Obviously they married their sisters. Now before you freak out, remember that when man was created, we were perfect, made in God's likeness, and there was no sickness, or genetic problems, therefore this would not create a problem. The Bible also does not lay down timelines of when these people got married, only occasionally when they fathered a particular child.

Another reason some people choose not to believe it is all the evil in the world.  But I will deal with that in a separate post.  Look again soon